brain mapping and neurofeedback for changing brain habits
Neurofeedback is a completely natural, non-invasive way to change brain habits that get in the way of healthy ways of feeling and relating to others/ourselves.
The neurofeedback process begins with a brain map. This is where tiny stethescopes in a special cap that is worn measures brain electricity. There are 20 parts of the brain measured while eyes are opened, eyes are closed, and while in a "working" state (silent reading, repeating back numbers, etc.). The data collected in that (approximate) 30 minute time is then rendered.
The rendering process compiles your brain data and identifies patterns effecting mood, behavior, or performance. The result is a picture of how brain activation changes from resting to awareness to active processing states. Clients are given a full report, complete with a training plan (recommended protocols for neurofeedback that work to change brain patterns).
Brain Training Plan
Every training plan is broken down into five training sessions. Each session focuses on a specific area or training issue. Some sessions therefore are longer than others, but usually are completed within the hour. The training plan is meant to be followed in order, cycling through through the five sessions before repeating the plan from the beginning. Protocols are extremely specific including which sites to train (1-4 at a time), which training design to use, which frequencies to train, and whether eyes are to be closed or opened during it. There is no guesswork or "winging it" on the practitioner's part.
This approach recognizes that brain habits are stabilized by interlocking relationships. Yes, it is possible to achieve change by working a single site or pattern. However, working all related findings in an organized way (like circuit training in a gym), shows faster, more stable responses, with minimal negative reactions. The training plan covers multiple brain systems in the brain's four quadrants: sensory-motor cortex, anterior cingulate, default-mode network, and salience network. Patterns of the brain's frequency/amplitude and the efficiency in their linkages together help identify the key issues that result in the training plan.
brain training sessions
Sessions typically include wearing a cap that is hooked up to a computer. Most people watch a movie or YouTube while their brains are being trained. The "feedback" part of neurofeedback is a shadow that flickers lighter or darker over the screen. The flickering is based entirely on if the brain is firing within the training targets. The volume also fluctuates as a way of giving the brain feedback. Don't worry! Brains figure this all out without any intentional trying! In fact, the more one "tries," the worse it becomes!
In addition to the cap, there is also an additional "peak performance" HEG headband that is used at the beginning of each session. It comes in the form of a video game where your character is controlled only by your brain's blood oxygen levels in it's executive center. This improves the ability of the brain to activate/focus/perform as well as to de-activate/let go. Professional athletes (such as Tom Brady) and top gun pilots are just a few groups that have openly reported utilizing this form of peak performance training.
There is nothing "zapping" or entering the brain. This is why it is entirely natural and not a medical device. It is simply the brain being rewarded for entering wavelengths that are more beneficial (all based on the map).
By training the brain (think of it as weight training workouts), it can learn begin working more effectively without the heavy use of prescription medication, costly treatments, diagnoses, or using a pathology model. Over time, the brain can shift into these new patterns and then neurofeedback is no longer needed!
The training and system used is from a company called Brain-Trainer:
"Brain-trainer’s Whole-Brain Training approach to neurofeedback is based on the fact that common patterns of activation in the brain tend to be linked to specific sets of strengths and weaknesses. We are constantly tracking the work of researchers who identify such EEG patterns and adding them to our system. Our assessment tools link subjective (strengths and weaknesses) and objective (brain patterns) information to suggest training strategies. Our assessment service provides expert assistance in determining likely training strategies for your brain."
You can read more on the Brain-Trainer website about how neurofeedback may help here and then click on the subsequent links at the end of that article.
Neurofeedback is often an add-on service for in-home coaching but can also be a stand alone service.
In-Home Neurofeedback Provides:
- Brain Mapping (Takes about 30 minutes plus time to fill out a client survey online)
- Protocols administered (this is when you get to watch youTube videos, movies, etc. Most people enjoy these sessions!)
Pricing: (similar to a gym membership, all fees are out-of-pocket expenses/non-insurance refundable as this is not considered a medical treatment)
- $75 brain mapping (includes a detailed report that you keep)
- $40 per session "block": usually 45 minutes to 1 hour (depending on what your recommended protocols are, all based on your brain map)
- Travel fees to your home (vary)
- For those utilizing in-home coaching service, neurofeedback pricing is completely different (for details, click here)
I am a parent and family coach as well as a neurofeedback provider. One of my favorite things to do is to laugh with other just as crazy parents as myself about all the wild things that happen on our parenting journeys. My family means the world to me. I believe that in all the pain and sorrow this life brings that there is still redemption to be had, every single day and simultaneously that no one should have to travel a hard journey alone. I’m not gonna lie: I also believe that the little things like chocolate covered espresso beans and watching the Bourne Identity movie for at least the twenty-fifth time can help me get that perspective. Read more...