Is Brain Mapping A Legitimate Treatment Protocol?

Brain mapping is a safe and effective procedure for identifying brain dysregulation and other brain functioning abnormalities. 

For over 29 years, the Drake Institute has used qEEG brain mapping to help thousands of patients improve their quality of life and achieve symptom relief. 

By mapping the patient’s brainwave activity, we can identify which areas of the brain are over or under-activated and develop highly effective treatment protocols for disorders like ADHD, Autism, stress, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, insomnia, and more. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how brain mapping works, what it’s used for, whether or not it’s safe, and more. 

For immediate assistance, please don’t hesitate to fill out our contact form or call us at 800-700-4233 to learn more about qEEG brain mapping and our non-drug treatment options.

What Is Brain Mapping & How Does It Work?

Brain mapping is a non-invasive and non-drug procedure used to identify any area of abnormality linked to symptoms.   

To begin, our staff places 19 sensors around the patient’s scalp that measure and record brain wave activity. During qEEG brain mapping, it’s important to note that the patient’s brain is not stimulated in any way.

Instead, brain mapping is akin to using a thermometer to take a patient’s temperature: the sensors simply read what’s going on in the patient’s brain, they don’t alter the patient’s brain activity.   

Once the brain has been mapped, the recordings are processed through an FDA-approved database to compare them to neurotypical results for the same age group. This comparison will reveal any areas of the brain that aren’t functioning within the typical range. 

The results are then used to create a neurofeedback and neurostimulation treatment protocol that’s tailored for each patient’s unique needs and circumstances. 

With this approach, we’ve helped thousands of patients achieve symptom relief from a variety of debilitating disorders.

Does Brain Mapping Really Work?

Brain mapping is an invaluable tool for creating customized treatment programs for patients struggling with neurophysical disorders, including ADHD, depression, anxiety, Autism, PTSD, and more. It allows us to understand where and what kind of dysregulation is occurring and how it contributes to the patient’s symptoms.

Is Brain Mapping Safe?

As a non-invasive and non-pharmaceutical procedure, brain mapping is completely safe. The process is not doing anything to the brain, but simply recording what the brain is doing. Brain mapping is painless, does not involve any external stimulation to the brain, and causes no side effects. The tools used on the patient simply measure brain wave activity so that we can identify which regions and networks of the brain are over or under-activated.   

Brain mapping has been shown to be useful—and safe—for identifying anything from seizures to symptoms linked to ADHD and other brain-related (neurophysical) conditions, including autism.

Why Is Mapping The Brain So Important?

The human brain is constructed of multiple networks of interconnected neurons. These networks are responsible for organization, time management, memory, mood, emotional regulation, language processing, attention, understanding non-verbal social cues, and more. 

Ideally, these networks have strong connections with each other that help the brain function well. When there is a communication breakdown between these networks, the patient may start to experience reduced cognitive functioning, emotional dysregulation, and other debilitating symptoms. 

Brain mapping investigates each of these networks to determine any misfires or dysregulation. 

Many of the distressing conditions that our patients suffer from develop as a direct result of brain dysregulation. Disorders like ADHD, autism, PTSD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, stress, insomnia, and others derive from some sort of disrupted brain wave activity. 

To understand more about how the brain works, let’s take a look at the different types of brain waves. 

  • Delta waves are the slowest brain waves. Typically, they occur predominantly during infancy and during deep sleep
  • Theta waves are slightly higher frequency but are still considered slow brain waves. They happen when you are drowsy, daydreaming, or drifting off to sleep
  • Alpha waves are the next highest frequency waves that occur in the brain. They show up maximally during states of calm awareness and relaxation. They occur at the highest amplitude predominantly in the posterior parts of the brain during meditation with eyes closed
  • Beta waves are the fastest waves and occur during times of intense concentration and during task engagement. Excessive beta waves can cause anxiety 

Brain mapping allows us to identify when and where each of these wave types occur in the patient’s brain. When results are compared to “normal” brain activity, we can create a targeted approach that directly addresses the patient’s specific condition and symptoms.

How Can Brain Mapping Help Be Used To Develop Optimal Treatment Plans?

Brain mapping is the first step to set up neurofeedback therapy, a treatment that aims to successfully treat a variety of conditions and their symptoms. These conditions are primarily neurologically-based, even if their symptoms are often cognitive, emotional, or behavioral. 

Indeed, brain mapping is incredibly useful when treating the following conditions: 

  • Autism Syndrome Disorder
  • Asperger’s
  • Depression
  • Stress Disorders
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • PTSD
  • Insomnia
  • Panic Attacks
  • Substance Abuse

All of the above conditions are associated with dysregulation of the brain. The Drake Institute’s brain mapping process ensures that these dysregulations are identified so the symptoms can be treated appropriately.

How The Drake Institute Uses Brain Mapping

Brain mapping at the Drake Institute is used in conjunction with neurofeedback and neuromodulation. 

When the brain has been mapped, our medical director can then design individually tailored treatment protocols using neurofeedback therapy and neuromodulation.


Neurofeedback, or EEG Biofeedback, is a non-drug and non-invasive treatment protocol that helps patients leverage the brain’s own resources to improve cognitive functioning and emotional well-being. 

How does it work? 

Before receiving neurofeedback, patients are unaware of how their brain’s dysregulated patterns are linked to symptoms. However, with the help of neurofeedback training, patients can learn how to “shift” their brains into a healthier functional pattern. 

For example, one of our neurofeedback treatments converts the patient’s brainwaves into a computer game where a car is driving down a highway. Once the patient shifts their brainwaves to a faster, higher frequency necessary for concentration, the car stays in the correct lane and an auditory tone goes off. This tone is then triggered every half second to reinforce this response, and with practice, patients can learn this technique without the help of the game. 

And unlike drug-based treatments, neurofeedback therapy provides improvement without the need for continuous treatment. Moreover, there are no dangerous side effects associated with neurofeedback therapy.


Like neurofeedback, neuromodulation is a safe, non-drug treatment protocol used to guide the brain to create healthier functioning patterns. 

Neuromodulation has a similar effect to training wheels on a bicycle. The training wheels give the child balance on the bicycle, and as he rides the bicycle balanced, his brain quickly adapts to it and controls balance without requiring training wheels. 

At the Drake Institute, we use Neurofield technology to stimulate the brain just enough so the brain can replicate healthy brainwave activity. Once the patient experiences what proper functioning feels like, the brain can more easily adapt and create that brainwave pattern on its own.

Contact The Drake Institute Today!

For more information about how the Drake Institute can help you with our brain mapping technology, call today at 1-800-700-4233 or fill out the free consultation form below.


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dr david velkoff headshot

“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Neurophysical Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Neurophysical Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Neurophysical Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Neurophysical Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”

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