As a neurofeedback therapist, I’ve treated several NFL players and other professional athletes from Hockey players and Boxers to Race Car drivers, even your average Joe, who has suffered from Post Concussions Syndrome (PCS). This syndrome is a serious medical issue, that needs to be treated immediately and can persist for several weeks or months after trauma to the head or a brain injury. Consequently, this can be the cause of a direct blow to the head, face, neck or elsewhere on the body with spontaneous force transmitted to the head. Unfortunately, the symptoms that follow are often vague and hard to diagnose since not every person experiences PCS the same way, in addition, not everyone will lose consciousness during a concussion. With that being said, the signs of PCS are as follows: problem sleeping (Insomnia), dizziness, headache, anxiety, depression, aggressive behavior, irritability, memory loss and not being able to process thoughts due to a lack of concentration. Unfortunately, these symptoms can be damaging to a person’s personal and professional life, with several experiencing extreme thoughts of suicide.
According to the National Institute of Health, ten percent of people develop the syndrome in the weeks following a concussion. Even more, about 50 percent of those who develop post-concussion syndrome still have symptoms for up to three months. About 15 percent of people still suffer the effects of a concussion a year later. Unfortunately, concussions are extremely common in sports, especially among football players in the NFL, but also extremely common for those who play in High School and College teams. In 2013 Frontline did a piece on the NFL titled “A League of Denial, The NFL’s Concussion Crisis”, which shed a crucial light on how many NFL players and ex NFL players suffer from PCS daily. It’s a serious and heartbreaking issue, but fortunately, there is a highly effective treatment that can directly address and reverse the underlying issues, to assist in restoring the part or parts of the brain that suffered the trauma. The fact of the matter is, the brain is wired to heal itself, however, we still need to provide the right atmosphere for it to happen and that’s where neurofeedback treatment comes in.
For example, when a person injures their knee or breaks a limb, it’s imperative to repair the damage and attend physical therapy so the knee or limb heals properly. By the same token, neurofeedback therapy (brain training) is similar; only, the difference is, its physical therapy for the brain and is an excellent form of treatment when someone suffers from PCS. With my PCS patients, I place them on a 30-day program that includes Neurofeedback therapy, Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy and Nutrition therapy, via one of our nutritionists. During neurofeedback therapy treatment, I conduct a technique called “brain mapping” in order to locate the concussion. Once found, those specific areas of the brain, causing the concussion, are targeted with specific brain training exercises. Encouragingly, this treatment will alter the brain for the positive, retraining how it functions, creating a healthier, more balanced brain, aligning the body and mind in harmony. One of my patients, who played in the NFL in the early 90’s, stated that just after a few sessions, he felt as if his brain was reorganized. The fog was lifted, and he had clarity again, something he hadn’t felt in years. His wife said, “ He got his mojo back!” When we first began treatment, his brain dysfunction was at 40 percent. After 10 sessions, his brain function improved 30 percent.
Recent clinical studies over the years conducted regarding PCS and Neurofeedback have proven that treatment can help improve brain function, leading professional athletes to once again rejoin their sport, with improved efficiency, or, to just simply enjoy retirement with their loved ones, minus the symptoms of PCS.
Dr. Elena Eustache is a specialist in Neurofeedback Therapy, with a PhD in Psychology and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Dr. Elena Eustache helps her patients reach their full potential so they can live the life they’ve always dreamed.