What is neurofeedback? Neurofeedback (or EEG Biofeedback) is a gentle, non-invasive training for the brain. It uses sound to signal to the brain that it is not working at it’s most efficient capacity, and helps encourage the brain to “reset” or self-correct. NeurOptimal® neurofeedback uses the brain’s own signals to determine how to correct any dysregulation and restore the brain to optimal functioning. Neurofeedback heals the brain. It is not psychotherapy, nor is it meant to replace your psychotherapy. What it can do is make your therapy more effective.
Neurofeedback has been around since the mid 1960’s. Research on the benefits of neurofeedback stopped when Prozac was introduced to the public, and pharmaceutical interventions became commonplace. In spite of the rise of pharmaceuticals to treat mental disorders, neurofeedback research has shown it to be useful in stabilizing the brain to help reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, ADHD and addictions. While it will not solve your problems, it can help make you more available to do the recovery work necessary to heal.
How does neurofeedback work? Our brains are designed to adapt to changes in our body and environment and help manage stress, problem-solve and rest when necessary. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why the brain stops being able to do this effectively. When the brain gets off track or “dysregulated”, the areas of the brain that are supposed to be calm become active, and the parts of the brain that are meant to be active slow down. Sometimes the brain can correct this dysregulation, but when it can’t, this dysregulation becomes the new normal. Neurofeedback trains the brain to return to that original state of normal, helping reduce anxiety, improving sleep, focus and concentration and so forth.
What happens in a Neurofeedback session? The NeurOptimal® trainer will have you fill out some forms listing the challenges that have made you try neurofeedback. The trainer will ask you what you would like to see from the neurofeedback training, and will check with you on subsequent visits to see how you are progressing in your training.
Next you will be seated in a quiet space where the trainer will attach the sensors that will feed your brainwave patterns into the NeurOptimal® software. You will be listening to music during your training session, which lasts about 35 minutes. The music will seem to have scratches or interruptions, which is the signal to your brain to change it’s current pattern, helping it to reset and self-optimize.
At no time is your brain being sent any waves or shocks. There is no manipulation of the brain. Your brain is working to restore itself to normal functioning.
At the end of the session, you may notice that you feel calmer and more relaxed. Some may feel a little light-headed, but this will quickly pass. If you have any trouble during the session, you will let the trainer know, but any reactions are very rare. You may notice vivid dreams or deep sleep on the nights when you have received your training.
Why NeurOptimal® vs. other systems? Unlike other systems that require expensive brain mapping before any training can begin, NeurOptimal® is designed to work specifically with your brain. No part of your brain is “targeted” for training; the system software helps the brain heal itself. This makes the NeurOptimal® system extremely safe. And, because there is no targeting of areas of the brain, the trainee just sits back and enjoys their training time.