ISF Infraslow Neurofeedback
Infraslow Neurofeedback (ISF)
Infraslow Fluctuation or ISF neurofeedback is a unique brain training method that targets the infraslow frequencies (meaning below 0.1 Hertz) occurring throughout the brain. Clinical research shows that these slow oscillations determine the overall excitability of the cortex. In addition, these slow frequencies coordinate processes in the body with processes in the central nervous system. From a neurofeedback perspective, this means that they offer a highly valuable target for reinforcement. In fact, shifts (or fluctuations) in these infraslow frequencies directly affect the brain’s internal regulation of the autonomic nervous system, including our fight-flight-freeze stress response as well as our rest-and-digest state. By providing real-time auditory feedback regarding small shifts in infraslow frequencies, the brain learns to optimize its ability to self-regulate, readjusting baseline levels of activity in various regions. Given that the root cause for dysregulated brain states and mental illness is often hyper- or hypo-excitability, ISF neurofeedback offers an unparalleled form of neurotherapy for many suffering from anxiety, trauma, depression, and much more.
Benefits of Infraslow ISF Neurofeedback
Infraslow fluctuation (ISF) neurofeedback training is a type of neurofeedback that focuses on observing the lowest frequencies in the brain. The earliest research on these ultra-slow waves suggests ISF works by regulating autonomic nervous system function, the flight, fight or freeze response. More importantly, ISF regulates the activation of brain areas linked in chronic autonomic stress by helping the brain communicate between the autonomic and emotional networks. This in turn helps separate regions responsible for emotion from the autonomic distress signal. ISF coordinates processes in the brain with processes in the body. The heart, the blood, the digestive system, and the Autonomic Nervous System are all coordinated at these very slow frequencies.
This synchronizing effect works to produce a brain and body that has the flexibility to respond appropriately to the environment.
The goal of ISF training is to reach a condition of homeostasis in mind and body that simultaneously promotes a calm and alert state.
This more flexible state helps to treat a variety of mental health illnesses and bothersome conditions.
Imagine if you will that ISF frequencies are like waves in the ocean. Let’s continue that metaphor and imagine that faster frequencies in the brain are the surfers on those slow waves. In ISF training we shape Infraslow waves to rise and fall in symmetry allowing the surfers to catch the waves, ride the crest, and gently be deposited on the beach. With ISF training we optimize the wave sets so there are smooth transitions between each wave allowing the surfers to ride that wave easily and consistently without being thrown off the board or crashing into each other. This translates in the real world of brain function to the smooth activation and deactivation of behavioral networks. In plain English, when young Johnny is presented with new material in geometry he focuses on the lesson and not the distracting noise out the window. At work, Sue is able to remain relaxed and centered rather than anxious in the face of stress producing moments.