Many people struggle to gain control over cognitive and behavioral issues associated with anxiety, depression, attentional deficits, PTSD and other problems related to the brain’s self-regulation.
People with these ‘brain wiring’ problems often know how they want to think and feel but their brain just won’t let them. They struggle with racing thoughts, unrealistic fears, emotional wounds, and physiological distress – all of which interfere with relational, academic and vocational success.
Neurofeedback is a non-medical, non-invasive method to address these problems by exercising the brain’s ability to regulate its own functioning.
Neurofeedback compliments all forms of psychotherapy and is often ‘the missing piece’ in one’s overall therapy program, even for those resistant to medication. A better regulated brain allows for more effective therapy and faster achievement of treatment goals.
Neurofeedback: The Missing Piece
What Neurofeedback Can Treat
The better your brain performs its regulatory tasks, the more positive effects on physical and emotional health are achieved. Neurofeedback helps your brain perform better and can be summed up as Transformational Brain Coaching. Neurofeedback has been shown to impact and improve a broad range of issue including:
- Attentional Deficits
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Obsessive Worry
- Sleep Disturbance
- Substance Abuse
- And More…
Request a Neurofeedback consultation today!
What is NeurOptimal® Non-Linear Neurofeedback?
NeurOptimal® Non-Linear Neurofeedback is an FDA approved, non-invasive treatment that has helped people to recover from a variety of physical and psychological traumas and disorders. It is considered a low-risk intervention due to its very low incidence of side-effects.
NeurOptimal®, along with other forms of neurofeedback, meets the American Psychological Association’s definition of an evidence-based intervention since neurofeedback is “…the integration of the best available research with clinical expertise in the context of patient characteristics, culture, and preference.” (cite)
Unlike Linear Neurofeedback, NeurOptimal® requires no brain mapping (EEG scans), protocols, or “expert trainers” telling your brain what to do. With NeurOptimal®, you don’t have to worry about overtraining – every time you use NeurOptimal®, your brain receives information about what it has just done, millisecond to millisecond. It works with you wherever you are in that instant.
NeurOptimal® monitors your brainwaves and alerts your Central Nervous System (CNS) when it is not functioning smoothly. It can also help build resilience in the brain, improving the CNS’s ability to bounce back from a negative incident.
The Drs. Brown, the developers of NeurOptimal®, view the brain as an intelligent, self-organizing dynamical system which can independently utilize information to its own benefit. Viewed from this perspective, the most important element in helping the brain to self-organize is simply the provision of accurate information, or feedback. In contrast, their esteemed colleagues often viewed the brain as a collection of individual parts that required re-directing in some way. All Neuroptimal® does is present information to the brain in a way that can be understood by a dynamical system, and the brain does the rest. No evaluation, no diagnosis, no telling the brain what to do, no need for stated goals and no conscious participation by the client.
When is NeurOptimal® Used?
NeurOptimal® has been successfully used as an intervention for:
- Learning Disabilities/Behavioral Problems
- Sleep Problems
- Stress and Anxiety
- raumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Chemotherapy Brain
The American Academy of Pediatrics has rated neurofeedback as a Level 1 “best support” option for ADHD, the same rating given to Ritalin.
Make an Appointment Today
We have daytime and evening hours available to make scheduling an appointment easier for you. We accept most major insurance plans. Contact us today for an appointment.
How Does NeurOptimal Work?
The sensors attached to the client’s head continuously record brainwaves. NeurOptimal’s® software designates brainwaves that should trigger the brain’s orienting response. Within milliseconds of this change in brainwaves, NeurOptimal’s® music pauses to achieve this response, also known as the orienting reflex. This is not as jarring as the startle response. It’s the response you have when you are daydreaming during a meal with a friend and they say your name. It is one of the brain’s ways of bringing you back to the present moment.
This auditory call and response mechanism is by far the most important function of the program. The fractal images that are shown in a standard NeurOptimal session also change according to the readouts of the sensors. The crucial parts of this process occur outside of your conscious awareness, which is where many deep rooted ‘reaction patterns’ are entrenched.
This is one of the biggest challenges in creating lasting changes with talk therapy, self-help literature, meditation, etc. All of these can build our awareness and our ability to control our subconscious reactions. But they don’t strike at the heart of our problematic habits, the physical connections in our brains. Non-Linear Neurofeedback does. NeurOptimal® can be used alone or in conjunction with talk therapy and coaching. It supports and speeds up by assisting the brain in breaking out of inefficient patterns; allowing it to run more efficiently, and with more resilience, flexibility and stability.
- You sit in a comfortable reclining chair.
- Small sensors will be attached to either side of your head with a washable paste. Two clips are placed on the top of the ears, and another on the right ear lobe.
- The small sensors on your head and ear clips on your ears record the electrical activity of your brain
- You listen to music while watching a never-repeating fractal image or a movie. Through tiny pauses in the music,NeurOptimal® is communicating with the brain, letting it know what it has just done
- These interruptions give the brain an opportunity to self-correct into a more natural, relaxed and effective pattern.
- The paste is removed with an alcohol wipe
- After a 33-minute session you will feel refreshed, relaxed and in a higher state of mental alertness and flow.
- The benefits of a NeurOptimal® session are due to changes in the Central Nervous System, and therefore improvements to mood, performance, sleep, etc. will be cumulative and last well after treatment is discontinued.
Is my brain shocked or stimulated by the electrodes that are attached?
No. While it is accurate to call the attached contacts “electrodes”, “sensors” is a more descriptive term, since the only flow of electricity is that of your brainwaves being fed into the computer. No current is being sent into your head through the sensors, or electrodes.
What are the Side Effects of Neurofeedback?
Again, neurofeedback is considered a “low-risk intervention’ because of its very low incidence of adverse effects. This is especially true when compared to the severity and frequency of side effects due to prescription medication. Neurofeedback is the brain equivalent of physical exercises, and the most common side effect of physical exercise is that you get tired. As with physical training, fatigue is the most commonly reported side effect after a session.
While brain training is in many ways similar to physical training, the brain expresses the side effects of training differently than the body does. The fatigue feels much like the mental tiring after learning a complex mental skill, or the exhaustion felt after speaking a non-fluent language.
Because neurofeedback is essentially structured exercises for your brain, the term ‘side effect’ isn’t applicable in the same sense as for medications. Unlike medication, nothing is put into the body or brain.
Other approaches to neurofeedback relied on the extensive evaluation and diagnosis of different types of brain activity, followed by decisions taken by the practitioner as to what the brain needed more of and less of. This would result in training of different states of consciousness, some activating the brain and some quieting it. In short, the brain was told what to do to improve itself. The person doing the training was very much an active participant in getting the brain to behave better, often working very hard to gain points and achieve a variety of goals presented by the software, in order to make the brain change. Sensors would sometimes be moved during sessions too, so each part of the brain could be worked with separately.