The Optimal Performance program offered by Precision Neurometrics focuses on developing and maintaining optimal brain functioning. The relevance of optimizing brain function is vast. We tend to think of athletes’ peak performance as associated with optimal brain functioning and indeed there are many examples of the efficacy of this program in the athletic context. Gold Medal Olympic archers, World Cup winners in Soccer, many of the Canadian Gold Medal winners at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games are but a few examples.
However, optimal brain functioning is relevant not only to athletics but to any area of activity or body function. Singers, dancers and other performers benefit from such optimization. Good brain function has also been associated with good immune functioning and impeding age related cognitive declines.
A principal arena of application of optimal performance training is for elite executives. Many organizations support this training for the senior management because of the marked return on investment. Basically, by improving brain efficiency the organization gains substantially in terms of managerial competence and effectiveness. That is, increased brainpower.
“...the Volkswagen Beetle has just overtaken the Ferrari in the last straightaway...” It is most unlikely that one will ever hear this at a motor race track. Optimal performance training makes the brain operate at maximum efficiency. It is not brain replacement. If one’s talents lie in dance then dance performance can be substantially improved with brain optimization training. Continuing with the motor racing metaphor, the genius level mechanic and the genius level driver cannot switch roles, participate in optimal performance training and expect to be as efficient as in their original roles. Or as T.S. Elliot commented in his assessment of the relationship between the writers Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, “he learned as much as a man of talent can learn from a man of genius.” Likewise with optimal performance training, talent and genius can be optimized which was one of the major surprising findings of brain optimizing research. That is, the enhancement in brain optimization is about equivalent at all levels of native ability.
In short, optimal performance training will optimize what the client brings to the program in terms of native talent, experience, education, interests, motivation, and health.
The Executive Program
Build the Foundation
Regardless of the application, the first step is the Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG). The QEEG measures brainwave activity from which the inefficiencies in brain functioning can be determined. These inefficiencies are related to cognitive and emotional conditions that need to be resolved prior to the optimization protocols. Problems with sleep quality, depressed, anxious, or volatile mood states, rigidity in thinking, unresolved emotional stressors (i.e., emotional trauma), substance dependence, cognitive sluggishness, and the like can be determined with experienced QEEG analysis.
Once these inefficiencies or abnormalities are identified, they are corrected where appropriate. The best metaphor for this is that one wants to build a house on a firm foundation. A manager who wishes to optimize performance must resolve the predisposition to depression and be weaned off the antidepressant medication to truly achieve optimal performance levels. A manager with poor sleep and modest excess of alcohol use must resolve these issues to totally benefit from the optimally performance training.
As part of this initial phase of the optimization program, biofeedback and self-regulation training of peripheral systems (e.g., muscle tension, respiration, blood flow) enables clients to recognize and modulate body tension and nervous system arousal.
Optimize Brain Efficiency
As part of the first phase of the program, one usually finds an increase in IQ of about 10 units. This indicates, of course, that by improving brain functioning the increased efficiency is reflected in increased IQ. These increases occur across the entire range of sub indicators of IQ.
Building on this increased efficiency, the brain wave correlates of superior functioning are driven to optimal levels. To return to the motor car metaphor this is like fine tuning a precision engine. Brainwave balance, rapidity of change and recovery, base standing levels, and brain site to brain site communication are all “tuned” to viable levels. Client input at this phase of training is paramount. Brain wave activity considered “normal” may not be optimal for peak performance objectives. For example, “normal” brainwave amplitudes in the back of the brain may be associated with restful 8 1⁄2 hours of sleep per night whereas the optimized brain facilitates peak performance with 6 hours of sleep per night.
Optimal states are not stable states. This ideal states need maintenance. Body builders, for example, need to exercise daily to maintain their peak physical state. Similarly, the optimized brain requires daily brain exercise and periodic brainwave neurotherapy to sustain the enhanced brain functioning. Obviously, when the brain is functioning efficiently, the increased brain activity associated with the improved functioning will help to sustain the enhanced state. Further, specific daily brain exercises are prescribed to help maintain the gains. And clients typically come in for specific precision brainwave training periodically to maintain the gains. Since the entire optimal performance training program is data driven the frequency of visits to maintained optimal states is determined by systematic brainwave assessments and of course the subjective feeling of the executive. Many come in periodically for maintenance, perhaps once per month, but will have extra training visits if they feel sluggish, are recovering from an illness or have an upcoming important and challenging task.
Dr. PAUL G. SWINGLE
Dr. Swingle was Professor of Psychology at the University of Ottawa prior to moving to Vancouver. A Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution, and the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance, Dr. Swingle was Lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and during the same time period was Associate Attending Psychologist at McLean Hospital (Boston) where he also was Coordinator of the Clinical Psychophysiology Service. Professor Swingle taught at McGill University where he was cross appointed between the Department of Psychology and the Graduate School of Business. Dr. Swingle is a Registered Psychologist in British Columbia and Board Certified in Biofeedback and Neurotherapy. Among his many publications, Dr. Swingle has written several books on conflict resolution including “The Structure of Conflict” and “The Management of Power.” His most recent book, “Biofeedback for the Brain” (2010) was published by Rutgers University Press.
Dr. RICK BRADSHAW
Dr. Bradshaw has over 35 years of experience as a Counsellor, Psychologist, and Career Coach. For much of that time he has been devoted to the discovery and development of a totally new set of techniques to optimize performance, in work and in life. This new approach is known as Observed & Experiential Integration (OEI). It has been used to effectively remove barriers to peak performance in athletes, performing artists, and business executives. Working at Precision Neurometrics, he now combines OEI with Neurotherapy to help clients reach their greatest potential.
Psychoneurophysiology is a natural and holistic approach to the treatment of many conditions. We normalize and optimize brain functioning using various neurotherapeutic techniques including brainwave biofeedback, brain stimulation, cranial sacral therapy and self-regulation procedures. Treatment methods include brainwave biofeedback, brain stimulation and self-regulation to optimize brain functioning and correct inefficiencies in brain activity. Psychoneurophysiology corrects problems where they reside, in your head. The clinic treats numerous disorders such as ADD, ADHD, epilepsy, stroke, learning disorders, traumatic brain injury, depression, fibromyalgia, autistic spectrum disorders, to name but a few without dangerous and largely ineffective drugs.
CRANIAL SACRAL THERAPY
Cranial Sacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle hands-on therapy which uses a light touch and gentle movements to monitor the rhythm of cerebral-spinal fluid (CSF) throughout the body. CSF surrounds, safeguards and provides nourishment for the brain and spinal cord and membranes. The pumping motion of this fluid creates a subtle pulse (detected through the palpation of bones) similar to that of a heartbeat which can be felt throughout the body. This rhythm is monitored by applying light pressure at specific evaluation points through the length of the body (head, neck, spinal cord, lower back and ankles). With CST, the natural rhythm of the cranial sacral function is restored, blood and oxygen flow are improved, toxins are removed more efficiently and brain cells function more effectively as they are receiving the nutrients they require. With CST individuals generally feel a release from stress and anxiety and begin to enjoy a renewed sense of well-being which facilitates neurotherapeutic treatment.
SomatoEmotional Release (SER), an advanced form of Cranial Sacral Therapy, is a therapeutic process which locates and releases the mind and body from previous trauma and past negative emotional experiences. The body often retains physical and emotional imprints as the result of trauma. These imprints become isolated and dysfunctional and create energy cysts in body tissue. Initially, the body is able to adapt to these energy cysts, however, over time, the body loses its ability to adapt effectively and additional energy is required to carry out the most basic of functions. Suppressed physical and emotional trauma lay the foundation for many ailments. By locating and releasing the energy cysts, internal energy is able to flow freely and can markedly accelerate the neurotherapeutic process.
How Does Neurotherapy Work?
Neurotherapy assists the client in changing his or her brainwave architecture.
On a client's first visit to the office, an in-depth intake session is completed. A brain map of 5 brain locations (generally used for ADD, ADHD, etc.) or 19 locations (generally used for closed head injury and stroke) is completed.
Brainwaves are measured using an electroencephalograph (EEG). Sensors from the EEG equipment are positioned on the ears and various points on the scalp (the sensors are non-invasive and painless).
From the amplitude and position of brainwave bands including Delta, Theta, Alpha, Sensory Motor Rhythm, Beta and High Frequency we are able to assess a client's condition and develop a therapy schedule that will assist the client in regaining control and getting back on track with life.
As the center of operations for the body, the brain is a highly evolved organ. Capable of continuous learning and adapting to various situations the brain has shown itself capable of enhancing its performance when provided with pointers about what to change, modify or adjust.
