Health might not simply be a matter of mind over matter. However, a Comox practitioner has been using brain-focused treatment to help restore people’s health.
Dr. Tom Diamond is a certified neurofeedback specialist. As he states on his website, he has a PhD in the psychology of organizations and a masters in clinical psychology, and he has worked in counselling, teaching, research and consulting. With neurofeedback, for example, he uses the data to help people regulate brain activity.
Part of the process involves brain scans and most, he explains, show similar patterns.
“When people come in with a too-fast brain, it pops right out in the brain scan,” he said.
He opened Brainigo Brain Fitness in Comox in 2014, and his wife Valeri handles the business side of the clinic.
The brain can heal, but it typically takes far longer than the rest of the body. His treatments though can help identify the areas of the brain that are most affected, to get ideas about where too much or too little is happening. From there, he uses a range of treatments depending on the diagnosis. These can include vibrations, infrared heat, sound massage, red-light therapy, even virtual reality technology – tools to help patients get to a calm state.
“There’s a lot of technology that helps people do that very quickly and easily,” he said.
For example, the virtual reality goggles offer numerous scenarios aimed at slowing people’s thoughts down. All of this is founded, he says, in the latest brain research, particularly around how neural connections are formed and reformed.
“Neuroscience is discovering new brain facts every single day,” he said. “It’s a very exciting field to be in.”
Diamond has a background in psychology but also an interest in meditation and calming. His work to using brain waves as a healing tool, he says, even goes back as far as his adolescence. At age 15, he’d been sick with a virus for months, but through meditating, he was able to boost his health back, in part, because of the reduced stress on his immune system.
“Nothing helped until I was able to get really, really calm,” he said. “Within weeks, I was much better.”
Today, Diamond has a range of patients, both in terms of their conditions and backgrounds. Typically, the disorders can take the form of PTSD, serious insomnia, anxiety or concussions or attention-deficit challenges.
“A lot of my clients get very quick results with sleep,” he said. “We want you to switch off.”
He talks of one client, a 60-year-old farmer unable to sleep more than a couple of hours a night. Within 10 sessions, he was able to sleep seven hours a night.
“It turned his whole health around,” he said.
This was a dramatic turnaround, he says, but he has had many success stories through which people have been able to alleviate physical, emotional or mental health challenges.
“Your body really is an extension of your brain,” he said. “It’s a very interconnected electrical network.”
Typically, he gets many patients from the health care system, especially those in stressful emergency situations, or people from First Nations backgrounds facing residential school trauma. He gets first responders and people from the military who might have PTSD. There is funding available, he adds, for some patients, including First Nations patients, crime victims as well some for military personnel.
For more information, see brainigo.com or call 250-941-5596.