Stress affects your whole body, so find a pick-me-up for each of your senses. Turning on a favorite tune uses your sense of hearing for a science-backed burst of good feeling, and using aromatherapy uses your sense of smell to relax you. “Oils like lavender and lemon reduce stress,” Dr. Serani says. “Also, don’t forget that your sense of smell is the most nostalgic of all your senses,” so if you have a scent that reminds you of comfort, keep it on hand to sniff when you’re freaking out. Your sense of touch can be employed by stroking a “talisman”—a favorite or sentimental item—or even an “intention stick,” which you can hold like a wand to feel more in control. Chew gum to use your sense of taste to curb stress (scientists think it’s the lasting flavor, not just the act of chewing itself, that makes gum such a great stress reliever). Besides using your mind’s eye to visualize a happy place, you can use your sense of sight to look at calming images—cat videos on the Internet have actually been scientifically proven to lower stress.
This unique session works the opposite to most sessions. It attempts to ‘dis-entrain’ the brain, breaking stuck thinking patterns and allowing a fresh way of thinking. The recording contains random and chaotic isochronic tones spanning 7.83 to 18 Hz, played over a background of gamma-embedded noise. Use this session to sit back and allow fresh ideas and new connections to form. Finishes at the illuminating14Hz sensorimotor rhythm frequency.
Relaxation: There is already evidence that brainwave entrainment helps improve relaxation. In studies analyzing short-term stress and anxiety, significant improvements were noted. This has been verified by other studies that suggest brainwave entrainment enhances muscle relaxation in biofeedback and can help with pain reduction and migraine headaches. The relaxation-induced response of entrainment may be responsible for a variety of the benefits.
It might seem obvious that you’d know when you’re stressed, but many of us spend so much time in a frazzled state that we’ve forgotten what it feels like when our nervous systems are in balance: when we’re calm yet still alert and focused. If this is you, you can recognize when you’re stressed by listening to your body. When you’re tired, your eyes feel heavy and you might rest your head on your hand. When you’re happy, you laugh easily. And when you’re stressed, your body lets you know that, too. Get in the habit of paying attention to your body’s clues.
Then in my own research regarding my life-long hypertension and its resistance to medication, I became very concerned when I learned that 145/95 is the gateway to dementia. At that time my BP was consistently 145/95. Then, even worse, it started to become routinely 161/106. I was simply unwilling to take more medication with all its attendant side effects, so I started researching natural solutions. I became aware of a breathing apparatus which sold for $300 that would help me train myself to deep breathe, thereby reducing my blood pressure. $300 seemed like a lot, but not in the scheme of saving my life. I started thinking. I already knew how to breathe from my brief studies in Chi Gung. I simply needed something to help me focus my mind. I tried using the Chi Gung breathing while simply counting 200 breaths. It worked for a short while, but I quickly became far too bored, even though I knew it could be a lifesaving measure. I had been considering EquiSync for sometime, and realized it was much less expensive than a $300 breathing regulator, and that it might serve a dual purpose. So I purchased the entire suite.
It’s not easy to remember to use your senses in the middle of a minor or not so minor crisis. At first, it will feel easier to just give into pressure and tense up. But with time, calling upon your senses will become second nature. Think of the process like learning to drive or play golf. You don’t master the skill in one lesson; you have to practice until it becomes second nature. Eventually you’ll feel like you’re forgetting something if you don’t tune into your body during challenging times. Here’s how to make it habit:
Theta waves have a frequency between 4 and 7.5 hertz, making them slower than more wakeful alpha but faster than the dreamless slumber of delta. Theta brainwaves are the frequencies of nighttime dreams and REM sleep when the brain goes through bursts of activity and eye movement. People also experience theta waves in a state of light sleep, deep relaxation, during meditation and prayer, and when daydreaming. Theta waves produce an experience of inward wakefulness where we become disengaged from the outside world while engaging in inner activity. At the lower frequencies of theta, sleeping states are experienced, and at the higher range of frequency, awake relaxed states are experienced.
Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. “When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are hormones that fight stress,” says Frank Lupin, MS, ATC, PES, a certified athletic trainer and a personal trainer for Coordinated Health in Bethlehem, Pa. “Exercise helps you get your mind off your problems and clears your head,” adds Thomas Plante, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Santa Clara University in California. Here are eight different kinds of exercise that can heighten energy and provide stress relief.
"When you're stressed, there's a battle being fought inside you," Mangieri says. "The antioxidants and phytonutrients found in berries fight in your defense, helping improve your body's response to stress and fight stress-related free radicals." Research has also shown that blueberry eaters experience a boost in natural killer cells, "a type of white blood cell that plays a vital role in immunity, critical for countering stress," says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health's contributing nutrition editor.
Everyone experiences stress, and not all stress is bad. Individuals who experience acute episodic or chronic stress are at increased risk for developing stress-related health problems. Research supports the idea that exercise can improve the way the body handles stress, and it can provide a time-out from stressors. Exercise programs meeting the current recommendations for health included within a stress management program can be effective in stress reduction. However, it is important to consider the client’s stressors and physical activity barriers, activities the client will enjoy, and the exercise setting. Prescribing exercise for clients seeking stress management is recommended, but fitness professionals should recognize that some clients will need additional assistance for managing stress and major life stressors.
However, yoga and meditation take time to learn and master, and until the student becomes proficient, progress can be slow and frustrating, leading many people to abandon the effort before they see the benefits. Brainwave entrainment has the potential for helping a person enter the relaxing and rejuvenating mind-states brought about by yoga and meditation without the learning curve and time needed for mastering these other techniques. Brainwave entrainment may even facilitate learning other mindfulness methods by helping a person achieve success faster and more reliably.
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So using the example track above, the right ear is sent a 20Hz beat, compared to a 10Hz beat in the left ear. As the right ear receives the higher frequency of beat, this works to increase the speed of the ‘left' brain hemisphere, which can be helpful for people with conditions like ADD, who are often found to have an abundance of slow wave activity in the left brain.
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My relaxation program calms your mind and relaxes your body without making you drowsy. You can use the full one hour program whenever you’d like to ease your stress and anxiety, and regain your mental focus. The program also includes a short 10 minute “instant mental refresher” for when you need a quick break from a hectic day. This program is designed for anyone suffering from constant stress and anxiety so that you can…
While the physiological and psychological processes being uncovered by brain science in the study of brainwaves is sometimes complex and still being investigated, certain basic principles are well-established, easily understood, and helpful for achieving the most effectively use of brainwave entrainment when seeking relaxation, improved sleep, lowering of anxiety, or other goals. This important background information and scientific knowledge presented here includes:
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.
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