How Brain Training Works
We each have bad habits or less than optimum performance in some areas of our lives. This can be something as simple as inability to remember, or it may be a drug or alcohol dependency. There are all types of cure-alls for whatever ails us—unfortunately, most of these cure-alls are, at best, temporary fixes.
NeurOptimal® monitors your brainwaves and alerts your central nervous system when it is not functioning smoothly.
When brain activity shows signs of turbulence, the music within the neurofeedback software is momentarily interrupted. This subtle cue alerts your brain that it is operating inefficiently. With repeated training sessions, the brain learns to “reset” itself and function more smoothly. All of this learning is non-invasive and happens outside your conscious awareness. Over time, NeurOptimal® adjusts itself automatically in response to your brain’s activity, individualizing the training microsecond by microsecond to your own brain’s functioning.
Sound simple? That’s because it is simple. The true complexity of the neurofeedback training is embedded in the NeurOptimal® software.
Just think of NeurOptimal® as an Olympic gymnastics coach or yoga instructor. Like a human teacher, the neurofeedback machine points out and corrects your form as you train. As you get better, the level of brain training difficulty increases automatically. With practice, your brain fitness (i.e. brain flexibility and resilience) naturally improves and becomes more natural and efficient. As a result of the training, you can maintain a healthy brain and become more effective in your personal and professional life.
Before your first neurofeedback session begins, your trainer may have you fill in a brief questionnaire describing how you are feeling. Then, s/he will have you sit in a comfortable chair facing a computer screen.
Next, the trainer attaches tiny sensors near your scalp and three clips on your ears to pick up delicate electrical activity of your brain. Much like an EKG or ECG, the system is simply reading this signal. Nothing invasive is involved with the training process. Neurofeedback is naturopathic and does not “push” the brain in any particular direction. The system merely cues your central nervous system to do what is naturally best for YOUR brain.
Your trainer will then give you some earbuds and perhaps a blanket. S/he will start the program for you and then the brain training begins. You will listen to music during which you may notice very brief pauses in the sound. The very precise timing of these interruptions gives the brain vital information it needs to reorganize itself to operate more optimally. You don’t have to do anything while all this is happening. It’s all right to close your eyes and “zone out” and just let your brain do its job. Length of the brain training can vary, but a session usually runs around 35 minutes.
How will you feel afterwards? Because NeurOptimal® is non-invasive and does not push the brain in any “direction” during training, it is highly unlikely you will feel any side effects following a session. Any noticeable shifts in your mood, awareness or energy level after brain training really depends on the individual and can vary from session to session.
The main point is that transformation with NeurOptimal® happens according to the brain’s own intrinsic wisdom, with no conscious effort from the user.
Do the Effects of Brain Training Last?
Training with NeurOptimal® is actually a learning task. You get results because your brain is actively learning, even if you are not doing the learning consciously. So much like reading, once your brain knows how to read, it can’t “not know”. Your brain doesn’t forget. It may get rusty, but the effects of learning remain throughout your lifetime.
However, your brain is living tissue and you can— and will— get “knocked off” by stress, by chemicals, by alcohol, by an anesthetic, by the difficult daily lives we all seem to live. The wonderful thing is, a few booster sessions will get you back to where you were. As trainers, we see a trained brain quickly utilizing the information NeurOptimal® is offering. It’s as if the brain says “I know what to do with this!” and it goes through all the steps it went through in the weeks of initial training, but very rapidly. So you quickly get back into your good place.
It’s very nice to know if you are going through a more difficult time, you can quickly do a session or two to recover your optimal flow and functioning.
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