What is neurofeedback?

NeurOptimal® neurofeedback 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 cognitive potential and help you achieve long-held goals and dreams.  Neurofeedback users enjoy the benefits of reduced stress, improved sleep and relief from conditions that used to hold them back from becoming all they were meant to be.

How does it work?

Much like a mirror that promotes self-correction, NeurOptimal®'s proprietary neurofeedback program monitors your brain waves and then provides "feedback" to your central nervous system about what it has just done.  When the software detects a a tremor in your brain wave pattern, it sends an audible signal that encourages the brain to "reset" and self-correct.

NeurOptimal® is similar to physical training for the body in that it allows for flexibility and strengthens the brain, returning the brain and central nervous system to a healthier and more natural state.  A truly flexible and resilient mind allows you to respond appropriately to an increased range of situations and environments.  Much of our suffering comes from pervasive recurring thoughts and feelings in which our minds become emotionally stranded or cognitively "stuck."  Neurofeedback prompts the brain to draw from existing resources and pull itself out of these mental "ruts."  The result is a more open and positive mindset in which obstacles are more manageble and problems more resolveable.

When your brainwaves show turbulence (a sign of chronic stress) NeurOptimal® neurofeedback feeds this information back to your brain and your brain resets itself to a more optimal state of functioning, we refer to this as operant conditioning which is a method where rewards for positive behaviour increase learning capabilities.  Repeating this process over time re-trains the brain to maintain calm and focus on real and present information, rather than building stress upon stress to overwhelming levels.


Neurofeedback training is based on the scientific finding that we can all learn to change our brain's functioning through feedback about brain wave activity.  The brain is capable of reorganizing itself to the point of producing new neural circuitry in response to specific training- this is currently referred to as "neuroplasticity."  Improving brain function helps to significantly reduce or eliminate the underlying causes of many conditions that cause discomfort.

WHY SHOULD I USE NEUROFEEDBACK?

Neurofeedback training provides a multitude of benefits for the brain and body, including: improved sleep, heightened mental clarity and enhanced cognitive performance.

In addition, neurofeedback users have used the system to address a number of physical, emotional and cognitive complaints with great success.  These fall into a few general categories:

1. PHYSICAL, COGNITIVE, AND EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES.

Adults, as well as children, have used NeurOptimal® neurofeedback to address the negative effects arising from depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, Memory Difficulties, autism, Insomnia/Sleep problems, Chemo Brain, Headaches/Migraines, Traumatic Brain Injury and other complaints.  The FDA has approved neurofeedback as effective for stress reduction.

UPDATE: As of November, 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has endorsed neurofeedback as a "Level 1/Best Support" Intervention for children with ADHD.  Furthermore, many studies have equated neurofeedback with medication in terms of efficacy for ADHD.

2. GENERAL WELLNESS

NeurOptimal® neurofeedback encourages and 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.

3. BRAIN FITNESS/AGE REMEDIATION:

Along with healthy lifestyle choices, NeurOptimal® neurofeedback can be a powerful tool to mediate cognitive decline that naturally occurs as we age.  Just as physical exercise benefits the body, NeurOptimal® keeps the brain fit and resilient.

4. PEAK PHYSICAL/MENTAL PERFORMANCE:

A growing number of Olympic and professional athletes now use neurofeedback to provide that critical mental edge.  The training provides an improved mental focus that can mean the difference between winning and losing.  But you don't have to be a professional athlete to enjoy the benefits of neurofeedback. 

5. IMPROVED ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

Because neurofeedback training enhances concentration and mental focus, students use NeurOptimal® as a critical tool to improve performance in school.  Unlike pharmaceuticals, NeurOptimal® is 100% drug-free and has no known side effects (apart from improved sleep!)

DO THE EFFECTS LAST?

The great part about neurofeedback is that results are often permanent.  Although life stressors, or chemical imbalances may resurface throughout our lifespan, the training that you do is has a long-lasting impact.  You may need to come back for "booster" sessions, but unlike medications, this does not require a daily, life-long commitment in order to experience a reduction in symptoms.

At Psychology Calgary, we believe that by addressing the system that controls our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions- the central nervous system- we are setting you up for the greatest chance of success. As the brain learns how to regulate itself with increasing efficiency, flexibility, and resiliency, individuals can experience significant improvements in their personal and professional lives.