Training the brain is essential for better mental and emotional wellbeing. The brain is a complex organ that controls every aspect of our life, from our thoughts and emotions to our physical movements. With the increasing amount of stress and pressure that individuals experience in their daily lives, it is crucial to maintain a healthy and efficient brain. Like all EEG neurotherapy, NeuOptimal® measures brainwaves to determine what is happening in the brain. How it is a unique neurofeedback system is it's design based on the neuroscience of how the brain optimizes its functioning. In this article, we will delve into what NeurOptimal is, its benefits, and who can benefit from it.
Understanding the brain, brainwaves, and how it works
Your brain is an incredibly complex organ that controls all bodily functions, including cognitive function, balance, coordination, and regulation of vital functions. It generates electrical impulses called brainwaves, which determine your level of consciousness.
There are five types of brainwaves: alpha, beta, delta, gamma, and theta, each with their own frequency and function. Alpha waves, for example, are associated with relaxation, while beta waves are linked to concentration and alertness. Delta waves are most active during deep sleep, while gamma waves are related to higher levels of consciousness. Theta waves are associated with creativity and insight.
When you experience stress, your brainwaves are impacted and mirror that stress as your brain tries to adapt to the situation. For instance, when you feel threatened, your brain may shift into a beta wave state to help you remain alert and focused. However, prolonged exposure to stress can lead to chronic beta wave activity, which can be detrimental to your health. NeurOptimal understands how the brain gets stuck in patterns that we experience as symptoms such as poor sleep, lack of focus, irritability, and exhaustion.
Neurofeedback Therapy System: What is NeurOptimal®?
NeurOptimal® is a non-invasive neurofeedback system that optimizes brain function by using advanced technology that works with the brain's natural ability to learn and adapt. During the session, sensors are attached to the scalp to measure brainwave activity, which is then analyzed by NeurOptimal's unique algorithm. The system provides feedback to the brain in the form of brief pauses in music or sound, which act as gentle alerts for the brain to pay attention to what it is doing habitually. This process is designed to interrupt the brain's automatic functioning and provide an opportunity for it to make better choices. Essentially, the system works with the principle that the automatic brain cannot make better decisions if it is "asleep at the wheel." By interrupting its habitual functioning, the brain is alerted and can identify its current needs, allowing for better choices that are aligned with current needs in areas such as focus, calmness, and anxiety.
What sets NeurOptimal apart from other neurofeedback systems is its focus on the brain's self-regulating ability. Unlike other systems, NeurOptimal does not target specific areas or frequencies of the brain. Instead, it provides the brain with information on its own patterns of activity and allows it to self-correct. This self-correcting ability is what allows for long-term improvements in brain function and can result in a wide range of benefits for individuals.
Three unique features of NeurOptimal's software:
- No brain mapping -- it's integrated into the software in realtime so that the feedback is always the most up-to-date.
- No protocols need to be set. The first generation of systems require constant monitoring of changes and resetting of protocols to create change. NeurOptimal has software called AutoNav that automatically calculates changes.
- Offers feedback on the broadest range of brainwave activity .04-60+ Hz. Why is this important? It means the most data on the brain's activity are being measured and used. Many systems are just measuring Alpha and Beta or mid-range brainwaves.
The Benefits of NeurOptimal Brain Training
NeurOptimal has numerous benefits that can lead to better mental and emotional wellbeing. It improves sleep quality and quantity, increases mental clarity and focus, reduces stress and anxiety, improves mood and emotional stability, increases creativity and productivity, and improves athletic performance.
While NeurOptimal is not a medical device it has been shown to help people live better with conditions such as ADHD, PTSD, head injuries such as TBI or stroke recovery. Because NeurOptimal® is designed to show the brain it's habits around stress, anyone who is frustrated by symptoms connected to stress whether it's exhaustion, worrying, difficulties sleeping, lack of focus and inability to be organized, tend to find benefit.
The NeurOptimal Experience
A NeurOptimal session involves wearing EEG sensors on the scalp while listening to music or watching a video. The sensors just take information about brainwave activity from the scalp and feed it through an amplifier to amplify the microvoltage. That voltage is translated into the mathematical expression we call Alpha or Beta brainwaves, as example.
The system analyzes the brainwave patterns and delivers micro-interruptions in the music or video being played. A single session can last between 33 and 45 minutes, and multiple sessions are recommended to see significant results. The cost of each session varies, and because it is fully automated individuals have the choice to also rent or purchase a system for home-use.
The Science Behind NeurOptimal Neurofeedback
The foundational science behind NeurOptimal is the concept of neuroplasticity, which refers to the brain's ability to adapt and reorganize itself. Drs. Valdeane and Susan Brown, two clinical neuropsychologists who created the neurofeedback device, were influenced by the work of neurologist Dr. Karl Pribram and his Holonomic Theory of the brain. He suggested that the brain processes information in a way that is similar to a hologram. According to the theory, the brain is capable of processing information as a whole, rather than as discrete parts. This means that instead of relying solely on localized regions of the brain, the entire brain works together to process and store information. Dr. Pribram believed that this model of the brain is more accurate than the traditional model of the brain as a collection of individual parts. The Holonomic theory of the brain has had a significant impact on the field of neuroscience and has influenced the development of new neuroimaging techniques that allow researchers to study the brain as a whole.
NeurOptimal's unique algorithm analyzes brainwave activity and provides feedback to the brain based on the science that the brain is a whole system and can optimize its own performance as a whole system better than it can if you isolate parts and train the brain regionally as is done in protocol neurofeedback.
Furthermore, the non-invasive nature of the NeurOptimal system makes it a safe and effective alternative to traditional neurofeedback systems, which can require invasive procedures.
While it is not a treatment modality, there are research studies on the effectiveness of NeurOptimal for stress, focus, brain fog, anxiety and depression.
Is NeurOptimal Safe?
It is important to consider safety when using any new technology, especially in the area of brain health and mental well-being.
Because it is non-invasive, NeurOptimal is a safe technology for brain training. There is nothing added to the brain, and there is no forced state change. The improvements happen because the brain is optimizing its own decisions. Additionally, the technology is FDA approved for relaxation and stress reduction as a General Wellness Device. The agency has determined it to be safe for consumers to use directly, without needing the guidance of a healthcare provider.
However, it is important to consider the potential side effects of any new technology. Some users have reported mild side effects such as headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. Headaches, though rare, can happen if the trainee is dehydrated. Fatigue is sometimes felt after a session in individuals who are sleep deprived. These side effects are typically mild and short-lived.
It is also important to note that NeurOptimal is not a substitute for medical treatment. While the technology may help to improve brain function, it is not a replacement for traditional medical treatments.
In conclusion, taking care of your brain is crucial for achieving better mental and emotional wellbeing. NeurOptimal is a unique neurofeedback system that focuses on the brain's self-regulating ability and provides the brain with feedback on its own patterns of activity, allowing for long-term improvements in brain function. With numerous benefits that can lead to better mental and emotional wellbeing, NeurOptimal is an accessible and affordable way to access neurofeedback and achieve your goals.
Get started with NeurOptimal brain training
We've been offering our brain training program for over 11 years and have served over 3,000 customers. Reach out to us using the Chat Widget below or fill out a form for a 15 min. consultation here and one of our experienced neurofeedback training coaches will get back to you.