A neurotherapy session

I had no idea what was entailed in a neurotherapy session so was very curious when I arrived for my session.

The practitioner explained to me that Neurotherapy is a way of training the brain.

I sat down in front of one of two lap tops and while the practitioner was placing (measuring) electrodes on my head she explained what we would be doing.

There are 3 main wavelengths of brain activity, the alpha which relates to deep relaxation, to meditation: theta which relates to sleeping, and beta which relates to relaxed focus. We would work on the beta waves.

When she was done, the session began. On my screen there was a pacman-like game, with the pac’s activity a reflection of my brain activity.

Sometimes it would be quick and yellow, other times dull yellow or even black, and completely stalled.

It was really interesting to play with my mind, to deliberately think of something and watch the effect that had on my pac, be very still, to surrender to the sleepiness and see how the pac was affected.

There was a score system which I was busy with too, as well as a clock, and I would notice immediately how any mental pre-occupation or anxiety, regardless of size or intensity affected my pac.

She informed me that she was adjusting the parameters on the neighbouring machine, making my game, my maze, easier or harder depending upon how I was going which meant that the scoring system and the time I had been busy with were meaningless, and only useful as an incentive for kids (who are the most common clients for this work, used as it is to treat all kinds of childhood mental difficulties).

I noticed that I did best when I was thinking about what I would say about the session, which according to the therapist when we spoke later, was normal as this particular session was all about measuring and giving feedback on the ability of my brain to focus.

It was interesting because when I was in a relaxed awareness state the pac jammed, went black and refused to budge, and I was left looking incredulous at the machine that refused to respond.

She gave me a sheet on which I was to make notes on the next day, as that is the best time to note any changes in mental activity etc.

I felt quite clear in the head in an unusual way as well as feeling unusually tired immediately after the session, though the practitioner said it was normal after such a workout.

Written by Mark O’Brien for the “Session of the Month’, Here & Now magazine 1999-2007

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