NeuroFeedback and Electroencephalography

beetlemaniac

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
I recently did sessions 6, 7 and 8, with 7 & 8 done in two consecutive days. Session number 6 ended with me feeling quite relaxed, and sessions 7 & 8 did not seem to have effects that were obvious on a conscious level.

I think I am learning to let go of control. I'm less peeved by small things that go wrong at my house, and am not sweating the small stuff when it comes to dealing with my family. I believe there should be more room to be oneself with family, within boundaries, of course. Sorry, but I'm not adding anything much of significance here. I feel that there are some things that are better left unsaid because of the neurotic nature of the thoughts.
 

Chu

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So far, I have had 2 sessions and the results have been nothing short of amazing! Most of what others have written about their experiences during this experiment are hit remarkably close to home – from a feeling of lightness to trouble sleeping after sessions. After the first of these 2 recent sessions, I tried to sleep and couldn’t and felt a low level of aggravation. I had work following that, and I noticed feeling calmer and more put together. Things that typically phase me significantly don't have as much impact. The mind chatter has reduced notably.
[...]
The most dramatic change overall is my ability to pay attention and focus, better memory retention, less rigid thinking – being able to access and choose alternative interpretations and ways of doing and being - and improved energy levels. I suppose this translates and effects all areas in turn; I communicate more and better and I have the physical energy to do things and get them done.
That's excellent! :wow: Thank you for sharing your progress. I find it amazing that whatever is going on for many, translates into having a more open but critical mind as well. Those alternative interpretations and ways of doing, being and seeing, were always at our disposal. But trauma and dysfunctional neural pathways can literally and often prevent us from seeing a bigger picture, or dealing with just life to a lesser or bigger degree. When I see the difference this is making in many of us, it makes me think of people out there, bombarded by the media, and what little they can filter through because of not having their brains in order. :-(
 

zak

Jedi Council Member
Here an excerpt of this article https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180329/Ultra-slow-waves-in-the-brain-directly-linked-to-consciousness.aspx, that can have a place in this thread:
"Your brain has 100 billion neurons or so, and they have to be coordinated," said senior author Marcus Raichle, MD, the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Medicine and a professor of radiology at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at the School of Medicine. "These slowly varying signals in the brain are a way to get a very large-scale coordination of the activities in all the diverse areas of the brain. When the wave goes up, areas become more excitable; when it goes down, they become less so."
In the early 2000s, Raichle and others discovered patterns of brain activity in people as they lay quietly in MRI machines, letting their minds wander. These so-called resting-state networks challenged the assumption that the brain quiets itself when it's not actively engaged in a task. Now we know that even when you feel like you're doing nothing, your brain is still humming along, burning almost as much energy daydreaming as solving a tough math problem.

Using resting-state networks, other researchers started searching for - and finding - brain areas that behaved differently in healthy people than in people with brain diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's. But even as resting-state MRI data provided new insights into neuropsychiatric disorders, they also consistently showed waves of activity spreading with a slow regularity throughout the brain, independently of the disease under study. Similar waves were seen on brain scans of monkeys and rodents.

Some researchers thought that these ultra-slow waves were no more than an artifact of the MRI technique itself. MRI gauges brain activity indirectly by measuring the flow of oxygen-rich blood over a period of seconds, a very long timescale for an organ that sends messages at one-tenth to one-hundredth of a second. Rather than a genuinely slow process, the reasoning went, the waves could be the sum of many rapid electrical signals over a relatively long time.
First author Anish Mitra, PhD, and Andrew Kraft, PhD - both MD/PhD students at Washington University - and colleagues decided to approach the mystery of the ultra-slow waves using two techniques that directly measure electrical activity in mice brains. In one, they measured such activity on the cellular level. In the other, they measured electrical activity layer by layer along the outer surface of the brain.

They found that the waves were no artifact: Ultra-slow waves were seen regardless of the technique, and they were not the sum of all the faster electrical activity in the brain.

Instead, the researchers found that the ultra-slow waves spontaneously started in a deep layer of mice's brains and spread in a predictable trajectory. As the waves passed through each area of the brain, they enhanced the electrical activity there. Neurons fired more enthusiastically when a wave was in the vicinity.

Moreover, the ultra-slow waves persisted when the mice were put under general anesthesia, but with the direction of the waves reversed.

"There is a very slow process that moves through the brain to create temporary windows of opportunity for long-distance signaling," Mitra said. "The way these ultra-slow waves move through the cortex is correlated with enormous changes in behavior, such as the difference between conscious and unconscious states."

The fact that the waves' trajectory changed so dramatically with state of consciousness suggests that ultra-slow waves could be fundamental to how the brain functions. If brain areas are thought of as boats bobbing about on a slow-wave sea, the choppiness and direction of the sea surely influences how easily a message can be passed from one boat to another, and how hard it is for two boats to coordinate their activity.

The researchers now are studying whether abnormalities in the trajectory of such ultra-slow waves could explain some of the differences seen on MRI scans between healthy people and people with neuropsychiatric conditions such as dementia and depression.

