Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS)

What is LENS?

LENS is a newer form of neurofeedback that has been shown to diminish symptoms associated with the following; anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, nervous system and mood dysregulation, brain injury, attentional issues, and learning and memory problems. LENS helps to normalize unstable brainwave patterns by reducing the variability and amplitude of the EEG signal at the area treated. In effect, the person experiencing LENS may report a reduction in severity of problematic symptoms.

LENS involves measuring and recording electrical signals produced by the brain. As with traditional neurofeedback, small metal sensors are pasted onto the head with conductive gel. No needles, shocks, skin penetrating, or other invasive procedures are used. These sensors pick up the electrical activity of the brain.

Your only instructions will be to close your eyes and rest. You will not be asked to think of anything in particular, or to learn anything. In fact, you will be asked to not think of any imagery or constructive thoughts which might help you, this kind of helpfulness has often slowed the progress of this treatment.

Unlike traditional neurofeedback, the actual feedback given to the person is not in the form of visual and auditory information. Instead, the feedback from the LENS is a barely detectable electromagnetic pulse lasting less than one second. For reference, a cellular telephone generates a signal millions of times the power of the LENS feedback signal. You will not be able to see or feel anything during the session, but many people report that symptoms lessen in the following days.

If you are seeking LENS treatment for a problem, there are a few things you should know. LENS has been used since 1990, with enough success to warrant respect from former and current patients, as well as from some of the top scientific institutions in the U.S., and controlled studies are only now being performed. Some still consider LENS an experimental form of treatment.

Although no significant negative side effects have been observed so far, both benefits and risk will be listed below. LENS has been used with approximately 4000 people worldwide, with a wide variety of symptoms, and at this time researchers are studying the short and long-term effectiveness and safety of this procedure.

How many sessions will I need?

It is difficult to predict how many LENS sessions will be required. The following estimates are based on reports from LENS practitioners; some patients have needed fewer sessions, and occasionally a few more:

If your problem came on suddenly, has been of shorter duration or is less complex, and you have an immediate positive response to the LENS, you may expect 13 20 sessions. If you are more sensitive or reactive to the feedback, you will need at least 30 40 sessions of weaker treatment. If you have a lifelong history of multiple problems and are very sensitive to the feedback, you may need over 100 sessions. In some circumstances such as stroke, spinal cord injury, or head injury, the number of sessions can easily be in the hundreds of sessions to maintain improvement.

What are the risks?

There is no absolute guaranty that you will remain free from long-lasting problems following LENS.

Those whose medical status is unstable are advised to consult with their physician about becoming more medically stable before undertaking this treatment. LENS tends to lower blood pressure, which can complicate some kinds of problems such as orthostatic hypotension.

If you have a history of seizures, you must consult with your doctor before considering LENS. Even though neurofeedback has been helpful in the treatment of seizures, by stabilizing brain wave activity, you are at greater risk of experiencing a seizure following treatment than someone without a history of seizures. If you have spastic paralysis after a stroke or other brain injury, please inform us before initial appointment.

There are some potential risks of discomfort involved in participating in this treatment. On the rare occasions when the feedback is too intense or the feedback periods are too long, you may feel uncomfortable, irritable, tense and/or anxious for a few hours and possibly up to two weeks. Mild headaches that pass quickly have been reported, as well as more severe, lingering headaches. The more complex your history, the more likely you are to experience longer lasting negative reactions to the LENS. These feelings may be intrusive or bothersome, and you may address these as part of your therapy.

Although the unexpected is always a possibility, side effects that have occurred in LENS treatment are often problems that you have experienced in the past. It is also important to know that when the problems have occurred during LENS treatment, many have been a fraction of their former intensity.

Your comfort is of great importance to us. Please let us know of any discomfort, concerns or questions you may have.

For more information, please see www.ochslab.com

Virginia Center for Neurofeedback, Attachment & Trauma
420 Third Street NE
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902

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