First let me say that I do better with shorter, more intensive experiences than longer, more drawn out and systematic experiences. I’m better at sprints than marathons. This experiment was definitely an all-out sprint, and would not be suited for those whose systems prefer marathons.
Inspired by a post in a neurofeedback community, I did a month-long experiment with twice-a-day NeurOptimal neurofeedback sessions. Typically, people do them once or twice a week, sometimes more often early in the process or in more acute situations. So twice a day for 30 days was crazy intensive.
But I knew that NeurOptimal wouldn’t “hurt” me. It doesn’t try to push my brain anywhere. It holds up a mirror to my brain, and my brain makes its own adjustments. I assumed that if my brain got tired of making those adjustments, got tired of looking at itself in the mirror, it would find a way to ignore it.
I was really curious to see what would happen if I pushed the processing to intensive levels.
I did a session early in the morning and late in the afternoon, every day for a month. Yes, it’s a time commitment. I thought it was interesting that this was relatively easy to accomplish – surprising, given my usually chaotic schedule.
The first week, I felt what I usually feel after doing NeurOptimal sessions – calmer, more centered. I had that feeling of being “quiet inside.” I felt myself standing up straighter. I listened better — being quieter inside meant that I didn’t feel the need to rush to express whatever noise was in my head. Instead of waking up a dozen times a night, I slept through without waking up more than a couple of times, and easily went back to sleep. It was lovely.
The second week – and thankfully I was prepared for this, even welcomed it – all my awful psychological patterns came up in hair-raising technicolor. I felt super-anxious, almost panicky. Shame, guilt, and despair spirals almost de-railed me. I knew that NeurOptimal didn’t “cause” this to happen, it was just peeling back the layers of patterns that were already there. They were certainly familiar enough to me.
I called on my resources for help, but even a couple of days later when the help was there, I was already through the worst of it.
Continuing the NeurOptimal sessions helped my brain continue the processing of it, and my brain continued to re-wire itself in a more productive way. Good riddance to those old trauma loops.
The third week felt like it was about integrating all that. Back to week 1, but deeper.
The fourth week was a re-run of week 2, but in a milder form. That old spiral came back, but at a much lower level, and this time I could see the opportunity inherent in it, see it as part of a bigger process instead of only a reflection of me and my “failings.”
Here are the highlights:
• Much less stressed overall, much calmer and quieter inside
• Greatly reduced baseline anxiety. It’s amazing to experience just how much I had been used to carrying around as my “normal,” and how much freer I feel without it.
• Increased focus, reduced procrastination
• Increased clarity and insight. I’ve gotten stunning insights into old problems. “Oh! That’s what that was about…!” I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and now have different understandings and pathways through old problems that I had been struggling with.
• Greater access to more of my brain and consciousness – hard to explain, and amazing to experience.
• Improved quality in my meditation and trance work
• Better sleep; increased dream recall, and the lucidity of the dreams. I even won the lottery in one!
• My regular migraines, which come in cycles, have reduced in intensity, frequency, and duration to an all-time low.
• Let go of caffeine and refined sugar without the angst I would have experienced before.
• Improved tennis playing – things flowing better, able to correct mistakes more easily, my body can remember what it has been taught more easily
• Everything just seems easier and better.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m still “me,” I’m still human, I’m still full of foibles, uncertainties, and conflicts. I’ll still need the occasional Profanity Therapy But I have an easier perspective of all that at the moment.
Part of me wants to see what would happen if I kept going at the two-a-day rate; a bigger part is going to scale back to one-a-day and let myself consolidate a little more. I can always ramp it up again.
I’m also curious to see what happens over time – if these changes sustain themselves or if the old patterns re-emerge in some way. I’m curious what the trajectory of change might be – I feel like this experiment has significantly altered the course of my trajectory, in a powerful and positive way. I’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in doing this yourself, probably the easiest way to do it is to rent a NeurOptimal Personal system. I have them to rent; I would also include a couple of phone or in-person sessions (if you’re local) to deal with the stuff that would likely come up.
Email me if you’d like to chat about it!