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and to remediate specific brain problems.
Your future is here…
Do you have the attention span of a gnat? Is your memory only a faint recollection? Is your life
and career limited because of reading difficulties or some other learning problem? Are you in the
pits and just can’t seem to crawl out? Are you suffering from the devastating effects of a
traumatic brain injury or stroke? Or…is it that you want the high focus, emotional resilience, and
mental quickness to develop the new process or close the big sale that makes your business the
For over a decade, brain performance expert Dr. Marvin Sams dreamed, created, and developed NeuroMatrix™ Neurofeedback Training
, a neurological training system that teaches any
function more efficiently and at higher levels of performance. Whether you are struggling in
school or on the job because of a learning disability or Attention Deficit Disorder, watching life
slip away because of depression or anxiety, find yourself stuck on the middle rungs of the
corporate ladder, or, are already soaring at the top of your profession or sport but need to “click it
up a notch,” Dr. Sams quickly and efficiently lifts your performance and mood to new heights. The Winner’s Circle
answers many questions about NeuroMatrix Neurofeedback Training™:
What it is, how and why it works, and what benefits you (or your child) can expect.
2002 Marvin W. Sams and Quest for Excellence, Inc. First revision 11/2002; second revision 10/2004
Comments by Parents and Clients
Mother of 7 year old with history of ADHD
Comment made by a NFL football player during session
“Oh, no, I stopped taking it a long time ago.” (Response when client was asked if she was still taking Prozac.)
Single mother of two, four-year Prozac user
“When I got home, she was sitting out by the pool doing her homework!”
Mother of 15 year old who habitually put off doing homework
“I’m no longer depressed.” “I’m off four of my meds.” “I’m not even taking my lithium anymore.”
Comments of 25-year-old single mother of two as training progressed (history of bipolar depression since childhood)
“She’s taking paramedic training now.”
Report from mother of 17-year-old daughter who was anorexic
“I can remember the play book a lot better”
“I went in and he was washing his own hair in the shower!”
Father of 35-year-old man with multiple injuries from hitting the ground at 60 miles per hour when his parachute fouled
“He just graduated from Jesuit with honors”
Friend of family reporting on an ex-client who just graduated from a nationally known
college preparatory high school. Trained 10 years earlier for Attention Deficit Disorder.
“You can’t afford to not do this training.”
“I’m going to go brush my teeth.”
73 year old stroke victim who had previously only been able to say “yes,” “no,” and “OK”
“She looks like a different person.”
Acquaintance of a recently trained person with manic depression
“Thank you for sharing Dr. Sams with me.”
Veteran NFL Running Back’s response to the Head Coach when asked how he was doing with the Neurofeedback training.
An amazed Mother proudly discussing a daughter with a previous high test score of 60
A message from Dr. Marvin Sams, creator of the NeuroMatrix™ Neurofeedback
What do peak performance, Attention Deficit Disorder, Learning Disabilities, chronic depression
and anxiety, Obsessive-compulsive Disorder, oppositional behavior, and epilepsy all have in
common? The answer is: Each is a product of the brain
. Peak performance occurs when the
brain is able to do a particular task or project in a highly efficient manner; the rest are symptoms
of a brain that is malfunctioning and not performing as it should.
I didn’t use to think this way. For over 30 years, I thought of peak performance as “hard work,”
and brain problems as “diseases” or “disorders.” After all, this is what my life and my medical
training had taught me. It wasn’t until I started searching for answers to some questions I was
having that I came to this revelation: Problems with attention, learning, behavior, and mood are
not really “abnormalities” at all; All compromised or restricted performance is simply a
reflection, an indicator, that the brain is not functioning as it should.
My new perception of the brain and human performance evolved from a personal quest. I had
worked in the medical neurology field for some 30 years and had seen enough suffering to last a
lifetime. I also had a personal motivation: I grew up with major hyperactivity and attention
problems, and was profoundly affected by stuttering. My EEG was abnormal, and drugs only
made matters worse. I began to ask myself questions: “Was there a way overcome all this
suffering and frustration?” “Why can’t we create better focus and mood without drugs and those
side effects?” “Why are neurological problems so difficult to treat?”
With these thoughts and a strong personal motivation, I began what turned into a decade and a
half long research project. The good news is that I answered these questions and then some. With
what was learned, we are, in this moment, able to create a new world, one in which problems with
attention, learning, behavior, and mood are resolvable…quickly, and without drugs. And, as it
turns out, there is a huge bonus. Human performance and potential can rise to new possibilities.
What is this breakthrough, you may be asking? I call it NeuroMatrix™ Neurofeedback Training
What is NeuroMatrix™ training?
How does it work? What it is good for? This booklet answers
these and many other questions for you. If I haven’t answered your question, please call 972.407.9895.
I am happy to respond.
Additional information can also be found on my web site: www.thesamscenter.com.
Marvin W. Sams, N.D., R. EEG T, BCIA-EEG
Table of Contents
Question #1 “What is biofeedback?”
Question #2 “What is Neurofeedback?”
Question #3 “What is NeuroMatrix™ Neurofeedback Training™?”
“How can NeuroMatrix™
training help so many different kinds of problems?”
“How does NeuroMatrix™ help my brain work better?”
“If our brain is able to build new circuits and repair itself, why aren’t we all
geniuses, highly successful, and living an effortless life?”
help me make better grades?”
“Can NeuroMatrix™ improve my game?”
“I am expected to be creative
and continuously come up with new ideas. Yet,
deadlines are always looming and I get frustrated and distracted. Can NeuroMatrix™
“What can NeuroMatrix™
do for my child’s Attention Deficit Disorder?”
“I have dyslexia.
Can NeuroMatrix™ help me read better?”
“Can NeuroMatrix™ help depression
? My doctor has prescribed several different
antidepressant medicines, but none have helped.”
“My daughter has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
, which has taken over her life
and is disrupting the routine of our family. She is refusing to go to school, and has trouble sticking
to her home schooling. Will NeuroMatrix™ training help?” Question #14
“I have panic attacks
and haven’t been able to travel for my work. Could NeuroMatrix™ training
possibly be of benefit?”
“I have had seizures
since I was young. Is there anything that can be done for
“My son had a serious brain injury
in motorcycle accident several months ago. He
is doing better now, but still has memory problems, gets confused, and has frequent headaches.
help him this long after the accident?”
“My father had a stroke
and has difficulty speaking. Can NeuroMatrix™ training
help him talk again?”
help those with Alzheimer’s
or Parkinson’s disease
?” Question #19
“I snap at my family and people at work. My anger
has gotten so bad I recently lost
my temper in traffic and almost caused an accident. Could NeuroMatrix™ training
possibly help calm me down
“How does NeuroMatrix™ training compare to prescription drugs?”
have potential side effects?”
“Is Neurofeedback safe?”
Question #23 “Why haven’t I heard about Neurofeedback?”
“I have a busy schedule. How long does the training take?”
“How much does NeuroMatrix™
Question #26 “Does health insurance pay
for Neurofeedback training
“What is Dr. Sams’ background and experience?”
For more information . . .
2002 Marvin W. Sams and Quest for Excellence, Inc. First revision 11/2002
“What is biofeedback?”
We are truly “learning machines.” Our nervous system senses what is going on in the
environment – the brain quickly processes and analyzes the new information – nerve cells fire
and connect into performance circuits – we function and respond to what is going on in the world.
This is “physiological” biofeedback
defined: Information in – process and integrate – respond
Using the power of physiological biofeedback
, our brain and nervous system quickly learns
highly complex processes:
• When you were just a tiny baby, you began the road to walking by rolling over in your crib.
You were soon up on your hands and knees, rocking to and fro. In no time at all, you were
crawling around the den, quickly finding the edge of the coffee table, and pulling yourself up.
