The Covid-19 pandemic lockdown required that all our services to clients in our office in Peterborough, Ontario be delivered remotely. The transition to phone and online sessions was not a problem for talk therapy, meditation coaching, and hypnosis; in fact, there is every indication that these services can be delivered remotely just as effectively as meeting in person. However, for biofeedback and neurofeedback, remote delivery can be a challenge.
Fortunately, we have provided home biofeedback and neurofeedback training in the past so we are experienced in this approach. There are many advantages to doing home training. During the pandemic, there is no additional risk of infection if you stay home and receive treatment remotely. Even though we are no longer in lockdown, there are distinct advantages to home training. For one, you don’t have to come to the office or fit into our schedule quite as much. For another, because you have the equipment and software in your home, you can train whenever you want and as many times as you want. Typically, in-office treatments are weekly. Most people simply cannot find the time or have the money to do twice-weekly sessions despite the fact that the effects of training are not seen nearly as quickly when you only train once a week. In sum, remote training is safe, convenient, and efficient.
We are offering three levels of biofeedback and neurofeedback programs for remote training. Counseling and support remain integral components at each of these levels. The first level employs a consumer EEG device called the Muse , which can be used to improve attention and develop meditation skills. The second level uses the Muse with an additional electrode and software for targeted neurofeedback. The third level uses professional equipment and software for fully functional biofeedback and neurofeedback treatment.
The first level we call Neuroshaping Starter. Many of our clients have been successfully using the Muse at home. It measures EEG and the app that comes with it provides feedback on how calm or active your mind is. It is very helpful in improving focused attention and as an aid to meditation. It comes with an app that can be used on your phone, tablet, or computer. You can also purchase additional guided meditations to use in conjunction with it. The newest version also measures heart rate and body movement and includes a breath pacer. The Muse can be purchased online (choosemuse.com) or rented from us. It can be used independently without our involvement, but if you wish to have your use monitored by us and receive feedback and coaching from us, there is a platform for this. The cost for this support is simply the time required to review your sessions and go over them with you.
The next level program we call Neuroshaping Lyte. It employs the Muse with an additional electrode (approximately $100) and a software program called Myndlift, which requires a monthly subscription fee ($230/month). The Muse can be purchased online or from us, the electrode and Myndlift are purchased at cost directly from us. The Muse has both neurofeedback and biofeedback capabilities and, with the additional electrode, it is possible to do a variety of targeted neurofeedback protocols.
The third level program we call Neuroshaping Pro. It is possible to do one, two, or four-channel neurofeedback training depending on the hardware. You can purchase the hardware and software directly from online vendors or rent them from us ($100/month-$150/month depending on the equipment). We can also supply a preconfigured laptop with the equipment on a rental basis ($30/month-$50/month depending on the laptop). We call it the Pro version because it is more capable than the Lyte version, but also because it requires higher-end equipment and software and a higher level of comfort with the requirements of setting up the equipment and running the software.
The Starter program has no added cost beyond the purchase of the Muse. The subscription for the Lyte is more than renting the equipment and software for the Pro platform, but the Lyte typically requires less training and technical assistance. The cost of our support is similar to what would be involved in-office visits ($100/hour for trainers and $180/hour for Dr. McAllister). It includes the time it takes to train you to use the equipment and software and to provide technical assistance that you require plus the frequency of sessions that we deliver remotely (as opposed to the ones you do on your own), our periodic protocol reviews, and any counseling we provide during your training.
To sum up, there are three Neuroshaping platforms available for doing biofeedback and neurofeedback remotely. The cost of support from us is similar to having weekly visits in the office and should be covered by insurance in an equivalent way. The added cost for the Lyte and Pro platforms is for the equipment and software. This cost may be covered by some forms of insurance.
If you are a resident of Ontario, you can access our services. Please give us a call if you are interested (705-874-7125), and we can provide you with more detail about the platforms and costs.