In addition to its calming physical effects, the relaxation response also increases energy and focus, combats illness, relieves aches and pains, heightens problem-solving abilities, and boosts motivation and productivity. Best of all, anyone can reap these benefits with regular practice. And while you may choose to pay for a professional massage or acupuncture session, for example, most relaxation techniques can be done on your own or with the aid of free audio downloads or inexpensive smartphone apps.
A combination of strokes works well to relieve muscle tension. Try gentle chops with the edge of your hands or tapping with fingers or cupped palms. Put fingertip pressure on muscle knots. Knead across muscles, and try long, light, gliding strokes. You can apply these strokes to any part of the body that falls easily within your reach. For a short session like this, try focusing on your neck and head:
In simplest form, they are an audio technology which are used for (safe) brainwave entrainment. Our subconscious mind operates, throughout the day and night, in various brainwave state frequencies, measured in cycles per second (Hz) These frequencies range from the slowest (Delta) frequencies experienced in deep, dreamless sleep and in deep meditation where your conscious-awareness is fully detached, to the fastest (Gamma) frequencies associated to stimulating flow states, high-level thinking and information processing. There are actually 5 known brainwave state frequencies each having their own set of unique characteristics:
Beta stimulation: There is evidence that stimulation within the beta range can improve attention, measures of intelligence, relieve short-term stress, decrease headaches, and decrease behavioral problems. Some evidence even suggests that beta could decrease emotion-based exhaustion. Many people with slower frequency brain waves may benefit from regular beta stimulation.
“Stress” is a commonly used term, and it is often used with different meanings. The standard definition for stress that will be used in this article is the disruption of the body’s homeostasis or a state of disharmony in response to a real or perceived threat or challenge (8). The threatening or challenging situation is referred to as a “stressor.” When a person encounters a stressor, the body prepares to respond to the challenge or threat. The autonomic nervous and endocrine systems respond by producing the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. The result of this hormone production is a cascade of physiological reactions that make up the stress response. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are involved in the initial changes that take place to prepare the body to react and to prepare for a challenge. These responses include increases in heart and respiration rates, blood pressure, perspiration, and energy production (8). There also is a suppression of immune function, production of β-endorphin (the body’s natural pain killer), and increased acuity of the senses. These changes make up the fight-or-flight response, which prepares the body to cope with the stressor. If the stressor is perceived as negative or more as a threat than as a challenge, cortisol production is increased. Cortisol is involved in energy production but also suppresses immune function.
Tennis, anyone? One of the best ways to fit exercise into your schedule is to round up friends and family and organize a game of football, basketball, or soccer — just three of many choices. You get a double dose of stress relief from participating in team sports: Not only are you having fun with loved ones, but you’re also working up a sweat and releasing endorphins. Exercising with friends or co-workers can also motivate you to push yourself a little harder in order to stay competitive.
While it is no doubt that the technology does create changes in a person’s brain waves, whether there are valid scientific benefits resulting from those changes is up for debate. Self-reports from those that have engaged in various types of brainwave entrainment have made claims such as: the software helped treat my depression or improved my mental focus. These claims are often vague and could be subjective and/or a placebo effect.
Recently developed entrainment software has been designed to correct specific imbalances in hemispheric activity associated with undesirable mind-states. For example, people suffering with depression often have more activity in the right hemisphere, and specially designed brainwave music decreases this activity while increasing activity in the left hemisphere, reducing depression.
This thing blows my mind! The first time I used it I was like "No way!" As I kept using it I discovered that it is literally the only way I am able to fall asleep nights when my mind is so full of thoughts and my anxiety is running rampant! I hate the way sleep aids make me feel like I've been run over by a freight train. I recently switched from using "Deep Sleep" to "Dreamy Sleep" and had the craziest dreams! I normally can't remember my dreams and I was actually able to recall quite a bit of them. Unfortunately last night, I dreamt that I faked the death of my dog last year and I felt like it lasted the whole night so I think I'll be switching back to "Deep Sleep" :( Awesome product though. My *only* complaint is that I wish there were more ambiance options or the ability to use it with Pandora. You can use your own music but I don't have much personal music on my phone so I am limited to using the app's ambiance tracks and they get old after a while. Highly recommend!
