NeuroFeedback, NeurOptimal and Electroencephalography

Meg

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
A quick update:

My dreamlike state faded and was gone an hour or so before bed. Same with the intermittent crying. I woke up about 5am, but was able to fall back to sleep around 6. In that hour I had memories from my teenage years of doing outright criminal things. Vandalizing houses, stealing a hot-wired golf cart, tearing up golf courses where I lived at the time, using a BB gun to shoot at the heads of water turtles, taking a car for a joy-ride while I should have been babysitting. I laughed at some, but I think it was a deflection. I even had a dream that I was telling the golf cart story (loudly) and laughing. I was pretty shocked I would do all those things. My mind tried to convince me it wasn't criminal, but it was. I am finishing up Samenow's “Inside the Criminal Mind” and have seen my own behavior and thinking in the stories he shares. It seems the brain correcting itself is opening up memories and allowing me see myself as I really am. I had forgotten all of that from my teen years. Pretty awful stuff.
 

Laura

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Meg said:
A quick update:

My dreamlike state faded and was gone an hour or so before bed. Same with the intermittent crying. I woke up about 5am, but was able to fall back to sleep around 6. In that hour I had memories from my teenage years of doing outright criminal things. Vandalizing houses, stealing a hot-wired golf cart, tearing up golf courses where I lived at the time, using a BB gun to shoot at the heads of water turtles, taking a car for a joy-ride while I should have been babysitting. I laughed at some, but I think it was a deflection. I even had a dream that I was telling the golf cart story (loudly) and laughing. I was pretty shocked I would do all those things. My mind tried to convince me it wasn't criminal, but it was. I am finishing up Samenow's “Inside the Criminal Mind” and have seen my own behavior and thinking in the stories he shares. It seems the brain correcting itself is opening up memories and allowing me see myself as I really am. I had forgotten all of that from my teen years. Pretty awful stuff.

As Alana wrote in the Samenow thread:

Alana said:
There's no greater reminder of the "terror of (our internal) situation" than realizing how our thinking errors and bad habits can - in the least - hurt us and those we love, and - at worst - destroy our entire life and all our relationships. That was to me the most valuable lesson from Samenow's book. That, yeah, it's unlikely that my thinking errors will drive me to jail (although I never say never :scared:) but they can still cause me to lose touch with reality and to fall into a destructive spiral if I keep thinking that I am right when I am not, or when I find all kinds of excuses to justify my behaviors so that I preserve the image of a "good person" to myself and others.

These books, Samenow, Ressler, HDT, are among the most useful we have come across thus far because they expose to us in ways that can easily be understood in terms of our own lives and thinking, exactly what the more esoteric approaches tried to expose, but were not simple enough and practical enough to do the job.

At this point, anybody who has read these books and turned away from The Work because they "don't agree" with the foundational ideas and methods can only be a criminal with intent, IMO. Either that or so lost in Dunning-Kruger syndrome that there is no hope for them to ever get in touch with reality. And remember, the Cs say that it is being in touch with reality to the greatest extent possible that gives hope for the now and the future.
 

kawika

Jedi
FOTCM Member
I've done two treatments so far, during the first one I noticed a mild electric sensation in my gut and afterwards I was very thirsty. The second time (yesterday) I was thirsty again and slept deeply with lucid dreaming. Today i feel calm and rested. Not sure if any of it's related to the NF but will observe and take note and see how things progress with more treatments.
 

Ennio

SuperModerator
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I had my third Neuroptimal session yesterday. Almost right after the first session I noticed a moderate change in my thinking for the better. I felt that I was a bit more focused, but that's still a little hard to describe exactly. I'm looking forward to doing more sessions and seeing how this focus or clarity presents itself so I can be as objective about it as possible, and hopefully I'll be able to explain it better in another update.

Yesterday morning I had experienced some intense emotions regarding past events in my life. Since I had recently re-started taking iodine (in moderate doses) I wondered if the feelings could be attributed to that, the reading of HDT, the Neuroptimal sessions, or some combination thereof. In general though, my mood has been good, and feeling quite motivated.
 

Foxx

The Living Force
I just had my 4th session. So far I've noticed that my stress levels are generally lower and that I feel a little more resilient when approaching stressful situations (of which there were many at work this week). I haven't noticed any huge changes so far, which could be expected considering the number of sessions typically recommended, however I do feel like I'm relaxing more deeply during the sessions and today I felt like I was somewhere between a waking and dream state by the end and was very relaxed.
 

Erykah

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
I have had 2 treatments in the last week (Sunday & Friday) The first one felt like it lasted only 10 minutes when it was actually 33 minutes. I felt relaxed afterward and slept soundly for about 10 hours. I have been sleeping a lot lately maybe because of the cold and the short days of winter. Yesterday's treatment felt longer than the first. I had a strange tingling sensation in the left lower part of my head. I closed my eyes for most of the session and had visual sensations that seemed to change with the music, I also found myself focusing on the different sounds of the music, drums, chanting, shakers etc. Afterwards I felt tired and slept for 9 hours. Today I feel rested, not so anxious like I usually do on my day off - usually I feel I need to get things done that I have put off during the work week. There is this feeling of actually being present in the moment :D I look forward to more treatments
 

Approaching Infinity

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I've had a few sessions now. Not much to report except a slight lessening in the everyday anxiety that I'm used to feeling. I'll be watching that to see how that progresses. One of the main things I'm tracking is sleep issues (difficulty falling asleep, waking up). So far, I only saw a difference on the night of the second session - fell asleep very quickly (10-15 minutes) and woke up relatively easily. But then I was back to normal (prob. 30 minutes plus before I can fall asleep, sluggish when waking up).

As for what I've observed giving sessions to all the peeps here, here's what I've noticed, based on what I can make of the data. This page gives a breakdown of the main features: http://neurofeedbackmd.com/about_neuroptimal.htm

So for the last couple rounds of sessions we've been doing the pre and post baseline tests. As the page says, those tests produce "divergence graphs", which are basically "a calculated number that indicates the relative stability of the brain and nervous system". The lower the number the better, and if the post test is lower than the pre test, that indicates that the brain has responded and integrated the training in real time. Sometimes the post number will be higher than the pre number. That means the brain hasn't yet adapted to the training, and works on integrating the information in the days after the session. With more training, we should see the divergence numbers get lower after each session. So far, around 3/4 people have seen their divergence numbers get smaller. A few peeps have had very high initial numbers (around 2500), which have lowered to around 50 after a session. Others start out at around 300-500, and lower to around 50. And we've had had some that have been overall stable (staying somewhere under 100, or even under 20). And a few others who went slightly higher. That's only from 1 or 2 rounds of sessions, though, so we'll get a clearer picture once we have more data. Just one baseline probably isn't necessarily accurate. But it looks like most are responding positively so far. Probably those with higher post curves are too, it just takes a bit longer after the session for the brain to respond.

Also, this pdf from the neuroptimal people has been handy: https://neuroptimal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Cartography_of_Consciousness.pdf

It shows a breakdown of all the frequencies and what they represent. Roughly speaking, it looks like stressful stuff shows up in 3-5 hz, and 15-18 hz.
 

Odyssey

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
I've now had my fourth Neuroptimal session. After the first session I slept until a decent hour and didn't wake at 4-5am as I've been doing lately. Well, I'm back to waking early but usually can go back to sleep in about an hour or so. The day after my 3rd session I had a mild headache all day. The 4th session is the first in which I didn't fall asleep (done on a non-workday and a few hours earlier than previous sessions). I noticed that during the 3rd and 4th sessions I felt a dull pressure or feeling of fullness in my left frontal lobe area.

As far as any non-physical effects, I can't say that there is anything definite. Perhaps my mood is a bit better but we'll see.
 

Ennio

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Approaching Infinity said:
This page gives a breakdown of the main features: http://neurofeedbackmd.com/about_neuroptimal.htm

The following may be important in light of what me and Meg (and perhaps others) have experienced in terms of negative emotions/thinking:

After a session - After a session a client may report that they feel clearer, calmer and more centered. A client may also temporarily feel tired or “spacey”. Sometimes the brain is still integrating the new learning from the session. A client may also need to quickly revisit a prior trauma. They may flash on a memory, experience a headache in the area of a head injury or feel emotions bubble up and out. We refer to this as your unconscious “taking out the garbage”, this too shall pass quickly. As the sessions go on, the new and more centered way of being seems to last longer and longer.

Sometimes just knowing what's behind unpleasant emotions is half the battle in dealing with them, as in: "Oh, my brain/mind is doing this now - which may well be from my doing this, or that."
 

A Jay

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I had my third Neuroptimal session on Friday and unfortunately my anxiety is back. However, it's not quite as pronounced as it was before the sessions and I'm finding it easier to not get pulled into worried dissociation. The grounding and orienting techniques from HDT have helped in this regard as well. So we'll see if more sessions helps in this department.

Another thing is that I started having a hard time falling asleep after my second session on Tuesday, and Wednesday night was particularly bad. I went to bed early and still didn't end up falling asleep until 3:30am. After reading Laura and Beau's posts about sleep issues I decided to take magnesium and melatonin before bed and for the past two nights I've been able to fall asleep in about 10-20 min. Will keep track of this as well and see how this changes.

Also, the pain in the back of my head and neck is still coming and going.

Edit - Forgot to mention that during my second session I experienced a pleasant tingling sensation in the back of my brain just above where the pain in my head and neck manifests. Don't know if the two are connected, but thought it was worth mentioning.
 

Renaissance

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The second day after my first session, I felt a bit dazed, and more prone toward imaginative thinking. I did some grounding exercises (feeling my feet, my weight in my chair, and following my breathing) for about 15 minutes or so. A few minutes after I stopped I felt some anger come up - I didn't feel it directed toward anything in particular but just allowed myself to sit with it. The following day was the same in terms of my thinking, but instead of doing the grounding exercises I talked to someone about my imaginative thoughts, and that helped even more that the grounding exercises described in the HDT book. I think this relates in part to what Laura said:

Laura said:
And remember, the Cs say that it is being in touch with reality to the greatest extent possible that gives hope for the now and the future.

Getting feedback about the reality of things seems to have an extremely powerful 'grounding' effect. Using Samenow's/ Yochelson's 'top down' approach pairs very nicely with the 'bottom up' approach of the NF sessions. I'm guilty of wanting the NF session to do 'all the work', but I don't think it works like that. It does seem to have the capacity to help sort out things that are very difficult to do without it, but combining it with individual efforts seems extremely important.

I had two full days between sessions and I could notice my mind getting slower and just being less effective in general. The day after I did my second session I felt like I was drugged for maybe 3-4 hours. Beyond that time I was also having trouble with very basic recall (names of things and people), and had much difficulty applying concentration to things like reading. I have a couple of theories. One is that new parts of my brain were trying to 'get online' and so it was an adjustment period. The other theory is that I'm on anti-histamines due to some chronic hives that I've been having for the past 8-9 weeks. And interesting thing here is that I started doing the Yochelson exercises/ examinations shortly before the hives appeared - so that also might be related to a physiological adjustment. As Gaby posted in this thread early on, histamine is a neuro-transmitter regulated in the core of the core of the brain stem and relates to wakeful awareness. I get the hives before bed and when I wake up.

After the third session I felt like the session helped pushed through whatever adjustment and it felt like my brain was mostly back on-track. I did the fourth session this morning and it felt like an extra boost from the previous session. I'm pretty amazed at this brain machine. It definitely feels like there is a lot going on and there are significant ups as well as significant downs for me. On the positive end, it's not like a obnoxious hyper-attention, but more like it promotes a relaxed and steady awareness. On the negative end, it was like my mind was trying to move through sludge. I've had a handful of emotional releases, but I haven't had too many memories from the past coming up with it like others have mentioned.
 

Divide by Zero

The Living Force
I have done about 13 sessions over 5 weeks. The beginning sessions would sometimes bring about a slight headache afterwards or make my right ear ring a bit. From a young age, I can hear a slight high pitched hum "in my ears"- which I have attributed to having highly sensitive hearing, so it didn't really scare me.

The biggest effect is on tiredness. A few years ago at my previous job I was forced into working a horribly disorganized night shift which gave me lethargy even when it was over.
Despite sleeping 7-8 hours on a normal day shift, I would feel tired regularly at work and need to nap at lunch or a break. Nowadays, I sleep the same or sometimes 6 hours and don't feel tired as much.

I also notice that when "stupid things" happen at work, instead of feeling angry and responsible to fix the problem (which in some cases is not easily rectified due to bad management) or want to run away from it, I can try things that I am capable of and accept it if this does not solve the problem. I have no idea if it is the NO, open-focus practice, or both that are helping me feel less personally responsible (which brings out my anger- fight or flight response).
 

KJN

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
Here at Caesarea we began sessions last week. I just finished my fourth on the NO unit. It really takes no effort. You listen to the music, relax for about a half hour and then there is (so far) a chart of sorts to show what progress the brain has made. I am finding I do have deeper and more consistent sleep. I feel more ‘settled’ if that makes sense. I am hoping the sessions increase my ‘brain mileage’, optimize connections and hone my memory…along with just making everything more efficient and focused. It is a special gift and I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn something about my grand thinking mechanism and have the chance to improve its overall and perhaps specific abilities to function. We are so lucky to be able to do this!
 

herondancer

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My third session was very pleasant, with a sense of almost being inside the music. I got into that meditative state where even small external sounds like the house creaking much louder and echo-y and even have a physical sensation along with it.

The next morning I had a strange visual experience of seeing a set of overlapping jagged lines in kind of a string in the lower right quadrant of my visual field. It sort of morphed and when portions of the line(s) overlapped as they drifted to up and left to make a closed area, the area turned red. The color disappeared when the closed area dissolved. The structure was rimmed by a thin border of clear blurriness. It was way too big to be a floater.

Against the computer screen I perceived it as being 1 to 2 inches long. I saw it with both eyes separately, and even with them shut. It was like some weird experimental animation. I got back to work on the computer, while paying attention to it (and trying not to get freaked). After a while the jagged line curled into a half circle, which expanded to about four inches across, drifting to the center of the screen (still oriented diagonally upward to the left), and faded away. I've never experienced anything like that before.

Today's session was not so restful, as I was thinking about my (non)relationship with my eldest daughter, who hasn't spoken to me since the day her father told her I filed for divorce. We'd always had a tumultuous relationship, which was mostly my fault, but I'd made a great efforts over several years to make amends and felt we on the way to having a good one. Having that possibility destroyed in one moment was painful. The worst thing is knowing there doesn't seem to be any desire on her part to change things. The post-session chart reflected that.

Hopefully the next session will be more balancing. I haven't noticed any fatigue or thirst. I'm sleeping ok and have not woken up super early, though we'll see what tomorrow brings.
 

Laura

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The observations thus far are very interesting. Hopefully, as time goes by, we'll get enough data to be able to formulate what is going on with the different experiences.
 
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