What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, or EEG biofeedback, is an offspring of biofeedback. Biofeedback uses a machine to elicit information about automatic functioning of the body, such as heart rate, and then uses that information to intentionally change the body’s functioning, such as by breathing more slowly to lower the heart rate.
In neurofeedback, the device gathers information about the brain’s automatic (and often dysfunctional) activity and feeds or mirrors back that information in a way that will elicit the brain’s organic self-correcting behaviour. (Unlike in biofeedback, in neurofeedback there is no conscious action made to effect the change. It is the automatic brain “communicating” with itself.)
Neurofeedback arose out of an evolving understanding of the brain. Specifically, the wave patterns of electricity – as measured by an EEG readout – reveal the brain’s functioning; Neurofeedback affects a change in those patterns, which in turn allows symptoms to be relieved.
Anyone can benefit from neurofeedback training, just like anyone can benefit from going to the gym.
NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback trains the brain to function optimally by using present-moment information rather than habituated, often maladaptive, response patterns. During training the brain uses visual and auditory information offered by NeurOptimal to re-organize itself and release old patterns of “stuckness.” The result is effortless transformation with little unwanted effects. Clients train for a variety of reasons: peak performance, alleviation of symptoms, emotional issues, learning problems, and personal/spiritual growth.
What happens during a neurofeedback therapy session?
During a neurofeedback session you wear two small sensors on your head and clips on your ears that measure your brainwave activity. You sit in a comfortable chair and listen to music and can also watch fractal images on a screen. (You can also close your eyes, and, if you fall asleep, the training still occurs.) When the computer identifies brainwave patterns that are habitual, it stops the music. You may hear “scratching” sounds when this is occuring. These interruptions signal the brain to self-correct into more relaxed and effective patterns. Often clients feel clearer and more at ease by the end of the 40-minute session.
How many neurofeedback therapy sessions are needed?
Study results of 1.2 million neurofeedback therapy sessions indicate significant improvement was seen after 11-20 therapy sessions. Neurofeedback patients, on average, train for 15-25 therapy sessions. Results vary, and on rare occasions, minimal results are seen.
What neurofeedback is NOT…..
- adding anything to or “shocking” your brain. All the changes that occur come from your own brain deciding how to optimize its functioning based on the information communicated back to it through interruptions in the music.
- treating specific disorders. Rather, the brain is training in using feedback in order to self-correct. As a result, functioning improves in many areas of one’s health. The training does not require you to make any effort during the session in order to be effective; rather,the central nervous system integrates the feedback outside of your conscious awareness. “You mean I don’t have to do anything?” “Yes, that’s right!”
- changing your personality. If you identify with your anxiety or depression and they start to dissipate, you may want to examine who you are beyond those symptoms. This shift is often a time when clients find a more creative, playful self.
Neuroplasticity and Neurofeedback
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to “rewire” or reorganize itself by forming or changing neural connections, altering the functioning of different parts of the brain. In recent years neuroplasticity has gained attention due to popular writings by doctors such as Oliver Sacks and Deepak Chopra. These authors report how research shows that the brain is changeable throughout life, not just in the formative years of childhood, as was previously thought.
Neurofeedback training is the application of neuroplasticity by giving the brain information about its most recent behaviour. This feedback allows the brain to use its plastic nature to change how it functions in order to perform more efficiently and effectively—even when there are areas of damage such as with strokes and brain injuries.
What Our Neurofeedback Patients Say
“Whenever I am starting to lose my way or feeling the anxiety arising again if I have another session or two of neurofeedback it helps me get back on track. It makes no sense to me but I do experience results.”
About Neurofeedback NY
At Neurofeedback NY one can use the neurofeedback therapy as a stand-alone training or in conjunction with contemplative psychotherapy. Learn more about our trainers.
For any questions about neurofeedback or psychotheraphy practice call 347-860-4778 or contact us here.