ISF for Beginners (ISF 1 - BEGINNER)
ISF 1 - Beginner - Infra-slow Fluctuation Training Workshop on June 17 and 24, 2023
with Mark Smith, LCSW, BCN, QEEG-D
Infraslow Neurofeedback (ISF) was first developed in 2006. For the last fifteen years we have developed the technique with the participation of hundreds of clinicians. With time and the confirmation of clinicians trained in our technique, we assumed we had a mature tested process of Infraslow training. Then came Karlein Balt’s research (www.neurofeedbackservicesny.com/publications). She monitored clients with biofeedback instruments during the optimization process. Suddenly! Finally! We had an objective measure. We had a physiological measure of optimized response. It changed everything! It has simplified a process that was challenging to many clinicians.
This beginner’s workshop is for those who are new to ISF. Due to the new simplicity in our process ISF training is for those clinicians who are new to neurofeedback. But maybe more importantly, it is also for those who have trained with us in the last fifteen years to learn the new process.
What you will need:
- An Atlantis or a 2EB+ amplifier or
- A Discovery
- The Avatar software
- A licence from our office to unlock protocols (email@example.com)
- Five Ag/AgCl electrodes (www.neurofeedback-partner.de)
Many will want to begin to use peripheral measures to help with the optimization process. However, since we have done the work for you over the last year, biofeedback instruments are not necessary to get started. You will be able to identify the optimum frequency for your clients easily without biofeedback equipment. It is another significant cost. Since we do not yet, and may not, have the peripherals working on the Avatar software, you would have to purchase a stand-alone biofeedback instrument. Our recommendation is that if you want a biofeedback rig you contact neurofeedback-partner.de and purchase their biofeedback equipment that can be utilized currently, on a stand-alone basis. When we incorporate biofeedback peripherals in the ISF software, you will already have the hardware necessary. Currently, you will need an additional computer to use the stand-alone version. So, it may be optimal for you to wait for our installation of peripherals within the Avatar software.
ISF is a powerful intervention that should be part of the tool kit of all clinicians in the helping professions. Why?
- Infraslow frequencies play a central role in human behaviour that includes sleep, attention and hormone regulation, just to name a few
- The heart and the brain are coordinated at infraslow frequencies
- The gut and the brain are also regulated with the same slow frequency band
- Infraslow neurofeedback is superior to other forms of neurofeedback because it conditions the frequencies the brain uses to manage behaviour and processes between brain and body
Due to the pandemic, we have moved all our workshops online, including the bipolar ISF workshop. We have consolidated the material to teach only the clinical skills necessary for ISF training to accomplish online in two days what we normally required three days to complete. In order to effectively achieve this goal, we have scheduled the two days a week apart so that attendees may apply the technique learned on the first day, participate in one on one supervision during the week, and have another full day for review. Additionally, the fee structure was set so that all attendees will have the opportunity to participate in two group mentoring sessions after the workshop at no extra cost to you.
This workshop will demonstrate the process of infraslow fluctuation training in clinical practice. The method pivots on the determination of an optimum frequency (OF) that is trained for each individual client.
In the didactic portion of the workshop, the OF determination process will be demonstrated along with a discussion of the equipment and optimal signal processing requirements necessary to accomplish effective training. The value of QEEG in predicting treatment responders, treatment planning, and determining treatment outcomes will be established.
The practice portion of the course will span a full week for all practitioners to have several opportunities for hands-on training in the optimization process, in their practices or homes, depending on the local areas Covid-19 response limitations. The second day will be spent evaluating outcomes to adjust treatment accordingly. Once optimization is complete, next steps will be discussed. The emphasis on the workshop practicum will provide students with the necessary tools to integrate ISF training in clinical practice.
An ISF Software Licence Is Required
For the best workshop experience, we strongly suggest you purchase an ISF Licence that unlocks the software before the workshop.
License Price: $300
To purchase click below
What is Infraslow Fluctuation and ISF Neurofeedback?
ISF works on many different levels. The earliest research on infraslow frequencies revealed a central role for slow processes in the stress response. More recent research tells us that ISF helps to coordinate electrical activity in the brain. Moreover, ISF orchestrates the resources necessary for behavioural network activity. Importantly, the infraslow frequencies facilitate communication within and between behavioural networks. Lastly, it controls the activation and deactivation of those same behavioural networks.
The centrality of these slow frequencies in behaviour, self-regulatory functions, and brain activation makes Infraslow neurofeedback a powerful tool to help with a wide range of disorders. Research and clinical practice have demonstrated that we are training key regions of the Central Autonomic Network with ISF neurofeedback. The CAN is an internal regulation system the brain uses to control behavioural response. The components of this network are the circulatory system, the emotional regulation system, the brain network that maintains a sense of self, and the behavioural network responsible for the flight, flight, or freeze response.
The clinical results of increased relaxation, better sleep, profound changes in physiology, and a renewed sense of well-being in daily life after using ISF neurofeedback echo the results of our research. Recently, ISF neurofeedback was put to the test by using Biofeedback equipment that measured a subject’s physiological response to the training. We found that during training blood pressure normalized, heart rate slowed, hands became warm and dry, breathing became deeper and slower and the big muscles in the shoulders (Trapezius) relaxed. All direct indications of the relaxation response. Further, in a separate study of people trained with ISF neurofeedback, subjects noticed a profound sense of well-being as measured by psychometric testing.
So, why learn ISF Neurofeedback? To help yourself and others achieve their best, optimal self. To read more articles and research on ISF Neurofeedback, please visit the link provided below:
Mark Smith, the developer of ISF neurofeedback was the first to grasp the advantage of using a DC-coupled amplifier for Infra-slow training. In 2007, in collaboration with Thomas Collura Phd and others, the method was established on a DC-coupled amplifier, the Atlantis. This innovation allowed for the imaging of these minute signals with more clarity and less noise than conventional AC amplifiers.
Recent equipment and software advancements, specifically the Discovery and Avatar software, have allowed for 2, 4, or 19 channel recording and ISF training. This innovation has provided a window on the mechanism of bipolar ISF training. We can now simultaneously render this signal in a bipolar and referential montage. The Avatar software has provided a platform for the combination of ISF training and concurrent Z score training/analysis and/or sLORETA training/analysis. This improvement makes for a safe, effective, and data-rich method of slow-wave training.
Infra-slow Fluctuations, first identified by Russian researchers in the 1950s (Aladjalova, 1964) and later corroborated by Joe Kamiya (Girton, Benson, & Kamiya, 1973) and others, became a signal of significant interest to researchers recently. Research suggests that the infra-slow signal underlies the excitability dynamics of cortical networks (Vanhatalo et al., 2004). Vanhatalo became so convinced of the ISF’s centrality in the cortex that he stated that any attempt to attenuate this slow signal eliminates the most salient features of the human EEG. Further, it appears to be a direct electrophysiological correlate for slow fluctuations in human psychophysical performance (Monto, Palva, Voipio, & Palva, 2008). Most recently research has suggested that very slow oscillations are associated with the Default Mode Network of the human cerebral cortex and appear to be related to ADHD symptom status (Broyd, Helps, & Sonuga-Barke, 2011; Tye et al., 2012.