What is Neuro-feedback?

I had heard many of my colleagues speak about using this technique with amazing results.  I am in practice to help my clients get to the place they want to be, so I inquired and researched.  I chose the NeurOptimal® system by Zengar to proceed doing neuro-feedback in my office.

Our brains do not always function optimally. Physical and emotional trauma, for example, can take a toll on the brain - rendering it stuck in neural pathways that are unproductive or inefficient. When this happens we might feel depressed, anxious, irritable, stressed, or overwhelmed. We might have problems with memory or sleep. We might have difficulty paying attention. We might experience hyperactivity, engage in addictive behavior, endure painful migraines, or perform well under our potential. Dr. Valdeane Brown and Dr. Susan Cheshire Brown, founders of the Zengar Institute, have developed NeurOptimal® neuro-feedback, a safe, effective way to train the brain to reorganize itself so it can function more effectively.

Neuro-feedback is a system that measures the brain wave patterns (thru EEG’s).  Brainwaves are the result of electromagnetic signals constantly generated by the human brain that can be measured by an EEG.     Neuro-feedback training uses the power of the modern computer to capture and analyze brainwave activity, and then turn it into useful information giving feedback to your brain about its own functioning.   The computer software measures the brainwave pattern, and gives feedback when the brainwaves are not firing in an “optimal” way, either too high, or too low.   Our brainwaves  receive this information as “turbulence”.   When it gets this information, it re-regulates and improves it’s functioning.

Neuro-feedback is a drug-free, non-invasive training process that can help restore the brain waves to better patterns of functioning.

What is a session like?

Clinical neuro-feedback takes advantage of the brain’s natural ability to train itself. During NeurOptimal® neuro-feedback training electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors are placed on the scalp and ears to detect electromagnetic energy or brainwave activity. This electrical signal is amplified, fed into a computer, then broadcast back to the brain as auditory stimuli. So in a session you’ll get quiet, comfortable, and still, and listen to enjoyable music. As you’re listening, your mind will simply do what it always does – shift between stable and unstable states. At the very moment your brain begins to shift into maladaptive perceptions, emotions, or sensations – an unstable state – the music will stop. The brain immediately becomes aware of the shift towards instability and, in an instant, returns to a stable state. That restarts the music. These unstable-to-stable state corrections occur over and over throughout a session.

Over the course of many sessions the brain learns, through practice, how to shift itself from states of instability to stability naturally and effortlessly. So after training, when you experience stressful events at work, at home, or at school, your brain will be able to spot any maladaptive perceptions, emotions, and sensations the moment they arise, and begin shifting you back to a stable state. For example, if irrational fear, anger, or shame arises, several dimensions of the experience may be different. (1) The intensity may be much less. (2) The duration may be shorter. (3) You may be able to just observe it and recognize it as irrational. (4) You may be able to experience the painful emotion without being invested in it or overwhelmed by it. (5) The shift from instability to stability may be so fast that you never even notice the painful emotion arising.

A brain will naturally reorganize itself in the direction of optimal mental performance. With clinical biofeedback, one must make a conscious effort to learn a new behavior, but with NeurOptimal® neuro-feedback the brain trains itself – automatically and effortlessly. No conscious effort is required.

We train our bodies through exercise to function the best it can, so why not our brain?

Neuro-feedback training has helped people with:

  1. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity
  2. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  3. Migraines/Headaches
  4. Decreased mental functioning (memory, alertness, concentration) 
  5. Epilepsy
  6. Fibromyalgia
  7. Sleep Management Problems
  1. Trauma
  2. Anxiety*
  3. Chronic Pain
  4. Depression 
  5. Weight Issues
  6. Fatigue
  7. PMS, Menopause

Neuro-feedback is also used extensively as an element of peak performance training for performers, golfers, athletes.    Some use it to achieve higher test results.  Anxiety can become a major hindrance to good test performance. Some of the symptoms may be extreme nervousness and memory lapses. Neuro-feedback (NF) training may help individuals with test anxiety to improve concentration and reduce uneasiness. It is recommended to receive NF training at least 2 weeks prior to the test. Four to six NF sessions lead to the most beneficial outcome. 

Anyone can benefit from improved brain function. The brain governs all physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual behaviors.