All human activity is dependent upon the flow of information through neural networks in the brain. It is the combined effect of this neural activity that produces the wavelike electrochemical discharges, represented as brainwaves, that are worked with in neurofeedback training. Different activities or states of consciousness are associated with different brain wave patterns. An efficient brain shifts through different brainwave states dependent upon the task at hand. A dysregulated brain may be under-aroused and unresponsive or over-aroused and anxious, resulting in a diminished ability to shift states in response to environmental demands. Individuals can become stuck in a specific state of arousal, style of responding, or mood state. Neurofeedback is designed to enhance brain functioning by improving the brain’s ability to shift states. In other words, neurofeedback can train the brain to increase its ability to adapt by becoming more flexible and regulated.
Though we work with many issues that respond well to neurofeedback training, we have special expertise and experience working with addictions and trauma. Although not designed as a specific treatment for a specific problem, there is a significant body of research and an abundance of case studies documenting the effectiveness for the following conditions:
- Attachment disorders
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Chronic pain
- Conduct disorders
- Chronic fatigue
- Peak Performance
- Sleep disorders
- Stroke/head injury
What Is Neurofeedback? An Audio File with Ray McGarty, 2014
Neurofeedback and Peak Performance
Neurofeedback training is a form of brainwave biofeedback. Training involves the placement of electrodes on the scalp in order to feed signals to an EEG amplifier. The EEG equipment provides real-time, instantaneous audio and visual feedback to the subject about his or her brainwave activity. No electrical current is put into the brain. The brain’s electrical activity is simply relayed to computer software. When an individual can see a representation of his or her brainwave activity on a computer screen in real-time, it is possible for that subject to influence and change that activity in ways that lead to a more efficient calm brain. Through this process we are now about to literally retrain the brain.
While useful in addressing clinical problems, increasingly sophisticated research has begun to delineate brainwave patterns that are associated with various types of peak performance. In general, training the brain to more efficiently produce such patterns leads to measurable improvements in focus, concentration and attention, lowered anxiety levels, and less disruptive mental chatter. Neurfeedback trains the brain to function more efficiently, improving mental agility and dexterity in ways that positively impact physical performance.
Focus and emotional balance is at the heart of peak performance. There is documented improvement using neurofeedback by elite athletes, surgeons, corporate executives, musicians, professional poker champions and more. Yogis use it as a mental guide to reach meditative and other spiritual states. Many utilize it to get relief generally from stress, to improve sleep, and simply to be the best performers no matter what circumstances they face.
Neurofeedback is used for peak performance training by: The Pro golf circuit, Formula 1 race teams, United States Olympic Training Center, English Institute of Sports (Olympic Training Center), Canadian National Olympic Sports Center, US Special Forces and Navy Seals training, United States Army Centers for Enhanced Performance, Human Potential Institute (Australian Special Forces), and West Point Military Academy.
People most benefiting from peak performance neurofeedback training are those who intensively use their minds and bodies to take on challenges. Also, people who are exposed to considerable levels of daily stress, for example, performing musicians, athletes, authors or academic professionals, business people, firemen and other first responders, managers, pilots, law enforcement professionals, and students.
Research suggests that about 90% of users notice significant positive impact from the training. The level of impact varies individually from subtle to strong. Subjective estimations of improved attention and performance have been confirmed with examination of such objective indicators as rates of errors, improved visual-auditory efficiency, improved school performance, measured increases in IQ, and measured improvement in attention, focus, concentration, and mental efficiency, as well as measurable improvement in sports related performance.