Tired of self help tapes, pills and chewing gum to help you quit smoking? The New York Hypnosis Center can help you stop smoking with the healing powers of hypnosis. Hypnosis' focus is much more than an attempt to strengthen your ability to resist, but rather, it is designed to help eliminate your desire to smoke. If you're tired of those quick gimmicks to kick your habit, visit www.nyhypnosis.net today. We can help you discover why you smoke and how you can become a non-smoker. …
It was a few months after the birth of our second child that I came to truly understand the effects of long-term sleep deprivation. Constantly waking up at 1:00 or 3:00 a.m. soon turned daily life into a hazy blur. I'd often find myself lying in bed, anticipating the next round of crying, or later in the night, I'd be tossing and turning for ages after being woken up. It's no fun whatsoever to drag yourself out of bed every morning with dark circles under your eyes. During this time, it became … [Read more...]
Robert Monroe, a radio producer and executive published a popular book called Journeys Out of the Body about his out-of-body experiences when using brainwave entrainment. He later founded an original brainwave entrainment audio company, Hemi Sync. In 1981, the book Mega Brain by Michael Hutchison brought brainwave entrainment information, techniques, and terminology into the popular press.
If you're struggling to focus and feeling a bit tired and unmotivated while studying, you can help boost your concentration and energy levels by increasing Beta activity. The SMR range is right at the bottom of the Beta range, so it's not too intense, and so is ideal for playing in the background and using as a general study aid. If you are looking for something a bit higher for a more intense focus session, try my Study Focus isochronic tones session, which uses frequencies between 14-17Hz.
I can offer a hypothetical--however do not know know practical it will turn out to be. There is a fair amonut of bad science on this topic on you tube. The gamma wave frequency is associated with attentional focus and arguably a unified sense of self. If it could be entrained it should lead to a meditative focus-like exceptionally well-trained meditators. Some but not all studies on meditating Buddhist monks suggest this is so. Does this really and more generally occur--I will say there is nothing lost in trying--we all go into a 40Hz range on occasion without ill effect-- but I would not put confidence in the purported methods out there at present. Good luck.
The immobilization response. If you’ve experienced some type of trauma and tend to “freeze” or become “stuck” under stress, your challenge is to first rouse your nervous system to a fight or flight response (above) so you can employ the applicable stress relief techniques. To do this, choose physical activity that engages both your arms and legs, such as running, dancing, or tai chi, and perform it mindfully, focusing on the sensations in your limbs as you move.
This paper describes an arts-science collaborative project titled Standing Waves, which creatively entwines data drawn from the rhythms of the body in sleep/wake cycles with sensor-based technology for synaesthetic performance. The project partners situate their practice and research in the fields of choreography/dance, sleep science and media art and design. Our work explores how the ... [Show full abstract]View full-text
I definitely NEED (& can feel a difference mentally) Gamma the most. Beta and Alpha do better my processing. Theta waves are TERRIBLE! My normal symptoms increase when listening to those frequencies! Delta has been helpful for me around nighttime. It has helped my sleep on occasion. *Note: Do not listen to higher frequencies (Gamma, Beta) before bedtime! They will keep you very alert.
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Two people with ADHD for example could have completely different ADHD subtypes. One could have inattentiveness as the primary symptom as a result of high theta waves, and the other could have high beta-2 waves as feel hyperactive. While generalized entrainment protocols should be studied, it is important to consider that each person may respond differently to the protocols; each person has a unique neural footprint.
