Rachel Smith, L.M.T.
HPN High Performance Neurofeedback Clinician
Rachel Smith is an HPN High Performance Neurofeedback clinician with 19 years experience as a high profile Craniosacral and massage therapist.
What Is HPN High Performance Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback has been around for more than 50 years. It’s like a gym for the brain. HPN High Performance Neurofeedback, a type of direct neurofeedback, is a brainwave based biofeedback that aids the brain to enhance performance and improve neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to reorganize itself). Reaction time, flexibility, responsiveness, and ability to bounce back in life depend upon neuroplasticity, and increasing it allows the brain to compensate for injury and disease, and adapt to change. It can boost a healthy brain’s mental acuity for peak performance in sports, the arts, leadership, etc. Sense of self is often strengthened, enabling one to cope with emotionally loaded information. Calmer brainwaves are often experienced as great peace and clarity, which the neurofeedback world refers to as the “clean windshield effect”.
Some symptoms addressed by HPN are:
Anxiety is one of the first symptoms addressed, as neurofeedback tends to coax the brain out of fight or flight into a resting state. Social anxiety, panic attacks, emotional hyperreactivity, lack of impulse control, rage, sleep disorders, hypervigilance, and more can be helped.
Monopolar, bipolar, and seasonal depression can be addressed. Often used to boost pharmaceutical and psychotherapy treatment.
PTSD & Trauma
Whether it’s a returning soldier, deep rooted childhood trauma, a current shock or a child acting out over divorce, trauma symptoms tend to respond promptly. Flashbacks can integrate. Repressed memories have been recovered, appearing calmly without distress. Often used in coordination with a therapeutic support system.
Helps with cravings, perhaps due to easing anxiety and depression, perhaps because it aids to kick the habit by unlatching the subconscious part of the brain that latches onto drugs. Or both. Disorientation and emotional reactivity due to past drug and alcohol abuse frequently balance. Neurofeedback is often used in drug rehab centers.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Concussion
Concussions, post concussive syndrome, automobile accidents, sports head injuries, blast injuries and their lingering effects often lift one by one including hypersensitivity, headaches, lack of concentration, brain fog, temper, light sensitivity, phobias, indecision, anxiety, depression, addiction, slowed speech, insomnia, etc. The combination of HPN and Craniosacral therapy for TBI tends to show strong results. Repeat subconcussive micro damage from football, hockey, etc. tends to respond well whether or not concussion was ever diagnosed at any age after players retire the game.
ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia and other learning disorders
Focus, attention, and mood dysregulation tend to improve as the brain learns to sync with itself. Neurofeedback is often used both to boost other therapies and on its own.
Migraines, cluster and tension headaches often wane or disappear during neurofeedback. Intensity, duration and frequency of headaches tend to decrease over time.
Insomnia usually has some other cause like anxiety, concussion, seizures, trauma or hypersensitivity. Sleep is frequently the first thing neurofeedback addresses.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Anxiety driven OCD symptoms tend to subside as part of the overall process.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Includes all ages, high functioning or not. Can be very helpful to assist with self regulation and self monitoring. Appropriate reaction to stressful situations, emotional reactivity, impulse control, focus, and avoidance of extreme behavior tends to improve markedly.
Sensory Processing Disorder
Can help with self monitoring, self regulation, anxiety and temper. Hypersensitivity to the environment tends to decrease dramatically. A little neurofeedback is often all it takes to help them thrive.
Epilepsy and seizures
For decades, neurofeedback has been helping seizure symptoms, whether congenital or from injury, along with their attendant insomnia and mood dysregulation.
Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
Also RSD, CRPS, and other chronic pain conditions. The fact that HPN can be used by these fragile folks shows how gentle it is. It can help the central nervous system manage. Flares can come with less intensity, duration and frequency. Brain fog is addressed.
Strokes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
Quality of life has shown improvement with repeat sessions for degenerative brain conditions.
As brainwaves optimize, neuronal function improves and glia cells multiply, enabling the brain’s peak performance.
Safe, Gentle, Effective
HPN uses FDA cleared hardware. Using sensors on the scalp to measure activity, it monitors the brainwaves and echoes a tiny wave back that is related to the original wave. The wave is about a thousand times less than what a cellphone puts out. For thirty seconds at a time, HPN “speaks brainwave” to help disentrain brainwaves out of maladaptive patterns, which trains the brain to self regulate. Like a mirror to a dancer, the brain witnesses its own function and appears to self adjust, with initial results as early as the first session. It is portable, drug free, safe, and relaxing to receive. Compared to traditional neurofeedback, HPN is a more recent development that often provides faster, more lasting results. You don’t do or feel anything, with less time necessary for results. HPN can be used as a stand alone practice or to augment other therapies. See demonstration video.
Demo of HPN Neurofeedback Helping Autism
A non-invasive hands-on technique rooted in Osteopathy, Craniosacral Therapy’s objective is to remove blocks to the flow of cerebral spinal fluid by working with the membranes surrounding the central nervous system to restore its physical and energetic balance. Therapeutic unwinding and pulsing, unraveling of fascia, therapeutic imagery and dialog, energy work and facilitation of somato emotional release are included in the skillset. With neutrality and safety, CST facilitates the body’s ability to heal itself, and has been increasingly sought out to help a wide range of problems, including migraines, chronic neck and back pain, autism, central nervous system disorders, traumatic brain injuries, learning disabilities, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, emotional difficulties, TMJ, and PTSD.
Catalyst Infrared Illuminator
Rachel uses infrared therapy in her practice. It helps with inflammation. She finds it highly effective in calming people’s bodies in the event of autonomic triggers such as panic attacks, flares, headaches, seizures, muscle spasms, pinched nerves, myofascial pain, and emotional reactivity. Studies have shown that infrared therapy shortens healing time. Infrared light therapy devices have been used extensively in sports medicine clinics, by the United States Olympic teams for tissue injuries in its athletes, physical therapy clinics, neurofeedback offices, and million dollar race horses.
This device is a 940 nanometer narrow band infrared light, a strong place in the infrared spectrum for absorption and penetration into the deeper tissue layers for maximum benefit.