Below is a press release that Brainstate Technogies October 23, in reference to the presentations that Dr. Tegeler of Wake Forest gave last week to the American Neurological Association (use of HIRREM by individuals with migraine) and the North American Menopause Society (use of HIRREM by individuals with hot flashes).
Scientific Research Presented on the Brain’s Self-Optimizing Power to Relieve Symptoms with Migraines, and Menopausal Hot Flashes
Scottsdale, AZ, October 23, 2014. Last week, at two separate national scientific meetings, Professor Charles H. Tegeler, M.D. of Wake Forest School of Medicine delivered presentations of the latest findings from his studies evaluating the use of High-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM®) for self-optimization of the brain. His research program, and his collaboration with Brain State Technologies of Scottsdale, Arizona, is now in its third year of studying health effects associated with relaxation of brain activity through HIRREM.
On October 12, Dr. Tegeler shared data with the American Neurological Association at their annual conference that was held in Baltimore, MD, on the topic of migraine headache. Migraine has been described as a disease of maladaptations in the brain’s various “set points” for physiological stress reactions (Borsook D, Maleki N, Becerra L, McEwen B. Understanding migraine through the lens of maladaptive stress responses: A model disease of allostatic load. Neuron 2012; 73: 219-34). Brain activity in individuals with migraine may be relatively “stuck” in a way that leaves them with more vulnerability to release stress hormones or produce fight or flight responses. This brain state of maladaptation has been referred to as “allostatic load.”
Tegeler reported on 42 individuals with migraine who were enrolled in a study aimed to evaluate the health effects of a deeply relaxed brain state. When these individuals were encouraged to relax with the support of HIRREM, a noninvasive acoustic stimulation neurotechnology, they reported reductions in disability related to their migraine and increased variability in the heart rate, reflecting greater flexibility in the brain’s control of the cardiovascular system. Participants also reported fewer symptoms of insomnia and depression. Dr. Tegeler commented that these data appear to suggest that the brain can make adjustments to its set points for stress reactions, if it can sufficiently relax itself.
On October 14, Dr. Tegeler presented data on the topic of hot flashes as a side effect of the brain’s adaptation to menopause at the 2nd Utian Translational Science Symposium, preceding a meeting of the North American Menopause Society. Menopausal symptoms have been postulated to result from the brain’s exposure to marked changes in the rhythms of hormonal secretion.
A part of the brain called the hypothalamus regulates body temperature and other essential aspects of physiology. In menopause, it appears that changing hormone levels influence the hypothalamus to narrow the range between the upper and lower limits of acceptable body temperature, so that even slight body temperature changes can cause sweating or shivering. Hot flashes during and after menopause may thus be understood as a consequence of the time and difficulty required for the brain to adapt itself to the new hormonal environment (Rossmanith WG and Ruebberdt W. What causes hot flushes? The neuroendocrine origin of vasomotor symptoms in the menopause. Gynecol Endocrinol 2009; 25: 303-14).
Dr. Tegeler reported on 12 women with peri-menopausal hot flashes who, like the individuals with migraine, were encouraged to achieve a deeply relaxed brain state with the support of HIRREM. Participants reported reduced hot flash symptoms, as well as reduced symptoms of insomnia and depression.
A key theme that Dr. Tegeler highlighted in his talks is that a history of trauma is under-appreciated in many people with migraine and hot flashes, and that it is through mechanisms involving the brain that stress and trauma may manifest as such symptoms. He emphasized that there is a critical need for interventions that can support a brain to deeply relax itself, and adjust or optimize its set points for producing stress responses. The brain should be supported – ideally with interventions that are safe and without side effects – so that stresses can be handled fittingly for what they are, not through repetitive reactions based on past programming.
Dr. Tegeler’s studies were supported by research grants from The Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Inc. His collaboration with Brain State Technologies, a leader in noninvasive neurotechnology to facilitate relaxed brain states, has now resulted in a total of 17 presentations at 14 major scientific conferences since 2012.
