7 Simple Reasons to Rent a NeurOptimal Neurofeedback System for the Holidays

 

neuroptimal-7

EEG Neurofeedback is a form of Biofeedback that helps to retrain the brain and is used for numerous reasons but this season I would like to share 7 really good reasons!  You may ask why it is important to ‘train’ your brain and what does that mean anyway?  So, let’s spend a minute and talk about ‘cortical activity’.

When an individual has an issue or a symptom their brain shows as an ’irregular, or turbulent’ brain.  The NeurOptimal system helps mirror this activity into visual and auditory feedback and helps the individual create a balance or homeostasis in cortical activity.  When the turbulence is reduced the brain chemistry actually changes allowing the individual to have a comfortable and ‘trained brain’!

  1. The Holidays are stressful! NeurOptimal® is great at re-normalizing the cortical activity in the brain so although there is still stress your body and brain no longer responds to that stress in the same way.
  2. Many people experience a sadness or even slight depression during the Holidays! Again with NeurOptimal® the reduction in turbulence allows the brain to create a balance which makes that nasty depression just subside!
  3. This Holidays represent the end of a year and people are tired! Many people have sleep concerns and therefore, can’t fall asleep easily, can’t stay asleep or wake feeling exhausted.  NeurOptimal® helps to re-regulate sleep cycles and allows you to sleep as you did when you were young!
  4. Anxiety can hit individuals anytime of year but most people during the Holidays will have an increase in anxiety. Some people have true ‘anxiety attacks’ while others have symptoms such as; tics, repetitive movement (hair twisting), perseveration (not being able to get an idea out of your head), or even obsessive compulsive tendencies.  As NeurOptimal® ‘normalizes’ the CNS the uneasy feelings of of anxiety start to diminish.
  5. 5. Chronic Pain happens in many forms however, during time of stress, cold weather or inflammation due to sugar or diet, we find the pain gets stronger and people are less likely to live comfortably.  The NeurOptimal® system allows the individual to calm their brain and thereby, reduces the signal from the nerves or muscles that they hurt.
  6. Our brains are meant to be able to go from one subject to the next fluently and move on from one method of operation to another, this creates  ‘Flexibility & Resilience’.  It is important that we do not have to go through the ‘drive-through’ every time we get a Starbucks, but that we can look and make a decision that that line is too long and we could get our drink faster if we walked in today.  NeurOptimal® trains the brain to move in and out of different cortical activity easily allowing us to mentally change the station when needed.
  7. So you say “no way, the Holidays do nothing like this to me!”  So let’s look at Peak Performance and keeping up with your personal best!  How sharp are you these days? This system encourages a balance and it may play out in your golf game, your production at work, your ability to focus and attend better or your quick-wittiness!

7 Simple reasons to use the NeurOptimal® system during the holiday’s; stress, depression, sleep concerns, anxiety, flexibility & resilience or Peak Performance, are all significant changes that could occur in just a few months!

Because it is the Holidays we want to add 1 more incredible incentive to rent a Home personal NeurOptimal system at www.cognitive-connections.com .  For this month we’re renting them for 25% off!!! Call with your code xmas25 and we will set you up with a NeurOptimal system!

Should you decide you would rather purchase a system instead, NO ONE can sell it cheaper than we can!  Plus ask about our class and product discounts for each purchased system!

Happy Holidays to you all!!

Dr. Lise’ 317-258-7444

 

Have You Taught Your Children About FASD?

It truly takes a whole village to raise a child! We must ALL work together to help the next generation! 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, depending on what part of the brain is being ‘developed’ at the time of ingestion. It is truly our responsibility to help others become aware of how their actions will affect others!

“Is it safe to drink a little alcohol while pregnant, such as an occasional glass of wine?

No. According to the CDC and the U.S. Surgeon General, “There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink and no safe kind of alcohol.”  According to the American Academy of Pediatrics: “There is no safe amount of alcohol when a woman is pregnant. Evidence based research states that even drinking small amounts of alcohol while pregnant can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, or sudden infant death syndrome.”