Then, to your parents delight, you tentatively put one foot in front of the other as someone held
your hands high in the air. Finally, the big day: You mustered the courage to let go of everything
and everybody and took your first step! From that day forward, there was no stopping you. You
were all over the house, running from room to room, getting into all kinds of mischief.
• When you got your first bike, one of your parents probably helped by holding the bike upright
and running along side as you turned the pedals. You glanced down to see where your hands and
feet were, then up to see where you were going, all the while trying to keep the handle bars
straight so you wouldn’t crash into something. In spite of having to learn so many unfamiliar and
complex tasks all at once, you quickly coordinated everything you needed to do, and off you went
on your own. In just a few hours, you had gone from walking to riding. You now whistled merrily
along, waving to all your friends as you pedaled by.
Everyone physically and mentally able learns many complex tasks in his or her life. And,
instruction manuals are not necessary. Billions of people have learned to walk and millions can
ride a bike, for example, yet the local library has no “how-to” books on walking or riding a bike.
The reason for this absence is that it isn’t “you” that learns these new tasks: It is your brain. All
you needed was the desire to learn it, and the willingness to go through the motions.
Our brain is very smart. It quickly learns what it needs to do for us to live our life. And, whatever
our brain learns and practices becomes an integral part of whom and what we are. We walk from
room to room with no conscious thought, absent mindedly stick food into our mouth as we read a
magazine, and, even if we haven’t ridden for years, we can probably hop on a bike, and, with a
few wobbles, be riding as good as before. Unless damaged by drugs, toxins, physical or
emotional trauma, or some disease process, our brain never forgets what we need to know: It
remembers for a lifetime.
But, as we have all experienced, day-to-day stresses can cause our brain to go into overload,
causing various systems to become compromised, even spin out of control. Examples are
common: Severe headaches, low back, neck, and shoulder pain from chronic muscle tension,
chronic digestive and bowel problems as the brain and body internalize gnawing stress,
depression or anxiety can come from an over or under aroused autonomic nervous system (the
“fight or flight versus
relaxation” response), and, if the immune system turns on itself, allergies
and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. When our brain/body rebels from the
stresses of our hectic world, we may discover that we have little or no idea of how to alleviate the
discomfort. The reason for this lack of direction is a lack of detection: It was our brain/body that
learned how to control and manage these internal functions. “We” (our conscious “self”) probably
don’t have the knowledge, the “insider information,” to take conscious control and change what is
going on inside our body.
The discovery and development of “instrumented” (computer assisted) biofeedback
gives us the
power to work with our brain/body so it can re-learn what it learned in years past. When a sensor
or electrode is placed on an appropriate location on our body and plugged into an appropriate
electronic biofeedback device, we can use the built-in tones, lights, or meter to make us aware of
what is going on inside our body. With this information, we can work directly with our
physiology to change our internal terrain. By learning to raise our hand temperature with Temperature Biofeedback Training
, for example, we can learn to calm an over-aroused and out of
control nervous system to relieve migraine headaches, lower blood pressure, and better manage
as another example, allows us to learn to manage tension
headaches and calm various stress-related neck and shoulder pains. With the appropriate
technology and proper instruction, these changes are remarkably quick and easy for most to learn:
Mastery is usually accomplished in just a few sessions.
Once we learn self-regulation with instrumented biofeedback
, we can normally recreate the
experience years later without the biofeedback device. We have better life tools with which to
deal with the negative effects of stress-related discomforts. Question #2
“What is Neurofeedback?”
We are able to go about our day because our brain talks to itself with highly complex waves of
energy. These internal dialogues allow us to pay attention and focus on what is going on in our
world, to remember what it is we want to know or need to do, to go to and stay asleep, and to
color our life with emotional actions and reactions.
Medical professionals have known about these electrical conversations for over 60 years. Using a
devise called the electroencephalogram (EEG)
, Neurologists (medical doctors that diagnose and
treat diseases of the brain and nervous system) record the brain waves of many of his or her
patients, looking for distortions in the brain wave patterning to help diagnose seizures and
manage epilepsy, and to help diagnose or rule out a brain tumor, blood clot, or stroke in those
with such symptoms as black outs, headaches, or unusual behavior.
A few years ago, computer technology advanced to a point in which a brain wave analysis system
could be created to break down the complexity of the brain wave patterning. As research evolved,
the Quantitative EEG
began to reveal that there is much more to brain waves than the detection of
brain disease: The technology also helps us determine where and in what way the brain is
efficiently doing and not doing its job.
It wasn’t long before biofeedback researchers figured out that when the power of the Quantitative
is combined with traditional biofeedback technology, the brain could be led to enhance its
own performance. Electrodes placed on the scalp pick up the electrical energy the brain is
producing; the brain wave signals are sent to the special computer, which amplifies the signals
and rapidly divides the complexity of the brain wave frequencies into small groups of energy;
(a therapist specially trained in brain wave training)
selects a frequency group
known to be important for focus, strategy, or memory, and returns the information back to the
brain as audio tones. As the brain “listens” to the computer-generated audio information, it
analyzes the tones, just as it does with all incoming information. Noting the one-to-one
relationship between the incoming tones and frequencies it is using to perform the task, the brain
begins to experiment by increasing or decreasing the energy of the cells responsible for producing
that particular frequency. Finding that increasing the firing of specific cells improves its
performance and decreasing it makes it worse (or vice versa), the brain begins to activate (or
deactivate) cells to enhance and maintain the new level of performance.
The brain, in other words, uses the computer generated tones to do what it was designed to do by
nature: Use information coming in from the outside world to learn or teach itself something. In
this instance, the “something” it learns is that increasing (or decreasing) certain frequencies helps
it focus better, to understand incoming information more quickly and accurately, and to execute
complex tasks in an easier, more efficient way.
There is a fundamental difference between traditional instrumented biofeedback
and the more
recently developed Neurofeedback
helps us learn to take conscious control of our
internal terrain for better management of stress and stress-related health problems. With Neurofeedback
, however, it is not “us” that learns the new behavior: It is our brain. Just as “we”
learned to walk and ride a bike, all “we” need do is go through the motions. (In this case, sit with
electrodes on our head and play a video game or watch a video.) Our brain quickly and easily
learns what it needs to do to learn and perform complex tasks in a more efficient way.
“What is NeuroMatrix™ Neurofeedback Training?”
After working for almost three decades as a medical professional and clinical researcher in some
of America’s most prestigious medical centers, I began a search for ways to remediate attention
and learning problems, and enhance human performance without drugs. My research led me to be
able to create and develop sophisticated training technologies that literally teach any brain to
perform at higher levels of efficiency. I call the completed process, NeuroMatrix Neurofeedback
The Neuroefficiency Performance Evaluation
consists of a Continuous Performance Test
and Quantitative EEG (QEEG)
with Normative Reference Database report
. The Continuous
evaluates how well the brain and central nervous system are able to focus and
pay attention, and how quickly and accurately we are responding to incoming information; the Quantitative EEG
(computerized brain wave analysis)
and Normative Reference Database report
(a computer library of the brain wave characteristics of normal subjects)
defines how well the
brain is able to do its job, and guides the Neurotherapist
in determining what Neurofeedback
training protocols will most efficiently restore or create enhanced performance circuits. NeuroMatrix™
uses two advanced forms of nervous system training: Remedial Neurofeedback
provides information to the brain on how it producing 11 frequencies keyed to
intellectual functioning, focus and attention, and memory; Heart Link™ (Heart Rate Variability)
teaches our autonomic (“fight or flight” response) nervous system to
more efficiently interact with our environment. Our emotional reactivity is balanced and we
achieve a sense of well being. The two processes come together synergistically to optimize
mental performance and emotional resilience.
