NeurOptimal® - FAQ

  • What type of person comes to you for Brain Training?

The people that come to us are seeking nonmedical, natural, holistic ways to improve brain function and overall healing.  It is important to realize that we do not diagnose, treat, or claim to cure any medical condition.  Neurofeedback is not a specific treatment for any medical disorder or set of symptoms.  We do not prescribe drugs or do anything invasive. 

Generally speaking, there are three types of people that we’ll see in the office:

1. People with a specific health complaint - the challenge could be of a physical, emotional, or cognitive nature:

Chronic pain                                   Stroke recovery

Depression                                     Memory loss

Anxiety                                           Poor focus/concentration

Fibromyalgia                                  Migraines/headaches

Concussion symptoms                   Insomnia/poor sleep

PTSD                                             ADD/ADHD (child or adult)

Brain fog from chemotherapy         Hypertension

Anger issues                                   Autism

Addiction recovery                          Learning Disabilities

Bi-Polar Disorder                            Phobias

Panic attacks                                  Epilepsy

Cerebral Palsy                              

Degenerative illness (dementia, MS, Parkinson’s, etc.)

2. People who do not have specific, definable issues but are under heavy stress and realize their health is suffering

3. People who are interested in personal growth and self-development:

Increase sports performance

Increase their creativity and performance musically/artistically

Improve academic performance

Improved relationships

Increase work performance

Promote a greater sense of happiness, peace, freedom

Release self-limiting patterns by getting “unstuck”

Unlock their true potential

Better self-control

Greater self-confidence/self esteem

This is a general guideline.  People may fall in one, two, or all three categories.

  • How does brain training help the brain?

The beauty of brain training is that it increases the connectivity of the 100+ billion neurons in the brain.  This increased connectivity allows the neurons to communicate faster and more efficiently.  In other words, brain training can’t change the brain’s “hardware” but rather gives it a super-charged “software” update!

We’ve all heard the expression, “use it or lose it.”  NeurOptimal® training is a fitness program for the brain.  This state of the art training, on a moment to moment basis, shows the brain how it’s learning, processing, and using information.  As the brain responds to the training, it continually learns, adapts, and grows.   In fact, it can be said that not only is the brain learning, but it’s also “learning how to learn” more effectively.  Old, inefficient, and unhealthy neurological patterns fade away.

Think of it this way…our brain training program helps rewire, reboot, and synchronize your brain!  That means a happier, healthier you.

  • Why would my brain need to be “trained?”

The brain is amazingly resilient.  However, the amount of stress it has to deal with in today’s culture is unprecedented. 

Stress is on-going and pervasive.  Chronic physical, mental, emotional, chemical, and electromagnetic stress is everywhere.  The food we eat, water we drink, and the air we breathe has deteriorated at an alarming rate (even if we have “healthy” habits).  This places unnecessary chemical stress on the brain and nervous system.

Computers, cell phones, wireless connections are all a great modern day convenience.  However, it comes at a cost because this constant barrage of electromagnetic stress negatively impacts the brain – individual dosages are small,  but it is the overall cumulative effect that is concerning.

Mental and emotional stress abounds as well.  Repetitive negative thoughts, self-imposed limiting beliefs, suppressed emotions, past mental/emotional traumas, over critical self-thoughts, feelings of “I can’t,” “I’m not good enough,” and worry/anxiety of the future…are just a few.

Let’s not forget physical stress.  Slips, falls, car accidents, sports injuries (including physical traumas that do not produce obvious symptoms), concussions, everyday childhood activities, and repetitive motions with work/sports are all quite common stressors…and even considered “normal.” 

To sum up, life is stressful.  It’s a fact of life for the time and culture in which we live.  The brain can handle a tremendous amount of “life” but it’s the overall cumulative “life” effect that’s so detrimental.  Ultimately, the constant stress discharges the brain…it loses its fluidity, its flexibility, its resiliency, it gets stuck - imbalanced. 