I am an observational scientist, learning by what I am able to observe. About 12 years ago, having observed many people who exhibited a strongly dominant right temporal lobe EEG amplitude, I noted that they also seemed anxious and quick to respond emotionally in a manner much more pronounced than was called for by the situation. These right-dominant clients would respond by either fleeing situations that caused them discomfort or by striking out at people whom they blamed for their discomfort. For example, a right-dominant person may go shopping on a busy Saturday before Christmas. They arrive to find the parking lot full and spend some time driving around the lot searching for a parking space. Finally, as they round a corner, they spot a car preparing to pull out of a space just ahead. They position themselves and wait to take the spot, but before they can another driver swoops in from the opposite direction and steals it. Wham! The right-dominant driver either pulls up behind the parking spot thief, honks his horn angrily, rolls down his window and gives the thief a piece of his mind; or, he screeches his tires as he speeds away, possibly to go to a different mall or possibly to go home without shopping at all. Fight-or-flight seemed the response mechanism for these right-temporal-lobe-dominant people. Having a much more pronounced response than the situation called for was also a common train among them.
At about the same time I observed that there were also people who had a strongly dominant left temporal lobe EEG amplitude. Such people often seemed withdrawn or prone to sadness and depression. I noted that these left-dominant clients seemed at times unable to readily respond to situations outwardly. Though they appeared calm and perhaps withdrawn, they had a lot going on beneath the surface. They too would respond to situations in a seemingly inappropriate manner. However, when faced with the full parking lot from the example above, the left-dominant individual would withdraw after he deemed his parking space stolen, blaming himself for failing to find a space, for being unobservant, for going to the wrong mall, for procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to do their holiday shopping. The left-temporal-dominant people also had a much more pronounced response than the situation called for, but theirs was a kind of freeze response. Defeated, the left-dominant individual may continue to drive around the lot for an extremely long time, seemingly frozen in what he was doing.
Eventually as the brain patterns of the right- and left-dominant individuals began to balance between the left and right, inappropriate response mechanisms seemed to diminish altogether. These individuals would begin to demonstrate more healthy and stable responses to their life situations. The balance seemed to enable them to attain happiness they may have never known. This process of facilitating brain’s self-balancing was eventually called Brainwave Optimization®, and today over 60,000 people have used it to seek happiness and wellbeing. Life is short, and we all deserve the ability to seek happiness and wellbeing, an existence filled with appropriate responses and lots and lots of gratitude for being alive.
Published in From Lee Gerdes
"Newsweek" magazine published an article describing anger, anxiety, stress, and worry. The article demonstrates two things:
1. These behaviors and experiences are driven by brain function - we know that because when the brain function changed the behaviors vanished..
2. As Brainwave Optimization mirrors the brain back to itself it relaxes, resets, and unwanted behaviors can simply disappear.
We can receive heart transplants, artificial limbs, vision correction lenses, and hearing aids to assist us in creating a greater state of health and well being. Not until technology advances allowed us to view and mirror the brain back to itself with incredible speed did we learn that our brain can achieve a deeply relaxed state quickly as it might after years of meditation practice, and achieve self-correction of unwanted behavior patterns. Self-driven well being - makes sense, doesn't it?
It is likely that 30 to 50 years from now, society will look back on this discovery as we now look back on the horse and buggy, as technology will allow us to help the brain reset itself faster and more robustly than we can now experience. That is AOK, because until then we have an ever advancing technology called Brainwave Optimization that can mirror the brain so the brain itself can achieve near miraculous and here-to-fore unknown mastery of well being, happiness, and positive behavior.
Overview of study evaluating Brainwave Optimization (HIRREM) for individuals with insomnia
Tegeler, C. H., et al. 2012. Open label, randomized, crossover pilot trial of high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring to relieve insomnia. Brain and Behavior; 2(6): 814-824.
Introduction. Insomnia is the most prevalent sleep disorder and is associated with a significant impact on health and wellness. Up to 50% of the U.S. adult population reports symptoms of insomnia on a weekly basis and approximately 12% meets criteria for a full insomnia disorder. Approximately 40 – 60% of individuals with insomnia exhibit depressive symptoms, 10 –25% may have clinical depression, and 20 –30% have anxiety disorder. Long-term studies have found that chronic insomnia is a risk factor for heart attacks, depression, and mortality.