For children, this often takes the form of computerized games which the child plays by changing brainwave activity. How is this accomplished? Simple! We let the child play a type of video game with balloons or clowns. As the child produces the brainwaves desired, the child is rewarded with the movement of the balloons or by keeping the clowns out of a puddle of water and thereby the desired brainwaves are reinforced! These changes in brainwave activity are fed back to the child using audio or visual cues from the computer. For adult clients, the feedback of brainwave functioning can be quite complex, although adults can play the computer games if they prefer! Using this and other similar methods, clients become skilled at altering their brainwave architecture.
You should consider neurotherapy if you suffer from:
Paul G. Swingle, Ph.D., Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association
Dr. Swingle was Professor of Psychology at the University of Ottawa from 1972 to 1997 prior to moving to Vancouver. He was Lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School from 1991 to 1998 and during the same time period was Associate Attending Psychologist at McLean Hospital (Boston) where he also was Head of the Clinical Psychophysiology Service. Professor Swingle was Clinical Supervisor at the University of Ottawa from 1987 to 1997 and was Chairman of the Faculty of Child Psychology from 1972 to 1977. Dr. Swingle is a Registered Psychologist in British Columbia and is Board Certified in Biofeedback and Neurotherapy.
Rick Bradshaw, Ph.D. RPsych, has over 30 years of experience as a psychologist and counsellor treating psychological trauma and dissociation. He completed his PhD at Michigan State University and a Post-Doctoral Residency in the Psychology Department of the WCB of BC. He then worked in the Counselling Service of Simon Fraser University for 10 years, serving as Senior Psychologist & Director of Training for most of that time. After 2 ½ years of experience as a Consulting Psychologist for Wilson Banwell, he started in an academic position (Associate Professor of Counselling Psychology) at Trinity Western University, where he worked for 10 years. He has received training & supervision in hypnotherapy, and he completed Level II certification in EMDR. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Bradshaw has co-developed a new trauma therapy known as Observed & Experiential Integration (OEI) with Audrey Cook. The therapy is particularly helpful for working with Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders.
Mari K. Swingle, MA English Education, MA Clinical Psychology, works with a wide range of neurophysiological ailments and specializes in education issues, ranging from remedial therapy to development of accelerated learning programs. Mari Swingle also works with the dynamics that arise in families with a child experiencing learning and or behavioral challenges. This includes family counseling and couples therapy. Mari Swingle is a Board-Certified Neurotherapist with Level One certification in EMDR, EFT and Cranial Sacral Therapy.
Michael Mariano is a Registered Clinical Counselor (R.C.C.). He has a B.A. in Psychology and completed his M.A. in Counseling Psychology. He has specialized training in Observed Experiential Integration (OEI) therapy, Low Energy Neurofeedback (LENS), and QEEG analysis.
Sandra J Jones, Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC), received an M.A. in Counselling Psychology at Trinity Western University, and completed her B.A. in Psychology at Simon Fraser University. She is trained in Observed and Experiential Integration (OEI), specializing in trauma processing and working with clients of all ages who have been exposed to severe emotional stressors. She is also specifically trained in multi-modality brain driving which she uses successfully in the treatment of individuals with trauma histories. After initially working in private practice, counselling both children and adults, she joined Swingle and Associates in 2011.
Hiroko I. Demichelis, MSc Psychology, has trained in the field of optimal performance with elite athletes, executives, children and individuals wanting to achieve their potential. Hiroko has joined the Swingle Clinic to lead its Optimal Performance division, known as Precision Neurometrics. She is trained in Observed and Experiential Integration (OEI), in Mindfulness-Based Approaches (Bangor University, UK) and in REBT cognitive behavioural therapy (Birmingham University, UK). Hiroko is Board-Certified Neurotherapist.
Our highly trained staff includes Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, special education teachers, hospital technicians and technicians with psychological training and backgrounds. Our staff is skilled in healing facilitation techniques including therapeutic touch, energy psychology and cranial sacral therapy. Ongoing training in supportive and facilitating healing techniques is an integral part of our clinical staff development program.
Dr. Paul G. Swingle is the founder and owner of the Swingle and Associates clinic, which is conveniently located downtown in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. Our clinic features state-of-the-art psychoneurotherapeutic equipment and is staffed by highly qualified, trained and experienced professional and clinical staff.
Our location, at 1190 Melville Street, Suite 630, Vancouver, British Columbia, is only minutes from Burrard skytrain station, the downtown Heliport, and some of the finest hotels in North America. Ample parking and full access for the disabled make us accessible to everyone.
Our hours of operation are Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm.