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’

 

Touched By An Angel

As most of my you know, I love sharing clients, friends and colleagues experiences in my blogs!  Today I want to introduce you to Hannie Ruinen, a NeurOptimal trainer and friend from the Netherlands.   Hannie had an experience not foreign to many of us that are trainers with Neurofeedback but I was honored to hear no matter where you live, what language you speak or  what difficulties you are experiencing, people are able to get significant results with NeurOptimal!  If you are interested in more information and want to be touched by your own angel…give me a call 317-258-7444 in the Unites States, or call Hannie if you live ‘over that pond’.

Touched by an Angel During a Neuroptimal Session by Hannie Ruinen

(This is a genuine story that happened in my private practice Neuro-Insight only last April 2016).

How does the story go? Well, let me start the story where it began….

In December 2015 I received a call for help with NeurOptimal Neurofeedback (what else…?) from a 51 year old lady who hadn’t been able to sleep well since 2007, without any significant reason. Let me tell you, as an experienced coach and NeurOptimal trainer, I was sure that something must have happened in that year, and, I also knew that the lady would tell me within 10 sessions.

She appeared to be a very hard working person with lots of interests in doing things, and in other people. She is the kind of person who would take everyones’ crap on her shoulders including her own, trying to solve and help in the same order. She also told me she was hypersensitive to smell, sounds and so on…..

During the next four weeks she received four sessions, and after the fourth session she reported she noticed she could sleep 5 hours straight without waking. For her, that was a major breakthrough.

After the 7th session, she walked in happily because she had been able to stand up for herself and say ‘no’ to additional responsibilities that came from work. She felt confident saying no to working late for a colleague who was ill.

During her 8th NeurOptimal session she started to cry, it just happened. She couldn’t stop. I handed her tissues, without asking or saying anything, just allowing this to happen. You see, as a NeurOptimal trainer I just know that things will be emerging and this was definitely happening at that particular moment….

After the session she asked me if she could share what had happened. So here’s what she said….”You see, Hannie, today, exactly at this hour, it has been 7 years ago since my brother passed away in an accident. And, I never realized it, but now I see that I have been feeling that I was robbed from my brother that day. I never had the chance to say goodbye to him, and I miss him immensely…During the session I could smell his presence, I could feel his touch and I heard him saying that he is alright, and that this is the time for me to let go of my feelings of guilt and go on with my life, and start exploring my gift of being a sensitive person. ‘I was touched by an angel, who is my brother’. Thank you for that, because if I hadn’t had these NeurOptimal sessions with you, I am sure this would never, ever have happened.”

 

I want to thank Hannie, for sharing her experiences with her client and the Angel!  It is always such a treat to witness self-healing and be a part of such a powerful process.  If you are interested in participating in a NeurOptimal program please do not hesitate to call and we can set you up with a trainer in your area.  If you are interested in becoming a NeurOptimal trainer give me a call and we can get you into our training program and teach you the skills needed to be a part of this program.  Lastly, if you would like to rent or purchase a system for home use, again, give me a call!  317-258-7444.

Just another thought by Dr. Lise’

Hannie Ruinen  * hannie.ruinen@neuroptimal.com  *  info@neuro-insight.eu

http://www.neuro-insight.eu  * The Netherlands  +31 6 38 0138 68

Anxiety and NeurOptimal

Hi Friends,

I am fortunate enough to have some incredible professional friends that spend a good deal of their lives helping others and creating a platform in their world that trains a reduction in daily symptoms.  This blog is written by Catherine Boyer, a licensed social worker from New York that uses NeurOptimal Neurofeedback in her private practice.  I hope that each of you take a moment to find Catherine and join her blog!  Catherine, thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us!

http://newyorkneurofeedback.com/

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Neurofeedback for Anxiety

There is yet another research-based reason to consider neurofeedback for anxiety, as if there weren’t enough reasons already! Anxiety is miserable, as anyone who suffers from it will attest. And too much of it is bad for the body and bad for the brain.