Brainwave Optimization (known in scientific research as High-resolution, Relational, Resonance-based, Electroencephalic Mirroring, or HIRREM) is a novel, non-invasive, computer-guided technology which supports the brain to relax and thereby move itself toward its own unique patterns of optimized activity. This occurs on the brain’s own terms, as the electrical activity is simply mirrored in real-time through auditory tones. As an indirect consequence, the brain may bring itself to greater balance between the two sides, as well as a more optimal ratio between the high and low frequencies. Use of HIRREM has been associated with successful achievement of a variety of health objectives. The aim of this pilot clinical trial was to evaluate the role of HIRREM for individuals with insomnia.
Methods. A randomized, wait-list control, crossover study design was used. 20 participants with a diagnosis of moderate or severe insomnia were enrolled and randomly assigned to either the “HIRREM” group or a “wait-list” group. This randomizing process helps researchers to avoid bias they might have if they assigned individuals to one group or the other. While the HIRREM group was undergoing sessions, the wait-listed group changed nothing in their daily routine (this is called “usual care”). After a waiting period of several weeks, the wait-list group was given an opportunity to “cross over” and undergo HIRREM. Both groups were contacted by phone 4 weeks after the conclusion of their HIRREM sessions to track any ongoing changes in their insomnia symptoms.
Results. Based on the changes in the insomnia severity score, use of HIRREM was associated with a significant reduction in insomnia symptoms. After the waiting period, the wait-list group still reported symptoms of insomnia. The standard effect size suggested that as applied during this study, HIRREM was associated with a strong effect. Based on the late telephone follow-up, the improvements persisted. When crossed over to receive HIRREM, those in the wait-list group showed statistically similar improvements in their insomnia scores, with similar persistence of the effect on late telephone follow-up. No adverse events or side effects were reported by any participants over the course of the study.
Illustrative charts of the results are provided below for the group that was randomly assigned to undergo HIRREM.
Take a look at the list of Fat Triggers below, maybe one or more of these triggers that are impacting your ability to lose weight.
Fat Trigger #1: Chronic Dieting
Yes, dieting – that thing everyone does to lose weight – actually makes you fat. And the reason is simple: when you reduce your normal daily intake of food, your body enters a “famine state”. When you’re on the type of diet that restricts you from certain types of food, your body becomes deprived of its natural nutrients and enters a “nutritional famine state”. That is why people how lose weight by dieting end up putting on more weight than before because when you come off the diet your body forces you to keep eating until you consume the nutrients your body is starving for.
Fat Trigger #2: Lifestyle Stress
You know stress is unhealthy, but did you know it also makes you fat? Regardless of whether your job or personal life is bombarding you with emotional stress, physical stress, mental stress or subconscious stress, your body reacts to it in the same way: it releases a chemical called cortisol into your body, which makes you gain weight AND stops you from losing weight.
Fat Trigger #3: Emotional Trauma
If you’re not careful, your thoughts can turn to fat. Self-defeating emotions like powerlessness, insecurity and not being able to say no to people result in stress, which in turn releases the fat-promoting chemical cortisol into your body.
How important is your emotional health? Studies show that people who were optimistic – i.e. in good emotional health – were 14 percent more likely to live longer, and 30 percent less likely to die from heart disease compared to those who were negative.
Fat Trigger #4: Inadequate Nutrition
This one’s no surprise – a bad diet can give you massive weight problems! More specifically, inadequate nutrition leads to a form of insulin resistance that impairs your digestion and thrusts your body into a nutritional famine. When this happens, your body will tell you to keep eating until you get the nutrients you need.
Insulin resistance causes extreme highs and lows in your blood sugar, which gives you irresistible sugar cravings and hunger pangs sooner and more often than you would get if your blood sugar was stable.
There are three main nutrients lacking in modern diets: protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and live foods. Not having enough of them is what switches on this particular Fat Trigger.
Fat Trigger #5: Poor Digestion
What you put in your body is one thing – but how it’s processed is another. Poor digestion makes you under-nourished, dehydrated and lacking in friendly bacteria and digestive enzymes, quality Pro-biotic and digestive enzymes are recommended to support your instinctual track. It is said that your second brain is in your gut.