When this happens symptoms can be immediate and obvious.  Or the onset of ill-health can occur deceptively slow.  Physical limitations worsen.  Mental and emotional limitations compound ultimately robbing one of energy and zest for living.  Excuses like “I’m just getting old” and “I wish things were better” become commonplace. 

The solution?  Brain training…restore the brain’s fluidity, flexibility, and efficiency.  Increasing the brain’s ability to deal with life’s stressors will mean a happier, healthier you!

  • Does it work for everyone?

The vast majority of individuals we see do find great benefit in our training program.  The degree of benefit changes depending on the presenting problems, the expectations of the individual or family, the environment in which the person lives, and their commitment level to getting better.

  • Will neurofeedback last forever?

As you can imagine, the brain has an extraordinary ability to remember.  Brain training allows the brain to function with more ease, more flexible, and more resiliency…and the brain likes that!  Therefore, the wonderful benefits of brain training tend to be long lasting.   However, many people choose to continue with periodic sessions to minimize stress and optimize health.

  • What are some things that cause a person to need periodic “tune-ups?”
  1. High stress periods (death of a love one, divorce, family issues)
  2. Chronic unrelieved stress
  3. Poor nutrition
  4. Consistent use of alcohol, drugs, chemical sweeteners (Nutrasweet)
  5. Irregular sleep patterns
  6. Other health conditions (dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons, etc.)

This list is not meant to be all inclusive but gives you an idea of why the brain gets “stuck” to begin with and why it may need some ongoing support.

  • Is it dangerous to change someone's brain?

Absolutely not!  This is a completely non-invasive training.  We are not “changing” the brain.  There are no electrical inputs, electrical “shocks,” or any impulses directed into the brain.  The training simply reads your brain’s activity and provides feedback to the brain to help it become more efficient.

  • Does electrical activity go into the brain during neurofeedback?

No.  The EEG sensors are placed on the scalp with the conductive paste to “read” the activity under the scalp.  It is then processed through the NeurOptimal® computer and mathematical calculations are computed to develop a picture of this activity.  This is then processed to create feedback in both a visual and auditory format for the brain to respond to during a session.

  • How many sessions will I need?

Remember, we are not treating medical conditions, but rather training the brain holistically.  Therefore, there is no ceiling or limit to how much a person can train or how much benefit a person can receive.  It really is an individual choice.  After your initial visit, together, we will determine what is best for your specific needs.

If your problems are fairly recent and you’re in relatively good health, you may require as little as 10 sessions (or less).  For those with multiple concerns of a more chronic nature, the brain may require up to 40 visits (or more).  For the average individual, 20 visits is usually enough to make a long-lasting impactful change. 

Typically, the more sessions you have, the stronger more comprehensive the results.  That is why some will choose periodic “re-charge” sessions to see how much further they can go with their brain training.

  • How much is each session?

Fees will typically range from $60-$150 depending on what services are performed.  However, we offer payment packages that enable people to get care for themselves and their family at an affordable rate.

  • Is neurofeedback covered by my insurance?

The short answer is "no."  With changes in healthcare laws and insurance benefits, coverage for many services is basically nonexistent.  However, we are happy to check on your individual insurance plan.

  • How often do I need to come?

Typically we start new clients at twice a week.  Of course, this can vary.  Some clients may need to be seen more frequently.

  • Do you help children?

Absolutely!  Kids can benefit greatly from our brain training.  The best part is that it is 100% safe and easy.  In fact, in 2012 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended neurofeedback as a "Level 1 - Best Support" intervention for those with ADD/ADHD.  AAP Recommends Neurofeedback   The sooner the brain can form effective and efficient pathways, the healthier and happier that person will be. More ADD/ADHD Research

  • What if my child won’t sit still for the session?

No worries!  Bring in their favorite movie and your child can watch it during the session.  They will still receive all the fantastic benefits of brain training!

  • Can my child’s grades actually improve with brain training?

Neurofeedback has been proven to help increase memory, focus, and concentration (in all ages).  Cognitive Enhancement Research  This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended neurofeedback as an effective method for helping kids deal with the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.  This endorsement shows the validity and effectiveness of neurofeedback since traditional medical organizations rarely recommend non-medical, holistic solutions. 

