Frequently Asked Questions

Will it hurt?

No. NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is 100% non-invasive. Nothing is being put into your brain at any time. Sensors are placed on the scalp to monitor electrical activity of your brain. Sensors are clipped to the ears to provide ground and control. The information gathered by the sensors is transmitted through wires to an amplifier box, and then through a USB cord to a computer or tablet which analyzes the information. Information travels through the cords and amplifier one direction only, away from the body. Feedback is provided through the audio you are listening to during the training session. It is impossible for electricity to be transmitted to your brain with this equipment. Think of the sensors, amplifier, and wires like a stethoscope that a Dr uses to listen to what is going on in your heart. The stethoscope is simply a tool for listening to the heart. Sensors, wires, and amplifier are simply tools used for listening to your brain. Most clients leave a training session feeling profoundly relaxed.

Is it safe for children? While pregnant?

Yes. Neurofeedback is FDA approved for stress reduction. When you are listening to NeurOptimal® you will hear brief micro-pauses in the sound. Once you settle into a session, you might hardly even notice them. Unlike other systems, NeurOptimal® does not train states of consciousness. Indeed, it does not do anything to influence any outcome. Instead, it is up to your brain to use the mathematical information it receives, or not — as it will. For this reason, NeurOptimal® is an extraordinarily safe tool for self-optimization. In fact, history of its use world-wide as revealed in two extensive surveys of our users indicate that we have now well over three million hours of safe usage under our belts, and that number is growing exponentially. Neurofeedback has been safely used extensively with children. Pregnancy can be a time of great joy and excitement, and also a time of high anxiety and stress. Neurofeedback is a safe and non-invasive way to de-stress during pregnancy.

How many sessions does it take?

NeurOptimal® is training, not treatment. Because every brain is unique, and we are simply training your brain to work more efficiently, there is no way to predict when clients will see change in any specific area.

Will it cure my…?

NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback is training, not treatment. It does not diagnose or treat any medical condition. There is no diagnosis required because the focus is on improving brain resilience and flexibility, which naturally leads to a reduction in problems and issues.

How often should I train?

We all have a unique brain, and a unique schedule. Some people have the desire and ability to train daily. No more than 2 sessions per day is recommended. At least weekly is ideal to be able to see, feel, and track progress. Consider it like training at the gym, consistency is the key.

Do the effects last?

NeurOptimal® Brain Training is for your brain, like learning to read or walk. Research consistently indicates that clients maintain their improvements from neurofeedback training. Several research studies, looking at the effects of neurofeedback at completion of sessions and a year later, have demonstrated that additional gains are made over that year as the individual continues to practice what they learned during their NeurOptimal® Training. Once you know how to walk, you never fully lose that skill. So yes, the benefits of NeurOptimal® do remain with you, and when life throws you an unexpected curve a few sessions can be helpful to quickly get you back on track.

Many who own NeurOptimal® Systems consider it part of our own self-care, much like exercise. We are living tissue, growing, changing and daily life stressors, lack of sleep and pollution all take their toll.

What Can I do during a session?

You can train with NeurOptimal® while doing desk work, reading or studying because it automatically ignores the noisy signal that prevents other systems from working. Kids can do a session while doing their homework or playing a quiet game.

Is NeuroOptimal “one size fit all”?

NeurOptimal® is like a mirror to your brain, giving information micro-second by micro-second. No two people will ever have the same session, and no person will ever have the same session twice. It’s impossible because as your brain responds to the information it is receiving, the image being reflected also changes. It’s a unique dance between you and your own brain. A beautiful dance. So, NeurOptimal® can never be described as a “one size fits all”.

What’s the deal with Training vs Treatment? Linear vs Non-Linear? What’s the difference? Does it matter?

Linear versus Non-Linear
Linear Non-Linear
2 Dimensional (looks at Frequency and Amplitude of brain activity) 4 Dimensional (looks at Duration, Intensity (Amplitude), Frequency and Shift
Measures 2 dimensions at a variety of speeds depending on the system used. Measures 4 dimensions 256 times per second.
History: since the 1960’s History: 20 plus years
Requires diagnoses. No diagnosis is necessary. Training optimizes the brains’ ability.
May require QEEG that represents that moment in time. No prior or additional testing is necessary. With complex mathematical algorithm the brain is analyzed microsecond by microsecond.
Requires a specific protocol based on QEEG. No specific protocol required. When the Non-Linear System detects a shift in duration, intensity or frequency feedback is provided.
Requires a skilled practitioner. Expertise is built into the Non-Linear System. No special skills are necessary. Potential side effects. No known unwanted side effects.
May push the brain in a specific direction. 100% non-invasive. Allows brain to self-improve.
May require effort by client. Requires no effort or special behavior. Client simply relaxes.
May be effective. Enhancing resilience and flexibility leads to a reduction in issues.
Focus is on treatment. Focus is on restoring brain flexibility and resilience.
Linear Neurofeedback has been around since the 60s. It looks at 2 dimensions of brain activity; frequency and amplitude. Most practitioners require QEEG brain mapping prior to initiating sessions. The QEEG brain map results, along with reported symptoms are compared with other “typical” brains, to determine a medical diagnosis. Based on the diagnosis, the practitioner will choose a protocol attempting to manipulate (push or pull) the client’s brain activity in a specify direction to get it within the “normal” parameters. Remember, your brain map is what was happening in the client’s brain at one single portion of one day. It can be very representative of typical brain activity, but it will be affected by the patient’s quality of sleep the night before, current blood sugar level, level of anxiety with 18 sensors and a rubber cap on their head, etc. With a skilled practitioner and a single diagnosis, linear neurofeedback often works amazingly, but can be costly and time-consuming. With a less experienced practitioner, or more than one diagnosis, problems with side effects can arise. A good practitioner is constantly using their experience and adjusting the current protocol during each session in an effort to increase positive effects and minimize negative effects. With the linear neurofeedback process, the focus is on treatment.

NeurOptimal® Non-Linear Dynamical Neurofeedback™ has been around for approximately 20 years. NeurOptimal® looks at 4 dimensions of brain activity; Duration, Intensity (amplitude), Frequency, and Shift. It is measuring these 4 dimensions 256 times per second and providing feedback in real time. Your brain is a dynamic organ which is constantly changing, and learning based on what is happening in the present moment. When the system detects a shift in the duration, intensity or frequency of your brain activity, it provides feedback. This feedback allows your brain to self-regulate, as well as it can, depending on its needs, and within its limitations. As the feedback continues, your brain gains resilience and flexibility. NeurOptimal® utilizes complex mathematical algorithms to analyze changes or inconsistencies in your brain’s electrical activity as it is occurring, rather than based on a brain map produced in the past. Because the expertise is built into the system, no practitioner skill is necessary (although knowledge of how the system works is valuable). Because NeurOptimal® is analyzing brain activity microsecond by microsecond, no diagnosis is required. With NeurOptimal’s Non-linear Dynamical feedback process, the focus is on improving brain resilience, and flexibility, which naturally leads to a reduction in concerns/issues.