The wonders of Neurotechnology for reprogramming your brain safely, quickly and easily
This is the most important section on this website, it’s where we keep the secret sauce. No, really.
Just to give you a taste of what is in store for you AND your brain, which is reading over your shoulder by the way, consider the following very different cases.
We treated a twenty-year old man named Sean who had been bedridden for six years due to a seemingly incurable case of ‘clinical depression’. Using some simple and inexpensive neurotechnologies, in just twelve weeks Sean was off his meds, he got a job, got his driver’s license, went back to school to get his high school diploma and asked a girl out for the very first time in his life. His mother later confided “we saw a significant change in our son’s demeanour, his attitude and his general outlook. I was astonished and watched in utter fascination how, before my eyes, my son was transformed.”
In another instance, Louise was a seventy-two year-old (yes, you read correctly) highly accomplished lawyer who decided to go back to school to get her MD degree and was having trouble increasing her grades from the mid-60s to the mid-70s she needed to pass her medical exams. Her memory in particular, and the way she was processing information, needed upgrading. Using some of those same simple inexpensive neurotechnologies, her grades went up to the mid-80’s in just five weeks.
In a much more challenging case, we worked with a forty-five-year-old ex-policeman, a very fit, sensible, competent man named Steven, who had contracted Parkinson’s. You probably know that Parkinson’s is amongst the most horrible of diseases, right up there with MS and other neurodegenerative diseases. When I met Steven, his dyskinesia had progressed to the point where he was totally dependent on his family for his every day survival. Within a few minutes of using a neurostimulator, he stopped twisting and shaking almost entirely and burst into tears with relief. Needless to say, it was a very emotional moment for us all. We worked together for three months. That summer, Steven entered almost every golf tournament in his area.
Hard to believe? Not at all. Welcome to the era of Neuroscience! If you were to Google any of the few technologies I describe briefly below, you would get tens of thousands of successful clinical research studies and scientific papers that have been published over the last decade alone.
I could bend your ear for hours (and I will if you ask me to) about the number of applications and the long list of benefits that have been achieved using these amazing new technologies, but for now, let me give you a brief introduction to this brave new world of whose existence most of the people on the planet are totally unaware. Yet, the quality of their life, their health and their happiness might well depend on their having knowledge of and access to these very technologies.
A bit of background on the science
Neurotechnology is a specialized field growing in importance every day and my intention with this brief introduction is to help you get ahead of the curve and use this material as an on-ramp for your own research and personal applications.
The science has evolved immensely since I first entered the field in 1973 when I took my Masters in Applied Psychology. Part of the requirements for that MSc was that each of us students had to run a full Electro Encephalogram (EEG) brain measurement clinic at a teaching hospital. During our clinic we often had to calm a worried mother whose child may have had photo-epilepsy or suffered Grand Mal Seizures. We had to accurately glue all of the 20 EEG electrodes on the child’s head, collect the EEG data, read the EEG report, notate and highlight any abnormalities we found, and submit a full report to the supervising Physician. It was intense.
This experience, and others like it, really laid the groundwork for my life-long interest in brain science. On graduating, I applied my nascent EEG knowledge to the then emerging field of Fighter Aircraft Pilot and Cockpit Information load design. At British Aircraft Corporation we wanted to make the fighter pilot’s job easier. We built our own, very early, Brain Communication Interface by gluing EEG electrodes to the scalps of the pilots and connecting the output wires to a computer. We taught the computer to recognize the pilot’s brain’s ‘pull the trigger’ signal, and to pull the trigger for the pilot at the correct moment to hit the target BEFORE the pilot consciously knew it was time to pull the trigger!!
We got some very funny and shocked reactions! “Your brain decides what you are going to decide before you decide to decide it” was what we discovered. Your brain is in charge of what you experience consciously. When the pilots got used to this perspective, they got comfortable letting their brain and the computer take over some of the workload.
Back in 1973 that was amazing stuff! Today a Brain Computer Interface is no big deal at all. Every technology has its own “Moore’s Law”, its own rate of improvement over time.
So what do I see from the perspective of 44 years that could be immediately relevant for you today, assuming you haven’t been following the literature and experimenting on humans as I have.
Fast forward to today
Brain technology really accelerated and ‘hit the knee of the curve’ for me in 2013 when I realized more fully that important and disruptive changes were happening in Neuroscience.
