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What is Neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback (or EEG biofeedback) is a process by which the brain learns more efficient patterns, allowing individuals to function more optimally. It is a non-invasive way to address a multitude of symptoms and teaches the brain to better self-regulate at a central nervous system level.

Why Neurofeedback? What's so good about it?

Neurofeedback is the only opportunity the brain has to receive information about itself and to therefore correct inefficient patterns that have developed over time.


Inefficient patterns can mean a person is stuck in high arousal states (difficulty calming down, over responsiveness to threat, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty focusing) or low arousal states (difficulty waking up, unmotivated, poor memory, and trouble focusing).


There are brain wave patterns associated with unwanted symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, ADD/ADHD, migraines and long-term reactions to trauma to name a few. Through the training sessions, Neurofeedback targets the electrical turbulence or activity that disturbs the central nervous system (CNS) and creates flexibility in the brain where more rigid patterns existed.


Essentially, what Neurofeedback does is bring the CNS back to the present, teaching the individual to be more ‘in the moment’ and have more choices on how to respond.

Okay, I'm listening. So what's the Neurofeedback Process then?

Sensor Hook-up

Neurofeedback starts with putting sensors on the head. Nothing is going into the brain—it is simply measuring electrical activity already going on in the brain. It consists of silver electrodes applied to the client’s ears & scalp, centred between the ear and the crown of the head on the bony ridge (Central points C3 & C4).


The electrodes are applied with EEG paste. It is a water-soluble electrical conductance material composed primarily of salts in order to enhance the monitoring of the minute electrical pulses of the brain.


Z-amp™ Amplifies Signals

The electrode sensors pick up the brain’s electrical signal and send that signal down a conductance wire to the Z-amp. The Z-amp cleans line noise and amplifies the brain wave signal. Through auditory and visual feedback, the brain (or CNS) is alerted when there is too much variability (or turbulence) in a particular part of the brain.


Other Neurofeedback data looks “smeared” compared to Provlin Health Neurofeedback’s data due to a sampling rate of 256 samples per second, coupled with incredible precision of filtering, targeting and triggering feedback. At no time are electrical signals fed back to the brain.


Signal Separation into Frequencies and Intensities

The left and right brain wave signals are then separated by the computer software into their component frequencies and intensities. Intensity, for these purposes, is defined as a measure of the amount of electrical signal generated.


Non-linear Statistical Analysis of Data

This continuous data set is analysed over time using non-linear dynamical math and statistics in order to determine when the brain and nervous system enter into an area of “unstable” operation and feedback is given instantly within milliseconds. The feedback is given in the form of a pause in the music and a momentary hesitation of the fractal image.


Variables of Time, Frequency and Intensity

Feedback is determined by continuously tracking the 3 variables of time, frequency and intensity. This is called Joint time-frequency analysis (JTFA).


Dynamic Dance

The continuous data set is analysed using 16 different target filters simultaneously. Each of these targets works dynamically with the nervous system at that moment in time. The result of this dance between the client’s brain and the Neurofeedback software is broad-based and integrated client transformation.


Initial Client Session

During the initial session, the trainer and client will review the client’s concerns sheet. Together they will decide what the tangible goals are for the client’s upcoming series of sessions. The trainer will explain how the Neurofeedback technology works and the default procedure that will be followed for every training session. The trainer will answer any questions that the client may have. The trainer will then run a 15-minute demonstration session.


At the end of this session, the client will have all the information they need to make both a time and a financial commitment to a series of the recommended 45-minute sessions. These sessions may be purchased in groups of 4 blocks or the recommended 36+ session series. The more sessions purchased, the lower the training fees.


The Training Environment

During the session, the client is comfortably reclining in a cozy chair with a warm blanket in a darkened room. The client has EEG sensors attached and a set of stereo earphones on.


Pre-Baseline Graphical Results

The Neuro-practitioner will first run a pre-training baseline in order to establish where the client is at this moment in time. Together, the trainer and client will review the spectrograph (Left) and the CAC graph (Cross-correlation of the auto-correlation on right). They will use these graphs as a guide post for progress. The baselines are only a 30-second snapshot in time. They are static data and are viewed with that in mind.


The Advanced Brain Training

Next, the Neuro-practitioner will run the session. The client will listen to the Neurofeedback soothing Instrumental music that is composed especially for the selected journey. They will also be watching a monitor with a kaleidoscope of engaging fractal imagery.  The music can be changed according to client preference.


Client Given Feedback

When the nervous system statistically enters into an unstable operating area, feedback is given very rapidly, with precise timing, within milliseconds. The feedback is given in the form of a very brief pause in the music and a momentary hesitation on the fractal image.


Sometimes the pauses are so quick you may not consciously notice them. This pause is quite literally the pause that refreshes. A pattern of pauses is given to the brain. The brain immediately recognises that these patterns are important. The brain begins to watch itself work and self-optimisation begins.


Brain Process Control

Neurofeedback is live process control of the brain. The initial shifts may be unrelated to the client’s stated goals because the brain is in control of the prioritisation of the changes, not the trainer or the computer. Your brain is in the driver’s seat.


