For more than 40 years, Dr. Marvin Sams, president and clinical director of the Sams Center, in Plano, has studied the brain. Sams has held esteemed research and clinical positions, invented the ECI Electro-Cap, a unique electroencephalography (EEG) system, and has helped hundreds of children and adults create a higher quality of life and a new future by using his NeuroMatrix Neural Efficiency Training. A New Way of Thinking
Now he says he’s kicked it up a notch. “We’ve added more techniques, like targeted deep brain neurofeedback and breathing training, to optimize brain function and promote emotional resilience,” notes Sams. “All of a sudden, we are dealing with a whole other level of efficacy.”
Understanding how NeuroMatrix Neural Efficiency Training works requires thinking about depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, bipolar and obsessive compulsive symptoms in a brand-new way. Sams explains that it’s not a drug treatment, nor is it drug-like in action. There’s no active ingredient, so no possibility of serious side effects. It doesn’t treat disease or suppress symptoms. In fact, NeuroMatrix is more training than treatment—it’s like a neurological tutor or coach for the brain.
According to Sams, those able to perform at high levels have brains structurally and functionally capable of doing what nature designed it to do. Inversely, the brains of those with attention, learning, memory and mood problems are not functioning with efficiency. There may be slow, lazy brain waves that are overwhelming the faster frequencies required for peak focus and attention, working frequency may be deficient and not available for specific tasks (such as reading), or the brain can become energetically “locked” into a particular brainwave pattern and not able to efficiently shift from task to task. In any of these scenarios, the brain is not able to do its job efficiently and quality of life suffers. This is where the training comes in.
Sams says that the NeuroMatrix Training’s answer to attention, mood and behavior issues is dramatically different than anything found in traditional medical, psychological or educational systems. Its objective is to offer meaningful information to the brain on how it’s performing. Using this input, the brain can restore or create optimum functioning on its own, as Sams says it’s intended.
Six scientifically proven techniques are used in the training process: Remedial Neurofeedback Training, Interactive Neurofeedback Training, Targeted Deep Brain Neurofeedback Training, Audio-Visual Entrainment (light-sound therapy), Transcranial DC Modulation (TDCM) and Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback Training.
Remedial Neurofeedback gives instant feedback for enhanced performance. The trainee plays any of 100 or so commercial video games as the brain waves are picked up at the selected electrode sites. A group of working frequencies are chosen by the neurotherapist and played back to the brain as high-pitched audio tones through headphones. Because the feedback information is highly specific about the cellular activity and communication networks the brain is producing to play the complex game, the brain quickly recognizes that it is listening to itself. With this realization, the brain begins to use the information to optimize its performance.
Transcranial DC Modulation does what it implies: It produces a gentle direct current that is applied with sponge electrodes on the scalp that modulates brain function. “The direct current signal normalizes brain function by calming parts o f the brain that are too active and energizing underactive areas,” states Sams.
He adds that research and clinical studies have shown that TDCM improves symptoms of depression, refractory epilepsy (drug-resistant seizures), migraine headaches, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, learning, dexterity in stroke, memory in those with Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia pain and bulimia. In addition, Targeted Deep Brain Neurofeedback rapidly restores important deep function to optimal levels with special software and ultrafast gaming computers.
Proper breathing technique is an important part of the NeuroMatrix Training. While Neurofeedback and TDCM techniques positively affect the central nervous system (brain), breathing helps balance the autonomic nervous system (the flight-or-fight response) for greater emotional resilience. The Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a biofeedback process that uses breathing techniques to regulate the timing between heartbeats.
The Sams Center tracks progress at a level unlike any other neurofeedback center in the world. A brain wave analysis is done at every session for a statistical comparison. That makes it easy to track progress and make adjustments as needed. Because Sams is also a naturopath, he may also add supplementation if he deems it necessary. “My intention is not to load patients with supplements,” he says. “I’m here to help, and will do what’s in the best interest of the patient and their progress.”
Always working harder and smarter, Sams says the number of required sessions is decreasing, thanks to more targeted training. “Our goal is to be more efficient and get more done quicker for the sake of the patient,” he explains. “What might have taken 40 to 60 sessions before is now taking 25 to 30. Patients not only see results faster, but it’s more economical for them.”
After four decades, Sams is just as passionate as ever. “We see miracles every day because of this training,” he says. “I love going to work—it’s like every day is recess. I can’t even imagine not doing this every day.”
The Sams Center is located at 2301 Ohio Dr., Ste. 200, in Plano. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 972-612-0160 or visit GreatBrain.com.