"If you look at the brain of someone with schizophrenia, you don't see a big lesion, but something is not right in how the whole beautiful machinery of the brain is organized,"
said Raichle, who is also a professor of biomedical engineering, of neurology, of neuroscience and of psychological and brain sciences. "What we've found here could help us figure out what is going wrong. These very slow waves are unique, often overlooked and utterly central to how the brain is organized. That's the bottom line."
 

Gawan

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Another update: I have done now about 18 sessions. It is still sometimes very emotional and feelings of lots of sorrow and regret, partly of my past behaviour. There are also body symptoms, that may have something to do with it or not: My vision is not always clear and flickering and if something is going on and also the need for insulin did drop and I needed to do some adjustments. But could be due to Alpha Lipoic acid or some diet changes as well, sometimes hard to tell what causes what.

When I'm doing a session I always take my time for it and is kind of a relaxation and time out. I still don't have the feeling that it is enough and I'm always looking forward for another session.

My feeling of annoyance is gone and subsided and I'm feeling more stable and less strict, general more easy going. Still it could be that I'm imagining it, but I also see it in other people who are also doing NO and are more easy to be around and much more funny.

With that I recommend NO to anybody who has a chance getting it, also when taking a longer drive, it is still really worth it as far as I can see.
 

Turgon

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FOTCM Member
I recently did sessions 6, 7 and 8, with 7 & 8 done in two consecutive days. Session number 6 ended with me feeling quite relaxed, and sessions 7 & 8 did not seem to have effects that were obvious on a conscious level.

I think I am learning to let go of control. I'm less peeved by small things that go wrong at my house, and am not sweating the small stuff when it comes to dealing with my family. I believe there should be more room to be oneself with family, within boundaries, of course. Sorry, but I'm not adding anything much of significance here. I feel that there are some things that are better left unsaid because of the neurotic nature of the thoughts.

That's good to hear that your starting to let go of control, beetlemaniac! And don't get down on yourself if you feel as if you're not adding anything significant to the conversation. It's just a perception on your part that you might need to let go of too. Also, just remember that around the sessions that your in at the moment, there's seems to be a tendency for a contraction or downward phase to happen, which might have something to do with the neurotic thoughts.
 

beetlemaniac

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Thanks for your thoughtful reply, Turgon. The changes I'm experiencing are coming at such a turbulent time. It's tough to tease out what's actually causing the changes to happen. I wish I could attribute it to NO but the effects are so holistic and wide-ranging that it's a little bit hard to believe really!

It also did occur to me this morning that it could be the effects of a contraction phase, which considerably calmed me down and made me accept the fact.

Thanks again Turgon.
 

dugdeep

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I've had around 15 sessions of NeurOptimal, and I've found the effects to be fairly profound. I've always suffered from pretty bad anxiety. I was never diagnosed or medicated or anything, but it's just something I've always dealt with as far back as I can remember. While the NO certainly hasn't made anxiety disappear, I have noticed a pretty significant shift. It's as if being "triggered", for lack of a better word, doesn't send me into the same blackhole-like head space it has in the past. It's almost like I'm not as identified with the anxiety and have a better perspective on it. The sense of doom, and that ultimately the worst possible outcome would result from every little thing, while still present, isn't as all-encompassing.

I don't find this has necessarily changed much externally - I still feel reactive to the same sorts of things and react in the same sorts of ways. But something has changed internally. Whereas before, if I was in that state, there was really nothing I could do about it, now it seems there might actually be the possibility of working with it.

I think there's probably still a long way to go. There are still a lot of ups and downs that I seem to be going through. But from my perspective, there is no question that it's "doing something".
 

Laura

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Like Dugdeep, I've had anxiety and guilt my whole life; it's been a major driver, and often paralyzed me completely. Yes, I've learned to deal with it pretty effectively over the past 20 years or more, and especially with the Cs, but there are just some things that continued to eat at me and I would say contributed to, and were worsened by, physical injuries and issues over the past 5 years or so. NO has been a real blessing for that though I have to tell you that it doesn't fix everything without you having to do some work! I've had numerous sleepless nights when all kinds of stuff was coming up and being released from the depths, I guess. Some days my baseline scan is normal before the session and wonky after, and some days it is wonky before and normal after.

Yesterday, I did my NO session very soon after doing the "Body By Science" workout and boy, was I ever wonky before!!! Obviously, working the body also affects the brain!!!
 

Nienna

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I went ahead and rented the NO laptop. I did the 2 sessions before hand with the lady who I rented the machine from, and 20 sessions with the rental.

My constant feeling of dread has, for the most part, lifted. I don't have that constant feeling of fear lurking in the background. If I do feel it, it is small and easy to make go away quite quickly. I used to wake up with a feeling of dread. And the "waiting for the other shoe to drop" all of the time. It's really great to not have that feeling now.

