When Do YOU Run a Session?

Many readers are avid runners of NeurOptimal ®(NO) Neurofeedback.  Most know this system for use with physiological ‘issues or symptoms’ such as anxiety, sleep, or attention concerns.  But did you know it is used for many other reasons?

NO is a wildly popular Peak Performance instrument and is being used with corporate offices, business executives, College students and even those that are trying to keep up in their home life maintaining their children’s schedules!   We are lucky to have Samantha Diavatis describe her journey with NO.

Thanks Samantha for sharing your thoughts!

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Samantha Diavatis

 

When do I run a NeurOptimal® session?

NeurOptimal® is my cornerstone.  I use it regularly, and prefer when the people around me do too.  I could never picture my life without it, and when asked what I’d want with me on a deserted island, my first response is my NeurOptimal® unit.

When I first began working for Zengar (doing admin), I had zero interest in neurofeedback.  It was 2002, before anything related to the brain was “cool”.   I thought neurofeedback was weird and not for me.  Boy, was I living under a rock!   One day, I was in the NeurOptimal® (then, NeuroCARE) booth at an event and they needed a head to do a demo on.  I volunteered mine, having no idea this was going to be a life changing moment, and it rocked my world.  Within 5 minutes, I felt a fog that I had been living in (that I was not aware of at the time) part, like clouds after a storm.  I was hooked after that….and have never looked back.

I began understanding that NeurOptimal® isn’t only for “sick” people as I had previously thought.  It’s a tool that anyone can use to function at THEIR best, whatever that best is.  “Best” means something different for everyone, and you won’t know what that means for you until you try it for yourself.

I often get asked “How often should I run a session?”.  My response?  As often as you can.  I personally do one when I feel like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, knowing it’ll make me feel better, which in turn means my family will have a better day.  I run a session when I have a presentation to make, knowing it’ll help me own the room as my words come freely to me and I approach the event with a sense of calm, creating a more enjoyable experience for my audience.  I’ll run a session at my desk while going through emails, knowing it’ll help me get through them more quickly, providing me with the ability to answer them in a more efficient way.  I also know that on days I do that, my work day will be more organized as my focus is through the roof, resulting in a bunch of to dos being checked off my list by the time I go home that evening.  I’ll run a session if I know I have a house full of kids coming up, knowing it’ll help keep me relaxed, more fun and more easygoing.  Feeling sad?  A session will help.  Big decision or business strategy to work out?  Session!  An a-ha moment may happen during the session, but minimally, my thoughts will make a lot more sense to me afterwards.  A session also helps if I need to process something like a disagreement or a large life event.  If, for some reason I’m not sleeping well, I know that doing a session or two will get me the shut eye I need.  And of course, I’ll also just run myself for the hell of it.  After all, there is never any harm in taking care of yourself, is there?

I find that the more organized my brain is, the easier it is for me to lead a happy life, making better decisions for myself, and approaching what can otherwise be thought of as difficult situations with common sense, less emotion and the ability to see the bigger picture rather than focussing on ego.  It feels so good knowing that I have this tool that so easily helps keep me level headed.  It also feels good knowing I’ve got this tool in my back pocket for my son and his friends around him— to help them all live their best life. He’s 10 now, but I have full intention of selfishly running his closest friends as they enter their pre-teen years, so his group can hopefully be more anchored and make better decisions for themselves in their teen years than if they wouldn’t have had sessions under their belt.  After all, what parent doesn’t want that for their child?   I could never picture my life without NeurOptimal®.  As a matter of fact, I’m doing a session right now:) ________________________________________________________________

To reach Samantha please email sam@neurOptimal.com to let her know you read her journey or for additional questions.

For more information on how you can get started on your own journey with your NeurOptimal ® System give me a text or call:  317-258-7444 or email drldelong@cognitive-connections.com   

Dr. Lise’

 

The Brain that Trains Itself

What?  Brains can train themselves?  YES!

We have known for years about Neuroplasticity  which is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by creating new neural connections.  Neurons or nerve cells in the brain will learn a new pathway to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or even changes in their daily environment.

For the first time a system has discovered a method of recording the brain’s cortical activity and ‘mirroring back’ to itself (256 times per second) what it just did so it can learn from it’s own actions or brain events.  As the brain is presented this information it reorganizes and learns from itself!

As this balance occurs the person will first be able to sleep better; falling asleep within 5-20 minutes, staying asleep all night (without too much tossing or turning) and waking feeling refreshed.  This first change helps to generate an environment that allows a reduction in many of the symptoms people have such as; anxiety,  depression, reactions to stress, rumination (repeating certain thoughts over and over) and learning new skills or learning to compensate for lost skills.

