Ryan Ellis* considered himself a sharp-witted, forward-thinking leader when he opened his private equity finance company in Denver 10 years ago. But when he reached his 50s, he noticed his memory slipping during routine workdays and meetings, and he was always lagging behind his younger counterparts. He was frustrated—until he enrolled in a program with LearningRx, Denver’s only so-called brain-training center.
LearningRx focuses on neuroplasticity, or adding to your brain’s neural connections to increase your capacity to think. Imagine your thoughts are roads toward a mental destination. Because of neuroplasticity, the brain is able to build a slew of new highways to get you from point A to point B—easier, faster, and more efficiently. LearningRx directors Christina and Michael Sevilla brought the franchised concept to Cherry Creek—a second Denver-area center opens this month in Centennial—two years ago with the mantra, “Don’t settle for the brain you think you were born with.”
LearningRx students range from those who want a competitive boost at work or school to those with learning disabilities or brain injuries. Following a skills assessment test, students begin a customized mental workout plan via one-on-one, hour-long sessions three times per week for a minimum of three months. The staff—most trained in psychology and education, and each having been tested themselves with superior results—chooses from hundreds of mental exercises, such as puzzlelike visual and auditory processing equations, to fine-tune skills such as memory, logic, comprehension, and attention.
At $80 an hour, plus $249 for the initial testing, the sessions aren’t cheap. But LearningRx claims the results are permanent, and clients gain an average of 15 IQ points from the training, which could propel you from “average” to “highly intelligent” according to some scales. “Once a person has completed a program, the brain will continue to function at that level, just by being an active participant in daily life,” Christina says. Adds her husband: “Our success is when you don’t need us anymore.”
For Ellis, the center dramatically improved his professional life. “Imagine being able to remember 10 times more,” Ellis says, “and think faster than you thought possible.” Sudden superpowers? Not quite. But a little extra edge never hurts.
*Ryan Ellis’ name has been changed for privacy reasons.