Expertise brought to you from a Californian neurofeedback center.
Through non invasive neurofeedback training, we simply provide mirror to a selected cerebral functions, your brain does the rest.
Before reading on about what neurofeedback is and how it works I would like to provide an explanation of how a regular (neurotypical) client can benefit from it. I will use a metaphor, so please keep an open mind.
Just for a moment, think of your current neural circuits and networks that are being active in your head right now - as electrical connections inside a sphere that has a protective layer around itself (see pic. above). That, which is active electricity inside the sphere - is your personality. Whenever we encounter stressful or anxious situations in life, the sphere, ideally, should interact with those situations without breaking the protective layer. However, if this layer is temporarily broken or disrupted, the personality is subjected to outside pressure and influence. The personality remains under stress until the protective layer is repaired, and it again functions safely inside the sphere.
In people with chronical stress disorders, this personality layer of protection is in a constant state of repair, so the nervous system is rarely functioning in a safe mode. Instead it is constantly trying to establish and fix the outer shell, but most of the time unsuccessfully.
With the help of neurofeedback, in the first few sessions it is possible to establish a neural (electrical) personality. After it is done, we may start building up and strengthening that protective layer. Once the personality is comfortably functioning inside a strongly protective layer, decision making will originate from the personalities’ core and not from the defensive need to repair the protective shell.
It is worth noting that in most cases we are not creating a personality, but instead a strong protective layer around it (think Earth ozone layer).
Clients who undergo a full training, experience a surge of energy and a clear feeling of purposeful direction. Once the brain strengthens the protective layer of your personality, it no longer needs to waste as much energy towards constantly repairing it. Therefore, you will get more time and energy to enjoy life and its beautiful moments.
What is neurofeedback and what does it mean to train your brain with NFB?
To put it very simply, our brain is an extremely complex regulating entity. Everything we experience sensually, emotionally and especially intellectually is being processed and interpreted by the brain. In our current society there are multiple tools available for attempting to interact and improve the cognitive functioning of the brain. The two most widely known and used are: psychological therapy where a trained therapist attempts to unravel the emotional knots from previous traumatic experiences; and chemical interventions via medication.
Both are effective, but have its drawbacks: time consuming in case of therapy and addictive with negative side effects in the case of most types of medication.
Neurofeedback on the other hand is as effective as medication, with one BIG difference: your brain retains or gets to keep the effects of the training. Whereas once the client stops taking medication, in most cases, after a period of time, regression to old patterns occurs. (citation)
What does this mean?
The client is sitting in front of a screen and either watches a movie or is playing a video game. At the same time, using Silver-made ultrasensitive sensors, the client’s electrical brain activity is being read and interpreted with the help of Neurofeedback software. The software, then, will feed that activity back to the client via the same screen he or she is watching the movie on. While the client is concentrated on the screen, the color will fade from the picture or the audio volume might decrease (to name a few), therefore letting the client know that their brainwave activity needs to change in order for the picture to return to color again.
All of us have brainwave frequencies within 5 bands.
If our brain is unable to switch efficiently between those ranges or states, we get stuck in either one for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, we are unable to function efficiently.
A very common example is sleep or falling and staying asleep.
Once we are done with the day and are trying to fall asleep, our brain downshifts from Alpha activity into Theta, and eventually into Delta activity (in deeper sleep). If we are unable to shift from Alpha into Theta, we lay in a consciously awake state.
Also a problem for a lot of people is staying asleep. If our brain is untrained in switching between states and has been recently emotionally traumatized, it tends to break sleep of its own accord and return to the awake state of Alpha or even Beta (anxiety) activity. With the help of neurofeedback we can train these separate states of activity, and we can learn to switch between them efficiently. Leading to a better and healthier sleep.
Another example is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It simply means that a person cannot switch between theta, alpha, beta and produce sufficient amount of high-theta waves. With the help of neurofeedback, you can train the cortex to relax and stay in desired states of activity for longer periods of time.
In other words, Neurofeedback is TAKING charge and REMAINING in charge of your personality and its cognitive functions.
Watch this great explanatory video done by Dr. Mike Cohen in the U.S.A