When our brain has sufficiently improved its efficiency, our moment-to-moment ability to
function at higher levels “just happens;” No additional effort is required on our part. And, just as
we jump on a bike years later and our brain “remembers” how to do it, our brain and nervous
system doesn’t forget what it learned with Neurofeedback training. Focus, learning, and memory
just gets better and better.
Question #4 “How can NeuroMatrix™ training help so many different kinds of problems?”
The answer is pretty simple when you understand that behavior is a product of the brain
Attention and focus problems (Attention Deficit Disorder), learning difficulties (Learning
Disabilities), stuck mood patterns (depression and anxiety), redundant behavior (Obsessive-
Compulsive Disorder), and unstable electrical energy (epilepsy) are all examples of a brain
executing a specific performance characteristic poorly. The only difference between any of these
“brain disorders” is where and in what way the brain is mismanaging its energy.
When the neurological inefficiency is identified from an analysis of the brain wave patterning,
training has sufficiently assisted the brain in healing and repairing itself, the
symptom(s), whether it be compromised attention, mood, or behavior, is reduced or eliminated all
builds peak and elite performance is built on the same foundation. Because
performance is a product of the brain, when your brain
does its job with greater ease and
do your professional or athletic activity easier, more elegantly, and with greater
“How does NeuroMatrix™ help my brain work better?”
If we exercise regularly, our muscles grow stronger and we have greater stamina. If we don’t use
our muscles, however, atrophy soon sets in and our body begins to waste away. With the brain, it
is not physical exercise or lack thereof that builds strength or causes atrophy: It is the experience
or inexperience it is having. Feed our brain information in a friendly, non-threatening
environment, and we are “learning machines.” But, lock us in a dark, quiet closet for a few
weeks, and we quickly lose our ability to function in the world.
Our brain, in other words, is both self-building
: It creates or disconnects
performance circuits based on the experiences it is having. Our brain is also self-healing
injured, it uses its day-to-day experiences to rebuild itself. It restores as much function as it can
with whatever resources it has left.
A vital feature of our brain’s self-healing
mechanisms is its ability to lock in the repairs it has
made. When the injured brain senses it has done as much as it can with its remaining resources, it
locks in the gains. Two things then happen. One, the brain doesn’t lose ground. That’s the good
news – we don’t get worse. The second is that our day-to-day performance is also locked in.
That’s the bad news – we don’t get much better either. This is why most of the gains in brain
injury rehabilitation programs occur in the first six months to a year after an accident or stroke.
After that, further improvement comes slowly, if at all.
training works by returning narrow bands of information back to the brain on
how it is performing a complex task. With the isolation and feedback of highly specific
performance frequencies, the brain is able to rapidly build new performance circuits. Because the
frequencies presented are those produced naturally by the high performance brain, even the most
locked-down brain quickly becomes comfortable in unlocking protective mechanisms and re-
starting the rebuilding process.
Because our brain is self-building, NeuroMatrix™
training works at two levels: One, by
providing highly specific information on how it is performing a complex task, the brain is able to
rapidly restore and create performance circuit. Second, because the brain builds itself with its
day-to-day experiences, it is able to learn and process information more efficiently: Performance
and mood continue to improve for months after training is finished. Question #6
“If our brain is able to build new circuits and repair its self, why aren’t we all
geniuses, highly successful, and living an effortless life?”
Neuroscience’s answer to this question is that our brain’s greatest strength is also its greatest
weakness. Because our brain is self-building, if chemicals, drugs, or trauma cause damage before
or after birth, or our childhood was especially challenging physically or emotionally, our brain
will likely begin to create performance circuits that are weak, inefficient, or even inappropriate
for what we want or need to do in later life. From a “real world” perspective, this means that what
was a rather minor or insignificant physical injury or emotional incident early in life can produce
a serious attention, learning, or emotional problem in later life. Everything can seem to be going
along quite well for the child who fell off a slide at age two – until she or he starts school and has
to sit quietly, or later, needs to learn to read or do math problems. Then, it is discovered that the
minor incident or accident was not so minor after all. Brain problems, like compound interest,
multiply itself over and over again.
So, while our brain’s strength of building and re-building itself can cause us to become smarter
and more adaptable, physical injuries or difficulties in life actually causes our brain to make us
less bright, more rigid, confused, and even depressed or anxious. NeuroMatrix™
was specifically created to identify and correct miswired brain circuits and
inappropriate frequency responses. With enhanced function, the brain is better able to maintain
itself in an efficient and resilient state. We are able to live in accordance with Nature’s original
intent: To become wiser and more intelligent, with a greater memory and a more resilient mood,
as we mature and move into our “golden years.” Question #7
“Can NeuroMatrix™ help me make better grades?”
Why does one student make straight A’s, another makes B’s and C’s, and still another fails
miserably? The answer is found in the brain and how well it is doing or not doing its job.
The EEGs of those doing poorly in school, as compared to those doing well, tend to show one or
more of the following neurological inefficiencies: Large slow brain waves that overpower faster
working frequencies; working frequencies of insufficient power to sufficiently activate cortical
performance areas; “jammed” or inadequate performance circuits; or, the brain being “locked in”
and not able to rapidly shift to frequencies needed to process new incoming information.
Having run hundreds of thousands of diagnostic EEGs on struggling students, we EEG
professionals have known about these inappropriate brain waves for decades. My greatest reward
during my years in the hospital and clinic was helping distressed parents and suffering adults
understand that the compromised academic or work performance was not “incompetence” or “just
being lazy,” but a neurological problem with their brain. My disappointment, though, was the
same as that of the parents and adults: It was extremely frustrating to know that even though the
cause of the problem was now understood, not much could be done about it.
After living with this dilemma for many years, it came to me that I could be looking for a way to
change this situation. I started asking myself: “Was there something that could be done for those
suffering from learning problems?”
I knew from personal experience that drugs were not a good solution. One, there are always side
effects: Little or no appetite in growing children, growth retardation, liver and gum disease, and
thinking and memory problems. Second, talk to those taking these medicines, especially children
and young people, and you will be told that these drugs make you “feel different.” Descriptions
like “unreal,” “weird,” and “floaty” are often heard.
I originally thought the answer to better grades and a more fulfilling life might be found in
“supercharging” the brain with commercially available “mind/brain” technologies. Electronic
devices with tiny lights flashing over closed eyes were supposed to create relaxation and better
creativity, cassette tapes with brain altering tones and subliminal messages were being used by
those seeking less stress and a more successful life, and beds rotating in magnetic fields allegedly
increased the IQ. Unfortunately, these technologies, while admittedly fun to use, ultimately
proved disappointing. They just didn’t create what I considered to be real and permanent changes.
A few weeks before I lost heart with the mind/brain technology, I had acquired a Quantitative
system to research what effects the devises might be having on the brain. What made this
particular technology unique, as compared to the other available computerized brain wave
systems, is that it could also do EEG biofeedback
or Brain Wave Training
(what we now call Neurofeedback
). I didn’t buy the equipment for that purpose: It just happened to be able to do it.
As I began thinking about the possibilities, it started to make sense that, with my almost 30 years
experience in clinical and research EEG, EEG biofeedback
was a “natural.” It had the potential to
help me “fix” these “unfixable” problems. I decided to give it a try.
A decade of intense effort later, I had achieved my goals. The final “product,” what I now call NeuroMatrix™ Neurofeedback Training
, optimizes brain function by synergistically combining
two powerful Neurofeedback
• Remedial Neurofeedback Training™
enhances attention, focus, and memory
by teaching the
brain to decrease attention-dampening slow waves and increase the faster working frequencies. More consistent performance, faster brain processing speed, and improved accuracy
accomplished by helping the brain correct inappropriate Coherence
(measures of how well the brain is sharing and transmitting information from one performance
area to another).
