WHAT HAPPENS IN A SESSION
Prior to your first session we will discuss what you would like to get out of Neuroptimal and have you fill out a brief questionnaire to determine any complaints and/or challenges that have brought you into our clinic.
The certified trainer will attach tiny sensors on your scalp and three clips on your ears to pick up the delicate electrical activity of your brain. Much like an EKG or ECG, the NeurOptimal system is simply reading this signal. Nothing invasive is involved with the training process.
NeurOptimal 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.
NOTE: We advise you arrive at your session without any hair products or earrings where possible as these may interfere with the signal required to run the session. We also advise that you bring your own in-ear headphones as some find over-ear headphones uncomfortable.
You will either sit or lie back in a comfortable position (whichever you prefer) and put in headphones.
Once you are happy and comfortable we simply start running the Neuroptimal software. A training session is relaxing, enjoyable and typically lasts about 35 minutes. As the session starts, you will hear music play through the 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 optimise itself. You don’t have to do anything while all this is happening. It’s all right to close your eyes , zone out or even fall asleep and your unconscious brain will do it's job. You will likely feel incredibly calm and some users often reach a meditative state.
At the end of a session, you will typically feel less stressed and more mentally clear. Users report that as they walk out of the clinic, they feel “lighter and brighter” – an effect that can last as long as a week after your visit. This feeling is a natural by-product of the session itself. The real changes occur hours or even days after the session has finished. As your training progresses session by session, you may notice changes and improvements in every corner of your life. You may feel more stable, more resilient, more mentally focused and flexible, and you may even find that you’re excelling at physical activities as well as mental enterprises.
How many sessions will I need?
“How long will it take?” is a question many clients ask (second only to “What results can I expect”?). There is no standard answer to this question because everyone’s central nervous system is unique. While we cannot predict what your brain will do with the information it receives from our neurofeedback training, we can offer a few guidelines.
The Six Session “Rule”
We often tell clients that they will likely notice SOMETHING shift within six sessions. Early on, clients commonly report shifts in their sleep patterns, feeling well rested, having an improved outlook and engaging more effectively with colleagues or loved ones. Changes you experience may or may not be related to the goals you came in with, but generally speaking, any kind of shift is a positive indication that the NeurOptimal® brain training is working as designed.
Specifically, clients describe feeling clearer, calmer, lighter or brighter for a few hours after the session – a feeling that typically will last through the week, from one neurofeedback training session to the next (weekly sessions being the most common). Eventually, this new centered way of being becomes their “new normal”. Only if they get thrown off by a negative event -a bad day at work, chemicals, a knock on the head - might they drop into the way they felt before. But generally, they will not dip as deeply into emotional discomfort and will more than likely bounce back from challenging situations much more quickly and easily.
The “New Normal” Threshold
How much neurofeedback training does it take to get to your “new normal”? As NeurOptimal® has improved and evolved, reaching a new, improved baseline for users has become quicker and quicker. We used to say at least 20 sessions were necessary to help with issues bothering you in the "here and now"; 30 plus sessions for "deeper" problems that originated earlier in life. Now we are now finding significant results occur in much less time. Today, it is possible you could be feeling much better in fewer than 10 neurofeedback training sessions.
In the end, the more brain training you do, the more the positive effects will stay with you. Much like learning a language or a physical skill like rollerblading, “practice makes perfect”. The more sessions you undergo, the better your brain fitness.
You can stop whenever you feel ready and return for booster sessions to tune up and strengthen what your brain has already learned. You will never lose what you have, even if your brain’s optimal operation becomes a little rusty. In fact, many clients continue brain training on a monthly or bi-monthly basis to maintain their brain fitness for a lifetime. NeurOptimal® is non-invasive and naturopathic, so it may be used as long as you like. Similar to the benefits of exercise for the body, neurofeedback can be an important tool for brain health, as it keeps the central nervous system in tip-top shape. You can make NeurOptimal® neurofeedback training central to your personal brain fitness program as you age.