Brain BiofeedbackBrain Health

Gamma Brain Biofeedback: Does It Help One Cope?

The stress keeps on piling on. Isn't there a song about that? Maybe if I moved to that mountain next to Hwy 2 in the Yukon, I wouldn't have any more stress and I could just chill without having to cope and cope and cope. Anyway, according to heart and EEG readings, I'm coping well.

But the neat thing about the gamma brainwaves we’re stimulating is that they up your mood, release you from weariness. Yet that begs a question: since the electrode is in the CZ position, over the centre of the sensorimotor strip, how do we know it’s gamma alone and I'm not awaking that area as well so that my emotions are being normalized in the process (if you followed all that)? We don't, was the answer. We depend on you to tell us because gamma hasn't been done before, I was informed. On the other hand, by relaxing the body, dropping muscle tension, calming the heart — all things included in my training — brain function gets better in all areas (including mood). Body affects mind, and mind affects body.

I think back to how the CR-pregabalin affected me — calming me, upping my mood, making me feel more competent was all part of that. Plus whenever I've done just deep breathing, I hadn't felt quite like this. Relaxed, yes, but not bouncing. And since CR-pregabalin increased GABA in the brain and gamma brainwaves seem to be positively correlated with GABA, then maybe it is mostly gamma.

Since the next person was late today, I had a bit of time to discuss my next philosophy course assignment with my trainer. I’ve gotten a lot of admonitions to stop talking about my brain injury and “get on with my life” (hurl, barf). But for me to fully answer the exercise we’re being given, I have to mention my brain injury. I suppose I could prevaricate. But then I'd be providing an incomplete answer and being less than honest with my classmates as well. My trainer was rather blunt in her assessment of the “advice” I've been subjected to over and over. I like blunt! Still…

She then said by talking fully about why I think what I do about mind and body, I will help myself accept my brain injury, show others what is possible when you don't give up, and give hope. And besides people are interested in these kinds of stories. OK then, I shall come out of the closet (and besides anyone who's googled me will know anyway). Now I have to figure out what it is I want to say.

My results:

Date Baseline HRV Fdbk 1 Fdbk 2 SMIRB Fdbk 3 HRV
27 Jun 0.83 0.88 0.90 0.90 0.91
4 Jul 0.85 30s 0.91 0.94 0.898 0.90 0.84 EC
10 Jul 0.85 30s 0.89 0.86 0.84 0.86 0.90 EC
17 Jul 0.91 30s 1.05 1 0.94 0.96 0.97 EC
25 Jul 0.96 30s 1.03 1.02 1.01 0.97 1.02 EC
3 min 10 min
7 Aug 0.85 0.949 0.95 0.89 0.93 0.92
28 Aug 0.98 0.98 0.986 0.92 0.97 0.934 0.93 EC
4 Sep 0.87 0.872 0.84 0.876 0.92 0.95 0.88
5 Sep 0.92 1 0.98 0.90 0.93 0.94
11 Sep 1 1.01 1.006 0.95 0.94 0.99
12 Sep 1 0.97 0.99 0.97 0.98 0.93 0.97
18 Sep 0.968 0.97 0.937 0.94 0.98 0.90
19 Sep 0.898 0.94 Reading:
0.81 0.93 HRV:
25 Sep 0.93 0.97 0.96 0.95 0.96 0.97
26 Sep 0.92 0.91 0.93 0.92 1.12 Reading: