Introducing Neuroptimal® Neurofeedback to our Encinitas office!

Updated: Mar 24, 2020

Neurofeedback promotes calm and focus in kids as well as adults.

Clients love it, Olympic athletes swear by it, clinicians find it to be extremely effective both alone and in conjunction with other therapies. It is probably the most exciting new(ish) technology on the trauma treatment frontier. So why haven’t you heard of neurofeedback? What exactly is neurofeedback?

The first recording of the brain’s electrical activity was actually made way back in 1924. Since then, it’s been well understood that brain activity depends on both chemical and electrical signals, although the advent of modern pharmacology (and the massive amounts of money involved with it) effectively squashed interest in anything but brain chemistry until the last few decades.

However, since different brain waves correspond with different activity (like solving math problems or snuggling with a loved one), researchers have continued to search for ways to use brain waves both in the diagnosis and treatment of mental conditions. For instance, in 2013 “slow-wave prefrontal activity was certified by the Food and Drug Administration as a biomarker for ADHD” (van der Kolk, 2015). Because many mental conditions are difficult or impossible to treat with drugs alone, there has been a resurgence of interest in the use of electroencephalography (fancy word for brain wave detection). Which leads us to neurofeedback.

During a neurofeedback session, the brain’s electrical activity is recorded and essentially played back to the brain. This is important, because our brains learn by experiencing the results of our actions and adapt accordingly. In the older models of neurofeedback, the brain would be rewarded for staying more in certain brain wave ranges than others. For example, a person doing this kind of neurofeedback would be hooked up to electrodes while they played something like a simple video game. The object of the game might be to move a green car along a track. The green car would move in response to the types of brain waves the therapist wanted to encourage for that client. Essentially, the brain would be trained to use more of that type of brain wave. The desired brain wave could be a type associated with greater calm and relaxation, increased motivation, or other feelings. Unfortunately, this type of neurofeedback can come with side effects, because it is a rather one-size-fits-all approach.

After much consideration, we have chosen a safe, non-invasive model of neurofeedback for our practice called NeurOptimal®. This cutting edge technology diverges somewhat from the older models of neurofeedback. NeurOptimal® neurofeedback is based on the knowledge that all brains are unique and will not all respond to the same stimuli in the same way. Our beautifully complex brains are the way they are for a number of reasons: genetics, individual history (including trauma), upbringing, and lifestyle. NeurOptimal® makes brilliant use of the body’s self-healing capabilities. Just like our skin heals from a cut without any special action on our part, our brains are inherently oriented towards healing as well. And, just like cleaning a cut and getting stitches can accelerate healing, proper brain care can do the same.

Our brain waves are changing all the time. NeurOptimal® works by reflecting the brain’s changes in activity back to it. Then, the brain gets to decide if it wants to keep going on that same track or do something different. With enough “training,” our body’s self-healing capabilities kick in and our brains move closer to optimal states by receiving NeurOptimal® neurofeedback. The result? Clearer thinking, increased emotional resilience, decreases in stress and anxiety, and even a lifting of depression.

NeurOptimal® isn’t just for trauma or mental problems. One of the most amazing things about this type of neurofeedback is that it helps even the healthiest of brains achieve optimal performance. Need to steady your nerves to improve your golf swing? NeurOptimal® is beloved by the golf community because it helps you do just that. Do you work in a highly competitive industry that requires clear thinking and quick problem-solving skills? NeurOptimal® can improve those qualities as well.

********************************************************************************************Call us today to book a session! We are currently running a Fall Self-Care Special through December 15th: your first session for $75. (This is a savings of $55!)


Check out this video of Olympic rower Govert Viergever describing his experience with NeurOptimal®:

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