Eating foods that are molecularly altered, pasteurized, preserved, microwaved, burnt or over cooked wreak havoc on your digestion and lead to diseases like obesity, thyroid problems, diabetes and heart disease.
Fat Trigger #6: Toxicity
Your body is exposed to toxins every day, and this can make you fat. The majority of harmful toxins come from medication, alcohol, cigarettes, and pesticides found in non-organic produce and manufactured grain products. In other words, many of the things you come into contact with every day.
How does this make you fat? Well when your body can’t eliminate toxins, it stores them in your fat cells. This layer of fat then becomes a buffer between the toxins and your body. And since the fat is protecting your body, your body’s natural reaction is to protect itself by not burning the fat.
Fat Trigger #7: Limiting Beliefs
If you’re not at your ideal weight, your beliefs could be the culprit. One of the most common limiting beliefs that can sabotage your weight is having an overweight family member, and believing it’s in your genes to be fat. When you think this way, you’re eliminating personal responsibility and rejecting the possibility of being slim.
Your beliefs shape your reality – and if you don’t believe you can lose weight on both a conscious and subconscious level, you won’t.
Fat Trigger #8: Harmful Medication
The medication that’s supposed to protect you may also be making you fat. Studies have shown there are over 50 common medications that cause weight gain, including anti-depressants, insulin, cortisol, steroids, hormone replacement and birth control. Sometimes the effect is so intense, you can gain up to 10 pounds a month.
But how can you avoid taking your medication? Many people find that by making a positive change in their diet and lifestyle, and by adopting specific mind-body practices, they’re able to stop relying on medication with no harmful consequences.
Fat Trigger #9: Sleep
People say sleeping too much makes you fat, but the opposite can also be true. Not getting enough sleep or shallow and interrupted sleep can cause weight gain.
Lack of sleep makes you more irritable, releases cortisol into your system, and makes you prone to negative emotions – another Fat Trigger.
In January of 2013, a team of researchers from Wake Forest School of Medicine published a paper in the Neurology journal Brain & Behavior describing the methodology of HIRREM™, the process more commonly known as Brainwave Optimization®. The HIRREM methods paper offers a thorough and precise description of the process, what it does and how it does it. It’s an invaluable resource for those who want to learn more about Brainwave Optimization, but be warned: it gets a bit technical. With sentences like, “Relaxation of neural oscillations through HIRREM appears to permit auto-calibration toward greater hemispheric symmetry and more optimized proportionation of regional spectral power” it’s not exactly light reading.
Fortunately, you don’t need a degree in neurology to understand how this process works. Everything you need to know is right there in the name HIRREM.
HIRREM stands for High-resolution, Relational, Resonance-Based Electroencephalic Mirroring. Let’s take each of those terms one at a time. For the sake of clarity, we’ll be taking them out of order.
Electroencephalic – We'll take the biggest, ugliest word first. Electroencephalic refers to the electrical activity generated by the brain in the form of neural oscillations or brainwaves. Like any waveform, brainwaves have a frequency. EEG sensors placed on the scalp are designed to read these brainwaves across a broad spectrum of frequencies.
High-resolution – If you’ve bought a digital camera or a television or a computer monitor in the past decade, then you are probably already somewhat familiar with the concept of high versus low resolution. A digital image is composed of rows and rows of tiny squares. Each square is a single color. The more squares you can fit into a smaller space, the higher the resolution. The higher the resolution, the clearer the image. We don’t take pictures during Brainwave Optimization, but our sensors do gather a lot of data about your brainwave activity. To ensure that our computer has the clearest possible image of your brainwave patterns, we collect and analyze that data at the highest possible resolution. It requires extremely sensitive equipment and enormous processing power, but to do what we do we can’t afford to settle for anything less.
Relational – Not a commonly used word, but the root should look familiar—relate. So, the question is, what is being related to what? Brainwave Optimization matches (or relates) a given dominant brainwave frequency to a particular musical tone. During a Brainwave Optimization session, you listen to these musical tones. In essence, you are hearing your own brain activity in real-time.
