What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback, also called neurotherapy or EEG Biofeedback, is a type of biofeedback that uses real-time displays of brain activity—most commonly electroencephalography, to teach self-regulation of brain function.

What is NeurOptimal®, and how does it work?

NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is an advanced neuro-technology that offers training to the brain, enabling it to function at its absolute best.  It provides your brain with real-time feedback, micro-second by micro-second, allowing it to re-organize itself.  NeurOptimal® works much like holding up a mirror to your brain: the technology monitors your brain waves and then provides your central nervous system with this information, or “feedback”, about how it is behaving. When the software detects an inconsistency in the brain’s electrical activity, it informs the brain through an audible signal, encouraging the brain to re-ogranize and correct itself.

What does a session look like?

Before each session you will have a brief chat with Charity who will track any changes you have noticed since the previous session.  Then, sensors are applied to your scalp and ears (these will read your brain activity). This takes just a couple of minutes and you’re ready to begin.  During the 33.5 minute session, you are sitting or lying back in a comfortable chair while you listen to beautiful music.  While the music plays, you can watch a visual display, or just close your eyes and relax. Children may do tabletop activities, like art or reading, or they can watch a movie. You’ll hear brief pauses or skips in the music–this is the feedback signal, alerting your brain of the inconsistencies in its brain wave patterns.

There is no need for you to do anything.  No need to focus on the pauses in the music.  No need to try to push your brain one way or another.  The feedback is informing the nervous system at an unconscious level, using its innate wisdom to reset itself and thus function more optimally.

How many sessions do I need?

Every brain is different and every training is unique, so it is impossible to know in advance how many sessions will be required to meet your wellness goals.  Many individuals begin to notice significant change between 1-10 sessions.  Still, doing 15, 20 or 30 sessions may be ideal to meet your goals and integrate changes.  A consultation with Charity about your goals will help determine how many sessions you’ll want to aim for. 

Does it last?

NeurOptimal® brain training is like riding a bike: once you know the training, your brain doesn’t “un-learn” it. That being said, it can be knocked off balance by stressors, hormones, environmental pollutants, etc. If this occurs, it’ll only take 1-2 sessions for your brain to get back on track. Because your brain remembers this brain training, you can come back to it years later – your brain will recognize it and fall back into healthy habits.

Effects and Benefits?

Neurofeedback training provides many benefits for the brain and body, including

  • Increased neural plasticity, which helps reduce stress
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Heightened mental clarity
  • Enhanced cognitive performance
  • Helps unstick the brain patterns of the stress response, namely, anxiety and depression
  • Anti-aging and brain fitness
  • Improved physical and mental performance

How does NeurOptimal® differ from other systems?

NeurOptimal® is different from other EEG Biofeedback systems, and what really sets it apart is that it was created with a fundamentally different viewpoint from other systems.

It is superior because:

  • It is incredibly user-friendly, with no complicated set-up or expertise required to run it. This makes each session quick, relaxing, and easy.
  • It’s designed to work with your individual brain, and its goal is to optimize overall brain function. It does not target or try to “fix” specific symptoms or issues. Although NeurOptimal® doesn’t treat specific conditions, many symptoms are alleviated because it works to improve the central nervous system’s overall functioning.
  • It is completely non-invasive: no electricity, vibration, or other external signal goes into your brain. Additionally, because it doesn’t target specific areas of the brain or push the brain in any specific direction, there are no unwanted side effects.
  • It is 100% natural and safe. Because your brain ultimately knows best what works for it and your body, NeurOptimal® simply gives it the information it needs to correct and optimize itself. You will not “overtrain” or overwork your brain, and you will not create unwanted states.

Who is it for?

Anyone can benefit from Neurofeedback training. It’s like a workout for your brain. Neurofeedback helps people train their brains to function optimally, improving concentration, memory, anxiety, and mood.

Neurofeedback can help alleviate symptoms related to various conditions, including:

  • ADHD and ADD
  • Addiction
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Brain trauma
  • Migraines
  • PTSD and trauma
  • Stress
  • Insomnia and sleep issues

On the other hand, some people seek out Neurofeedback training to maximize their peak performance, such as:

  • Athletes
  • Executives
  • Students

Do you do an assessment of the brain?

Before your first session, you will be asked to complete a checklist of concerns so that we can have a self-reported baseline of your symptoms as well as goals.  You then have the option to complete this assessment again after every 10 sessions and compare pre and post data. We do not perform any kind of brain scan assessment such as a QEEG brain map, which is typical in the conventional linear approach to neurofeedback to get a visual snapshot of the activity in the brain.  Such assessments, or any diagnosis you may have, are not at all required or useful with NeurOptimal® and does not change the way the training is performed.  The NeurOptimal® system always meets your brain exactly where it is, moment by moment, and simply gives the nervous system information about what it is doing, allowing the brain to self-correct at its own pace.  There is no attempt to push your brain into a ‘normal’ range and so looking at the changes in the brain have little consequence.  The only kind of assessment that is useful to notice are your experiential changes in your well-being, such as cognitively, emotionally, physically, socially, behaviourally or spiritually. For that, we use progress tracking tools such as the pre and post checklist as well as a brief check in at each session to talk about your shifts.

Are Neurofeedback sessions covered by health benefits or other?

Health Benefits

If you possess extended health benefits, your NeurOptimal Neurofeedback sessions can be covered as a session with a registered clinical counselor. You have the option of receiving an email or print out of your invoice for reimbursement by your insurance company. We aim to make your payment process as smooth as possible, just ask us how we can help.

First Nations Health Authority

NeurAlive is proud to be a registered provider with the First Nations Health Authority and can offer 15-20 sessions of advanced brain training to First Nations clients. Call us or book online to set up your consultation.

Train Your Brain With Our Resources

Learn more about NeurOptimal® by entering your email to receive a free copy of our in-depth information booklet on neurofeedback and NeurOptimal®