NEUROFEEDBACK USES LEARNING TO CREATE POSITIVE BRAIN CHANGES
Neurofeedback is a learning technique that helps your brain change unhelpful EEG (brainwave) patterns so it can function more effectively. The human brain is always changing itself based on its experiences, but not every experience changes the brain. An experience must be frequent, sustained, and intensely repeated to alter brain structure and function. In other words, whatever we do over and over again, our brains get better and faster at doing and devote more brain cells to carrying out. This is how we learn any skill; but it’s also why we should be more intentional about what we use our brains to do.
We can accidentally end up practicing anxiety, depression, or self-doubt or we can more intentionally practice gratitude, calm, and joy. Neurofeedback allows us to harness neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change itself) in the direction we’d prefer it to go. By cultivating the kinds of internal and external experiences we’d most like to have, we can become sculptors of our own brains.
Neurofeedback is like playing the childhood game of hotter and colder with your brain cells. Sensors attached to your scalp measure the electrical activity on the surface of your brain, then the computer reflects your brain activity back to you through audio and visual information. The computer provides an audible cue whenever your brain cells’ firing patterns move closer to a calm, focused state. When your brain experiences a more efficient, more effective way of operating, it is inherently motivated to adopt this new way of working (with enough repetition). Everybody’s brain wants to get the best possible results for the least amount of energy expended.
NEUROFEEDBACK IS YOGA FOR THE BRAIN
This process can also be likened to yoga for your brain. By intentionally practicing specific yoga postures, you increase the flexibility and stability of your body. By intentionally practicing a calm focused state, you increase the flexibility and stability of your brainwaves.
Neurofeedback is based in the arousal model, which states that as your nervous system arousal (or activation) increases, so does your performance – up to a point. If your nervous system arousal continues to increase past that point, your performance will decline. This holds true from everything from shooting free throws to working math problems to sleeping well to parenting. Neurofeedback helps your nervous system regulate its arousal more effectively and shift its level of arousal to fit the task at hand more appropriately. Learning to regulate your nervous system arousal well makes all life tasks easier - especially in terms of managing your moods, sleep, energy level, and focus. When we can’t regulate our nervous system arousal well, on the other hand, everything is much more difficult and we don’t feel as good inside our own skins.
We hope you will come see what neurofeedback can do for you! Below is a link to a video that our friend and colleague, Mike Cohen, made describing neurofeedback: