What is Brain Training?

The brain was designed to work efficiently. It was created to self-regulate, however in our busy world of today, days of constant stress put our brain into a constant “fight or flight” mode causing our nervous system to work overtime to manage.

This constant state of stress over long periods of time, combined with toxins, poor diet and lack of exercise can put your system into distress. This results in an increase in worry, fatigue, lack of focus, memory loss and decreased immunity to name a few.

NeurOptimal® gives information in the way of interrupts while listening to music. These interrupts mimic the patterns of the brain, giving it real time information of what the brain is doing in the moment. The brain and central nervous system will then use this information to stay on course or change frequency – training the brain how to correct given the right information.

The brain chooses the path that keeps it in balance and working efficiently. While there are no predetermined outcomes with neurofeedback, you can rest assured that nothing will go into the brain, push or pull the brain into any specific frequency. Brain training is not treatment, but over time the training will teach your brain to find its own path, at its own pace, and become empowered to function at its best while being more flexible and resilient.

“The brain has a mind of its own.”

 The trainer can give you a general idea based on past client experience of how many sessions it may take but each brain is unique and each training will produce different outcomes. To feel your best, you can expect 10 to 15 sessions initially, and it’s recommended that you refresh your training in the years following.

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While you may be unsure whether Cognitive Balance neurofeedback brain training is for you,

Mia can help determine what your goals are and whether brain training can get you closer to achieving them.

More about NeurOptimal ®

NeurOptimal® is a unique advanced neurofeedback system developed by two psychologists, Drs. Val and Sue Brown of the Zengar Institute based in Montreal, Canada. They have been using neurofeedback for over 40 years and worked to create NeurOptimal® in 2000 to teach the brain to self-correct on its own. They have logged over THREE MILLION hours of safe and effective usage.

This non-invasive system uses software that dynamically adapts to what the brain is doing in real-time. It takes 256 readings per second of the energy coming from the scalp and sends the information back to the brain. It is looking at changes in terms of Duration, Intensity, Frequency and Shift (DIFS) in the EEG Cortical Activity. Does the Signal last longer? Is it Stronger? Has the Frequency or Cycles Per Second changed in any way? Is there ‘Shift’ (a Flutter) indicating a Change is happening? Only information that the brain is doing in that moment is fed back to the brain by way of interruptions in the music the client is listening to through the system. This is unique to NeurOptimal®. No other system in world measures the brain activity like this and in such real time.

To receive the training in the comfort of your home, you’ll sit in a comfortable chair while two sensors are placed on the scalp and two on each ear. You may sleep or read quietly during the 33-minute session while the training does all the work. What you’ll hear is music either by ear buds or speakers and the interruptions in the music is the negative feedback that is giving auditory information back to your brain/central nervous system. Everyone gets the same music and same session. It is your brain/central nervous system that will learn over time to self-correct and work more efficiently and optimally, so you’d feel your best.

What is Neurofeedback?

Though based in technology, neurofeedback is a 100% non-invasive, drug-free, brain training system that helps the central nervous system (CNS) make the best use of your brain’s natural resources. NeurOptimal® is extremely powerful and effective.

 NeurOptimal®’s neurofeedback system is a powerful technology that can greatly enhance your well-being and generally help you get the most out of life. Brain training can unlock untapped potential and help you achieve long-held goals and dreams. Neurofeedback has been around for almost 40 years, but its practical use was inhibited by the scarcity of a practical delivery system. In the past, a neurofeedback interface would require a room full of computers and technicians. Today, Zengar® Institute, Inc. has created a simple, interactive software that harnesses this powerful technology in an easy to-use program called NeurOptimal® that loads onto a laptop computer. Because neurofeedback has been time-tested, it is also very safe.  (Zengar Institute Inc., 2017).

How is NeurOptimal® different from other systems?

There are a few key factors that distinguish NeurOptimal® from other neurofeedback systems:

1) NeurOptimal® is effective because it is designed to work best with your individual brain. It does not attempt to “fix” predetermined conditions or pin down specific problems. This was a limitation in many earlier neurofeedback systems. Often, resolving one problem in one area could cause problems elsewhere. The heart of the NeurOptimal® system – Dynamical Neurofeedback® – is a proprietary technology based in neuroscience and specifically designed with the naturally non-linear function of the human brain in mind. NeurOptimal® is built to harness the incredibly dynamic nature of your brain in a way other system simply cannot match. As a result, this neurofeedback system can be used effectively to address a wide array of complaints without specifically “targeting” them from the outset of the training.

2) NeurOptimal® neurofeedback is extremely safe. It is non-invasive, nothing goes into the brain. Research shows your own brain “knows best” and therefore the NeurOptimal® brain training system does not force or “push” the brain in any one direction. Basically, Dynamical Neurofeedback® provides your brain with the information it needs to correct itself and function at its most optimal. NeurOptimal® simply enables your own brain’s natural process of self-correction. 

3) NeurOptimal® requires no effort on the user’s part. Some brain training systems require the user to “interact” by playing games or solve puzzles during sessions. This additional level of interaction is unnecessary with the NeurOptimal® neurofeedback system. During a training session, you can simply relax and enjoy ​(Zengar Institute Inc., 2017)!

