FAQ

  • How long is a session?
    Each session is about 35 minutes long, which includes setup.

     

  • How many sessions do you recommend per week?
    We suggest 3 sessions per week to optimize the training, but also offer packages with 2 sessions per week.

     

  • HOW Neurofeedback works?
    The main reason that neurofeedback works is because of its remarkable ability of the brain to reorganize itself in response to various sensory experiences, called neuroplasticity. Neurofeedback is a reward-based, painless, non-invasive, and drug free training system, that improves brain performance. By using your brain’s inherent ability to seek rewards in the form of information, visual and auditory cues are paired with certain brain wave activity, causing the brain to reproduce those states with which the cues were paired. Specific neurofeedback training protocols are able to steer the brain into a more regulated and stable state, through the classical learning process of operant conditioning. This brain training modality does not require you to consciously exert any effort, although the brain is busy processing the audio and visual feedback it is receiving. By being gently guided to produce specific brain waves that influence a more desirable mood, behavior, performance and traits, neurofeedback can offer many individuals life changing, and even life saving results

     

  • How quickly can I expect to see improvements and changes?
    Most clients begin to see noticeable, lasting changes within 20-30 sessions. The duration of training often depends on the severity and length of the issue. For example, a child that has suffered from ADHD for only 4 years of their life, may see progress quicker than an adult that’s had a cognitive performance or brain regulation challenge for many years. Still, it’s not uncommon for clients to begin to feel shifts and improvement within the first 5-10 sessions. Sometimes family and friends will notice changes in clients even before they notice themselves.

     

  • WHY is Neurofeedback suitable for anyone?
    Neurofeedback isn't just for those dealing with seizures, or other severely debilitating dysregulations. Since the brain does so many different things, its overall health and function can influence a spectrum of abilities. Due to the fact that every individual relies on these various abilities to perform in their personal and professional endeavors, the health of the brain can have a dramatic impact on one's life. Whether you're in elementary school, or you're retired, the better your brain works, the better quality of life you stand to have.

     

  • Can neurofeedback improve my IQ score?
    IQ scores are a combination of working memory, speed of processing, and implicit learning ability. These individual abilities are all very susceptible to neurofeedback training, and are often the targets for many clients. They fundamentally rely on the individual's ability to pay attention, whose enhancement is one of the hallmarks of neurofeedback training. Through the increase of a specific brain wave rhythm called sensorimotor rhythm (SMR), most individuals respond with a corresponding gain in their attention ability and focus. As someone’s attention improves, it only follows that their intellectual functioning will be enhanced as a result, and therefore show up in a higher IQ rating. Successful applications of neurofeedback on IQ scores have been documented by such pioneer researchers as Siegfried and Susan Othmer, Joel Lubar, and Michael Linded, among others. It is important to remember that there is much more to a person than simply their IQ, and there is a lot more to wellness than only an IQ score. Even though intellectual ability is valuable, neurofeedback answers a much bigger question about well-being. 

     

  • Can neurofeedback make me more creative? 
    Like many other human abilities, human creativity is also a composite of other more basic skills. The science of EEG (brainwaves) study has reliably and robustly shown that the presence of alpha brain waves (8-12Hz), during active states of creative ideation, is higher. Alpha is commonly associated with a sense of relaxed attention, where a calm physical state is paired with sharp attention, both of which fit the criteria of creativity very well. In neurofeedback, there is a protocol called “Alpha/Theta” (or AT) that specifically trains the brain to produce more alpha frequency, but it also reinforces the production of the theta frequency (3.5-7.5Hz), which is associated with memory formation and retrieval, as well more drowsy and sleepy states, with less sharpness of focus. By combining the effects of both of these brainwave frequencies, individuals commonly experience a dreamy and liminal (in-between asleep and awake) state that is associated with creative insights and epiphanies. Depending on the individual, and the unique characteristics of their brain map, they may not be a good candidate for Alpha/Theta training, or at least not until some other variables, such as lack of focus and poor executive function are addressed, using other neurofeedback protocols. The most interesting thing to remember about the mind and conscious states of human beings, is that whatever its current state, it is made possible by the physical behavior of the brain, and if the physical brain can be in one state, then by definition it can be in its opposite. This means that anything the brain does, can be trained to either do more of, or less.

     

  • Can I do anything to enhance the effects of neurofeedback?
    Absolutely! As remarkable as the human brain is, it is still fundamentally a biological organ, and is as dependent on other organs, as any other organ is upon any other. The brain is a highly highly vascularized organ that requires a healthy cardiovascular system to maintain its basic functions. The brain also takes about 20-25% of the body’s total oxygen and glucose supply, which is significantly disproportionate to its body mass. This all implies the necessity of general health, without which healthy brain function cannot even occur. Neurofeedback is a technique that cannot give the brain any of its basic biological requirements, it can only take the brain as far as its metabolic and physiological state allows. Being dehydrated, chronically exhausted, and/or having unbalanced nutrition, are all known to have profoundly negative effects on the function of the brain. If neurofeedback is applied to a brain that has already been compromised by other lifestyle factors, then it would still have an effect but a muted one, as you would expect if you tried to learn how to play the piano if you were sleepy. 
    Therefore a healthy lifestyle is encouraged. That is why Brain Excel offers fitness, Yoga, meditation, and lifestyle services, to help clients optimize the opportunity to do neurofeedback, with the essential support of good physical health, where performance of its various systems feed into the performance of the brain. The biology of the brain is a conglomerate of various functions that can be maintained best by good health hygiene. 

