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Coaching the brain to new levels of performance
Understanding how NeuroMatrix Neural Efficiency Training™ works requires thinking about depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, Bipolar, and OCD symptoms in an entirely different way. NeuroMatrix Neural Efficiency Training™ is not a drug treatment, nor is it drug-like in its action. There is no "active" ingredient, and no possibility of serious side effects. It does not “treat” any "disease," nor does it act in a drug-like fashion to suppress symptoms. In fact, NeuroMatrix Neural Efficiency Training™ is more training that treatment, a sort of neurological tutor for the brain. That is, the brain becomes an active participant in its own improvement.
The brain is smart
Those able to perform effortlessly have brains structurally and functionally able to do what Nature designed it to do – precisely and "on demand." On the other hand, the brains of those with attention, learning, memory, and mood problems are not able to function efficiently: Inappropriate slow lazy brain waves overwhelm the faster frequencies required for peak attentional states, necessary frequency resources are deficient and not available for specific tasks (such as reading), or the brain is energetically "locked" into a particular brain wave pattern and not able to efficiently shift from task to task. The brain, in other words, is not able to do its job efficiently so performance suffers.
The very good news is that the brain has an innate intelligence being designed by Nature to survive and perform to the extent of its resources. In the design are physiological mechanisms that allow the brain to rapidly adapt to sudden and unique conditions and environments. Using these resources, called neuroplasticity in neuroscientific circles, if a brain is physically damaged, from a traumatic head injury, for example, it immediately begins to repair itself. When the brain senses its remedial efforts are as complete as its resources permit, it "locks" the improvements into place. This "locking in," called homeostasis, is Nature's insurance policy – it is how Nature makes sure the brain doesn't lose ground and become worse.
As valuable as neuroplasticity is for maximized survivability, it also locks in performance. Long-term improvement is slowed or permanently stopped, as are future gains in learning and earning potential.
As demonstrated daily at The Sams Center, if the dysfunctional and inefficient brain is given informational assistance on how it is performing, it will unlock its patterning and use the external resource to further improve performance. The previous symptoms (inattention, learning difficulties, memory problems, or disabling moods) can reduce or even fall away, opening the possibility for improved attention capability, maximized emotional flexibility, and peak or even elite performance in the classroom, on the job, or on the athletic field.
Helping the brain tie its own shoe string
NeuroMatrix Neural Efficiency Training’s answer to neurological inefficiencies and peak performance training is dramatically different from anything found in any traditional medical, psychological, educational or athletic performance system. Its purpose is singular: To offer meaningful information to the brain on how it is performing. Using the input, the brain, on its own, can restore (or create) optimum functioning.
NeuroMatrix Neural Efficiency Training™ is multidimensional: Four scientifically proven technologies come together synergistically to improve brain function and emotional resilience.
- Remedial Neurofeedback Training™
- Pegasus AVE Audio/Visual Entrainment™
- Transcranial DC Modulation
- Heart Rate Variability (breathing) Training
Remedial Neurofeedback Training™
What kind of job would you do if you didn’t have a mirror to shave or to put on your makeup? Could you do it? What would your makeup look like? How would you know you did a good job? As simple as it is, a piece of reflective glass is a biofeedback system. A mirror allows you to instantly collect and analyze a tremendous amount of information. Based on the feedback, you can perform very complex tasks easily and effortlessly. Remedial Neurofeedback Training™ acts for the brain as a mirror acts for you and your face – it gives instant feedback for enhanced performance.
In the typical Remedial Neurofeedback Training™ session, the trainee (and, therefore, the trainee's brain) is given a complex task to perform – a video game requiring the manual manipulation of figures moving in space. As a result, the visual centers in the back of the brain, the strategic functions of the frontal lobes, the memory and auditory processing of the temporal lobes, the spatially oriented parietal lobes, the sensory motor strip (where the brain senses incoming information and mobilizes the body to perform a specific task), and the supplementary motor area (the brain region activated when we want to do something intentionally) are all engaged in processing and executing highly complex activity. With all this is going on, an additional and even higher level of activity is presented to the brain: An audio tone derived from the frequencies the brain is producing in order to play the game. The brain is being “told,” as it works, on how it is responding to and executing the game's challenges. With this feedback, the brain uses the information to improve how it is playing the game.
