I brought neurofeedback brain training into my psychotherapy practice nine years ago as an additional tool to support the mental and emotional goals of my clients. As a psychotherapist I found it a challenge to help clients change their unhealthy habitual patterns, such as overcoming worry and anxiety, angry outbursts, and overwhelm from stress. All of these issues are not just will power problems but also brain-stuck-in-habits problems.
Over the years of using neurofeedback I have found it to be a significant support for clients. My practice expanded into brain training for peak performance and wellness as well as home neurofeedback training. Here is some basic information about this new wellness technology.
What is neurofeedback and where does it fit in your wellness regime?
Neurofeedback is a cutting edge biofeedback device that helps optimize mental and emotional performance. This form of brain training specifically targets the brainwave patterns through EEG sensors that are placed on the sides of the head. It gives real-time feedback through audio cues that are presented when the brain is about to change states. An example of a state change might be the brain switching from calm to hypervigilant, or focused to sleepy.
The training is non-invasive and typically clients train for 8-30 sessions depending on their goals.
Neurofeedback wellness training helps with managing sleep, mood stability, performance anxiety, and cognitive performance and mental clarity. Many families find neurofeedback a support for school and work performance. In recent years many athletes have admitted using neurofeedback technology for peak performance, one such athlete is Tiger Woods.
Neurofeedback has also gained popularity in the biohacking communities when it was promoted by Bulletproof founder, Dave Asprey. Here’s his podcast interview with clinical psychologist Dr. Valdeane Brown, who co-created the NeurOptimal® system.
Is Neurofeedback Safe?
Neurofeedback has been in use in the health and wellness field since the 1970s, but only recently has the computing technology reached the level of power to match the brain’s processing speed to make the system truly a feedback system where the individual’s brain decides how to improve performance based on the moment-to-moment feedback.
In 2018, the NeurOptimal® neurofeedback system, the one I use in my psychotherapy practice in New York was finally designated by the FDA as a General Wellness Device. This designation acknowledges that the technology is safe enough to be used by consumers without a prescription by healthcare provider.
Wellness Goals with Neurofeedback
When individuals decide to train their brains the goals are often varied from helping manage sleep, to optimizing their cognitive performance for school years or during stressful times. The NeurOptimal® system is non-invasive and designed to optimize overall brain functioning.
Individuals can see positive shifts in many areas. Here are some reasons to try neurofeedback:
- anti-aging: supporting mental acuity as we age
- emotional regulation
- living from calm and wellbeing
- stress reduction and stress management
- peak creative and athletic performance
- optimal work and school performance