My daughter is suffering from depression, and we took her to a psychiatrist yesterday. We went to to only female psychiatrist we could find — over an hour away, but OK. (We live in a rural area.) She had said on the phone that she often used neurofeedback, which seems to be what we called “biofeedback” in the 1970s and 80s, and I’d remembered reading some good things about that.
ETA: I’m going to refer to our daughter as “M” from now on, because “our daughter” got real unwieldy.
All three of us went in, the woman talked to us, took a brief history from M, and then, at the end of the session, asked M to lie down on what appeared to be an ordinary MD’s exam table. She explained that the bed was a magnet, and the magnetic field would open M’s blood vessels, increasing blood flow, especially through the capillaries, and therefore make her feel more relaxed.
After eight minutes of that, she said she wanted to wrap some cables around M’s stomach to create a magnetic field there. M was uncomfortable with that, so instead she put a hairnet-type thing on M’s head and velcroed four boxes about half the size of cigarette packs to the cap. Another eight minutes of magnetic field would, again, make M feel more relaxed.
Needless to say, we’re not going back.
Also needless to say, I assented (passively) to all this because I know that magnetic fields have no effect on the human body. I figured it was a waste of time, but harmless, and better than taking my daughter out mid-session, thereby (probably) causing a scene in the office.
Later, my wife told me that she was worried because she’d read (I don’t know where) that magnetic fields can have a disruptive effect on the brain, and she regretting allowing the woman to put the things on M’s head.
I know you’re not a doctor (except for those of you who are), but does anyone know of any legitimate studies that might suggest that what happened to my daughter yesterday may have — even just possibly — caused some harm?
(If it matters, she’ll turn 11 in April, so her brain is very much still developing.)
Thank you all.