Tue, January 8, 2013
Introductions...to Gretchen, and the Wonderful World of Neurofeedback!
What a wonderful opportunity to have a blogging opportunity.  It is my first, ever, and I imagine it will take some getting used to – to write in this type of forum.  In thinking about what I’d most like to share about Neurofeedback as I step into this arena, I’m thinking that I not only need to introduce myself, but also introduce Neurofeedback – we’re probably both new to many of you.  So I’ll start with how I got into Neurofeedback, and what a difference it’s made for me personally, as this is what has helped me to believe in the beautiful changes that are possible as result of this modality.
 
I have come to this field from a different path than most, but I feel that the things that led to my getting here have helped me to have a unique and compassionate view of my clients’ situations, and my work in general.  I am a classically-trained professional musician, and have a doctoral degree in music, as well as a degree in education.  I taught for 30 years, including at several colleges.  I also play in professional orchestras. Information  about the brain and various learning styles has always been a fascination for me.  I got to a point in my music and teaching career where physical issues were limiting my ability to play full-time.   At the same point in life, a terrible family tragedy struck, and turned my life upside down.  In the healing process from that, I decided I wanted to be in a profession where I could help people who were facing things they didn’t choose.  Music is a wonderful field, but people can choose to do it, or to listen to it.  I wanted to do something in a health-related field. 
 
Part of my learning process in Neurofeedback was to use it on myself.  I had pursued various intensive therapies and medications for the physical problems I was having, as well as the intense degrees of fear and stress as result of the family trauma.  Neurofeedback has taken my healing to levels that no medication has been able to offer; it has improved my sleep, settled my stress response and reactivity, and decreased my fear.  It is as if a blanket has been placed on my nervous system.  My mood and energy are better, and I can get a great deal accomplished, despite whatever stressors are going on.  My Fibromyalgia pain has diminished greatly, and I am off any medications for mood, sleep, or Fibromyalgia. 
 
So what is Neurofeedback?  It’s is a form of Biofeedback.  Biofeedback uses special monitors to keep track of particular body functions like heart rate, skin temperature, or in this case – brainwaves.  By monitoring these functions, we can learn to control them, and reduce stress.  So, Neurofeedback monitors our brain, and we can learn to decrease brainwaves that keep us in dysfunctional patterns, and create more brainwaves that help keep us in a more relaxed and focused state.  This can be compared to what happens to the brainwaves of great meditators, with practice.  It is non-medical, non-invasive process. 
 
I have seen Neruofeedback do incredible things; give people higher function or return function that was lost.  I have seen it settle the most unsettled of cases. I’ve seen it improve overall performance.  And I have seen it not work at all – but this can be a blessing, as it points to some underlying things that may be interfering, and can often be cleaned up.
 
So, I hope to take you on a journey through these blogs – a journey that shows more individual cases and anomalies about Neurofeedback, this amazing and potentially life-changing modality.

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