• Heart-Link™ (Heart Rate Variability) Neurofeedback Training
teaches the trainee to
consciously de-stress and relax under the pressures of difficult learning and testing situations.
The availability of NeuroMatrix™ training
means that the dysfunctional or inefficient brain of
the child or adult with learning, attention, or mood problems can not only be identified, it can also
be taught to overcome the difficulty.
An early formalized Neurofeedback
study shows an increase in IQ test scores of 15-22 points, and
a grade point average increase of 1.5. Many have already gone from failing to passing.
the disadvantaged becomes advantaged, the average student can become
above average, and the above average student has the potential to move into the superior range.
“Can NeuroMatrix™ improve my game?”
Whether you think about this way or not, your ability to perform on the golf course, athletic
playing field, or tennis court depends on how well your brain is able to do its job
. The exciting
news is that, no matter how well or how poorly you are now playing, you can be performing at
higher levels, naturally, and with less effort on your part.
The Continuous Performance Test
measures how well your brain and central nervous system is
able to respond and pay attention. The following briefly describes a few of the 38 visual and
auditory performance characteristics quantified and reported:
– How quickly can your brain understand and respond to what is going on in the
– Can your brain/body accurately reproduce what you have practiced, or are you
responding a slightly different way each time?
– Is your brain able to “go the distance,” or does it fade early?
– How much (or how little) are you distracted by extraneous movement and sounds?
– How well (or how poorly) is your brain fixing and holding your attention?
– How quickly and accurately is your brain and central nervous system able to respond to
The Quantitative EEG
guides the Neurotherapist
in determining where and in what way your
brain needs to be strengthened to optimize performance.
coaches your brain to more effectively focus on game play, to respond
quicker and more accurately, and to not be overly distracted by crowd noise and the movement
and activities of other players. For some, Heart-Link™ (Heart Rate Variability) training
especially important: It teaches the player how to create a calm focus
) under the
stress of game conditions. NeuroMatrix™
assists weekend, amateur, and professional athletes alike in achieving new levels
of performance. Professional athletes I trained have set personal, team, and league records,
reporting increased endurance, greater adaptability, and improved accuracy under the pressures of
extreme competition. Some have also noted enhanced bilateral strength, coordination, and
dexterity. Question #9
“I am expected to be creative and continuously come up with new ideas. Yet,
deadlines loom and I get frustrated and distracted. Can NeuroMatrix™ training
To have a truly new idea and manifest the object of creativity into the physical world, your brain
must rapidly go through a six-phase process: Phase 1
A problem or situation is recognized.
To optimize our ability to be creative, our brain must be feeling comfortable in the environment,
without undue fear of attack or preoccupations with survival.
There must be a desire for solutions or ideas to current problems or situations.
Recognition of potential requires the deeply seated emotional brain to be functioning efficiently
and unoccupied with extreme worry and doubt.
The brain momentarily suspends logic and survival mechanisms in the left hemisphere.
The left hemisphere’s job is to analyze what is going on in the environment and execute our
means of survival. It must be functioning efficiently, sensing a direct, accurate communication
with the deep brain survival centers.
The “unattached,” “free-floating” right side of the brain is allowed to make abstract
The right side of the brain is our “gathering” brain. It makes no judgment of the incoming
information. If malfunctioning, information transferred from the right to left hemisphere will be
erroneous, jeopardizing the possibilities of any new and novel ideas.
The logic, rational-seeking left hemisphere considers the merits of the new idea.
If the left hemisphere is dysfunctional, the idea will be distorted and probably denied as being
possible. Phase 6
If the person elects to manifest the object of creativity into the physical world, the front
part of the brain (frontal lobes
) is brought into play to plan, strategize, and execute the plans
needed to create the new idea or product.
Poor attention, focus, or mood, all products of the frontal lobes, will sabotage the manifestations
any new ideas.
Creativity, then, from problem-that-needs-a-solution to solution-manifested-into-the-physical
world, is a “whole brain” process. If any of the functions are inefficient, an idea or production
will only come reluctantly, the potential of possible solutions will not be adequately recognized,
or manifestation into the physical world will occur only on a hit or miss basis, if at all.
helps the brain meet the requirements for the six essential phases. Bio-
Tutorial Neurofeedback Training™
assists the brain in “whole brain” processing by balancing
left/right functioning and correcting energetic shortcomings; Heart-Link™ (Heart Rate
Variability) Neurofeedback Training
enhances the heart and the deep brain to communicate
release stress so the creative resources of the right hemisphere are fully accessed and the left brain
receives and reacts to accurate information.
“What can NeuroMatrix™ do for my child’s Attention Deficit Disorder?”
The Quantitative EEG
(computerized brain wave analysis) typically reveals that those with the
symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder, with or without hyperactivity
ability to focus and pay attention, impulsivity, increased or decreased physical activity, for
example. have one of two inefficient brain wave patterns: More Delta
or Theta slow waves
children and adults that attend normally, or excessive Alpha waves
that do not yield to fast Beta
frequencies when focus is attempted.
When I first started doing Neurofeedback
training, I had done medical diagnostic EEG testing on
children and adults with attention problems for decades. In the clinic and hospital, we typically
record the brain waves as the patient lies quietly with his or her eyes closed. The only stress we
use to activate potential abnormalities in the brain is to have the person breath slowly and deeply
for a few minutes (hyperventilation) and briefly flash a light over the eyes to see if we could
provoke a mini-seizure in the EEG. It didn’t occur to us that if we really wanted to understand if
there was a brain problem causing the attention or learning problems, we should record the brain
waves as the person to worked on an appropriate and challenging task. In spite of my not having
done it before, when I started doing Neurofeedback training,
it somehow made sense to me that
the brain should be both tested and trained under the conditions that caused the “zoning out”
behavior, that is, while the person was attempting to focus and work on a complex task.
The first time I handed someone a book to read, then recorded his brain waves, I was shocked.
Large slow waves quickly dominated the EEG patterning! The significance of this major brain
reaction didn’t escape me. I knew the only other instances in which large slow waves appeared in
the EEG was during the deep and prolonged breathing of hyperventilation (because the brain-
blood chemistry is being significantly altered), and when someone is unconscious from sleep,
coma, or anesthesia. Because these children and adults were awake, not breathing deeply, and
actively reading a book, it figured that these large slow waves must mean that those with attention
problems must be seriously under aroused. That is, they were half asleep. With this revelation
came the thought: For many, ADD/ADHD
must be a type of sleep disorder.
When normal attending people focus on a particular object or situation, the brain commonly
decreases slow waves and increases specific fast wave frequencies. The person then becomes
more vigilant (therefore more awake), making concentration and focus easier. In those with the
symptoms of ADD/ADHD, however, another reaction occurs: When focus is attempted, large
slow waves come up. As the child or adult tries harder to focus and understand, the slow waves
become larger. This is not unlike what occurs in the EEG patterning as we drift off into sleep.
Based on my under aroused/drowsy brain theory, I believe the difference between those with
excessive, uncontrolled physical movement (hyperactivity) and those that sit around looking
confused or uninterested in what is going on, is how the individual reacts to the drowsy feeling.
Hyperactivity can be thought of as the child and adult fighting to stay awake, the “couch potato”
ADD type as someone who is “giving in” to the feeling of being half asleep.
As I thought about this abnormal brain reaction when attempting to focus and pay attention, it
seemed to me that what I needed to do was train the brain to decrease the slow waves and
increase the faster “thinking” waves as the person worked on a challenging task
. This would
“wake up the brain” so the child or adult could attend as normal attending people. This technique,
of training the brain as the trainee works on a cognitive challenge (usually a strategic video
game), has proven itself to be highly effective and efficient. The results are documented in the
hundreds of ADHD/ADD children and adults I have successfully trained using this technique.