Mirroring - When you hear your own brain activity in real-time, the effect can be compared to a mirror. The brain now has away of perceiving itself, its own activity, its own function. if you've ever used a mirror when styling your hair or shaving, then you know what useful tool a mirror is for self-maintenance.
Resonance-Based – We may not use the term very often, but resonance is all around us. Think of the way a church bell continues to hum long after being struck. We even speak symbolically of a work of art or an idea resonating within us, as if we are a bell which has been struck. When physicists discuss resonance in terms of waveforms, this is the phenomenon they are describing. When we talk about resonance as a component of Brainwave Optimization, we are talking about the way that the frequency of the musical tones interact with the frequency of brainwaves. A resonance loop is created and the brain and its auditory reflection begin to harmonize with each other. This is where the change occurs and brain function is optimized.
We're sometimes asked, who is Brainwave Optimization® designed to help? We sometimes joke that it's designed to help people with brains, but that's actually not an inaccurate statement. Anyone can benefit from Brainwave Optimization sessions. As a non-invasive, non-pharmacological, non-medical modality, Brainwave Optimization is a safe and holistic option for anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background.
Brainwave Optimization has been provided to clients as young as 2 years old and as old as 98. The process does require the client to set still for extended periods of time and to be able to follow simple instructions, but an experienced technologist can make necessary accommodations for nearly any client.
While the process itself remains largely similar regardless of client, the effect on the brain is somewhat different for children than it is for adults. Brainwave Optimization relies on an attribute of the brain called neuroplasticity. The brain has an amazing capacity to "rewire" itself to meet new challenges or demands. Throughout our lives and even over the course of any given day, our brain is continually creating new connections, forming new neural pathways.
Our brain is most plastic (able to change) when we are young. Have you ever wondered how you were able to learn and retain so much knowledge as a child while, as an adult, you can't even seem to be able to remember an email password? With age, the brain has a tendency to become less plastic, more set in its ways, more resistant to change. Part of this tendency is simply nature of aging, but another contributing factor is the effect of trauma on the brain. When one experiences a trauma, whether large or small, experienced in one sudden instant or accumulated bit by bit over a lifetime, the brain adjusts compensate and to cope. Under ideal circumstances, the brain will naturally return to its pre-trauma state once the traumatic moment as passed or the immediate threat has been removed. Often, however, the brain remains to some degree in its post-trauma condition long after the moment has passed. Brainwave Optimization facilitates the brain's auto-calibration, its self-adjustment toward more optimal function.
Children enjoy a certain advantage over adults where Brainwave Optimization is concerned. Since their brains are more plastic and, for most, thank goodness, their exposure to trauma has been limited, Brainwave Optimization has a particularly dramatic effect on children. We have seen amazing results working with children suffering from focus issues, attention deficiencies, and learning challenges. Improvement is often observed after only a couple of sessions. Results for adults may be slower coming and less pronounced, sometimes not becoming fully apparent until two to three weeks after the completion of the Brainwave Optimization Intensive.
Don't you wish you were a kid again?
Lee Gerdes invented Brainwave Optimization® after a decade long fight with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. His invention helped him to reclaim his life and he devoted himself to refining and sharing this technology with others. In April 2013, Lee was faced with a new challenge for which no one can be prepared and one far greater than any he had previously faced--cancer.
On October 24th, 2013, Lee will share his personal story of hope and survival, from the devastating diagnosis, through the debilitating radiation and chemotherapy treatments, to his ongoing return to health. During this very special live presentation, Lee will open not only his heart, but also his brain, sharing actual brain scans from throughout his illness and recovery. He will show how the traumas inflicted by the cancer and by its treatments affected his brain activity and will explain how Brainwave Optimization® once again helped him to overcome the challenge of a lifetime.
Depression is not a sign of weakness. It is a result of an imbalance in the brain. Depression refers to a persistent sad mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in most activities.
