NeurOptimal’s® Dynamical Neurofeedback™
NeurOptimal® is a training technology for the brain. Based upon unique Dynamical Neurofeedback“” principles, it ”simply” provides information to your brain which it can use to release its points of stuckness and organize itself. When ones brain does this, one usually feels better in their lives with easier access to more optimal functioning physically and emotionally. NeurOptimal® does not tell your brain what to do. It does not push the brain into specific states of consciousness. Instead, it offers information to the brain about its own activity, which your brain will use—or not— to adjust itself. Because of this NeurOptimal® is very safe and remarkably free of side-effects. However, the process of integrating the information and growing and changing can be a powerful one, one that many of us are not familiar with and which can feel disorienting for some. We have prepared this document to explain this process as fully as we can, so that when you sign consent for training you are doing so knowledgeably. Please ask for clarification on any issue that is not clear.
NeurOptimal® is not a medical treatment, device or methodology. It is not used to diagnose medical disorders, nor is it used as a medical treatment for disorders. It has not been approved for any medical purpose whatsoever by the FDA, Health Canada or any other governing agency. While Zengar trainers may or may not be licensed health care practitioners, their use of NeurOptimal® is as a tool for brain training and optimization, not as a means of diagnosis or as a medical intervention.
Sessions. Most people find the sessions enjoyable–you can just relax and enjoy them. There is absolutely nothing you have to do. You can lie back or not, and have your eyes open or closed. Some may feel sensations in their body or head, like tingling or warmth, or they may feel nothing. It’s not important whether you are aware of sensations or not. It’s not related to its efficacy.
You will know within six sessions if NeurOptimal® can help you. If you see any changes at all, even if it is not yet what you are looking for or even if it is something you don’t especially want, it is always helpful because it tells us that your brain is responding to the information NeurOptimal® is providing. We cannot predict your personal response to NeurOptimal® training, nor its outcome. Each person’sjourney and their results will vary. Some people experience dramatic shift and growth while others are slower in how they change. It’s possible you will perceive little or no effect.
Progress can be variable— it often doesn’t follow a straight path forward. This is normal. It can go up and down, but we do like to see a general trend in the desired direction. NeurOptimal ®Professional can show you some analyses that can contribute to your understanding of your progress, but in the end it is always how you are doing in your life that is most important.
Once your central nervous system (cns) starts to shift in response to training you may feel the effects of this physically, emotionally or in your daily life. While these effects are often what we want, there can sometimes be some unwanted effects also. These can fall into one or more of several groups depending on when they are experienced during a session, after a session, effects before the changes have ”settled in” (between sessions), and the more ongoing effects of change.
Effects felt during a session or soon after are a response by your cns to the challenge of training. Although the sessions may feel relaxing, your brain is actually working very hard. NeurOptimal® is like going to a gym for the brain. Once you start training the instabilities that you have (which we all have to a greater or lesser degree) can put in an appearance, sometimes more strongly than usual. This can be anything you have ever tended to experience, or a symptom that belongs to the symptom cluster that is a problem for you, even if you haven’t experienced that one symptom before. As these symptoms can be anything that any one of us can complain about, it is difficult to make a full list, but the more common are sensations in or on the head, irritability, difficulty sleeping that night, feeling anxious, headache, discomfort in the body often associated with old injuries, sleepiness during the session, heart palpitations, children more cantankerous afterwards, feeling spacey or dizzy, ear noises changing and so on. These effects, if they occur, are temporary and usually disappear in the hours following the session and generally stop appearing after a few sessions when the cns becomes stronger, more ﬂexible and more resilient. If undertaking additional efforts or experiencing new types of stress sometimes trigger physical or psychological reactions in you, the initial stages of the training might provoke these reactions. This is more important if you experience severely incapacitating symptoms of some kind, so please be aware that it is possible (although not necessarily so) that you may see a temporary increase in your symptoms as the cns ”goes into the gym” and plan accordingly (e.g. you may temporarily want to have someone drive you). If you are working with a trainer, they can work with you to adjust the length, frequency and intensity of the sessions to keep you as comfortable as possible until you reach a new level of stability. If you are running your own sessions, work with the Initial Session until you are comfortable with that, then Session Two and so on until you are comfortable running Regular Sessions. It is important to remember however, Neuroptimal® is merely providing information that your brain uses to do its own organizing, so even if you jump in and do the most difficult sessions from the start (Regular and Extended sessions), which many do, it is a question of comfort, not safety.
