Neurofeedback is direct training for the brain which enhances its ability to regulate resilience and flexibility. Resilience is an important aspect of brain performance as it enhances its ability to bounce back from the ups and downs of life. Improved flexibility increases the brain’s capacity to deal with changes and think about problems in new and creative ways. Individuals with a variety of challenges report greater resilience and flexibility, as well as, improved self-organization, higher degrees of self-control, and increased clarity. This may manifest most visibly as improvements in tolerance.
Yes, neurofeedback training is completely non-intrusive and safe and has been used clinically for over 30 years. Neurofeedback training uses your brain’s own resources – nothing is imposed and there is no artificial stimulation. Neurofeedback relies on your Central Nervous System’s (CNS) inherent intelligence to make changes where it feels it needs to. It is not directing your brain in any way, just providing it with more real-time information, similar to when we look in a mirror and assess ourselves visually. We do not always have a mirror with us, but when we use a mirror, we may make changes based on what we see. We make adjustments based on what we learn about ourselves by looking in a mirror. Neurofeedback acts like a mirror for the brain, and your CNS makes changes based on what it has learned from this new information.
Health Canada has determined that NeurOptimal® is a Consumer Product, and the FDA has determined NeurOptimal® to be a General Wellness Device.
A typical session involves sitting in a comfortable chair, having two sensors attached to the scalp and 3 clips attached to the ears. The sensors are safe, painless, and ‘passive instruments’. They only collect and transmit the electrical activity of the brain to the software for processing – they DO NOT introduce any electric current to the brain, ears or scalp. Earbuds are placed in the ears so you can listen to music while receiving brain training. The training itself is 33 minutes in length and nothing is required of the individual other than listening to the music. This is all that is needed for the neurofeedback system to connect with your brain and begin to reflect back information about what it has just done. Most people find training sessions quite pleasant and relaxing. The audio and visual feedback is specifically designed to alert and inform your brain, provoking improved regulation.
Typically, the more serious the concerns, the more sessions may be desired on the part of the individual. The process involves learning, and every person is unique, therefore, the pace of change is also unique. Gains are cumulative – they build over the course of the individual’s sessions. While some people may reach their personal goals within 10-20 sessions, others may seek 30-40, before all of their desired results are achieved.
Yes, you can be using medication while receiving neurofeedback training. The basic difference between medication and neurofeedback training is that medication is chemically regulating the brain, whereas neurofeedback trains the brain to regulate itself independently. It is not directing your brain in any way, just providing it with more real-time information.
IMPORTANT: We strongly encourage you to contact your prescribing doctor while receiving NeurOptimal® neurofeedback training and taking prescription medication. This way your medication levels can be closely and professionally monitored.
The scientific understanding of the way the brain works has been changing rapidly. Just a few decades ago, electrical patterns in the brain were believed to be unimportant and unchangeable. Neurofeedback was originally dismissed as ‘scientifically impossible’. We now know that long held beliefs about the brain were completely incorrect. Neuroscience has advanced quickly and the medical community can be slow to integrate new approaches based on the rapidly evolving information. Change is coming from a fundamental shift in philosophy, approach, and through consumer demand for non-invasive, drug-free solutions. Slowly, but steadily, more and more individuals are taking advantage of this simple, safe, and non-invasive option.