What is LENS?
LENS is Low Energy Neurofeedback. LENS is an FDA-certified Class II Medical device. The Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS) is an EEG biofeedback system that is unique in the field of neurofeedback in that rather than being based on operant conditioning, it uses tiny electromagnetic signals as a carrier wave for the feedback to assist in reorganizing brainwave activity (Ochs, 2006). The feedback frequency is linked to the momentary peak frequency detected by the system. “Subjects are not consciously learning to change brainwave activity; instead, the brainwave changes are the result of the brain continuously interacting with the resonant changes in the feedback pulses.” (Nelson et al., 2010; p. 913). In comparison to typical operant-based neurofeedback, LENS sessions are typically much shorter and do not require attentional demands on the part of the client.
LENS Neurofeedback is a micro electromagnetic field that shows the brain how to reset itself for optimal performance. Clients typically report feeling relaxed and calm with heightened mental clarity and steady emotional resilience. LENS Neurofeedback is not a specific treatment for any one condition, but a general regulation of the central nervous system.
A provider will place sensors on the head (to map 21 sites) to pick up the brainwave (brainwaves are very quiet). Each of the 21 sites correlates to a particular function in the body, which is controlled by the brain of course. The small box used in the LENS amplifies the brain waves and feeds them into the software, which, in turn, feeds it back a percentage of the brain wave (anywhere from 1% to 100%) and feeds it back for a set time (generally a few seconds and sometimes for minutes) and offsets that wave (because if it were parallel, the brain may ignore it) just enough to "get the attention" of that part of the brain and allow it to self-correct.
Bibliography of Research Studies with LENS Neurofeedback
Developmental Trauma, LENS, and Neural Regulation: Brain and Body, Ulrich Lanius, 2019, Asia Specific Journal of Neurotherapy.
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Click here for more Research on LENS Neurofeedback
Safety of LENS
LENS Neurofeedback is a non-invasive treatment during which people often report feeling comfortable and calm. In over a million sessions, there have been no significant side effects. Because the brain responds to LENS by reorganizing itself, there may be a new awareness of existing symptoms, such as feeling fatigued, wired, or light-headed. These short-term feelings tend to correct themselves quickly.
What can LENS help with?
Cognition – Problems sequencing, memory, providing and maintaining attention, concentration, clarity and organization.
Mood – Anger, sadness, explosiveness.
Motor – Lack of grace, problems of eye-hand coordination, balance, increased muscle tone (from spasticity) and tremor.
Motivation – Problems initiating tasks, shifting from one activity to another, and/or completing tasks.
Anxiety – Problems of anxiety system activity (too much uncomfortably-contained energy), persistent “anxiety”, restlessness, rumination, agitation, distractibility, difficulty breathing, palpitations, tremor exacerbation, and sleep interruption.
Reactivity – Hyper-reactivity, hypersensitivity, multiple chemical sensitivities.
Pain – Brain-generated pain (mismapping the origins and qualities of signals), and vascular pain.
Addictions/Dependencies – Lack of clarity about emotions and self-comforting, defensiveness, argumentativeness and cynicism.
Fatigue – Fatigue; or fatigue as a phenomenon secondary to the effort of trying to overcome the pain and/or the above impediment to functioning more easily.
Performance Optimization – Increases in functioning in the above areas in absence of any diagnosis.
LENS works well with symptoms of Central Nervous Symptom dysfunction. These include symptoms of ADD, ADHD, Seizures and sub-clinical seizure activity, severely disruptive behavior disorders such as Conduct Disorder, Reactive Attachment and Bipolar Disorder, Autistic spectrum and pervasive developmental delay, Cerebral palsy, concussive injuries, PTSD, Acquired Brain Injury, and Birth Trauma.
The LENS works extremely well with the symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury, no matter how long ago the incident occurred. The trauma can be from a physical blow, a concussive injury, a psychological incident (PTSD), or any other incident(s) which results in a decrease in cognitive ability.
Many children have sleep problems that can be helped such as bed wetting, sleep walking, sleep talking, teeth grinding, nightmares, and night terrors.
What is the typical course of treatment and Do results last?
The average number of sessions to achieve optimal brain functioning is generally between 15-20.
If the problem being addressed is one of brain dysregulation, then the answer is yes, and that covers a lot of ground. Neurofeedback involves learning by the brain and if that brings order out of disorder, the brain will continue to use its new capabilities, and thus reinforce them.
At times there are unknown issues such as early-stage degenerative disease, allergies, strong reactions to some foods or pollens, or spills and falls leading to bumps on the head. In these instances longer courses of the LENS may be needed. And it may also be that some direct medical help may be the best course of action. The LENS can’t do everything for everybody. But it can and has made a difference that other approaches have not provided, and in general, in a much shorter time. Matters are different when we are dealing with degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s or the dementias, or when we are working against continuing insults to the system, as may be the case in the autism spectrum. In such cases, the LENS sessions may need to be continued at some level over time. Allergic susceptibilities and food intolerances may make it more difficult to maintain the gains. Poor digestive function will pose a problem, as does poor nutrition. A child living in a toxic environment (in either the physical or the psychological sense) may have more difficulty retaining good function.