Frequently Asked Questions

NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is gentle, safe, non-invasive brain training to release disruptive and persistent patterns that hold you back from being your best self.

What is NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback?

Based in neuroscience, NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is a sophisticated brain training tool designed to optimize how your brain is functioning.  This advanced, nonlinear technology measures brain activity from .01 hertz to 64 hertz collecting and analyzing data 256 times per second.  Developed by Drs. Val and Sue Brown, clinical psychologists who developed NeurOptimal® in the late nineties, this proprietary technology is exclusive to NeurOptimal Nonlinear, Dynamical Neurofeedback® .  Despite its complexity, NeurOptimal® is incredibly easy to use whether you are coming in for an individual session, planning on renting a system for a month or considering purchasing your own system.  

How does change happen in the brain?

Every brain is unique and processes at its own speed and in its own way.  By reading the electrical activity of the brain and then sending subtle signals back to the nervous system about what is happening, the brain is able to choose to optimize how it is functioning.  Just like when we are driving on a highway with rumble strips and we go too far in one direction, NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback provides an audible signal which alerts the subconscious to changes within the nervous system.  The subconscious then can choose what it will do with that information. This innovative neurofeedback training is like holding up a mirror so your brain can look at itself and what is happening in the present moment.  What changes and the pace of the changes cannot be easily predicted.  Through the process of this unique neurofeedback, you are training your nervous system to be more flexible, resilient and to stay focused in the present moment. 

Drs. Val and Susan Brown who developed NeurOptimal®, view the brain as an intelligent, self-organizing dynamical system which can actively utilize information for its own benefit.  All NeurOptimal® does is present information to the brain in a way that can be understood by a dynamical system, and the brain does the rest.   This is not a medical model so no evaluation, no diagnosis or treatment approaches needs to be developed.  NeurOptimal® does not tell the brain what to do and no specific frequencies are augmented or suppressed.  Since the subconscious is what is reading the audible signals no conscious participation by the client is needed either.  NeurOptimal® shows your brain that change is about to occur and your subconscious when informed, moves away from changes which may produce discomfort.  This process is not pushing, programing, or entraining the frequencies within your brain to work in any specific way.  Your brain is in charge the whole time and directs the subtle changes which over time adds up to a brain which is learning to function more optimally.

Are there side effects or problems created by NeurOptimal® sessions?

NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is completely non-invasive.  It is not sending any electrical signals into the brain or removing anything from the brain which would be harmful.  It is only reading the electrical signals from your brain.  Some people report feeling a bit tired after a session but often share that they slept well and woke up feeling refreshed the next morning. The more NeurOptimal® trains the brain, the more efficiently it functions over time unless there are some external factors which keep the brain from adapting and changing.

What do people notice when they try NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback?

Most people first notice improved sleep patterns or find they are not as stressed or reactive.  As they continue to train, they may become aware of other life improvements such as more confidence, an ability to cope with life better or the ability to process their emotions without getting as stuck. Obstacles which were blocking them may appear to melt away more easily. Remember, just like physical exercise needs to be repeated over time to see and sustain the changes, brain training with NeurOptimal® works best when you train your brain to optimize your brain’s functioning.

Who benefits from using NeurOptimal®?

Anyone with a brain can benefit from NeurOptimal® brain training.  Just like our cars need tune ups to function efficiently and we choose to eat healthy foods and exercise our bodies to enjoy positive health results, brain training with NeurOptimal® keeps our brains working optimally.  I have safely used NeurOptimal® since 2006 to help children, teens and adults to experience greater health and well being.

How many NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback sessions will I need?

The number of neurofeedback sessions you need will depend on several factors.  Every brain is unique, and the nervous system has been wired to function based on a variety of life experiences.  This makes it hard to predict how many sessions may be needed to achieve your goals and more optimal functioning.  Your age, how long you have had your issues and the changes you are noticing will help you know when you are reaching your goals.  Young brains change more quickly than older brains and more recent issues resolve more quickly than longstanding problems.  If you experienced early trauma and neglect, sustained serious head trauma, or have experienced an overwhelming physical or emotional trauma locking your nervous system into fight, flight, or freeze patterns, you may expect your brain to take longer to train.  There can also be factors that affect brain processing like medications usage or health conditions which may affect or slow down how the brain is functioning. Whatever blocks you are dealing with, the change process can be enhanced by training with NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback. Are you ready to train your brain to a better you?

