Beka Chandler & Dan Altman Ashland Brain Center

Navigating life’s challenges can leave its marks on us, which can result in stress, sleeping difficulties, anxiety, depression or just a decline in our overall feeling of well-being. In severe cases, this can lead to conditions like chronic insomnia, PTSD, or physical decline. Recognizing this, it becomes imperative to prioritize our neurological health on par with our physical well-being. Meet Beka Chandler and Dan Altman, the dedicated owners of Ashland Brain Center. Specializing in alleviating stress, enhancing clarity and focus, improving memory, and guiding individuals to operate in the zone of peak performance, they are making a significant difference in Southern Oregon. Join me in this enlightening interview as we delve into the transformative work of Beka and Dan at the Ashland Brain Center.

Beka and Dan, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today and thank you also for your long-term participation in the LocalsGuide.

We are avid readers of the LocalsGuide and have enjoyed learning about the many interesting local businesses in Southern Oregon by reading this publication. We are grateful for the opportunity to speak with you and share with your readers about this life changing, transformative neurofeedback technology.

What is neurofeedback, and when is it beneficial to use?

Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback, is a tune-up for our brains. This technology is helpful for a wide spectrum of issues which people are faced with these days, such as depression, anxiety, and sleeping difficulties. When the brain is balanced and working harmoniously, people learn faster, remember things easily and are able to find creative solutions for life’s problems. Neurofeedback supports healthy brain functioning so we can live our lives in a “flow state,” or what athletes call “the zone.”

Because life is a contact sport, we all take our knocks at times. Our brain isn’t always able to respond quickly. The brain can get stuck in unhealthy habitual patterns such as worrying about the same things – over and over, not being able to flexibly move through our thoughts, or daily tasks. Sleep can be affected, moods can be affected, relationships can be difficult, performance can suffer.

Neurofeedback supports and allows the brain to return a healthy pattern of flexibility and resilience which is natural to us before we encounter the bumps and traumas of life.

Why should I use neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback training provides a multitude of benefits for the brain and body, including improved sleep, heightened mental clarity, and enhanced cognitive performance.

Clients – millions and growing – have used the NeurOptimal neurofeedback system to address a number of physical, emotional and cognitive complaints with great success. These fall into a few general categories:

1. Physical, Cognitive and Emotional Challenges.

Adults, as well as children, have used neurofeedback to address the negative effects arising from depression, anxiety, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, autism, sleep disorders, misophonia and other complaints. The FDA has even approved neurofeedback as effective for stress reduction.

The American Pediatric Academy has endorsed neurofeedback (aka EEG biofeedback) as a “Level 1/Best Support” treatment for children with ADHD. Furthermore, the APA has equated neurofeedback with medication in terms of efficacy for resolving ADHD.

2. General Wellness

NeurOptimal neurofeedback encourages an overall positive mental outlook and a deeper understanding of the mind/body connection. For those looking to enhance their daily health and wellness, neurofeedback training can be an excellent supplement to a healthy diet and exercise routine.

3. Brain Fitness / Age Remediation:

Along with healthy lifestyle choices, neurofeedback can be a powerful tool to mediate cognitive decline that can occur as we age. Just as physical exercise benefits the body, neurofeedback keeps the brain fit and resilient. Neurofeedback can help improve memory and increase overall cognitive dexterity in older individuals.

4. Peak Physical / Mental Performance:

A growing number of Olympic and professional athletes now use neurofeedback to provide that critical mental edge which often results in gold medals and championships. When competitors are separated by 100ths of a second, the improved mental focus and physical performance neurofeedback provides can mean the difference between winning and losing. But you don’t have to be a pro athlete to enjoy the benefits of neurofeedback. Looking to improve your golf game or your pickleball skills? Neurofeedback can help.

5. Improved Academic Performance

Because neurofeedback training enhances concentration and mental focus, students use neurofeedback as a critical tool to improve their performance in school. Unlike so-called “smart drugs” or neuro enhancing pharmaceuticals, neurofeedback is 100% drug-free and has no known side effects (apart from improved sleep!).