I had stumbled upon the field of Electrostimulation, a science, it turns out, that has been practiced since the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs, and that is now being hailed as an important discovery (!) of our Third Millennium as it gains quickly in popularity and in the number of effective applications and treatments for which it is being recognized.
Did you know that if you were to conduct a brain scan on yourself, you would see different parts of your brain ‘light up’ for the different physical actions you were taking or the emotional feelings you were experiencing?
Did you know that neuroscientists have almost completely mapped those areas of the brain and that we now know how to stimulate each area to produce a desired result (like changing a bad habit, for example, or repairing an ailing part of the body)? This is how Electrostimulation works its magic.
Of course, we have known for a long time that the signals sent and received by the brain are electrical in nature. It is no wonder, therefore, that so much research has been done in the last century to learn how to modify these electrical signals to change unhealthy behaviour patterns and to train the brain to reprogram itself to correct what are sometimes called “deficits” by neuroscientists.
If the topic of Electrostimulation interests you, read the extraordinary book “The Body Electric” by Dr. Robert Becker. Dr. Becker was a distinguished medical doctor, healer and researcher in electrophysiology and electromedicine, and a former orthopedic surgeon for the US Army Veterans Affairs. His thoughts on the electrical nature of cellular regeneration will help you get a better grasp on the field of Electrostimulation.
Change your brain ~ Change your life
For now, I will review briefly some of the electrostimulation technologies I have used in my work with my clients.
Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation
To get you started on your journey of discovery, Google “Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation” (tDCS) and you will get about half a million results!
tDCS is the art and science of passing extremely weak electric currents through the brain. Yes, I know, it conjures up images of Electro Convulsive Shock Therapy, doesn’t it? But it is not.
tDCS is very safe, non-invasive and very different than you may initially imagine, and far from new. Some 200 years ago, this remarkable modality was called Faradization. David Siever is a prodigious Canadian Neuroplastician, a pioneer and world expert in the field of brain communication, and the inventor of the best tDCS unit on the market, the Oasis Pro. He has written a very useful article on tDCS to explain the history of tDCS and how it is used today. You can read it here.
tDCS can be used for many, many things. Just a few of the applications we have personally used with clients include depression, anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, fibromyalgia, stroke rehabilitation, sports and professional performance improvement, memory and executive function enhancement, relief of concussion symptoms, improvements in the areas of emotional intelligence, visual acuity, face blindness, language learning, photographic memory, balance in the elderly, symptoms of Parkinson’s and Lyme disease, and a facility with Irish Accents and shameless use of wit and humour whenever possible. No, really.
To further underline the notion that you don’t have to be sick to get better, watch Dr. Vince Clark use a particular tDCS placement of electrodes to enhance an individual’s vision, their visual acuity and awareness. This is just one of many possible uses and neuro-enhancements available with tDCS.
Change your brain ~ Change your life
Cranial Electro Stimulation
Calm, upbeat, creative, are just some of the benefits this amazing tool provides within minutes of turning it on.
Think about it for a moment. Wouldn’t you like to be able to ‘dial up’ calmness when you feel overstressed? How about dialing up the energy you feel after your first morning coffee, WITHOUT the caffeine, to help get that report written that you have been avoiding? What about dialing up a little extra creativity when you need it?
“Dialing up” calmness? Energy? Creativity? Indeed.
Cranial Electro Stimulation is very, very powerful, non-invasive and completely safe. It was pioneered by a group of brilliant Russian scientists about 100 years ago when they passed a very faint alternating current through the whole head and brainstem using ear-clip electrodes to cure their patients of insomnia. CES uses Alternating Currents (rather than Direct Current as used in tDCS) which are delivered in the exceedingly faint fraction of a milliamp range.
This calming frequency has an analgesic and ‘de-stressing’ effect on the brain. In just a few minutes, you start to relax and decompress, and you feel like an enormous weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Incidentally, the US Army Veterans Affairs use this CES frequency to help relieve Shell Shock and PTSD in their veterans. So it should not come as a surprise that one of the preferred uses of CES is to help us sleep, to fall asleep and stay asleep.
You can choose among many different CES frequencies to ‘dial up’ the capabilities your brain needs to improve the way you feel and function in your daily work and personal life. CES is a must have tool.
