Monday, August 22, 2011

How Does Neurofeedback Work?

Your brain is the most complex system on Earth. It is masterful at taking in information and using it to reorganize itself to maximize efficiency and minimize discomfort. If you give it the right information, it will use it to meet those goals.

The type of neurofeedback I use does just that, it gives it the right information, hundreds of times in a session.

NeurOptimal™ gives your brain feedback on what it's doing, right now, in real time, while you are listening to a sound stream, usually music.

It does this by reading the electricity on the surface of your scalp - your EEG - and using complex mathematical transforms to tell your system when it is about to shift states, right now (lose focus, start to obsess, whatever that is for you).

This means tiny pauses in the sound stream that happen just when your brain is about to tip into a change of state. Your brain is alerted by the pause, comes back to the present and can assess, does it really want to go there? Typically, over time, it just doesn't go to the maladaptive states any more, or at least far less often. (It takes more to get to you!)

Other forms of neurofeedback are more likely to utilize protocols - for example, you "win" at a video game when you produce the desired increase or decrease in a frequency range. This pushes or pulls the brain in a direction - that's why there can be side effects with these types of systems.

Your brain uses the information NeurOptimal™ gives it to become more efficient, flexible and resilient - in the way that is right for you. Your Central Nervous System (the brain and spinal cord) is the expert on reorganizing your system.

What that means in your life will be unique to you. It can be things like:
  • Improved sleep
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Less frequency, intensity and duration of migraines
  • A better golf score
  • Lighter mood and more fun
  • More focus and concentration
  • Less reactivity
But it will be unique to you and your brain. What would you like to see change? If you don't see it on the list above, you are welcome to email me. You can also read more about what to expect in a neurofeedback session on my website.

And you can post comments or questions right here on the blog.

Catherine Boyer
New York Neurofeedback

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