Stress hormones are powerful and necessary. We need them when we’re in actual danger, but too many of us walk around floating in cortisol and adrenaline when those hormones aren’t actually needed. A work deadline is not the same thing as having a 200 pound predator chasing you. Our ancestors needed those hormones to survive, but the legacy we live with today can be difficulty turning off that anxiety response when it’s not really needed.

Late last year, Scientific American published an article titled, The Most Common Health Problem is Contagious. Yes, they were talking about anxiety.

One of the things the article notes is that anxiety can be spread between parents and children, in both directions. I’m sure it’s often as contagious as a cold with spouses as well. This is what I meant about “yet another reason to consider neurofeedback.”

Anxiety can have a genetic component, but the researchers adjusted for that. The Kings College of London study participants were twins. Typical research using twins looks at those who were raised separately, but this study is more complex. Read a more in depth description in this article about the study.

In both articles, the lead researcher, Professor Thalia Eley, gives simple, practical advice for parents of anxious children.

The expression of anxiety can be difficult to control. It can manifest in irritability, anger and controlling behavior. But even if you’re somehow able to protect your children and those around you from being affected by your anxiety, what about you?

If you’ve been tolerating anxiety and haven’t been addressing it, here’s another reason to try the best way I know to bring it down.

NeurOptimal® and Anxiety

The most effective thing I know for reducing anxiety is NeurOptimal® neurofeedback. Many of my clients come listing anxiety as their chief complaint.  Anxiety may be disrupting their sleep or giving them digestive problems. It usually also has its own set of unpleasant physical sensations. Obsessive worrying and planning are often part of the picture. Often people want to avoid taking anti-anxiety medications or reduce or eliminate those they are already using. Anxiety can also lead to or be combined with depression.

It is very rare in my experience for clients to not be helped. Anxiety typically comes down pretty quickly, and sleep also improves early on.

One of my all time favorite comments from a formerly anxious client is, “My boss asked me what I’ve been doing because he saw I wasn’t afraid of him anymore.” Life is easier and much more pleasant, and we can operate much more effectively when we don’t have all that excess anxiety.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback

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’

 

 

 

 

 

Scared to Death!

 

We are all affected right now by the stressors of world events, from TV news broadcasts to social media, the world looks like a very scary place.   Due to this constant coverage we are finding more people are being ‘triggered’ by these events and are literally being ‘scared into a physical sickness’.  Interestingly, our minds chemically find value in being ‘scared’ and so some people intentionally watch frightening movies and put themselves into ‘death defying’ activities.

The body gets a ‘high’ or a rush when challenging itself in a psychological, physiological or a behavioral state that feels as if it is a threat to survival whether actual or perceived.  This creates an increase or an activation of arousal in the autonomic and neuroendocrine system.  Therefore watching a frightening movie or playing an activating online game where a perceived threat is ‘just around the corner’ makes our bodies respond just as if it is really happening to us in the moment.

The body and brain is affected by this sustained feeling of fear and chronic stress.  There is a release of steroid and stress hormones, including glucocorticoids and cortisol, these affect the heart, lungs, circulation, metabolism, immune system and skin.  There is also a release of catecholamine’s; dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline).  These activate the amygdala which creates an emotional response.  The brain releases a small protein that decreases sleep and increases a sense of anxiety (encouraging the ability to fight or run).  Lastly, chronic stress and fear will affect cognition; long & short-term memory, concentration, intellectual tasks and the interpretation of social signals.  The brain will not be able to ‘switch’ thoughts creating an inflexible brain that perseverates on ideas and negative thoughts.

