Neurofeedback FAQ

Neuroptimal® can assist everyone in moving toward their personal best.

Neuroptimal® sessions promote optimal mental and physical fitness for everyone looking to be at their best.  Your brain is capable of optimal functioning, but for most of us our central nervous system gets knocked off by the challenges of daily life.

Our mission is to help reduce stress, anger, bitterness, and impatience in ourselves and society as a whole.  This can be accomplished through neurofeedback, sometimes also referred to as neurotherapy or brain training.  Neuroptimal® Neurofeedback helps promote increased mental and emotional flexibility and resiliency, resulting in reduced internal and external conflict.

Do you ever find yourself asking these questions?

“Where did I go?  This didn’t use to be that hard.”

"Why can't I do a better job?"

“Why can't I just get it together?” or 

“Why can’t I just let go of that?"

Or about a loved one or friend, do you find yourself asking?

“What just happened?  Why did you just go there?”

“Why did you do that again?”

"Why can't you just get your act together?" or 

“Why did you bring that up again?”

We'd love to help shed some light on the answer to those questions…The brain did it.

The central nervous system consists of your brain and spinal cord.  The brain is the most complex part of the human body. It is the center of consciousness and also controls all voluntary and involuntary movement and bodily functions. The brain is at the top of the spinal column and communicates with each part of the body through a network of channels that carry electrical signals.  Your brain is capable of and desires to be at optimal functioning, but for most of us our central nervous system gets knocked off by the challenges of daily life. 

Your brain’s primary function, whether physically or mentally, is to keep you alive, help you survive, and to take you away from discomfort.  When you feel like you are stuck or like it takes all you have just to trudge through those heavy muddy waters to get through daily life or navigate decisions, your brain is very likely not at peak functioning.  Or if you find yourself acting and reacting to things in ways that leave you with regret, guilt or shame, it’s likely because the brain has gotten stuck, so to speak. 

Neurofeedback FAQ

Our experiences in life impact how our brain functions.  The brain's way of functioning that might have brought us comfort and helped us navigate what was going on at a prior point in time, might not be what is peak performance for us now. 

The great news is, NeurOptimal® Dynamical Neurofeedback® can assist your brain in optimizing itself for enhanced flexibility and resiliency.

In your NeurOptimal® session, you will notice periodic, random “interrupts,” or microsecond points where the music suddenly stops playing.  This is the feedback or the "attention getter" to the brain.  When the brain notices the interrupt, that triggers the brain to observe what it just did or is about to do.  If it finds there is adjustment that can be made to bring enhanced ability for functioning, whether to balance on a beam, heal your physical body, or help with mental or emotional well-being, then it will start to adjust and reorient itself to help you better accomplish whatever the task is.  This is how “symptoms” or areas in your life that do not feel good or that bring you discomfort can start to shift, and you can experience personal transformation that allows you to experience more flexibility and resiliency.  The end result...being able to more freely navigate and handle whatever life brings.

NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is different from other neurofeedback systems in that it is not trying to push, control or manipulate your brain, nor is there a practitioner making judgements about your brain and what it’s ideal state is, but instead Neuroptimal® is allowing your brain, in it’s individual infinite intelligence to determine what optimal functioning is, unique to you and who you were made to be.  Neurofeedback is sometimes also referred to as neurotherapy or brain training.  Ultimately, NeurOptimal® helps to naturally promote increased mental and emotional flexibility and resiliency, and thus helps reduce suffering and internal and external conflict.

NeurOptimal®’s Neurofeedback is 100% non-invasive, drug-free brain training that helps your brain make the best use of it's natural resources. NeurOptimal® Dynamical Neurofeedback® has been time tested over 20 years. In recognizing the deficits and side effects that linear neurofeedback are known to create, Clinical Psychologists, Drs. Sue and Val Brown together created non-linear Dynamical Neurofeedback®, which isn't pushing or entraining the brain, is not a medical treatment, but is instead training for the brain. Just as our body benefits from physical training, our brain benefits from brain training. NeurOptimal® is a powerful wellness tool that can greatly enhance your well-being and help you get the most out of life. Brain training can unlock untapped cognitive potential and help you achieve your goals and dreams.

Yes, NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is safe for anyone to use because nothing is being forced on or added to your brain. Your brain does all the work by observing and responding to interruptions in the music that plays through the system. This helps your brain to optimize itself naturally. NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is FDA approved as safe for consumers to use without a doctor’s permission. It is considered a general wellness device and not a medical device. When you are listening to NeurOptimal® you will hear brief micro-pauses in the sound. Once you settle into a session, you might hardly even notice them. If listening to pauses in music were risky, Founder and Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Val Brown jokes that you would have to hold the record companies liable for damages from old scratchy records! Certainly, playing records in their hey-day did not seem to adversely affect millions of music lovers. For this reason NeurOptimal® is an extraordinarily safe tool for self-optimization. One of the reasons NeurOptimal® is so safe is that it doesn’t influence or push for any outcome. Other neurofeedback systems have goals or outcomes they seek, usually determined in collaboration with the practitioner who is operating the equipment. To meet these goals the software will present you with tasks that you try to accomplish and when you get them right you get “points” in some way. With other neurofeedback systems, the software is telling your brain to produce more of some frequencies and less of others — these are called augments and inhibits. The idea is that your brain can be pushed into learning to be more like a “normal” (or average) brain. NeurOptimal® does not work in this way at all. NeurOptimal® is allowing your brain the opportunity to observe itself and help you be at optimal functioning.