Microcurrent Electric Therapy for Pain
Most of us experience pain throughout our life. Some pain dissipates after an injury has healed but some of us live with persistent recurrent chronic pain. Pain is almost impossible to avoid but suffering is not. It can be ‘dialed down’. Would you like to know how?
As we extended our research on CES, we learned about a related technology called Microcurrent Electric Therapy (MET). MET can ‘turn off’ or ‘turn down’ pain receptors in the body almost instantly and for as long as you need it. It is a remarkably powerful non-invasive enabler of healing.
For more information on MET, please read this instructive article and tutorial by Dr. Daniel Kirsch here. I promise you will be totally amazed at the number of painful conditions you can relieve rapidly, effectively and inexpensively in the comfort of your own home, at work, while driving, pretty well anywhere anytime, without any side effects.
Change your brain ~ Change your life
Some time ago, a young man contacted me to see if Neuroplasticity could help him rebuild his brain and his life after a horrible car accident three years earlier that had damaged several key functional areas of his brain. Concussion is a terrible thing, and rampant in the world of sports. More people today are realizing the shocking personal cost of head injuries and trauma to the brain. As a result, there is a quickly developing network of neuropsychological practitioners worldwide who regularly exchange best practices in Neuroplasticity.
It was through this network that we were introduced to LORETA neurofeedback.LORETA uses the output from a standard modern 20-electrode EEG ‘cap’ [no more gluing electrodes to scalps!!] and in real time computes the location of electrical lesions in the brain. It’s like having a continuous 3D X-ray of the brain. This information is fed back to the brain so that the brain can practice rewiring itself back together. How cool is that?
LORETA provides instant feedback to the brain on its performance so it is able to develop new connections in the damaged location. Imagine playing videos games with your brain to rebuild the broken circuitry. That’s Neurofeedback in action.
Audio Visual Entrainment
Do you want to improve your memory, your mental sharpness, your mental energy, calm down dark thoughts and be able to enjoy meditation more easily and deeply? This is where Audio Visual Entrainment (AVE) excels.
Audio Visual Entrainment is not new but it is enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to improved understanding of how neurons in the brain talk to each other. AVE is a non-invasive, powerful yet benign brain stimulation technology that uses specially designed and engineered pulses of sound, light and electricity.
You might not think, initially, that the clever use of sound and light frequencies could massively affect the brain but it does. When you begin to realize that the brain is comprised of many interconnected neural networks, each of which has a particular frequency at which it rings, or sings to itself, you can appreciate that you have a means to reconnect many areas of the brain back with each other to improve its function in many important areas of your health and life.
Using AVE, you can rapidly sharpen your memory, improve your sleep, energize your brain, feel happier, less stressed, more alive, and much, much more. Oh and it’s fun.
Change your brain ~ Change your life
The future is looking better every day
Over the coming years, powerful Brain Enhancing and Reprogramming tools will continue to enter the market and the field will continue to explode. Neuroscience will continue to expand across many domains and technologies.
New tools will soon be common place, such as specially designed 3D multiplayer video games that will improve how work gets done in large organizations, for example, or Virtual Reality and Enhanced Reality tools, together with haptic touch sensitive gloves, to repair spinal injuries. We live at a very exciting time.
If you have not yet done so, promise yourself that you will read Dr. Norman Doidge’s extraordinary books “The Brain that Changes Itself” and “The Brain’s Way of Healing." You will discover that the brain is far from fixed and can easily and quickly be encouraged to rewire itself. We’re talking weeks, not years.
You will also enjoy Dr. Barbara Arrowsmith-Young’s frame breaking “The Woman Who Changed Her Brain.” Barbara Arrowsmith was born with severely debilitating brain defects and her story is one of implacable courage and determination. You can see Dr. Arrowsmith briefly describe her discovery that she could rebuild her brain using neuroplasticity in this instructive video.
On a more lighthearted but mind-boggling note, take a look at Todd Sampson’s “Redesign My Brain” TV series on the ABC network here.
Whew! I know that’s a lot of information and I have just barely scratched the surface but if you are still with me, I hope that I have given you a taste of the “not so secret sauce” of what is possible and readily available to you today, and how you can use that information to your advantage.
NO PRESSURE. NO OBLIGATION. PROMISE.