This tool has been specially designed to allow for ease of use in the office for therapists or technicians and for families in their home.  It is a simple product that is robust and consistent.  People use this system for attention, memory, sleep, stress, mood concerns, peak performance, brain injuries such as traumatic brain disorders, strokes, concussive syndromes and trauma.

If you are interested in learning more about how to retrain your brain and take advantage of the process of neuroplasticity using the NeurOptimal system call us at 317-258-7444 and we will share more information with you!

A thought from Dr. Lise’

 

 

 

 

 

May I Have Another Drink…No You May NOT Even Have 1 Drink…

May I Have Another Drink...No You May NOT Even Have 1 Drink...

It does take a whole village to raise a child! I remember once seeing a young girl in a restaurant and she had started to take a drink of wine. I ran up to her and stopped that drink. She said it was the first ‘drink’ she had since she found out she was pregnant. She then went on to say it was her Birthday and she was celebrating. I am always surprised by the lack of knowledge of FASD, but went on to explain even 1 drink can make a life-long permanent change in the brain of a baby. It is truly our responsibility to help others become aware of how their actions will affect others!

I asked the President of the Northern California Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders group to share her thoughts on FASD and here is what Kathryn Page, Ph.D, wrote:

“FASD has lots of peculiar aspects. One is its envelope, its interface with the rest of the world. In spite of several waves of public awareness campaigns and great avalanches of solid research, this condition does not stick in the minds of public, professional, academic or families–unless they live with it personally. Five percent of us are–to different degrees–burdened with the AD/HD-like symptoms, the sensory overwhelm, the crappy memory and appalling judgment that come with prenatal alcohol damage. Not to mention the profound sense of alienation and shame for not measuring up, when no one understands that you really are trying your hardest.

Five percent is a lot of us. The number is not hard science and it may never be, but very good
research has moved it up from the one percent it used to be. Without identification and intervention (rare indeed), this is the underbelly of our community inhabiting homeless shelters, people’s couches, jails, emergency rooms chronically.

Yet FASD is still not recognized even when the signs are blinking in red neon; “maladaptive behavior” or “unconscious conflict” or “poor parenting” or “fear of success” or “irresponsibility” or
some other misguided claptrap gets stuck on instead. Or the partially correct labels of AD/HD, Bipolar disorder, Learning Disabilities, Attachment Disorder, ODD…partially but uselessly, since that really doesn’t get to it.

My wish is that this condition rise to the level of autism in public awareness and professional competence. Until then families like mine will take our kids to clinician after clinician who will make recommendations that only fire up the frustration further as they backfire or just fizzle, much money spent and hopelessness rises all around.

Clinicians like Lise who are willing and able to see the whole picture are rare and precious.

We are forming a group for Northern California’s parents and professionals interested in bringing about training, diagnosis, intervention and support for families. Anyone who wants to join up is welcome–contact me if you want more information.” 707-996-7846. Kathryn Page, Ph.D.

More about Kathryn Page via her LinkedIn page:

Kathryn is a PhD in clinical psychology, did her internship at Stanford Psychiatry’s Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center, has published research in both hypnotherapy and political trauma (both for Stanford, the latter also in Mexico), and continues to do volunteer work. She is very involved with various collaboratives aimed at bettering the systems for youth/mental health/ education/community. Her interests lie in Restorative Justice and immigration reform as well as improving the well-being of Latino immigrant families.

Kathryn says her real mission in life is to raise awareness and resources around fetal alcohol to the same level that autism currently inhabits. Meanwhile, she reports she is privileged to support the mental health of our immigrant community in Marin County at Canal Alliance–with her love and joy and no small scrappiness!

Thank you so much Kathryn for sharing your knowledge about FASD from a personal standpoint! If any of you have time, interest, concern, or money to share for this cause, please join us.

FASD is a devastating condition that can be avoided altogether… Don’t drink if you are pregnant or have a possibility of getting pregnant!

Get Involved!!!!

Just a Thought by Dr. Lise’

The Feeling and Perception of Parental Love…How Important is it?

The Feeling and Perception of Parental Love...How Important is it?

The ‘trauma’ of not feeling loved or not making that connection with a parent can be devastating forever. It has been coined by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk as a ‘Developmental Trauma Disorder’ and although not adapted by the DSMV, it is definitely descriptive of the impact it has on an individual.

