[ Brainwave entrainment, state management and peak performance || Brainwave entrainment protocols for peak performance || The golden zone of peak performance || Sports performance and audio visual entrainment || Academic performance and audio visual entrainment || The real key to peak performance ]
Probably the most useful skill to have in sport, business or life, is getting the most out of what you have while aiming for more.
To not maximise the use of what you have in business is to waste resources, time and money.
To not maximise the use of what you have in sport is to potentially lose to someone who does.
To not maximise the use of what you have in life is to never feel satisfied and be unfulfilled and lacking motivation and happiness.
In fact even spiritually, getting the most out of a moment is the goal of many practice’s and leads to the next moment being enriched. This is the basis of mindfulness. When you make the conscious effort to notice more in every moment of time, your experience becomes much richer in every way.
SPACE, TIME and using what you have: How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go? Because if you take science and quantum physics into account.., then everything is a balance of space and time. If you were to approach the point of travelling at the speed of light.., time would slow down for you because you would be maximising the use of space (distance). IE: With maximal use of space, time stops.
True spiritualists and perhaps even quantum physicists would expand that understanding to say the following:
The closer you get to using everything you can in each moment (space), the less time passes for you. IE: You in a sense will age less than those who don’t use their space this way, even though the shared perception of time will be similar.
The difference that makes the difference
Peak performance is all about getting the most out of what you have. Sure you can buy the best equipment, coaches and systems. But without maximising the use of them, it will be wasted money and effort.
So the difference that makes the difference comes down to people being and doing the best they can with a focus on constant improvement.
And this is both a physical and mental game.
No sports person will achieve peak performance without working on mental performance. And no business person will achieve peak performance without working on physical performance as well. Or if they do, it will be short in time compared to someone who does.
Brainwave entrainment, state management and peak performance
Brainwave entrainment or audio visual entrainment is the use of an external regular pattern of light and/or sound to synchronise with brain activity and therefore change the internal state of mind of the user. Stroboscopic light machines and similar devices have been used for decades to change peoples states. Common results include deep meditative states or highly alert states achievable in minutes.
Both mental performance and physical performance rely on being able to control levels of arousal and relaxation at the appropriate times.
If you can’t peak or get into a flow state at the right time then all the hard work in preparation will be for nothing. Think of the Olympian who spends 4 years training and sacrificing a normal life only to get to the Olympic games and not even perform at the levels they have been performing at in training. Most of the time this is due to a lack of state management or a lack of full recovery from injury.
If you are unprepared to deal with the days leading up to an important event and the resulting psychological risks.., you may be overwhelmed. Crowds of people, unfamiliar environments, lack of sleep and expectations put upon yourself are all potential risks to peak performance on the day.
And if you can’t relax before and after these times then you will burn out, get injuries and not recover. So peak performance is about state control.
Growth in ANY way requires controlled stress (mentally and/or physically) followed by rest and recovery. Controlled stress is different than what most people would call stress in that it is pushing yourself on purpose just to or beyond your current ability.
This is where adaptation, learning and growth occurs.
Going to the gym is an example of controlled stress. Don’t go at all and you’ll get no improvement. Go too often and you’ll get no improvement either as you won’t recover and grow and will be more prone to injury and illness from over-training.
Brain activity is linked to arousal and relaxation
Using an Electroencephalogram (EEG) device to measure a persons brain activity known as brainwaves, science has shown some predictable patterns associated with arousal and relaxation. Our brainwaves are measured in cycles per second or hertz (Hz).
Ranging from slow waves like Delta (approx 0.5Hz – 4Hz) to faster waves like Beta (approx 12Hz – 32Hz) and Gamma (approx 32Hz and above). These brainwaves give an indication of the level of arousal or relaxation of the person being measured. A dominant Delta pattern usually is present when someone is asleep and typically in a deep dreamless non REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep.
Whereas a dominant Beta pattern is usually an indicator of arousal in either focused attention or anxiety. Knowing this we can assist the brain in getting into the right brain pattern using entrainment. And this will vary depending on the moment. Moments of both relaxation and arousal are needed at the right times to maximise potential.
Frank Zane, 3 times Mr Olympia bodybuilding champion.., describes in his E-book ‘The mind in bodybuilding’ his workouts for the mind in the form of light and sound entrainment. It’s hard to think of a more physically focused sport than bodybuilding and yet he realised early on that every competition and training day was as much a mind game as a physical one.
And he has been using the technology ever since.
Brainwave entrainment protocols for peak performance
Using audio visual brainwave entrainment you can reduce cortisol (stress hormone) and activate the parasympathetic (rest and recovery) nervous system. This is the state where the body releases tension and stress and starts to recover and grow stronger. Great for recovering after exercise or mental exertion.
Cerebral/brain blood flow can also be enhanced with entrainment techniques leading to better mental clarity and focus. Also possible is improved heart rate variability HRV which is a measure of the hearts ability to adjust quickly to changing demands. Vital for any type of performance mentally or physically.
And one of the most important things for any sort of performance and health is of course sleep. One of the most challenging aspects of many peoples life. A lack of quality sleep is probably the biggest area’s to focus on if that is a problem for you.
In fact many experts agree that nutrition and sleep are the two biggest indicators and contributors to health.
Used in the right way, the benefits of audio and visual entrainment add up to a better performance both mentally and physically.
Mental rehearsal, focus and recovery with brainwave entrainment
Frank Zane’s story is typical of those who use audio visual brainwave entrainment as part of their process. There’s multiple ways of using this technology for different stages of training and performance.
