The Othmer Method and Personalised Brain Training
Neurofeedback London-Brighton uses what is considered one of the most sophisticated methods of neurofeedback training. Daniel Webster studied each method under direct supervision of its founders:
– the Othmer Method / ILF (Infra-Low Training): aimed at training limbic system self-regulation
– qEEG-brain-map-based Personalised Brain Training
This method is non-invasive, drug and medication-free forms of brain training. The process itself is simple: Up to four sensors are comfortable placed on the head, at the sites of the brain areas we are training. While the conscious mind is engaged with a movie of choice, the sensors analyse brain activity in real-time, and aberrations are translated into feedback inhibits. This is mainly auditory – the volume drops subtly for a very short time – as well as visual, with the picture size changing. Our brain preconsciously changes its behaviour to preserve the flow of the reward, the continuation of the movie. We are not making any conscious effort, other than engaging with the content of the movie. The brain learns a more efficient way of behaviour in a seemingly passive way. We are making new, easier habits available to the brain, and with time and repetition it will choose to adopt these in everyday life. The brain is equally able to reject these new habits if they don’t serve a purpose.
Neurofeedback is a form of complementary therapy and should not be seen as a replacement for conventional medicine. qEEG brain map-based neurofeedback training takes a more holistic approach to brain functioning, rather than just focusing on medical symptoms. It is not intended as a form of diagnosis nor medical intervention nor medical advice per the disclaimer.
Brain Maps and Personalised Brain Training
The functional connectivity between various brain areas allows us to see vulnerabilities to character traits or behaviour patterns.
A brain map is an analysis of brain wave behaviour as measured by a qEEG recording. We record 20 minutes of the brain activities with a 19-sensor qEEG recorder. There is no stimulation, and contact between the sensors and the head is via an easily removable gel applied to specific points. From this recording, we can generate a brain map using Kaiser Neuromap software.
Neurofeedback training is a process where we give the brain feedback about its own activity at a particular cortical site in real time, via visual, auditory or tactile means. There is no direct stimulus to the brain and the sensors attached are for measurement of cortical EEG, or tiny electrical currents detectable on the surface of our head. This signal is then amplified and analysed by software in real-time, and this information is used to provide auditory and visual feedback to our brain.
With neurofeedback training, we can reduce stress, calm the mind and restore cortical functionality.
We take a holistic approach to healthy brain self-regulation, rather than categorisation or diagnosis. In our view, and experience, symptoms resolve when our system is balanced.
We use a movie of choice as the feedback mechanism – our conscious mind engages with the film, and feedback is delivered by small changes in volume or picture size. Our pre-conscious mind adapts its behaviour to preserve the more comfortable volume and picture size, and learning occurs.
Neurofeedback is evidence-based.
Neurofeedback training is safe, effective and non-invasive.
A qEEG recording takes about 45minutes for a 20 minute recording. We analyse the data with Kaiser Neuromap software which gives us a unique view into character traits and vulnerabilities. Findings are presented in a separate conversation. Note this is not diagnosis – issues found are necessary, but not sufficient conditions for a particular attribute and represent vulnerabilities.
We use a movie of choice as the feedback mechanism – our conscious mind engages with the film, and feedback is delivered by small changes in volume or picture size.
Our pre-conscious mind adapts its behaviour to preserve the more comfortable volume and picture size, and learning occurs.
Volume changes are slight, not stop-start, and the process is enjoyable.
A two hour training sessions allows us to do 90 minutes of neurofeedback. This captures an entire ultradian rhythm cycle and corresponds to the approximate duration of feature film movies. We can start with shorter sessions as appropriate, mainly with children.
Ideally, we do three or more sessions per week to start with. We would expect to see responsiveness within the first few sessions and remap after twenty hours or ten sessions. Generally, we would expect to doing forty hours or twenty sessions over two months, though this can vary.
