Q – I would like to offer EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to my clients who have active seizures. I read on Gary Craig’s EFT website that Dr. Swingle cautions “epileptics would be advised to listen to a specially designed audio tape before using EFT”. The tape can be ordered from Dr. Swingle whose info can be found by calling information in Vancouver. I would be grateful for details of how to obtain a copy of the tape.
Q – Dr. Swingle, is there anything new to help with her seizures?
A – The only demonstrated effective treatment for recalcitrant drug resistant seizure disorders is intensive neurotherapy to increase the amplitude of the Sensory Motor Rhythm and reduction of slow frequency amplitude. The only option from a neurotherapy perspective is to do an intensive treatment (3 to 5 times per week). I know this is expensive, but there are no shortcuts at present.
Q – I am an EFT practitioner, and interested in the audiotape suggested by you and Gary Craig, for use with clients with epilepsy, prior to EFT work. Please advise title and ordering details.
A – The tape that we recommend to use with EFT for the treatment of epilepsy is a theta amplitude suppression harmonic. There are several versions of this harmonic. The basic one that we recommend is called Attention™ on CD. You can order either directly from www.soundhealthproducts.com. (Put the direct link to this one because right now it is just the home page).
Q – I read on Gary Craig’s EFT website that you have found some success in applying EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to people with Epilepsy. It also reads that you suggest listening to one of your tapes first. Which tape is this? I have epilepsy and have been treating it with Epival for about 7 years now. My long-term goal is to get off of this medication. How can you help me?
A – EFT has been found to be very effective for some forms of seizure disorders. This is particularly the case if the person has a prodromal or forewarning of an impending seizure episode. When aware of the vulnerability the person administers the EFT protocol and often they report that the seizure episode was aborted. We also recommend the daily use of the EFT protocol to help with increasing and/or maintaining the amplitude of the Sensory Motor Rhythm (SMR), a brainwave associated with seizure disorders. In my clinic, we use neurotherapy to increase the ratio of the SMR relative to Theta brainwave amplitude. We then prescribe daily home use of EFT to sustain and strengthen the gains made in neurotherapy. Regarding the harmonics on CDs, we found in some cases that EFT in addition to increasing the amplitude of SMR also increases the amplitude of the Theta brainwaves. Increased Theta amplitude has been found to decrease seizure threshold in many seizure patients. The Attention™ and the OMNI™ harmonics both decrease the amplitude of Theta, so we advise clients to have the harmonic playing very softly in the background anytime they do the EFT procedure. The Cd’s can be purchased at www.soundhealthproducts.com.
Q – My brother had a stroke and lost his speech, which has now returned. He has since had two seizures. How successful are you with brain damage from strokes and related seizures?
A – We have been very successful in treating clients with stroke and seizure disorders. In our experience it appears to be better to wait six months or so before starting neurotherapy to allow some normal healing to occur. There doesn’t seem to be a problem with starting treatment sooner, in terms of negative effects, but progress at that time is usually slow. Our success in treating such conditions depends, of course, on several factors including area of injury, severity, and time since injury, etc. I would recommend waiting about 6 months and then schedule a full brain map (QEEG) to determine the precise areas of compromise. Treatment for such problems usually extends over a year or so and involves many treatments for significant gains to be achieved.
Q – My daughter has partial seizures related to malabsorption due to Lyme disease. Would you be able to do anything for her?
A – Yes, we see many clients with seizure disorders as well as those with Lyme disease. The major problem with Lyme’s is usually a problem with the frontal cortex. The marker is excessive slow frequency amplitude. The slow frequency issue is also related to seizure threshold in individuals predisposed to seizures. The treatment for both of these conditions is to suppress the high amplitude slow frequency over the front and middle of the brain and to increase a specific waveform (the sensory motor rhythm (SNR) over the center regions of the brain. I assume that you have had the antibiotic treatment for the Lyme’s and that what remains is to normalize some of the brain wave sequella of the disorder. In the interim, until you can start some neurotherapeutic treatment, you might want to try a combination of several of the harmonics that we developed and the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). If you follow the directions for self-administration of EFT while playing the Attention Harmonic™ (available from www.soundhealthproducts.com) (Put the link to the direct product not just the one for the Sound health home page) you may find a reduction in seizure activity. Another CD that we have produced that is available at www.soundhealthproducts.com is Mozart™. This harmonic increases the amplitude of the SNR that in turn increases seizure threshold for many clients that also helps sustain the gains made with neurotherapy.
Q – I read your information and have to say it sounds interesting, but I can’t help but be skeptical. I am an RN and have a son who developed seizures 4 years ago at the age of 22. I would like to think something like this could work and I plan on checking with his doctor, who is the head of the neurology department at Mayo Clinic. Like I said I would like to think something like this could help but the world we live in has gotten so good at scamming people for the almighty dollar, it’s always hard to know if you are being preyed upon because of your emotions.
