Neurofeedback in Petaluma, CA
I cannot praise Dr. Sil Machado and High Performance Neurofeedback too highly. I have my life back—the quality of my life has improved immeasurably since I received HPN treatment for post concussion symptoms suffered in a car collision over four years ago. One friend, who has known me for over 20 years declared recently that I am back to my old self, but better. A friend who met me two years after the collision told me the difference in my attitude and energy is so remarkable she feels like she is getting to know me all over again.
In January 2012 my car was hit hard from behind while I was stopped. The man who ran into my small SUV with his large Range Rover was intoxicated, driving without a license or insurance. The collision propelled my car 20 feet forward into the intersection. I walked away with whiplash and a concussion from the force of the headrest against the back of my head. I was 61.
By the time I came to Dr. Machado, I was near crazy from lack of sleep, confusion, brain fog, unreliable memory, thinking lapses, constant head pressure and frequent neck pain. I stammered and left sentences hanging in the air while I searched for words. My self-confidence was as flat as my energy for life. Fatigue, vigilance and dread my daily companions. There were discernable mental faculties that I could not call up easily, simple problems I was unable to handle. I was bothered by odd shifts in perception and my friends were bothered by the odd shift in my temperament. Driving was scary if there were many things happening at once on the road, especially fast: I could not track fast moving changes well and sometimes had to get off the highway as quickly as possible. Rage and panic ever my backseat drivers.
Lost work, lost opportunities, lost confidence, lost capacity and tolerance for everyday activities generated lost physical tone, poise and strength.
In the 4.5 years since the collision I had received chiropractic care, Light Therapy, Osteopathy, Orthopedic Massage, a wide variety of energy therapies. It all helped a little. Light Therapy had reduced my neck pain by about 80% and lifted the gloom and doom by opening my peripheral vision and healing my optic nerve. But after about 6 months I “plateaued” and slowly began to sink again into depression and anxiety about all the abilities and skills that seemed to be unavailable to me since the collision. I simply was not getting better.
After the first session with Dr. Machado, I drove home with a strange sort of calm—I seemed to be able to see more, or take in more of what I was seeing. After 3 sessions I began to sleep! Great gobs of luscious, restful sleep! After 6 sessions my hands started to work better on the keyboard, I could tolerate a little more computer work. Depression was lifting and anxiety coming down! Soon I began to move more, walk more, dance again and get stronger. Oddly, my diet changed—I was losing my affection for rich, meaty foods, bread and dairy, and easily moving towards greens and fresh foods rich in plant protein.
It’s been 2 months+ since my last Neurofeedback session. I still sleep well and if I wake in the night and don’t get back to sleep right away, there is no dread. If I tire from working or an all-day event, I recover quickly. No more crippling fatigue! My head is clear, I think well and if I do miss a word or can’t remember something, I am much kinder with myself—no anxiety. And driving! I can see more, take in more and my driver’s sixth sense is back in gear—no more white knuckled vigilance.
My confidence in my ability to work is back and I am looking around and within to discover what else I can do in the world. I have added about 15,000 words to a book I started before the collision, and have taken on the challenge of co-author for a book about the power of giving.
I still have a few challenges, but there is space within me for making positive changes, and I have more tools to help me exercise my brain, regain some skills and think about positive possibilities. A sign on my fridge says: Prepared to be pleasantly surprised.
Thank you, Dr. Machado—for your kindness and compassion, your patient listening, and your skill with Neurofeedback!
I signed up for a nine-week series of neurofeedback treatments with Dr. Machado because, after years of traditional talk therapy, I was still having difficulty utilizing the skills I had learned to manage my anxiety and the negative “thought loops” that were impacting my ability to start and finish projects, navigate social interactions and relationships, and set and attain realistic goals. I started noticing the results of the treatments right away, as my average daily levels of anxiety steadily decreased. I also noticed that when I was in situations in which my anxiety would normally spike – for example, working on a graduate school application - I was more easily able to notice and redirect the negative “thought loops” and head off the accompanying physical distress that would have derailed me prior to starting neurofeedback. It was as though I now had a buffer between myself and the triggering thought or feeling that gave me the space to calmly and thoughtfully use the tools I learned in therapy. Over the course of the series of treatments, I also began to feel a genuine sense of grace and ease, which allowed me to notice that I’d been pretty much white-knuckling it throughout most of my life.
It has been more than a year since I completed the intensive, and in the interim I’ve returned for touch-up treatments that helped me get through a particularly stressful patch. The results have not only lasted, the benefits are accruing as I continue to develop more self-compassionate and helpful “thought loops” and, as a result, a greater sense of spaciousness. This has been one of the best investments I’ve made in myself, and it continues to pay dividends!
The following testimonial comes from the mother a young adult woman.
From what I remember, before the neurofeedback, her anxiety was preventing her from doing many things. On bad days, she would even feel anxious being in a crowded store, and might need to leave. She had trouble with anxiety during driving.
Neurofeedback “saved her life,” she said. The effect for her was dramatic, and rapid. Medications help and therapy help, but the neurofeedback gave her a significant boost in getting her anxiety ramped down. She is able to drive without feeling as though her anxiety will overwhelm her. Crowded stores don’t have the same effect on her. She feels more comfortable being in circumstances where she has to interact with strangers. I don’t know if she would have been able to work if she hadn’t have done the neurofeedback.
Also, it is great that when she has felt herself slipping, she has been able to have a few tune-up sessions and again, she notices a huge improvement in her anxiety. When her anxiety is under control, she is not so moody and our interactions are more pleasant.