LENS is a fast, easy way to address issues like anxiety, depression, ADD and a host of other symptoms. However, many of us adventurous souls are attracted to LENS to expand and explore the potential of our brains – stepping beyond limitations etched into our developmental history. LENS used in this way provides a boost to our ongoing personal development, opening access to cognitive resources that had not been accessible since childhood, if ever.
Trauma, concussion, epigenetic family history issues, cultural norms, social dynamics, gut health and many other factors influence our development. As we grow up, the structure of our personality gels from how we adapt to the limitations imposed by these influences, becoming more solid and rigid over time. By the time we reach adulthood, the course of our lives – directed by our personality – is largely predefined by the compensations we adopt to protect ourselves during childhood, and we can feel captured in an experience of our lives that is repetitive, known and constrained. The symptoms mentioned above, as well as a diffuse sense of the absence of wellbeing, can be thought of as “friction” between these compensations, which have been embedded in our personality structure, and our core desires, which express the raw force of life within us. This concept of friction addresses why treating (suppressing) the symptom rarely heals the underlying issue which the symptom expresses, and why improving the underlying brain function can simultaneously alleviate a broad range of seemingly unrelated symptoms.
The limitations imposed by our personality structure are exposed every day in how we interact with a changing environment – a primary distinction being made between situations where we can respond/act or are triggered into an automatic reaction. This concept is captured in Hans Seyle’s distinction between Eustress (changing situations to which we comfortably adapt) and Distress (situations which we cannot adapt, and initiate a protective reaction). The amount of vigor and vitality we bring to our lives is directly related to our capacity to adapt (Adaptive Capacity). LENS brings more of our brain’s resources “online”, broadening our adaptive capacity and thereby extending the range of situations to which we respond creatively as opposed to become triggered into a protective reaction .
Monitoring for greater clarity / diminished reactivity is a fundamental metric for efficacy of LENS treatment. The linkage between LENS treatment and lowered reactivity is observed in the follow up to nearly every session. Initially lessened reactivity will alleviate symptoms (usually initially anxiety, which can be thought of as a reaction to our reactivity), however by continuing LENS treatment brain function is further integrated – eroding the rigidity of the underlying personality structure and opening up myriad new response options/opportunities. The triggered, automatic qualities of our reactions soften and become transformed to simply one possible response option among many. Finding that one has a range of choices for response, one may simply choose to do nothing, waiting until one identifies an action aligned with one’s true nature – an expression of the force of life within them.
The more efficient brain function regulation is usually experienced in one or more of the following ways:
- Greater clarity
- a sense of freedom and liberation
- feeling safe, even when in situations historically perceived as threatening
- the feeling of really being able to breathe, and digest/assimilate
- becoming friends with the limits of one’s adaptive capacity (anxiety is reactivity to a reaction, and is usually the first thing to change in LENS treatment)
- that your personality is a part of who you are, rather than who you are
- a stronger feeling of connection to both oneself and to others, sometimes expressed as enhanced empathic abilities
- enhanced ability to simply be present in the present moment
- a deepened connection to and expression of our core desires
Personally achieving some level of this result has been the “Holy Grail” of my over 30 years of exploring and studying Somatic Therapies. All of the areas of study I have undertaken: Hellerwork, Craniosacral Therapy, MNRI (to name a few), I have done so because my experience of receiving the modality was a greater sense of clarity, wellbeing and inner freedom. The journey has been rewarding in innumerable ways, but the Grail itself was never quite within reach – my underlying Ego structure remained intact. After 6 months of 2 LENS sessions per week (your mileage may vary), I now feel at the age of 60, finally having a firm grip on the Grail, that I have stepped into the unknown, with an unknown destiny, which is how any adventure begins.
1) Change is stressful. Approaching LENS too aggressively can exacerbate symptoms, and lifting the oppression of the personality structure quickly can leave one feeling adrift – lost without it’s familiar moorings. I therefore will rarely recommend more than 1 session per week, and when dealing with deeply rooted psychological issues, working in tandem with an experienced cognitive therapist. Curiously, many of the therapists my clients work with have no experience with neurofeedback, which seems to make absolutely no difference. My experience of LENS is that the results of treatment are incremental, cumulative and so far have been permanent.
2) For personal development LENS is best employed in conjunction with some form of training. This can be any type of physical, academic (or other cognitive training) or spiritual (meditation/vision quest). Regrettably, removing barriers to efficient brain function is not the same thing as optimally performing a task (I had somewhat magically hoped this would be the case when I started sessions). However, it is very likely that if you go back to some activity you have struggled with in the past, you will find that you have more resources (greater adaptive capacity) to bring to the task.
3) Our understanding of the the how of LENS treatment efficacy is incomplete. At the biological level LENS method of efficacy has not been intensively researched. Changes in skin temperature (vasodilation) have been documented, as well as the EEG mapping changes. It is likely that there are changes in Astrocyte calibration of synaptic timing, but this is difficult to demonstrate, and the research has not been performed to my knowledge. It seems well within the scope of current research practices to perform this study (fluorescent tagging of sodium ion channels at the Nodes of Ranvier in a rat model might offer a clear indication of neuronal changes).
4) It seems increasingly likely that as our understanding of brain function improves, the model that psychiatric diagnosis (DSM5) is constructed upon may be turned on it€™s head (pardon the pun), as many different diagnosis€™s may share similar dysregulated brain functions, and be treated (using EEG Biofeedback) in the same manner.