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Home > Evidence
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 dont 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 different ways. 
  • 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, youd 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, but...
  • 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.


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