Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

9 Tammuz 5759 - June 23, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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A Breakthrough In Treating Head Injuries, Explosive Anger Problems, and Learning Disabilities

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

On the 6th of Tammuz, Ellen Saxby, a world expert in the field of Biofeedback will visit Jerusalem. With more than 30 years experience in a field which began treating only physical pain and bodily control issues, she now works mainly with EEG Brainwave Biofeedback. In the U.S.A. and elsewhere, many studies have been done with epilepsy, ADD/ADHD, Tourette's Syndrome, dyslexia, depression and anxiety, and addictions, which have shown EEG Brainwave Biofeedback to be effective adjunct medicine. There are major U.S. federally- funded projects in schools in Spring Valley, NY, and Minneapolis, Minnesota now. Insurance coding is now available in many places. Different problems can be both diagnosed and treated by their differing brainwave signatures.

The treatment is usually computer games which are individually designed for the patient's problem and brainwave signature. Instead of hand reflexes pressing on a computer mouse operating the games, the brain signal coming from the client's head, as monitored by pasted-on, tiny EEG sensors, scores the points. Each visual point is also an auditory beep and a vibration signal from a hand-held fur animal. The client gets points only when the brainwave output is slightly better than their average output. It's like brain exercise which slowly helps the brain permanently upgrade its focus and output.

The motivation, called operant conditioning in psychology, works even more strongly on the subconscious mind, based on everyone's desire for positive reinforcement of desirable behavior. The great advance of both body and brainwave Biofeedback, is harnessing the brain's great ability to control even what we formerly assumed were not just involuntary, but also uncontrollable functions. When the brainwave signature is modified, the presenting problems correspondingly become better.

Since the early 1970's Dr. Joel Lubar and others have been tracking people who finished the training to show that gains in learning skills and other areas are maintained because the brain's functioning level -- the "hardware" in modern language -- is becoming upgraded.

Ellen Saxby is an original student of Dr. Eugene Peniston, who devised the Alpha/Theta Biofeedback protocol for treating addictions and PTSD traumas in the VA American hospitals. She published in this area and on the board of the Society for Sensory Neuronal Regulation. Her private practice is in Carmel Valley, California.

Although she has employed many Biofeedback instruments over the years, now she is almost exclusively using FNS-the Flexyx system designed by Dr. Len Ochs. Over the last 10 years this new type of Biofeedback, which is passive and able to help low functional people, has been developed with startling results. There is currently a U.S. National Institute of Health grant for TBI/closed head injuries with this FNS system in Chevy Chase, Md. Three cortically blind people got their sight back from this treatment. Ellen has personally seen great results with angry people who are prone to be abusive and even violent. Dr. Ochs has had enough results with autistics that C.A.N. (Cure Autism Now) is interested in supporting research. Dr. Donaldson published a 252 person study on fibromyalgia (a pain condition) in the Canadian Journal of Clinical Medicine showing that FNS is effective diagnosing and treating the condition. FNS has also shown good progress with ADD/ADHD among other problems.

Ellen is coming to work with the only practitioner of FNS in Israel, Rabbi Yosef Legomsky M.A. of Menucha V'Simcha Neurofeedback Clinic in Jerusalem (02-652-2804, 053-811-534). She will be speaking at the Israel Center at 8p.m. on June 24th. She is also offering some volunteer treatment for TBI/closed head injured patients as well as people with abusive anger problems. Please contact Menucha V'Simcha Neurofeedback Clinic to take advantage of this unique opportunity to receive free help from a world expert.

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