  • How long until I see benefits?
    Most clinical research is based on a 20-30 session range, that provides 1-2 standard deviations of change in executive function, mood, and stress management. The most common reported benefit is improvement in sleep quality. In other cases, family members of clients will notice changes about them before the clients notice it about themselves, and report that they may listen better, and seem more positive, or not get calls from school teachers reporting problems with their child’s behavior. Neurofeedback is much like other familiar skills that a person acquires. The ability to perceive benefits is a gradual evolution in neurofeedback, because the longer a brain gets a chance to perform in a specific way, the better it is able to refine that skill. Some clients experience a difference even within the first 5 sessions, while others may not notice anything until the first 20-30 sessions. There is an infinite amount of variability between different individuals, and their brains. This is the same difference between how skilled one person may be from another in learning to play a musical instrument. Both will still learn, and be more skilled than when they started, but its nearly impossible to predict exactly what that musical ability difference will actually look like at the level of individual expression or behavior.
    Furthermore, because most of what the brain does occurs at a level below conscious awareness, circuitry and network changes by definition all begin at a subconscious level before they eventually evolve into recognizable behavior patterns and traits. The most important thing to know is that fundamentally all brains learn the same, through reward, and it cannot be any other way. In fact, the definition of learning becomes meaningless without the existence of a reinforcement. Reinforce=Reward. If an action is not rewarded/reinforced, it has no reason to repeat or survive. This means that every single brain can learn and improve with neurofeedback, but generally in different ways. Some brains may begin training from a compromised place, due to poor health, injury, or disease, and might therefore require a longer than average commitment in neurofeedback. A brain that has had concussions will learn at a different pace, than someone without that history, but that doesnt mean the brain cannot learn. If a person is alive and conscious, there is no question that their brains can learn. The seemingly mundane ability of a person to get through the day and understand the dynamic reality of the environment they occupy, means that the brain is constantly immersed in learning.

  • Is neurofeedback covered by insurance?
    Currently, insurance does not compensate or credit any biofeedback or neurofeedback training for anything other than relaxation purposes. Brain Excel does not currently accept insurance, however we try to keep costs as low as possible. Our training programs are offered on a monthly membership basis, at a manageable monthly cost without any hidden fees.  Train for as long as you prefer – from one month to a full year, without any contracts or unexpected costs. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

     

  • How long do the effects of neurofeedback last?
    The reality of how the brain’s structure incurs structural changes through the process of learning, implies that once learned, becomes as permanent as other learned behaviors. An important facet of neurology and learned skills, is that because the patterns of activity that are trained by neurofeedback, continue having reinforcement by everyday life experience. It’s helpful to compare how any skill progresses only after it has first been learned. Once the brain learns habits of better self-regulation, focus, and relaxation, this translates to allowing a person to have a dramatically different life. There are already documented cases of people overcoming treatment-resistant debilitating epilepsy with neurofeedback

     

  • Who can benefit from neurofeedbak?
    The most technical and statistically correct answer is, almost anyone. The most important thing to understand about neurofeedback is that it does not force the brain into doing anything that it is not doing already. That means that it is suitable for almost anyone. Neurofeedback does not change your brain, it simply helps your brain do more of some things, and less of other things. By reinforcing certain brain wave activity, as well as communication and timing between brain regions, neurofeedback fits the definition of “non-invasive”. Think about this as with physical training equipment, where weights and yoga mats only help you employ the natural resources of your body, neurofeedback is a tool with which the brain’s resources are similarly recruited. By rewarding the brain at the exact time that a specific brain wave pattern occurs, allows the brain to associate the reward, with the coinciding brain state. Over time and thousands of iterations (averaging to 20-30+ sessions), the brain’s natural ability seek rewards, allows it to automate those states for which it received them. These states that can be trained by neurofeedback, to  those very processes to increase and improve. 
    If you are not suffering from any kind of condition, the fundamental fact that everyone’s brain produces brain wave patterns, implies that anyone can have a more efficient and more resilient brain. The efficiency of the brain is completely consistent with cognitive and emotional performance, and its improvement can be noticed in such situations as
     

  • What is the process from start to finish?
    All clients begin with the initial intake process where personal information and relevant health history is obtained for assessment. The very first appointment will be to come in for the QEEG brain mapping. At the beginning of the appointment the client takes an attention test (~20min), before moving onto being fitted with a wet electrode cap. The electrode cap is the device that allows the final composition of the final brain map results. Once the cap is sufficiently injected with a non-toxic electrode gel, a 10-minute eyes closed, and eyes open recording will be taken while remaining in a comfortably seated position, free from major physical movements, especially of the neck and head. Once concluded. the client cleans up and returns on a following appointment for a review of the attention test and the QEEG brain map. These results are then used to devise neurofeedback protocols that are specific to the client’s goals. After the first 20-30 neurofeedback sessions another brain mapping appointment is made, and the results thereof are compared to the first, as well as interpreted by the corresponding change in the client’s reported complaints and goals.

     

  • What exactly do the electrodes do?
    At any point in time there may be anywhere between 3-5 electrodes applied to the client’s scalp. The electrodes are silver sensors that are applied to the scalp with a non-toxic electrode paste. The paste allows both the temporary adhesion of the electrode to skin, as well as forms a conductive bridge that allows for better reading of the electrical brain activity. These electrodes simply receive and transmit the electric brain currents to a digital amplifier, which then transforms it into distinct brainwave bands. These electrodes allow brain activity to be tracked in real time while playing the neurofeedback game. Once the neurofeedback session is over, the electrodes are removed and any residual electrode paste is removed with a cleaning solution.