In some of those with attention problems, the underlying neurological inefficiency is not the high
voltage slow waves of a “sleepy” brain, but the Alpha wave
patterning of an “idling,” at-rest
The brain uses Alpha waves
(rhythmic 8 to 12 cycles-per-second activity) to rest an area not
actively processing information. For example, when we close our eyes, rhythmic Alpha waves
appear, sometimes quite dramatically, over the visual processing centers in the back of the brain.
Open our eyes, re-energizing the visual cortex with scenes and events of the world, and Alpha
instantly drop in voltage. Low voltage, irregular waves of many frequencies then take over
to process the information and make us conscious of what is going on in our world.
If some unfortunate child or adult has unyielding Alpha
waves over the frontal lobes,
attention and focus will not occur. A diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder will likely be made.
If other cortical areas are dominated by Alpha waves
, there will, depending upon the affected
brain areas, be such problems as reduced organizational skills, compromised learning abilities, or
poor decision-making skills. Learning will be difficult.
The only way to determine the root cause of an attentional deficit or learning problem is to use
the Quantitative EEG
to identify the neurological inefficiency. When the pattern has been
identified, the brain can be taught to decrease the attention-dampening slow waves
or the idling Alpha wave activity
while working on a task. When training is complete, attention and focus are
“automatic,” hyperactivity is reduced or eliminated, and self-esteem restored. Question #11
“I have dyslexia. Can NeuroMatrix™ help me read better?”
The most studied of specialized brain functions is our ability to read and comprehend the written
word. Brain research using special imaging techniques such as the PET, SPECT, and function
MRI, reveal that when we focus on printed words, sensors in the back of the eyes are activated –
the sensors generate and transmit electrical impulses to the visual centers in the back of the brain
– the signals are processed and analyzed by specialized cells in the area – the resulting energy is
(mainly) transmitted to activate Wernicke’s area (just behind and above the ear on the left side),
where the brain activates specific nerve cells and circuits to “recognize” the words – the impulses
are transmitted to Broca’s area (just above and in front of the ear), where the electrical pulses
making up the “words” are analyzed for content and meaning – the front part of the brain is
activated, making the information conscious and allowing us to “understand” what “we” just
Our brain does its work by activating and linking nerve cells in different specialized areas of the cortex
and deep brain
, and “learns” by strengthening the connections it finds itself making most
often. Learning disabilities
occur when an otherwise normal and healthy brain has a specialized
performance area not energetically able to do its job, or there are weak or disrupted pathways not
able to link and transmit activated electrical impulses to the next area.
Sometimes these weaknesses occur because of damage from a birth trauma or an early childhood
injury. But, often as not, medical tests that detect structural damage in the brain fail to reveal
physical damage. The answer is found in evaluating how the brain is able to manage its energy.
(computerized brain wave analysis) allows faulty brain frequencies and energetically
defective areas to be detected and defined; the Normative Reference Database report
comparison of the brain waves to those of normal people) reveals where the brain is not
effectively activating, connecting, and moving working energy. NeuroMatrix™ training
the brain in remediating dysfunctional areas, and in creating the networks it needs to efficiently
move energy from one performance area to another. Learning becomes fun; life becomes
exciting; self-esteem soars. Question #12
“Can NeuroMatrix™ training help depression? My doctor has prescribed several
different antidepressant medications, but none have helped.”
Much has been written about depression being an imbalance or deficiency in the brain’s
neurochemistry. There are even TV commercials for psychiatric drugs suggesting this is so.
Recent research, however, documents what those of us in the field of EEG have long suspected:
The root of chronic depression and anxiety is more about faulty brain circuits and inappropriate
brain waves than a “neurochemical imbalance.”
Chronically depressed or anxious people typically show one of three neurological inefficiencies
in their Quantitative EEG
(computerized brain wave analysis) and Normative Reference
report (a computer library of the EEG waveform characteristics of normal people):
problems over one or both hemispheres (sides) of the brain reflecting a problem in
the brain’s circuitry. Coherence
is a statistical measure of how well the brain is able to share
information between different performance areas. Excessive Coherence
values as compared to the Coherence
characteristics of people with normal mood patterns) commonly reflect too much
“sameness” in the brain’s circuits: The brain is thus “locked in,” not having the resources it needs
to shift out of the restricted mood pattern.
• Alpha waves
over the left frontal region cause the more upbeat left hemisphere to “idle out,”
forcing the brain to shift its mood-regulating mechanisms into the more negatively oriented right
hemisphere. A pessimistic outlook results. (“She’s always negative.”)
• Alpha waves
idling the brain’s right hemisphere cause life’s events and circumstances to be
misunderstood. (“He just doesn’t get it.”) Unexpected upheaval in relationships, chaotic family
situations, and misunderstood social experiences can lead to depression (or anxiety, or anger).
When the Quantitative EEG has defined the neurological issue, NeuroMatrix™ training
addresses the root of the mood problem: Bio-Tutorial Neurofeedback Training™
helps the brain
unlock constricted performance circuits and reduce inappropriate Alpha
(Heart Rate Variability) Neurofeedback Training
enhances emotional resilience by teaching the
nervous system to more efficiently balance the “flight or fight versus
relaxation” response. When
the brain has the resources with which to do its job more efficiently, day-to-day stresses move
from overwhelming to doable. Life’s challenges can be met head on.
“My daughter has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, which has taken over her life
and is disrupting the routine of our family. She is refusing to go to school, and
has trouble sticking to her home schooling. Will NeuroMatrix™ training help?”
Those afflicted with the repetitive behaviors of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
) are forced
to lead an almost robot-like existence. He or she is driven to repeatedly wash their hands, perhaps
to the point of bleeding; food has to be chewed an exact number of times before swallowing; a
light switch is compulsively turned off and on many times a day; or, the same questions are
repeated over and over, disrupting the concentration and activities of others. Life is dictated and
Brain imaging scans show OCD
behavior to be associated with an inappropriate neural loop
between the caudate
(a structure in the deep brain
), the front of the brain just above the eyebrows
(orbital frontal cortex
) and the cingulate cortex
(near the top of frontal lobes). The abnormal
firing of the caudate
triggers the urge to “do something,” the front part of brain says “something
is wrong,” and the cingulate
, that normally allows us to consciously shift our thoughts and focus
from one thing to another, inappropriately keeps attention riveted on the feeling of unease.
How does this “neural loop” show up in the EEG? I commonly find one of two neurological
measurements, a statistical analysis of how well the brain is able to
share information between performance areas, shows the brain to be locked into a “redundant
loop” of restricted performance, or Frontal Beta Spindles –
brief “flurries” of smooth, fast
oscillating waves –in the very front of the brain.
The brain does its work by activating millions of nerve cells, all firing at different rates. Different
cortical areas are momentarily joined together, the information shared, then disconnected.
means the brain is having difficulty sharing information between different
performance areas. It is either not able to fire enough cells that produce a particular frequency, or
there are not enough active connections between cells to get the job done. Coherence
those suffering from OCD
’s repetitive behavioral pattern, then, suggest that the cortex
is not able
to adequately respond to signals coming in from the deep brain
, or, it can’t fire enough of the
right kind of cells to shift out of the performance loop.