Effects felt between sessions and before the full change has ”settled in”. Very often the change people experience with NeurOptimal® is remarkably effortless and seamless. You are in ”this universe” now, and ”this new universe” in the next moment. The challenge with this is to notice the changes that are happening— when you are in your ”new universe” you don’t remember accurately what it was like in the old one. This process of seamless change is why it is important to decide ahead of time how you will know if you are getting the results you want. But not all change is seamless, and some people may have feelings that are less comfortable, such as feeling more open, vulnerable, raw, reactive or tearful. Sometimes it is not that they feel more of these emotions, but instead are becoming more aware of their feelings. Another effect is that some of the people in your environment can be challenged by the changes in you, as you become clearer around your needs. These challenges are all similar to how people can feel in response to good psychotherapy or other healing modality. There can be bodily shifts too. As your brain becomes more finely tuned the negative effects of some of our bad habits become harder to ignore, like drinking too much or not getting enough sleep. Your tolerance for alcohol will reduce, so the same amount of alcohol will feel like more, so please adjust accordingly. If you are on medication for a disorder, there may come a time when you need less medication. This can show by seeing side effects from that medication, or more surprisingly, by a sudden reappearance of the symptoms for which you are taking the medication. Of course, all medication decisions will be handled by your physician, so please let him or her know about your NeurOptimal® training and any medication effects you are having. Please make sure you follow your physician’s advice and treatment on-goingly for your medical issues. NeurOptimal® in no way replaces medical care, and indeed, NeurOptimal® trainers will often require that you are under such care before they work with you.
On-going change. Your tastes can change— things that have been appealing to you in the past may not seem so any more. While this is usually in line with your well-being, if you earn your living by one of your senses, please be aware these senses may change and it may take you time to adapt to the new sensations. So wine may not taste the same, for example. If you are an energy healer, as you shift you may feel a bit ”out of water” for a while as you reach for the familiar and find it is not there in the same way as it was before. It could also be that if you had a particular talent that was based on ”being parked” (or stuck) in a particular state. You may find this ”talent” dropping away initially as the cns releases its points of stuckness. You will have access to these states, but you will need to develop the skill to ”go there” and ”come back”.
How long do the effects last? As your changes become more stable, they will become your new norm and will remain with you through your lifetime. It’s like learning how to read or swim. Once you know, you can’t not know, although you may get rusty. Your brain is living tissue and can get thrown off by stress, chemicals, hormonal changes, an anesthetic, head injury or other challenge. If this happens to you, a few booster sessions will help your brain return to its good place.
Research. Although the neurofeedback field as a whole has decades of history behind it and much research now, it is still considered by many to be experimental and NeurOptimal®’s dynamical technology (dynamical is a technical term used in the field it comes from) is the newest and most innovative of all the approaches. So while there are some studies supporting NeurOptimal®’s use, the practical training experience exceeds the research by far. However, Zengar conducted an extensive survey conducted of its users after 10 years of use of NeurOptimal®. It reports on the experience of over a million hours use by its trainers worldwide, and is available for perusal by request. You are invited to explore the potential benefits to you of undertaking this training, but if you feel it is not being helpful for you or that the downsides outweigh the upsides, please let us know of your concerns. If you still feel it is not helpful or too uncomfortable, please cease training. Because NeurOptimal® is purely a source of information and does not direct the response of your cns, you are agreeing to not hold Zengar Institute Inc or any of its users and trainers responsible for a less than desired outcome or any outcome that could be considered negative.
Driving. Please be aware training can be very relaxing. If you are driving, please make sure you are alert enough to do so.
How is NeurOptimal® Dynamical Neurofeedback™ different from other systems?
There are a few key factors that distinguish NeurOptimal® from other neurofeedback systems:
- NeurOptimal® is effective because it is designed to work best with your individual brain.
It does not attempt to “fix” predetermined conditions or pin down specific problems. This was a limitation in many earlier neurofeedback systems. Often, resolving one problem in one area could cause problems elsewhere. The heart of the NeurOptimal® system – Dynamical Neurofeedback™ – is a proprietary technology based in neuroscience and specifically designed with the naturally non-linear function of the human brain in mind. NeurOptimal® is built to harness the incredibly dynamic nature of your brain in a way other systems simply cannot match. As a result, this neurofeedback system can be used effectively to address a wide array of complaints without specifically “targeting” them from the outset of the training.
- NeurOptimal® neurofeedback is extremely safe.
Research shows your own brain “knows best” and therefore the NeurOptimal® brain training system does not force or “push” the brain in any one direction. Basically, Dynamical Neurofeedback™ provides your brain with the information it needs to correct itself and function at its most optimal. NeurOptimal® simply enables your own brain’s natural process of self-correction.
- NeurOptimal® requires no effort on the user’s part.
Some brain training systems require the user to “interact” by playing games or solve puzzles during sessions. This additional level of interaction is unnecessary with the NeurOptimal® neurofeedback system. During a training session, you can simply relax and enjoy!
Information Courtesy of Zengar
NeurOptimal® is a Dynamical Neurofeedback™ system, and as such very different from other systems. It is completely non-invasive and non-directive because it is based on both a very different understanding about how the brain works, as well as how it is best optimized.
NeurOptimal® is designed to work with the brain as an information-detection system. By simply giving the brain information about its own activity — about what it has just done — NeurOptimal® helps the brain re-organize itself, thereby activating its own intrinsic healing wisdom. As a result of training the brain becomes more stable. As its flexibility and resilience improve, problems and issues begin to fade away.
