Chapter 1

Your Hidden Million Dollar Brain Account

'The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift'

Albert Einstein

How would you like to access all of your brain’s innate capacity to learn, invent, create, and solve problems? Would it improve your life if you could think more clearly, access your intuition, reduce stress and anxiety, and prevent your brain from aging? We’ve all heard that we use only a tiny percentage of our brain’s natural capacity. If you ever wondered why this book would provide some answers and solutions.

Every experience you have as a living human being is the result of certain brain waves. Unfortunately, most people are primarily accessing just two of their four brain waves. The two left out, Alpha and Theta, are actually the most important for exceptional creativity and intelligence! Our modern lifestyle has put a lid on our natural ability to produce these two brain wave patterns, which allow us to access intuition, creativity, and other ways of knowing.

Since childhood, we’ve been conditioned to focus mainly on the rational mode of thinking and suppress our natural creativity, curiosity, spontaneity, and emotional expression.

Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback is a process by which you can directly experience and change the neurons’ activity in your brain. Neurofeedback is the biofeedback
of your brain wave activity. The term biofeedback includes feedback on any biological function, such as skin temperature, muscle tension, and the galvanic skin response. To distinguish brain wave feedback from feedback on peripheral functions, the term ‘neurofeedback’ was coined to describe the process of feedback on the central nervous system activity that arises out of the brain’s activity, hence neurofeedback. There are many different kinds of activity in your brain, but usually, neurofeedback means receiving feedback on your own electroencephalogram (EEG) activity. The five main types of EEG activity are (starting from the slowest frequency) delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma. In the process of neurofeedback, your brain waves are picked up or detected and then amplified because they are such tiny signals- just a few millionths of a volt.

After amplification, your brain waves are then filtered to separate each of the different EEG types (delta, theta, alpha, etc.). This is done electronically with the amplified EEG signal. You can visualize a simple analogy of this process by imagining sunlight (think EEG) passing through a clear crystal prism (think filter) to reveal the rainbow spectrum of light (think the spectrum of EEG). Each of the different colors of light is like a different type of brain wave (e.g., alpha corresponds to one of the ‘colors’ of the EEG spectrum). Once the brain waves are filtered into the different EEG types, then one or more of them can be translated into musical tones or numerical scores or deflections on a meter or the vibrations of a vibrator or any suitable sensory modality. When you receive input from the feedback in that chosen sensory modality, you will know you produce the desired type of brain waves. In the ‘olden days,’ there were two different types of neurofeedback. One primitive and inaccurate type was called percent time feedback: the more accurate and informative type was (and is) called integrated amplitude feedback.

A simple example will show how each of these two types of neurofeedback works. Let’s say that the neurofeedback will use sounds for feedback and will give numerical scores periodically. And let’s assume we are going to train our alpha waves. With percent time feedback, the trainer or technician sets an arbitrary amplitude threshold. If your alpha amplitude is below this arbitrary threshold, the tone is silent. If your alpha amplitude exceeds this arbitrary threshold, then the tone comes on and stays at a steady volume until your alpha amplitude falls below the arbitrary threshold. Even if your alpha amplitude goes WAY above this arbitrary threshold, the tone does nothing more useful than stay at the preset steady volume. In this way, you miss out on a tremendous amount of valuable information that could aid your learning. You miss out because percent time feedback fails to tell you HOW MUCH you are above the threshold. This failing of the primitive percent time feedback is remedied in integrated amplitude feedback, where there is no arbitrary amplitude threshold. Instead, the feedback tone grows progressively louder as your alpha amplitude grows larger. And if your alpha amplitude gets smaller, then the feedback tone gets quieter. Integrated amplitude feedback gives you more information, so you learn faster and easier.

I have found that learning progresses faster if the feedback tones shut off periodically so you can open your eyes and look at numerical scores to track your performance. I have found that the ideal time for scores to be displayed in alpha neurofeedback is 8 seconds. Then the scores go out, and trainees close their eyes and go back to listening to the feedback tones for a period of 2 minutes, then 8 seconds of score display followed by another 2 minutes of audio feedback, and so on. I use 3-minute epochs of audio feedback with theta brain wave training followed by 15 seconds of score displays. People go deeper with theta training, but it takes them longer (thus 3-minute epochs) to drift down into those deep states. When the 3 minutes of audio feedback is over, it takes people longer to climb up into the awareness from which they can open their eyes and take in the feedback score information, so I give them 3-minute epochs of audio feedback and 15 seconds of score displays.

Neurofeedback is a process by which you are given feedback through one or more of your five senses to tell you when certain desirable brain waves are occurring in your brain (usually, this feedback is auditory feedback). The scores are also a part of the neurofeedback, but they are cumulative feedback scores presented periodically and are not directly related to what is happening in each moment. Getting cumulative scores is very helpful because it allows you to try different strategies to control your brain waves and then see how well each strategy works according to how high you score with each strategy. In this way, you can quickly eliminate the unproductive strategies, and you can find and rapidly develop successful strategies. Thus neurofeedback contrasts sharply with meditation because, in meditation, you get virtually no feedback, especially at the beginning of the practice. And as any parent or teacher knows, feedback is MOST important in the early stages of learning where most of the things the learner tries will be wrong, and it is hard (without feedback) to identify
the few things that work well.

Alpha and Theta brain waves produce exceptional mind states with multiple benefits. Although they are uncommonly seen in adults in the waking state, brain wave neurofeedback methods can be used to successfully train people to enhance their ability to produce these brain waves on command. Brainwave neurofeedback training allows people to:

People today are using only a fraction of the natural creative capacity of their brains. It’s like having a million dollars in your bank account and having just $73 show up on your statement! You’ve got all this money – the capacity to produce alpha and theta waves – but you are totally unaware of its existence and lack the instructions
to access it so you can’t spend it.

In our fast-paced, stress-laced Western culture, it has become ‘business as usual’ to regularly consume various substances that create changes in our state of consciousness. Coffee and caffeine-laced drinks make us alert, while alcohol helps us relax and lose our inhibitions. Other kinds of drugs, legal prescription, and illegal street drugs change our brain waves to a desired state of consciousness.

Taking a drug, having sex, or eating something, will cause a change in brain waves, thus changing your experience. Bertrand Russell told us, ‘The stars are in our brain.’ Well, so is the experience or feeling of pleasure, happiness, and joy! People say, ‘if only I could have this or do that … then I would be happy.’ They don’t realize that happiness is a brain state. Turn on the right brain waves, and you’ll have the experience you want regardless of what you have or don’t have. In fact, some of marijuana’s popularity maybe because of its effect on brain waves. It temporarily enhances alpha waves, and that makes you feel perfect – for a short while! It may even reduce anxiety.

In one of my studies with university students, the high-anxiety students were using an average of 1.1 ‘joints’ per day while the low-anxiety students were using only 0.1 ‘joints’ per day. Thus, high anxiety students may have been self-medicating with marijuana to make enough alpha to reduce their anxiety. But these pleasant effects can be only temporary, and prolonged use can actually induce anxiety and paranoia in some people. And it does impair your short term memory.

When students came to my university research laboratory high on marijuana, they did have a little more alpha than their usual baseline. Still, it eliminated their ability to learn how to enhance alpha. Marijuana impaired learning to increase alpha with neurofeedback. There is also the fact that marijuana is illegal. On the other hand, brain wave feedback is entirely legal. With proper neurofeedback training to teach the brain how to make more alpha and theta, you can get into these high alpha and theta states quickly, naturally, and all by yourself – once you have learned how with Biocybernaut
brain wave training

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