We can also accommodate intensives, where we do two sessions per day over a number of days, and have had good results with these.
Guided by a Kaiser Neuromap, our neurofeedback training targets specific brain areas, neural hubs and networks. This improves integration of the brain area we are training, as well as its network and sub-cortical connections.
Developed by a founder of the field of neurofeedback, and with a wealth of over 3,000 brain maps and thirty years’ of experience, Personalised Brain Training uses advanced neurofeedback protocols.
A qEEG-brainmap takes under an hour to obtain and is a non-invasive process. A nineteen-sensor cap is comfortably fitted and we record about twenty minutes of brain activity. Using specialised software, we obtain a visual analysis which we will communicate verbally. This also forms the basis of our training plan. Note that we do not provide diagnosis.
This brain map approach is unique in that it analyses the connectivity of a functional brain area, rather than simply geographic areas of the brain.
Connectivity is a measure of regional integration of specific brain areas with other areas and key networks. This is a relative measure – to be meaningful, it has to be referenced to a baseline. Rather than use an average as a reference, we compare results to a set of hand-picked individuals who are both high-performing professionals and well-balanced individuals. Our ability to engage with others, form friends and alliances, and make consensual decisions is deemed as important for success as professional specialisation and technical performance.
A functional brain area, as first delineated by Korbinian Brodmann in 1909, was first defined by variations in the number of layers in its grey matter. This difference in physical property still holds as a valid way to separate brain regions, and each has its own function while being connected to other areas of the cortex via white matter, as well as to the brainstem, in particular, the thalamus. With a brain map, we gain insights into both cortical integration (how well the area connects with its surrounding areas), as well as its thalamo-cortical integration.
Neurofeedback Training Sessions
Personalised Brain Training aims to optimise the cortical connectivity, as well as promoting improved thalamo-cortical connection. Neuroplasticity, the ability of neural networks in the brain to make new connections, is an essential and continuous process that underpins our ability to learn. With brain training, we can promote this process.
Protocols are generally around 30-45 minutes per brain area that we train; as such, training sessions are ideally around 90-120 minutes. This corresponds to the average length of a movie. This is also the length of our ultradian rhythms – attention cycles that govern our day, letting us perform at more than 100% at peak, and less than this at trough – think of the lull we experience around lunchtime. By training the brain throughout a complete cycle, we are more likely to provide the brain with a challenge at different points in its attention cycle for a more comprehensive training.
The primary feedback mechanism in Personalised Brain Training is auditory, that is, a subtle change in volume. The brain recognises this, preconsciously, while our conscious mind is focused on the movie, and corrects its behaviour to preserve the continuity of the watching (or listening) experience. A secondary, visual feedback mechanism can be activated, whereby the picture size changes too, though this is optional in cases of high visual sensitivity (e.g. migraines).
We can track progress by remapping the brain at intervals, usually after every 20 hours of training. Ten sessions will give a good indication of responsiveness, which besides subjective feedback we can ascertain with a further remap. With neurofeedback training, we are showing the brain a more efficient state during a session. Upon repetition, the brain learns to adopt this new state. The person has to then implement this new learning in their life. Internal changes have to be externalised. Training success depends on this ability thus results can vary.
Neurofeedback training begins with two to three sessions per week and the frequency of training can then be adjusted to need and symptom improvements. Intensive courses involving two or more sessions per day can also be accommodated.
Contact Daniel on +44 (0)7966 699430 or email@example.com to arrange sessions.
We record qEEG brain activity for about 15-20 minutes. This process takes about 30-45 minutes overall and we discuss results a few days later via call or in person. This provides the basis for the Personalised Brain Training Plan.
Comfortably watching a movie of choice, we train specific brain areas per our Personalised Brain Training Plan. Sessions are two hours (shorter if necessary), and ideally we aim to do two or three per week. Alternatively, intensive courses can accommodate two sessions per day. Generally, we would look to do 40 hours or 20 sessions.