If you’re familiar with the work of Iris Healing Retreat, then you know how we’re always pushing the envelope with innovative ways to overcome addictions. One particular modality that we have seen tremendous success with is the science of Neurofeedback; literally the process of analyzing brain signals and treating addiction from a biological level.


On our website, we delve a little deeper into the use of neurofeedback and how it has done wonders for those suffering from PTSD, mood disorders and substance abuse issues. We even offer helpful video examples, like the one shown below…



This is a science that serves many purposes. We have seen it help people through anxieties, depression, sleep disorders and various traumas from their past. But for the purposes of this blog, we wanted to zero in on its importance for those battling addictions. To help break this out, let’s think about what an addiction really is. At it’s core, it is a lack of self-regulation in the brain. As much as the naysayers would like the public to believe that addiction is an issue of willpower or “mind over matter,” that is far from the truth. This is a biological disease built around impulses that cannot always be controlled.


That is why we feel that neurofeedback is a powerful tool in this fight. If the brain cannot self-regulate, then work on those signals and train it to act differently. The way it works is simple and completely non-invasive. Neurofeedback uses EEG sensors (a wearable device on the head) to mirror brain activity through various stimuli. A client undergoing this treatment will simply sit in a chair listening to auditory tones and watching images on a computer screen.


In a short period of time, we will actually be able to see brain activity at work. Measuring areas like the the hemispheres and the cereberal cortex, we can begin to pinpoint the functions and “broken feedback loops” where the sensory seeking lobes seek out addictive impulses.


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Learning about the areas where the problems lie can help both us and our clients “re-train” the brain to act differently. And before getting nervous about exploring this vital organ, understand that neurofeedback is something happens every day of our lives.


Do you look at yourself in the mirror every morning and adjust your hair or wardrobe? Then you are reacting to neurofeedback based on what you see. Have you ever watched a video of yourself perform or play a sport? Learning from that is neurofeedback as well. In this scenario, we are doing the exact same thing. We are just receiving feedback on behaviors and brain patterns that not quite as visible.


As we mentioned before, the neurofeedback treatment is completely non-invasive. It also has absolutely zero side effects, so there is never any danger that measuring the signals can do any sort of damage to the brain. It also has an incredibly high success rate. According to a recent UCLA Addiction Study, neurofeedback complements other addiction treatment modalities to improve the odds for long term sobriety from 44% to 77%.


Here are some powerful stats that hammer in that point…

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And believe it or not, this scientific approach also complements our holistic itinerary quite well. Once a neurofeedback regimen is implemented, clients begin experiencing more calm and balance in their everyday lives. Adding some of our specialized treatments, like meditation and yoga, work to enhance those feelings; completing the circle for spiritual healing.


We invite anyone interested in learning more about neurofeedback (and the science behind beating an addiction) to reach out. There are some amazing resources out there that can make a real difference in helping you live a healthier and happier life.