How does NeurOptimal® do this, and what does this mean for how NeurOptimal® trainers work?
Firstly, NeurOptimal® trainers do not diagnose. And because they do not diagnose, they obviously do not treat. They don’t need to. Diagnosis is irrelevant to NeurOptimal® trainers because NeurOptimal® is continually monitoring “what the brain is doing”, microsecond by microsecond, dancing with the brain as it shifts and evolves. A one-time assessment done minutes, hours or days before is WAY too slow to be useful information for NeurOptimal®. Diagnosis for NeurOptimal® is like trying to use a road map to fly in a jumbo jet from New York to San Francisco — it’s just not relevant. In the language of NeurOptimal®, the road map is not information.
There is no need for outside tests to “diagnose what’s wrong” or an “expert” to decide “what the central nervous system (cns) needs”. You can simply allow the cns to receive the pure information about itself — untainted by the beliefs of the trainer — and the brain organizes on its own. This is what the cns is designed to do and NeurOptimal® is designed to rely on this inherent intelligence of the brain. As a result, the NeurOptimal® process is perfectly, effortlessly, natural. And this is true no matter what the problem is — even if there was significant developmental delay or injury as far back as birth or even earlier. Every brain has the potential to optimize itself, if given the right information.
Secondly, NeurOptimal® provides information to the brain from a wide array of “targets” representing a vast array of frequencies, many of which were first described by Zengar and are unique to NeurOptimal®. With many systems you have to choose one or two frequencies and hope you “get it right”. And if you don’t get it right, there may be specific side effects associated with what you have done. Also, what you are doing for one issue may be contra-indicated for another issue you have. Ugh- so complicated! With NeurOptimal® you not only don’t have to worry about these things, you also receive the benefits of training across the range of all the available frequencies with NeurOptimal®. Whether you are seeking training because of an issue you want to address, to excel in a particular endeavor or to pursue spiritual enlightenment and discovery, you can have it ALL, each and every session. NeurOptimal® does this by using sixteen different targets, each of these targets working dynamically with “where the cns is” at that moment in time. The result of this comprehensive array of dynamical targeting is that you enjoy comprehensive growth and change — across the array of possibilities. So although someone may do training because they want to feel more alert, or be able to focus better or to feel less troubled in their daily life, they also tell us they are sleeping better and feel lighter and brighter in their life, which seems to flow more easily. They say they are able to cope more calmly with problems and are much more aware when a situation is not positive for them. One client began training to help manage the panic he felt every time he left his house. Not only did he get over has panic, NeurOptimal® helped him significantly improve his golf game, much to the amazement of his golfing buddies and the pro at his club!
One of the additional benefits of working with multiple frequencies the way NeurOptimal® does is that you don’t get side effects as you do when working with only one or two frequencies. Each frequency has a particular effect or state it is associated with. So if you work with one that quiets the brain or one that activates the brain for example, you run the danger of becoming over quieted or over-activated. So a practitioner who uses one of these limited approaches needs to watch very carefully for signs of having pushed the training too far in one direction. In fact, you not feeling good is the information they will use to adjust what they are doing! This is VERY slow feedback as far as NeurOptimal® is concerned! So you get pushed in one direction and then another until the practitioner has decided what is the “right frequency” (this can take weeks to find out) and then that is what your brain is trained with.
When you work with NeurOptimal® you are flowing through many different frequencies in rapid succession, each frequency bandwidth balancing the others. You cannot go too far in any one direction, because you are getting everything moment by moment! You end up alert and relaxed, feeling alive and quiet at the same time. In perfect balance.
While there are many benefits to working the way NeurOptimal® does, there is probably none as great as the fact that NeurOptimal® never tells the brain what to do. This means NeurOptimal® does not “push” the brain in any direction as other systems do, as they categorize the frequencies into ones you need “more of” and ones you need “less of’. While Zengar has contributed greatly to identifying and describing these frequencies, we no longer use this older system of augmenting and suppressing. Whether your brain “should” produce more or less is irrelevant for NeurOptimal®. Instead NeurOptimal® simply gives the brain information about what it is doing and it decides for itself whether an increase or reduction is warranted. Probably more than anything, this pushing in a narrow range of bandwidths that do not balance each other, is the biggest cause of unwanted side effects with other systems. And the fact that NeurOptimal® does NOT do this makes NeurOptimal® not only unmatched in its power, but also its safety. NeurOptimal® works moment by moment with “where the client is”. Other systems set a threshold or level that they want you to be above or below, and the feedback will tell you how well you are doing this. The threshold may shift to a new set level periodically but it is always well behind the curve compared with where you are at any particular time. NeurOptimal® is dynamically assessing and dancing with your brain moment by moment. This “aliveness” makes it a truly interactive system that helps unleash points of “stuckness” in your cns. And when your brain gets tired it works with you where you are, making it very difficult to over train with NeurOptimal®.
The hallmark of an elegant solution is its simplicity, and NeurOptimal® is…. simply elegant.