Mental rehearsal and visualisation techniques are amplified when done in an altered state. Pre event and training focus and concentration can be enhanced using specific frequencies that put the mind into a relaxed but alert state. And post event and training recovery can be enhanced in the same way.
The golden zone of peak performance
Associating anxiety with performing will negatively effect your attitude and muscle tension and make it hard to get into the zone. It will also negatively effect the levels of serotonin and other hormones leading to a negative feedback loop of diminishing returns.
On the flip side, hyper arousal can overstimulate the nervous system and muscles leading to being tired prematurely.
Again.., peak performance is about state management. So the ability to remain focused and concentrate on the task or activity despite distraction is key.
And this focus requires practice as we are by nature habitually drawn to uncommon sights and sounds which can easily take that focus away. Balance and timing of arousal and relaxation are key to any type of performance. Learn to get into that golden zone or flow state at the right times and you will be a peak performer.
Sports performance and audio visual entrainment
Here’s two similar examples of studies conducted using audio visual entrainment for improving sports performance.
In this case track and field athletes received audio visual entrainment over a period of three months. Markers for stress response, motivation to continue, heart rate variability, attention switching speed, performance and cognitive ability were included. Significant improvements over the control group were found. The conclusion was that using this technology was an effective way to enhance performance during activity and recovery after activity.
In this instance a relaxing protocol was used from a low Beta frequency (13Hz) down to Delta (3Hz) and back again to calm the nervous system.
What the studies highlight is the importance of mental attitude on improvement over time. Having the resilience to train hard and with intelligence even when it would be easier to not train, is a big indicator of being able to perform at your best during competition. And being able to ‘switch off’ and relax after training is what allows for that resilience. Otherwise tiredness and demotivation take over.
Academic performance and audio visual entrainment
This is an interesting study around using photic light based entrainment to enhance academic performance.
Studies of people grouped according to IQ scores of high and medium have found that average Alpha brainwave activity and coherence (particularly during eyes open tasks) is approximately 1Hz higher in those with a higher IQ.
Alpha can be divided into high and low bands of approximately 10-12Hz and 8-10Hz (11-13 and 9-11 in this study). The ratio of high to low Alpha is what has been found to be higher in those with a higher IQ, better memory and healthy brain function when compared to those with challenges.
In this study.., it was found that even one session of light only stimulation with some temperature controlled feedback training (known as a marker of anxiety) produced a state of enhanced mental performance following the session.
Based on this finding two further studies followed.
The first used a stable 14Hz frequency and all that was measured was the high/low Alpha ratio.
30 sessions were used and the result showed a significant increase in this high to low Alpha ratio closer to what would be expected from someone with a higher IQ.
Improved academic grades with entrainment
Based on this a second experiment was devised. 30 sessions over a few weeks were given to see if a more lasting benefit academically was the result. Results were measured by way of the GPA grade point average of the students participating.
5 sessions a week for 6 weeks were conducted.
This study used both 14Hz and 22Hz.
All participants were chosen from a group of students who had asked for help due to failing grades.
The results show that there is a consistent and lasting increase in the grade point average in those that did the light sessions and a continuing drop in grade point average in those that were in the control group.
It would seem that AVE can in fact help improve academic performance and cognition.
And it also shows the potential for reducing stress and anxiety in improving mental performance also. Does this mean you can increase your IQ with audio visual entrainment or brainwave entrainment? Not necessarily.., as more factors would have to be considered and some of those were pointed out as possible reasons in the extended paper on the study.
For example, could it be that better sleep and less stress via improved relaxation could be a reason for improved academic performance?
None the less, the result is what counts and this is one of the studies that does in fact show an improvement in mental ability after even a short time of using AVE.
[ NOTE: Having worked directly and indirectly with thousands of people using brainwave entrainment technology, I would like to state that I actually don’t think that the positive results of the second study were due to the exact protocol used of alternating 14Hz and 22Hz for 1 minute each. In fact at one point a session was made for a device I was previously involved with using this protocol and the result was headaches and nausea from about 10% of people who used it so the session was removed. My experience would suggest that the conclusion of improved academic performance is accurate, but that without the feedback protocol in this experiment, the participants may not have gotten as positive a result. And in fact if you read the entire research paper you will see that a number of people dropped out because they did not like the experience. In my experience and research of similar studies I would suggest a more stable session in the SMR (sensory motor rhythm) range of 12-15Hz or in fact a stable 10Hz session produces the same type of enhanced state without the risk of side effects. 22Hz as used in this study falls into the range of medium Beta frequencies which although can be present at times of high performance are also present during high stress. And alternating as fast as every one minute between two frequencies like this can be uncomfortable for people ]
The real key to peak performance
Studies like the above are nice and show at least some peer reviewed evidence of the effectiveness of audio visual brainwave entrainment for improving peak performance. And there are testimonials from sports people and academics to be found if you look for them in books or interviews. They tend not to be isolated from other practices however and therefore make up an overall group of practices that people use to improve their performance.
This is a more realistic use of any technology in my opinion. Add something like entrainment to your daily or weekly practice and you will gain more than the sum of the parts. Life is like that. One improvement or success leads to another and momentum builds.
I have seen this first hand with the people that I’ve interacted with. The moment improvement is noticed there is a change in people that has them keep making further improvements. This is the key to peak performance. And having this available at the push of a button is invaluable.
For owners and users of the roXiva RX1, protocols and sessions are available for the application of this technology for peak performance. And as with any piece of technology that can have an impact on physical and mental well-being.., the benefits don’t stop there.
From drug free psychedelic trips to uses in hypnotherapy, the door is there to be opened.