What is the best neurofeedback system for home?
The NeurOptimal Personal Trainer is a professional-grade neurofeedback equipment specifically designed for home use and is fully automated. You're able to run sessions at your home on your own time and pace, and for 50% savings over in-office sessions if you rent, and save 80% if you purchase!
Our rental package helps people with anxiety, trauma, ADHD and depression, conditions that sometimes make it hard to make office visits, get symptom relief and train consistently. To help you explore whether a rental is right for you, we asked Kate Linsley, head of Denver neurofeedback and customer relations, to give us her most frequently asked questions about renting, from does neurofeedback work, and how many neurofeedback sessions will I need, including some surprising questions.
Kate has been running our rental program since it's inception in 2011, and manages 15 rentals a month; she has heard it all!
Does neurofeedback work the same when training at home as the in-office sessions? Yes. The technology is exactly the same. The only difference is that the Professional unit has graphing capabililities, but we don't use the quantitative data to decide the training protocol or to assess progress.
How do I know if it's working? We strongly recommend all renters fill out our Checklist of Concerns prior to starting and then again, after every 8 sessions. For example, when clients see their rate of 10 for "Feel Anxious" turn into a 4 (10 being worst), they know the training is doing something good for them!
What’s included in the home unit rental? Do I need to purchase EEG paste or anything separate? Both our rental plans include all materials required to train (including paste), access to online support forum moderated by expert trainers, access to regular check-ins with staff trainer via text, email, phone or Skype. You supply your own headphones. We've learned everyone would prefer to use their own!vide headphones which you'd need for doing the training at home. Any headphones/earbuds will be fine to use for the training.
How difficult is it to learn how to run sessions? Learning how to use the equipment will take you approximately 10-15 minutes. There are only 3 items you need to get familiar with: the computer, the amplifier, and the sensors. There are only 3 buttons that you'll need to press on the computer. And you can learn how to place the EEG sensors on your head from a 3-minute video. Warning: you may get some EEG paste in your hair the first time, but it's water-soluable and comes out easily!
How much does the equipment cost to rent? We offer two monthly plans--an individual and a family plan. Cost per session can be as low as $40/session. See our pricing here. If you don't live close to our locations (NYC, LA or Boulder) we also ship it directly to your home for a small fee. Shipping cost is not included and billed separately.
Why is a wait-list deposit required? Most clients extend rental period for additional month or 2 weeks after their first month, therefore we cannot always predict when we have a rental available. A deposit of $50 is needed to guarantee your spot on our waiting list and is applied to your first month’s rent. It is non-refundable if you decide not to rent after being placed on the waitlist. It gives you one “pass” if you are not ready to rent when your machine comes available and you would then be first in line for the next rental.
What is the minimum and maximum amount of time for which I can rent the NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback Trainer? Minimum time to rent the neurofeedback equipment is one month. However, the best results is by renting for 2 months. Read or case study on the best uses of neurofeedback home system. After the first month's rental, one can choose to extend for another month or two weeks.
Why is two months rental recommended? The best training results occur when clients train for 2 - 4 months, with 2 days’ sleep between training sessions. If you rent for 2 months, that would look like 2-3 sessions per week, for a total of 20-30 sessions. Read our case study: How to Get Best Results in Neurofeedback Training
Is it difficult to learn where to place the EEG sensors on the head? In a word, no. The sites on head C3 and C4 are actually large areas approximately half-way between the tip of the top of the ear and the crown of the head. Anywhere in that area is considered a good location! Trivia: did you know that the EEG sensors on the head pick up 95% of the electrical information on the entire head, and only 5% of that information is site specific? In other words, don't worry, you have it in the right place!
Watch this demonstration on how to add the 5 sensor to your ears and scalp.
How many sessions should I run per week? We usually recommend 1-3 sessions per week per trainee, though you can train up to 5 times per week. The minimum we recommend is once a week because through the training the brain is learning a new way of decision making and, like learning a new language, the more frequently the brain practices, the faster we learn.
If I do 30 sessions in 30 days will that have the same effect as 30 sessions over 3 months? No. While your brain will learn a lot about itself if you train every day for a month the value of spreading those trainings over 3 months is that it gives your behaviour and thought patterns time to adapt. For example, when the brain learns it doesn't need to stay in an anxious fight/flight pattern it's going to want to hang out less in highly anxious environments.
Why do we recommend that a parent also train if they are renting a machine primarily for their child’s ADHD or other symptoms? Your child’s brain/central nervous system (CNS), is learning to assess current needs from gathering information in the here-and-now, rather than using habitual information/neural pathways. Brain disorders such as anxiety/depression/ADHD are the result of maladaptive brain responses that are based on using habitual information/neural pathways to function not realizing that those responses are not appropriate to the present task. (For example, why should the brain produce an anxious state when their is no threat?) A major shift through training is your child’s brain learns to be in a state called regulation: calm, alert, and open to the here-and-now, and only become active only when their is an event that needs action.
This process of learning is sped up when a primary caregiver’s brain is also learning the same process of being regulated–calm, centered, open. Why? Because just like you see in pack animal behaviors, children’s brains tune themselves to their caregivers’ brains. If the parent is anxious, the child will also become anxious. If the parent becomes calm the child’s brain will also shift, like tuning forks resonating with each other. A wonderful example of this process of attunement is to watch The Dog Whisperer on National Geographic. In the episodes you will see examples of how Cesar (the alpha dog trainer) who is “calm assertive”, i.e. has a regulated CNS, works with an anxious/fearful/aggressive dog through the natural attunement process where a beta dog’s CNS aligns with an alpha’s CNS.
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