Rachel Smith, LMT, CST
HPN (High Performance Neurofeedback)
Rachel Smith is a Craniosacral therapist with 21 years experience as a bodyworker. She incorporates HPN High Performance Neurofeedback and infrared light into her practice in order to organize, relax, strengthen, reset, and calm the brain and nervous system.
What Is HPN: High Performance Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback has been around for more than 50 years. It’s like a gym for the brain. Brain training strengthens brainwaves. Strong, flexible brainwaves can lead to a strong brain, giving rise to strength of body and mind. 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 academics, sports, the arts, leadership, or meditation. Sense of self is often strengthened, enabling one to cope with emotionally loaded information. Calmer brainwaves are often experienced as peace and clarity, which the neurofeedback world refers to as the “clean windshield effect.”
HPN hardware is FDA cleared for relaxation and research. Clinical trials and case studies have shown that some symptoms addressed by neurofeedback 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, perhaps both. Disorientation and emotional reactivity due to past drug and alcohol abuse frequently balance. Neurofeedback is often used in drug rehab centers. Studies show increased drug use after concussion, therefore often concussion and addiction symptoms are addressed concurrently.
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 on its own and to boost results of other therapies. For those who had a difficult birth, the combination of Craniosacral and neurofeedback tends to yield positive, lasting results.
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.
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, and a variety of other symptoms. The combination of HPN and Craniosacral therapy for TBI tends to show strong results. Repeat subconcussive micro damage from football, hockey, soccer, and other sports tends to respond well whether or not concussion was diagnosed at any age after players retire the game.
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 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.
Sensory Processing Disorder
Can help with self monitoring, self regulation, anxiety and temper. Environmental hypersensitivity tends to decrease. Neurofeedback is often all it takes to help them thrive.
Epilepsy and seizures
Seizure was the first symptom researched and addressed by doctors who developed neurofeedback in the 60s. Whether congenital or injury-related, along with their attendant insomnia and mood dysregulation, neurofeedback has helped seizure symptoms for decades.
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. This system is also known as HPN Neurogen, IASIS, and Clarity Direct Neurofeedback. 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
High Performance NeuroFeedback (HPN) for Traumatic Brian Injuries
A gentle hands-on technique rooted in Osteopathy, CST supports and nourishes the central nervous system by working with the membranes surrounding it to restore balance. It helps to alleviate aches, pains and strains and improves coping mechanisms to allow for better stress management. It improves the body’s ability to self-care, which can produce profound, positive changes. With neutrality and safety, CST facilitates the body’s ability to heal itself, and has been increasingly sought to help a range of concerns, including traumatic brain injury, migraines, chronic neck and back pain, autism, central nervous system disorders, learning disabilities, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, emotional difficulties, TMJ, PTSD, and others. Somatoemotional release is sometimes facilitated, wherein memory, emotion or belief held in the tissue gently unravels from the body.
The combination of neurofeedback and CST may increase results.
Dava Ray NanoBeam 940
Rachel uses near infrared therapy in her practice. It helps with inflammation and to sooth joint and muscle pain. She finds it effective in calming people’s bodies in the event of autonomic activation 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, race horses, and has been researched by NASA for the space program. The Dava Ray 940 has received FDA approval for use by licensed healthcare professionals for temporary relief of pain in muscles and joints, muscle spasms and arthritis pain, relieving stiffness, to promote the relaxation of muscle tissue, and to temporarily increase local blood circulation where heat may be indicated. It might be the most intense near infrared emitting device in its class on the market.