A – I would suggest that you review the research directly. Much has been published on the neurotherapeutic treatment of seizure disorders. It is a well-documented and robust and SAFE treatment that has more than a 3-decade history. Best sources for scientific information are the peer reviewed journals available at www.isnr.org and www.aapb.org.
Q – My wife suffers from Nonepileptic Seizures. Do you offer treatments for this condition? The seizures are of psychogenic causes due to childhood sexual abuse.
A – This condition, referred to as “pseudoseizure disorder”, responds well to a combination of neurotherapy and adjunctive supportive therapies. I wrote a paper on this condition that was published in the medical journal “Biological Psychiatry” that may be available on the web. This condition seems to always be associated with emotional trauma and the seizures may be a neurological mechanism to defend the person from experiencing the emotional pain. Neurologically, we generally see the trauma in the brain assessment plus a deficiency in the brain’s stress coping mechanism. Both of these conditions are correctable with neurotherapy.
Q – What CD should I used in conjuction with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)? I’m trying to find out which of your products is recommended for use in a brain injury patient wanting to use EFT for the control of seizures. I’ve read elsewhere that Dr. Swingle recommends listening to a certain tape beforehand but I can’t seem to find which one.
A – The CD that I recommend is Attention™ or our more recent product Omni™. Both of these harmonics suppress Theta brainwave amplitude. EFT has a positive effect on seizures because it increases the amplitude of the Sensory Motor Rhythm Brainwave. However, EFT also increases slow frequency (Theta) amplitude in many clients as well. Increases in Theta amplitude can LOWER seizure threshold thus making the seizure risk higher. The Theta suppressing harmonic is therefore used simultaneously with the EFT to control the Theta increase while the SMR is increased having a beneficial effect on seizure threshold.
Q – My son is 19 and suffers from lennox gastaut syndrome. He has been on many drugs and the ketogenic diet without success. He is developmentally disabled and has 10+ seizures a week. Do you think he could benefit from your treatment?
A – We see many clients with the rarer forms of seizure disorders including Baltic, Mediterranean, Ramsay Hunt and Unverricht-Lundborg as well as the form your son has, Lennox Gastaut. As you perhaps know, many of these disorders are the same with different names and some have minor differences. Our experience with these progressive disorders is that all clients have benefited from neurotherapy. The extent of the improvement varies considerably. Some of these improvements, although not a cure, are important because the seizure frequency decreases and most promising, the progression of the condition is halted. In one case, for example, a client with the Baltic form has reported continued reduced seizure frequency and no progression of the disorder for the last three years. This client receives continued maintenance neurotherapy treatments about three times per year to sustain the gains. In other cases the common problem of habituation to the anti-seizure medication experienced by such clients appears to be markedly reduced so that they are better maintained with their medication. Regarding your son, I do think that our treatments could be very helpful in reducing seizure frequency. Given that your son experiences 10+ seizures per week, you would know quite soon if our treatments are beneficial in increasing seizure threshold. Parents also report improved cognitive functioning with our treatments as well.
Q – Is there a treatment center close to Cincinnati Ohio? Also, Brockville, Ontario (1 hour from Ottawa)? As background… our daughter has had epilepsy since 3 years of age…she is 13 currently. She was on the ketogenic diet when she was 5 years old with great success, but at that time she had only absence seizures. We took her off of the diet because she developed a large kidney stone requiring surgery. She has been on multiple medications since that period with no sustained success. She has focal/generalized seizures and has absence seizures as well and has started the ketogenic diet again about 5 months ago with some success.
A – For a useful account of neuroptherapeutic treatment of conditions such as you describe see Arlene Martell’s excellent book “Getting Adam Back”, available online at www.gettingadamback.com. For qualified practitioners in Cincinnati call Dr. Colura at 440-232-6000 for recommendations. For Brockville, call Drs. Michael and Lynda Thompson, who are in Toronto area but would know of qualified practitioners in the area, at 416-803-8066.
Q – My daughter has been tested for epilepsy, there are no grounds for this but still a fit after a highly emotional discussion or telephone call. Could you recommend someone in Sydney who specializes with EFT and is in the medical profession?
A – You do not state the age of your daughter. If she is in teens or older you may be dealing with pseudoseizure disorder which is trauma based. EFT not a good treatment of choice for this condition although it can be used adjunctively to neurotherapy or experientially based therapies. I do not know any EFT practitioners in Sydney but for neurotherapy go to www.bcia.org and click on “find a practitioner” and look for someone certified in EEG in your location.
