Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback for all ages that is commonly referred to as brain training. It is non-invasive technology that uses a live EEG to read the brain’s electrical activity and provide it with feedback about what it is doing in real time. Over time as we experience life, endure physical injury, emotional injury and/or trauma, our brains can become dysregulated in regards to its electrical activity. Through the natural desire of the Central Nervous System to come into balance, Neurofeedback is designed to notice these dysregulations and uses basic principles of operant conditioning to train the brain to break up stuck patterns and try to come into greater balance by creating new and healthier habits. You can think of Neurofeedback as holding a mirror up to your brain. Once you see your reflection, you naturally start adjusting yourself. Maybe you stand a little taller, straighten your hair and so on. The mirror provides you with the information you need to adjust. And so it is with the brain. When this learning process is repeated enough, it can become more automatic in the brain. This is why Neurofeedback is referred to as a “ground up” or natural approach to healing; it is engaging with the brain's natural capacity to regulate itself.
At Realign Wellness Centre, we currently use a Neurofeedback system called Neuroptimal. A session involves the individual sitting or laying down in a recliner chair and either listening to meditative music or watching a movie. Because the brain picks up on sound when sleeping, the training will continue to occur even if the individual falls asleep during their session. The goal of training is for the brain to master or consolidate the set of skills (i.e. learning how to self-regulate) that it has been taught through the Neurofeedback and subsequently been practicing. Session frequency is ideally twice per week to start. Because Neurofeedback is a ground-up approach, over time session frequency can progressively reduce. Since every individual brain is different we cannot fully predict the total number of sessions each individual will need. Sessions are covered under most regular benefit plans as a psychological service.
To learn more about this dynamic approach to healing, visit www.neuroptimal.com.
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