When you drink alcohol, so does your developing baby. Any amount of alcohol, even in one glass of wine, passes through the placenta from the mother to the growing baby.  Developing babies lack the ability to process, or metabolize, alcohol through the liver or other organs.  They absorb all of the alcohol and have the same blood alcohol concentration as the mother.  It makes no difference if the alcoholic drink consumed is a distilled spirit or liquor such as vodka, beer, or wine.”  http://www.nofas.org/light-drinking/

Thirty-two years ago we adopted a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  Her birth Mother was 14 years old.  When we found our little girl when she was 18 months old.  She had no verbal language ability and severe global Apraxia, she was diagnosed with a profound sensory neural loss in her left ear (no functional hearing) and a conductive moderate loss in her right ear. She was unable to stand on her own, was not crawling yet and had a pinched torticollis (which now has left her with hands shaking and a lack of balance).  My heart went out to her and we have spent the last 30 years advocating for her.  She has had a VERY difficult life and continues to have significant problems due to her birth parents being very young, uneducated, and intensely self-involved (as many teens are).

Our children are having babies and they MUST understand the ramifications of even 1 drink while they are pregnant. We are responsible for teaching them.  The time that is the most impressionable to the brain is in the first trimester when many girls do not even know they are pregnant.  Therefore, to a girl that is sexually active everyday must be treated as if today is the day a new life may begin…

The Effects of Subtle FAS:

Fetal Alcohol has a spectrum from mild to severe some of the most mild may look like ADHD but the cognitive effects can be severe and lasting a life time.

  • Learning information and remembering/retaining information
  • Understanding and following auditory, visual or written directions
  • Controlling emotions, highs and lows
  • Communicating and socializing (many times inappropriate)
  • Behavioral concerns ( can be angry and volatile)
  • Daily life skills, such as feeding, brushing teeth, bathing are forgotten
  • No impulse control
  • Not able to learn from their mistakes
  • Auditory Processing problems (unable to understand directions, or listen to more than 1 thing at a time)
  • Attention Problems- Can not stay focused on the topic,
  • Specific Learning Disabilities- Math, Reading Comprehension,

The mild cases are most challenging in some ways, they do not look as if anything is wrong and the individual may even be very bright however, the more subtle brain damage can be the most devastating to an individual.  They know they should be able to learn, that they are different and that they do not have the emotional control that others their age have.

Any alcohol at any time during a pregnancy may have a life-time effect on the baby’s brain.

Do you really want to take a chance on a lifelong disability for your child?  Is that one glass of wine worth the possibilities of FAS?  It is not just YOUR life that is affected.  Your child may look ‘normal’ and have life long cognitive, emotional and psychological damage.

I want to thank our daughter for being so patient with the world…learning how to accept life based on a ‘non-handicapped person’s’ view of what the environment and conditions of the world should be like for her. You have raised us to be more understanding and more compassionate because of your willingness to wait on us to ‘come around’ to your needs. The world will learn someday!  You are a brave girl living with this condition as you put on your huge forgiving smile and continue to struggle daily to learn, live and love…and all because of the pleasure of a few drinks of alcohol for one very young, immature, uninformed girl. I want to promise you sweetie, we will educate the world…because FASD is 100% preventable and it is a horrific burden for all of those suffering with this condition to bear.

Lise’ DeLong, Ph.D., CPCRT

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’

 

 

 

 

 

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’

What did You Feed Your Brain this Season?

What did You Feed Your Brain this Season?

In this season of self-absorption’ we find many people are using this time as an excuse to feed their addictions. ‘Sugar’ is found everywhere this time of year and most of us feel as if it is expected to partake in this device.

Sugar leads to a release of dopamine in an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens – a section associated with motivation, novelty, and reward. Researchers have found this is the same brain region associated in response to cocaine and or heroin use.

“So, what?”

“Research studies have linked excess sugar consumption to dangerous levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad type!), increased plaque deposits in the arteries, and breast and colon cancers. High fructose corn syrup – that insidious ingredient found in many salad dressings, ketchup, coffee creamers etc., has been linked to increased heart disease and stroke. There is evidence that some cancer tumors have insulin receptors that feed on glucose” says, Melanie A. Greenberg, Ph.D. in The Mindful Self-Express.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201302/why-our-brains-love-sugar-and-why-our-bodies-dont

It isn’t just a weight gain! Another not so sweet effect is that it has been shown that an over-consumption of sugar is linked to the aging process!!!

