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Healthy Brains are Flexible: Neurofeedback, From the Beginning and Back (Part 1)

by Lynette Louise, A.K.A. The Brain Broad

I began in the field of neurofeedback for brain regulation as a student of EEG Spectrum where they trained practitioners to investigate brain function challenges using a model of arousal.

To put it briefly, the arousal model uses data, history and diagnosis to investigate whether symptoms are related to under-arousal or over-arousal in relation to the desired brain wave activity in the specific brain region performing the functions being examined. This method was easy for me to grasp.

I then continued my education and experience by apprenticing under leaders in the field—an intuitive healer Catherine Rule of Optimal Brain Institute and a very brilliant neuroscientist with two PhD’s, Dr. Burke. Catherine Rule was a holistic thinker of human interaction while Dr. Burke was well versed in neurophysiology; married to problem solving brain issues by considering the neurochemical interplay between brainwave firing and neuronal behavior. I was was able to blend these two approaches into my investigative model of brain dysfunction.

Thus, the arousal model served me well, even as I adapted it to merge my two mentor’s styles and fit my clients with their very extreme sensory issues (I began by specializing in autism and brain trauma because that was the clientele I was already working with).

Meanwhile, the field itself was bigger than I had first realized and there were more approaches than the arousal model to learn from.

Such was the reality in the neurofeedback field back then, and – due to advances in technology and brain science- it has become even more diversified in its approach to brain rehabilitation in the past ten years. Thus, I found myself enamored by new ways of thinking and with the inclusion of the QEEG as a diagnostic must (Quantitative Electroencephalograph– QEEG– is the measurement, using digital technology, of electrical patterns at the surface of the scalp which primarily reflect cortical activity or “brainwaves.”) much of what I had previously done so effectively became antiquated.

Progress and the era of the brain marched on as I evolved in my attempts to keep up with it. Somewhere along the way I forgot some things.

Recently I was going over old footage of my son doing a neurofeedback session. In it he was talking at least as good as he does today, many years later. (Dar was a nonverbal twenty-three year old when we were first introduced to Neurofeedback. A year into this exciting therapy he had fluid monosyllabic language whenever I was with him.) In that footage from the past I rediscovered my old approach. It was a happy/sad moment to realize I had lost touch with what had worked in my search for what would work better. I took a step back and reintroduced the old thinking. He is, again, learning faster than usual.

Regardless of all the clients I see world-wide, in the end it is my family that teaches me the most. This, I suspect, is because of my ability to see them over so many years of development and then discover what works and what doesn’t.

Additionally, I am blessed by my business model creating a unique approach to this work because I travel home to home, school to school, country to country, dysfunction to dysfunction; training the brains of group after group. Due to a vast array of clients and cultures I have the opportunity to observe similarities and disparities: race to race, religion to religion, diet to diet. Armed with this advantage I have taken the arousal model concept and applied it in areas where a QEEG was not possible.

Using this approach I have compared symptoms and individual brain processes worldwide. Thus, I have been enabled with the opportunity to think creatively as I gathered more and more hands-on knowledge. I want to share what I have learned so that we might consolidate our discoveries and do even more for our very deserving clients.

However, there is a problem.

My own temporal lobe brain challenges make “traditional” record keeping a problem, and it leads me to wonder how I will pass on what I know and share responsibly with the field.

NEXT: Part Two, How Can We Share Information? (coming soon)

About the Author Lynette Louise

Lynette Louise aka THE BRAIN BROAD is an international mental health expert specializing in autism. As the mother of eight now grown children (six adopted, four on the autism spectrum) Lynette has become a passionate teacher of actionable answers via books, podcasts, videos and more for families around the globe. http://www.lynettelouise.com http://www.brainbody.net

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