Overcome mental challenges with brain exercises.

At Balance Health we are very excited to be able to offer NeurOptimal® Dynamical Neurofeedback to our patients. There is no diagnosis required to get the benefits of training your brain to function more optimally. You may be asking yourself: What is neurofeedback and how is it different from biofeedback? How is NeurOptimal® Dynamical Neurofeedback different than other forms of neurofeedback?

What is neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is any technique that intends to modify brain activity by making it detectable to the senses (usually sound or vision) as it occurs in real time. Electroencephalography (EEG) records brain waves which are then fed back as information to the brain, either through conscious or unconscious awareness, so the brain can amend ineffective or inappropriate electrical patterns. Neurofeedback does not introduce electricity into the brain, it simply picks up the energy from the scalp-like an electrocardiogram (ECG) does for the heart.

Biofeedback vs. Neurofeedback

To put it very simply, neurofeedback is like biofeedback that focuses on the brain. Biofeedback can be used anywhere on the body to help an individual gain some control over involuntary functions. A classic example of biofeedback is through wearing a device that monitors the heart rate and the individual is able to learn to deep breathe to help lower the heart rate through engaging the parasympathetic nervous system. With biofeedback, the individual consciously engages with the data provided by the device to make changes.

Neurofeedback tracks only the brain's activity, and the technician or computer can detect unhealthy patterns and adjusts, or "trains" the brain into more productive patterns. For example, if you typically start having anxiety or worry when you lay down at night, this is not productive as you want to go to sleep. Neurofeedback can help break those habitual, ineffective patterns that do not align with the task at hand (in this case, sleep). If these patterns can be interrupted, then the brain can work more efficiently! It is theorized that most of the work done by neurofeedback devices is performed by the unconscious part of the brain by changing how it automatically reacts.

How is NeurOptimal® different from other neurofeedback?

There are two different types of neurofeedback: linear (protocol-based) and non-linear (dynamical). Linear neurofeedback was the first type of neurofeedback developed which requires a diagnosis, qualitative electroencephalography (QEEG)/brain mapping, and a protocol to be developed by practitioner/technician. This protocol could fluctuate between practitioners/technicians (meaning that results may vary) and errors in manual adjustments in frequencies can lead to side effects.

At Balance Health we have NeurOptimal® Dynamical Neurofeedback which is a second-generation neurofeedback system and is non-linear. The computer-based system has a rapid processing speed that is very close to that of the brains' and utilizes a mathematical algorithm that simulates how the brain naturally initiates change. NeurOptimal® does not require a trainer to set protocols because it adjusts to whatever state of mind the individual is in.

NeurOptimal® is able to utilize the sense of sound to clue the brain into changes occurring inside the brain that it interprets as inefficient. While a song is playing, there are pauses in the music that provide this signaling to the brain. Think of it like this: you are driving a car and start veering off the side and hit the rumble strip; you quickly correct the direction of your car and it's smooth sailing once again. That is what NeurOptimal® does for the brain!

The benefits of NeurOptimal® training are endless. NeurOptimal® is available at an additional cost to patients of Balance Health at a discounted price. It is available to non-patients as well, but no discount is applied. Please call us at Balance Health if you have more questions about NeurOptimal® and to set up your first visit!

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