The Infra-slow fluctuation (ISF) training is focussed on the lowest frequencies in the brain (0.1Hz). and is performed on DC amplifiers which allow the lowest frequencies to pass through. Infra-slow fluctuation training focuses on emergent state shifts within a session. These shifts require adjustments that optimise a client’s response to the training in real time. The infra slow fluctuation training, unlike the classical neurofeedback training, is merely a display of the IFS signal, and reflecting/monitoring of the client’s shift in state as a result of, and therefore no direction or quantity of the signal is desired, in other words, there is no goal to achieve. It is a reflection of the ISF activity that causes the trainee to ‘feel something’.
What happens during training?
The purpose is to find the trainee’s optimal frequency or the frequency where the trainee feels most relaxed, comfortable and positively alert. The trainee responds with increased awareness of his or her physiological state as the state shifts. This type of training has to do with general cortical activation, shifts in parasympathetic response and achievement of a new mental state, and the main purpose is to reach a state of optimal homeostasis.
In the first session, we start at 0.0030 Hz. After a few minutes, the clinician asks targeted questions with regards to any emerging discomfort experienced by the trainee. If yes, the frequency is changed until no discomfort is felt, and when the optimal frequency is determined, it is then used in the following sessions.
The optimum frequency is reflected back to the client with 2 reward sounds. A higher tone is heard when amplitude increases more than 15 % and a lower tone is heard when the amplitude decreases more than 15% compared to a dampen average of the signal. Listening to a tone during the session tells you that when the “infra-slow” brainwaves shifted 15% above or below, a trainee can be led into another state.
How is ISF training conceptualised clinically?
- It is largely symptoms driven.
- The trainer and trainee focus on the symptoms experienced.
- Three categories are included: Homeostatic deficits of the brain state, Developmental disorders & trauma, Arousal and activation disorders
- The QEEG identifies the positions or placements on the head.
- ISF training has the purpose of reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation, regulating sleep architecture and maintenance, and reduces hyper vigilance or over arousal.
- Autonomic regulation is monitored during sessions via body temperature, heart rate and galvanic skin response.
- Deficits of homeostasis
- Mood swings
- Asthma, which is also an affective disorder
- Panic attacks
- Paranomnias – night terrors, sleep walking or talking
Developmental Disorders and Trauma
- Attachment disorders (RAD)
- Personality disorders
- Arousal & Activation Disorders
- Learning disabilities
- Tics and OCD, Tourette’s
Questions are asked at the start of a session to determine the trainees mental and physical state. Training focus on 1 symptom and frequency changes are done on a 0.005 Hz level after which, the trainee’s response is checked every 3-4 minutes. The shifts in autonomic nervous system state persist, and or enfold in the 24 hours following the training session. It is therefore very important to get feedback from the trainee within 24 hours. They have to focus on any changes that occur with regards to sleep, pain, alertness or drowsiness, as well as symptoms mentioned above.
(Infra-Slow fluctuation training. On the down low neuromodulation. Mark L Smith 2017).