Your Brain’s Waves

 Did you know your signature brain wave activity is unique to you.? It has a distinct rhythm and pattern that has developed over time and through habit, much like your own unique fingerprint.

Brain training can help you develop new brain wave patterns that you might be lacking or needing more of for better functioning. For example, if you have difficulty focusing, Beta training will help the frontal lobes have better focus and attention. Or if you have trouble relaxing, theta and alpha programming will help with improved sleep and lowering anxiety. Through operant conditioning the brain learns to reorganize itself and see new ways to use its inherent plasticity. The HPN neurofeedback software whispers to your brain how to heal, much like a little wind in the sails of a toy boat in a tub allows it to skim across the water when you send a puff of air.

Gamma waves are the fastest of the brainwave frequencies and signify the highest state of focus possible. They are associated with peak concentration and the brain’s optimal frequency for cognitive functioning. Nobel prize winning scientist, Sir Francis Crick believes that the 40Hz frequency may be the key to the act of cognition. 40 Hz is the window frequency used in all Brain Sync Gamma and Beta wave programs and where many new programs are headed for optimization. The research is very exciting for all of us in this field, and for you as a client wishing to “upgrade” your brain/mind and achieve a state of optimum.

Can you use brain wave therapy to improve your life? The short answer is a rousing YES!  In and of itself, brain wave therapy will relax you, open your mind to new ideas, inspire you and let you think more creatively. Our brains want to learn and grow. Come experience the how at BraintrainingofNewEngland.com in beautiful Kittery, Maine. Packages available.

 

 

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What about Soccer?

Information from Scientific American and Neuroscience Journals

It has become clear that impact sports like football and boxing can cause long-term brain damage. Now soccer is coming under scrutiny. As research is amassed, it appears that excessively heading a soccer ball can injure a player’s brain.  Professional players such as Brandi Chastain, a star of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, are using this year’s tournament to call attention to the brain injury problem.  To learn about the latest science on soccer heading and brain injuries, Scientific American spoke to Robert Cantu, professor of neurosurgery at the Boston University School of Medicine and co-founder of the Sports Legacy Institute.

What’s the scientific evidence for whether heading a soccer ball can cause brain damage?
Our findings and the findings of other researchers show that heading a soccer ball can contribute to neurodegenerative problems, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Researchers who’ve followed soccer players have seen a close relationship between the amount of heading that a player does and brain abnormalities. There’ve also been studies where researchers compared soccer players to swimmers, and swimmers’ brains look perfectly normal while the soccer players’ brains had abnormalities in their white matter fiber tracts. Nerve cells transmit their messages to other nerve cells by way of their fiber tracts, or axons, and if the brain is violently shaken enough, a person can have disruption of their fiber tracts.

What are the effects of these brain abnormalities?
Excessive shaking of the brain—excessive subconcussive and concussive trauma—can lead to cognitive symptoms, including memory problems as well as behavior and mood problems such as anxiety and depression. Other symptoms include trouble with sleep, light-headedness and headaches.

Do researchers see this brain damage later in life, once someone has stopped playing soccer?
We haven’t yet followed these abnormalities over years. Those studies are ongoing. Do those abnormalities clear up over time or do they not? We don’t know the answer yet. It’s probably some of both.

Is there a threshold of force below which a person can safely head a ball?
The science isn’t there yet. We don’t even have a threshold that predicts the linear and rotational accelerations needed to cause a concussion. The linear forces are measured in gravity, and we’ve measured hits in various sports as high as 150 g’s where people haven’t had concussions and we’ve had other individuals with hits as low as 50 to 60 g’s who’ve had concussions. The other kind of forces—the rotational or twisting forces—which are measured in radians per seconds squared, we also don’t know those forces needed to produce concussions.

We also don’t have a good handle on the threshold needed to produce subconcussive trauma, which are blows to the head that don’t produce symptoms but do produce structural changes observable in neuroimaging.

