The cutting-edge devices used in the Brain Center support women in getting more in tune with how they feel and how they react to thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. Not only are patients thoroughly enjoying the serene, beautiful, and peaceful setting, they are also sensing positive changes in mood, energy, clarity, and sleep.
Clinical Implications of The Brain Center
On average, The Meadows Ranch patients come into The Brain Center for a one-hour session several times a week; however, many patients request more time! The great thing about Remuda’s Brain Center setting is that we are able to readily and easily accommodate this. A patient’s duration and frequency of sessions in The Brain Center can truly be custom-tailored to help patients reach their desired outcomes.
The Art of the Start
Prior to entering The Brain Center, patients are invited to pause and intentionally shift their attention outward, orienting and connecting to the 360-degree view through their sensate experience. They are then guided to turn their attention inward to their bodily and felt sense experience.
To engage their curiosity, we often begin by using Smovey Rings, a favorite of trauma expert and Meadows’ Senior Fellow Dr. Peter Levine. These handheld rings with weighted ball bearings support patients in sensing their internal rhythm. Through this exercise, we teach patients to begin to befriend their internal experience. The gentle movement allows for more energy flow in the system, where oftentimes it may be stuck or frozen.
The Smovey Rings also provide proprioceptive or sensory input into the joints, arms, and shoulders furthering support of autonomous nervous system regulation. This type of input lets the body know where it is in time and space, which is grounding and quieting for an overly activated person. This slow, mindful movement serves as a cue to the individual’s nervous system that down regulation is the intention as they prepare to spend their next hour in The Brain Center. The emphasis for their Brain Center session is on curiosity, engagement, and intention.
Bringing it All Together
Before a patient begins her session we ask her how she is feeling and make a note of it. We then ask them again what they are feeling as they leave one hour later.
If they say that they feel calmer, less anxious, or “better,” we support them through identifying how they know they feel better. How does their body tell them that they are “better?” How does “better” or “calmer” register physiologically? Helping each patient differentiate between various shifts in her mental and physical state supports her awareness of her body, which oftentimes as an eating disorder patient, is a part of herself she has previously disowned.
What patients often notice is that they feel quieter inside, which then provides their nervous system with an alternative experience fight or flight and gives it another point of reference for the next time the patient becomes activated, stressed or anxious. This is how resiliency and emotional regulation slowly begin to develop.
Key Benefits to Patients from The Brain Center
Most eating disorder patients are low in Alpha brainwave activity. This is the brainwave that anchors the brain and acts as its gearshift. Without enough, individuals are prone to anxiety, depression, and an inability to experience calm and relaxation. Alpha brainwave activity allows for a calm and relaxed, yet alert state, also known as presence. The brain actually craves Alpha.
Because alpha deficit is one of the hallmark brain markers for all types of eating disorders, the devices in The Brain Center—CES, The Muse, HRV, NFB, Chi Machine—provide multi-level brain interventions all geared to increase the prevalence of Alpha brainwave activity and trigger the natural relaxation response, which has been scientifically shown to reduce symptoms associated with stress, depression, and anxiety.
Additional benefits to patients include…
- More organized and coherent breathing pattern
- Greater ability to emotionally regulate
- Greater ability to respond to stress
- Improved cognitive functioning
- Decreased Cortisol (stress hormone) levels
- Increased levels of Serotonin, Dopamine, DHEA, and endorphins
- Increased stabilization of neuro-hormonal system
- Stronger mind/body connection through Biofeedback and Neurofeedback
- Increased self-awareness
- Mastery over physiology and internal reactions
- Ability to gain conscious control over otherwise unconscious processes (e.g. breathing)
- Greater brain’s capacity for change
- Decreased amygdala activity
- Increased resilience
- Positive impacts to brain structure, efficiency, and function
- Increased digestive support and immune function
- Stronger internal organ function
Another salient aspect to mention is that patients engage with the devices in The Brain Center while under a weighted blanket, which has a significant grounding effect. The weight of the blanket provides the nervous system with proprioceptive sensory input, which signals to the body, “This is where you are in time and space.” This is especially beneficial for Eating Disorder patients because they are often extremely disconnected from their bodies.
The Meadows Ranch Patients Love The Brain Center
Since The Meadows Ranch has opened its own Brain Center and integrated it into its programming, patients have reported noticing positive shifts in mood, energy, clarity, and sleep.
One patient reported, “When I first arrived [at the Brain Center] my anxiety was very high because we had just finished snack time.” After spending some time on the Chi Machine, she said, “I was able to hear and feel my body digesting, which decreased my anxiety a lot”. The Chi Machine supports the body in oscillatory movements designed to support digestion, stimulate blood flow and balance the two branches of the nervous system. This experience invites the patient to connect to her internal process and to also begin to trust that her body will support her.
Patients also often report that they are…
“Sleeping through the night for the first time in a very long time!”
“Less anxious, more relaxed, calm, decreased anxiety, more perk, less obsessive thoughts.”
Scientifically-Based Care for Eating Disorders
Adding The Brain Center’s cutting-edge approach to The Meadows Ranch treatment program addresses the neuroscience of eating disorders by helping to better regulate the subconscious, limbic system in the brain. The increased sense of presence, embodiment, and awareness along with more organized brainwave activity and a quieter nervous system all support the women and girls to more effectively receive and integrate all other aspects of The Meadows Ranch treatment program into their recovery.
The Brain Center is the brainchild of the Meadows team of Senior Fellows, who are some of the industry’s most respected experts on emotional trauma, addiction, eating disorders, and behavioral health treatment. When you attend any of The Meadows programs, you can rest assured that you are getting a personalized treatment planned based on the latest scientific research and proven best practices that help patients enter into lifelong recovery.
For more information, call today at 866-330-1925, or send a message through our website.