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090305204328.htm

More than that…sugar has also been linked to depression, learning disorders and memory concerns, says David DiSalvo, of Forbes.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2012/04/01/what-eating-too-much-sugar-does-to-your-brain/

It is said the average person consumes up to 156 pounds of sugar PER YEAR! (reports the USDA, United States Department of Agriculture) It isn’t just that we eat or drink 31.2 – 5 pound bags of sugar…but that sugar is ‘hidden’ in everything that we eat! When we purchase food in a restaurant chances are even the chicken that has water added to it also has sugar and salt added to it. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have found 27.5 teaspoons per day are ‘added’ to our food intake, which equates to 1/4 of our daily (2000 calorie) food intake! It is no wonder we can’t understand how or why we are gaining weight. But it isn’t just weight gain that sugar creates…

A diet high in sugar also limits our brains’ ability to form new memories, and learn new information, aiding in the age related diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s. But that’s not all…oh no that’s not all! The brain can get ‘over-wrought’ and literally ‘burned-out’ by over-dosing on sugar. As this occurs the brain’s ability to use the chemical ‘oxytocin’ (which should signal a persons ‘feeling’ of being satisfied) is reduced and the person continues to eat more and more because they do not feel ‘finished’ or satisfied. Hence, eating more sugar, and perpetuating a cycle of increased glucose, resulting in other health issues such as Diabetes.

So, as we ‘choose’ what gifts we want our children to have as adults, it is imperative we LOVE them, by not ‘gifting’ them with a sugar addiction, or a brain chemistry that supports addictions but instead by educating them on how and what to feed themselves to maintain a healthy mental control of their bodies and brains!

With this thought in mind, I wish all of you a VERY happy and HEALTHY New Year!

Dr Lise’

Thinking with Your Brain in Mind; Flexible and Focused Attention…

Thinking with Your Brain in Mind; Flexible and Focused Attention...

Hi Friends,

This season we see all sorts of problems from sleeping to remembering where we left our keys!

Do you ever get an idea stuck in your head without being able to drop it? Or do you find it is uncomfortable switching or changing plans at the last minute?
I bet I can help with this!

If it is difficult to shift approaches or you find it hard to pay attention to two things at once or maybe you feel focusing and paying attention is more difficult than it should be then maybe your brain is having difficulties with Flexible and Focused Attention skills!

Some people need prompting to get things completed, they may have an issue with getting lost in the middle of a thought or they may even leave out very important details of a story or process.

I know this can be frustrating and sometimes embarrassing when your brain isn’t working as fast and efficient as you would like it to work! But, do not fear…I know how to help you with theses kinds of PreFrontal Cortex (PFC) concerns!

Attention Deficits can show in brain imaging as a neurological dysfunction and in an EEG as reversed cortical activity. The low slow activity is prevalent while eyes are open and the fast cortical activity increases when closing eyes and trying to relax. This keeps the person feeling brain drained as if they are working overtime.

At Cognitive Connections, I have developed a program that helps people learn about these important skills our brain does (even without us knowing it is doing it)! But it isn’t enough to know what it is supposed to do…it is necessary to know how to help yourself or your child learn these skills when they are not working as they should be!

The PFC’s Function: Focusing Attention, Organizing thoughts, Problem Solving, Foreseeing and weighing the possible consequences, making predictions, forming strategies and planning, impulse control and delaying gratification, modulating emotions…

Do you or someone you love need help with…

Flexible & Focused Attention
 Mental Flexibility,
 Shifting Approaches
 Switching Gears
 Staying Focused
 Holding onto several thoughts at one time
 Losing track in the middle of a thought
 Miss important details
 Get an idea stuck in your head

A few iPad games you might want to try if you think you might have some issues with this area of the brain are:
* The Stroop Effect
* The Tower of Hanoi
* Observation
* 4 Attention

I have 100’s of games want to learn more?

Look for our Volume 1 in the Series of 7 eBooks entitled “Thinking With Your Brain in Mind; A Look Into the Prefrontal Cortex…from Function to Remediation”

Just Another 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’