Why is it taking so long for researchers to understand the effects of concussive and subconcussive impacts on the brain?
It’s a very complex issue. You have biomechanical forces that can be measured, like the linear and rotational acceleration. But we’re dealing with a human, not an inert object in a laboratory. There are a lot of biological factors that influence whether that human being has a concussion: How many concussions that person has had before, how severe those concussions were and how close together they occurred. Other factors include: age—it’s easier to be concussed at an earlier age than at an adult age, and the recovery is slower; neck strength—if you see the hit coming and you have a strong neck, you significantly reduce your chance of a concussion; hydration status—if you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to have a concussion; and sex—women are more easily concussed than men.

What’s your advice for soccer parents? Do you recommend an age cutoff for heading a soccer ball?
We recommend that youngsters under the age of 14 not head the ball in soccer, not play tackle football and not full-body check in ice hockey. Impacts to the head are more damaging under that age, due to a number of structural and metabolic reasons. The brains of youngsters are not as myelinated as adult brains. Myelin is the coating of the neuron fibers—kind of like coating on a telephone wire. It helps transmission of signals and it also gives neurons much greater strength, so young brains are more vulnerable.

Youngsters also have disproportionately big heads. By the age of five, their heads are about 90 percent of their adult circumference, but the neck has not nearly developed to that point. They have big heads on very weak necks and that bobblehead-doll effect means you don’t have to impact the head as hard to cause damage.

Soccer: the most popular team sport in the world. Millions of people play the game and over a billion people watch the World Cup soccer championship.

What a game! Where else do people use their heads to bounce balls going 100 kilometers/hour?
Although soccer is a relatively safe sport, the game does involve contact. This contact can be:

  • player-to-player
  • player-to-ground
  • player-to-goalpost
  • player-to-ball
As you might expect, most (50-80%) soccer injuries affect the feet and legs. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that the contact that occurs while playing soccer is at the same level as during boxing, football, ice hockey, lacrosse, rodeo and wrestling and field hockey.Head injuries account for between 4% and 22% of all soccer injuries. Can this contact cause brain damage? Let’s look at the data.

Concussion and Neurofeedback

What Is High Performance Neurofeedback?

HPN High Performance Neurofeedback is a type of brainwave-based biofeedback that has shown clinical efficacy in addressing the symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Post-Concussive Syndrome, Anxiety, Depression, and Attention Deficit issues (AD/HD).

HPN is an integrative approach to neurofeedback, allowing the brain to heal itself following injury.  Patients report that they have experienced increased neurological function thereby allowing more freedom, clarity, vitality and ease in their lives after receiving treatment with HPN.

Watch and Listen to what the Professionals and Clients have to say about HPN and Concussion

Call for a Free demonstration of how Neurofeedback can enhance your quality of life and improve overall functioning.

10 Reasons Smiling Benefits You!

Mother Teresa, one of my personal role models, once said “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.” We have been smiling all our lives. And to some degree, we already possess the inherent knowledge that smiling not only feels good but it actually does good too.

Yet many of us shy from smiling as often as we ought to. I’m not the one to judge; we all have our own issues in life. But way too often, we actually punish ourselves by choosing not to smile when we really should be smiling our brains off!

So, the next time you get the opportunity to smile, just smile, and enjoy all that positivity it spawns. If you’re not convinced, well here below are reasons you should be.

1. Smiling makes you look attractive.

Your smile tells a great deal about you. It really is true. Not convinced? Try this. Try to think of some of the people you’re attracted to. Done? How many of those were actually smiling? Well, you don’t have to tell me because I already know the answer.

We are naturally hardwired to be attracted to people who smile. Something about seeing someone smile builds up all this positive energy in our minds. And every time we see them, we associate them with all that positive energy.

So, the next time you’re around a bunch of friends or strangers (it really doesn’t matter) and you want to attract attention, just smile.

2. Smiling makes you happier.

Now this is as true as it is strange. Smiling actually makes you, the person smiling, happier regardless of the situation. Normally we are hardwired to smile only during pleasant situations.

The brain in turn releases endorphins which lowers stress and improves your overall mood, hence making the situation pleasant. But it being a voluntary action, we can actually trick the brain into believing that an otherwise dull situation is actually pleasant by simply smiling.