Q – My 6.11 year old son has Childhood Apraxia of Speech (severe but now sentence level with understandability about 3 yrs and comprehension, vocabulary, etc age appropriate), Subclinical Seizure Disorder (on Divalproic for 2.5 yrs), Stereotypic Movement Disorder (diagnosed by Roger Freeman, B.C. Children’s Hosp.), and Developmental Coordination Disorder. He presents as a very typical boy, socially, physically and academically, in spite of his diagnosis. I was wondering if your techniques would work with my son’s needs (especially the speech, as I have already read about your successes with seizure disorders)
A – We see many children with complex conditions such as the one you describe. From your description it sounds as though the SMD and DCD are mild. The Depakote also may have some cognitive side effects such as cognitive slowing. The procedure that we use includes normalizing some of the brain inefficiencies and then using braindriving procedures with tasking. This procedure involves having the child engaged in a task (e.g., speech) while the area(s) of the brain associated with the task are under treatment. We find it a very effective procedure for remediation. We would also address the seizure threshold issue with a view toward reducing the antiseizure medications.
Q – My seventeen year old daughter suffered a serious depressed compound skull fracture in the summer of 2004 as a result of a water-skiing accident. After surgery, she seemed to make a full recovery but in the spring of 2007, she began experiencing mild seizures at nighttime when she was physically or mentally exhausted. A neurologist at Children’s hospital in Vancouver put her on anti-seizure medication but my daughter has weened herself off it and she thinks it may have been contributing to concentration problems and brain fog. She has been off the medication since December 2007 and so far she has not experienced any further seizures. My concern is that she leaves for university in Ontario this September and I am worried that the stress of being away from home combined with a rigorous academic work load may cause her seizures to start up again. Is there anything that can be done to help prevent this?
A – The obvious course of action is to encourage your daughter to pace herself and avoid fatigue. Seizure threshold is lowered by an increase in slow frequency brainwave amplitude. These slow frequencies are associated with fatigue and sleep which is why many seizures occur at night. Stress can likewise reduce seizure threshold. Again careful attention to pacing herself will go a long way in helping reduce the risk of seizure. She would also benefit from scheduling a relaxation exercise into her daily routine. These exercises don’t have to be long but daily practice is important. The treatment for these conditions would include some neurotherapy to reduce slow frequency amplitude and increase the amplitude of the sensory motor rhythm. This neurotherapy treatment will increase the seizure threshold and thus reduce seizures. In addition, a stress assessment would be useful to determine the most effective relaxation exercise for your daughter. The stress assessment tests all of the relevant autonomic nervous system modalities (e.g., heart rate, respiration, peripheral blood flow) to determine the modality that is most responsive to stress. This in turn identifies the specific relaxation exercise that would be most efficient to reduce stress. Your daughter is correct, anti-seizure medications often do adversely affect cognitive efficiency. Thus, if she can be vigilant about pacing herself and following a daily regimen of a brief relaxation protocol she can keep her seizure threshold high.
Q – My son has been having sporadic seizures for 8 years(he is 25), and has been on Divalproex for that period of time. Recently (within 6 months) he was also placed on Levetiracetam. However, recently we have noticed that his seizures are becoming more and more frequent. He has had countless EEGs, EKGs, and an MRI, all which turned up nothing conclusive, and we are at our wits end and don’t know what to do. Is there anything that you would recommend? Could it be something in his diet that is causing this?
A – As you may know if you have researched neurotherapeutic treatment is that one of the first applications of neurotherapy was in the treatment of medication resistant epilepsy. This goes back some four decades and since that time we have developed additional adjunctive treatments that raise seizure thresholds. It is not surprising that the many EEGs, MRIs etc have turned up negative. Some reports indicate that such procedures can miss more than a quarter of clients with seizure disorders.
The procedure that we use is to do a brain assessment (an EEG but with more detailed data bases) to determine areas of the brain that may be exacerbating the seizure problem. The basic treatment that we use for seizure disorders is to strengthen the Sensory Motor Rhythm (SMR), a brainwave between about 13 and 15 cycles per second that is found over the top of the brain (roughly from the tip of the ears across the head). In addition, we have adjunctive treatments that we use to modify specific brainwave amplitudes that in turn increases seizure thresholds.
As you suggest, diet may be important and we do know that some food sensitivities seem to decrease seizure thresholds as well. Our success rate with seizure disorders is quite good but usually many treatments are required, although we have had some remarkable changes with a few clients with just a few treatments. You may wish to consult my web-site to find some of the relevant information and articles on this subject. You may also find a book by the mother of a former patient of interest. Her son had epilepsy in addition to autism and her book “Getting Adam Back” details some of the things she tried in her effort to get proper treatment for her son.
