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Neurofeedback Frequently Asked Questions

Neurofeedback FAQ

Passive neurofeedback, also known as neurofeedback training, is a non-invasive therapy that uses real-time displays of brain activity to provide feedback to the patient. Unlike active neurofeedback, where the patient is asked to consciously control their brain waves, passive neurofeedback allows the brain to naturally self-regulate without any conscious effort from the patient.
During a passive neurofeedback session, sensors are placed on the patient's scalp to measure their brain waves. This information is then displayed on a computer screen, allowing the patient's brain to receive feedback on its own activity. The brain can then use this information to naturally adjust and optimize its function, leading to improvements in cognitive, emotional, and physical performance.

Passive neurofeedback has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Anxiety, Depression, PTSD
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Insomnia and sleep disorders
  • Chronic pain
  • Traumatic brain injury and stroke
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Addiction and substance abuse

During a typical passive neurofeedback session, you will sit comfortably in a chair while sensors are placed on your scalp to measure your brain activity. You may be asked to engage in various activities, such as watching a video or listening to music, while your brain activity is displayed on a screen. The feedback your brain receives will help it naturally self-regulate and improve its function over time.

The number of passive neurofeedback sessions required can vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated. Some patients may see results after just a few sessions, while others may require a more extended course of treatment. Your healthcare provider will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs and goals. Generally, 10-20 sessions are needed to have sustained results, but sometimes patients can feel a positive shift even after one session.

Passive neurofeedback is considered a safe and non-invasive therapy with minimal side effects. The most common side effects are temporary and may include fatigue, headaches, or mild discomfort from the sensors being on you, but the treatment is generally painless. These side effects are typically mild and resolve on their own.

The cost of passive neurofeedback can vary depending on your location, the provider, and the number of sessions required. In general, the cost of a single passive neurofeedback session can range from $100 to $250 or more.

Here are the key things to look for when choosing a qualified passive neurofeedback provider:

  1. Expertise and Certification: The provider should have specialized training and certification in neurofeedback, such as from the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA). They should have extensive experience in using passive neurofeedback techniques.
  2. Comprehensive Assessment: The provider should conduct a thorough assessment, including brain mapping (QEEG) and cognitive performance testing, to establish a baseline and develop a personalized treatment plan.
  3. Variety of Techniques: The provider should be knowledgeable about different passive neurofeedback techniques, such as LENS, Acoustic Mirroring, NeuroGen,
    1. or Ultra Low Frequency, and be able to select the most appropriate approach for your specific needs.
  4. Customization and Monitoring: The provider should offer customization options to adapt the passive neurofeedback training to your unique brain patterns and goals and closely monitor your progress to make adjustments as needed.
  5. Safety and Efficacy: The provider should use high-quality equipment and follow safety protocols to ensure a safe and effective passive neurofeedback experience. They should also be able to provide evidence-based research supporting the efficacy of their approach.
  6. Positive Feedback: Look for providers with positive reviews and testimonials from previous patients, as well as evidence of their work being featured in the media or recognized by professional organizations.

By considering these factors, you can identify a qualified passive neurofeedback provider who can deliver a safe, personalized, and effective treatment plan to address your specific needs.

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James T. Leathem, DO

Dr. James Leathem is a board-certified anesthesiologist and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He was born and raised in Connecticut and graduated from Florida Southern College with a bachelor of science in marketing management with minors in sociology and communications. He obtained his medical degree from Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in anesthesiology at Michigan State University and its affiliated McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital.

In 2015, after residency, Dr. Leathem returned to Arizona to practice anesthesiology. He joined Red Mountain Anesthesiologists and worked primarily at Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, performing 100% of his own cases. He was made partner in the group after demonstrating 3 years of anesthesia excellence and administering over 4,000 anesthetics. In 2019, a corporate change occurred and an opportunity presented itself in which he was able to transition out of the hospital to surgery center and clinic-based anesthesia.

Dr. Leathem realizes that the only constant in life is change. In 2020, amidst the global pandemic, his career took a different direction. This change led him to collaborate with Dr. Wong and Dr. Sharma and they founded Advanced Wellness and Pain (AWAP). Their mission is to provide a variety of state-of-the-art procedural services that improve patients’ quality of life and overall physical and mental well-being.

Dr. Leathem believes that we are all a work in progress and that each day, one should strive to make positive changes in their life. He is here to help empower each patient on their journey to be their best self and live their best life. When you are being cared for by Dr. Leathem, you can be assured that he will give you his undivided attention and time.

Gregory Wong, MD

Dr. Wong is a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist and a member of both the American Society of Anesthesiology and the Arizona Society of Anesthesiology. He did his undergraduate training at the University of California at Davis, Davis, California; doctorate training at The University of Health Sciences of the Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL; and his post-doctoral training at the Integrated Program at the University of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ. He has spent his whole 24-year career practicing in Arizona.

Dr. Wong grew up in the Bay Area of California. He is married and is raising three daughters. At the early age of 12 years old, he knew he wanted to become a physician. His love of the human spirit, intrigue of human physiology, and compassion for human suffering led him to the path of anesthesiology and pain medicine.

Today, Dr. Wong realizes patients need a holistic biophysical-mental-spiritual care. This philosophy has brought him to the studies of regenerative medicine and infusion therapies. He has firsthandily witnessed the overwhelming success of these therapies for treating chronic pain and depression and the return of patients of “life-functionality.”

“There has never been a time more important than now to advocate for our patients in these difficult times. We owe it to our patients to offer these state-of-the-art treatment modalities that weren’t available before.”

Deepak Sharma, MD, MBA

Dr. Sharma is a Board Certified Anesthesiologist and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. He completed three degrees at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA: a Bachelor in Finance, a Master in Business Administration, and a Doctor of Medicine. He went on to complete residency at the Mount Sinai Morningside-West Hospital System in New York, NY and post-graduate fellowship at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, CA.

Dr. Sharma is committed to treating his patients as a whole with a comprehensive biophysical-mental-spiritual approach. He is a lifelong learner and is constantly researching cutting-edge therapies backed by scientific studies. He has taken a particular interest in regenerative and infusion therapies after witnessing firsthand their significant benefits on those suffering from chronic pain and depression. In his free time, Dr. Sharma enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hiking, traveling, reading, and meditation.