So the next time you’re bored, or god forbid sad, try this — kick back, take a few deep breaths and smile. Just smile, and watch your brain work its magic!

3. Smiling improves your immune system.

It has been reported that when you’re smiling, the body releases more white blood cells than it usually does. And the prime purpose of white blood cells are to protect the body against both infectious diseases and foreign invaders.

So, smiling more often actually makes your body more immune to diseases and hence makes you healthier. In fact, that is the prime reason why so many famous celebrities are invited to children’s hospitals. If they can get the children to smile, that will, to some degree, boost their overall health.

So with this in mind, don’t just go smiling on your own from now on. Make others smile too!

4. Smiling makes you a better leader.

Smiling encourages trust. We can all agree to that. A person who is constantly smiling appears more trustful than someone who is not. And what more do we look for in a great leader than trust?

Take a look at all the popular leaders of the world. I don’t say the great leaders, because not all of them may be popular. But the popular ones, who are also the more successful, smile more often than others.

This is true for leadership in all levels. Fear and intimidation may work like a charm for a while, but they never last long. The leaders who truly make a mark in history are the ones that smile.

5. Smiling helps you make a better impression.

Have you ever been in a room with strangers and struggled to socialize to the extent you wish you could? Wouldn’t you in turn want to be that person who can get along with everyone in the room in a jiffy?

Well, if you look at the people who can actually do this, you will find that the key to their success is, you guessed it, smiling. Yes, they’re smiling more than you are. But guess what? Their personality is no match for yours. Put on more smiles, and you’ll be sweeping all the charm towards your direction in no time!

6. Smiling makes you more productive.

We talked about the value of smiling as a mood booster earlier, but it doesn’t end there. The effect of one good smile follows you to your workplace and in fact, helps improve your overall performance there.

And this is actually backed by research. A 2010 research led by Andrew Oswald, a Professor of Economics at Warwick Business School, proved that employees who smile more often are significantly more productive and creative in the workplace.

So whether you’re an employee or an employer, smile more often and make others around you smile more often too. It will be great for everyone involved.

7. Smiling makes you more approachable.

Imagine yourself in a room with two people you’ve never met before. You need toask them a favor.  And it’s not just any favor. It would actually be of mutual benefit. Both persons are on their phones. One is smiling, the other is not.

After a while, they put their phones down, and you’re ready to approach them. Which of the two would you go to, or at least go to first? Once again, I know the answer.

There is something about smiling that attracts trust. It makes the person wearing the smile appear warm and kind. The very qualities that make one approachable.

8. Smiling makes you more confident.

Not only does smiling make you look more confident, it actually makes you confident in the long term. If you’re someone who smiles often, you tend to attract more attention, trust and respect than others around you.

This in turn makes you look for the attention, trust and respect in every situation which is the hallmark of confidence — believing that you deserve something.

And how do you do that? The only way you’ve ever known. Smiling more! Which in turn makes you even more confident. It is almost like a chain reaction. A never ending cycle that only makes you more confident and happier with every iteration.

9. Smiles are contagious.

Well, they are, aren’t they?  How many times have you seen someone smile and get no reaction from the other party? Very few, right? People smile, even if to be polite. And we’ve talked about the seer effect of just smiling, even in pretense.

When you’re smiling, you’re actually asking the other party to join in on the fun with you. And 99 percent of the time, they do join you. Smiles are one of the most contagious things in the world, behind probably only to laughter, which is in a way just a louder smile. So smile more, and spread the joy!

10. Smiles are free.

We have discussed a lot of benefits of smiling. But we are yet to discuss the most important reason you should smile more often –- because they’re free! When was the last time you blew away something so beneficial yet absolutely free? Smile, just smile.

You’ll be happier and you’ll make everyone around you feel better.  Dale Carnegie wrote this on his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”: “A smile costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.” Old Carnegie sure was onto something!

This article is credited to Lifehack.  Loved it so much I have posted it to share with you.