HEG Biofeedback Therapy
Neurofeedback therapy in New York City is usually carried out using an EEG (electroencephalograph) to measure brain activity; however, this isn’t the sole method for doing EEG biofeedback therapy. HEG (hemoencephalographic) biofeedback therapy is an alternate neurofeedback approach that uses a hemoencephalograph (HEG), which measures blood flow in the brain rather than measuring electrical activity like an EEG.
The Two Types of HEG Biofeedback Therapy
There are two approaches to doing HEG neurofeedback in New York City: “near infrared” HEG and “passive infrared” HEG.
- Near Infrared HEG measures changes in the local oxygenation level of the blood. In NIR encephalography, red (660 nm) and near-infrared (850 nm) lights are shown alternately on a relevant area of the brain. The skull itself is translucent to these wavelengths, but the blood is not. A device called a spectrophotometer, worn on the forehead, measures how much of each wavelength is reflected back by blood flow in the brain tissue. This information is then converted to a visual display that the patient can see. The amount of the red light reflected by the blood indicates the ratio of oxygenated to deoxygenated hemoglobin.
- Passive Infrared HEG detects both local blood oxygenation level, and the amount of heat being generated in an area of the brain. The heat detected by PIR hemoencephalography reveals metabolic activity, indicated by elevated neuronal activity.
HEG Biofeedback Therapy: How It’s Done and What It’s Used For
HEG biofeedback therapy for brain-based disorders in New York City is usually carried out using a small, portable device that is worn on the forehead. This device is called an infrared spectrophotometer. Although HEG spectrophotometers do not measure electrical signals and are not subject to electrical interference, it is still important to take care to avoid data contamination so that the readings are accurate. Possible confounding factors can include:
- Position changes of the subject, which can affect blood pressure
- Direct flow of cold air from an air conditioner
- Small blemishes or inflammations beneath the sensor
Like EEG neurofeedback, HEG biofeedback therapy has a range of applications, including migraine headaches and ADHD.
HEG Biofeedback Therapy versus EEG Biofeedback Therapy
HEG biofeedback therapy has both advantages and disadvantages as compared to the more commonly used EEG neurofeedback.
- HEG signals are more stable and straightforward than EEG signals
- HEG signals are less likely to be affected by external “noise,” such as electrical activity or signal interference from metal objects
- HEG signals are less likely to be “thrown off” by head or eye movements
- HEG apparatus is smaller and more portable than EEG apparatus
- There are wide variations in individual skull thickness and blood flow, so it is difficult to compare HEG information between multiple people
- A causal relationship between blood flow and neuronal activity has yet to be conclusively verified by scientists