What Is Neurofeedback?
What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a way of displaying information about your brain’s electrical activity (sometimes referred to as brain waves) in a user-friendly format, allowing you to learn to regulate specific behaviors or states, such as your ability to pay attention even when stressed.
What is NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback, and How Does It Work?
NeurOptimal® is an advanced form of Neurofeedback developed by two Clinical Psychologists, Drs. Valdeane and Susan Brown. Their proprietary algorithms (mathematical calculations & rules) allow their software to sample data from your brain 256 times in one second, and then provide feedback to your brain about what it’s doing, thus allowing the brain to reorganize itself, one micro-second at a time.
It is not a medical treatment, and does not require a diagnosis. It trains your brain to respond with optimal flexibility, resilience and self-regulation. In other words, it allows you to respond as you would ideally like to, rather than the way you always have; to keep going and stay positive when things get tough; and to do the things you want to do, and not do the things you don’t want to, even when habit or temptation tells you otherwise. It can help you concentrate on an algebra problem or your financial statement when you feel like running away or zoning out; to not panic when you feel threatened; to relax and sleep, rather than lie awake and ruminate about the day.
Some Terms: We refer to NeurOptimal® as providing Brain Training, and we say that we “run” a session or a “journey” when we train our brains; we do not have or receive “treatments”. We sometimes abbreviate “NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback” as “NO NFB” or simply “NO.”
How is NO different from other systems?
NeurOptimal® is significantly different from classic NeuroFeedback systems.
Allow me to ask you a seemingly random question as I explain.
Have you ever not seen yourself in the mirror for awhile, and then caught a glimpse of yourself, only to realize that you had spinach in your teeth, or that your tie was crooked, or that you were slouching? And did you ever find yourself immediately correcting what was wrong, without needing someone else to prompt you?
This is a simplified version of a key theory behind NeurOptimal®. Its premise is that the brain knows best how to correct itself, once it is given the right information about what it is doing.
Abrupt, inconsistent changes in the brains electrical activity undermines it’s optimal performance. NeurOptimal® detects these abrupt changes, and then alerts the brain to their presence by interrupting the music you are listening to (explained below). These interruptions cause your central nervous system to pull away from its path of electrical activity, and to re-organize itself. With training, this happens over and over, until the new efficient, resilient path becomes your new “normal.”
Classic Neurofeedback does not recognize that the brain can change itself, and therefore it relies upon the expertise of the practitioner, and sophisticated equipment, to attempt to “push” or “pull” the brain towards certain activity. Unintended side-effects are not uncommon with this approach.