Why haven't I heard of this before?
A list of reasons why neurofeedback is under-recognized.
Neurofeedback: Why haven't I heard of this before?
Biofeedback and neurofeedback has a solid history of providing
diverse and dramatic benefits. There are hundreds of scientific studies
and decades of clinical experience. They all show improvements in
central nervous system functioning.
The lack of bad side effects is remarkable. Yet biofeedback is under-recognized for several reasons.
- There isn't much money in getting people off of pharmaceuticals.
- Many people are used to taking medications instead of doing vague self-training.
- Health care professionals don't have a financial incentive to refer their patients away.
- Insurance companies don't like how long it used to take to achieve
spotty results. Newer technology is more efficient and effective.
- Most practitioners are psychologists. They are generally poor
evangelists. We don’t have a Jerry Lewis or Sally Struthers.
- Clients tend to forget how bad it used to be and just get on with their lives.
- Biofeedback is strange and hard to explain. Much is unknown.
The self-regulation paradigm, hemodynamics and the bio-electrical
perspective are not kitchen table concepts.
- This is a frontier that is not well understood. We know it is
safe and it works, but there are many unanswered questions about the
brain. The community of practitioners have many areas of agreement
and disagreement. Everybody gets good results in somewhat
- MDs and other healthcare professionals can be exposed to seminars on
neurofeedback at their conferences. But there is no big company
behind the marketing of neurofeedback. Instead there are a handful
of little companies each in their own niche. None of them sell
directly to consumers. If neurofeedback were a drug, you’d know
all about it.
- Even after publishing hundreds of scientific research papers,
we are about $2,000,000 away from the research studies that would be
considered hard proof at the highest level of stringency. That is for
each disorder or application. We pass the hat at conferences,
- There is a small stream of news stories and features in the local
and national press. There are research articles in obscure and
minor journals. There is a smattering of interest in various
institutions. But as the technology and research improves, it is
inevitable that neurofeedback will be broadly recognized as a valuable
tool for improving human well being.
Eventually media exposure, law suits (you should have told me about
this), or a scientific revolution will bring biofeedback into the
prominence it deserves.