We are sadly exposed to stress daily in our lives.  Did you know…

  • More children are killed by hand guns each year than by leukemia
  • More woman are killed by their partners annually than all the soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001

(Bessel van der Kolk- How PTSD Affects Mind, Brain & Biology” presentation Chicago, 2014)

And just to put into perspective the FEAR of being killed in a terrorist attack as the media is trying to instill as compared to other ways of dying…

  • Drowning in a bathtub: 1 in 685,000
  • Struck by lightning: 1 in 576,000
  • A car accident: 1 in 18,585
  • Dying from Heart Disease: 1 in 5
  • Dying from cancer: 1 in 7
  • Dying from a Stroke: 1 in 23

And the Odds of dying in an act of terrorism on a plane: 1 in 25 million and in ANY terrorist attack 1 in 9.3 million!

http://www.livescience.com/3780-odds-dying.html

http://www.techjuice.pk/a-data-scientist-explains-odds-of-dying-in-a-terrorist-attack/

The ways we can reduce FEAR in our lives are varied, but consider trying to reduce your fear by using some of the following techniques:

Turning off the news on TVThey report the same stories over and over and report in a method (auditory and visual) that instills fear.  Instead, read the topics you want to know more about in a reliable subscription to a newspaper online.  

Stop ‘following’ fear based people on Social Media.  The social media sites are highly addictive.  They support a brain state of gossip and voyeurism.  These two elements along with the feeling of anonymity allows and supports the ability that the individual can say anything without repercussion.   This empowers some people to actually become a new persona online, saying and eventually doing things they would never have done in their natural environment.

Surround yourself with kindness and perpetuate qualities of altruism, trust and honestyIt has been researched that people that react and respond in a way that they can feel good about creates a strong, confident and productive individual.  The Physiology of (Dis)Honesty: Does it Impact Health?  http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/dana_carney/physio.dishonesty.pdf

Try using a stress reduction system.  There are many ways of reducing stress such as neurofeedback, biofeedback, yoga, meditation, walking in nature, singing, humming, reading, playing and Instrument or engaging in consensual sex.  Our bodies get accustomed to what we ‘feed it’.  When we drink every night alcohol is it’s favored drink, when we focus on calming activities our brains crave that feeling, supply it with these techniques and reset your internal environment so when you do respond with a ‘fight or flight’ response it is an accurate physiological response.

But Why?

Why do people yell at each other and then wonder why their kids are oppositional and defiant to them, or to their friends & their teachers?  “If all the ‘love’ they see at home is in the form of yelling (or hitting) doesn’t it make sense that they think this is how to show their love?”

Why do parents, swear and use sarcasm to each other and then wonder why their kids are such ‘smart-asses’?  “Sarcasm is the most sophisticated form of language, it is saying one thing and meaning another, this takes high level thinking and most children have not formed this level of reasoning and ‘play’ with language until they are much older.  So for a young child to try to experiment with this language technique it comes across funny and cute as a young child imitates their adult role models but as they grow a little more it is as if they are being a ‘smart-ass’”.

Why is this generation of children so much more violent? ” This is a complex answer and I am positive there are many answers from more chemicals in our food (GMO’s) and more ‘noise’ in the environment to less ‘family-time’.  Also we are seeing a surge in electronics, video games, less communication and human contact in play time.  

Longer periods of time ‘pretending’ to shoot and kill people or animals on video games, can desensitize individuals and reinforce cruelty.  Movies are less family entertaining and are mixing humor and violence together giving the impression it is not only ‘ok to be mean’ but it is funny!  The more realistic and scarier a movie is when focusing on ‘doom and threat’ adds fear which also creates a cocktail of chemicals in our brains.  Our bodies respond just as if we are right there in the room with that killer, sweaty palms, increased heart rate and breathing shorter and more shallow.

 There is a fine line between pretend and reality for many people.  They see more and more realistic deaths, with blood and guts spurting across the screen and a ‘real adrenaline rush’ (including a change in Neurochemistry with increased cortisol, and the ‘addictive, pleasure center’ is activated with a dopamine rush.  Creating a false sense of reality because our bodies are responding as if to say “whew, we made it through that one let’s try it again”! 

Experiments have been done for a very long time on the modeling that children witness and how that will dictate the children’s response to others as well as their learned aggression.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr0OTCVtHbU the original Bobo Doll experiment from 1961 (4.08 minutes) helps to describe psychologically what happens with children.  This experiment has been replicated many times in many ways over the years with each new experiment confirming the original findings!

