My journey started 16 years ago when I began to research the neurofeedback (NF) field. Given my training and experience, I felt that NF could possibly be a modality that could non-invasively help get under protective mechanisms that slow or prevent trauma resolution. What I discovered over the past decade of using NF with my clients is that it improves overall resilience, no matter the symptom. Surprisingly, resilience improves even with the more intense cases and generally stabilizes folks more rapidly than I could have anticipated. This led me into deeper study of the science behind these results.
Here is an interesting article about the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. He is a very progressive individual and has always been interested in the intersection between physics and spirituality. He changed my point of view many years ago when he was asked if operating on an individual was beneficial. His answer had a big impact on my thinking. He said that anything that helped an individual live longer so that they could improve their spiritual development, was beneficial.
He continues to demonstrate his open mindedness by embracing neurofeedback, a method for helping the human brain find calm and relaxation in the presence of our intense, technological culture.
This Newsweek article (see link below) reminds me how much the neurofeedback field is growing as people seek relief from conditions that cause them real suffering and interfere in living a good life. It is growing because it is effective!
Link to video
Being able to challenge our brain in a completely non-aggressive, non-invasive manner is the key to improving its resiliency. This is our new Quantum Reality. Stress is not going away, but we can train our brain to recognize its own dysfunctional habits that cause us suffering. We know that it can recalibrate itself, called neuro-adaptability. Our brain wants to function efficiently and in the most energy conserving way possible moment to moment. But when it is carrying unresolved traumatic stress from the past, it becomes overwhelmed and loses its capacity to self-regulate to a degree, while driving behaviors that we do not control. Showing it what it just did, the state change it is about to produce, is enough for it to return to the present moment and drop the suffering event it is about to generate. This state change is called a perturbation event in non-linear physics; the root is perturb; you are about to become perturbed.
Jean Alvarez, E.D., is a colleague and a fellow Master NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback Trainer who sees clients in Cincinnati, Ohio. She herself is a survivor of cancer and here she shares her struggles with the negative after-effects of Chemical treatments for cancer, called chemo brain, and how she overcame it with NeurOptimal brain training.
Chemo brain is a common term used by cancer survivors to describe thinking and memory problems that can occur after cancer treatment. Chemo brain can also be called chemo fog, chemotherapy-related cognitive impairment or cognitive dysfunction.
Dr. Dan Segal discusses (below) the negative consequences of checking your phone for messages before bedtime. This seemingly innocuous activity actually signals to your brain all the things that communicate that it is not time to sleep, when it is.
With an epidemic of sleep problems in our culture due to too much unresolved stress, this seemingly harmless activity actually impairs our Central Nervous System’s ability to produce melatonin needed in order to move from a conscious to an unconscious state for sleep and the process of detoxification.
A quote from Bessel several years ago describes neurofeedback’s effects on people with extreme trauma who they treat at The Trauma Center in Massachusetts:
“Once neurofeedback is introduced, many experience their extraordinarily traumatic histories to become mere data points in their lives, freed of many of the life destroying elements we commonly see. ”
Bessel Van der Kolk, M.D.
I have seen amazing results with neurofeedback in many client’s lives over the past 9 years. People who had done many types of therapies, medications and interventions came in for NeurOptimal Neurofeedback with me, only to experience relief within a few sessions. It became clear that overload, or unresolved trauma was generally what was driving their suffering, causing them to act out in ways that they could just say no to.
New Research shows serious neurological consequences of burnout.
The more stressed you are, the harder it is to deal with stressors in the future. Once we get into an exhaustion phase, our brain finds it less and less able to cope with ongoing stressors. And this is whether we are aware of this process, or not!
This biological stress model was originally developed by Dr. Hans Selye, endorcinologist. He demonstrated that we can resist stress only for so long before our body/brain go into an exhaustion phase that depletes us of our reserves.