LANSING, Mich. — For those who struggle with issues like anxiety or depression, there is no magic cure.one group shows our Chris Stewart how they are trying to help people with those challenges by giving their minds a workout.
It’s hard to know what so many of us face by just passing by “I had lived in a very dark place for a very long time,” but when someone like Taylor Tripp, let’s you see their struggle “um... I was on my last rope….you can grasp the strength of mental health’s grip.“ They feel hopeless.
Psychotherapist Shelli Myles says we can’t fight the same way anymore. “When they come here we’re trying to give them hope and help them see that there is another way to help themselves.” To her, that hope is here.
Shelli owns mind gym, where they specialize in neurofeedback. “We put electrodes on the head we’re monitoring live brain waves.” Shelli says, in a recording of the brain’s waves, she can see certain brainwave activity associated with challenges like depression or anxiety.
“If someone has too much or too little of something that causes them to have symptoms.” She says they then “train” the brain to perform better.
This patient’s brain is rewarded when his brainwaves are in a certain range with a screen that brightens and a sound that plays in his headphones. “The brain is training to do what we’re asking it to do.” Conditioning…just like any other part of the body.
“Your brain is a muscle just as if you were to have a sprained ankle or a broken leg…you can’t expect someone to run a race with it.”
Shelli sees these methods as a way to treat mental health beyond traditional paths such as medication and a way to reach breakthroughs that can feel hard to find. “It’s kind of like an onion. it will unfold stuff…so the importance of having a counselor while you’re doing neuro-feedback is important.”
Though it is not approved by the food and drug administration, the national institutes of health says it's an alternative method that has shown improvement in treating many mental health disorders, but its report suggests the benefits aren’t long-lasting.
“I’m able to sleep for the first time in my life.” Taylor Tripp says her sessions twice a week for six months have undeniably worked for her, bringing her to a new place.
“Colors are brighter, food tastes different, it’s beyond words really.”
“to know i could have transformed my life so long ago, nobody should be struggling right now that this is out there.”
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