...Medical science (is) increasingly recognising how our day-to-day choices have a profound impact on our energy, vitality and immunity to disease.....
Dr Helena Popovic

NeurOptimal® - Neurofeedback...

...how & where it began...

Since its creation by Dr Valdeane Brown and Sue Cheshire Brown in 1996, Zengar Institute Inc.'s models of healing have been based upon the principles of the inherent self-organising wisdom of the body and psyche to heal themselves, given the right information.

The brain uses visual and auditory information offered by NeurOptimal® to re-organize itself and release old patterns of "stuckness".
The result is effortless transformation with few unwanted effects.

Their neurofeedback approaches have espoused:-
~ safety,
~ profound yet effortless and seamless change,
~ simplicity of use,
~ comprehensiveness of effect,
~ permanence of results.

Their work has culminated in NeurOptimal, which gives the brain the information it needs to create its own healing.

NeurOptimal® works by training the brain to be more flexible and resilient. This is done by it interacting with the brain and offering the brain the information it needs to function gracefully.

You can think of all of the things you do every day as requiring different states of consciousness or awareness, from being alert and focused all the way to being asleep. Great flexibility is required to shift your various states of awareness seamlessly from one task or activity to another continuously throughout the day. A lack of flexibility can adversely affect your performance and your mood, and leave you feeling drained and stressed at the end of the day.

Most of us also, only have a very limited number of states of awareness available to us, not being able to access states of consciousness that utilize higher frequencies. A truly flexible mind allows you to respond appropriately to an increased range of situations and environments.

Do you have trouble relaxing after work or getting to sleep?
Do you have trouble being focused and on task during the day?
This is often related to your brain being stuck in the big slow frequencies, and not shifting smoothly among many higher frequencies as you move through your daily activities.

Resilience is the ability of the brain to bounce back from negative events. These negative events may range from an argument, a bad day at work or something more severe like the loss of a loved one or physical or emotional trauma.

A resilient brain returns to its baseline quickly and doesn't sabotage itself by remaining stuck on repetitive self-critical thoughts or negativity. Individuals with resilient brains report being happier people with more joy, peace and flow in their lives.

How Does NeurOptimal® Work?

NeurOptimal® monitors your brainwaves and gives subtle cues to the brain when it isn't functioning smoothly. While the brain is performing fluidly NeurOptimal® plays music or a movie and when the brain's activity begins to become inconsistent or less smooth the music and image is interrupted momentarily. The interruption gently cues the brain that it isn't performing optimally.

Sounds simple? That's because it is simple.

The power is in the mathematics that lie at the heart of NeurOptimal®. All of the learning happens outside your conscious awareness. Your brain learns when it's stuck and when it is jumping around inefficiently. As your brain begins to operate more efficiently, NeurOptimal® adjusts itself automatically in response to your brain's activity, individualizing the training microsecond by microsecond to your own brain's functioning. In this manner the learning continues based on your brain's response to the training.

Think of NeurOptimal® as a personal meditation teacher, or a dance or martial arts instructor, that points out and corrects your form as you train. As you get better, the level of difficulty increases automatically. With practice your form naturally improves and becomes more fluid, helping you become more effective in your personal and professional lives. Your life begins to flow.

The Brain

The brain is the center of our central nervous system. It is a sophisticated command and control center that is responsible for controlling all the other systems in your body. It receives and processes information from your body and the environment and enables you to process and store information and formulate appropriate responses, much of it without your conscious awareness. This is all made possible by a vast and wonderful neural network.

It is estimated that the human brain has 15-33 billion neurons and each neuron may have as many as 10,000 synaptic connections. Neurons communicate with each other using electrical signals. The electrical signals emanating from the brain are measured as brainwaves. The frequencies of the brainwaves tells us a lot about the state of the brain at a given moment.


Brainwaves are categorized based on the frequency of the wave which are measured in cycles per second (hertz or Hz). 1 Hz (or 1 times a second) is a very big slow wave as far as the brain is concerned, and 40 Hz is a very fast small wave. Researchers have, in the past, grouped some of these waves together and given them names based on which were discovered first (e.g. Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta).

Some of the traditional groupings would be disputed today, now that we can obtain very precise digital data compared with that obtained from old analogue equipment, but the types of waves are still often discussed according to these names.

If we start at the bottom, the biggest slow waves of 1 and 2 Hz are called Delta, and these are dominant in a person who is sleeping.

Then comes Theta. There is "good" Theta" and "bad" Theta. Bad Theta pulses in predominantly at 3 and 5 Hz, and can carry emotional and cognitive reactivity. Old traumas can be carried here.
But 'good" Theta, or 7 Hz, brings with it tremendous healing and sometimes wonderful realizations.

Alpha is 8-13 Hz (these numbers do vary a little depending upon the researcher and the equipment they are using), and is present particularly when you relax with eyes closed. It can bring with it a feeling of well-being and peacefulness. SMR is 14 Hz or sensory motor rhythm. We call it the "cat frequency", because cats produce a lot of it when sitting very still with their eyes closed. But if something (like a little mouse) were to cross in front of them, they would be on it in a flash. It's a state of great physical stillness, with awareness of what is going on both in your body and around you, but not having any thoughts about it.

Beta on the other hand (15-18 Hz)), is very focused narrow attention, and the focus is "out there". Unfortunately, it is also the "stress response", so can feel very uncomfortable if trained up. It is not a frequency that is used in NeurOptimal® any longer.

There are other frequencies that give you all the focus and attention and other benefits without the unpleasant side effects. There are many other, higher frequencies that are worked with in NeurOptimal®, but those four categories are the most well known. The description and use of some of these frequencies are original and unique to Zengar.