Is neurofeedback training safe? Are there any side effects? Do I need a brain map (EEG scan) before training? Where can I find a neurofeedback trainer near me?

Learn how NeurOptimal® works and how this Dynamical Neurofeedback technology is different than other protocol-based neurofeedback systems. 

Why NeurOptimal?  

non-linear-dynamic-vs-protocol-neurofeedback-system-comparison-sq_03The way Dynamical neurofeedback works is by providing precisely timed feedback based on the 265 data points that are collected every second through reading the electrical output! It is key information so that you can optimize it’s functioning.  That’s how it can be diagnostically agnostic. Basically, it's like teaching the brain to be smarter, learning to come into the present to gather info before it makes a decision rather than doing what’s habitual— anxiety being a common brain habit.   Why we use the NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback System for our rentals.  Watch a video on how NeurOptimal works here.


Is Neurofeedback Safe and is NeurOptimal® FDA Approved?

Yes, neurofeedback training with the NeurOptimal system is safe for anyone to use.  Why?  Because nothing is being added to your brain.  The advanced technology works by meaningfully timed micro-interruptions in music. Because the brain is designed to be responsive to new information, when the neurofeedback system alerts the brain to it’s own functioning. It’s as if we’re saying, pay attention to your habitual reactions. (And change the ones that facilitate well being and health.)

NeurOptimal is FDA approved as safe for consumers to use without a doctor's permission.  

FDA approved logo

In 2018, the FDA ruled the NeurOptimal neurofeedback as a General Wellness device and not a medical device based on the safety of the system and its intended uses.  This is good news for individuals wanting a program for brain wellness but that is safe and non-invasive. Particularly for parents looking to use neurofeedback for kids wellness, whether it's for school performance or social and performance anxiety. 

Back to Top


What's the difference between Linear and Dynamical® neurofeedback?

The difference between linear and dynamical neurofeedback chartThere are two generations of neurofeedback.  Out of the first we got protocol-based where you are using an initial brain map and comparing it to the client's brain and then using entrain and migrate techniques to create state change.  And out of the second generation came Dynamical® NeurOptimal® neurofeedback, which is the system we use. Here the brain gets a brain map of itself shown to itself moment by moment through analysis of 20 targets up to 60 Hz. And with that information it reorganizes itself.  

Do I need a brain map (QEEG test) to start?

No. A diagnosis or brain map is not needed when using NeurOptimal.  Since NeurOptimal® is Dynamical® neurofeedback, it is helping support overall health.  It is completely non-invasive and non-directive because it is based on both a very different understanding about how the brain works, as well as how it is best optimized.

How is NeurOptimal Different from Other Neurofeedback Systems?

NeurOptimal® is very different from other neuro feedback systems. It is completely non-directive because it is based on both a different understanding about how the brain works, as well as how it is best optimized. NeurOptimal® is designed to work with the brain as an information-detection system, that is why feedback is delivered through precisely timed interruptions in music. By simply giving the brain feedback information about its own activity 256 times per second, NeurOptimal® helps support our intrinsic reorganization abilities to create calm, and the ability to focus again.

Here are 3 Top Differences

  1. NeurOptimal does not tell the brain what or what not to do. It does not push or pull your brain in any particular direction. The system responds to the client brain wave information and the client responds to the system feedback.
  2. NeurOptimal trainers do not diagnose; there are no long questionnaires or clinical discussions. Because trainers do not diagnose, they do not treat specific symptoms, they train the whole brain at once. In the area of brain training there are inherent and significant differences in the underlying theories between these systems that result in the development of differing approaches to the software development.
  3. Traditional Neurofeedback Systems approaches require licensed clinicians to make or use a diagnosis, often with the help of a quantitative electroencephalogram (QEEG). These brief ‘slices of time’ are then used to create protocols over subsequent weeks or months. Needless to say, this evaluation process is time consuming, expensive, and unnecessary for NeurOptimal® clients. Using a diagnosis or QEEG for NeurOptimal is like trying to use a road map to fly a jumbo jet— it’s just not relevant.

Does NeurOptimal® Have Side Effects?

neuroptimal-neurofeedback-sessions-nycNeurOptimal® is 100% non-invasive and does not push the brain in any “direction” during training, it is highly unlikely you will feel any ill effects following a session. Any noticeable shifts in your mood, awareness or energy level after brain training really depends on the individual and can vary from session to session.

Is there anything that can be done to enhance the training, or is it beneficial to do a session when I am feeling anxious? Or should I be totally calm during my session?

Sometimes people experience a 'spike' in old symptoms around sessions 8-10 when the brain is in the process of reorganization. It doesn't last and it's part of how a nonlinear system changes, like a dump of snow in April!

The best supports for optimal outcomes are a healthy whole foods based diet, regular exercise and filling out your self-reporting checklists every 10 sessions. That way you can really track the changes and stay motivated to keep your regular neurofeedback sessions going.

There's no need to be in a 'certain state' before a session, nor is necessary to put your attention on anything in particular while in session. It's OK to read, talk sleep, zone-out/day dream, play a game, do homework or meditate. Watch this video to learn how a session looks like. If feeling anxious prior, it may even be helpful to do a session.  How to Get Best Results.

How many sessions do I need?

Brain training promotes managing stressors, negative thoughts, and building focus and resiliency. A self-reported scale can build your self-awareness so that you are confident about your brain training results.  The recommended amount of neurofeedback sessions depends on goals and timeframe. Learn why.

Back to Top

Read Also:

Our Habitual Brain and Stress Response - Who Benefits from Neurofeedback Training?




Who Benefits From Neurofeedback Training? Can Children Train?

Yes. Everyone can train with this system!  And in particularly anyone under stress.  Or anyone who wants to create further focus, calm, mental acuity and performance at work or at school. Neurofeedback supports radically shifting our lives away from being reactive to being responsive to life’s challenges. Whether your goals are to support your mood or perform better at school, NeurOptimal® is designed to optimize your well being.


Back to Top

Read Also:

Brain Training For Children: Best Results Are A Family Affair



What are my training options and how does neurofeedback cost?

We provide three training options (same exact neurofeedback training program for all):

  1. RENT - MONTHLY NEUROFEEDBACK HOME SYSTEM RENTALSthe neuroptimal home kit is a cost effective neurofeedback option: The more cost-effective and convenient option would be to rent a home system. We provide three different monthly rental plans starting from $600 per month up to $900 per month.  We ship throughout US and Canada. Pricing information can be found here. Read Also: Why the Best Neurofeedback System Might be a Rental
  2.  IN-OFFICE SESSIONS IN NYC, LA & Colorado: We have offices in NYC, Pasadena, Denver and Boulder. Come in for a session and see if it's for you. Price for new clients range from $105 and up and we provide neurofeedback packages.
  3. NEUROFEEDBACK EQUIPMENT FOR SALE: One can also buy a neurofeedback system for home or professional use. Price range from $7,000 and up. The benefits of purchasing are that the price is less for training long term. It is particularly advantageous if you are training multiple family members or if you would like to train for more than a few months. Learn more about purchasing a system here.

neurofeedback-webinar-q&a-cover-image-ebookNeurofeedback Q&A Webinar with Natalie Baker 

Listen to a recent Neurofeedback Training Webinar answering questions such as:

How does NeurOptimal® neurofeedback work?  What are the benefits?

How do I know if it's working?

Is it good for what ails me or my family?  ADHD or focus/impulsivity, anxiety, depression, chronic illness, stress, sleep issues, addiction or moderation issues?

Watch Webinar >