We are happy to report that our NeurOptimal® proprietary neurofeedback system is brain training software that provides your brain assistance in utilizing its best neural resources. By unlocking some of the negative cycles and patterns of thoughts in the brain, you open up your mind to a world of positive possibilities. Neurofeedback training for the brain is similar to physical training for the body. Much of our suffering comes from our minds having become “stuck” with persistent thoughts and emotions. With the interruptions in the sound NeurOptimal® prompts the brain to observe itself promoting assistance in helping it pull itself out of these mental “ruts”. The result is a more open and positive mindset in which we become more flexible and resilient, so obstacles are more manageable and problems more easily solved. Trainers around the world have shown NeurOptimal® to be 100% safe and report higher efficacy levels* than those claimed for many medications. – Zengar® Institute Survey of Trainers Dec 2008, 2013

Before your first NeurOptimal® Session, you will fill out a brief questionnaire describing how you feel and what you wish to achieve in your training Sessions. For your Session, you will either be seated in a comfortable chair with a footstool or lying on a heated massage table in a serene quiet setting with views to include the beautiful Rocky Mountains of the Continental Divide. Sensors which are placed on your scalp and ears read electrical activity (sometimes also referred to as cortical activity) from your brain. Nothing goes back to your brain through the sensors. You are given earbuds to listen to peaceful relaxing nature music during the brain training Session. The music is the platform for the feedback. You will hear occasional “skips” or interruptions in the music; this is the signal that prompts your brain to observe what it has just done. Each Session is relaxing, peaceful and typically lasts about 45 minutes (the actual music plays for 33 minutes).

At the end of a Session, you will most likely feel less stressed, more relaxed and more mentally clear. Clients often report feeling "lighter." It is highly unlikely you will experience any negative after-effects as NeurOptimal® does not artificially “push” the brain in any specific direction. Many users experience deeper sleep and enhanced energy. It’s that easy and completely safe!

Ahhh...you get to relax. You don't have a job to do. You can have eyes open, eyes closed. If you get relaxed enough to fall asleep, which many people do, we highly recommend taking the opportunity to do so. Many clients call it a "nap with a purpose." Your brain is doing the work in the session, observing itself so it can re-orient itself to help you be at your best whatever task you are trying to navigate. Oftentimes clients will spend their time during the session reading or working on homework, or even working on a computer. The brain just needs to be able to hear the sound.

Many people ask how one program can work for everyone, especially when there are no settings to change? How can “one size fit all”? NeurOptimal® helps the brain to observe itself micro-second by micro-second. This is done through the interrupt sounds in the music. When NeurOptimal® is observing the electrical activity from the brain, if it notes that it is about to take a sharp turn, or the electrical activity is perhaps erratic or chaotic, that is when the interrupt sound in the music happens. It’s like an attention getter for the brain to take a look at itself and orient or self-regulate to move away from discomfort and toward flexibility and resiliency, which are always our brain’s primary goals.

Let us try to give some examples to help you better understand. When we speak of the interrupts and that the brain will decide whether to reorient or not, it does this based off of the fact that the brain is always trying to take us away from discomfort. Accordingly in a session, if as it observes the interrupt there is no discomfort, then it will continue as is and that can happen quite often. If, however, it notices that there is discomfort, then it will work to re-orient itself to help you have flexibility and resiliency. Discomfort doesn’t have to be extreme physical or mental trauma; it happens in the most simple things in our everyday experiences. An example of discomfort is as simple as the actions of trying to balance on a surfboard, learn to walk, or ride a bike. As an individual tries to do these things and if they are unstable or wobbly, the brain recognizes this as a feeling of discomfort with the sensation of instability and that you might “fall.” Accordingly, it then automatically works to reorient or self-regulate to help you stay on that board, stay up on your legs or on your bike. The brain worked to take you away from discomfort and toward flexibility and resiliency to help you stay up and find balance. Similarly, that’s what’s happening when NeurOptimal® is prompting the brain to look at what it just did or is about to do. If it finds that there is a strong activation of electrical activity or quieting of the cortical activity and it perceives that as discomfort, then it will work to reorient or self-regulate to help you more optimally navigate your experience, whether mentally or physically.

The benefits we see with NeurOptimal® are that for the areas that were already strong, the brain training can help promote those things coming even more naturally and easy. For the areas we struggled in or that come harder for us, the struggle is reduced and it is not so hard anymore. Brain training doesn’t change who we are, but it can promote your strengths becoming even greater and your areas of struggle becoming even less.

Neurofeedback training provides assistance for the brain and body, including helping with sleep management, increasing calm and focus, improvement in mindset and mental and emotional fitness, and helping promote relaxation and stress management, amongst many other things. If you are looking to improve any of these aspects of your life, we would highly recommend our NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback.

There are a few key factors that distinguish NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback from other Neurofeedback systems: 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. 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 systems simply cannot match. As a result, this Neurofeedback system can be used effectively to address a wide array of goals without specifically “targeting” them from the outset of the training. NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is extremely safe. 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 improve itself and function at it's optimal performance. NeurOptimal® simply assists your brain to do it’s own natural process of self-correction.

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.

Everyone is different, but most experience some of the benefits in just a few sessions. The best approach is to focus on self-assessment rather than a certain number of sessions or how a graph looks. Using the self-assessment tools are highly recommended for powerful feedback about progress. Based on observation and feedback from clients, desired results are often experienced around 20-40 sessions. Neurofeedback is a process not an event. It is a cumulative process. Many implement it as a lifelong wellness tool just like exercise, a healthy diet, or talk therapy.

TRY IT FOR YOURSELF!

The best way to truly learn the NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback difference is to experience it yourself.