Brain Wellness & Biofeedback Center
The Brain Wellness and Biofeedback Center is an integrative biofeedback practice that treats chronic pain, headache, TMJ, concussion, TBI,, depression, PTSD and other debilitating conditions. Our clients’ symptoms cover a wide range and we have a very high record of positive results, without the use of drugs. We use surface electromyography (sEMG) and comprehensive autonomic nervous system biofeedback to reduce or alleviate pain.
Surface electromyography (sEMG) displays levels of function or dysfunction of muscles that can be contributing to pain. Muscle imbalances can cause muscles to become hypertonic (tense or stiff) and compress structures in the body such as nerves and blood vessels. This may lead to numbness or tingling and/or pain. Depending on the muscles that have imbalances, the person may experience headache pain, shoulder and neck pain, back and hip pain, etc.The information gained from the assessment is used in treatment to help correct any imbalance and restore normal activity to the muscles.
Pain can be a multi-faceted condition. For example, migraines can be perpetuated through dysfunctional muscle use as described above. It can also be mediated by the autonomic nervous system, the system activated by the fight/flight response. Pain is also a stressor, so the body revs up in its response to keep us safe. This over-arousal also increases the experience of the pain. For these reasons, we also offer comprehensive autonomic nervous system biofeedback to address the body’s over-arousal. Electrodes are placed on the hands and a breathing belt around the waist so that the client can see and change their physiological responses. With therapist coaching, screen feedback, and guided meditations, clients learn self-regulation skills that result in pain reduction or alleviation.
Mary Lee Esty is the Founder of the Brain Wellness and Biofeedback Center. Dr. Esty has a Doctorate in Health Psychology, is a clinical social worker, and is recognized as an experienced clinician and researcher in applications of neurofeedback treatment for symptoms of concussion, TBI, and post-traumatic stress. Dr. Esty is a Senior Fellow in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback with Biofeedback Certification International Alliance.
Emily Perlman is licensed as a Professional Counselor in the State of Maryland and is a Senior Biofeedback Therapist with the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance as well as a Certified as a Stress Management Consultant. She began her 35-year career working in the field of mental health at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and at George Washington University. 16 years ago she incorporated biofeedback into her practice and is a highly qualified practitioner of sEMG , comprehensive autonomic nervous system biofeedback, and neurotherapy.
Diane Badger is a Senior Biofeedback Clinician at BWB. She has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from University of Minnesota – Moorhead. Ms. Badger came to BWB as the parent of a child with a brain injury. After witnessing first hand just how powerful EEG Neurotherapy treatment is and how it worked for her child when nothing else did, Diane decided to leave her IT career to focus on making EEG Neurofeedback and Brainwave Training available to more people.
Diane is Biofeedback Certification International Alliance certified as an EEG technician and offers Z-Score Neurofeedback and EEG Neurofeedback in both the Bethesda and Frederick offices.
Abby came to us after waking up for five plus years with a headache. She was taking Trazodone, Ultracet, Imitrex, and Excedrin to try to manage the headaches and poor sleep. A muscle biofeedback evaluation revealed seven muscle imbalances. After eight sEMG sessions where she was given targeted exercises to re-train her muscles, she was able to stop all of her migraine medications. During the course of treatment, it became apparent that stress was interfering with her sleep. With just two sessions, Abby learned abdominal breathing and some quieting techniques and was able to eliminate her sleep medication.
Complex regional pain syndrome
“After months of pain and worry, I had forgotten what it was like to relax. The deep breathing is doing wonders already. “
“Prior to my treatments at BWB, I had migraines every day. I would end up in after hours care facilities at least twice a month for a migraine that I could not control. My usual treatment was to get a shot of Demerol (100mg) to relieve the pain associated with the migraine. Since using muscle biofeedback, I have been able to control my migraines with little to no drug intervention, primarily because my migraines are far less frequent or severe. I am now back to work and attending technical computer courses.”
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