Green, Drs Elmer and Alyce – Healing Epilepsy using biofeedback
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Beyond Biofeedback – Drs Elmer and Alyce Green
…… studies, as well as work in our laboratory with four epileptics (J. A. Green, 1976), indicate that brain-wave training can be effective in seizure reduction with some patients. Certain trainees feel that they can produce the normal trained-for brain wave at will and by doing so can sometimes abort an oncoming seizure when a warning sensation or imagery, called an aura, precedes the seizure. Other trainees are uncertain how they produce the desired brain wave, and yet they too have fewer seizures.
In our lab each trainee was informed of the abnormal activity by a tone or light, with the instruction to keep that tone or light off while maintaining the "good" brain-wave signal.
One trainee in our laboratory received feedback for low-amplitude beta activity. She discovered that she could turn on the tone indicating the presence of beta when she created in her mind a "strong" bright image of the sun. Later she found that she could use this image to counter abnormal spikes and slow waves occurring in the EEG record.
Of our four trainees, only this subject learned to recognize the state of her brain by her mental state, and to make changes in the state of her brain by making changes in her mental state. Several months after completing her training, she reported that she could block seizures if there was time during the aura to activate her mind. She also reported that her memory was better and her reading faster. Most important, fear of the impending seizure, which previously swept over her during the aura, is gone-she knows that she is no longer a helpless victim.
Brain-wave feedback for seizure reduction can be classified as training for control of the central nervous system, because the EEG signal triggers the lights or the tones that feed back the brain-wave information to the subject. Exactly how the patient learns to produce a brain-wave pattern that is inconsistent with epilepsy is not easy to say, any more than it is easy to say how Basmajian and his SMUGs learned to control single-motor-unit firing, but the fact remains that it is possible. This is exciting from a theoretical as well as a medical point of view.