Peak performance has become a buzzword these days, as anyone from high end athletes to CEO’s can tell you. We modify our intake of food, substances or supplements, and implement other practices that we hope will lead to an increase in our work productivity, or possibly trim a few swings off our golf game.
Biohacking is a newer term just gaining popularity among high performance athletes and anyone wishing to optimize their life. It involves adopting life hacks to increase performance, boost the immune system, sleep better, or eat a more beneficial diet. Optimizing brain function through more efficient sleep, better diet or even adding meditation is one of the primary focuses of biohacking- it’s understood that the brain is the master switch.
Biohackers often use technology to measure their efforts- wearable devices that feed their biological data back to them. Neurofeedback uses wearable EEG technology to feed back brain wave data to the user in real time.
Neurofeedback brain training is a brain-based method for achieving peak performance- changes in the brain can translate to changes in mental and physical performance.
Neurofeedback starts with an EEG brain map to assess areas of your brain that need “tuning”. After neurofeedback sessions begin, your objective progress is measured by subsequent EEGs. Subjective changes can be noted in terms of psychological and perceptive changes, or even fine motor control or balance.
Sports performance is proving to be a major application of the neurofeedback. In one study, entitled “Brain-training for physical performance: a study of EEG-neurofeedback and alpha relaxation training in athletes”, a group trained with neurofeedback “exhibited greater reduction of reaction times in a test of visual attention than the control group and showed improvement in several performance measures”.1 Neurofeedback can enhance of concentration and attention, reduce anxiety, improve control over negative emotions, and to improve physical balance.
Neurofeedback can also be used to down-regulate the nervous system, if it is firing excessively in order to control unwanted mental states such as fear. Many athletes may experience significant fear while also having to perform at a high level- neurofeedback can modulate this response over time.
In one published case study, an Olympic athlete who has lost his performance confidence after an injury underwent 4 sessions of neurotherapy. Dramatic and statistically significant changes were observed in the patient.2
In the area of the performing arts, professionally significant enhancement of music and dance performance and mood has followed training with an EEG-neurofeedback protocol.3
A “strong learning effect” was observed in regards to cognitive enhancement in a recent double- blind study on neurofeedback.
Neurofeedback has great potential for performance enhancement in many areas, including sports and cognitive performance. To get started enhancing your performance in life, come in and get a brain map, so we can develop a personalized treatment plan custom tailored to meet your performance goals.
Making the case for mobile cognition: EEG and sports performance
EEG applications for sport and performance
Neurofeedback for the Enhancement of Athletic Performance and Physical Balance
Infra-Low Frequency Neurofeedback for Optimum Performance
Updated December 2020