What to Expect with Neurofeedback

Experience NeurOptimal Neurofeedback

 

Becoming a client and working with the NeurOptimal neurofeedback system is a lot of fun because it is so effortless. You just sit and relax in a comfortable chair and listen to music, maybe watch an intriguing image or movie and your brain does the work for you!

NeurOptimal neurofeedback trainers do not spend time (and your money) diagnosing you. This is because NeurOptimal neurofeedback trainers do not need to tell your brain what to do. Instead, the NeurOptimal neurofeedback system works with where your brain is moment by moment, while it naturally releases its own “points of stuckness” and creates richer access to all the frequencies it needs for optimal flow and function.

Dr. Nicola will talk with you to discover what it is you are looking for, and together you will decide how you will know whether it is helping you. While people vary in how much they perceive during a session (whether you can feel it or not does not affect how it is working), you will not need to take it on trust that it is helping you. You will experience a difference. Determining ahead the measures you will use to know whether it is helping you, is an important part of the initial session.

The changes produced by the NeurOptimal neurofeedback system can be subtle and seamless, yet very profound at the same time. They are changes that, in the past, were considered very difficult or even impossible to obtain, let alone obtain naturally and easily. You might notice a difference in the way you react to something, or a difference in how the world seems around you and you may find yourself asking “I wonder if that’s to do with the neurofeedback?”. In our experience, that’s a good clue that it is!

 

What happens during a session?

Dr. Nicola will have you sit in a comfortable chair and look at a computer screen in front of you. She may ask you to  fill in a brief questionnaire that asks you to describe how you are feeling today.
Dr. Nicola will use some paste to place a tiny sensor on each side of your head, and two earclips on each ear. The paste is necessary to help pick up the delicate electrical activity of your brain. Much like an EKG it is reading what is coming from you- nothing is going into you. If there is any paste remaining afterwards, it comes off very easily with water.

She will likely record a baseline and review that with you before starting the training. While this is not necessary for the training, it can be fun to look at some measures of how you are at the beginning and end of your session. While the NeurOptimal neurofeedback system offers some very exciting ways of assessing your progress, in the end it is always how you are doing in your life that counts. After all, that is what brought you into training in the first place!

Then you will start your neurofeedback training. Depending upon what you are watching and listening to, there will be brief pauses in the sound and the image will briefly pause or change. The very precise timings of these pauses is what gives the brain the information it needs to reorganize itself. Sometimes the pauses are so quick you may not consciously notice them. You can just relax and let your brain do its job, which it will without any effort on your part. You can even close your eyes if you want. The training time can vary from 20 mins upwards, with most trainers doing about 30-33 minutes. And after you have finished, they will record another baseline and compare it with when you came in.

Dr. Nicola is there to help you and answer any questions you may have, so please do discuss these with them. The most challenging thing can be trying to understand how the NeurOptimal neurofeedback system works. Even those who have worked with it for years still marvel at how miraculous it can be, so don’t worry if you don’t understand. Luckily, you don’t have to- transformation is going to happen in its own way as it will without the conscious effort of any of us!

 

How many sessions will I need?

How long will it take is a question many clients ask. It is also related to another question- what results can I expect? These are questions that are not easy to answer because we can never predict what your brain will do with the information the NeurOptimal neurofeedback system gives it, but we can offer some guidelines.

We often tell clients that we would expect to see SOMETHING shift within six sessions. And usually it is much quicker than that. So the person sleeps better, feels less anxious, is able to focus better and so on. It may or may not be related to what you came in with, but something is shifting. If we see anything shift- even if for some reason it was not in the direction you wanted, that would be a good sign that the NeurOptimal neurofeedback system can help you. These are all signs of your CNS (central nervous system) responding to the information it is receiving.

Usually clients say that they felt clearer, calmer, lighter, brighter- whatever it is, for a few hours after the neurofeedback session. Then they report that it lasted until the next morning, then for a couple of days, and so on. So if someone is coming in for training once a week- the most common session frequency, gradually the effects will last through the week. By that time, this new centered way of being becomes the new norm, and only if they get thrown off by something (a bad day at work, chemicals, a knock on the head) do they drop into the way they felt before. But they generally do not feel as bad and get out of it much more quickly and easily.

How long does this take? As the NeurOptimal neurofeedback system has evolved, the time this takes has gotten quicker and quicker. So where we used to say about 20 sessions for help with issues that are bothering you in the “here and now” and 30 plus sessions for “deeper” problems that originated much earlier in your life and keep cropping up to interfere with your life today, we are now finding results occur in less time. It is possible you could be feeling much better in fewer than ten sessions.

In the end, the more neurofeedback training you do, the more your new learning will stay with you. It is much like learning a language or a physical skill like roller blading. The more sessions, the stronger the skill. But what is true, is that you can stop when you feel ready, and come back for booster sessions to strengthen what you have learned. Indeed, some clients like to continue coming on a monthly basis ongoing – they say they feel better when they do and they like to keep themselves in tip top shape, much like exercising.