3 min read
Neurofeedback for the Gut: Exploring the Brain/Gut Connections

When it comes to our health, our gut is incredibly important, and yet sometimes overlooked.


When our digestive system suffers, so does our well-being and, consequently, our quality of life. The most traditional way of fixing a gut health problem is with probiotics, but is there an alternative for people who want to do it without pills or supplements?

Absolutely! Neurofeedback therapy takes advantage of the unique brain-gut connection and helps your body heal itself. At Beaverton Neurofeedback, we are determined to nurse you back to health, one neurofeedback training session at a time!


What is Gut Health?

You may not realize it, but the basis of your health is your gut microbiota. When the beneficial and possibly hazardous bacteria and yeast in your digestive tract are in balance, you have good gut health. In reality, the most of your body's serotonin and 80% of your immune system are located in your gut.
Our digestive system transforms the food we consume into a state that can be transported throughout the body via the bloodstream. When problems arise within this process, we experience various symptoms that can cause us pain and discomfort.
Diet has a large impact on our digestive system, and is one of the biggest determinants of gut health. However, the role of mental health and brain function tends to be overlooked, despite its importance.


The Brain/Gut Connection

The gut and intestines are directly impacted by the brain. For instance, before food even enters the stomach, the mere idea of eating can cause the stomach to secrete acids. This relationship is reciprocal. Just as a disturbed brain can send messages to the gut, a disturbed intestine can also transmit signals to the brain. 


As a result, anxiety, tension, or sadness can either induce or result in stomach or intestinal trouble in an individual. Given how closely the stomach and brain interact, it is easier to understand why you could feel queasy before a presentation or experience intestinal pain during stressful situations.

Don't be misled; this does not imply that problems with intestinal health are not real. Pain and other gastrointestinal symptoms are brought on by a combination of physical and psychological reasons, so both need to be taken into consideration when learning how to improve gut health.

Psychosocial factors affect both symptoms and the actual physiology of the gastrointestinal tract. In other words, the motion and spasms of the GI tract can be impacted by stress (as well as sadness or other psychological issues). Furthermore, many patients with gastrointestinal issues experience pain more strongly than other people do because their brains are more receptive to sensory input from the GI tract.

If you are looking to learn more about how to improve gut health, you should research neurofeedback therapy. Since there is such a close connection between the brain and the gut, this type of therapy is a great alternative for healing any digestive problems you may be experiencing.


The Brain/Gut Connection


Your brain activity matters more when it comes to your body’s health than you may realize, which is why neurofeedback training is such an amazing alternative therapy for so many overlooked physical and mental health issues. 

Mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, can be causes for your gut health issues that you may have failed to consider. By monitoring brain waves and getting live EEG neurofeedback, you can learn how to pinpoint your problem and heal it by training your own brain to help itself. 

There are three types of brain waves: alpha waves, beta waves, and theta waves. Your brainwave patterns can be monitored with special equipment, and live feedback can be given to you by a professional (or you can do it yourself if you choose to start neurofeedback training at home). Through this neurofeedback therapy, you learn more about how your brain reacts to certain gut symptoms, what may precede these symptoms, and what stimuli can help reduce their frequency.

According to Dr. David Haase, by employing neurofeedback and biofeedback, we may alter the brain's default setting and reduce the perceived danger from our surroundings. By doing this, we reduce the exposure to endotoxins in our system, which reduces inflammation and starts a positive feedback loop for the gut/brain axis.

Example: Spotlight on IBS

The frontal lobes, where emotional regulation takes place, usually show abnormally high frequency brain waves in IBS patients. In order to reduce the discomfort of IBS, neurofeedback therapy teaches you how to regulate the electrical impulses of your brain.

Individuals who have an inherent disturbance of the self-regulating nervous system may find that neurofeedback greatly reduces or even completely eliminates their IBS symptoms and uncomfortable experiences. Strategically placed scalp attachments of brainwave sensors are used to process brain data digitally using highly developed computer systems.

Feedback about the frequency and intensity of the cognitive activities that are associated with IBS symptoms is provided to the patient via visual or auditory presentations. IBS is significantly reduced or completely gone when the patient is successful in altering the brain wave patterns through the use of music or visual feedback.


It’s Time To Start Your Gut-Healing Journey

Neurofeedback is growing in popularity as more studies show its effectiveness on a multitude of health problems. The gut proves to be no exception.


Beaverton Neurofeedback provides you with the best brain wave monitoring equipment either in-office or at home, as well as the necessary training to learn how to properly use it. All you have to do is contact us, and your gut-healing journey can begin!