Busting the Most Common Neurofeedback Myths.
Funny how rumors get started… One person thinks they understand how something works. However, it is always embedded with their experiences and the knowledge base they come from. This information that they receive quickly turns into “it works like this” while another says “no, I heard it worked like this”, and yet another says, “in my experience it must be like this”. Before you know it, suddenly all these funny rumors, inventions, beliefs and in some cases, superstitions have started, and with little to no truth! So, we wanted to take a moment to dispel the most common and best neurofeedback myths and rumors.
Myth: You must ease into the process of brain training by starting with a shorter session of neurofeedback and less frequency, then eventually graduate to a full session and increase frequency.
BUSTED! This is not true. With NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback you start with a full session and continue full sessions, no matter who is training. Children or ‘severe’ cases do not require an ‘ease-into’ approach. Easing into neurofeedback is not necessary because the process is non-invasive and does not stress the brain or any other part of the body. Doing a session everyday is actually recommended in order to begin training your brain to learn the new information it is receiving.
Myth: My Neurofeedback Trainer must understand my diagnosis to best treat me with neurofeedback.
BUSTED! NeurOptimal® does not treat. It is diagnostically agnostic and is a mathematically driven program that does not need to understand anything about your diagnosis. It has been designed to ‘meet the individual’ in the moment and respond, reorient and ‘detect change’ within the cortical activity. The software is training the Central Nervous System (CNS) to move away from ‘discomfort’. Therefore, transitions are important and the result is better flexibility and resilience. This is another reason why our family chose the NeurOptimal Neurofeedback system. Read about our story in Can Neurofeedback Help My Foster Child or Adopted Child?
Myth: Neurofeedback results (data) must be interpreted by an expert.
BUSTED! With NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback the information derived is not necessary for continued brain training and is therefore not used in monitoring progress. Instead, we use the manual Tracking Tools to measure the DIFs (Duration, Intensity, Frequency and Shift) of the changes. These tracking tools empower the Client to better know how the shifts are playing out in their lives.
Myth: Neurofeedback picks out specific frequencies in hopes it will change neurochemicals in the brain like serotonin and dopamine.
BUSTED! NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is a non invasive dynamical neurofeedback system and does not encourage or discourage any specific frequency or neurochemical production. Instead, it is a ‘feedback’ system that ‘detects change’ within the Central Nervous System (CNS). By mathematically mirroring that information back to the individual, their brain responds to that information and this is how a ‘shift’ may occur.
Myth: NeurOptimal® creates neuroplasticity in the brain… NeurOptimal® creates neurons in the brain... NeurOptimal® re-connects neurons…
BUSTED! The brain is designed to process information, and NeurOptimal® offers exactly that – information. So, there is no need to invoke physical effects of any kind. While people may have their own theories of what happens physically in the brain after doing NeurOptimal® Sessions, there would be no way to know for sure until an actual post-mortem dissection has occurred.
Myth: I must have a QEEG (Quantitative Electroencephalogram) or a brain map to know where my brain is starting and what kind of progress I am making.
BUSTED! This common misconception is also false. NeurOptimal® is a Dynamical Neurofeedback® system that measures information while it is in movement, not in a linear moment in time. It is important that the measure is fluid and not a still picture. Once a picture is taken, that moment is gone and is now a historical point. NeurOptimal® is always dynamic, fluid, and in real time. The BEST way to measure one’s progress and shifts in their brain's reactions are via our tracking tools.
Myth: Neurofeedback is too strong for a person because they're too young, too old, have too much mental duress or have a diagnosis that's too severe.
BUSTED! NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is not "too strong" for anyone - regardless of age, mentality or diagnosis. While the software has a very precise ‘mathematical’ timing throughout its 33-minute Session, it is meant to provide different clarity of feedback to the brain. Thus, there is no need to adjust any timing for different individuals. The software has been designed to fluidly navigate and not push the brain to ‘do anything’, no matter where you are in your journey! As a point of reference, many clients report that they fall asleep while doing their neurofeedback session.
Myth: My Neurofeedback Trainer must stay with me while I go through my neurofeedback session.
BUSTED! Jennifer Palcic, our NeurOptimal Neurofeedback Trainer does not need to ‘help’ clients through their process by sitting with them. In fact, most of the NeurOptimal® users at Breaking Through rent a neurofeedback device to do their neurofeedback session at home, by themselves. If a Neurofeedback Trainer is in the room while you do your session, it could add an ‘extrinsic constraint’ to their process, which could slow it down. So whether you're doing your neurofeedback sessions in our office or at home, we let NeurOptimal® and the individual dance together and get out of their way.
Myth: A regular session is too strong/long for children. They must do shorter sessions until they are at least “x” years old.
BUSTED! When you use NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback you will benefit from regular sessions all the time, no matter what age the person. Many of the neurofeedback clients at Breaking Through buy, or rent, their own system so that their whole family can use the system daily, in the comfort of their own home. If you find it a challenge to keep a child seated during a full session, quiet activities like reading, homework, or board games are fine. They can even watch a movie.
Myth: NeurOptimal® Dynamical Neurofeedback® system is no different than any other neurofeedback approach.
BUSTED! NeurOptimal® is the only dynamical neurofeedback system to mathematically offer feedback by using a 4-dimensional process of Duration, Intensity, Frequency and Shifts. In contrast, other linear approaches only measure in 2-dimensions, Frequency and Amplitude. Even if others use some of our same language, they are just not the same under the hood. NeurOptimal® is mathematically measuring TIME, hence its ability to help train flexibility and resilience.