Summer is a time people give themselves permission to switch gears and relax. The stressors of life take a back seat to relaxation and enjoyment of friends and family. Many times the way people choose to relax has a short term benefit, such as an evening out with friends, but doesn't last. How do we create longer term calm and relaxation?
At our neurofeedback center in New York, we are addressing that question with neurofeedback brain training. Learn how this non-invasive and effective brain training is a great addition to the ways to relax and de-stress this summer. In this blog post, Alison Pepper, LCSW, who works as a Certified Neurofeedback Trainer in New York City, explains how NeurOptimal neurofeedback works and your best training options to de-stress and reset.
Why Brain Training?
Brain training helps us manage stress. The stress response is created by an automatic functioning, or unconscious, part of the brain and it is understood in brain science that the brain develops habitual patterns.
Signs we have too much stress:
- often feel irritable,
- waking up too early,
- barking at loved ones and colleagues,
- really looking forward to our end-of-the-day drink
These are a few examples that we are not effectively de-stressing. Brain training allows us and our unconscious brain to learn new habits that allow us to re-train ourselves. This happens because of the brain's ability to learn new patterns because of its plasticity.
Neuroplasticity is the concept that the brain can learn new things and, as a result, change where it houses functions and grow new structures in the brain. The main communication pathways of the brain, called neurons, can form new pathways and generate new cells throughout the human lifespan.
Though the term brain plasticity has been around since William James coined it in the late 1800s, the idea of brain training as concept has grown out of the discoveries over the last 30 years in neurology and neuropsychology, specifically due to the growth of brain imaging technologies that can prove the brain's rehabilitation abilities.
When we take the summer to recharge and relax we are, on the level of brain function and structure, asking the brain to rewire itself out of the stress response and into a relaxation response.
What is Neurofeedback training and how could it help with Stress?
Using EEG sensors to measure the brain's electrical activity, neurofeedback is a non-invasive holistic brain training that helps build resilience and flexibility. Through tracking the brainwaves in real time and alerting it to the habits that have been created, individuals are able to reset stress habits.
The system we use for sessions and home system rentals is called, NeurOptimal© neurofeedback and it works by training the brain to use present moment information to decide what to do next, rather than old, often out-of-date information. The neurofeedback technology--developed in part by, NASA-level engineers -- works by triggering what’s called the orienting response, which is the brain’s ability to sense change in the environment and take in new information about what is different.
Unlike with other activities we do to unwind and de-stress that create temporary shifts into relaxation, neurofeedback is teaching us how to register and manage stress differently on-going. Through this kind of brain training individuals are learning to manage stress in a way that will last long after the vacation is over.
The best way to relax on vacation
If your goal this summer is to relax and de-stress taking a neurofeedback home system on vacation is a great addition. It is easy to use, portable, and during vacation time individuals have more time. Taking 45 minutes to relax with a neurofeedback session is more possible than when we're home with our busy work and school schedules. If you what to supercharge your upcoming vacation this summer think about bringing a neurofeedback system with you.
The neurofeedback equipment, including paste, comes in a small laptop case. We also provide a step-by-step manual and support from one of our three NeurOptimal trainers if needing extra help. Your 9 pound bag can be easily be packed in the car or taken on the plane with you. Even while on the plane one can run a session!
Brain Training Reviews
NeurOptimal© neurofeedback training is a safe, effective and and healthy for anyone to use. That means children, parents, and grandparents can train. No matter what your age, anyone can hook up and get the benefits of a session. A recent renter, mother of 2 said this about her experience training at the family at home:
"My husband tried neurofeedback for the first time last night. I guess he was convinced because my 4 year old son has been very into it and we’ve noticed some changes ~ his wild behavior has gotten a little less wild and he’s been more receptive to alternative activities. Now that I’m over the hump of getting started it's been a lot easier to do session".
Here's another NeurOptimal® neurofeedback review from a client who frequently travels:
”Each year I visit my family in Europe and one of the key items for my wellbeing when I travel is the NeurOptimal home system. Before I leave, I set up a schedule to train a few times before my flight to ease the stress about traveling and when I arrive. It really helps with my jetlag! Another suprising change when training has been that my language has improved significantly. It’s easier than ever to switch from one language to another, perhaps because I feel more relaxed and less triggered in stressful situations. Who knows. All I know is that this training is amazing! So grateful that this exists.”
How Many Sessions Do I Need?
When starting with neurofeedback training the key to success is shifting ones thinking away from number of sessions to tracking and noticing the shifts that happen mental, emotionally and in lifestyle.
Our clients see better results when they use the self-reporting checklist as a guidepost. They benefit in two ways. They see from real data, that changes are happening. As well, clients develop self-awareness by tracking shifts in their experience week by week. This practice of noticing real-time shifts helps clients build the confidence to know when the changes have become permanent and when they are still vulnerable to stressors. This tracking leads to clients knowing for themselves when its time to reduce the number of sessions or to stop all together.
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