As conditions like depression and anxiety become more and more prevalent in society, it sometimes seems as though science and medicine struggle to keep up with viable solutions for those suffering. If you currently struggle with any kind of brain-related condition, listen up! These local clinics and their treatment options might be worth looking into.
Sometimes called Neurofeedback, this non-invasive therapy uses technology and feedback from your brain waves to treat a number of ailments and conditions. It is used to target symptoms of everything from migraines and anxiety, to brain injuries and ADHD.
The feedback is used to retrain brain waves into new patterns, allowing clients to actively heal themselves. It is possible for people of all ages to benefit from this type of therapy, and Austin is lucky to have a handful of clinics providing these services.
The Peak Performance Institute uses electroencephalogram (EEG) Neurofeedback techniques and more traditional psychological therapy to not only get an accurate diagnosis, but to also create a specialized treatment plan by working closely with patients’ treating physicians.
The Austin Biofeedback and EEG Neurofeedback Center utilizes state of the art therapeutic tools to give clients biofeedback that will provide ‘helpful information about physiological functions in a way that is easy to understand and use.’ They aim to improve brain functions by helping your brain adopt new habits, with the goal of dealing with neurological conditions and developing a more resilient brain to improve cognition and promote healthy aging.
Neurofeedback has been used for migraines, depression, anxiety, ADHD and learning disorders, the autism spectrum, poor memory, seizures, head injuries, and so much more.
Personalized Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (PrTMS)
A little known therapy called Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) has been on the scene in testing since the 1980’s, and the FDA-approved and insurance-covered treatment has been available for the past 8 years for treating depression. As a pediatric radiation oncologist specializing in brain tumors, San Diego physician Dr. Kevin Murphy has combined his knowledge of the brain with a close personal interest in autism to adapt rTMS technology into a more refined science. Professional experience, personal drive, and 8 years of practical research resulted in a personalized TMS protocol known as PrTMS, a cutting-edge new treatment that may help where other strategies have failed when it comes to neurological disorders like depression. For Dr. Murphy, it helped his 9-year-old son who was on the Autism Spectrum go from needing one-on-one attention to transitioning off the spectrum. He also transitioned into a regular class in school in a matter of months.
PrTMS has been shown to offer high remission rates for a wide range of conditions without medications or side effects. Each treatment protocol is designed to meet the specific need of each patient for overall brain health. There are many who currently benefit from PrTMS, including NASA astronauts, Navy Seals, professional athletes, children on the autistic spectrum, veterans with PTSD, those suffering with bipolar disorder, and many more.
How It Works
Like a fine musical instrument, our brains can also get out of tune. Physical or emotional trauma, illness, medications and age can all contribute to resulting discord over time. Some traumatic events may cause a slowing in areas of the brain. This slowing can appear as depression, memory loss, diminished executive functioning, and dementia. Other areas of the brain may be moving too fast, as often seen in post traumatic stress (PTSD), anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and the autism spectrum. Imagine a marching band where different sections are playing in different rhythms. Just as that can be uncomfortable to hear, we experience a similar discomfort when our brains are playing different tunes.
Every brain has an intrinsic, efficient operating frequency which enables peak performance. This ranges generally from 8 to 10 hertz, and varies individually. The magnetic pulses of PrTMS act as a conductor, commanding both the areas that are moving too slow or too fast to move in the optimal time. Over a series of treatments, the “band,” or brain, begins working together and in sync.
To find the right frequency or time for each person, the EEG captures a snapshot of the functioning of 19 areas of the brain and the individual’s resonant frequency. Although not yet a diagnostic tool on its own, the EEG helps guide and monitor the treatment and progress.
Weekly EEGs, medical and medication history, and self-assessments are used to personalize the TMS treatment to work with each person’s inherent frequency. Along with FDA-approved and adapted TMS treatment machines, doctors are able to finely tune the traditional rTMS treatment for each individual. The personalization allows for a more targeted and painless treatment with high efficacy rates.
The Patient Experience
As an outpatient treatment, patients attend daily treatments for 6-8 weeks. During the 30-minute PrTMS treatments, the patient sits in a reclined chair while a strong magnet rests on the head over three locations during the treatment session. Pulse sequences called trains painlessly deliver the treatment over 20 to 30 minutes. Peer-reviewed articles on traditional rTMS show 30-40% remission where patients suffering from depression were off medications completely. The Oak Hill Wellness Clinic has an 85% success rate, meaning a 50% or greater decrease in symptoms in patients suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other conditions. The 36-session treatment is a major game changer for those that have not been able to tolerate medications.
Some clients go into complete remission without needing future treatments while others require a “maintenance” cycle consisting of 1-2 weeks of treatment once or twice a year, as needed. Medications may generally be eliminated or greatly reduced. Treatment with PrTMS works similar to a computer reboot. In order to best maintain the positive effects of this reset, clients are urged to consider complementary modalities to support these changes in the long term. These may include:
● Counseling or therapy to support positive lifestyle changes
● Partnering with prescribing doctors to adjust and/or eliminate medications
● Nutritional counseling to explore the gut-brain connection toward optimal health
● Meditation and/or mindfulness techniques
● Movement and/or exercise
Finding What Works For You
At Peoples Rx, we know that the answer to your health concerns doesn’t always lie in a pill. We love taking a holistic approach to health, and simply sharing health information that can improve peoples’ lives. Peoples Rx has no affiliation or financial relationship with the clinics listed above. We hope to see you soon and look forward to serving you on your next visit!
The PrTMS portion of this article is written by Dr. Vinay Parameswara of Oak Hill Wellness Clinic. He is one of only eight PrTMS providers worldwide.
To learn more about PrTMS and the various disorders with promise for a positive clinical response, please contact Oak Hill Wellness Clinic by calling 512-892-0030 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.