How to deal with "senior moments", chronic pain or age related depression? Make your brain young again with audio alpha brain drivers.

Robert D. Jansen, Ph.D., Neuropsychologist

Young Alpha. Increasing alpha brainwave activity can make your brain act young again, reduce stress and improve cognitive function at the same time. Meditators and clinical neurofeedback practitioners have long reported that alpha increases appear to produce reversals of many cognitive deficits, including many of the negative aspects of aging--"senior moments", short term memory problems, concentration, ADD, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.

Anxiety and Aging: Intervention with EEG Alpha Feedback, was a quarter million dollar NIH grant conducted at The University of California San Francisco. Women 60-81 years of age learned how to restore youthful brain wave patterns using  biofeedback. There were remarkable reversals of many of the aspects of aging: major improvements in their personality profiles, including reduced anxiety and depression, improvements in motivation, energy, and wellbeing. Some women in their mid 70's went back to college, started new relationships or new businesses. Also, there were reductions of high blood pressure in every elderly person who increased their alpha EEG activity.

Example Brain Waves

brainwaves of elderly subject same after alpha biofeedback

The EEG pattern on the left shows increased EEG theta and beta and reduced EEG alpha. Alpha frequencies run from 8 to 12 Hz in normal young people, but the higher frequencies drop off as we age. From the time of onset of arteriosclerosis the EEG alpha frequency slows by about .8 Hz per decade.  Once this frequency has fallen below 8 Hz  [down into the theta range], the person lapses into senility.

Reduction in brain blood flow is a prime factor underlying the changes in alpha activity that are seen in the aging brain. Reduced blood flow impairs the ability of the brain to regulate all the important biochemical systems of the body: and there are inevitable deteriorations in physical, hormonal, and other physiological functions associated with senescence.

The actual purpose of coordinated "resting" brain activity like alpha is still not well understood. It is the state of calm alertness that is talked about by meditation gurus, a type of resting state that is not lethargic or comatose. Zen masters describe it as "the cat at the mouse hole"--a state of pre-alert preparedness, calm readiness to act. High alpha is right on the border of beta frequencies, our active, more desynchronized range. 

Meditators and clinical biofeedback practitioners have long reported that alpha increases appear to produce reversals of many cognitive deficits. These have lately included many of the negative aspects of aging--"senior moments", short term memory problems, concentration, ADD, anxiety, depression, chronic pain,  etc.   Alpha activity, whether increased by neurofeedback training or stimulus entrainment,  alters brain chemistry several ways and may aid in the repair of sclerotic damage.  Restoring specific alpha frequency deficits that occur with old age may engender other more youthful brain activity patterns and effects as well. Meditation masters, who have always seemed a bit childlike with surprisingly youthful brain wave patterns, have been telling us this for millennia.

Unfortunately the equipment to detect specific brain activity and provide real-time feedback is expensive: the cost for one week's training at one neurofeedback institute in California is advertised as $15,000.  And special light and sound brainwave entrainment devices cost thousands of dollars. 

I am providing an effective but  far less expensive alternative here. My audio "braindrivers" (actually binaural beat entrainment) use stereo sound carriers and interferometry to increase brain activity in the specific high alpha range that decreases most as we age.

Unlike biofeedback training, which requires expensive training and equipment and years of disciplined effort, audio entrainment methods require only that you keep still and listen using headphones with eyes closed. The alpha increasing effect  happens to you automatically.

And no costly special player is required. Any device with ear buds or earphones, like an iPod or a portable CD player, is perfect, since you can carry it with you easily and use it anywhere that you can sit with your eyes closed, e.g. while riding public transportation. And of course, you can play it on any computer.  Just plug ear buds into the audio out jack, close your eyes and take a break . ( If you use the iPod player or Windows Media Player, you can turn on their visualizers, which will recognize the drivers and pulse in time to them.) What a great way to reduce stress at work and improve cognitive function at the same time. No calories and no caffeine.

The alpha carrier sounds are not unpleasant or harsh like some white noise audio. (Try the mono samples below.) But all the while you are listening to the audible carrier sounds your brain will be getting silent stimulation (inaudible differences between the stereo channels) that entrains and increases the specific youthful high alpha rhythms that have been lost in your aging brain. You will be calmly but energetically resting like you did when your brain was younger. 

Users report reduced anxiety and pain, better short term memory, sharper reaction times, a general relaxed fitness that makes them feel 20 years younger. Its like a tune-up for your brain.

"Wow. This really works, and its nothing like ordinary music. After only a couple of minutes, I think it was a couple of minutes anyway, I realized that I had just stopped thinking altogether. I was clearly in a completely different zone. Regular audible music doesn't do anything like it."

With a good healthy lifestyle we may sustain a high quality of life longer than ever before. I believe that frequency-specific brainwave enhancement should be an important part of such an effort. Audio high alpha brainwave entrainment is inexpensive, safe, and available to anyone.  

Talking or opening your eyes will usually pop a person out of alpha immediately. It is a little unusual to stay awake and alert with our eyes closed. You might expect everything to be black, but it isn't.  As your eyes accommodate, you will find yourself watching a subtle light show as your visual system processes its own reactions to the sound and to the brainwave driver.

How much time? Start with twice a day, at least five minutes. Do more to feel effects faster. Putting the program on "repeat" will give you as much run time as desired. 

Click here to order Young Alpha, all four programs (uncompressed) on a regular music CD $29.95
Mono samples do not drive brainwaves. $9.95 per download Activated downloads are very high resolution stereo 256 Kbps mp3s, which take a bit longer to download
Brainwasher Audible Carrier Mono Sample
Brainstorm The carrier is a digital recording of a real tropical rainstorm   Audible Carrier Mono Sample  
LiquidBrownAlpha Brown (brownian) random noise carrier is gentle, not harsh. Audible Carrier Mono Sample  
CatsPurrAlpha Processing the brainwave driver with abrupt contours produces a slight clicking sound which is very similar to the sound a cat purring. Cats purring has recently been scientifically shown to promote healing in cats and humans. Audible Carrier Mono Sample

Stereo sample of a real cats purring (free)


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