After the 8th session with the rental (10th one for all of the sessions I had done in total) I was fairly agitated, but it went away after a few hours. The next day during the session, I fell asleep (which I've done on a number of occasions) and when I woke up, my eyes were full of tears. I wasn't crying, but my eyes were covered in tears. Maybe it was a release of sorts. I was very relaxed.

Here's a strange part of what I've noticed that's different, just walking around the apartment - and other places - I'm not slouched, but more upright. And, even stranger, I have walked with my hips as tight as I could get them, not consciously, but I am aware of doing this. I've found that my hips are looser - they swing back and forth a bit now. At least I've noticed it when I think about it. So maybe I'm more relaxed?

I really think that these sessions do a lot of good.
 

Learner

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I didn't get the chance of doing neurofeedback yet, because there aren't any NO practitioners in my reach and renting a system is currently out of option as well because financial means do not suffice yet (I would have to save up some more money). But it is very heartening to read how you all report of receiving benefits from practicing with NO and how it helps you changing perspectives, tackling deep-seated stuff and making you engaging more with life! :wizard:

It also reminds me of the time when EE was incepted and so many people experienced how much it helped them in dealing with their stress, issues and life in general. In that sense - and also while reading nicklebleu's post - I remember, that I was told by an NO practitioner during a phone conversation (she practices on the other side of my country), that she herself experienced how well NO neurofeedback worked together with her yogic practice. And that makes me think of EE and other kinds of meditation - in a sense that the benefits of those practices seem to come into fuller effect in combination with NO neurofeedback.
 

Windmill knight

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That's really good Nienna, I'm happy for you! :-)

Today I did a little experiment and gave myself reiki during the N.O. session. I decided to carry on with the reiki while they took the post-training baseline, to see if anything would show on the graphs. That reading consists of 15 secs with eyes open and 15 with eyes closed. I distinctly remember that during the second half of having the eyes closed I focused more deeply on feeling the reiki flow. The interesting thing is that the graph that normally looks like a wide strip with smaller lines above and below (like a double-edged comb) had noticeable smaller lines during the last 7 seconds or so for both hemispheres, with the strip remaining fairly consistent.

The graph I'm talking about is shown on this image as the thick strip with lines in the middle : Session 14 April 2018 (Here both hemispheres are overlapped, represented as blue and pink. Mind you, the reading on the image is not mine but Laura's - I just put it there for you to see what graph I'm talking about.)
 

Thor

Jedi Master
I have read parts of this thread so apologies if this has been covered before.

About a week ago, Zengar released a new version of Neuroptimal, NO3. In NO3 the targeting is automated and there have been a number of improvements to the algorithms under the hood. Whereas in earlier versions, the NO practitioner had to take baselines and set some of the targets, this is no longer the case. It is still possible in the Pro version to follow the realtime reading from the sensor for the different frequency bands and these can also be reviewed after the sessions.

However, I have spoken to a Zengar representative who told me that one of the points of the new release was to shift focus away from the readings, which do not have much value in themselves, and focus more on what the client is experiencing between sessions.

What this also means is that the main difference between purchasing a personal system and a professional system is the number of sessions that you get. In the personal system you get 100 sessions (there's an offer of getting 300 sessions for the personal system if you order by June 15). If you get the professional system, you get unlimited sessions. Both version are very expensive with the personal being priced at USD 6,995 and the Pro version starting at USD 10,695.
 

goyacobol

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have read parts of this thread so apologies if this has been covered before.

About a week ago, Zengar released a new version of Neuroptimal, NO3. In NO3 the targeting is automated and there have been a number of improvements to the algorithms under the hood. Whereas in earlier versions, the NO practitioner had to take baselines and set some of the targets, this is no longer the case. It is still possible in the Pro version to follow the realtime reading from the sensor for the different frequency bands and these can also be reviewed after the sessions.

However, I have spoken to a Zengar representative who told me that one of the points of the new release was to shift focus away from the readings, which do not have much value in themselves, and focus more on what the client is experiencing between sessions.

What this also means is that the main difference between purchasing a personal system and a professional system is the number of sessions that you get. In the personal system you get 100 sessions (there's an offer of getting 300 sessions for the personal system if you order by June 15). If you get the professional system, you get unlimited sessions. Both version are very expensive with the personal being priced at USD 6,995 and the Pro version starting at USD 10,695.
Yes, the new version was discussed several times:

Today, I had the first go at v3 of the software - apparently, there is a new version and it is supposed to take things to the next level.
You could rent it again when they upgrade to the new version, and then compare the new one with the old one.
In a chat with the practitioner that hires it out today he mentioned that a new version of the software was being developed for the professional units, and that there would be fewer analytics.
She also mentioned that there is a new version of NO coming out, version 3.0, and it will be made available at the beginning of May.
The pricing to purchase a unit is quite high as you mention and Laura talked about that too.

I think that FOTCM in the US is going to look into purchasing the professional model to make it available for all members who can travel to NC and spend a few days ever so often. If anybody wants to donate to this project, please do! We can save a LOT of money this way, I think.
 
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