Dan, you’ve observed that many people show some signs of PTSD. Can you elaborate on this observation?

At my previous neurofeedback business, when we assessed people’s brainwave patterns, we were surprised to find that almost everyone showed some signs of an overactive fight or flight system. When this happens, our brains are on constant alert – we feel stress and have difficulty relaxing and enjoying life. When this is severely imbalanced people experience PTSD.

Our brains evolved when human survival depended upon the fight or flight system which provided a huge, short term survival advantage. The problem we face now is that with our current media and internet, our brains are constantly bombarded with fearful stories that cause stress, which is the fight or flight nervous system being over-stimulated. Over time this chronic stress can result in difficulty with sleeping and focusing, and long-term health issues. The conservative AMA estimates that between 75 to 90% of all illness is stress related.

Can you please give us an overview of the services you are providing here at the Ashland Brain Center.

We provide NeurOptimal neurofeedback which is an advanced form of dynamic brain training designed to optimize brain function. By helping the brain to self-regulate, it provides help for stress reduction, improving focus and concentration, enhancing sleep quality, mood regulation, and peak physical and mental performance.

A typical neurofeedback session lasts about an hour. The client sits in a comfortable, zero-gravity chair for the session. We attached EEG sensors to the scalp, which are completely passive – they are listening to the changes in the brain. As the client listens to music, the software monitors the brainwave activity and provides feedback that allows the brain to make changes and self-regulate.

How does it work?

The NeurOptimal neurofeedback system is a highly personalized brain training software that prompts the central nervous system to help make the best use of your brain’s neural resources.

Neurofeedback training for the brain is similar to physical training for the body. Much of our suffering comes from pervasive recurring thoughts and feelings in which our minds become emotionally stranded or cognitively “stuck.”

Neurofeedback prompts the brain to draw from its existing resources and pull itself out of these mental “ruts.” The result is a more open and positive mindset in which obstacles are more manageable and problems more resolvable.

Much like a mirror that promotes self-correction, NeurOptimal’s neurofeedback program monitors your brain waves and then provides “feedback” to your central nervous system about what it has just done. When the software detects a tremor in your brain wave pattern, it sends an audible signal that encourages the brain to “reset” and self-correct.

What are the changes that are experienced with brain training?

• Sleep patterns change – people feel more rested and report sleeping through the night.

• Waking up feeling more refreshed.

• The restless and internal frustration people feel often dissipates.

• People often become more involved in family and social discussions.

• Mood improvement – overall feelings of contentment, happiness and wellbeing.

• Less Impulsive and able to stay focused longer.

• Clients often notice improved visual, auditory and sensual awareness.

• More energy than before training.

• More compassion and empathy.

• Less obsessive and compulsive behavior.

• Less distracted and better memory.

• More patient, less reactive with people.

• Can roll with life’s “punches” more easily.

• More resilience – able to recover quickly when life throws us a curve.

Beka and Dan, what are the qualifications for coming in to work with you?

When the scientists who developed the NeurOptimal Neurofeedback system are asked the question – who can benefit from this technology? They reply, “Anyone with a brain can benefit!”

It is used on toddlers to our oldest citizens, by the sick and the well, by those not functioning at their best to those who excel at what they do.

Is neurofeedback beneficial for strokes and concussions, as well as physical and emotional and trauma?

Neurofeedback has been shown to support healing from concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI). In his bestselling book The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk recommends neurofeedback as one of the most effective modalities for healing and resolving physical and emotional trauma.

Beka, could you share details about your award for Best Local Massage Therapist?

Prior to becoming a neurofeedback practitioner, Beka was a full-time massage therapist here in Ashland and was on the list as one of Ashland’s massage favorites. Beka has been trained and practiced many healing modalities and brings this wealth of experience to her clients. Many local chiropractors and physicians would refer their difficult clients to Beka as she has a track record of helping people recover when others were not able to help.

Dan, please tell us about your wellness coaching and how it contributes to restoring the peace and mental wellbeing that we all are seeking.