Do you have any recommendations when I do start training my brain?

In the beginning since we are optimizing how the brain is working, you may choose to start with two or more sessions a week for two or three weeks, so the brain holds onto the changes better.  However, once a week is fine too if that works better for you.  Especially in the beginning I do not recommend coming every other week since it will take longer for the brain to hold onto the subtle changes and for you to notice how your life is improving.  There is not a limit to the benefits you can gain by training longer. How many sessions you need is really a question for you to answer when you achieve your goals and notice the life changes you are desiring.  

If later after your initial training you experience a stressful life experience or inefficient brain processing, you may want to support your brain by doing more NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback training.  At any age and any stage your brain can improve its functioning. The cheapest option is to rent a NeurOptimal® system to use in your own home.  You are welcome to visit the rental information on this website to compare prices and to think about the convenience of doing neurofeedback sessions in the comfort of your own home. Don’t forget to plan ahead to reserve the rental unit you desire.

Does the NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback ever not work? 

Occasionally someone tries NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback and their brain doesn’t respond the way they had hoped it would.  Maybe there are extrinsic factors or life situations which are impacting their brain’s ability to change.  The key is not to have expectations that you will notice specific changes right away. It also may be helpful to keep a journal or record of what you are noticing over time.   Even though the changes may be very subtle at first, many people begin to experience changes after the first few sessions.  For some it takes longer to notice any changes but if you check in with family members, they may be seeing shifts in you before you notice the new norm. 

If your brain has been wired by a history of traumatic life experiences or other inefficient brain patterns, it may take longer to see and feel the differences.  Filling in a chart to start with which identifies current emotional and health states may be a good way to measure changes over time.  Feel free to talk to me if you have any concerns about the type of changes you are seeing. I may be able to show you breathing techniques, or other tools which might help to calm and support your nervous system between sessions as you going through the process of change.  

What about the use of medications?

Cutting down or discontinuing medications while training your brain needs to be talked over with your health care professional because it is beyond the scope of my practice.

Why use NeurOptimal® instead of other forms of Neurofeedback?

To my knowledge NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is the most advanced, nonlinear brain training technology that is out there.  I have used it for over fourteen years with wonderful success.  It is designed to work with the brain as an information detection system which optimizes how the whole brain is functioning.  Other neurofeedback systems may try to entrain specific frequencies which is a way of pushing the brain to function in a predetermined way. This can shift and unbalance the energy patterns within the brain creating side effects which may not be helpful. Some systems have a pre-set program which is a one size fits all.  I guess the question comes down to what you want to experience, a Model T or a Ferrari?  

Several years ago, Val Brown with his Zengar support team created a significant upgrade to how NeurOptimal® was functioning.  This upgrade made NeurOptimal® safer and simpler to use with excellent results.  However, this simplicity in operation belies its power.  As a result, many do not comprehend how this brain training system can bring about lasting change.  Its design is completely non-invasive and non-directive working in a fluid and subtle way to provide stability and efficiency to any nervous system. We can’t predict what changes may occur with your brain but if you try it, we believe you will love how you feel when you train your brain with NeurOptimal®!

Is NeurOptimal® safe to use with children?

Absolutely!  As part of the Integrated Center for Optimal Learning (ICOL) for nine years and as a therapist specializing in working with children for over twenty-five years, I have seen NeurOptimal® support significant changes in children which were gratifying.  NeurOptimal’s® design ensures safety as it supports optimal changes in brain function.  In children you are more likely to see increased confidence, enhanced focusing and learning abilities, more emotional regulation, and greater sense of calm and well being.

Are there other ways to experience NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback?

I currently own rental units which people can use in the comfort of their own home.  During this time of the Covid 19 pandemic it has provided some relief from the stress and anxiousness during these uncertain times.  I have both personal units which are good for one or two people in a family or professional units which are better suited for a whole family so they can take advantage of many sessions within a month.  When you rent the unit, I am happy to demonstrate how to operate the system or if you are located at a distance and need the unit to be mailed, then we can connect by Zoom to have me show you what you need to know after your system has arrived. Watching online videos is also possible to acquaint yourself with how to hook up and run a 33-minute session.  I do have more detailed information on my website about renting or purchasing.  I am a Representative for Zengar, so you are welcome to contact me to find out more information about NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback sessions, or the rental or purchase process. I also offer in person certification classes if you do purchase a system and want to know more about how it works.

Contact Jan Yordy

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