Retraining the Brain

Eating disorders have a powerful impact on the body and mind. Using science-based techniques, patients find they are able to get their power back. The Brain Center at The Meadows Ranch teaches patients to improve the brain’s self-regulation, allowing it to work more efficiently, so they can regain control over their bodies.

When you look the brain of someone with an active eating disorder, malnourishment makes concentration difficult and absorbing and retaining information is almost impossible. Our Brain Center uses neurofeedback to essentially “reprogram” the brain, while biofeedback and other state-of-the-art equipment allows patients to learn to calm and self-regulate. The work they do in the Brain Center can speed up the healing process, preparing patients to begin the deeper work of recovery sooner.

The Science of Eating Disorders

Our Brain Center’s neurofeedback program allows patients to see what their brain is doing and how it responds to certain situations. Low alpha brain waves are common among those with eating disorders, and being able to see that there’s a physical reason behind their condition is eye-opening. These scientific, evidence-based methods connect particularly well with a population that is smart and often perfectionistic. 

“Neurofeedback helps patients to be able to sit still, something those with eating disorders can have a hard time doing, and they learn ways to relieve anxiety,” explains Shelly Collins, who runs the Brain Center at The Meadows Ranch.  Then when they find themselves anxious during meals, they are able to draw on what they learned in the Brain Center and employ those techniques to self-regulate.


Meadows Ranch Brain Center
Shelly Collins

“Neurofeedback helps patients to be able to sit still, something those with eating disorders can have a hard time doing, and they learn ways to relieve anxiety.”

Shelly Collins


Meadows Ranch Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback (NFB)

Neurofeedback is direct training of the functioning brain. Sensors are applied to the patient’s scalp and they observe their brainwave activity through a computer-based system. Once the level of different brainwave frequencies for a patient is determined, protocols are developed for training the brain to make more or less of specific frequencies, actively attempting to change the brain’s baseline activity. The brain is rewarded for changing its activity to more appropriate patterns. The frequencies that are targeted and the location on the scalp where the sensors are placed are specific to the conditions being addressed and to each individual.

Cranio-Electro Stimulation (CES)

CES stimulates alpha waves, the brain’s building blocks of resiliency and capacity, and can be useful for sleep, anxiety, and improved cognitive functioning in populations recovering from eating disorders and addiction. This technology supplies a very small modulated electrical current to the earlobes while patients engage in Audio/Visual Stimulation (AVS). The unit and entrainment device combine light and sound to induce positive responses to stress reduction, insomnia, mood disorders, mental sharpness, memory, and cognitive functioning.

Heart-Rate Variability (HRV)

Our HRV devices track the interval time between each heartbeat as one breathes in and out in a comfortable, relaxed environment. Equipped with a monitor, this biofeedback device shows patients engaging visuals to help teach relaxation techniques and develop coherent breathing patterns. HRV is effective in reducing stress, gaining clarity, and developing greater self-awareness of internal reactions within one’s body.

Chi Machine

The Chi Machine is used in our Brain Center to help facilitate oxygen flow to the brain, increase blood circulation, and boost immune function. The device is used in a passive exercise technique, where an individual lays flat on the floor and rests their ankles on the machine’s foot rests. Once the machine is turned on it provides a figure-8, goldfish-like movement to the feet and legs. Studies show that the Chi Machine’s relaxing-yet-oscillating movement helps facilitate oxygenation to the brain, increased blood flow and circulation, as well as strengthened immune function and lymph flow, cleansing and removing harmful substances from the body. Other positive responses to the Chi Machine include reducing insomnia, excessive dreaming, digestive problems, stomach pain, anxiety, constipation, palpitations, extensive forms of aches and pains, and mental stress in some patients.

Chi machine


Get Answers to Your Questions

If you or a loved one would like to know more about eating disorder treatment at The Meadows Ranch, give us a call to speak to one of our trained intake coordinators. We’re here to help.

Call 866-332-5209