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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***
Neurofeedback Therapy and psychedelics
Neurofeedback is like doing progressive-overload exercise for your brain. It uses your brain’s EEG signals and a variety of different types of sensory feedback to assist you in altering your brain function.
Why does this matter?
It matters because the functioning of our brain, which is an extension of the nervous system, is a key component of our psychological and emotional function.
Neurofeedback can help us train our nervous systems to be operating in tandem with a healthy life.
It can help those of us–most of us–who struggle with our brains not quite working the way we want them to, and, especially for those of us struggling with mental health issues by augmenting psychotherapy.
And, apparently, it can also be used to induce psychedelic-like brain states without the assistance of psychedelic drugs!
But, what exactly is neurofeedback? How does it work? Why does it work for mental health issues? And what is the benefit of psychedelic-informed neurofeedback?
Today’s guest, Heather Hargraves, is here to answer all these questions and more.
Heather Hargraves, MA is a trauma therapist and researcher in London, Ontario, Canada. Heather specializes in the use of neuro and biofeedback technologies to support a broad range of neurologically and/or psychologically traumatized clients within her clinical practice.
Heather’s research interests investigate the neurological underpinnings of various states of consciousness, including dissociation, meditation, psychedelics, and various polyphasic states of consciousness, associated with shamanic practices. Her masters research focused on the therapeutic induction of altered states of consciousness, based on research findings related to psilocybin (i.e., magic mushrooms).
Currently, Heather is an advocate for the interface of neurofeedback therapy modalities with psychedelic therapies, with an emphasis on the preparation and integration periods that bookend psychedelic therapies, once they are legalized. She is also working for DivergenceNeuro, and you can find more info about her through the Neuro Mediation Institute.
Heather joins us on this episode to discuss using neurofeedback therapy to build a healthy brain.
We also talk about mental health disorders as an adaptive response of the nervous system, rather than, necessarily, a pathology. And where neurofeedback therapy fits in as an adjunct to psychotherapy in treat those disorders. We also talk extensively about ADHD, traumatic brain injury, and brain health.
And, of particular excitement to you psychedelic-enthusiasts out there, we talk about psychedelic-informed neurofeedback. (Which is basically like using neurofeedback to encourage your brain to enter psychedelic-like states.)
We also talk about some of the exciting possibilities of using wirelessly linked neurofeedback headsets with VR to re-create something akin to the Nexus5 experience (yes, that’s a sci-fi novel reference for my fellow neuronaut nerds)
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- What is neurofeedback and how does it work
- Using neurofeedback to encourage homeostasis in the brain through progressive-overload exercise for the nervous system
- Increasing communication, complexity, and relationship within the nervous system
- Understanding mental health disorders as a product of nervous system adaptation rather than pathology
- Technologically-augmented psychotherapy through neurofeedback
- ADHD, relaxation-induced anxiety, and Heart Rate Variability (a neurofeedback perspective)
- ADHD as a product of early-life head trauma
- Using neurofeedback for training the brain into good mental and neurological health
- Beyond neuroptimal
- At-home Neurofeedback technology – pros and cons
- Using neurofeedback therapy to treat chronic pain
- Discovering psychedelic-informed neurofeedback
- Combining psychedelic-induced neurofeedback with actual psychedelics
- Using neurofeedback therapy to assist integration on the neurobiological level
- Using neurofeedback and microdosing to repair brain damage
- You need to change the microbiome to sustain changes in the brain
- Early life trauma starts in the brain stem – A criticism of the polyvagal theory
- Divergence Neuro–effective and affordable at-home neurofeedback headset
- Using Neurofeedback and VR to create a Nexus5 (novel) experience
- Having neurodivergent individuals in our communities is an important evolutionary advantage
- “Maybe we’ve been hypnotized into pathologizing healthy responses to unhealthy systems”
- Using neurofeedback and genomics to predict whether or not DMT will help treat addiction
- Creating technology that works like mycelium