14 Jun

Self-control and biofeedback

Self-control and biofeedback

Some people with epilepsy try to control their brain activity to reduce the rate of seizures. The theory is that if you can detect symptoms of an impending seizure, you may be able to stop it.

Many people with epilepsy experience aura symptoms about 20 minutes before a seizure occurs. You may notice unusual smells, see strange lights, or have blurry vision.

You may feel symptoms for several days leading up to the event. These symptoms include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • bad headaches

Self-control methods are used to prevent or decrease the intensity of the seizure once it arrives. There are several techniques, all of which require good concentration and focus.

Examples are:

  • meditation
  • walking
  • immersing yourself in a task
  • sniffing a strong odor
  • literally telling the seizure “no”

The problem with these methods is that there isn’t a single technique to stop a seizure. And there isn’t a guarantee that any of them will work every time.

Another approach involves biofeedback. Like self-control measures, the purpose of the process is to take control of your brain activity.

Biofeedback utilizes electrical sensors to alter brain waves. At least one studyTrusted Source found that biofeedback significantly reduced seizures in people with epilepsy who couldn’t manage their symptoms with conventional drugs.

Physical therapists commonly use biofeedback. If you’re interested in this procedure, seek a professional with credentials.

It may be difficult to manage your condition with self-control and biofeedback alone. Both procedures require time, persistence, and consistency to master. If you decide to go this route, be patient. Don’t reduce or stop taking any prescribed medications without your doctor’s approval.

5. Acupuncture and chiropractic care

Acupuncture and chiropractic treatments are sometimes considered alternatives to conventional epilepsy treatment.

The exact way acupuncture helps isn’t understood, but the ancient Chinese practice is used to help ease chronic pain and other medical issues. It’s thought that by placing fine needles in specific parts of the body, practitioners help the body heal itself.

Acupuncture may change brain activity to reduce seizures. One hypothesis is that acupuncture may keep epilepsy in check by increasing parasympathetic tone and changing autonomic dysfunction.

The practice sounds good in theory. But there isn’t scientific evidence to prove that acupuncture is an effective epilepsy treatment.

Spinal manipulations in chiropractic care may also help the body heal itself. Some chiropractors use specific manipulations to help control seizures on a regular basis. Like acupuncture, chiropractic care isn’t widely viewed as an effective form of epilepsy treatment.

The bottom line

For the most part, evidence supporting natural treatments for epilepsy is anecdotal. There isn’t the research to support safe use.

There also isn’t a single treatment or alternative remedy that will work for everyone. Your neurologist is your best source of epilepsy information and care. Your brain is a complex network. Each case is different, and seizures vary in severity and frequency.

Different kinds of epilepsy also respond to different herbs and different medications. Herbs or other natural treatments may interfere with medications and seizures might result.

Many people try varying treatment methods until they find one that works best for them. Epilepsy is a serious disease, and it’s important to prevent seizures. Natural treatments may complement your medical treatment. In some cases, these therapies may even improve your treatment.

Despite their potential, natural treatments still pose significant risks. This is especially the case with herbs and vitamins, as they can interact with some medications.

Some supplements can even be as powerful as conventional drugs. Be sure to consult your doctor before adding any herbs or supplements to your regimen.

You shouldn’t discount natural treatments for epilepsy, but treat them as separate options for epilepsy care. Take note of which methods interest you and discuss them with your doctor before you try them.

The safest way to treat epilepsy is in full consultation with your neurologist. Adding herbs or other treatments without consulting them may interfere with your medication’s effectiveness and might risk more seizures.

Healthline article. https://www.healthline.com/health/natural-treatments-epilepsy#overview

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