Dr. Gabriele Jones is a certified trainer in NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback,® a brain fitness program which facilitates a more efficient use of neural resources.
What does more efficient brain function “feel” like? The first thing most will notice is a substantial improvement in the quality of their sleep. Many report that they dream more vividly and sleep more soundly.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has approved neurofeedback as an evidence-based practice for the treatment of ADHD, and it is also an effective treatment for PTSD.
Neurofeedback has also been used to successfully improve sports performance. In the video below, a golfer explains how NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback® improved his golf scores.
What to Expect
After a few sessions, users report feeling more focused, calm and centered. They work faster, more efficiently and experience a significant reduction in physical complaints. They are less bothered by doubts and insecurities and are more apt to experience confidence and satisfaction. Nagging, upsetting thoughts simply drop away with no effort on the user’s part. Free from distraction, the brain can focus on the present and naturally discover the best way to tackle the task at hand.
NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback® is a 100-percent, non-invasive, safe method for restoring serenity, confidence and wellness back into your life.
How Does Neurofeedback Work?
Neurofeedback training for the brain is similar to physical training for the body. Much of our suffering comes from pervasive recurring thoughts and feelings in which our minds become emotionally stranded or cognitively “stuck.” Neurofeedback prompts the brain to draw from its existing resources and pull itself out of these mental “ruts.” The result is a more open and positive mindset in which obstacles are more manageable and problems more resolvable.
Much like a mirror that promotes self-correction, the NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback® program monitors your brain waves and then provides “feedback” to your central nervous system about what it has just done. When the software detects a tremor in your brain wave pattern, it sends an audible signal that encourages the brain to “reset” and self-correct.
Who Can Benefit from Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback training provides a multitude of benefits for the brain and body, including: improved sleep, heightened mental clarity and enhanced cognitive performance. Neurofeedback is used to address a number of physical, emotional and cognitive complaints with great success. These fall into a few general categories:
PHYSICAL, COGNITIVE AND EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES
Adults, as well as children, have used neurofeedback to address the negative effects arising from ADHD, depression, anxiety, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, autism, sleep disorders, misophonia (severe sensitivity to sounds) and other complaints. The FDA has approved the treatment as effective for stress reduction and, as of November 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed neurofeedback as a “Level 1/Best Support” treatment for children with ADHD. Furthermore, the APA has equated neurofeedback with medication in terms of efficacy for resolving ADHD.
Neurofeedback encourages an overall positive mental outlook and a deeper understanding of the mind/body connection. For those looking to enhance their daily health and wellness, the training can be an excellent supplement to a healthy diet and exercise routine.
BRAIN FITNESS/AGE REMEDIATION
Along with healthy lifestyle choices, neurofeedback can be a powerful tool to mediate cognitive decline that naturally occurs as we age. Just as physical exercise benefits the body, the treatment keeps the brain fit and resilient. Neurofeedback can help improve memory, recall and increase overall cognitive dexterity in older individuals.
PEAK PHYSICAL/MENTAL PERFORMANCE
A growing number of professional athletes now use neurofeedback to provide that critical mental edge which often results in gold medals and championships. But you don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy the benefits. Looking to improve your golf game? Want to be a better pitcher for your company softball team? Neurofeedback can help.
IMPROVED ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
Because neurofeedback training enhances concentration and mental focus, students use NeurOptimal® as a critical tool to improve their performance in school. Unlike so-called “smart drugs” or neuro-enhancing pharmaceuticals, neurofeedback is 100-percent drug-free and has no known side effects (apart from improved sleep!)
What Happens in a Neurofeedback Session?
You will fill out some forms listing the complaints and/or challenges you want to work on. This information can help track your progress over time, as sometimes people come in wanting to work on one issue, and they find that other issues resolve as well!
You will next be placed in a quiet space and in a comfortable chair. The trainer will attach special sensors to your ears and head that will feed your brain wave patterns into the NeurOptimal® program’s software. A neurofeedback training session is relaxing, enjoyable and typically lasts about 30 minutes. As the session starts, you will hear music play though headphones and perhaps watch relaxing geometric images gently morph across a computer screen. You will hear occasional “skips” or interruptions in the music – this is the signal that prompts your brain to “reset” and optimize itself.
At the end of a session, you will most likely feel less stressed and more mentally clear. It is 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 vivid dreams after their very first session.
When You Can Expect to See Results
Of course, this will vary from person to person, depending on the severity and complexity of the symptoms. You wouldn’t go to a gym being overweight and out of shape, and expect to walk out after one session in perfect condition. Likewise, it takes a while for your brain to develop the right “muscles” in order for you to feel noticeably better.
Nevertheless, improvements can usually be felt after the first few sessions. Very often, people will report feeling relaxed and “clearer” even after the first session. In order to give it a reasonable trial, though, it’s necessary to give it about 6 sessions. After that, you would continue for a few sessions after you’ve stopped noticing improvements. The extra sessions give you the opportunity to notice changes that are emerging, but not yet fully realized. It also gives your brain a chance to anchor the improvements it’s made.
With more complicated issues like a severe ADHD/learning disability problem or Asperger’s syndrome, it’s often necessary to continue longer. But again, given the alternatives, and given the payoffs for the rest of your life, neurofeedback is an investment well worth making.
Are the Results Long-Lasting?
Unlike medications, which wear off after you stop taking them, the results from neurofeedback are typically stable over time. It’s like learning to ride a bike – once your brain has developed the pathways that correctly interpret and manage all the signals concerning the balance and movement on the bike, those pathways are there for good.
That’s why, although the initial time and cost commitment may seem like a lot, it’s less expensive and easier than taking medications over the long run. And in the end, you have a brain that works a lot better than it did before!
That being said, oftentimes it’s helpful to come in occasionally for “tune-ups” after the main training has been accomplished. Life gets complicated and stressful, or new developmental milestones are reached, and we might need a little help to get our brain caught up with it all. But the tune-ups can be just a session or two. And some people like to continue on a regular basis over a longer term, because it promotes peak performance.
How Much Does Neurofeedback Cost?
At this time our neurofeedback clinic is self-pay. Most insurance companies do not cover neurofeedback; however, hopefully that will be changing given the substantive research indicating its positive effects and that the American Academy of Pediatrics now labels it as “Level 1/Best Support” treatment for children with ADHD. We can provide you with invoices you can submit to your insurance company so you can try to get some reimbursement for your sessions. Call us to discuss pricing, as we offer discounts for pre-paid “packages” of sessions.