Of course, your child does not need to be diagnosed with anything to benefit from brain training.  In fact, it bears repeating…we are not treating or diagnosing any medical conditions whatsoever.  Our program offers a simple, safe, but powerful technology to increase brain fitness!

As it relates to a child’s grades specifically, academic struggles (reading, math, comprehension, lack of desire, disorganization) are often signs of an inefficient and imbalanced brain.  As the child struggles his confidence in his ability to actually do the work diminishes greatly.  This creates a negative, downward cycle furthering hampering the child and his ability scholastically.

It does not have to be this way.  Brain training can help the child function at their optimum level academically.  As the brain becomes more efficient, learning of all types becomes easier and more fun.  The brain becomes more flexible and its ability to process newer, more complicated information increases.  As this unfolds, the child’s confidence grows and starts to cycle upwards instead of down. 

However, it makes good sense to manage our expectations.  Neurofeedback will not transform a person of average intelligence into Einstein.  It can’t make a person into something they are not.

But, what it has proven to do is allow children (and adults too!) to function at their optimum level academically.  As parents who want the very best for our kids, that’s all we can ask.

  • Are there any side effects?

Most people do not experience any negative side effects.  Some people report feeling a little more tired or a slight headache after the first couple sessions, but that is temporary as the brain reorganizes itself to become more efficient.  Since NeurOptimal® brain training is completely noninvasive most people report nothing but positive, uplifting changes.

  • How long has neurofeedback been around?

Traditional neurofeedback has been in use since the 1960s.  Our office utilizes NeurOptimal®, a state of the art brain training system that uses an algorithm developed by Dennis Gabor, the 1971 Nobel Prize winner for physics.  In the 1990s, Dr. Valdeane Brown took the traditional neurofeedback protocols and refined them, eventually improving them to develop what our office uses today.

  • How long have you been in practice?

We opened our chiropractic office in May 1996.  Since 2000, we have focused on brain-based techniques and brain training to help people with a wide array of health challenges.

  • What makes you unique?

We are one of the few offices in the country that offer two powerful brain training methods: hands-on brain balancing (“Re-boot”) plus NeurOptimal® neurofeedback.  When combined, the two processes have a synergistic effect and really turbo charges a patient’s healing.

  • How will I know what services I need?

On your first visit, we will sit down and discuss your specific health challenges.  Next, a functional exam will be performed.  We will test balance, muscle strength, and check for imbalances in the body.  The physical body can give wonderful clues as to the health and efficiency of the brain.  Simply put, an imbalanced/inefficient brain leads to an imbalanced/inefficient body. 

Based on your exam, health history, and current health challenges, we formulate a game plan (with your input) to get the quickest results possible.

  • How can brain training help increase sports performance?

Obviously, the brain controls everything.  This is especially true of all psychomotor skills such as sports, playing a musical instrument, singing, and performing in general.  When the brain is functioning effectively and efficiently, the body itself is more balanced, hand-eye coordination is optimized, reaction time improves, coordination increases, strength is maximized…the list goes on and on and on. These benefits directly translate to improved performance across all levels and types of competition.  Peak Performance Research

Also, a major benefit to brain training is an overall reduction in stress…feeling more peaceful and present.  Not only does that mean a happier you but it automatically and unconsciously improves all activities.  Stress, worry, over- effort, trying too hard, and thinking too much all greatly impede your performance.  Those negative feelings tend to melt away with brain training. 

What’s left?  Pure flow…the feeling of performing without getting in the way.  Basically, brain training allows you to be your best and perform your best…that means better golf scores, more creativity musically/artistically, improved athleticism, and much, much, more.

  • I have lots of work stress.  Can your brain training program help?

Yes, for the very same reasons mentioned above.  Unfortunately, levels of work stress rarely go down and only seem to worsen.  More deadlines, more commitments, more pressure…all leaves you physically and emotionally drained.  This downward cycle leaves very little energy for you individually or for you to spend quality time with loved ones.