If the brain is having difficulty shifting out of performance loop, the Neurofeedback
objective is to help the brain activate more of the right kind of nerve cells, and to enrich the
connections between performance areas. Once done, the frontal lobe cortex
is better able to
receive and act on information coming in from the deep brain
. Leaving one task (or recurring
thought) and shifting to the next becomes, as it is for most of us, effortless and without conscious
When the efficient brain is busy processing incoming information and making us aware of it
(such as when we read a book), the EEG pattern is low voltage and irregular – a mixture of many
frequencies. If large, oscillating (smooth and rhythmic) brain waves occur when someone is
trying to perform a task, we know that particular area of the brain is literally not “getting it.” For
whatever the reason, the brain is not switching from the oscillating idling waves to the “whirry”
frequencies needed to process and act on incoming information. That is, sensory and motor data
coming in from the deep brain
or other cortical areas is not adequately received and processed.
A common example of how oscillating spindle activity
shuts down our “thinking” cortex is seen
in the EEG sleep patterns of normal people. Even though our brain is electrically busier during
sleep than the waking state, we are not aware of our self, our thoughts, and the physical world.
We are unconscious because our brain has deactivated the cortex with oscillating spindle activity.
The primary differences between the Frontal Beta Spindles of OCD
and the sleep spindles of
are their location and the level of conscious awareness. During sleep, spindles
seen over the middle part of the brain, the area responsible for sensing the world and moving our
body. In OCD
, the oscillating waves are seen in the very front of the brain (just over the eyes).
And, of course, sleep spindles
occur when we are asleep, unconscious, and physically inactive,
while the spindles of OCD
occur while the person is awake and moving around. Wake or asleep,
though, the effects are the same: The cortex cannot process and execute information when and
where rhythmic activity is present.
Motor programs for acts learned in the past and practiced to a point of habit (such as washing the
hands and turning a light switch off and on) are stored and executed from the basal ganglia
structure in the deep brain. The repetitive behaviors of OCD
likely occur in those with frontal
because the brain has weak connections between the deep brain structures and the frontal cortex
(the site of the spindles
), or, the modulating influences of the frontal lobes
inadvertently “switched off” by the brain and incoming signals are not being efficiently
processed. The well rehearsed behavior is thus involuntarily repeated because the frontal cortex
not able to send signals to the deep brain
telling it to turn off the information, or the frontal cortex
is “weak” and energetically incapable of fully receiving and managing the incoming signals.
Experience has shown that when NeuroMatrix™
problems, or helps the brain activate the frontal cortex
and improve communication networks
between frontal lobes
and the deep brain
, redundant behavior is dramatically reduced, or
eliminated all together. The person is able, once again, to take charge of his or her own actions
and live life to its fullest.
Question #14 “I have panic attacks and haven’t been able to travel for my work. Can
NeuroMatrix™ possibly be of benefit?”
often occur “out of the blue.” There is a sudden feeling of being overwhelmed with
fear and anxiety: Sweaty palms, a sense of dissociation, a pounding heart, and racing thoughts
occur. Life literally comes to a standstill.
has shown the ability to pinpoint and remediate the root cause of panic
. While the QEEG pattern varies from person to person, I usually find the same Coherence
issues or frontal Beta spindles
seen in those with the redundant behavior of OCD
. (See Question
The behavioral differences in OCD
and panic attacks
appear to lie in whether the basal ganglia
the deep brain
is sending information to a frontal cortex
to manage the data (OCD
or the amygdala
in the deep survival brain
mistakenly “floods” the frontal lobes
information (panic attacks
). If either case, “we” (our “conscious self”) are not in control: our deep brain
has taken over our life.
As with OCD
, when the QEEG findings are successfully remediated, the panic attacks typically
subside, usually disappearing all together. Question #15
“I have had seizures since I was young. Is there anything that can be done to help
Our brain does its work by firing billions of zaps of electrical energy every second of every day.
Some of these signals stay local to activate a specialized performance area, others are transmitted
over distances so one brain area can talk to another. If the brain is not able to contain, channel, or
modulate these cellular firings, a sort of neuronal “brush fire” occurs. A seizure
results if the
erratic, uncontrolled electrical impulses “flash over” into sensitive brain areas.
can also be caused by scar tissue on the cortex (from an old injury). An electrical
“spark,” a sort of energetic “lightning strike” occurs (known as a spike discharge
in EEG terms),
that can instantaneously create a sort of “electrical explosion” in the brain. Wide areas of the
cortex are instantly and dramatically involved, with major control areas being taken over by the
uncontrolled energy. The type of seizure
that occurs depends on the location of the scar tissue and
the direction of electrical spread.
The goal of the Neurotherapist
is to identify the location of the maverick cells or energetically
dysfunctional or damaged brain areas with the Quantitative EEG, then teach the brain to bolster
and better manage its resources with the appropriate Neurofeedback
Scientific studies dating back to the late 1960s and early 1970s document Neurofeedback’s
to reduce seizures
. In spite of my having worked in the field of EEG and neurology for over 40
years, I can’t explain why the neurological community has generally ignored Neurofeedback
its ability to help manage seizures. Perhaps it is because Medicine is more oriented toward “drugs
for a disease” than “training for regulation.” But, whatever the reason, the “Say no to drugs”
campaign and the sometimes-serious side effects of anticonvulsant medication (such as sedation,
memory deficits, cognitive (thinking) difficulties, permanent brain dysfunction) are causing
parents and those with epilepsy to look for alternatives. Neurofeedback
already has a long and
successful history. Question #16
“My son had a serious brain injury in a motorcycle accident several months ago.
He is doing better now, but still has memory problems, gets confused, and has
frequent headaches. Can NeuroMatrix™ help him this long after the accident?” Axons
, thin and threadlike, extend from the brain’s working cells in the cortex to connect with
billions of other cells in the deep brain and body. If the head is struck violently, the brain moves
rapidly away from the point of impact, and then snaps back. This lightning-fast acceleration and
deceleration causes axonal shearing
, which can have devastating consequences for mental and
(the outer “bark” of the brain) is light and thin, and the white matter
(the brain’s bulk)
dense and heavy. Axonal shearing
occurs when the head stops abruptly: The violent motion of the
brain inside the skull causes the cortex
to slide over the white matter
, ripping, clipping, shearing,
and bruising axons.
are responsible for sending and receiving signals to and from
the deep brain and body, damage to these vital communication links cause thinking and memory
problems. Sometimes, even the brain’s ability to sense, move, and control certain parts of the
body are affected. And, because the cortex
is no longer able to communicate with, and efficiently
modulate, the deep brain’s emotional centers, mental difficulties and emotional upheaval can
become a way of life. NeuroMatrix™ training
is the perfect compliment to Physical, Rehabilitative, and Occupational
Therapy. The Quantitative EEG
and Normative Reference Database
reveal where and in what
way the brain is damaged; Bio-Tutorial Neurofeedback Training
provides information the brain
needs to activate idling neurons and create new communication links. For those physically able to
practice special breathing techniques, Heart-Link™ (Heart Rate Variability) Neurofeedback
helps the brain modulate the deep emotional centers.
Because information is being returned to the brain on how it is performing a complex task in this
, brain function, even in those whose accident occurred decades earlier, is always
enhanced with NeuroMatrix™ training
“My father had a stroke and has difficulty speaking. Will NeuroMatrix™ training
help him talk again?”
The devastating effects of a stroke results from trauma to the brain from inside the skull instead
of the outside: A blood vessel swells and bursts – pressure inside the skull causes serious damage
to the soft brain tissue. To add insult to injury, the escaped blood, being very toxic to brain cells,
produces even more damage and destruction.
While it is true that billions of nerve cells die as a result of a stroke, it is also true that, given the
right instruction, neurons in adjacent brain areas can be recruited to help restore lost functions. NeuroMatrix™ training
assists the brain in activating idling, inactive, and damaged neurons, and
in teaching brain cells in adjoining areas to perform a new task. NeuroMatrix™ training
greatly enhances and accelerates the therapeutic benefits of traditional
Physical, Rehabilitative, Occupational, and Speech Therapy. It assures the greatest possibility of
recovering speech and other major brain functions.
