Alternative Treatment Options Aimed at Treating Your Specific Needs

Brain Training at the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine

Integrative Medical Center in Scottsdale

An enormous amount of information has come out of the scientific community in the last few years about how the brain functions and how it can repair itself. The information holds great promise for everyone dealing with ADHD, mild cognitive impairment, depression and anxiety, memory loss, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more.

We now know the brain is able to change and repair itself, even into old age. Neuroplasticity, as it's called, is the brain's ability to reorganize neural pathways based on new experiences. In order to learn or memorize a fact or skill, there must be persistent functional changes in the brain that encode, or show the roadmap to, the new knowledge.

Age-Related Memory Decline

People often start to notice subtle deficits in their memories even as early as their 30s. They struggle to find the right word and have a hard time remembering the names of people they recently met. As the years go by, less and less oxygen gets to the brain. Blood brings oxygen and the basic nutrient, glucose, at life-sustaining levels to all parts of the brain. Our brains have an amazing ability to supply extra blood preferentially to those parts in use.

Brains, like muscles, thrive on oxygen. Increasing the oxygen delivery can result in new neural connections. More neurons make for better memory just as more muscles make for better strength. By increasing the oxygenated blood flow, we can increase the oxygen level in our brain, and hence the neural connections.

Hemoencephalography

Hemoencephalography, or HEG for short, is a simple technique to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood flow to the brain. HEG uses the same principle as the little fingertip clip-on oximeter that reads your pulse rate or your oxygen levels in the hospital. It is clean and quick.

The frontal lobes of the brain are where the so-called executive functions reside, the activities that have to do with paying attention to details and remembering them, organizing, strategizing, and planning. A headband equipped with HEG sensors measures the level of oxygen reaching the frontal lobes. Then you learn how to increase that oxygen in the blood flowing to the brain's frontal lobes with simple biofeedback techniques. Over the course of 6 to 8 weeks of half-hour HEG sessions, you can learn to increase the oxygenated blood flow to this area of the brain permanently. This improves brain function, and increases the speed and accuracy of decision-making.

After about half the number of sessions used for EEG-feedback training systems, people see permanent gains in brain function.

Low function of the frontal lobes has also been shown to be a factor in migraine headaches, some cases of autism, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia.

Treatment for ADHD

Parents are discovering that advances in brain imaging have opened up new horizons to help those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Children with ADHD often have under-developed neural pathways in the part of their brains that directs and focuses their attention; they are distracted by everything they see or hear. HEG neurofeedback helps them make new connections so they can stay focused on the person talking to them, for example, rather than on the cars driving on the nearby freeway - or the bunny rabbit in the front yard.

Studies have found that when a person with autism or ADHD is under stress, the blood flow decreases in the frontal area of the brain and limbic system - areas important for impulse inhibition - so that they are less able to control their impulses when under stress. That is probably not a big surprise to any parent of a child with ADHD.

Many children with ADHD don't hear the same way others do. They hear the same sounds, but their brain has trouble making sense of what they hear. Tuning out unwanted sounds in their surroundings is often difficult. This makes it hard for them to focus and concentrate.

HEG combined with sound therapy stimulates the brain, allowing the child to process information more quickly and have better impulse control. It also retrains the brain's ability to listen receive auditory signals so the child can learn to focus on the desired sounds while ignoring others in their surroundings. With ADHD, the ear has shut down certain frequencies of sound. The ear muscles become unresponsive and must be stimulated to be able to tune in to the desired sound. Attention, focus, learning, and language abilities can all be improved by retraining the ear to listen and communicate with the body.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Since our brain defines who we are, the consequences of a brain injury can affect all aspects of our lives, including our personality. A brain injury is different from a broken leg or ruptured appendix. It won't heal the same. Scans can look normal, yet it is clear that something is very wrong. You have poor attention and concentration, forgetfulness, poor short-term memory, inability to understand what people say to you, slowing of neural processing, disturbed complex thinking and organization, or word substitutions and word reversals.

EEG biofeedback helps with memory loss, balance and motor skills, and cognitive issues. It works faster and better than pharmaceutical medication (anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and anti-convulsants are commonly prescribed for "post-concussion syndrome"), without the unwanted side effects of the pharmaceuticals.

One of our patients, we call her "Chris," was in a roll-over car accident in April 2008. She spent 4 months at the best neurological institute in the Valley, without seeing significant improvement in her symptoms. She was unable to find her way around the city (in which she had spent her whole life). She had severe neck and back pain, unrelieved by any medications. Her neurologist gave her a fistful of prescriptions and told her to go home and wait, it would take a year and half to heal; there was nothing else to do.

