Oxygen is critical to all human life. Most of us don't think about oxygen as energy, but that is essentially how it is used. The brain, in particular, requires a lot of oxygen to function. If the brain does not get enough energy, it cannot properly code and process sensory information. The brain has a very high metabolic rate (it uses a lot of energy) because of the neural activity of densely packed neurons which are constantly active. The availability and ability to use this energy is closely related to brain performance.
Neuroplasticity Requires Oxygen
We use Oxygen Therapy during every neurofeedback training to increase oxygen levels in the brain. We have found this to be superior to our former use of the HEG. Oxygen Therapy is supplied via a cannula and an oxygen concentrator and is non invasive and painless. It is combined with the BrainCore therapy to provide faster and more synergistic results.
Fun facts about your brain's energy usage:
- The adult brain accounts for 20% of the adult body's resting metabolic energy use while it accounts for only 2% of the total body mass
- 80% of the brain's energy use is for neural processing and signaling
- The child spends 50% of ALL metabolic energy expense on Central Nervous System (CNS) processing
The Prefrontal Cortex
The PFC is the region of the cortex behind the forehead. It plays a central role in making decisions, formulating and carrying out plans and intentions and sticking to those plans in the face of distraction. For example, suppose it is time for your evening meal. Your PFC will formulate a plan for meeting that need. Your PFC accesses the knowledge you need such as your memory of where you keep your pots and pans as well as the ingredients for the meal. Suppose the phone rings while you are cooking – you decide to answer it, your PFC will hold your intentions to finish cooking the meal so that you can come back to cooking when you are done.
The PFC also has the ability to inhibit other areas of the brain connected to emotions, enabling you to, for example, override a fear of heights when you need to climb a ladder. In summary, the PFC controls attention, blocks distractions in the environment, controls physical and emotional impulses and helps access your memory. However, in order for the PFC to function properly it requires blood flow to supply it with the nutrients necessary for metabolism. Studies have demonstrated that some individuals have limited blood flow to this area of the brain. For example, children and adults with ADD/ADHD have a decreased blood flow to this area of the brain.
The Goal of Oxygen Therapy
Whereas the goal of neurofeedback is to train the individual to produce and/or inhibit certain brainwaves, the goal of Oxygen Therapy is to increase blood flow to the PFC and the entire brain. Increasing the amount of blood to the PFC will result in increased metabolism thereby allowing this area of the brain to function optimally. Like neurofeedback, Oxygen Therapy is completely non-invasive and drugless.
Oxygen Therapy and ADD/ADHD
ADD/ADHD is a real neurological disorder and typically results in dysregulation of the PFC. Brain scanning studies have shown different activity in the PFC of children and adults suffering with ADD/ADHD. These scans have demonstrated a deactivation of the PFC during tasks requiring concentrated attention, for which you would normally see an increase in PFC activity. This deactivation results in the symptoms commonly seen with this condition.
"After experiencing extreme anxiety and debilitating fatigue, I was referred to Dr. Stephanie Rimka for neurofeedback. The atmosphere was kind and supportive. After a couple months, my anxiety and fatigue were improving by leaps and bounds. Still to this day, a year and half later, my work at Brain & Body Solutions has lasted, and I feel better than I have in years."
- E.W., Neuroscientist
I have referred several of my clients to Dr. Rimka for neurofeedback. In conjunction with my therapy, the clients who have completed neurofeedback, have, in my opinion, experienced increased insight and happiness. They have also experienced a decrease in depression, anxiety, dissociation, negative thoughts, and insomnia.
I wish all my clients were willing to incorporate neurofeedback into their treatment.
-Cynthia Cosson, Licensed Professional Counselor, DBT Intensively Trained, Imago Therapist
Like many of her patients, I came to Dr. Stephanie with a complex set of problems—autoimmune disease, insomnia, fatigue, and depression...Dr. Stephanie is knowledgeable in many areas, including women’s health, and her counsel was very beneficial. My health improved, my mental state improved, and I looked forward to every session.
- Lily, Artist
I had been diagnosed with complex PTSD. I was unable to focus and felt like my life was over. She was patient, kind, went over and beyond what any other provider ever has. Finally, I have shifted and turned a corner in my life. I believe in myself again and ready to face the world with a much more resilient attitude. Her strong and loving presence is a gift and her commitment to her patients is unwavering. I only wish I had met her when I was much younger but like she says, 'It's never too late to become what you might have been.'
- T.D., Speaker/Performer
Just wanted to thank you for the work you did with me last time I was home. What a beautiful gift you gave me - you gave me my creativity back! My spirit is definitely lighter and happier to be around!
It is very difficult to put into words exactly how instrumental Dr. Rimka has been in helping my son work through his challenges...Despite being very intelligent, he was so anxious that panic attacks were very common to the point he couldn’t even speak...The gratitude and love that we have for them can never be expressed. I will be bringing my entire family to Dr. Rimka, and I highly recommend her to my clients, friends, and family.
- Andi, Massage Therapist
Emotionally things feel different since our work together. I feel a certain calmness around decisions, and that's nice! Spiritually I notice my thoughts changing to more positive, inspired ones without even consciously trying. Thank you so much for helping me find myself again.
- Cindy, Retired
I feel great today! In fact, I've never felt better.
I don't know what you did, but you did wonders. Thank you!
- Adrienne, HR Executive