If anybody would like to look over the scientific evidence concerning brainwave entrainment and isochronic tones, I’ve done a lot of research over the years which I’ve collected at the PubMed website of NCBI – a branch of the National Institute of Health – that provides access to a large library of medical journal articles. I’ve made my list public so you can look through the journal articles that were published concerning this topic. Here’s the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1tmDFOl0XtyA4/collections/51531796/public/. Most of the collection only gives access to abstracts or summaries unless you’re at some kind of educational institution that has a subscription to the particular journal that article is in, but I actually find abstracts really helpful. So have at it, read away. And if your psychiatrist/therapist thinks you’re nuts for feeling better after listening to isochronic tones, just whip out your 82-page collection of scientific journal abstracts written by her peers and give it to her to read. 🙂
Accessing a more relaxed and peaceful state of mind with delta brainwaves, a spiritual awakening is increasingly possible. Gurus believe that the body & spirit connect when the conscious & subconscious minds merge, as in the delta brainwave state. This results in an ever-increasing internal awareness plus a deeper connection and understanding of the spirit.
In general, we are accustomed to being in the beta brain rhythm. We are in a Beta brainwave pattern when we are consciously alert. It is the default and dominant brainwave for most of us most of the time. We are in Beta when we feel agitated, tense, hurried, pressured, afraid and stressed. The frequencies range from 13 to 60 pulses per second in the Hertz scale.
There are general recommendations for stress management that can be applied in most situations. However, keep in mind that there are individual differences and preferences, so a “cookie cutter” approach should be avoided when making recommendations. A comprehensive stress management program will include specific techniques prescribed on an individual basis, but general stress management recommendations are presented in Table 2.
Take a hint from Taylor Swift and literally shake your body to release tension—but you probably want to do this one in private, or your coworkers might wonder what you’re up to! “In Africa and other cultures, shaking therapy is used for emotional healing—literally shaking off your perceived emotional threat of fear, self-doubt, or worry,” Miller says. “Next time you find yourself emotional because of a specific situation that side swipes you in life, imagine the irritation beading up on your body and start shaking it off from your feet all the way up to the top of your head.” Picture an animal shaking off after getting out of the water, and use the shaking as a release of the emotional attachments causing you stress. Plus, “most of the time when I use this technique, I end up flipping my frustration into laughter, which is always a great endorphin mood booster!” Miller says. Here are more proven ways to boost your mood.
I never do much to my hair, but I was ready to update my look a bit. I checked Yelp for some suggestions and I found Christopher Brian Salon. I called after work to make an appointment and they had an opening the next day. Perfect! I walk in and was greeted and offered a beverage. The salon is very sharp looking. I love the long mirrors, the light fixtures and beautiful art all around. When my stylist comes over, she introduced herself, Stacy.We go over my hair preferences and she gives me some options. We decide to try balayage. During my hair treatment, she is easy to talk to and funny. She even gave me a brief history of balayage, which I found pretty interesting. She really took the time to listen to my usual routine and suggested how I can change things in the future, but this was a great foundation to start. After my hair was colored and styled, she never pressured me to buy any add ons. Stacy was professional and kind during my time in the salon. My hair came out beautiful! I look forward to going back!!
Another study found slight improvements in trait anxiety as a result of entrainment. It was noted that the study with the most successful protocol started at 30 Hz beta and ramped the frequency down until the person experienced relaxation for 15 minutes. This was then followed with a session of 8 Hz to 14 Hz for 7 minutes. The results suggested that 75% of individuals improved on their measures of long-term stress.
This session uses a proven technique for inducing deep relaxation, playing one frequency for two minutes, then alternating to a second after a 30-second ramp, then reversing the process. The first half of the session switches between a serotonin-boosting 10Hz and the grounding and rejuvenating 7.83Hz Schumann resonance. The second half of the session goes even deeper, alternating between the relaxing 7.83Hz and 6.3Hz, a frequency associated with releasing anger and irritability. The session ends on a chilled out 10Hz.