It comes as no surprise that alcohol has a profound impact on your brain. But conversely, so does recovery – in a way that can actually be seen using a technique called brain mapping. This new technology in the field of neurofeedback offers a way to measure the success of alcohol addiction treatment and encourage continued progress as a result.
How it Works
Brain mapping is performed using a 19-point scan, during which a noninvasive cap is placed on your head to monitor your brain’s various channels of activity. Your therapists then compare your scan with a sample of an average brain scan, observing any pronounced patterns in the way the left and right hemispheres, and upper and lower parts of the brain, relate to each other.Cohesion refers to a state in which your brain centers are communicating fluidly. When your brain is cohesive, stressors like sleep disruption and anxiety are reduced. However, when your brain is not in flow, negative mental states – which can ultimately lead to alcohol abuse – result. More specifically, a recent study by Linköping University in Sweden discovered a cellular mechanism that’s affected in the brains of those struggling with alcohol addiction.
How Recovery Creates Brain Change
Just as alcoholism creates changes in your neural pathways, changes in the brain also occur in response to positive behaviors. Activities like meditation, intention walking and group therapy sessions have a measurable impact on the brain, which can be identified using brain mapping. Seeing the affirmative outcomes of therapeutic measures in real-time encourages and sustains your treatment progress. In fact, one study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that neurofeedback treatment decreased substance cravings and improved mental health in a sample group of recovering opioid addicts.
Using Neuroplasticity to Your Advantage
Though conventional wisdom holds that the neurons we’re born with are the neurons we’ll have for the rest of our lives, the last 15 to 20 years of research disproves this, and shows that we are in fact always creating new neural pathways in the brain. Brain mapping allows us to see this change in brain function and anatomy by looking at which areas subside, and which new areas begin to grow.
Measuring the Success of Your Alternative Alcohol Addiction Treatment Program
At The Sanctuary, each one of our clients receive a complete brain scan upon both arrival and departure so that, by comparison, we can see what changes have occurred during your time in treatment. As meditation, nutrition and other holistic therapies used during treatment begin to take effect, you’ll clearly see changes in the way your brainwaves move and how the different parts of your brain respond to one another. For more on holistic alcohol addiction treatment, see our article, The Non-12-Step Option: Boost Your Chances of Success With an Alternative Approach to Alcohol Addiction Treatment.To learn more about how Integrative Addiction Recovery can help you, call us at (877) 710-3385 or email us at [email protected] today.
He is the Founder, Administrator, Counselor at the Sanctuary at Sedona.
He has a BA in Political Science and is currently Senior teaching staff at Four Winds Society, an international school of energy medicine. His credentials also include being an Ordained Minister; a Certified Shamanic Breathwork® Facilitator; a Founding Member Society for Shamanic Practitioners; a Member of Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology; a Member of the National Institute for Holistic Addiction Studies. [email protected]