Please Help_Neurofeedback Training at Fz has caused DELTA SURGING and RINGING IN EARS

Hi any help would be much appreciated - I am desperate.

A few weeks ago I rented a brain-trainer system from a man in my country, Australia, who claims to be very experienced. In the past I have done neurofeedback before with a practitioner with great success. I had done the Othmer’s ILF and Alpha-Theta training. The Alpha-Theta had been particularly effective.

So I wanted to hire a system to improve my meditation further by doing more alpha-theta training to get into deep states. He suggested we do the training at the mid-line Fz, Pz.

I did about 11 sessions and at first it felt like it was going very well. Sometimes I got into very deep meditation and felt really relaxed but I started to notice that my delta was also increasing with my alpha and theta. The delta alarm/threshold would go off. It caused me concern and I told this man it was happening but he didn’t seem to think there was a problem. He just lifted the delta threshold so the alarm wouldn’t ring as much. Until a few days ago, when during the session it felt like I was having a heart-attack. (I knew I wasn’t but I was having an extreme stress response). My heart was beating, so fast my head was so wired - it felt like I was experiencing the worst sort of trigger or ‘flight/fight/freeze’ reaction ever.

The man said my brain was having a ‘tantrum’. He said perhaps I couldn’t ‘cope’ with Alpha-Theta training at FzPz. He said to calm my brain down we had to do some single channel neurofeedback training at Fz. That was three days ago.

Since then there has been a ringing in my ears. The first day after doing the training at Fz it was a soft ringing but noticeable - I didn’t know what had caused it and I didn’t connect it with neurofeedback.

Yesterday it was pretty loud and annoying but still I didn’t put two and two together.

Today, the third day of doing Fz training the ringing in my ears is unbearable. I suddenly realised this corresponds to the three days of doing Fz training.

My delta and theta amounts look ‘off the chart to me’ - they are much much higher than Alpha, beta and high beta. Although I am not an expert in this field so I can’t be sure about this

I am so worried this ringing is not going to be reversible and have no idea what to do now.

Upon searching the internet I just came across this article “Slow Cortical Potential Neurofeedback in Chronic Tinnitus Therapy: A Case Report.” In one paragraph it says:

  • " One such therapy is the Neurofeedback technique which has already been proven effective in the treatment of tinnitus demonstrated that the delta/alpha ratio Neurofeedback protocol could bring about a significant improvement in subjective perception of tinnitus. It has been shown that the power of delta and alpha frequency bands is abnormally changed in patients with tinnitus (with alpha decreased and delta increased), as measured in the right temporal lobe and the left frontal lobe. A correlation between the power of alpha and delta, the frequency index of both bands and the tinnitus-related distress (evaluated with the Tinnitus Questionnaire) has also been found in tinnitus patients. A simultaneous delta-down and alpha up-training could therefore significantly reduce loudness of tinnitus and normalize brain activity underlying tinnitus generation (Dohrmann et al. [2007]."

This would appear to correspond with my own reports/values that have shown a dramatic surge of delta. I don’t know whether to consult an expert neurofeedback practitioner for delta-down and alpha-up training. Or what to do now. Of course I will go to a doctor but I fear he will be as much in the dark as I am and will be aghast that I have been “toying” with my brain.

Here are some values, if it helps:

After the first session of Alpha Theta training: When I felt very relaxed by the training.
At Pz - the delta mean of 4.4, theta 5.5, and alpha 6.4.
At Fz - the delta mean was 4, theta 5.4 and alpha 5.5

After the last session (the 11th) of Alpha Theta training: When my whole CNS went into fight/flight during training.
At Pz - the delta mean of 17.9, theta 17 and alpha 6.4.
At Fz - the delta mean was 5.1, theta 6 and alpha 5.5

**After first session of Single Channel Fz neurofeedback training to “calm” my brain down after it had “thrown a tantrum” (said by man who rented to me). Noticed faint ringing in ears this day but didn’t put it down to the training just wondered what it was.
At Fz - the delta mean was 10.9, theta 8.6 and alpha 4.5

*****After third session of Single Channel Fz neurofeedback training (my last). Ringing in ears has become really bad. Suddenly I realise it has corresponded with 3 days of Fz training.
At Fz - the delta mean was 12, theta 9.3 and alpha 4.3

Please share your knowledge about what may be happening and any potential neurofeedback that may reduce delta and increase alpha and reduce ringing in ears. I will not be trying anything more by myself as I realise I need to consult an expert, but I am looking for hope that someone may have come across this delta surging before and that it is reversible under the hands of a competent practitioner. I am very worried and in Melbourne, Australia.

Bella, hi.

It’s possible you are just overtraining and pushing too much. Since you are using Brain-Trainer protocols, you may also want to inquire on the Brain-Trainer online forum.

On first impression I’d suggest you may want to lay off more neurofeedback for the moment. You’re already jerking the brain around over-rewarding certain patterns. Not necessarily the best solution to push it further in other directions you deem ‘better’.

Do you do any body meditative practices such as yoga, qigong, grounding meditations, etc. ? Any type of grounding / embodying activity is going to calm the system.

A related type of neurofeedback for grounding is called SMR training. Sensorimotor Rhythm, this is just above alpha. Between alpha and beta. Around 13 or 14 Hz.

But first and foremost, I would suggest a break of maybe one or two weeks before embarking on any more neurofeedback.

As to why some of your prior trainings might be bringing up such quantities of fight/flight/freeze – it could well be that the A-T was uncovering levels of past trauma or unconscious conditioning that is triggering the reactions. There might be trauma specialists or psychotherapists who could work with you to find the roots of these phenomena. And help to integrate / heal the unresolved material.

Ideally in such situations, the same practitioner who is supplying the neurofeedback, has also experience in integrating any material that comes up. For your guide to claim: “The man said my brain was having a ‘tantrum’.” Seems somewhat uninformed. Anyone working with A-T at deep levels should be aware of the potential to activate intense old conditioning.

Regards, William

If you are still in touch with your Othmer ILF practitioner, that protocol would also tend to be calming, grounding, and integrating. Whatever tinnitus symptoms you are having related to stress activation, should calm down once more grounding and integration occurs.

You shared an article regarding SCP and tinnitus. Othmer and Smith ILF, ISF are an ‘enhanced’ evolution of SCP.

Oh thanks so much for your great information, William. I am happy to lay off it for a while. I do a daily meditation practice and can definitely start yoga to ground me - there’s so much on youtube! How long should I leave it before contacting the Othmer ILF practitioner? I am worried if I leave it too long, the tinnitus will become permanent?


No I don’t think the tinnitus will become permanent. It’s related to the major increase in your stress level. Since the ILF definitely will be calming and normalizing, perhaps just a few days is enough. I would not do any reward / band power / up-style training for a couple weeks. As you know ILF is not up-training anything. But just reflecting back to your system the motion of the infra slow waves.

Ask your ILF practitioner for guidance on the material that got activated.

Thanks again William. I’m not sure if you are the person to ask but would you mind removing the reference to the man’s location in the very first paragraph of my first email. I think it is too identifying and I regret typing it. I don’t want his business to suffer as a result of my email.

I tried to edit it myself but it wouldn’t allow it.

Thank you

Interesting, I didn’t realize I could edit posts. Just removed the AUS state name.

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