Question #18 “Can NeuroMatrix™ help those with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease?”
Formalized research has not yet been done to determine how much NeuroMatrix™ training
would benefit those with these two devastating neurological diseases. However, I have developed
two models, based on published neuroscientific research, that suggest Neurofeedback
indeed be helpful.
A main reason for the cognitive (thinking) difficulties in Alzheimer’s disease
is thought to be
in the cortex
. These abnormal growths were first thought to be
solid, creating a speculation that memory problems and confusion were because the path of axons
carrying communication signals to other performance areas were being blocked or rerouted.
Speculation was that the signals could not reach their intended destination, creating the cognitive
problems. More recent research, though, has shown that when the plaques
are viewed under
extremely high-powered magnification, the resemblance is closer to Swiss cheese than a lump of
coal. Instead of being blocked, as originally thought, axons
were found to be threading their way
through the holes, increasing their length some 30%. Many of the signals, therefore, are
their designated target, but the transmission is delayed: The information being conveyed from
nerve cells firing arrive too late for receiving cells to effectively process the incoming message.
Confusion and dementia occur.
This information about delayed nerve cell communication may be good news. Phase
measurement of the time it takes for signals to travel between brain areas, is routinely calculated,
compared to those of normal people, and reported in the Reference Data Base report
training is easily done, which, hopefully, can help speed up these delayed signals. If effective,
cognitive difficulties could be relieved, in whole or in part.
Much of the physical compromise of Parkinson’s disease
(the “pill rolling” tremor, hesitant and
shuffling gait, and rigidity) is due to an inadequate production or improper utilization of the
. This substance is produced and managed in an area of the deep brain
called the basal ganglia
The frontal cortex
and basal ganglia
have direct, two-way communication. NeuroMatrix™
uses specific frequencies to teach the brain to enhance performance of the frontal lobes
Research may show that the process can teach the brain to send corrective signals to the basal
, “telling it” to increase production and utilization of dopamine
“I snap at my family and people at work. My anger has gotten so bad lately, I lost
my temper in traffic and almost caused an accident. Is it possible that
NeuroMatrix™ training could help calm me down?”
In many of those with explosive anger, the Quantitative EEG
(computerized brain wave analysis)
and SPECT scan
(a brain imaging procedure that reveals how the working brain is managing its
energy) show the front and side of the brain (frontal
and temporal lobes
) to be over energized.
This is thought to occur because the amygdala
, a pair of independent “mini-brains” located deep
within the temporal lobes
, are over firing and sending inappropriately strong signals to the frontal
. The frontal lobes
then become overwhelmed with the energy, and behavior becomes erratic
Exaggerated anger can also occur if the frontal lobes
are themselves damaged or dysfunctional,
and not able to efficiently receive and effectively manage the energy coming in from the amygdala
’s primary role is to constantly monitor the environment for danger. If there is a
noise in the middle of the night, for example, we might wake up, heart pounding, with no idea of
why we are suddenly awake. This occurs because our amygdala
“heard” an unfamiliar noise,
became alarmed, and sent a strong alerting signal to our frontal lobes
. Wide-eyed and now fully
awake, we get up to search the house to see if we find anything wrong.
If our amygdala
malfunctions and misinterprets routine events and circumstances as hazardous
and a threat to survival, it can send over amplified danger signals to the cortex
seemingly uncontrolled anger occurs. To observers (and unwilling participants), this is terrifying:
The person’s reaction is irrational, the outcome unknown.
For a “real world” example: If a strong disagreement occurs over who arrived at a stop sign first,
a faulty amygdala
may feel threatened and “take over” by sending strong alarm signals to the frontal lobes
. The person is then driven to act in a way the brain believes will ensure its greatest
chance of survival. In the worse case scenario, these brain-inspired acts can lead to a physical
attack on the person the brain (mistakenly) perceives to be a threat to survival. The brain’s intent
is honorable – to manage or eliminate the threat – but the most likely outcome is shaken people
and perhaps even destroyed lives.
Violent outbursts can also occur if the frontal lobes
are faulty and not able to accurately process,
modulate, or respond to signals coming in from the deep brain
helps calm\ anger, apparently by assisting the brain in establishing and
maintaining better communication networks between the amygdala
and frontal cortex
. It also
“tunes” the frontal lobes
so incoming distress signals are processed with greater speed and
precision. Heart-Link™ (Heart Rate Variability) Training
helps those with anger issues by
strengthening the connections between the heart
and deep brain
so there is better balance of the
autonomic nervous system’s fight or flight versus
relaxation response. Anxiety is calmed, and
anger-driven responses reduced or eliminated.
“How does NeuroMatrix™ training compare to prescription drugs?”
Psychiatric drugs such as the stimulants Ritalin™ and Adderal™ (attention problems), and mood-
altering drugs (for depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive behavior) such as Prozac™ and
Zoloft™, may have immediate benefit for the short term. But, taken for an extended period, these
powerful drugs can produce many unfortunate difficulties. Side effects can be serious and
permanent (such as tics and movement disorders); any positive benefit will probably last only as
long as the drug is being taken; and, because the original brain dysfunction has probably not gone
away, withdrawal will likely be physically difficult and emotionally overwhelming.
Recent research has shown attention, learning, and mood problems to be more about faulty brain
circuitry and an inability to effectively modulate frequency resources than a neurochemical
imbalance. The Quantitative EEG
defines where the brain is not efficiently managing its energy; NeuroMatrix™ training
helps the brain restore and normalize faulty circuits and create the
frequency resources it needs to do its job more effectively. NeuroMatrix™
training has helped many people alleviate their distressing symptoms, avoiding
prescription drugs all together, or, under their doctor’s guidance, to naturally, safely, and almost
effortlessly withdraw from prescription medications.
“Does Neurofeedback have potential side effects?”
is not a drug or medical procedure in which something is done to the physical
brain. It is closer to personal tutoring, in which the teacher tests the student’s present knowledge
and understanding, teaches the student what he or she needs to know about the subject, then
retests to determine how well the information has been learned. With the neurological tutoring of NeuroMatrix™
, the Continuous Performance Test
and Quantitative EEG
determine where the
brain is doing its job well and where it needs help, the brain is taught to better produce critical
working frequencies and to re-wire circuits for enhanced performance, the Continuous
and Quantitative EEG
are repeated to determine how well the brain “learned its
lessons,” and if more sessions are needed.
training only sends auditory information to the brain on the frequencies
it is using to perform a task, there are no true side effects. A brief period of light headedness or a
slight headache, a quickly passing sense of tiredness, or a short period of feeling highly
energized, while unusual, can occur in those with a significantly damaged brain that has the
resources to rapidly normalize its function. Question #22
“Is Neurofeedback safe?”
computer detects the energy the brain is using to perform a task (usually a
strategic video game), rapidly divides the complexity of the brain waves into narrow bands of
energy, then plays therapist-selected frequencies back to the brain as unique audio tones. Nothing
is done to the brain . . . except give it information on how it is performing the task. Because the
decision to increase or decrease any performance frequency is made solely by the brain
process is perfectly safe.
“Why haven’t I heard about Neurofeedback?”
The first scientific study on the benefit of Neurofeedback
– a 1968 paper documenting the
effectiveness of Neurofeedback
in reducing seizures – was published over 30 years ago. The first
study showing enhanced focus and reduced hyperactivity in those with Attention Deficit Disorder
was published in the early 1970s. Over the years, dozens of studies documenting the effectiveness
in both these and other neurological issues have been published. Many of these
articles have appeared in the Journal of Neurotherapy
, a scientific journal devoted to studies
. Three major scientific meetings are held annually to update
professionals on the latest research findings, being attended by hundreds of psychologists,
medical doctors, and educational and judicial professionals. Three major universities and medical
centers have Neurofeedback centers, teaching, doing research, and working within the
community. Over the past 30 years, tens of thousands of children and adults have been trained
and are now leading more successful lives. Yet, in spite of this long history,
a growing scientific body of research studies, and academic involvement, Neurofeedback
received little support in the medical community and minimal coverage in the popular press.
