What is better than taking good care of yourself?

Greetings,

Probably the best thing you can do in your life is taking good care of yourself.

I can almost hear you protesting: “But I am already taking good care of myself….”

We are constantly talking this into ourselves while in reality we are barely taking care of ourselves. Continue reading

EEG analysis with altered states of consciousness

Hey,

Yesterday a friend of mine payed me a visit to experiment with EEG and how it reads brainwaves.
I wanted to do the experiment with my friend when he’s in an altered state of consciousness, so I proceeded and hypnotized him and put him into a relax and trance like state.
The next thing was to hook the device and start interpreting the readings.
Me: Close your eyes, then open them
NFB (NeuroFeedBack device): Direct rise of Alpha waves when eyes closed, Alpha disappears when eyes are open again
Me: I want you to remember what you used to play at age of 5
NFB:
We can see rise in Theta and Alpha and some Delta. It is so clear how the subject requested a recall from his subconscious mind (this explains the Theta waves).
Me: Tell me what you did 3 hours ago
NFB: High level of beta, little alpha, and subject reports annoyance and inability to remember details. We can see the absence of Theta and alpha which explains why the subject cannot recall.
Me: Close and roll your eyes as if looking at your forehead
NFB: Alpha rising and going down, mostly trying to stay up.
Me: Lie down and sleep
NFB: After some time, the subject showed increase theta, moderate Alpha and low beta and delta

After some tests like that, I hook thedevice to the PC and launched BioExplorer and loaded the FlashPacman design. This design takes one channel input and a bandpass filter to detect alpha activity. If the activity is present a YES will occure while a NO will occure in its absence. Now our pacman character will move and eat the dots as long as the desired brainwave is recahed. It was very fun to control alpha waves while eyes open!

It was a nice experiment where I learned and saw how the brainwaves play a role in the functioning of the brain.
Pacman game

My very first cigarettes

Only a month ago I relaxed my “no to smoking” attitude; From a complete no, fear of addiction, fear of health loss, and other pre-programmed unconscious fears, I decided to give it a shot.

By writing this experience, I am also thinking and asking myself: “I am reinforcing this new practice?”
If I speak about this experience in a good way, will my subconscious mind and my body start craving for more nicotine?

Where I work, lots of employees take breaks and go for a cigarette, so one day I said “what the heck, let me experience what they experience and see how would I look at this matter after I have had my own taste of it”

I’ve smoked so far around a pack during the past month and today I smoked two cigarettes, so how does it feel?

I can say it is something different, for me it gave me a feeling of rush, enthusiasm, a sort of mental push and increased confidence.
It also made me feel hyper and at the same time relaxed, impulsive and at the same time reserved, guilty and a little bit daring.

I wonder and ask myself: “Will I get hooked to it?”, “Will there be a next time when I will crave for a cigarette when I see others smoking?”

The thing is that now I am not buying my own pack, thus decreasing the possibility of reaching a cigarette when a small craving occurs.

I am still uneducated regarding the science and the how/why of nicotine, but nonetheless my research has started.

One thing for sure has changed in me and that is before smoking I used to look at smokers and say to myself and sometimes say out loud: “Hey smoking is not good”, or “…those poor addicts…” and what now has changed is simply that my mind has learned to mind its own business (pun intended).

It is easy to look and judge others but it is not easy to put ourselves in the shoes of others and feel as they feel and realize the craving they have.

Whether I smoke yet another pack or not, I think I will be writing more about nicotine and cigarette experience.

Elias


 

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A new toy

Last week I received a used 2 channel EEG biofeedback (Pocket A1) device from Pocket Neurobics / Minder Labs company.

So what is EEG biofeedback (BFB) and why do we need such things?

For me, having learned about meditation techniques, hypnosis, relaxation techniques and all other related stuff, I realized that there is one thing in common: “The ability to rest the mind and to have its waves go down to what we call Alpha frequency”.
Alpha (8-12hz) frequency is not a goal by itself, however it appears whenever we are in a certain mind state, call it trance if you may.

While awake, we spend our time in what we call Beta brain waves frequency, basically above 12hz. Beta is usually associated with physical and mental alertness, and if frequencies are much higher than 12hz we may become anxious, angry and agitated.

So why an EEG device anyway?

I am the type of persons that likes to see the results of their actions, so when my meditation teacher told me to sit and meditate for 15 minutes twice a day and to detach myself from all outcomes and expectations, I become more curious and more attached to the outcomes and to what is a possible experience after meditation. A simple question that kept occuring was: “Was I really meditating? Did I just waste 15 minutes in vain?”

I was never consistent in my meditation, I get excited one day and practice it and then keep it aside for a week or even a month…and it went on and off like that for like 3 years.

I figured that since meditative state is characterized by Alpha brainwaves frequencies, so why not get my brain hooked to a measurement device and then sit for meditation and see whether I have performed well or not!?
That’s exactly the role of what we call biofeedback training: the ability to tell where we are and to train ourselves to reach that state with practice and will.

So for those who are curious, goal oriented, impatient, then an EEG BFB device is a good thing to play and experiment with.
I tell you such devices are not very practical yet (need to place electrodes, conductive gels, …) operating wise and cost wise. To get a decent personal EEG device you need to put at least 500$.

If I got you curious, then look up on the net for keywords like “EEG, Biofeedback, alpha training, ….”

Good luck,
Elias