Neurofeedback works for students of all ages ranging children and young adults in grade school to college level students. Younger ages benefit from neurofeedback because the sessions strengthen and enhance brain development. For older students, neurofeedback keeps the brain strong and healthy and prevents the decline of memory and other executive functions vital to academic success. Read the eight ways neurofeedback improves school performance by boosting brain function!
1.Attention – Being a good student heavily relies upon being able to sit and listen during lectures and classes. Neurofeedback improves the brain’s ability to maintain attention for longer periods of time which directly impacts how much information is absorbed in any given class session. This benefit of neurofeedback is particularly important for students who struggle with ADD or ADHD, as it minimizes the possibility of distraction and having the brain “zone out”.
2.Focus – Students often face heavy workloads and long study hours during the semester. Neurofeedback directly improves a person’s ability to focus, making it easier to complete work at a faster rate with better completion. Additionally, more information will be absorbed if a person is focusing better during the hours that they study. This will positively impact test taking because the improved study ability will ensure the students are adequately prepared for important exams.
3.Memory – Studying for certain subjects often requires a substantial amount of memorization for exams. Neurofeedback works to enhance the brain’s ability to absorb and hold information for easier recall in times of need.
4. Test Performance – If a student struggles with test taking in general, neurofeedback strengthens the student’s ability to focus while actually taking the tests, promoting better test outcomes. Test results are sure to reflect a person’s strengthened ability to memorize as well.
5. Sleep Quality– The success of students is heavily determined by the amount and quality of sleep a person gets. The brain does not function at highest capacity if the brain is tired. Neurofeedback specifically improves a person’s ability to fall asleep, to stay asleep, and enhances overall sleep quality.
6. Anxiety Reduction – Neurofeedback can be specifically used to lower a person’s anxiety. When it comes to school performance, anxiety can be crippling, especially in times of high stress such as during final examinations. Training the brain to function calmly and effectively will reduce anxiety levels, setting a student up for success.
7. Mood Improvement – The stresses of life outside of school do not disappear during the semester. If a person struggles with mood issues, such as depression, this will likely have a negative impact on school performance. When the brain is functioning more calmly and working at it’s highest aptitude, depression symptoms often decline and/or disappear.
8. Learning Disability Improvement – If your child or you struggle with a learning disability, school can be much more difficult with which to keep up. Certain tasks may take longer and may not register as easily. Neurofeedback works to reduce the symptoms of learning disabilities to ensure for better success. Each person has different, unique needs, which is why neurofeedback sessions begin with taking a quantitative EEQ brain map to pinpoint where in the brain these issues are initiating. The protocol for the neurofeedback sessions is then determined based on these individual needs.
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As summer comes to an end, parents begin to prepare their children to go back to school. One of the most stressful times of the day for any parent is the morning before school. However, there are certain things each parent can do to ensure getting their children out the door without feeling flustered and unfocused that will set them up for success throughout the school day and year! Read our three tips about how to make mornings easier
1. Have your child prepare for the next day the night before. This can include showering the night before school so there the bathroom situation is not stressful during getting ready time. Additionally, have your child pick and lay out a school outfit the night before to eliminate a couple more minutes in the morning.
2. Make sure your child has packed their backpack. Nothing says chaos like being a few minutes behind schedule and your child does not know where he or she put her social studies book. Teaching your child to organize in advance teaches them life-long organizing skills. Once your child gets in the habit of doing simple preplanning, they will be set for success without the morning havoc.
3.Make sure your child is eating a healthy breakfast every morning. Everyone has heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is particularly true for developing brains! The brain needs nutrients to function properly, especially after fasting overnight while your child sleeps. If your child’s brain isn’t functioning at it’s highest level, your child will not be able to learn at their highest ability. Additionally, high sugar breakfast foods, such as box cereals or even toast and jam, can cause an energy crash later in the day and can affect focus tremendously. Focus on high-fiber and protein-filled foods so your child has sustainable energy all day long. This will particularly help kids with learning disabilities like ADHD.
4. Place daily reminders on sticky notes on the front door. Doing this not only helps your child remember to bring all of the supplies necessary for their school day, including their homework. It also helps your child learn to take a moment, take a breath, and reflect on what they need for the day. Leaving the house in a rush can make anyone feel less focused, which will not positively impact learning once your child is in the classroom. Do your best to have your child leave the house with a clear head and all of their belongings.
At this point in the school year, finals are just around the corner. Academic success relies greatly on several contributing factors related to your child’s overall health. Read this list of 4 ways neurotherapy can benefit your child before the hardest academic challenge of the year!
Neurofeedback Improves Sleep – Getting enough sleep is essential to academic success. The brain’s ability to focus is severely compromised when a child is not sleeping well, impacting their ability to focus during class. So much important verbal information can be missed and they may have difficulties completing assignments in the classroom. Memory is also greatly impacted when a child is not getting enough sleep. In order to really remember the lessons learned in class, a child must get a good night of sleep before and after the class. Consistency within your child’s schedule will help your child succeed. Therefore, enforcing a consistent bed time is highly recommended in order to ensure your child gets the sleep he or she needs. Neurofeedback helps train the brain to function healthily, and with the proper treatment protocol, will help improve a person’s ability to fall asleep and have high quality sleep with minimal restlessness.