Q – I am a 45 year old woman who has had epilepsy since my menses. I average on a bad month, around 2-3 seizures. The hard part is that they are simple/partial, therefore I am alert through them. I would like to know if you would recommend any treatments, alternative therapies etc., that could benefit me. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
A – The usual treatment for seizure disorder includes increasing a particular brainwave amplitude (Sensory Motor Rhythm) over the area of the brain associated with body movement (Motor Cortex). In addition, conditions that are likely contributors to reducing the seizure threshold (making seizures more likely) such as inefficiencies in the quieting brainwaves, frontal cortex imbalances, and the like are corrected. Some home treatment procedures are likewise normally recommended.
The first step is to have an intake brain assessment to determine the exact nature and location of the problem in the brain. The exact treatment regimen is based directly on the data obtained from the initial assessment. Neurotherapy is very effective for many of the seizure disorders.
Q – My daughter has been having seizures since four months old, when she had her baby needles. Since then she has try many types of medications, keto diet, corpus colostomy. She is now 22 years old. Would you recommend treatment for her? She has seizures daily.
A – Yes, I would definitely recommend neurotherapy for your daughter. Neurotherapy has been found helpful in situations such as you describe. If you let us know where you are located we can see if we can recommend a CERTIFIED practitioner in your area.
Q – My 7 year old daughter was diagnosed with complex partial seizures 3 years ago. She has also had Cerebral Palsy since birth. She doesn’t have them but one every few months, but they last for at least an hour. This is with using her Diastat rescue medicine, which they have her at 20mg now. She is currently on Keppra and Lamictal, the latter of which they are increasing to get to an acceptable level. Yet it seems as though there may be more going on that we are not aware of. She has to repeat the same sentence she is trying to say numerous times and has started to make like “grunting” sounds instead of talking. The medicine side effects are not great and we were wondering if there is something else that we could try instead?
A – We see many clients with seizure disorders. One of the concerns with small children is that the anti-seizure medications can have serious negative effects on cognitive development. The treatment for seizure disorders is based on the results of the brainwave assessment. There are many forms of seizure disorder and the brainwave assessment identifies the exact nature and location of the functional problem(s) in the brain. First step therefore is to have a full brain assessment. After the assessment we can develop a treatment regimen.
Q – I am a 16 year old boy and I have just encountered a seizure while having surgery and have been experiencing blurred vision and blacking out when going to stand up. I also have constant headaches. Can you tell me if these are long or short term effects, and also tell me some other long or short term effects a seizure patient might witness?
A – You should contact your physician immediately and describe the symptoms you are experiencing.
Q – My Grandson has had seizures since he was 3 (he’s 13 now), mostly kept under control with drugs. Two years ago he started have absent and grand mal seizures, tics, etc. and now appears to be drug resistant. Can you suggest a doctor in our area who might work with us using neuropathy. I have found a good EFT practitioner. Would that be enough alone, working with a traditional neurologist (who’s still playing with meds)?
A – In our experience EFT alone is not adequate. We use EFT as an adjunct to neurotherapy which is very effective for treatment of conditions such as you describe. To find a practitioner in your area go to www.bcia.org and click on “find a practitioner.” I did not see any certified practitioners in Rochester but you may find one in an area close to you on the list. Be sure to select those certified in “EEG.”
Q – I live in Newfoundland and have contacted a therapist in Toronto who will do an assessment for my daughter’s epilepsy, but because of the distance, she said she could train us at her clinic for a few weeks, then rent to us or we buy (not sure) her computerized equipment to take home. She would keep in close contact with us and help us along. My question to you is: What do you think of that? And would you or do you also do this?
A – Yes we do some remote training with clients. However, I assume the therapists you contacted in Toronto are Drs. Lynda and Michael Thompson. If so, they are closer to you and are excellent.
Q – Dear Dr.Swingle, some 12 years ago, I was diagnosed with “complex partial seizures”, the cause unknown. This happened in Singapore following three weeks traveling through Europe. My long and short term memory has been affected and I have confusion around all kind of activities that I enjoyed throughout life such as sailing, walking, fishing, chess and other mind games, etc. I have been on medication for these 12 years and would welcome an opportunity to stop! I would add that I am 74 years of age and of reasonable physical capability. I would appreciate your comments.
A – As I assume you are aware, some of the long term negative effects of antiseizure medications include reduction of cognitive efficiency. Our program focuses on modifying brainwave activity to increase seizure threshold which in turn permits elimination or reduction of the antiseizure medications. You may also know that the first clinical use of neurotherapy was for the treatment of epilepsy. We would need to know more about your specific circumstances including frequency of seizures, amount and type of medication in addition to doing a full brain assessment to isolate the areas for treatment. Medication often slows down the Alpha brainwave activity with the result of cognitive and memory problems of the type you describe. As we age, our Alpha brainwaves often slow down as an age related decline. Medication often accelerates that decline. We can correct this process with neurotherapy focused on increasing the faster Alpha frequencies in the brain. Hence, in addition to improving the seizure condition we would also focus on improving the memory and cognitive functions. First step is to have a full brain assessment to determine the precise nature of the difficulties.