As I think I mentioned before, we began changing up my brain biofeedback protocol because of the emotional tides sweeping through me as PTSD takes its toll. Honestly, it’s bad enough I have to treat my brain injury to read again, now I have to overcome PTSD too. Humph.
Since gamma brainwave enhancement reduces the effects of stress, improves perception, and makes what is not manageable suddenly doable after enhancement, we began last week alternating treatments. One week, we’ll continue to reduce theta brainwaves at 2–5Hz at FP1-F3 (left of the midline on the front side of my head); the next, at CZ (top centre of my head) we’ll enhance gamma brainwaves at 38-42Hz, SMR at 12-15Hz, reduce busy brain at 28-32Hz, though this may change to 24-28Hz as 28-32Hz is too easy for me apparently, and incidentally reduce theta at 2-5Hz. Also, instead of doing the standard three active neurofeedback screens in a row of three minutes each followed by reading and writing, now we’ll do one active three-minute neurofeedback screen then I’ll read for 5 minutes and write for 10 and finish up with a neurofeedback screen that will reduce busy brain (ruminations-on-a-hamster-wheel brainwaves that drive those of us with brain injury mad and annoy everyone else).
We’re back to working on SMR at CZ because that brainwave has dropped since we last trained it. That’s not supposed to happen; probably the shock of my parents and family moving out of the city, leaving me to fend for myself (with one day of practical support from my mother) and the continuing fallout from their decision, led to this reversal.
Emotional shocks, trauma, increased stress can change your brainwaves back after all the hard work of healing them. Peachy. This is why I’m crowdfunding to update my book Concussion Is Brain Injury with the raw reality of how brain injury changes relationships and how relationships affect your injury and recovery.
Hopefully, by reducing the emotional toll of PTSD – through making me calmer and less stressed – that will help me get down to my reading homework and to absorb what I’m reading better.
The theta reduction in my left frontal brain is beginning to speed up my thinking, helping me get things done, and allowing me to read my homework sans getting a headache or needing an hour nap afterward, albeit temporarily for now. It’ll take many more sessions, especially at my reduced intensity, to make changes permanent.
The headache and fatigue benefit though is time dependent. I can only read 10 minutes max sans getting a headache, that is, the kind of reading to get it into memory: read out loud, slowly, using my finger to get my eyes to read each whole word one after the other, deep breathing breaks between each paragraph with silent recall, and starting the whole thing off with three minutes of deep breathing.
I definitely need the theta reduction biofeedback to not develop a headache. No theta reduction = headache tout de suite.