How Does NeurOptimal Work?

When you come in to our office for a NeurOptimal® session you’ll sit in a comfy recliner, we will put ear clips on your ears and two small sensors on the sides of your head. You relax, close your eyes and listen to music or watch a movie.

The sensors on your head pick up the electrical signals that are generated by your brain and CNS. These signals are sent into the NeurOptimal® computer system. (This is basic electroencephalography (EEG) technology, which is a monitoring method to record electrical activity of the brain. It is noninvasive. EEG measures voltage fluctuations resulting from a certain current within the neutrons of the brain)

The NeurOptimal® system processes these brain/CNS signals very quickly and when it detects them moving into an “instability”, the NeurOptimal® software program is designed to generate a brief pause in the music or movie. That’s the feedback: a pause or interruption. It sounds like there’s static in the music.

NeurOptimal® is not putting anything into your brain. It is not taking anything out. No “zapping” anything.

NeurOptimal®can generate up to 256 pauses per second. That’s a lot of pauses! These pauses are happening in ‘real time’. No delay in the feedback as with other neurofeedback systems. There are so many pauses, and they are so brief and rapid that our conscious ear and brain is unable to register them all. This is why it’s okay if you go to sleep during a session. There’s nothing for your conscious brain to do. You just sit in the chair, relax and watch a movie or go to sleep. All of the pieces of feedback are working at an unconscious level.

Imagine you’re driving on the highway and you hear that familiar sound of the tires rolling over the rumble strip at the side of the road. What happens when you hear that sound? Alarm? Concern? Why did that happen? may be your first reactions and thoughts… but by the time you have had them, you’ve probably already corrected back into the ‘sweet spot’ of the road or lane!

Before we think about why we heard that startlingly loud noise, our brain has already taking action and enabled our hands to move the steering wheel to get the car into a more optimal place on the road. This has all happened unconsciously.

The sound of the tires on the rumble strip serves as an auditory piece of information to our brain about where we are on the road, about how we’re functioning, as a driver. That sound is a piece of feedback. No right or wrong, no judgement.

Similarly, the pause in the music generated by the NeurOptimal® software is an auditory piece of information to our brain/CNS about where we are at, about how our brain is functioning.

Just as the feedback of the rumble strip gives our brain/CNS information which enables our brain/CNS to make a shift back to the “sweet spot of the road”, so NeurOptimal® enables our brain to make a shift back to the “sweet spot of better functioning” in our life.

The brain/CNS adjusts its activity without any effort from you to stay “within” the rumble strip - many of our clients go to sleep! The brain does this on its own — NeurOptimal® doesn’t tell it to.