“Members of Italy’s World Cup-winning soccer team have done it. A starting quarterback in the NFL has tried it out. And so has Jordan Kreuter, an 18-year-old golfer in North Carolina.
The thing they have in common: They’ve all turned to neurofeedback, a technique that promises to help athletes reprogram their brains so they can reach a zone of relaxed concentration during clutch situations.”
– Russell Adams, The Wall Street Journal
What Is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback, is a form of biofeedback where participants respond to a display of their own brainwaves or other electrical activity of the nervous system.
Neurofeedback technology has been in use in the therapeutic market for more than 30 years. It has primarily been utilized in the health and wellness industries, helping individuals with mental and physical disorders, and providing psychological training for the relief of symptoms. It has also been used for relieving stress and increasing well-being.
David Suzuki did a four part series on the power of neurofeedback on the show The Nature Of Things.
Neurofeedback Improves Performance
Neurofeedback has also been successfully used for Peak performance applications. Sports psychologists use brain skills training to help their clients get into the “zone” more easily and stay there longer. Unlike the therapeutic market, where patients receive training to relieve symptoms or manage their disorder, peak performance clients utilize the system to gain a mental or physical boost. They develop an enhanced ability to both relax and focus which means they can “be in the moment” without stressing about what happened in the past, or what could happen in the future. In addition, the release of tension means athletes suffer fewer sore muscles and recover from injuries more quickly.
A Client’s Experience of Neurofeedback
“Yesterday I could feel a definite energy in my brain during the Neuroptimal session. At one point I went into a deep state of relaxation and it seemed like I nearly went into another realm. When I got home I had a craving to watch Homeland. Not sure if you’re familiar – it’s about the CIA and has a quick moving plot. Normally I have to rewind parts because I miss something. Last night I had laser sharp focus and didn’t miss a thing.
I felt like I was using more of my brain. I then had a conversation with my partner and didn’t emotionally react to something he said and calmly held my ground. This is definitely an area I’ve wanted to work on. Unfortunately it took me about 2-3 hours to fall asleep so I feel tired today and feel lots of tension in my stomach. After a good sleep I’ll see if the improved concentration is still there as I was really pleased with that.“
Biofeedback Is Relaxing
Sensors are attached to the earlobes and scalp. There is no electrical current run through these – they simply record your brain’s activity. No input goes into your brain from these. You may listen to music or perform a task such as playing a simple computer game. As you do these activities, your brain observes and learns which brain waves produce the optimum results. The process is relaxing and non-stressful. A brain “workout” is much more relaxed than a physical one!
Neuroptimal Neurofeedback Is Well Established
Neuroptimal’s well established and passionate community of trainers are from a variety of therapeutic backgrounds of health and wellness specialists, including: counselors, physical therapists, psychologists, massage therapists etc., as well as medical doctors specializing in various fields such as ADHD, epilepsy, insomnia and autism. The field is not limited to these, as Neuroptimal is a process of allowing the brain to regulate itself and does not require a professional to “train” the brain. In fact, we provide a home unit that the complete family can use.
Neurofeedback has been successfully employed by Olympic athletes, opera singers, race car drivers, business professionals and various other specialists who require top performance in very demanding environments. It helps professionals reduce tension, increase awareness, and maintain their focus on the task at hand.
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