An Introduction to Neurofeedback

The brain is an incredibly complex system which is the control center for the entire body.  The subconscious mechanisms within the brain controls every cell, every organ, every tissue and the entire autonomic nervous system contributing to our physical and psychological wellbeing. Recent research explained in Dr. Norman Doidge’s book, The Brain That Changes Itself, points out that the brain has “neuroplasticity” or the ability to change and enhance its functioning. Unfortunately, brain injuries, trauma, stressed learning states and anxiety can compromise how well the brain is functioning. With NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback, ineffective and upsetting patterns can be changed to help the brain create a more flexible and resilient mode of functioning.


How does it work?

When using the NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback program sensors are placed on the head. The sensors pick up the faint EEG signals of the brain, transferring information to the computer. Communicating through the use of music and visual stimulation, the subconscious mind is given subtle signals from the NeurOptimal® program. Automatically adjusting itself microsecond to microsecond, in response to the unique brain activity, more efficient neural pathways are established within the whole brain.  Through this process the nervous system is recalibrated.

The NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback program is like your own private meditation instructor, personal trainer, or a martial arts instructor that points out and corrects your unique form as you train. As your brain performance improves, the level of difficulty in the program increases automatically. Over time your brain naturally improves in its ability to function fluidly, enhancing all areas of your life. As a result anxiety and reactivity are decreased, sleep is enhanced, and the brain is free to operate in a more relaxed manner in a range of learning environments. Brains that have sustained injuries or traumas can grow new neural pathways around damaged areas, to support healing and enhance performance.

 The result of using the NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback program over time is a more resilient brain with greater integration between its many regions.  Instead of reacting from the primitive, survival parts of the brain, neural pathways connecting to the prefrontal cortex, (the thinking part of the brain) are enhanced, allowing choice and positive responses. A well-integrated brain, in which all areas are communicating effectively, develops healthy patterns and pathways so that we may resiliently flow with the ups and downs of life.


Why should I use neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback training provides a multitude of benefits for the brain and body, including: improved sleep, heightened mental clarity and enhanced cognitive performance.  Millions of trainers and clients have used the NeurOptimal® system to address a number of physical, emotional and cognitive complaints with great success. These fall into a few general categories:

Adults, as well as children, have used NeurOptimal® neurofeedback to address the negative effects arising from depression, anxiety, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, autism, sleep disorders, misophonia and other complaints. The FDA has even approved neurofeedback as effective for stress reduction.   As of November of 2012, the American Pediatric Academy has also endorsed neurofeedback (aka EEG biofeedback) as a “Level 1/Best Support” treatment for children with ADHD.  The APA has equated neurofeedback with medication in terms of efficacy for resolving ADHD.

NeurOptimal® neurofeedback encourages an overall positive mental outlook and a deeper understanding of the mind/body connection. For those looking to enhance their daily health and wellness, neurofeedback training can be an excellent supplement to a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Along with healthy lifestyle choices, NeurOptimal® neurofeedback can be a powerful tool to mediate cognitive decline that naturally occurs as we age. Just as physical exercise benefits the body, NeurOptimal® keeps the brain fit and resilient. Neurofeedback can help improve memory, recall and increase overall cognitive dexterity in older individuals.

A growing number of Olympic and professional athletes now use neurofeedback to provide that critical mental edge which often results in gold medals and championships. When competitors are separated by 100ths of a second, the improved mental focus and physical performance neurofeedback provides can mean the difference between winning and losing. But you don’t have to be a pro athlete to enjoy the benefits of neurofeedback. Looking to improve your golf game? Want to be a better pitcher for your company softball team? NeurOptimal® can help.

Because neurofeedback training enhances concentration and mental focus, students use NeurOptimal® as a critical tool to improve their performance in school. Unlike so-called 5“smart drugs” or neuro enhancing pharmaceuticals, NeurOptimal® is 100% drug-free and has no known side effects (apart from improved sleep!).


What happens in a session?

Your certified NeurOptimal® trainer, Jan, will have you fill out a survey listing the complaints and/or challenges that have brought you into her office.

Next, you will be placed in a comfortable chair in a quiet room.  Your trainer will attach special sensors to your head that will feed your brain wave patterns into the NeurOptimal® program’s software.

A neurofeedback training session is relaxing, enjoyable and typically lasts about 40 minutes. As the session starts, you will hear music play though headphones and perhaps watch relaxing geometric images gently morph across a computer screen. You will hear occasional “skips” or interruptions in the music – this is the signal that prompts your brain to “reset” and optimize itself.

At the end of a session, you will most likely feel less stressed and more mentally clear. It is unlikely you will experience any negative after-effects as NeurOptimal® does not artificially “push” the brain in any specific direction. Many users experience deeper sleep and vivid dreams after their very first session.

What are the differences between NeurOptimal® and other neurofeedback systems?

There are a few key factors that distinguish NeurOptimal® from other neurofeedback systems:

1. NeurOptimal® is effective because it is designed to work best with your individual brain. It does not attempt to “fix” predetermined conditions or pin down specific problems. This was a limitation in many earlier neurofeedback systems. Often, resolving one problem in one area could cause problems elsewhere. The heart of the NeurOptimal® system -Dynamical Neurofeedback®- is a proprietary technology based in neuroscience and specifically designed with the naturally non-linear function of the human brain in mind. NeurOptimal® is built to harness the incredibly dynamic nature of your brain in a way other systems simply cannot match. As a result, this neurofeedback system can be used effectively to address a wide array of complaints without specifically “targeting” them from the outset of the training.

2. NeurOptimal® neurofeedback is extremely safe. Research shows your own brain “knows best” and therefore the NeurOptimal® brain training system does not force or “push” the brain in any one direction. Basically, NeuroOptimal® neurofeedback provides your brain with the information it needs to correct itself and function at its most optimal. NeurOptimal® simply enables your own brain’s natural process of self-correction.

3. NeurOptimal® requires no effort on the user’s part. Some brain training systems require the user to “interact” by playing games or solve puzzles during sessions. This additional level of interaction is unnecessary with the NeurOptimal® neurofeedback system. During a training session, you can simply relax and enjoy!