Health Coaching Improves Nutrition Quality – Did you know that nutrition directly impacts brain function? Therefore, if your child is not getting the daily nutrients the brain needs for optimal functioning, your child’s academic performance will be directly influenced. Nutritional needs can vary depending on the child, as everyone’s brain and body is different. Additionally, if your child suffers from certain disorders, such as ADD/ADHD, poor nutrition can negatively impact the child’s brain, causing symptoms to appear or worsen. Utilizing the help of a health coach can assist you in meal planning for your child to help ensure academic success.
Neurotherapy Reduces Stress and Anxiety – The pressures from academics can provoke a child to experience heightened levels of stress and anxiety, particularly during finals. The effects from stress and anxiety can directly impact how a student performs. The various methods of neurotherapy can help keep a student on track while simultaneously reducing and/or eliminating stress and anxiety. Neurofeedback can be utilized to teach the brain to function calmly, even during moments of high stress, reducing anxiety. With the help of a health coach, achieving excellent nutrition can actually reduce levels of stress and anxiety. When the brain receives the nutrients it needs to function healthily, the brain more equipped to manage stress and anxiety. Talk therapy can help a child express their worries and concerns in a safe space, an effective method of reducing stress and calming anxiety.
Neurofeedback Enhances Overall Performance– During finals, the academic demands on a child are heightened substantially. In addition to the normal workload, studying for exams and completing final projects can be overwhelming to say the least. If your child has trouble focusing, the additional time required to complete all of these tasks may seem impossible. Even if your child performs well academically throughout the year, the extra pressures during finals can be daunting and difficult. The main concept of neurotherapy is that the better the brain functions, the better the person functions. Neurofeedback teaches the brain to work at an optimal level, improving overall performance. Whether a student struggles all year round with academic challenges or the child simply needs a boost during finals, neurofeedback will improve brain function and enhance performance.
A large concern for parents is how to ensure your child will be ready for the coming school year. There are many steps parents can take to assist their child’s academic success both in present day and into their future scholastic career. Read these nine tips about how to facilitate the best possible learning for your child outside of the classroom.
Stick to a Schedule
Children need structure and routine for a very important reason. Having a regular schedule gives children a sense of security necessary for developing self-discipline, ultimately increasing productivity as they grow older. Just as children have learning schedules within school, creating a schedule outside of the classroom will help them succeed. Have a standard for waking up in the morning, having breakfast, doing chores, doing homework, having dinner, getting ready for bed, and going to sleep.
Good organizational skills follow a child during their entire academic career. Building these skills at an early age will help your child be ahead of the game by the time they reach higher education, where organization is absolutely crucial for academic success. Show them how to organize their bedroom and keep it clean by putting all items in designated spots. Make sure your child has a system of organizing schoolwork as well, including a designated place to put all homework that is due the following day. Teach them to get organized the night before waking up for school, including having them pack their backpack in advance, pick out clothes for the next day, and other tasks that will run more smoothly if planned in advance. Teaching your child how to use a calendar planner is a great way to teach organization. Getting used to using a planner at a young age will ensure great scheduling skills for later years.
Set Aside Homework Time
Scheduling and organizing homework is an important tool for children to learn from a young age. Setting aside specific hours for your child to complete homework assignments will teach them this important skill. Depending on your child’s age and grade, set aside at least an hour or two each night specifically for homework. If your child does not have homework one night, they can use this time to study or read ahead. Building this positive habit will benefit them throughout their life and will ensure they are getting an appropriate amount of time to work on their homework assignments, helping contribute to academic success.
Make Sure Your Child is Getting Enough Sleep
Getting adequate sleep is absolutely essential for a child’s mental and physical development. Additionally, sleep is critical for doing well in the classroom, as a lack of sleep directly impacts brain function. If a child is tired, their performance will ultimately suffer. One important tip for establishing better sleep habits is to have an established, set bedtime each night that is virtually nonnegotiable. As mentioned, children thrive when structure is in place. Children will begin to associate the time with getting to sleep and will become accustomed to the routine, making it easier to fall asleep. Another recommendation is to limit media use for at least an hour before bedtime, as the mental stimulation caused by screens can keep the brain awake, making it difficult to fall asleep.
Make Sure Your Child is Getting Enough Exercise
With childhood obesity at an all time high, parents are being called to make an increased effort to get their children moving. Not getting enough physical activity can negatively impact a child’s present and future health. In fact, exercise helps a child build strong bones, joints, and muscles, helps improve motor coordination skills, improves the quality and quantity of a child’s sleep, and reduces childhood symptoms of depression and anxiety. In terms of academic performance, research shows that exercise even enhances academic performance! Additionally, children are able to sit and focus for longer periods of time if they are able to expend some physical energy during the day. One way to promote physical activity is to get your child involved in a team sport, which can improve interpersonal skills simultaneously.