What happens during a training session?

A trainer will have you fill out a survey listing the concerns and/or challenges that have brought you into his/her office. You will next be placed in a quiet space and in a comfortable position. The trainer will attach special sensors to your head that will feed your brain wave patterns into the NeurOptimal® program’s software. A neurofeedback training session is relaxing, enjoyable and typically lasts about 30 minutes. As the session starts, you will hear music play through headphones, you will hear occasional “skips” or interruptions in the music – this is the signal that prompts your brain to shift and optimize itself. At the end of a session, you will most likely feel more relaxed and more mentally clear. It is unlikely you will experience any negative after-effects as NeurOptimal® does not artificially “push” the brain in any specific direction. Many users experience a sense of calmness and increase focus after a session. (Zengar Institute Inc., 2017).

Why should I use neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback training provides a multitude of benefits for the brain and body, including: helping with sleep management, improved mental acuity and enhanced performance. Trainers and clients –millions and growing- have used the NeurOptimal® system to address a number of physical, emotional and cognitive challenges with great success.

 1) PHYSICAL, COGNITIVE AND EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES: Adults, as well as children, have used NeurOptimal® neurofeedback to address feeling low or sad, help improve “mental acuity”, promote healthy sleep habits, improve feeling calm and focused, help improve better stress management, enhance learning capacity, boost self-esteem.

 2) GENERAL WELLNESS: NeurOptimal® neurofeedback encourages an overall positive mental outlook and a deeper understanding of the mind/body connection. For those looking to enhance their daily health and wellness, neurofeedback training can be an excellent supplement to a healthy diet and exercise routine to further your personal enrichment in life.

 3) BRAIN FITNESS/AGE REMEDIATION: Along with healthy lifestyle choices, neurofeedback can be a powerful tool to help exercise your brain to support the natural decline that occurs as we age. Just as physical exercise benefits the body, brain training keeps the brain fit and resilient. Neurofeedback can help improve mental acuity and focus.

 4) PEAK PHYSICAL/MENTAL PERFORMANCE: A growing number of Olympic and professional athletes now use neurofeedback to provide that critical mental edge which often results in gold medals and championships. When competitors are separated by 100ths of a second, the improved mental focus and physical performance neurofeedback provides can mean the difference between winning and losing. But you don’t have to be a pro athlete to enjoy the benefits of neurofeedback. Looking to improve your golf game? Want to be a better pitcher for your company softball team? Neurofeedback can help improve eye-hand co-ordination, increase calmness and focus and decrease performance anxiety.

 5) IMPROVED ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: Because neurofeedback training enhances concentration and mental focus, students use brain training as a critical tool to improve their performance in school.

How many NeurOptimal® sessions will I need?

“How long will it take?” is a question many clients ask (second only to “What results can I expect”?). There is no standard answer to this question because everyone’s central nervous system is unique. While we cannot predict what your brain will do with the information it receives from our neurofeedback training, we can offer a few guidelines.

 The Six Session “Rule”
We often tell clients that they will likely notice SOMETHING shift within six sessions. Early on, clients commonly report shifts in their sleep patterns, feeling well rested, having an improved outlook and engaging more effectively with colleagues or loved ones. Changes you experience may or may not be related to the goals you came in with, but generally speaking, any kind of shift is a positive indication that the brain training is working as designed.

Specifically, clients describe feeling clearer, calmer, lighter or brighter for a few hours after the session – a feeling that typically will last through the week, from one neurofeedback training session to the next (weekly sessions being the most common). Eventually, this new centered way of being becomes their “new normal”. Only if they get thrown off by a negative event -a bad day at work, chemicals, a knock on the head – might they drop into the way they felt before. But generally, they will not dip as deeply into emotional discomfort and will more than likely bounce back from challenging situations much more quickly and easily.

The “New Normal” Threshold
How much neurofeedback training does it take to get to your “new normal”? Problems that originated earlier in life we find these areas take longer for your brain to re-train. Training is then up to the individual circumstance, how long you have had your problem and how severe it is, but in the end, training is determined by you and how you are advancing and feeling. The more brain training you do, the more the positive effects will stay with you. Much like learning a language or a physical skill like rollerblading, “practice makes perfect”. The more sessions you undergo, the better your brain fitness.

You can stop whenever you feel ready and return for booster sessions to tune up and strengthen what your brain has already learned. You will never lose what you have, even if it your brain’s optimal operation becomes a little rusty. In fact, many clients continue brain training on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to maintain their brain fitness for a lifetime. NeurOptimal® is non-invasive and gentle training for your brain, so it may be used as long as you like. Similar to the benefits of exercise for the body, neurofeedback can be an important tool for brain health, as it keeps the central nervous system in tip-top shape. You can make NeurOptimal® neurofeedback training central to your personal brain fitness program as you age (Zengar Institute Inc., 2017).

Now for your fur friends

Brain training is so safe it can be used on animals small and large alike. If your pet is aggressive, fearful, on edge, disobedient, lacking energy or difficult to train, maybe brain training is the solution you are looking for. Help your pet become more enjoyable to be around.

If you have a dog or horse that competes this might be what you need for getting that competitive edge.


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