What is Neurofeedback?
In plain English … what is it?
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, drug-free approach to treating symptoms of many neurological-based conditions. It is basically a workout for your brain, training it to be more flexible and allowing it to respond quickly and more efficiently to daily life challenges. NeurOptimal® differs from other neurofeedback systems. It improves the flexibility of the central nervous system which is the “control center” for all the functions within the body. This allows the system to optimize brain function by working on the whole brain simultaneously. Neurofeedback is a learning task that takes place on a subconscious level, requiring no active participation on the part of the recipient.
Neurofeedback can also help to build brain resilience allowing the central nervous system to snap out of a negative state more quickly. Our lives are filled with stress caused by multiple factors. A well exercised brain can have a positive effect on how you feel, react and interact with others.
It’s all about the brain waves! Billions of neurons within our brains are constantly communicating with one another creating electromagnetic signals resulting in brain wave patterns. Brain waves are the core of all of our behaviors, thoughts and emotions. Our brain wave patterns are constantly changing based on all of our thoughts and actions. While the brain’s goal is to operate at maximum efficiency, there are times when our brain can be thrown off track causing irregular brain wave patterns. Often the brain can self-correct, however there are times when the brain gets “stuck” and this “stuck state” has a direct correlation to our physical, emotional and neurological health.
Things like trauma, stress, chronic illness, anxiety, injuries, toxins etc. can cause our brains to be turbulent and get stuck. There are also some people who are born with turbulent brains that can’t self-correct. Medications may help the physical and emotional symptoms, however, they often have side effects and more importantly don’t address the underlying problem. In many instances, the problem is electrical (brain wave related) and not chemical.
NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback uses state-of-the-art technology to record and analyze your brain wave activity, turning it into useful information. That information is then fed back to your brain in real time (millisecond by millisecond) to improve its overall functioning. This type of Neurofeedback training is extremely safe as your brain is not being pushed or pulled in a provider-chosen direction. The training is customized to your brain’s specific activity and with repeated sessions the brain will reorganize itself into more efficient patterns.
Neurofeedback not only changes existing patterns, but it also can actually form new connections within the brain. New connections take upwards of two months of continual training to become permanent, however, change can be seen after about a month.
Given that each brain is unique, the type and rate of change is also unique to the individual. We always recommend eight sessions to start and, once completed, we will evaluate your progress. The underlying factors are the type of problem, how long you’ve had it and the consistency of the training. Some people get what they need within 8-16 sessions and some may need upward of 24-40. We strongly suggest that you maximize your results by training a minimum of two times per week for the first eight sessions.
Everyone, young and old, can benefit from a well-exercised and more efficient brain. Training with Neurofeedback helps to improve memory, focus, attention, creativity, adaptability and can reduce the symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety, etc.
Our clients find Neurofeedback effective in resolving issues in the following categories:
- Enhancing academic performance and positively affecting your IQ
- Increased memory and slowing the effects of brain aging
- Wellness and personal growth
- Help with specific cognitive, emotional or physical challenges
NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is perfect for children of all ages. In fact, it’s ideal for very young children because it requires nothing more than having them relax in a chair, while watching a video and listening with earbuds. There is no task for them to accomplish where they either succeed or fail.
Neurofeedback is also used as a key element in peak performance training. It fine tunes the mind-body connection, enhancing the athlete’s competitive edge. While not widely known, Neurofeedback is used by some elite organizations including:
- US Special Forces and Navy Seals Training Centers
- US Olympic Training Center
- Formula 1 drivers
- West Point Military Academy
- NASA’s Astronaut Training Center
The reason Neurofeedback training has a positive influence on so many issues is because the brain is the epicenter of all of our processes both physical and mental. Improvements made in the flexibility, resilience and efficiency of the brain equate to improvements in our mental and physical experience. This shift allows us to be the best we can be both physically and mentally.
Single session is $125
Package of eight sessions is $800
Tune-up sessions for returning clients are $90
For clients looking at more intensive training, larger packages can be purchased at a discounted rate.
The study of brain waves dates all the way back to 1924 when the German psychiatrist Hans Berger detected a small current (brain wave activity) by affixing sensors to a patients’ head. From 1929-1938 he published over a dozen reports on his research about the electrical activity within the brain, broadening our basic understanding of the subject.
Some of the founding fathers in the research and application of Neurofeedback include: Joe Kamiya, Barry Sterman, Joel F. Lubar, Margaret Ayers, as well as Siegfried & Sue Othmer.
However, it was research psychologist Barbara Brown that brought both Biofeedback and Neurofeedback to the forefront. Her groundbreaking research and published books on the subject brought awareness to the masses. As the co-founder and first President of the Biofeedback Research Society, she was able to both legitimize and advance the study of Neurofeedback.
Most Neurofeedback systems use the conscious approach to training, requiring active participation on the part of the client. This approach views the brain as something that can be manipulated (pushed or pulled) to reach predetermined goals based on a specific diagnosis. This allows for the direct manipulation of the frequencies of the brain by the trainer.
NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback does not utilize any form of brain frequency manipulation. It works on a completely subconscious level by reading your brain waves and feeding back information to the brain about what it has just done. It’s like holding a mirror up to the brain allowing it to see where it is working inefficiently and then self-correcting. This type of training enables the central nervous system to utilize its natural capacity for healing, learning and reorganization.