Brain training allows you to function and be at your best, especially under stressful work conditions.  Peak level performance at work without feeling overwhelmed is quite possible when you train your brain.

Our program encourages your brain to be more fluid and flexible, ensuring you’re able to dissipate and marginalize your daily stress, not just “deal with it.”

  • Do you ever give nutritional guidance?

Yes.  Our primary emphasis is on brain-based nutrition.  We advise people how to eat to feed and fuel the brain properly.  Most are unaware how to optimize brain function with yummy, delicious foods.  Depending on a person’s health history we may recommend brain-based supplements to compensate for neurological deficits and speed brain healing.  This is on a case by case basis and is always optional.

Brain-based nutrition + NeurOptimal® = a Happy, Health brain!

  • I noticed the term “nonlinear dynamical” neurofeedback on the NeurOptimal website.  What the heck is that?

The term “nonlinear dynamical” is mathematical jargon describing how the brain actually functions.

Historically, neuroanatomist and neuroscientists taught that certain parts of the brain controlled certain functions.  The back part of the brain controlled vision, the front part was for reasoning etc.  It was a very localized, linear, and limited view of brain structure and function.

We now know this simply is not true.  The brain does not function in a linear, straight-line manner (your car engine starts in a linear fashion...first this happens, which triggers the next step, which leads to the next step, and then your car starts, hopefully :).

The brain functions very much in a “nonlinear” fashion.  It functions as one big computer, with billions of neurons firing simultaneously in a synchronized manner.  The healthy brain works holistically…all the various parts of the brain working together in a coordinated and “dynamic” way (hence the term nonlinear dynamical).  When the brain wants to perform a function, billions of neurons fire in a seemingly chaotic manner, and in a nanosecond, the function is complete.  Wow!

The beautiful aspect of NeurOptimal® is that it is the only neurofeedback system that trains the brain in this “nonlinear dynamical” fashion.  Other neurofeedback systems tend to push or pull the brain in certain directions.  Traditional neurofeedback attempts to uptrain or downtrain certain brainwave patterns based on a person’s symptoms.  Or these traditional systems may compare a person’s brain pattern to a “normative” data base…and then try to make that persons brainwave pattern more “normal”.

NeurOptimal® does none of that.  It simply is making the brain aware of how it’s functioning.  It is as if NeurOptimal® is holding a mirror up to the brain, so the brain can see how it can perform better…and then the brain makes any and all necessary adaptations.  No pushing.  No pulling…and certainly no attempting to make anyone “normal.”

Since we’re training the brain in harmony with how it normally functions you tend to achieve quicker, longer lasting results with minimal side effects.

  • What if part of the brain is damaged from trauma or stroke?  Can Brain Training still help?

The brain has an amazing ability to adapt, grow, repair, and change (given the proper stimulation).  This is known as plasticity.  Think of a river in which various obstructions have been placed.  The water will naturally find and form new pathways and tributaries around the obstructions.  The brain does the same exact thing.  TBI Research

If one area becomes impaired, the brain has the capability to “rewire” itself (again given the proper training) so a completely different part of the brain can “learn” to pick up the slack and take over the job!  This is proof that the brain truly does function in this “nonlinear dynamically” manner!

The book, The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doidge, highlights wonderful stories of people regaining most, if not all functioning, while recovering from devastating and debilitating brain injuries.

Of course, once someone suffers a brain injury of any sort healing takes longer and require more time, dedication, and effort.  No one can predict how much recovery a person can make, but just to know the brain has the capability of healing is a big first step.

  • Do you offer psychological services?

No.  We are not psychologists.  There is no talk therapy or deep personal discussions of past physical, mental, or emotional trauma.  No need to relive past issues over and over again.

We will check in with you periodically throughout your care to see what gains you’ve noticed.  Also, if various challenges arise we will do our best to guide you along the process.

If a person is under the care of a psychologist or psychiatrist, brain training can enhance that overall experience.