Neuroptimal Neurofeedback Roots in Meditation
Founder and lead designer of Neuroptimal’s Neurofeedback system, Val Brown has claimed that his system and company take much inspiration from traditional Buddhist ideas, meditation and Buddhist psychology. For those unaware, Buddhism and psychology have a lot of overlap and commonalities; in fact, many widely accepted psychological ideas and theories can be seen in traditional buddhist texts. Even simple ideas such as anger and resentment being mentally unhealthy were first outlined by Buddhist principles long before psychology was a field. The Dalai Lama has also embraced Buddhism’s connection to the science of psychology by holding “Mind and Life” gatherings every two years where prominent scientists and Buddhists from around the world come together for discussions and conferences.
One of the most important parts of Buddhism that has strongly influenced psychology is the idea of mindfulness. Instead of blindly going through the motions of life, buddhism and psychology encourage us to be acutely aware of our thoughts and actions so that we can confront ourselves and change when necessary. Just as in mainstream cognitive-behavioral psychology, Buddhism emphasizes positive actions and positive thoughts as the guide to a happy life. While buddhists might practice this enhanced mindfulness in focused meditation, many psychologists use therapy sessions or mindfulness techniques so that their clients can achieve this greater self discovery and self knowledge.
Meditation and Neuroptimal
Mindfulness meditation and Neuroptimal are especially intertwined as they are both forms of brain training. Both meditation and neuroptimal train the client’s brain to have greater concentration and focus as well as control over their mental and emotional states. Additionally, many of the results that come from meditation such as alleviating anxiety and depression and lessening symptoms of ADHD/ADD can also be seen from Neuroptimal. While deep levels of meditation can be very difficult for the uninitiated to practice, Neuroptimal makes it much easier for anyone to quiet their busy mind and calmly experience the flow of their thoughts.
Founder of Neuroptimal Val Brown has even referred to his system as being similar to a gong in a meditation dojo for keeping clients focused in the present moment, however, the difference in Neuroptimal is that the “gong” only sounds when the client’s brain is about to make a shift.
Neuroptimal further promotes Buddhist philosophy by believing that the patient and their brain has all the resources they need to achieve a breakthrough. Neuroptimal doesn’t try to change your brain to a predetermined ideal state, but allows the brain to learn from itself where and how to change. Much like meditation, the goal of neuroptimal is for you to be the master of your own brain and body. Just as practiced meditation has profound effects on a person’s well-being, training through Neuroptimal can help a person stay focused and in control when facing stressful or difficult situations.