The American Psychological Association has now confirmed http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/08/violent-video-games.aspx a link between playing violent video games and aggression. I truly do not believe it is just a few games here and there that causes this violent behavior, I find that a combination of risk factors including the individual’s feelings of loneliness, self-confidence, depression and what they have been modeled at home that can set the perfect scenario for a mental storm for aggression”. 

Q. Do we Teach our Children Useless Information or Do we Teach Them in a Way they Can’t Remember?

How many of you recall learning information in school that you said “I will never use this again, why do I need to learn this?”  I sure remember that!  However, it is true a broad education is important.  The more information we know the stronger the foundation for our new learning experiences.  Then why is it we can’t recall any of that old information they taught us in grade school?  The “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader”  questions from that TV show demonstrated just how little most adults remember of what is being taught in our schools today.  So, are the children being taught information that is not necessary to remember?  Or were we taught in a method that didn’t ‘stick’ for most individuals?

The “use it or lose it” philosophy is also a true one…we know repetition and consistency is the key to solidifying new information.  But still many adults can’t recall how to do division of decimals or know World Geography, or who was the President in 1911 or even how to spell specific words, even though they had to write it over and over a 100 times.

Perhaps it is the method we were taught.  For most of us we learn in a variety of ways; visual, auditory, tactile, through a variety of senses even olfactory (sense of smell).  Do you remember what you ate for dinner last night?  You probably have to think, “where was I last night”…this is a locale memory a system triggered by ‘location or place’.   Sadly, 90% of the way we are taught in most schools is lecture based…listening, even reading can be considered a listening skill, because so many people read each word individually in their heads.

But did you know, we learn more information and faster when we learn it in a brain-based method, meaning in a way that honors our brains.  Here is an example…I give you a list of 3 things to remember to pick up at the store; apples, toilet paper and milk.  You could remember arbitrarily those three items, or you could put them in alphabetical order or you could create a story out of them.  The more ‘involved’ your brain is in remembering the information (in other words the stronger your intent is and the more attention your brain has given to the task) the  more likely you are to recall all of the items quickly.

So let’s add another element…that story you were telling yourself about these items…why not make the story more emotionally driven.  ‘The apple had been taken from its family tree and it was sadden to its very core (humor adds to the emotional content). The toilet paper was used to absorb the tears of milk streaming out of the apple’s stem.’

The brain, although extremely intricate and sophisticated is also very primitive.  The more ‘nasty’, colorful, silly, or absurd,  the story the more that brain will remember that information (stimulating all those sense we have!).  Who remembers their first nasty joke?  Or their first kiss, especially if it was a ‘hidden/secret’ kiss?  The first fight you were in with a best friend or spouse that tore you apart for a while?  These were stories driven by emotion or passion and these make strong memories.  Hence, those horrible traumatic events are always a stronger memory than the mundane math facts you need to know for a test.  So, it is more difficult to forget traumatic memories.

Emotion will drive our attention and as we all know when we are attentive we learn new information.  I remember my daughter’s experience in the public school.  (She is our adopted daughter with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) I went to pick her up from school her first day in 4th grade and as a special needs student she had a folder with 22 print outs.  This is what she had done that day, was sat at her desk and filled out 22 papers.  I can only imagine the boredom associated with these papers, not to mention the lack of engagement and therefore the lack of learning!  She had no way to ‘associate’ this information to what she already knew and so it was not a meaningful experience.  There was no passion driving this new information and it was not in a mode that drove curiosity, therefore, it was not learned.

Renate and Geoffry Caine have been teaching individuals how the brain learns for years.  http://wnmu.edu/old/facdev/files/Natural_Learning.pdf  They state there are 12 basic principles to learning and share these in a visual representation. Principles-Wheel_2014  These learning principles when applied in a school setting can have a major impact on the way we learn and retrieve information.

So, when you are helping your child learn their homework or day to day life time experiences…remember, the way you teach the information is key not what you teach!  For more information on how the brain learns join us in our CogCon courses beginning with our online Introductory webinar. http://cognitive-connections.com/index.php/brain-shop/product/5-an-introduction-to-neurocognitive-processing-webinar

Happy learning, just another thought by Dr. Lise’