I have been trained as a Transformational Life Coach and have studied a spiritual teaching called the Three Principles discovered by Sydney Banks. In my experience with neurofeedback clients as they regain their sense of wellbeing and resilience, I sometimes recommend 3 Principles teachings to support their continued growth. One of the teachings of the 3 Principles is that we all have innate mental health that is never lost. We are all resilient, resourceful human beings. Neurofeedback is one path for healing the trauma and habitual brain patterns that are the source of our suffering – this allows us to experience the natural, fundamental wellbeing that we all have in our core.

When working with a client what does an initial session look like?

We ask that you fill out some paperwork – a short questionnaire and intake form. The client is seated in a comfortable zero gravity chair facing a large computer monitor. Sensors are placed on the scalp and ears with conductive paste. We offer earbuds or speakers for listening to brain training music. Clients get into a deeply relaxed state as the brain receives feedback from the small interruptions in the music that sometimes sound like static. These interruptions are the neurofeedback software’s way of providing non-conscious attention to the process.

Is neurofeedback training safe?

Yes! The NeurOptimal system has been used for 17 years and well over 3 MILLION hours of use worldwide. It is time-tested, safe, and effective.

Will the training results stick? Is it forever?

Like learning to ride a bicycle, once the brain learns new more efficient ways to operate the learning is always there. You may have to practice your bike riding skills if you have not ridden for years but your brain does not forget the learned patterns of success. Many clients continue to come in for “tune-up” sessions whenever they feel they need them.

Can you work with children?

Yes. We encourage parents to bring some activities/books their child may enjoy while they are having sessions.

How much do sessions cost?

The cost is $85 for a single session with special package pricing.

Beka, can you share some recent success stories with us?

Here are a few testimonials.

“After only seven sessions, neurofeedback has literally changed my life. As someone with a history of worry and fears, suffice it to say that I had been struggling for a long time.

Before I did neurofeedback training I was completely a wreck. Now, I’m becoming less and less reliant on my old coping mechanism. I’m sleeping better, no longer having worrying thoughts, and the exhaustion I was in before has faded away.

Overall, I’m feeling much more energized, happier and healthier than I have in years. I would highly recommend neurofeedback to anyone struggling in their lives.”


“After 5 sessions I have found that I remain calmer in the face of what would usually irritate me and have been able to let these things go both at home and work. More of a “go with the flow” type of response. I have also noticed that my husband who has been having neurofeedback sessions for his PTSD and ADHD has been able to concentrate on tasks for longer periods of time and for the first time is making real progress in our garage!”

– Leslie, Hillsboro OR

“I have had neurofeedback at the Ashland Brain Center for two years under the caring guidance of Beka Chandler and Dan Altman.  I find the sessions have positively impact the plasticity of my brain and nervous system. I look forward to each session as I believe it is providing a cumulative, good and lasting effect on my brain”.

Sarah T., Ashland, Oregon

From a recent client from New York:

“I recently had a concussion and could not believe how disoriented I felt. After days of feeling sick and fatigued, After I found neurofeedback training, it was like night and day! After just my first session I felt significantly more grounded and centered, more in control of the connection between my mind and body. Head injuries are quite scary, so it was a huge relief to have such an enjoyable and effective path to recovery. I continued with the neurofeedback training sessions once per week and was amazed to see improvements in my sleeping pattern, and my general focus. I highly recommend Neurofeedback – this training is for those who want to be focused, relaxed, and clear-minded.”

G.T. – New York City, NY

Beka and Dan, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today. Do you have any last thoughts or comments you would like to share with our readers?

So many people can benefit from this technology. It is safe, affordable, and very effective. We encourage you to contact us as we love to share this wonderful healing modality with others – so please reach out to us. If you have read this far – thanks for your attention!

– Beka and Dan

Learn More:

Ashland Brain Center also known as Southern Oregon Neurofeedback

We are located near Ashland High School and Science Works in Ashland. or


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Southern Oregon Neurofeedback

Beka Chandler has always been passionate about working with trauma & the nervous system.   Beka & Dan have over 25 years of neurofeedback experienced combined.
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