The engineering principle of process control is optimised when the measurements of the data stream are accurate, the feedback to the process is both quick and precise and the process adjustment is done only when statically required to promote a directional jump shift or transformation to the next level of organisation.


Provlin Health uses the most advanced and cutting-edge Neurotechnology, no other Neurofeedback systems are based on the principle of live process control.


Graphical Displays of Brain Wave Variation

During the training, the Neuro-practitioner will be watching many different displays (Spectra left and Helix right) that represent the minute-by-minute unfolding of the client’s brain wave activity. The brain activity intensity will trigger the various frequency target filters as the training unfolds.


Zen Modes

The Neurofeedback software automatically moves through four different modes called Zen 1,2 3 & 4. These exercises are similar to a warm-up stretch, a weight training challenge, cardiovascular endurance and a cooldown period to integrate the learning.


Post-Baseline Graphical Results

At the end of the training session; the Neuro-practitioner will run a post-baseline 30-second snapshot in order to compare where the client is at this new moment in time. Together, the trainer and client will compare the pre & post-spectrograph (left) and the pre & post-CCAC graph (Cross-correlation of the auto-correlation on right).


Divergence is a measure of stability

Divergence numbers for the pre & post-CAC graphs are compared and used as a loose guideline to measure progress. Divergence is a calculated number that indicates the relative stability of the brain and nervous system, the lower the number the more stable the clients' nervous system is.


Progress is not linear, meaning that the divergence numbers do not go down in a straight line orderly fashion. Stability is achieved through a non-linear spiralling process where a period of variability and chaos begins, then a period of stability, then more chaos and then even greater stability comes into view. In the end, the client is done when their goals are reached and when they feel that they are in an optimised state of flow and function.


No right or wrong way to receive training

There is no right way or wrong way for a client to receive a session. The client must make a time commitment to show up and relax in the chair. The only conscious thing for the client to be aware of is to avoid moving large muscles or clenching their teeth.


The electrical signal strength needed to move muscles will swamp the brain wave signals. The client can be anxious, they can still be on medication and they can even fall asleep and the training will be effective. The primary feedback is auditory. The visual feedback is supportive, and so is the state of sleeping, which quiets the conscious mind that can get in the way of the unconscious mind’s “quick learn” programming.


Length of Training Series

At Provlin Health, we have defined an optimal series of +36 sessions. The commitment required from the client is therefore twelve (12) weeks.


We feel that this number of sessions is required in order to assure that the changes are established as the new way of being. We also feel that 2-3 a week is frequent enough to keep the client excited about the progress being achieved. As each journey is individual these guidelines are flexible. Over-training is not a problem with Neurofeedback. If needed or desired, a person may elect to do training every day. Usually, there will be noticeable shifts within 6 -10 sessions.


The bottom line is that the more training the client does the more the learning will stay with you. We like to say training is like taking your brain to the gym. The more you do the better shape you are in.


After Neurofeedback Brain Training Session

After a session, a client may report that they feel clearer, calmer and more centred. A client may also temporarily feel tired or “spacey”. Sometimes the brain is still integrating the new learning from the session. As the sessions go on, the new and more centred way of seeming to last longer and longer.


Booster Sessions

Once the brain learns a more efficient way of operating, it may temporarily fall into an old pattern of being, but it will not forget, and the effects of learning will remain. Once the client has completed a series of sessions they can feel and know what it is to be in “optimal flow and functioning”.


If and when the client is “knocked off centre”, due to stress and/or trauma, they will feel the contrast between the old way of being and the new way of being. That is a good time to come back for a session or two. During a follow-up session, the brain behaves as if it recognises itself and knows what to do by quickly and effortlessly returning back to the new way of being.


Self-Optimisation Principle

The brain has an inherent subprogram that is always running to continuously self-optimise. Since the brain uses more energy than any other part of the human anatomy, the self-optimisation program is constantly pruning neuronal connections that are not in use and adding new neuronal connections and hubs where required.


The human brain is continuously trying to optimise its electrical information highway by minimising its energy requirement. Neurofeedback is a “service pack” that plugs into the self-optimisation program giving it the ability to learn quickly and effortlessly.


The learning process is done unconsciously because our unconscious mind learns at a much faster rate than our conscious mind can work. This is a very different approach than used by any other Neurofeedback and biofeedback systems that require the clients to consciously learn to control their brainwave activity in order to make use of the feedback.


Brain Wave Symphony

Neurofeedback provides the brain & nervous system with a moment-by-moment picture of how it is operating. The brain quickly recognises that the feedback is both interesting and important, and begins to pay attention to it.


The brain begins watching itself work and self-optimisation begins. When the training is complete, the client’s brain and nervous system are in a measurably different place. Watching a fully trained nervous system operate is like watching a highly skilled orchestra play a complex and profoundly beautiful symphony.


When self-optimisation is accomplished, the client experiences improved mental performance, overall health, and well-being with no drugs, no reliving of trauma and no lasting side effects.


The side effects if any, are short lasting and “positive” in that they indicate re-normalisation is underway. An elegantly profound transformation is achieved with no pain and plenty of gains.

"An important premise of neurofeedback training is that our brains have the ability to change the way they function. An important premise of neurofeedback training is that our brains have the ability to change the way they function."

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