Going through the grief of losing my mom in November, I’m reminded yet again of the power of NeurOptimal Neurofeedback. There is so much more than “just” grief (as if that isn’t enough) but also so much anxiety and depression. Figuring out what my life is without her. Who I am without her. What my family of origin is without her. My dad, unable to share his grief with us, began dating immediately and was recently remarried to a wonderful woman—yet another change.
I was surprised by the anxiety I felt, in my own body, about my own life, after Mom died. The thought of dying like she did, from cancer, ruled all. I couldn’t get the final images of her out of my mind and it became a terror that rampaged through me for awhile.
And while I didn’t yet know if neurofeedback helped with grief, I did know that it helped with anxiety and so I started back with it consistently again—not just when I needed it. When you’re suffering blow after blow, consistent is best. When life is smooth sailing, you can do it when you recognize you need it.
So, I turn to neurofeedback to train my brain to stay out of anxiety. As the anxiety around my mom’s death lessened, I was able to see the situation more clearly and figure out what I needed to do. I’ve cleaned up my diet. I’ve cleaned up my life. I’m going to preventative doctor’s appointments and screenings. I just wasn't able to think under the weight of massive anxiety. Neurofeedback helps me think again.
I need it consistently again now—as I’m spending more time with Dad and his new wife. Seeing them together. Seeing them happy. It’s good. I enjoy our time together and getting to know her. My mom would say it was, “Good stress.” But stress on the body all the same right? Each time I visit with them I have several days of slotting new information and emotions into my psyche—finding where everything fits or doesn't. It’s surprisingly difficult work! How do you watch a father look at another woman with love in his eyes? God. How do you watch this new relationship bloom and re-recognize that your parents were very rarely happy in their 54 years together and then not have feelings about that? Part of me is happy for them and part of me is sad and part of me is depressed and part of me is anxious and part of me is angry. I have all the feelings.
And as with anxiety, it’s the same with depression. I can’t think under the weight of it. As neurofeedback lessens the depression, I can see where the depression is coming from and acknowledge what’s happening and why. Not just, “God, I feel so depressed.” But instead, “Seeing Dad and his wife happy together is good. It’s also difficult for me. I’m experiencing new things, new ways, and I’m having to adapt and change. That’s big, deep stuff. It’s okay to feel blue about it. It’s normal to feel this way.” With neurofeedback and self-compassion, the depression begins to lift.
And because of the anxiety and depression lifting, I can sleep!
I have clients who come to me with anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD, ADHD, grief, sleep problems, car accidents, work problems, marriage problems and more. We have a 15-20 minute check in before their session and I watch and listen. In the early days, they often come in wide eyed and panicky, talking a mile a minute. By about the 6th session or so, they are coming in smiling and much calmer.
I ask how they are doing and what has happened in their life during the week and they begin to tell me some version of, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” They are letting the little things go, the things that just stir them up and make no difference in the outcome. They feel less annoyed, more in the flow. They are happier. Sleeping better. They are no longer just stewing in the anxiety. They can think. They can take control of their lives again and make good decisions for themselves.
And it’s so relaxing! One client says, “It’s like therapy, a nap, and a massage all rolled into one!” You sit in a comfy recliner in my office with a view of the pond:
I attach 5 leads with water based conductive paste: 2 to your scalp, 2 to the tops of your ears, 1 to an earlobe. You have earbuds in and are listening to relaxing music. You can sleep, watch the monitor, read, write, watch the pond and the wildlife around it. Depending on the time of day you might see horses, deer, turtles, Bald Eagles, Osprey, Great Blue Heron, jumping fish, baby geese, and ducks. The computer is reading your brainwaves and when it picks up an “instability” it pauses the music for a split second. That’s it, that’s the feedback. Your brain automatically self corrects. You don’t have to do anything at all.
Typically by about 6-10 sessions you begin to see the difference in your day to day life. Once you become aware of how you felt before and how you feel now, you can start mentally tracking when your thoughts start to deviate to the “old way.” Then you can make a decision about how often you want to get a tune up! Once a week, once every two weeks, once a month—it’s up to you.
Call or text for more info or to set up your first appointment, it's 50% off!
30 minutes $60
45 minutes $70 (first session is half off, only $35!)
Neurofeedback is good for any age! Kids and teens are often fast asleep when it's over:
MORE VIEWS OF THE MOTHER RANCH
Occasionally we let our horses, mini donkey, or goats out to enjoy other spaces (someone is always nearby) and sometimes that's in the front yard—a fun office view :-)
Don't you just feel calmer seeing this little farm? Imagine what you'll feel like when you're here 🥰
When you're done with your session, you're welcome to say hi to the animals!
Let me give you a big ol' hug!
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