NeuroFeedback and Electroencephalography

Jones

Jedi Council Member
As it stands now, doing NO still feels like a heavy load on the brain and I can't do much else until after I'm done!
That's similar to my experience so far. I've done 7 sessions. I wonder if I just have a stubborn brain!

I'm using the Zengar Regular 2 music and visual display and was wondering if the visual display is dynamic too? It seems different from session to session. I don't feel like sleeping during the session because I find the visual display interesting, and have tried focussing on different issues, but drift off from them and don't feel a huge shift yet. I pay attention to what is going on in my body and see if that has any impact on the clicks or jerks in the visual display. There has been a few times where the doorbell or the phone range while I was hooked up and I felt slightly anxious about not being able to answer them, but I couldn't detect any changes in the music or visual display at the time, though it could have been so subtle that I couldn't detect them.
 

maiko

Jedi
FOTCM Member
Thank you everyone for sharing and for the in-depth information. I would like to give a short summary of my NO experience so far. I had 12 NO sessions over the course of 11 days with one day break in between and mostly one session per day.

After following this thread my expectations were mixed. I hoped that NO might be helpful to better concentrate and be less “jumpy” in my thoughts. But I also guessed that changes might be so subtle that I would probably not notice. I was in for a surprise. The first couple of sessions I was completely zoning out. I was awake but I couldn’t keep my eyes open and my body felt heavy – it felt like a very meditating state. It didn’t disturb my sleep, I am used to dreaming very lively and intense and after three sessions of comatose sleep my nights went back to “normal”.

With my last session five days ago, I still feel that I can better concentrate on the topics /things to do at hand without getting distracted by already thinking three steps ahead. This improved concentration has the side effect that I am much more relaxed. Especially in conversations I feel more in the moment and without the need to talk to avoid silences or to respond too fast. The tendency to look for subtext and unspoken clues got better and leaves me more self-assured. Although I must say I had very strong emotional release during my 8th session, that being the second session on that day. After my first session that day I felt quite energized and thought that my body was switching from shutting down during the sessions to a more productive state. Five minutes into the second session my solar plexus felt like the inside of a boiling pressure cooker and I started crying. It accompanied me for some time after the session. I had the strong feeling that things were moving on a subconscious level but it wasn’t completely uncomfortable, I actually felt lighter and more relaxed afterwards.

During the sessions that followed I was mostly awake and reading and just enjoying the time. One subtle but for me important change is, that my neck pain and the pain in my jaw bone, constant companions during the last year, haven’t been around since I started NO. At first I didn’t notice the absence, but I am now very grateful as it is a real improvement and leaves me with more energy. This confirms my suspicions that those pains are more likely related to inner pressure than to physical reasons.

I am now looking into the options at hand to continue with the NO sessions, the practitioners are rather scarce in our part of Germany.
 

Oxajil

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I've done three NO sessions so far (with many thanks to FOTCM!). Perhaps it is too early to tell, but I feel I have a bit more focus and feel more grounded. I could be wrong, but it could be helping me with organizing my thoughts, if that makes sense! Will see how the next sessions go.
 

aimarok

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
During today's NO session we made a little experiment. Along with zAmp electrodes we connected another amplifier to free sites and recorded brain activity through the session. Data was analysed and plotted, metrics are taken from ClinicalQ assessment, eyes were open all the time. No artefact removal was performed. On the chart (sorry for zip, the forum doesn't like SVG) you can see metrics progress on a minute scale in location Cz.

Probably the most interesting part is that metrics stabilize in the first 2 minutes of the session. HiBeta-Gamma (28–40 Hz) and Delta (2 Hz) drop a little, while Alpha (8–12 Hz) raises dramatically.

Next experiment would be taken with the eyes closed.
 

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choepel

The Force is Strong With This One
That's interesting. For me it's been the opposite. I had a few sessions where I tried to focus on something specific or couldn't fall asleep or semi-sleep during the training, and I felt as if these didn't work very well. It's subtle, I know they did and I still had the effects afterwards, but for me, that feeling that something did happen during the training and also the reduction of the overall anxiety and fear is far stronger when I totally relax during the sessions.

My practitioner says it's better to relax and even sleep because that takes some of the noisy thoughts away and the brain can use more resources to do what it has to do, something like that. She also says that the process it's subconscious so even though you could think about something consciously, it would be generally very different to what the brain is actually working on... but I also tend to think that it could be good to focus on something in particular during the training.

