My name is Renea Kirby, and I am the owner of Optimize Neurofeedback. This company was started because I was in the right place, at the right time. I am a Registered Nurse, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education. I am a wife, and I have been a biological mom, foster mom, and adoptive mom. I first heard about neurofeedback one night in my role as a soccer mom.
One night a few years back, I overheard a parent at a high-school soccer game talking about neurofeedback. He was talking about this process that his son was using at a local hospital, and how much it really seemed to be helping his son’s ADHD symptoms. My first thought was something along the lines of “what sort of crazy non-sense has this guy got his kid doing?” As a Registered Nurse of over 20 years I had never heard of neurofeedback, and it sounded like some sort of new-age nonsense. What intrigued me though, was that this “neurofeedback” was happening at our very well-respected state teaching hospital. Out of curiosity, I started reading about neurofeedback (also known as EEG biofeedback or brain training) after that soccer game, and I haven’t stopped reading about it since.
“EEG Biofeedback therapy should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy it would be universally accepted and widely used,” Frank Duffy, M.D., Neurologist, Boston Children’s Hospital, Professor, Harvard Medical School.
I could not agree with Dr. Duffy more. I was absolutely floored at the amount of research that has been done on neurofeedback. I could not believe that in my 22 years of nursing I had not heard about this field which has been around since the 1960’s. During the summer of 2015 my family started a process that would result in some significant changes in our family dynamics. Through my research I repeatedly came across neurofeedback’s use with 2 specific diagnosis that hit close to home. Neurofeedback has been effectively used for YEARS with great success with both of these issues, as well as many others. In my research I came across 2 distinctly different types of neurofeedback. Traditional linear neurofeedback, which is what our soccer friend was doing, and NeurOptimal non-linear neurofeedback. I quickly dismissed NeurOptimal's non-linear neurofeedback (the type I provide now) because it does not require highly trained and experienced professionals to provide the sessions. NeurOptimal is very clear that it is training rather than treatment. As a nurse and working within the medical model for 20+ years I was more familiar and comfortable with the treatment model. The more research I read the more excited I became about how neurofeedback could possibly help my family. QEEG brain mapping would be done, and the brain map would be compared to that of a “typical” brain map for age and gender. A diagnosis and would be made based on the brain map and reported symptoms. Training protocols would be decided upon based on all of the available information. Training would essentially involve trying to get the brain map to look more “typical” and some “atypical” issues would disappear along the way. My biggest concern was the comparison part. We are all unique. What if someone doesn’t get enough sleep the night before the brain map? What if they are super stressed, anxious, and fearful during the brain mapping session? What if the diagnosis is wrong? What if the medical “normal” was never meant to be our “normal”? What if we make things worse? Plus, this is crazy expensive. I discussed this in depth with my husband, and after weighing all the pro’s and con’s we decided the science was behind it. The practitioner we planned to go to was very experienced, and while it was a leap of faith the research and odds were in our favor that this would be very helpful.
What I learned over the next few months was that linear, QEGG protocol-based neurofeedback absolutely works. Sessions one thru ten were amazing. I also saw firsthand, in sessions 11-20 that it can have detrimental side effects. Protocols are based on diagnosis. Protocol based, linear neurofeedback IS treatment. The intention is to treat a diagnosed condition. When you have multiple diagnosis’s, you have multiple protocols. With even the most experienced clinicians, those protocols might conflict with one another and cause issues. If your diagnosis is off, your protocol will be off, and you run the risk of creating new issues.
The positive and negative effects from linear neurofeedback, caused me to dig a little deeper into learning about NeurOptimal’s non-liner neurofeedback. NeurOptimal ® is very clear that the neurofeedback process used within its system is training, not treatment. No diagnosis necessary. It really seemed too good to be true. However, after seeing firsthand how effective traditional linear neurofeedback could be, I needed to learn more. NeurOptimal had been around for almost 20 years, and it acknowledged and addressed my main concerns with linear neurofeedback. NeurOptimal® non-linear neurofeedback simply mirrors back brain activity (via the auditory system) as it is happening, and the brain adjusts, or not as needed. The expertise is built into the system through mathematical algorithms. It is not dependent on a correct diagnosis, or an experienced clinician for positive results. The feedback is based on what your brain is doing at that exact moment in time, rather than what it was doing the day the brain map was created. It is training the brain to work more efficiently, to work towards its peak potential. There is never an end goal to have any map, or values fit within a certain “normal” range. It works on the premise that we are all unique, learning and changing every minute, and our body knows best. Stress, medications, illness, trauma are just a few of the issues that keep so many of us from living our daily lives far below our God given potential. Given information about what is happening microsecond by microsecond, our brain will learn and adjust and re-optimize. Executives and athletes who feel like they are operating pretty close to their potential use NeuroOptimal® to train for that extra edge, to be working at peak performance. From the average mom who is totally stressed out, to the kid who is constantly in trouble at school, to the veteran with PTSD, people consistently report improvements in their life, after training with NeurOptimal®. In my head it technically made sense, but I really struggled with the fact that it seemed too easy, and good to be true.
NeurOptimal sessions were significantly were less expensive than linear neurofeedback. There was a trainer whose office was much closer to my home than the hospital downtown. I had also researched enough to feel confident that NeurOptimal® would not cause any side effects. Worst case scenario, I would be out some time, some money, and embarrassed I fell for something that sounded too good to be true. While hopeful, but still skeptical I decided to try NeurOptimal myself. Within 3 sessions I knew it was helping me. I finished my package of ten feeling so much more like my old self, rather than the tired, anxious, stressed out mom I had become. Not long after I bought a professional unit, so I would have unlimited use with my family at home. I have seen so much positive benefit from NeurOptimal®. with family and friends that I am working with a local group home for teens in foster care, to provide sessions free of charge. I have seen so much positive benefit from NeurOptimal®, I decided to become an Advanced Certified Trainer and start my own business.
My business, Optimize Neurofeedback uses NeurOptimal® non-linear neurofeedback, to provide neurofeedback sessions in the comfort of your own home. On your turf. On your time. We do not diagnose or treat any medical condition. I started this business because it is amazing and inspiring to watch different “issues” in the lives of children, teens, and adults improve as they train their brains to work more efficiently. I have worked with pediatrics all of my nursing career. I love working with children. I decided to provide home-based neurofeedback, rather than office based because even when I worked full -time in the NICU, I kept a part time job in pediatric home care. I know from experience that people are much more at ease in their own environment. We can provide hands on neurofeedback training in person for clients with a home in the KC metro area. With the amazing technology available today, I can teach clients anywhere in the US to do their own neurofeedback training with one of our rental units via, Skype, email, text, and/or phone. Whether working as a Registered Nurse or neurofeedback trainer, I have always treasured the relationships I have with my clients, patients, and their families. I am so looking forward to meeting you and/or your family.
Miracles Every Day
from June 2015
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