Probably the biggest obstacle to widespread popularity of Neurofeedback
is tradition. The
medical community is trained to prescribe “drugs for a disease,” rather than teach “self-regulation
for self-mastery,” psychological and counseling professionals have been taught to “talk about it,”
and the insurance industry is structured around “diagnosis and treatment” of a “medical
condition” (traditionally, drugs or surgery), or a “mental” diagnosis” and (talk) “therapy.”
Medicine and Psychology are being forced to look at its traditions with new eyes. Brain imaging
technologies such as the PET, SPECT, functional MRI, and the power of the Quantitative EEG to
define the brain’s electrical characteristics, are revealing “brain and mental disorders” to be more
often energetic in basis than physical in origin, especially in the critical early stages; that
psychiatric and neurological drugs have numerous side effects and can create permanent brain
damage or dysfunction; and, it is better to prevent than rescue. These findings are slowly creating
a new medical orientation toward diet, dietary supplementation, and life style changes. And, yes,
a move toward the safe, self-regulatory power of biofeedback
Weekly news magazines and TV news programs continue to report that attentional deficits,
learning problems, and depression are a major problem, taking a major toll in human resources
and costing our society a staggering $100 billion annually. There are even reports that, for some,
prescription drugs have caused more damage than the neurological problem it is suppose to help,
and, because of the not yet known long-term side effects of these powerful drugs, the future is
uncertain for millions of children and adults. Yet, in spite of the scientific evidence and the tens
of thousands of children and adults safely and effectively trained with Neurofeedback
, the press
and TV have done little to inform the public of this safe and highly effective process. Perhaps this
is because psychiatric drug companies pay ad agencies, broadcast networks, and print media
billions of dollars in advertising revenue every year. But, in fairness, the real reason is unknown.
In summary, if you haven’t heard about Neurofeedback
, it is probably because the concept is
outside medical and psychological tradition, the broadcast and print media have barely covered it,
and the tens of thousands of children and adults already trained with Neurofeedback
living a more active and fulfilling life and not necessarily talking to others about their
“I have a busy schedule. How long will the training take?”
Training sessions are about 45 minutes. A minimum of four sessions a week is recommended for
the most effective results.
For those coming from out of town and busy people wanting or needing to complete training
quickly, two sessions can be done daily. Working five days a week, the first 20 sessions can be
completed in just two weeks.
After 20 sessions, a week (or longer) break is typically taken to allow the brain to integrate the
training. Testing is then repeated to determine how much has been achieved, and whether
additional sessions are necessary to more fully optimize performance and mood.
Most people complete NeuroMatrix™
training in just 30 sessions or less. However, those
suffering from a traumatic brain injury, stroke, and serious birth injury may require more sessions
Training does not have to be finished for benefits to kick in. For most, focus, attention, memory,
and mood are noticeably improved by session 10.
Question #25 How much does NeuroMatrix™ training cost?
Please call our office (972.407.9895 or 800.992.6122, central time zone) for current fees.
“Does health insurance pay for Neurofeedback training?”
For the past couple of decades, professional therapists and counselors have used biofeedback
help their clients better manage stress, reduce or eliminate migraine headaches, calm an irritable
bowel, and enhance function in paralyzed limbs; Neurofeedback
has shown itself to be as
effective as stimulant medication for Attention Deficit Disorder, and to alleviate depression and
anxiety, quell the automatic behaviors of OCD, reduce seizures in those with epilepsy, and
enhance physical and mental abilities in those with brain injury and stroke. In spite of this, many
insurance companies reject claims for biofeedback services as “not medically indicated.”
Why this reluctance when the documented benefit is so strong? No one seems to know, but it
could be because health insurance companies traditionally cover services for laboratory tests and
x-ray procedures for a “medical diagnosis,” and hospital stays, surgery, and prescription drugs
when a “disease” is found. Biofeedback
is much different than any of these procedures. Rather
than rendering a diagnosis and administering drugs for a disease, it teaches self-regulation for
. Because of this rather dramatic difference, it could be that insurance companies
to be more an educational process than a medical
Whatever the case, many insurance companies do not presently reimburse for Neurofeedback
training. There are signs that this is changing, especially for traumatic brain injury, but, for the
present, the answer is “maybe, but probably not.”
“What is Dr. Sams’ background and experience?”
Marvin W. Sams, N.D., R. EEG T., Dipl. QEEG, BCIA-EEG, is a Certified EEG Biofeedback
Practitioner (Biofeedback Certification Institute of America), a Registered EEG Technologist
(American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic Technologists) and a Diplomate in
Quantitative EEG (American Board of Certification in Quantitative EEG). He is Past President
and Past Board Member of the American Society of Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists, Past
Board Member of The American Board of Registration of EEG Technologists, and Past President
of the American Association of Quantitative EEG Technologists. Dr. Sams is presently
Consulting Editor for the Journal of Neurotherapy
, and Board Member of the American Board of
Certification in Quantitative Electroencephalography.
Dr. Sams has over four decades of clinical and research experience in electroneurodiagnostics,
psychophysiology, and traditional, Oriental, energy, and natural medicine. His past professional
affiliations include: Staff EEG Technologist at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas;
Research Supervisor of the Section of EEG at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; and
Faculty and Supervisor of the EEG Laboratories at the Ohio State University Hospitals,
Columbus, Ohio. He is founder of two medical corporations: Electro-Cap International, a medical
devise used in leading medical centers for research and clinical work, and BioScan, Inc., a
nationwide ambulatory EEG monitoring service. For the past 15 years, he has been Director of
Quest for Excellence, Inc., and Neurofeedback Centers of America, both dedicated to the research
and application of technology that benefits humankind.
Dr. Sams has been allowed several patents for his inventions of innovative, medical-related
technology, honored by the International Federation of Societies of Electroencephalography and
Clinical Neurophysiology (Best Electrode Design), and awarded the Maureen Berkeley Award by
the American Society of ENG Technologists (for outstanding written technical contributions to
the field of Electroneurodiagnostics).
Dr. Sams invented the award winning ECI Electro-Cap™, a unique EEG electrode system used in
leading medical centers internationally. The advanced technology greatly improves electrode
placement accuracy over previous methods, and reduces patient setup time from 30 to five
Using his unique understanding of the normal, abnormal, and optimally performing brain, Dr.
Sams has spent the past decade developing highly specific and effective Neurofeedback training
protocols. His clinical research has lead to the development of a clinically proven system that
optimizes performance and rapidly remediates neurological inefficiencies, including those
associated with learning, attention, mood, memory, and the symptoms of head injury and stroke.
Dr. Sams has dedicated his life to the alleviation of human suffering and the enhancement of
human potential. His clinical specialty is helping children and adults with Learning Disabilities,
ADD/ADHD, depression, closed head injuries, stroke, and stress/anxiety problems lead a more
productive and fulfilling life, and in optimizing performance in professional and amateur athletes,
entrepreneurs, and sales and business professionals. His current research interests include
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
For more information on NeuroMatrix Neurofeedback training™
, including a list of selected
scientific references and a research paper by Dr. Sams, please visit www.thesamscenter.com.
If your question is not answered, you can e-mail Dr. Sams at firstname.lastname@example.org
call 972.407.9895 or 800.992.6122
(central time zone). More Comments by Parents and Clients
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