What is NeurOptimal® neurofeedback?
NeurOptimal® neurofeedback is a tool that helps keep your brain organized and fit, promotes general wellness, and helps you to function more efficiently.
NeurOptimal® offers feedback to the brain and CNS about what it has just done, which the brain can then use to organize itself. NeurOptimal® works like a ‘mirror’ for the brain.
Unlike other neurofeedback systems, NeurOptimal® does not require a technician or practitioner to generate feedback. The feedback, generated by your own brain patterns, communicates directly with your brain and CNS. No assessment or diagnosis are required. No outside person deciding what training you need. Your brain is effectively communicating with itself and making its own changes.
The brain learns from the information or feedback it is given, repeatedly, until, over time and without your conscious awareness or effort, it learns to organize itself more efficiently. And this manifests in your life by issues dropping away and life just seems easier.
We call it brain training. Not treatment. There is no assessment, no diagnosis, no special treatment program. We are caring qualified Trainers, who listen and help you to notice the transformational shifts and changes that occur.
In 2018, the FDA has approved NeurOptimal® to be “a General Wellness product, which presents a low risk to the safety of users and other persons. A General Wellness tool is intended to maintain and encourage a general state of health, to help to reduce the risk or impact of certain chronic diseases or conditions…” Read more…
How does NeurOptimal neurofeedback work?
When you come in to our office for a NeurOptimal®session you’ll sit in a comfy recliner, we will put ear clips on your ears and two small sensors on the sides of your head. You relax, close your eyes and listen to music or watch a movie.
The sensors on your head pick up the electrical signals that are generated by your brain and CNS. These signals are sent into the NeurOptimal® computer system. (This is basic electroencephalography (EEG) technology, which is a monitoring method to record electrical activity of the brain. It is noninvasive. EEG measures voltage fluctuations resulting from a certain current within the neutrons of the brain)
The NeurOptimal® system processes these brain/CNS signals very quickly and when it detects them moving into an “instability”, the NeurOptimal® software program is designed to generate a brief pause in the music or movie. That’s the feedback: a pause or interruption. It sounds like there’s static in the music.
NeurOptimal® is not putting anything into your brain. It is not taking anything out. No “zapping” anything.
NeurOptimal®can generate up to 256 pauses per second. That’s a lot of pauses! These pauses are happening in ‘real time’. No delay in the feedback as with other neurofeedback systems. There are so many pauses, and they are so brief and rapid that our conscious ear and brain is unable to register them all. This is why it’s okay if you go to sleep during a session. There’s nothing for your conscious brain to do. You just sit in the chair, relax and watch a movie or go to sleep. All of the pieces of feedback are working at an unconscious level.
Imagine you’re driving on the highway and you hear that familiar sound of the tires rolling over the rumble strip at the side of the road. What happens when you hear that sound? Alarm? Concern? Why did that happen? may be your first reactions and thoughts… but by the time you have had them, you’ve probably already corrected back into the ‘sweet spot’ of the road or lane!
Before we think about why we heard that startlingly loud noise, our brain has already taking action and enabled our hands to move the steering wheel to get the car into a more optimal place on the road. This has all happened unconsciously.
The sound of the tires on the rumble strip serves as an auditory piece of information to our brain about where we are on the road, about how we’re functioning, as a driver. That sound is a piece of feedback. No right or wrong, no judgement.
Similarly, the pause in the music generated by the NeurOptimal® software is an auditory piece of information to our brain/CNS about where we are at, about how our brain is functioning.
Just as the feedback of the rumble strip gives our brain/CNS information which enables our brain/CNS to make a shift back to the “sweet spot of the road”, so NeurOptimal® enables our brain to make a shift back to the “sweet spot of better functioning” in our life.
The brain/CNS adjusts its activity without any effort from you to stay “within” the rumble strip - many of our clients go to sleep! The brain does this on its own — NeurOptimal®doesn’t tell it to.
How does this translate into real life experiences?
Imagine you had been reaching into the back seat to get a snack from your bag when you heard the rumble strip sound. You immediately stop reaching and you realize your car veered to the side of the road because you stretched back to get the snack. You tell yourself, next time you’d best do something different, such as, put the snack in the front seat or, better yet, make sure to eat before you start driving.
If we break down the above ‘story’ into steps, they’d look something like this:
1. Being inefficient, ineffective = snack in back seat
2. Doing something that’s not ‘good functioning’ (while driving) = reaching into the back
3. Hearing the feedback (rumble strip)
4. Choosing a more effective, efficient, sustainable approach = snack in front seat or eating before driving
5. Stopping old pattern that’s not ‘good functioning’ = no more snacks in the back
Similarly, with the help of the feedback generated byNeurOptimal®, your brain can learn to see behaviour pattens, thought patterns, feeling patterns that are ineffective, inefficient and not ‘good functioning’, can learn to choose a better functioning solution.
Your brain knows what’s best for you!
Who can use NeurOptimal® neurofeedback?
At NeurOptimal® HQ, they like to say, with a smile: “Anybody with a brain! Anybody. Anywhere. Anytime.”
NeurOptimal® is used by top-flight, olympic athletes to enhance peak performance and by toddlers who are struggling with learning how to walk and talk. People who are sick use NeurOptimal®, people who are well use it. Some people use it on their pets.
Every time you use NeurOptimal®your brain receives information about what it has just done, micro-second by microsecond. It works with you wherever you are in that instant. So there is never any evaluation to do ahead of time, no decisions to make and no settings to change. You don’t have to worry about doing anything wrong, and neither can you over train. If your brain gets tired it just ignores the information, just as you might ignore a television that is on in the background. Safe, and effective.
For further reading about NeurOptimal® neurofeedback, click here to go to the NeurOptimal®website.