There is much empirical evidence that EEG biofeedback training can help remediate the symptoms of autoimmune disease such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus. In diseases such as this, the immune system is at war with the normally functioning body, in that it has failed to discriminate properly what is self from what is not-self. There is no suggestion that the biofeedback training in any sense reverses the course of the disease process. However, it is quite generally observed that persons afflicted with these conditions may be relieved of much of their pain; they may be more robust and energetic with the training; and they may not be as heavily impacted by flare-ups of the condition.
If the training is going to be helpful, this will usually be noticed by the individual during the first six to ten sessions, and the judgment can then be made as to whether it is worthwhile to continue the training. It is often helpful to employ the T.O.V.A. test as a measure of mastery of attentional variables, and it can be used as a measure of progress in the training.
In the case of Type I diabetes, a condition in which the body has lost its ability to fabricate insulin by virtue of autoimmune disease, EEG biofeedback training can provide a greater tolerance to variations in glucose level. Subjects report being more energetic and robust. They also report reduced pain associated with peripheral neuropathy, which is observable in advanced stages of the condition. In the case of Type II diabetes, which is more of a problem in glucose regulation, the necessity of providing supplemental insulin may be entirely avoided; insulin requirements may significantly reduce; and the person may feel the benefit of improved self-regulation in terms of higher energy level, better sleep, focused attention, and reduced mood volatility.
In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, persons undergoing the training may have pain relieved sufficiently that they no longer require pain medication. There may be a second mechanism of action for the training in this case, namely on the pain threshold directly. When pain persists at a certain location, the normal body response is to heighten sensitivity to that pain, i.e. a lowering of the pain threshold locally. The training may restore a normal pain threshold and disrupt the chronic pain mechanism. We assume a direct influence on the pain mechanism because of the rapidity with which EEG biofeedback can be effective. We are aware of no alternative mechanism which could respond so rapidly.
In the case of lupus, we have empirically observed benefit of the training in terms of the severity of flare-ups of the condition. The training appears to confer a prophylactic benefit, and is therefore conducted irrespective of whether the patient is symptomatic. Additionally, however, the training can confer benefits during the acute episodes as well.
Finally, we observe that women with breast implants often manifest symptoms which resemble those of the autoimmune diseases