In the same way that a mirror allows you to shave without cutting yourself or to put on makeup without smearing the lipstick, the feedback tones allow the brain to fine tune and make critical adjustments to its performance.
Pegasus AVE™ Audio Visual Entrainment
Based on Dr. Marvin Sams’ research and experiences of how the brain is able to heal itself and enhance its own performance with Remedial Neurofeedback™, a special training program was created that literally “exercises” the brain. The process is based on audio-visual entrainment, a natural phenomena that has been known scientifically for over 100 years. Specifically, when a light flashes or a tone occurs in our environment, the EEG (the recording of the brain's electrical activity) shows a measurable response to the incoming information. In neuroscience, this is called an "evoked potential." It gets even more interesting. When rhythmic light or sound occurs at certain frequencies, the brain begins to follow the beat by activating working cells (neurons) in synchrony with the incoming rhythmic activity. This understanding, combined with the experiences and successes with NeuroMatrix Neurofeedback training, have allowed Dr. Marvin Sams to develop programs that activate the frequencies and communication networks the brain uses naturally to function at high levels. As mentioned, these sessions can be thought of as "exercises" for the brain, with the Pegasus system being the brain's "Personal Trainer."
Physically, the Audio/Visual Entrainment (AVE) technology is a small, palm sized computer that controls flashing lights in special eye glasses and pulsing tones presented through head phones.
Transcranial DC Stimulation
Transcranial DC Stimulation (tDCS) has had considerable study over the past several years. A recent Goggle search yielded about 264,000 hits, with many studies being university based and published in peer reviewed medical journals.
TDCS produces a gentle DC current (measured in thousandths of an ampere) that is applied with a wet sponge electrode on the neck and another on either the left frontal or right parietal (crown of the head). Because the resistance of the skin is quite low, a mild stinging sensation might be felt that goes away after a minute or so.
Research and clinical studies have shown that tDCS improve symptoms of Depression, refractory epilepsy (drug resistant seizures), Migraine headaches, Bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), learning, dexterity in stroke, memory in those with Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia pain, and Bulimia.
Details of how tDCS works can be found in numerous studies on the web, but, in brief terms, the DC signal modulates (normalizes) brain function by calming an over excited cortex and energizing and underactive cortex.
Heart Rate Variability (Breathing) Training
Proper breathing technique is an important part of the training at The Sams Center. While Neurofeedback, AVE, and tDCS positively affect the central nervous system (brain), breathing helps balance of the autonomic nervous system (the “flight or fight” response) for greater emotional resilience.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a biofeedback process that uses breathing techniques to regulate the timing between heart beats. Stress causes our breath to be fast and shallow, resulting in the heart’s beat to beat timing being erratic. This irregularity locks us further into sympathetic arousal, perpetuating the cycle of stress. Optimum emotional resilience occurs when we slow the breath and the heart beat locks to the breath, beating slightly faster as we inhale and slowing down a bit as we exhale.
The training process is like playing a video game with your breath. A signal corresponding to the pulse variability is seen on the screen. Bars show how much time is being spent in low, medium, and high coherence (the time the heart is locked with the brain). The training objective is to smoothly breathe in for five seconds and out for five seconds. Achieved, the signal on the computer screen will be smooth and regular, and points accumulate for the score. A focused calm follows.
Detailed information on HRV can be found on the Heart Math web site: http://www.heartmath.org
The brain's "virtual" resource library
Remedial Neurofeedback Training™ activates specific working nerve cells in the cortex (“thinking” brain) and links from the cortex to subcortex, improving attention, memory, and mood; the Pegasus AVE trains the deep brain from front to back and has positive influence on the cerebellum, the source of some types of memory and attention, spatial awareness, sensory perception, coordination and motor control, and the processing of language and music; the tDCS modulates over or under excited cortical function and has been shown to have a positive influence on several neurological disorders; and, HRV breathing training helps build emotional resilience for a more stress free life. Combined, quality of life is greatly enhanced. Our future can be brighter and more prosperous.
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