‘Brain training’ makes waves aiding with mental health, addiction

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — An alternative form of healing is making waves when it comes to mental health.

Dr. Kristi Dumas at the Brain Training Center in Beckley gently placed wires on her client’s head. Dumas is a psychologist and certified brain trainer.

The client asked to remain anonymous.

“I feel just relaxed and in a state of clarity,” said the client.

While the woman hooked to the machine relaxed in the chair, her brain was getting a workout, and she was getting much stronger than the addiction that nearly destroyed her.

“I developed opiate disorder which was unbearable, miserable,” said the client.

However, with an FDA approved wellness program called neurofeedback, she is overcoming her addiction.

“Our wellness program actually helps people be able to self-regulate and it prompts the central nervous system, which is the brain and the spine, to also self-regulate,” Dumas said.

Dumas said it is like assisted meditation.

“We hook people up to the system using the EEG leads,” Dumas said. “The leads then read the sum cortical or brain activity, and then built in our program is a way to train the brain to operate at its absolute best.”

Once the EEG leads are in place, the client is told to look at a screen and relax to music. When they hear a glitch sound, it tells their brain to refocus.

Based on the theory of classical conditioning, Dumas said it is used to help clients with a wide range of mental health issues.

“People who have problems with attention, with addiction, those who are transitioning off of suboxone, coming off of opioids, that’s why this is so huge for this area,” Dumas said.

This client started neurofeedback a little more than a month ago, but she said she noticed a heightened sense of awareness and a clearer mind after her first session.

“I handle things better, I react to things better, I sleep better,” said the client.

Dumas said she wants more people to be aware of their options.

“We want to change public perception about alternative ways of coping with some of the ills that people face and ways of reducing suffering,” said Dumas.

“There is hope. You can come through the other end of this, absolutely,” said the client.

The brain training center does take some insurance, but Dumas said she works to meet each client’s financial needs. To learn more, you can check out their website https://www.thebraintrainingcenterwv.com/ or call Dumas at 310-242-1447.

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