Another uncontrolled study asked eight adults to listen to a binaural beat CD with delta (1 to 4 Hz) beat frequencies for 60 days straight. The participants filled out surveys before and after the 60-day period that asked questions about their mood and quality of life. The results of the study found that listening to binaural beats for 60 days significantly reduced anxiety and increased the overall quality of life of these participants. Since the study was small, uncontrolled, and relied on patient surveys to collect data, larger studies will be needed to confirm these effects.
Hemispheric synchronization: Whether it’s optimal or suboptimal to operate in a state of hemispheric synchronization remains unknown. Some speculate there are numerous benefits of brain waves operating in “sync” as a result of entrainment. There may be an increased communication between the right and left hemisphere of the brain – which could improve certain functions. However, it is also important to realize that increased hemispheric synchronization may not be as beneficial as many have speculated.
ADHD: In 1997, various researchers conducted a study testing whether children with ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) would benefit from audio-visual entrainment in a school setting. The researchers entrained a small sample of 34 students from 2 different schools. They were given audio-visual entrainment for a period of 1 month and 3 weeks at various times throughout the school day.
Exercise can be an effective component of a stress management program for many individuals and should be recommended to help those who are dealing with acute, acute episodic, or chronic stress. An advantage of incorporating exercise into a stress management program compared with other stress management techniques is the well-documented physical and psychological health benefits of exercise. However, it is important to remember that exercise is only one component of a stress management program, and there might be situations that require assistance beyond the expertise of a fitness professional, especially in working with individuals who are experiencing acute episodic or chronic stress. Although exercise might be effective in helping an individual feel calmer who is dealing with these types of stress, it will not solve the problem of major chronic or regular stressors. It may be necessary to refer these individuals to resources who can help them to address their stressors, such as a psychologist or other health care providers.
Yoga involves a series of both moving and stationary poses, combined with deep breathing. As well as reducing anxiety and stress, yoga can also improve flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina. Since injuries can happen when yoga is practiced incorrectly, it’s best to learn by attending group classes, hiring a private teacher, or at least following video instructions. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can practice alone or with others, tailoring your practice as you see fit.
If brainwave entrainment leaves you with unwanted side-effects (see below) or discomfort, you’re probably encouraging a range of brainwaves that are already excessive in some area of your brain. The way around this is to get a brain map to see what your brain’s strengths and weaknesses are, and see what (if any) brainwaves could use some encouragement.
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Yoga poses can also be great stress relievers. “Power posing” takes good posture one step further and can help you take control of your stress. “Consider using a superhero power pose to fight off stress,” Dr. Serani says. “Research states that posing like Superman—arms crossed, legs apart, and chin up—can bring forth feelings of strength.” In addition, some poses derived from yoga can also help you feel empowered (like the warrior pose) or calm (like the cat pose). “Shashankasana, or moon pose, can be done with buttocks placed on the folded legs and bending forward completely, head on the ground in front of the knees,” says Savita Joshi, E-RYT, MBA, B.E, a yoga therapist at Yoga Bharati. “During stress, one may stay in this pose longer with knees kept apart so that hips can lower down on to the heels and head touches the floor. This pose improves the blood circulation in the head region, and directs the vital energy toward it.”
“Brainwave entrainment has powerful benefits, that's clear. But most brainwave entrainment CDs tend to be non-specific, across the board. What if you want to achieve one particular state, 'cos that's what you need right now? That's possible with these Brain Salon sessions! You want to chill out, get ideas, go to sleep, feel energized or happy, or get 100% mentally switched-on - just listen to the session and you've got it! You 'get the hang' of these states too, so after enough practice you don't even need the brainwave entrainment CDs to control your own mind. It's worked for me, and I'm sure will do the same for you too.”