I also think that it might depend a lot on the person. For example, my thoughts can be generally noisy and not really helpful to the training, so "my brain knows better", so to say... while you might have a better clue about what you actually need to work on and a better ability to focus on that in the proper way (like in a way that connects conscious and subconscious (?) ) so that it becomes useful for your training. I don't know, it's just an idea.

When I read choepel's post, I thought more about having conscious intent towards working on those things between sessions, not during the training itself. Now, I'm thinking that maybe it's good to have a combination of sessions where you do fall asleep or really relax and sessions where you work consciously on some issues like what you describe. Chu.
Oh, sorry. I think I may not have been quite clear with what I meant. I did not mean to have any specific intentions or thoughts during the sessions. I meant to have a general positive intention with a willingness to allow change tp happen, generally during the whole period (months, years) of brain training. During the actual session, it is best to just relax and allow the training to take its course.
 

annp

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
An update on NO: I have had 13 sessions to date. I have felt very quiet and contemplative the past week or so – finding it difficult to articulate the changes. It’s like things are being re-wired at a deep level and I am becoming someone new. The anxiety has not completely dissipated and is still surfacing – but things have been stressful on the home front, so that’s not surprising. But I have that sense of the observer watching when the rumination starts and I am more able to just watch the stream of thoughts without letting them spiral. Am noticing also a strong connection between my anxiety and that of family members and how we transfer emotions from one another. What's good is that when I can manage to stay calm and focused it seems to have a positive effect on those around me. Still feels like I have a long way to go with the training though!

Choepel:
Oh, sorry. I think I may not have been quite clear with what I meant. I did not mean to have any specific intentions or thoughts during the sessions. I meant to have a general positive intention with a willingness to allow change tp happen, generally during the whole period (months, years) of brain training. During the actual session, it is best to just relax and allow the training to take its course.
I have alternated between with talking to the therapist during the session or just relaxing and listening to the music – it seems that when relaxing the post baseline shows I am much calmer and have integrated the training and when talking the two baselines seem to follow each other closely - guess that is because my brain was working so hard during the session. I agree, it seems much preferable to just relax and let the training do what it is supposed to!
 

Gaby

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Probably the most interesting part is that metrics stabilize in the first 2 minutes of the session. HiBeta-Gamma (28–40 Hz) and Delta (2 Hz) drop a little, while Alpha (8–12 Hz) raises dramatically.
I think that is pretty interesting: the alpha waves raise up all nicely even though you're not working at Cz (Central midline) in NeurOptimal. As it was mentioned, NeurOptimal is dynamic and it doesn't target a "raise alpha waves at CZ" like Othmer Neurofeedback does. Yet there you have it, it works even better.

In fact, when I did Othmer Neurofeedback, for me it was very hard to raise up alpha waves in CZ. It was only after 20 minutes or so after the second session that I made progress.
 

manitoban

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I have just finished my 4 week rental of NeurOptimal, 21 sessions in total, the first one being with the Trainer. I made some notes along the way of how the sessions were going.

I found nothing much seemed to happen in the first 4 sessions, other than having a slight headache and a bit of restless sleep. But between Sessions 4 - 10, I felt some anger coming up, and some early childhood experiences that I'd completely forgotten about resurfaced. At this time I just had the feeling that I was facing some truths that I'd buried deeply. I had been doing the sessions daily, but at this point I took 3 days off, as I felt I needed a break to kind of assimilate everything.

From session 10 onwards I started feeling good. I was able to do a session everyday without any problem. I just sat back and listened to the music and began to look forward to each session. I also noticed that the first 10 sessions seemed to go by quite slowly, whereas the later sessions seemed to go by much faster.

Around session 13/14 I noticed a distinct "lightening" for want of a better word, in my overall approach to things. I wasn't second guessing myself like I normally do, in the sense that there was an absence of a common thought pattern of mine, which was ("Have I done absolutely everything? Have I done it right?, I could have done so much better" )etc... It was like I suddenly cut myself some slack and wasn't beating myself up anymore, I didn't have to be perfect.

The other thing I noticed the most after the later sessions was feelings of gratitude that came and went periodically. It was like I was now focusing on all that was good in my life, (instead of all that was bad) and that despite all the terrible things going on in the world, I had much to be grateful for. It felt like the NO sessions had put things in the correct perspective.

Overall, I've been impressed with the effects of NO. I hadn't been sure what to expect as I didn't suffer from much depression or anxiety, yet NO did somehow put things in balance for me in ways I hadn't expected.
 