She came to the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine. After the first brain training session, she asked us if people really feel better after the first session or was it her brain playing tricks on her? After three sessions, she regained her ability to find her way around the city. After ten sessions, she regained her balance, was able to drive, and help her son with his trigonometry homework.*

On November 18, 2008, Chris went to meet Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, the Harvard brain researcher who recently suffered a stroke. Dr. Taylor was amazed, said she could not believe how well "Chris" was doing just after a couple of months. It took Dr. Taylor eight years to fully recover from her stroke. Our patient's ability to drive, work, think and function has been completely restored.

It is not uncommon after a brain injury to experience a feeling that you are a "different person." Dr. Taylor shared that the day of stroke, the person known as Jill died and someone else was reborn. "Chris" was also struggling with some degree of personality change after the brain injury. It has been our experience that when the brain is given the ability to repair itself, people sometimes shift how they view the world. They are liberated from having to function in the old ways, and are given the opportunity to see themselves, and their relationships with others, in a new way. This can require some adjustment.

Depression & Anxiety

Traditional cognitive/behavioral therapy - "let's sit on the couch and talk" - is a long process that often includes antidepressants, anticonvulsants, stimulants, and other mind-changing pharmaceuticals. If you or a loved one has experienced depression or anxiety, you know that symptoms typically continue despite the drugs. In fact, the definition of successful pharmaceutical therapy is "relief of at least 50% of symptoms" - not "cure."

At the Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, our Scottsdale integrative medical center, we first like to rule out medical causes such as food allergies, heavy metals, fatty acid imbalances or hormone imbalances which can inhibit neural functions. Then we look at neural function within the brain. With depression, sometimes the brain doesn't work very well because some wires are crossed or the connections are poor - too much static.

With EEG and HEG biofeedback, we can realign the neural connections, reopen neural pathways (think: rebooting your brain.) It can change the color of life from gray to sunny yellow. By speeding up brain processing, information can be absorbed more quickly and accurately. Anxiety is relieved, because the sensory input is no longer so overwhelming that you just want to shut down and pull the covers over your head. Life can become interesting again, instead of merely overwhelming.*

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common disorder seen in war veterans. Soldiers have lived with constant fear of death and have witnessed unspeakable things on the battlefield. Some of them come out of the battlefield relatively unscathed. Others are so severely traumatized, it can take years to recover. But PTSD can also affect those who have experienced violent personal assaults, natural disasters, and accidents. Some people with PTSD have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal. Others may have no memory at all of the experience, because they were so young - or so overwhelmed - that the entire experience went directly from their amygdala to their autonomic nervous system and back to their bodies, completely bypassing the cortex.

With EEG and HEG biofeedback, we can help these people release those long stored memories - whether from their bodies or simply from their neural pathways - so that the memories can be processed completely. In this way, the scarring is released, and the person is freed to simply react to whatever challenge they are currently facing - rather than having to deal with the whole original traumatic episode as well.*

Schedule a free 15-minute phone appointment to discuss the program by contacting us.

*Disclaimer: There is no guarantee of successes for any given medical treatment. Each individual is unique and may respond differently to our medical services, meaning results may vary for each person.

Recent Testimonials
From Our Previous Patients

  • You saved my life!!??

    “I have been Battling with stomach problems since I was in grade school and misdiagnosed constantly from the time I was in grade school till I was 45 years old . Before I came to the center doctors of told me I had fibromyalgia , irritable bowel syndrome , Renards tendencies panic attacks and a host of other things. Az center for advanced medicine started over they did not assume the other Dr’s were correct. They tested me for everything. I did have toxic levels of lead and aluminum in my system and I am allergic to eggs 🥚 and dairy 🥛. When I went to them I was on 7 different medications daily and 5 as needed (almost daily). After the chelation therapy I was able to get off All the medication!! I was hardly able to move and unable to work. Now Thanks to my Dr at the center I am able to work and everything anyone else my age can do. Thanks so much for restoring my Health and Life....”

    Michele

  • Thankful!

