It is with great pleasure that I welcome Dr. Stuart Donaldson and his team to Gaia Clinic. We have been utilizing the services provided by his clinic, Myosymmetries, to add neurofeedback, qEEG testing, and stress response testing to our repertoire of integrative brain testing and treatment for the past few months. We have found his services to be very helpful for our clients with head injuries and mental illness. It is an honour to have someone with a distinguished career and specific area of expertise join our progressive brain health program.
Dr. Thomson will also be joining Dr. Donaldson in seeing clients at C-ERA in Calgary in the New year. The partnership will allow for continued collaboration and expertise in navigating the complexities of brain health clients.
In addition, Stephanie Nihon from Toronto has recently joined the Myosymmetries team and will be available at Gaia Clinic twice a week. Her expertise is in sports performance and kinesthiology using the stress response and qEEG to guide her in the use of neurofeedback and biofeedback.
Please read below for more information on performance enhancement:
Our goal is to enhance your competitive edge both mentally and physically. Our focus is sports performance training in the brain and body. We use state of the art Neurofeedback and Biofeedback equipment to improve your athletic performance. Sometimes the difference between you and your opponent can be mere inches or seconds.
Everyone’s brain produces electrical activity. An electroencephalogram (EEG) reflects the electrical activity onto a computer screen virtually instantaneously (50-100 milliseconds). This is displayed as a wavy line on the screen. The different frequencies are isolated. Different frequencies, whether they are slow or fast waves, can be associated with different mental states.
The reading of the brain’s electrical activity is found by placing electrodes on the scalp. As the athlete changes their own mental state it changes the amplitude (power) of various brain wave frequencies. The feedback of the change can be viewed on the computer screen and at this point the athlete can attempt to alter their brainwave pattern. Athletes will train to prolong certain mental states and decrease others.
Biofeedback is the use of instrumentation to reflect psychophysiological processes in the body that may be brought under voluntary control.
Biofeedback is a direct measurement of the Nervous System.
The modalities used measure heart rate variability, breathing rate, skin conductance, skin temperature and muscle activity. The athletes training at Sport Focus have an active involvement in controlling their own physiology.
We teach athletes the ability to be in control under pressure
We coach consistency and the ability to refocus
We provide goal setting skills
We track and decrease negative self-talk
We create a pre-competition game plan
We discuss strategies for energy management and self-confidence
We improve self-regulations of different physiologies: Peripheral skin temperature, electrodermal response (sweating), muscle tension (EMG), heart rate and the synchrony of heart rate with respiration (RSA)
NF/BF profiling- This assessment is 20 minutes in length. This involves connecting one electrode to the scalp with paste and two to each earlobe. Sensors monitoring heart rate, breathing, skin conductance, temperature and muscle activity are also attached. Data is collected and discussed with the athletes. The assessment identifies each athlete’s individual requirements for training. The assessment is used for recognizing key roadblocks stopping athletes from reaching their maximum potential despite high motivation, skill, desire and good coaching.
Improvements in training can be seen within 10-20 training sessions. Training can improve both physical and mental skills. Physical skill enhancement can come from improving muscle training (relaxation and correct muscle coordination), sweat response (emotional control), heart rate variability (calmness and efficiency) and temperature (recovery from training). Mental training includes Neurofeedback for improving focus, lessening stress, enhancing imagery effectiveness, eliminating or lessening negative self talk, and recovery from fatigue. In short, it allows athletes to be more consistently ‘in the zone’. The BF/NF programs are also designed to match the nature of each sport; the type of skill needed, the time period, and the changes necessary within the actual sport performance. Being calm in one part of a skill may be important but being highly energized in another part may lead to better performance. The brain and body should be trained to be flexible to match the sequence of mental and physical states needed.
We have state of the art reaction time equipment. With the combination of BF/NF ‘Procomp Infiniti’ software we can compare good reaction times (speed-skating, starts, hockey, goalies, tennis serves etc.) and poor reaction times. The reaction time may also detect central nervous system fatigue more quickly and earlier than muscle assessment. This means the training program can be adapted to lessen injuries or alternatively make athletes constantly faster.