Neurofeeback brain training and a new you. Paul Congdon.
Feedback is a lovely thing, we all thrive on it. If someone encourages you or praises you, you respond in kind; it motivates you.
In a previous issue, we did a BRAIN special and interviewed the brilliant Dr Joe Dispenza. Joe healed himself of a major spinal injury after a serious accident, using the power of his mind, and became a student of the brain’s ability to reshape and rewire itself: NEUROPLASTICITY. It got me thinking, I’ve got this brilliant computer in my head that contains all my old programs still running: my belief systems, my fears, my fond memories, my loves, my hopes; some of which may be not be that useful anymore.Time to “clearhistory,”I felt.So, in the hope of a revamp,I contacted Dr Tammy Verlaan Ross from the Life and Balance Clinic, and booked myself in for some Neurofeedback with a twist… Chiropractic Neurofeedback.
So, what exactly is Neurofeedback?It’s an advanced form of brain training.It’s like suddenly being able to see your own dashboard, giving you instant access to what’s really going on in that head of yours.The training itself rewards you when you stay calm and focused.
Firstly,I receive a stress test to see how my brain responds to different stimuli: a dentist’s drill(that will get most people going), a math test, a dog barking and so on.You are wired up so Tammy can measure, firstly, how stressed you become, and then in relaxation periods, how quickly you recover.My results came in and we could see clearly where we needed to focus the Neurofeedback; and it made me realise how sometimes our stress is almost unconscious, and simply a habitual reaction.My goal is to become more calm, more focused, especially when working, as I tend to get easily distracted at times.
Next are some chiropractic movements to get the body aligned and in its optimum shape for the training.Then I’m rewired up and its time for a boat race using my brain to power my own little green boat.There are 3 boats, and once I stay calm and focused on my own boat, I stay in the lead. If I start thinking about the other boats or letting random thoughts distract me, I fall behind.This instant reward causes me to really hone my concentration and focusing skills.A nice parallel for life, methinks.The plus side here is that while you do the training, the brain begins to rewire itself with some new neural pathways to replace the old programs, and the real doozy is that the changes are permanent.
In order to regulate my breathing,I practised some breathing exercises (in for 4 and out for 6), which gets me so calm, I now use it on a daily basis (it’s nice while driving).
As the weeks go by,I take about a–session-a–week with chiropractic adjustments and feedback training.The combination is quite unique, especially in Ireland, and very effective at keeping you in a nice aligned state.
At the end of my training,I re–sat my stress test and I could see clear improvements in my overall stress levels: my stress response having lowered and my ability to relax and return to a calm state also having improved.All round,I felt calmer and more focused, and noticed I could get a lot more doneduring work hours.The brain is such an advanced piece of equipment and its inside your head; it makes the computer on your desk look positively old fashioned.Neurofeedback, and indeed any form of new learning, causes it to delete, rewire, and re-evaluate, thereby allowing you to integrate change and new plans in your life with greater ease.
Brain injuries can also be helped greatly, with another lady reporting a huge reduction in physical pain, and feeling more clarity coupled with an improvement in her emotional health.