    “I have a special reason this year [2012] to be grateful: today, the day before Thanksgiving, is my 12th birthday since the doctors told me in 2001 that I would most likely not celebrate another one. At the time of my diagnosis, giving thanks was the farthest thing from my mind. But I know now that I had every reason to be grateful.* My very advanced diagnosis let me decide that, if I was going to die, I would do so with as much grace, dignity, and quality of life as I could manage.* That meant I would make the decision to take the road less traveled and refuse the ‘standard of care’: surgery, high-dose chemo and radiation. It meant that I would look for things to clean and strengthen my body and immune system, that I would find ways to grow spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically. The nine years prior to 2001, when I was dealing with chronic disease, gave me the tools to create my own healing platform. This healing platform of integrated tools and anti-cancer strategies kept me alive until I found IPT Targeted Low-Dose chemotherapy in 2002 and allowed me to literally watch the cancer leave my body.* Ultimately, it all meant that I would change my focus on life from what I could get from it to what I could give to it.* Best Answer for Cancer Foundation (BAFC) is the pathway that allows me to give back. I’m so thankful for the assistance and guidance that has helped make BAFC a thriving reality. I’m so grateful to the physician members of BAFC: to the doctors who have treated so many cancer patients, myself included. These wonderful physicians give selflessly of their time, their talent and – many times – of their own income to help people in need. They are truly incredible people, and I am honored to know them and call them my friends.* Every day, in every way, I am humbled by and thankful for the patients who come to us, who give us the chance to help them, who have the courage to walk the road less traveled of alternative and integrative medicine. They also remind me of the most powerful healing opportunity of my life and the wonderful road that resulted from it.* *Disclaimer: There is no guarantee of successes for any given medical treatment. Each individual is unique and may respond differently to our medical services, meaning results may vary for each person.”

    Director of Best Answer for Cancer Foundation

  • The technicians made me feel so comfortable.

    “I wanted to let you know that I had a really good experience with the whole process of scheduling the thermos and with the test itself. I always god a callback whenever I left a message lll and they were always so professional and friendly. The staff was flexible with working to meet my scheduling needs. They sent me all of the paperwork and prep instructsion ahead of time. They also were patient with waiting for the script from my doctor’s office the day of. And what a great experience the Thermo was in contrast to Mammos I’ve had in the past. The technicians explained everything very well, made me feel comfortable, and even played music while I was adjusting to the room temperature. The test went so smoothly, and I am relieved to have the results back so quickly. It all just reinforced my decision to opt for a Thermo rather than a Memmo.”

    T.B.

  • I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for my Son.

    “Do you remember us? You treated my son … years ago. I have since that time talked about your practice to everyone and anyone who will listen to me. I believe a couple of friends have brought their children to you as well. So just wanted to let you know that [he] was recently accepted into the University of Arizona. Another success story for you.* I am sure your practice changed his life.* I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for my Son. I wish you many, many years of continued success.* Be well and keep healing.* *Disclaimer: There is no guarantee of successes for any given medical treatment. Each individual is unique and may respond differently to our medical services, meaning results may vary for each person.”

    S.V.

  • I can now truly feel like the healing has begun!

    “I wanted to let you know that I am enjoying the Brain Advantage Program tremendously but it was not very enjoyable on Day One of the Program! This is just an FYI in case you have any of my relatives or close friends take the Brain Advantage Course and have similar results (which I hope they do not!)* During the first 30 minutes of the Brain Advantage Program I started hearing a tremendous amount of negative self talk, negative images and negative childhood thoughts. My mind started putting out messages like: “You stupid idiot, you can’t do anything right.” “No one wants to look at you or be with you.” “You can’t do it.” “You are so f____ed up!” I wanted to be invisible because each thought, fueled my low self-esteem and made me want to walk out your door and not come back. In fact, after I left and drove back to my hotel, I called my husband and spoke to him in an angry tone. I told him that “I was going to come back home to Overland Park, Kansas and that I didn’t want to be here at ACAM.” In fact I said, “I wasn’t going to even get my things from the hotel room, I was just going to leave all my stuff in the hotel and fly back home.” “I wasn’t going to return your calls because I didn’t like being here…..” The emotional pain was too much. But, MANY HOURS AND MANY TEARS LATER, I realized that these were most likely past tapes or childhood messages that I had heard in the past and they were not occurring right now at this moment. But boy, they felt like they were in the here and now. Somehow, later, by the grace of God, I returned to ACAM the next morning and Dr. Reese had me talk to a former client Martina, who had gone through some similar problems ….. So, after talking to Martina, then Stephanie and Chris, and then, in more serious depth to Dr. Steven Swerdfeger…. I was able to resolve and make sense of some of these EMOTIONS being stirred in my mind via The Brain Advantage Program.* And it is a good thing that all of this happened because I can now truly feel like the healing has begun (and the ADD is being solved.)* *Disclaimer: There is no guarantee of successes for any given medical treatment. Each individual is unique and may respond differently to our medical services, meaning results may vary for each person.”

    CG