Some symptoms include the following:
• Apathy about things, people or activities that were once satisfying
• Changes in appetite or weight
• Restlessness or decreased activity noticeable to others
• Loss of energy or feeling tired all the time
• Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
• Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
• Haunting thoughts of death or suicide
Of course, life includes problems we don’t anticipate or enjoy, and these problems can sometimes trigger depression. But sometimes depression seems to sneak up on us out of nowhere. Additionally, we know that for some people at certain times, depression can actually be a tool which their brains use to be more creative. Many masters in various fields (music, art, science) throughout history have been depressive types of individuals – using depression to prepare their brains to be in a more creative state from time-to-time. The good news is there is another way to enhance creativity and get one out of the state of depression at the same time.
What about medications? Pharmaceuticals used to treat depression work on the entire brain, when actually only a small part of the brain may need to be tuned-up in the depressed person. Thus, drugs for depression may create side effects that are new problems to the individual user, and one problem is simply replaced by another.
In many cases, Brainwave Optimization has been reported to enhance or replace anti-depressants, making the road to depression recovery much shorter. A high percentage of our clients with depression have reported success after their Brainwave Optimization experience.
When I first started providing Brain Wave Optimization (TM), I was working with an 11 year old girl who struggled with sleep difficulties, attention problems, anxiety, and a diagnosis of Asperger’s. During her first session, the anxiety was quite apparent; she had a million questions about what we were doing which were precipitated by a million worries flying around in her head.
Over and over and over, she would ask “Are you going to shock me?” even though by the fifth protocol it should have been apparent that wasn’t going to happen. (Or ,at least I thought so; it’s been a long time since I’ve been eleven.)
Finally, I asked her, “Why do you think I’m going to shock you?”
“Because you are putting electrodes on me. Electrodes mean electricity!” she said. Ok, that’s a pretty good rationalization, especially if you are 11.
Now, fast forward to two weeks ago. I was working with a 47 year old woman and the SAME question came up! Repeatedly! For several days, despite what I felt like were pretty thorough explanations, she expressed concerns about being shocked. (Ok, so this worry is not limited to 11 year olds.) She was afraid of what the sensors were “doing to her”. At one point, she told me that she was afraid that the process could give her cancer.
By this point, I was completely blaming “American Horror Story: Asylum”, “Clockwork Orange”, and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” for everyone’s anxiety about brain training. What to do?
In the interest of helping everyone feel safe and secure about the process of Brain Wave Optimization, I decided to do a little bit of electrode education here on the blog today.
When a person comes for either a Brain Wave Optimization assessment or training session, they are hooked up to our computer through five small sensors (electrodes). Our 11 year old was partially right about the meaning of the word electrode in that the function of it does involve electricity. However, where her error occurred was her assumption that the electrode was producing electricity. It is actually the opposite. The client is producing electricity. That’s right, YOU are producing electricity all the time, in the form of brain wave activity.
What the sensors are doing is reading the electricity that comes off the client. That data is then sent from the electrodes to the computer, which then analyzes the brain wave activity. That information is then provided in a report to the technologist in order to help him or her determine the appropriate training protocols to select for the next session.
Now, we get to the part where we answer the 47 year-old’s question: What are the sensors doing to you? The answer is nothing. When you come in for brain training neither the sensors, myself, nor the computer are doing anything to you.
So what’s going on then, if no one’s doing anything to you? Why would you come for sessions at all? What happens during brain training is this: After the data (in the form of electricity) is received from the sensors and analyzed by the computer, the technologist determines which brain waves need to be played back to the client.
Yep, all that happens during brain training is that you listen to your own brain waves being played back to you in the form of musical tones. And what happens with that is truly amazing: your brain is able to “hear” the imbalances and corrects those imbalances on its own!
This is what “non-invasive” means. Nothing is happening to you during your sessions. There is no electricity being sent to you, no particles or chemicals being introduced into your system, and no modifications being made to you by someone else . Your brain is simply being shown what it is doing and then given the opportunity to correct itself of its own volition.
So, that’s the purpose of electrodes in Brain Wave Optimization. Nothing painful, nothing scary, and the only thing that’s shocking is learning that listening to your own brain can completely change your life for the better!!
*Have more questions about the process of Brain Wave Optimization? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Contact Page and I would be happy to answer them!