Achieve the ultimate edge over your competition

12 September 2014



Words: Andrea Kellerman, Sport and Educational Psychologist | Photos: Shutterstock


To be successful in today’s highly competitive sport environment, having an edge over your competition could make the difference between first and second, gold and silver. But all the top sportsmen and women eat well, look after their health and put in long hours of training to be better, faster, stronger; the best. So what can you do to get an edge over your competitors?

It has been proven that to achieve your goals, you not only need to be physically fit, you also need to be mentally strong. This is where the revolutionary Neurofeedback training could be the key to your success, to help you perform at your peak and give you the ultimate edge.

About Neurofeeback therapy

After birth, the brain develops by being exposed to new stimuli. If the wiring is defective, new stimuli cause the disorganisation of new information. To rewire the brain, we make use of neurofeedback therapy. This is a method used to exercise and strengthen the brain so that it functions on an optimal level, by stimulating the metabolism and blood flow, strengthening the dendritic connections, as well as the functioning of neurotransmitters that account for the improvement in a patient’s ability to carry out cognitive tasks successfully. In short, it effectively rewires and transforms the brain to help people function at their best.

Your brain gets stronger the more you train it.

Great results have been seen with:
• Peak performance in athletes: The clients felt calmer, stress free, able to perform better in stressful situations, think quicker, make better decisions, feel more in control and have better memory access.
• Anxiety: A calmer, happier feeling set in after a few sessions and clients felt more in control of their anxiety.
• Depression: Clients felt happier, more motivated and energised and reported greater self-esteem.
• Sleeping problems: New sleeping patterns were set, the brain was calmed down, the constant thoughts stopped, thus allowing the clients to fall asleep quicker, sleep deeper and for longer.
• Memory problems: The short-term memory was improved, words and names could be remembered better and concentration was enhanced.

When the brain is trained to move into the new brainwave forms, the symptoms can disappear completely and medication is not always needed any more. It’s amazing how it’s possible nowadays to train the brain to attain a state of optimal functioning.

Neurofeedback, as a form of brain training, has gained popularity in the USA since 1980. Although an extensive amount of research has been done in this field, it is only recently that this technique has become known and available in South Africa.

Unfortunately, as with any successful treatment, the practice attracts the quick-fix, overnight ‘professionals’, who can be a pose a danger to their clients and bring an effective therapy into disrepute due to:
• Not being qualified and don’t have the required knowledge.
• They train the brain incorrectly and the client develops side effects.
• Use of devices that aren’t medically approved and haven’t been proven beneficial due to a lack of research.

Not only is this very sad and possibly harmful, it is also unethical when practitioners don’t deliver on promises made. Therefore, when choosing a neurofeedback practitioner, you need to make sure they are skilled, have the right medical background and use a device that will ensure you get the desired results.

Why you need professional, qualified and well-trained practitioners

Unfortunately, there are a number of 'lay practitioners' who buy neurofeedback devices that are not effective and have not been shown to be beneficial. Such devices can be readily bought on the internet or through franchises that do not ask for medical or psychological degrees or affiliations with the medical board of the country in question. This often results in people offering neurofeedback training that have no medical and/or psychological qualifications, as well as no idea how to read assessment results and train the brain effectively.

It has been proven in a number of different research studies that there are many devices out there that do not change the brain at all and clients waste their money. With those devices, you might as well just sit in front of a computer game and think it will change your brain. In the right hands neurofeedback can be a truly powerful and effective tool, whilst in the wrong hands, it can be harmful. Over stimulation of certain parts and functions of the brain can lead to anxiety, depression, sleeplessness and a whole host of other negative side effects. In short, know who you are going to for treatment.

Being treated by under-qualified, ill-equipped practitioners is like going to your hairdresser to have laser eye surgery!

According to Cory Hammond, a noted practitioner and clinical researcher based in the United States, “We are seeing an increasing number of lay persons (as well as untrained ‘professionals’) inappropriately obtaining neurofeedback equipment in violation of FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulations. Some of these individuals are then presuming that they are qualified to put electrodes on someone’s head and to seek to alter the brain functioning of persons with serious medical and psychological conditions.”

How to protect yourself

Here are some tips to help you protect yourself from cheap, ineffective devices and under-qualified practitioners:
• Ask practitioners what their qualifications are and choose practitioners who have studied psychology, psychiatry and neurology. Alternatively, they must have a medical degree where they had to study the brain and how changes in human behaviour and emotions need to be handled.
• Find out which devices they use and how reliable the technology is.
• Ask what research has been done with those devices.
• Ask if they are qualified to interpret the assessments and know what the assessment results mean.
• Check how long they have they practiced neurofeedback.
• Ask how much they know about the brain and how neurofeedback can be used to train the brain.
• Ask if they belong to an internationally recognised neurofeedback association and the local medical board.
• Ask if they are qualified and permitted to make changes to brain functioning and behaviours.

Neurofeedback training can be done from age 5 to 99. It is fun, effective, can be permanent and without side effects.

With the right practitioner, neurofeedback therapy can be a truly powerful and effective tool that will help you be the very best you can be and separate you from the competition.

More information:
To learn more about neurofeedback therapy and how it can help you, visit Andrea Kellerman’s website or call 031-266 8563.

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