pIR-Specific Information

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Answers to your Questions

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pIR is designed to work the entire prefrontal, not a small area like nIR.   Place it in the center of your forehead and leave it there.  If you’re like most people, there are issues you don’t necessarily recognize as prefrontal that, training properly, you’ll begin to notice changing as well as the stuff you think you’re training.  With pIR you don’t split the session into 3 parts.

Jeff Carmen said that he had tried a number of different sites, shifting around as is often done with nIR, and he found that training at Fpz gave him results all over the front of the head. In my own session with him at that time, my pre IR photo showed dark spots above the left orbital ridge and on the right side between about Fp2 and Af2. We did 10 minutes at Fpz and both the lower left side and the upper right side areas brightened considerably.

What seems to happen, among other things, is that it evens out perfusion between “hot” and “cold” areas of the PFC.  It has also been reputed to improve hypo-coherence in the PFC.

Length of pIR Session

Watch the graph.  Most clients (if you aren’t training very late in the day) will have a period of rising temperatures (keep track of how long that is, where the peaks keep getting higher and the troughs are also higher).  Then there is usually a plateau, where the trend line flattens out, though there are still peaks and troughs (keep track of how long that lasts). Finally the trend will turn down.   The client can raise the temperature, though the peaks tend to be lower each time, but it’s very difficult to push to a new high.   I’ve seen people do this with a long spike and an immediate collapse to a new low.  When the client has clearly turned into the downward trend, stop the session.  Most people can do–with pIR–somewhere in the vicinity of 6-12 minutes in the early sessions, slowly building from session to session.   Once the client can do more than 20 minutes, drop to twice a week in frequency and I don’t believe it’s recommended to go beyond 30 minutes for a session.


pIR was originally developed at least partially with migraineurs in mind, so I would always try that if migraines were part of the problem, but I’ve heard a number of nIR users also say that they got good results with their technology as well.  Since HEG tends to increase the capillarization of the brain tissue, getting the blood out more quickly into the “local neighborhoods”, it makes sense that it would be helpful with migraines, since many of those are related to a parasympathetic rebound:  after a period of severe stress response, when the relaxation comes, blood flow to the extremities over-responds.  Giving that blood places to go that are useful to the brain can be very helpful.

pIR Calibration

Unlike nIR, where the headband is in contact with the skin, pIR keeps its sensors at some distance from the body so you start every session at room temperature–generally about 20 degrees cooler than skin temperature.

Here’s the trick:   place the head set under your arm, between the arm and the body, with the sensors toward the body, and keep it there for several minutes.   When you put it on, it will already be calibrated to the body to some extent and should start closer to real temperature.

Temperature Scale

I’m not sure the scale of the temperature axis.   I think someone told me once, but it’s not important.   Think of it as a relative scale.   It’s not critical where someone starts (I’ve seen people start as low as 50 and as high as 95).   Jeff Carmen says it’s not important that they raise it (though I like to see that).

Stabilizing the Signal

In the design I use, I let the temperature rise (it usually overshoots then comes back down), let the auto threshold come up and stabilize on the screen.   This might take a minute or so, and I guess Jeff would say that things hadn’t stabilized, but if the client stops paying attention, the value goes down, and if he/she focuses, it stays stable or rises.   I also had the benefit of having Jeff do a session on me years ago (before he learned all the fancier new stuff.   I had the infrared photo of my forehead, stuck the headband on (a masonite box in those days), and in a minute or so I was training.   I trained for 5-8 minutes.   We did another photo, and there were clear changes in several of the dark areas.  SOMETHING happened, even though we did it all WRONG!!

I put the headband on and turn on the Pendant.   Then I get the DVD going and move it to the point where the client will begin watching, then I start BioExplorer, set up the recording and wait for the target to stabilize.   I don’t know how many minutes that takes.   But if I’m doing it wrong, I have to wonder why it is that the rises and falls take place all the way up to a point and then the brain seems to lose the ability to keep going.   The temperature begins a downward trend with its ups and downs.   Am I supposed to wait until that happens before I decide I’m ready to start the session?   I stop then because I’ve had clients want to push through it, and the results are usually bad (headaches, fatigue, irritability).

BioEra vs BioExplorer

Jeff’s system requires that you purchase his hardware, BioEra, his design (probably the only thing you’ll use BioEra for).

I use BioExplorer with a Pendant for all my pIR training and find it works fine. We sell it with the auto-thresholding designs from Itallis, but you can also download free versions from brain-trainer for use with video or DVD (using brightness that drops immediately when the client goes below target, then continues to darken the longer the client stays below).