Aug 292013

This week marks the end of another phase of my biofeedback journey. This week my LORETA neurofeedback treatments came to an end. Although I'm relieved I won't have to travel to Mississauga anymore, I will miss seeing the people, saying hello, discussing my progress, talking brains.

I am now happily embarking on a ten-day staycation of sorts before I resume my journey with the one biofeedback appointment per week. What will I do with myself on my time off? Read!

Then I will continue with gamma biofeedback and with tDCS, increasing the stimulation of Wernicke’s area gradually to the standard ten minutes. At some point, we’ll switch from PZ-O1 to PZ. If I stop progressing too much or too long, I'll resume twice weekly treatments. Let’s hope I won't have to!

With one less appointment per week, I am considering trying laser treatments for my sore shoulders, back, and hips. Bloody seatbelt injuries. Seatbelts save your face and your life, but they do do a number on your muscles, especially if, like me, you've been in more than one crash.

This week, I said to my trainer: sometimes I wonder if my perception of a change is real or fanciful. She asked me if I was getting philosophical. Well yes. Heh. But I also wonder if I think my reading is getting easier because I'm wishing really hard that it is or if it really, truly is, if a slow, gradual miracle is taking place?

I didn't stutter over the opening sentences this week when I began my reading during tDCS. And during the reading screen while hooked up at PZ-O1, the auditory feedback buzzed on and off, a sign of improvement over last week. Because it wasn't constant, it was a tad distracting. Eventually, I got used to it suddenly sounding. The buzzing white noise was the auditory feedback that told me all my brainwaves were co-operating: gamma going up, low alpha going down, and busy brain going down. It's a good thing to hear, and I didn't recall hearing it much if at all never mind this much during previous sessions. I also achieved gamma/EMG ratios above 1.0 in every screen after HRV except during reading. Ah well. Next time, I'll try for a clean sweep! Pretty neat to see them all in a row like that. And then after that achievement, I drafted part of this blog on my iPod Touch till all of a sudden I needed to sleep. I then tried not to nap on the subway. I didn't want to miss my stop!

The LORETA neurofeedback, the twentieth and last session, went equally well . . . well, after we wrestled the electrodes into picking up my brainwaves and got my left side to relax. We began with an assessment, then we got on with the feedback.

For the second week, we kept the z-score threshold at 1.9. Yet, I achieved all scores above 183, two at 190. Woot! Even weirder my scores repeated themselves. This happened during gamma training too when my first two gamma readings and first two EMG readings were exactly the same. Rather freaked my trainer out as at first thought she’d lost the first set of readings. I didn’t notice the repeating LORETA scores till later: 183, 190, 188 (turn subtitles off) 183, 190, 188. Neat.