It isn’t always intentional that families are unable to make the communication-relationship work. A child will engage as a baby and then their brain becomes over loaded and is not able to stay connected. As a parent if that intuitive feeling of your baby ‘needing a break’ becomes a fear of not connecting, the relationship or bond may not ever solidify and then both parent and child pull away from one another. This can start from a simple action of a child looking towards their parent when they are need of making a connection and a parent looking away from the child instead of meeting the child’s needs. This response happens with very young parents or parents which were subject to abuse themselves.

It is horrifying how many other cases of a more severe abuse, physical, psychological, emotional, sexual abuse occur on a daily basis between families. This abuse may not be the actual parent but a family member and as these events occur the parents may not be supportive of the child and therefore a feeling of not having a safe environment occurs at home; not safe to tell Mom & Dad, nor safe to live in the home. It also may be that the parent knows nothing of the abuse, but the relationship of the parent and child does not allow for that ‘safe communication’. This chronic stressed situation can lead to many different outcomes.

What happens when you do not feel loved or safe as a child?

* Chronic anxiety
* Chronic depression
* Physiological symptoms such as increased heart rate, and cortisol levels go up, decreasing access to important areas of the brain
* The person develops a ‘self-loathing’ characteristic or a feeling of being unworthy of love
* They have a difficulty regulating their emotions…they become angry, sad, Jealous, fearful and unable to turn these emotions off or down, sometimes looking like a bipolar effect
* Unable to ‘attach’ to another human being, a lack of empathy (knowing what someone else is feeling)
* They create a ‘wall’ or must ‘disassociate’ from others

To feel worthy of love, to learn from new experiences, to learn from your own past experiences an area of the brain within the Prefrontal Cortex will be engaged. If this area is not accessible due to childhood experiences that lead to trauma then people misinterpret, they do not perceive others or themselves accurately.

How this plays out in life:

* Increased autoimmune disorders
* Obesity
* More sexual active at younger ages (encouraging sexual relationships but discouraging gender-peer social interactions
* Lack the ability to concentrate or pay attention (more ADHD in this group)
* Severe Anger management (Oppositional Defiance Disorder)
* Self-Inflicted pain, cutting, biting or puncturing/ burning themselves
* Eating disorders, bulimic, anorexic, or soul comforting foods making themselves malnourished
* Addictions, alcohol, drugs, sex etc…
* Disorganized and confused
* Cognitive concerns, problem solving, reasoning, deduction skills, critical thinking, speed processing

Do you wonder if you have a developmental trauma disorder…try taking this simple checklist

Finding Your ACE Score

While you were growing up, during your first 18 years of life:
1. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…
Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you?
or
Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

2. Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often…
Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you?
or
Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

3. Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever…
Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way?
or
Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

4. Did you often or very often feel that …
No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special?
or
Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

5. Did you often or very often feel that …
You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you?
or
Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed
it?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

6. Were your parents ever separated or divorced?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

7. Was your mother or stepmother:
Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her?
or
Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard?
or
Ever repeatedly hit at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

8. Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic or who used street drugs?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

9. Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide?
Yes No If yes enter 1 ________

10. Did a household member go to prison?
Yes No If yes enter 1 _______

Now add up your “Yes” answers: _______ This is your ACE Score.

If you are interested in knowing what these results mean, please contact me back channel or contact your mental health provider for results. (drldelong@cognitive-connections.com)

What worries me…is we have a huge population of children growing into adults that are doing horrific acts, ending up in jail, being put on drugs and perpetuating the cycle of neglect and abuse and research now shows it may be due to the way these children were treated before the age of 10. Bessel van der Kolk, http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/Networker.pdf

Please love your babies…hold your children…be attentive to them, truly listen to them and respect and regard their opinions. They will not only be caring for you as you grow older but they will be making decisions based on their past experiences. Give them GREAT, caring, loving experiences.

Just another thought by Dr. Lise’

Do you have an issue with “Decision speed”?

Do you have slow reaction time?
Is it difficult to think fast enough to respond before others do?
Are you able to ‘think on your feet’ ?
Do you find you get tired easily ?
Is task Initiation a concern for you?
Do have a concern with response Inhibition (self control) ?
Do you works slowly or speed through carelessly ?
Do you perseverate or (repeat an action and/or comments w/o conscious awareness) ?
Do you have a problem with procrastinating ?

If you answer yes to most of these you may have a problem with Decision Speed..this is a problem with the Prefrontal Cortex and can occur if you have had a head injury, lack sleep, viral or bacterial infection or a cognitive concern like ADHD.

For FREE*** remediation ideas concerning ‘Decision Speed’…email me at drldelong@cognitive-connections.com