Make Sure Your Child is Getting Proper Nutrition
Once again, childhood obesity has become a huge problem in modern times, and nutrition plays a huge role. However, poor nutrition affects more than just the body. The brain needs certain nutrients to be able to function optimally. Eliminate as much sugary and processed foods as possible, and try to include as many fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins as possible in their diets. As the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it ensures your child will have the energy in the classroom. Pack healthy, nutritious lunches for your child to take to school, as many schools do not have the same healthy options available for purchase. Cooking meals at home ensures that the parent has control over what the child is eating, as restaurant and fast food meals often have more calories than realized. Additionally, the parent has more control over portions. If you are having trouble finding time to prepare meals each day, try to set time aside for meal prep sometime during the week when you do have time. This way you are less tempted to go out to restaurants or fast food if you do not have time to cook. Keep healthy snack options around the house as well.
Limit Media Use
With all of the technology available for children from such a young age, limiting media use is necessary for maintaining the health of your child, ultimately affecting their performance in school. Although there are situations where using the computer can be helpful for your children, there are many harmful associations with overuse. Putting limitations on media use can help reduce attention and focus problems, symptoms of depression and anxiety, and your child’s risk of obesity. Studies have indicated that children spend approximately seven hours each day using entertainment media such as television, computers, phones, and other devices. Try cutting your child’s media use to a maximum of two hours a day. Not allowing your child to have a TV or computer in their room will help you monitor their screen time and will discourage them from overuse. Try to set a good example by limiting your media use, particularly in front of your child.
Develop a Relationship with Teachers
A great way to obtain understanding about your child’s academic performance is developing a positive relationship with their school teachers. Be sure to make attending all parent/teacher conferences a priority to stay up to date on your child’s academic strengths, weaknesses, and additional needs. Furthermore, email communication with teachers is another great way to stay informed about your child’s performance throughout the school year.
Have your Child Attend Neurofeedback Sessions
Neurofeedback is a fantastic way to help your child achieve academic success. A preliminary brain map identifies which parts of the brain need assistance in functioning at the best possible capability, and each neurofeedback session targets these areas of the brain to teach the brain to function at optimal performance. Not only is the process safe and natural, but it does not require any additional medications. Neurofeedback is frequently used for learning and developmental disabilities, but it can also be utilized to improve function overall, which directly impacts school performance and even sports performance.
Optimal brain function should be a main concern to all aspiring athletes. The better a person’s brain functions, the better the person functions overall! Neurofeedback assists in improving brain function, which in turn improves an athletes ability to perform at their best. Many professional athletes utilize neurofeedback to enhance their sports performance, including members of the US Olympic Ski Team, Olympic beach-volleyball player Kerri Walsh-Jennings, and members of the Italian soccer team. In fact, when Italy won the World Cup for soccer in 2006, members of their team described neurofeedback to be their secret weapon in performance ability and success. How exactly does neurofeedback affect a person’s ability to play sports?
1. Attention and Focus Sports performance places heavy demands on the brain to focus while simultaneously ignoring distracting stimuli. While different sports place different demands on the brain overall, neurofeedback improves a person’s ability to stay on task while maintaining a high level of brain function.
2. Improves Emotional Control Arguably one of the most difficult aspects of being an athlete is the ability to perform without being influenced by emotional triggers. Anxiety over a big upcoming game or the pressure to perform to high standards can negatively influence how an athlete performs. Neurofeedback stabilizes mood and emotional perception, including the perception and ability to cope with stress. This decreases anxiety overall, making moments of high demand easier to emotionally manage. Neurofeedback helps decrease distractibility caused by these emotions so an athlete can perform optimally.
3. Slows Cognitive Decline As a person ages, the brain naturally begins to decline in certain areas, such as memory. Just as a person must exercise the body to keep in prime physical shape, fitness for the brain is also necessary to keep the brain functioning at its best. Neurofeedback acts as this exercise for the brain to maintain its highest ability. As an athlete ages, performance quality does not weaken as it naturally would, as the brain stays in peak condition.
4. Improves Sleep A person’s sleep directly influences how a person performs any task during the day, whether it be intellectual or physical performance. Athlete’s need recuperative, restorative sleep to maintain brain health. Sleep also assists in the healing process, helping to keep the athlete in the best physical health possible. Neurofeedback has been proven to improve the quality and depth of sleep, which directly benefits an athlete’s performance.
5. Restores Brain Function After Traumatic Brain Injury Athletes suffer from traumatic brain injury due to the nature of sports. Brain injury can occur in one single incident or in less severe yet repetitive incidences, such as when a soccer player hits the ball with their head repeatedly after years of playing. Due to brain injury, difficulties arise in areas such as attention, emotional control, balance control, impulse control, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even seizures. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s natural ability to reorganize itself by creating new neural networks and correcting already existing connections. Thanks to neuroplasticity, neurofeedback is able to teach the brain to function normally once again, even if it has been many years since the initial injury.
Neurofeedback is safe for all ages. Each sport places different demands on the brain, so treatment protocol differs case to case. To learn more about what neurofeedback can do for your particular case, call the office at Advanced Neurotherapy to schedule a free in-person consultation with Dr. Jolene Ross. 781-444-9115.