Michal

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
What is the name of the company??
Hi Luks,
Looks like I need to learn how new features in new forum work and look like - I missed Your question. The company is BrainPlus from Gdynia. They are using two electrodes and software Elmiko. Cost per session is depending on number of sessions. I took ten sessions and this was 70 PLN per session. If more than price may be reduced to 60 PLN per session.

I was as well in contact with NeuroOptimal and they recommended to contact their neerest afiliated person. Nearest to Gdańsk is Riga and I was in conctact with them (Riga Brain). Prices are attached. Unlimited sessions per 3 weeks cost is 1200 euro + shipment, and for 4 weeks is 1400 euro + shipment. I will try to contact also other neerby locations to find out their prices and will let You know and others who may be potentially intrested from our area (if there is anybody there). At least I know that there is nobody in Poland offering NeuroOptimal according to NeuroOptimal themselves.
 

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aimarok

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Here are two charts for positions Pz and Fz plotted using the data recorded during NO session.

In Pz location LoAlpha drops (and whole Alpha as well as a result), while HiAlpha stays more or less the same, which is good. Also Delta takes a deep dive and Theta dives too. In Fz location similar effects can be seen but just with less magnitude.

The only thing to be concluded from these charts is that the brain definitely change its activity during NO sessions. It's too early to say how beneficial these changes will be, because even in linear NF trained metrics usually get worse in the begining and start to converge after 10–20 sessions. Don't forget that the results are very specific to my current brain activity state.
 

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Luks

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
Hi Luks,
Looks like I need to learn how new features in new forum work and look like - I missed Your question. The company is BrainPlus from Gdynia. They are using two electrodes and software Elmiko. Cost per session is depending on number of sessions. I took ten sessions and this was 70 PLN per session. If more than price may be reduced to 60 PLN per session.

I was as well in contact with NeuroOptimal and they recommended to contact their neerest afiliated person. Nearest to Gdańsk is Riga and I was in conctact with them (Riga Brain). Prices are attached. Unlimited sessions per 3 weeks cost is 1200 euro + shipment, and for 4 weeks is 1400 euro + shipment. I will try to contact also other neerby locations to find out their prices and will let You know and others who may be potentially intrested from our area (if there is anybody there). At least I know that there is nobody in Poland offering NeuroOptimal according to NeuroOptimal themselves.
The best would be to gather about 4 guys, rent for 4 weeks, what gives about 1500 zł for one. Acceptable cost and enough time in order to everyone could excercise.
 

jen1221

Jedi
After 10 sessions, the anxiety and anger started to feel too overwhelming. Then I started to worry that maybe the anxiety and anger wasn't from doing the Neurofeedback. I decided to take some time off and start talking to the Psychologist instead. I waited eleven days before I did another NeurOptimol session, still a lot of anxiety and anger after the 11th session. So for my 12th session, I scheduled time to talk to the Phychologist afterward. I continue to have very strong emotions coming up, but the anxiety is pretty much gone. I can handle that.

The Psychologist thinks it's repressed emotions coming up, and I suppose that is the same thing as emotional detox that Laura talked about. It's been a difficult journey, but I am willing to stick it out because I want to heal.
 

beetlemaniac

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
This morning I woke up feeling a lot of anxiety about needing to gain information, i.e. read the next book that I "need" to read. I didn't want to entertain it as I thought it was an unhealthy compulsion. I'm still trying to find my balance when it comes to dealing with my whole anxiety around reading as an activity. I have learned that I cannot force myself to do things, and the motivation should come from within, as much as possible. Still, the original impulse to read and learn really came from being part of the forum. Again, the balance is the issue and I'm still very shaky and unsure. Hopefully added physical activity can help me reconnect with my body and emotions better.
 

Yas

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The Psychologist thinks it's repressed emotions coming up, and I suppose that is the same thing as emotional detox that Laura talked about. It's been a difficult journey, but I am willing to stick it out because I want to heal.
I believe it might be that as well, and it's good that you have a psychologist to talk to, IMO, as that will help you process all that's coming up and even organise your experience better. It's always good to have a chance to articulate what we're feeling to someone who is there to listen.

I'd say hang in there, but if it becomes too overwhelming, remember that sometimes a little break can help us process better and, therefore, learn and assimilate what we're learning. I suppose that your psychologist can also help you determine, based on what you share, if it is advisable to take a break.
 
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