What Is Neurofeedback?
What is Neurofeedback in a Nutshell.
It all begins with brainwaves. What are brainwaves?
Brainwaves are the sum total of millions of neurons all firing at once. The number of neurons sparking in the brain at a certain frequency (speed) convey information that defines the amplitude (or power). Brainwaves are measured in Hertz (waves per second), and have a spectrum of frequencies. Each frequency spectrum carries a different meaning about emotions, physical movement, concentration, and creative expression. Issues happen when specific frequencies do not fire optimally for a given activity. For example, it is not optimal for beta frequency, the “go” brainwave, to be dominant at night or it causes insomnia. By the same token, delta, the “sleep” brainwave causes daytime drowsiness and insomnia if is too active during the day.
Let us go through a competitive runner’s typical activities and examine dominant brainwaves and their roles:
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There is no one particular signature brainwave associated with issues. Sometimes brainwaves are in the normal range, yet there are clear patterns in a person’s life that something is amiss. Furthermore, referring to the example above, just because a hurdle fell does not mean that it was caused by inattentiveness (theta) or negative self-talk (alpha). The brain is a complex system and it is best to get at the root of an issue from clusters of symptoms rather than one isolated event. This is the reason why BrainPaint uses a symptom-based assessment tool to come up with individualized protocols. The runner is well aware whether focus or negative self-talk caused this fallen hurdle, whereas, the root cause may not be revealed in his or her EEG.[/fontpress]
What is Neurofeedback Continued…
To continue our explanation of “what is neurofeedback” we now explore how the brain learns.
Putting it all together…
- Feedback received during a session is information on how each brainwave frequency is performing and how the organ might improve upon that performance.
- Neurofeedback utilizes our natural instincts of using feedback to learn new developmental skills.
- Just as with everything we learn (e.g. riding a bike), a beneficial lesson makes a lasting impression.
[fontpress type=”webfonts” name=”Handlee” size=”18px”] We are training your brain, not your mind. When your brain changes, your mind will follow. For example, if a person’s brain is trained to increase its arousal levels, not only will their depression lift, but their whole outlook on life will improve as well.[/fontpress]
- How does my brain learn by watching software?
Just as your brain makes sense of information being fed to it from gravity, it makes sense of the information being conveyed to it by the software. The brain is an organ that processes substantially more information than your mind could handle. Your mind can not even see, hear, smell, taste or consciously feel earth’s gravitational pull, yet your brain is constantly sending neural commands to muscles according to feedback it receives from gravity. Even though your mind wants to understand and even participate in your neurofeedback session, it is your brain that we are training.
- Does anything go into my brain?
No. Absolutely nothing goes into the brain. Sensors are put on the scalp to pick up electrical activity coming from your brain.
- How many sessions will I need?
Generally people notice improvements within the first 5-8 sessions, but this does not mean that you are finished. To achieve your goals and for longer lasting results 20-30 sessions are recommended.