ADD Magazine Reviews LENS neurofeedback

by Additude Editors

Developed by Dr. Len Ochs, in 1992, LENS has had extraordinary results using weak electromagnetic fields to stimulate brain-wave activity and restore brain flexibility. A controlled study of 100 subjects with different diagnoses — ADHD, traumatic brain injury, bipolar disorder — showed that 90 percent of them did better after LENS.

The brain emits different types of waves, depending on whether we are in a focused state or daydreaming. The goal of neurofeedback is to teach a person to produce brain-wave patterns that reflect focus. The result: Some ADHD symptoms — impulsivity and distractibility — diminish.

The low-energy neurofeedback system (LENS) works differently: It doesn’t try to reproduce a certain brain wave, but rather enhances the brain’s ability to adapt to a task, whether it be taking tests in school or struggling to get along with friends.

How It Works. If you decide to undergo LENS treatment, a practitioner will first take a detailed family history and do a brain map. “The map will show connectivity problems — sites that are under-connected and over-connected,” says Stephen Larsen, Ph.D., author of The Healing Power of Neurofeedback and a LENS practitioner at the Stone Mountain Center, in New Paltz, New York. “Some sites of the brain are like a city in a blackout.”

Based on the map, the practitioner will treat four brain sites per session with radio frequencies, produced by a machine to which the patient is hooked up. The radio frequencies will gently stimulate those areas that are sluggish, and will take the edge off high-frequency sites. “Most of the session is spent talking to the patient about whether the last treatment improved symptoms,” says Larsen.