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Enhancing Learning Environments

by James Akenhead

As a licensed professional counselor, James Akenhead has been a public and private sector organizational consultant for fifteen years. A career educator for thirty years, with twenty four years of service as a school superintendent, he holds five degrees and has published numerous articles on leadership, team building, management, and human relations. Dr. Akenhead has served as coordinator of a graduate administration degree program and has taught graduate courses in administration and counseling for eighteen years. Jim is presently Director of The Ohio Network: Training and Assistance for Schools and Communities. This paper discusses the application of Hemi-Sync technology, in four different formats, to enhance the instructional environment during the delivery of a Conflict Management workshop for administrators. An overview of workshop content objectives is presented, together with the results of a basic statistical analysis of participants’ perceptions.

As a career educator and consultant for more than thirty years, I’m continually interested in methods to enhance instruction in professional workshops, seminars and presentations. After facilitating several hundred workshops, anything that helps tired and sometimes burned out people to get more out of the presentations is considered. Ways of improving content presentation, adding humor, and varying instructional techniques and processes all receive attention. Last summer I experimented with yet another dimension to aid workshop participants in getting the most for their time and effort. This project involved the use of Hemi-Sync for enhancing the delivery of a workshop on conflict management.

Workshop Objectives:

The workshop objectives were threefold. Clearly, a primary focus was to provide the participants–a group of school administrators–with the skills and understanding necessary to make them better conflict managers. In addition, I wanted to use the Hemi-Sync technology to enhance the workshop learning environment and to give the administrators a tool that they could use to maintain a “centered” state in which they would be able to deal more effectively with conflict situations (in much the same way that an athlete’s personal state contributes to performance).

Content:

The curriculum for the conflict management phase of the workshop included a personality style analysis of each participant and a comparison of each participant’s style with a hypothetical style profile deemed to be highly productive in managing conflict situations. Following the style analysis, participants were given lectures, structured activities, and simulations which acquainted them with the nature of conflict and methods for conflict resolution.

Hemi-Sync Technology:

At the beginning of the workshop, participants were told that Hemi-Sync would be used to enrich the workshop environment and to provide them with some personal resources that could be helpful to them in actual conflict situations. Technical aspects were explained briefly. The explanation included information on brain wave technology, including the discovery and development of the Frequency Following Response and its capacity to support productive brain wave patterns.

Concentration

The Concentration tape was used during the lectures and question and answer portions of sessions. The technology and rationale were explained and the volume was raised so the tape sound could be heard. Thereafter, the volume was adjusted to fade into the background.

METAMUSIC

Participants were told that METAMUSIC would be used during small group discussions and breaks. Selections included Cloudscapes and Daybreak. They were assured that there were no subliminal messages on the METAMUSIC tapes.

Creativity

Exploring (with Hemi-Sync) from the series Journeys Into Creative Problem Solving, developed by Applied Creative Leadership System, Inc., was introduced during the last phase of the workshop. This provided people with an additional resource for creating and exploring options for use in problem solving and in planning related to conflict situations.

H-PLUS

The PREP side of H-PLUS Relax was introduced as a system for bringing about full body relaxation when the required time and privacy were available. The Relax side of the tape was presented as a means to learn a personal code or anchor which could bring about a relaxation response in almost any situation without the need for a prolonged process. This kind of personal code was compared to what happens when someone notices that they respond consistently to a favorite song. It was suggested that, once developed, the H-PLUS code would initiate the relaxation response in the same way that a favorite song initiates a particularly positive feeling.

To make participants as comfortable as possible with this new experience, everything on the tape-including the wording and the rationale for each side of the tape–was explained. Each person had been asked to bring a Walkman-type stereo player to the workshop. Tape use was a scheduled part of the activities. On the first day, participants listened to PREP before lunch. They agreed to listen to it again that evening. PREP was also used before lunch and on the evening of the second day. At lunch time on the third day, participants heard the Relax side of the tape for the first time. They were then encouraged to begin using the code [Function Command] whenever they wanted to bring about personal relaxation.

Participant Perceptions of Hemi-Sync:

It was decided to evaluate the Hemi-Sync technology via the perceptions of the participants. Each person was asked to complete a personal perception form giving their reactions to each of the Hemi-Sync applications. Thirteen of the fifteen participants completed the form. Two had to leave the workshop early because of unexpected business problems.

Statistical Analysis:

To derive maximum usefulness from the perception evaluation, a statistical analysis was performed. Anytime an opinion is asked, a perception is recorded, or a measurement is made, some differences will occur on the basis of “chance” only. A statistical analysis uses mathematical formulas to determine if the differences in response are most likely related to chance or if they are most likely “real,” and therefore more useful in drawing conclusions about the project or experiment.

In this case, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistical test was selected as particularly appropriate for examining the difference between how a group would normally be expected to respond and how they actually respond. Each area of the perception form was examined:

Area I: The Hemi-Sync Concentration tape used during lectures and presentations had the following effect on my ability to focus on content material.

Expected Distribution

Distracted Me………………………..0

Normal Focus………………………..13

More Focused…………………………0

Actual Responses

Distracted Me………………………..2

Normal Focus…………………………8

More Focused…………………………3

Statistical analysis of this area indicated that the differences in responses were likely due to chance. For this reason, we could not conclude that the Concentration tape accounted for the differences in perception.

Area II: The use of METAMUSIC before, during, and after group discussions had the following effect on my level of comfort and productivity:

Expected Distribution

More Uncomfortable……………………0

Normal Comfort………………………13

More Comfortable……………………..0

Actual Responses

More Uncomfortable……………………1

Normal Comfort……………………….7

More Comfortable……………………..5

Statistical analysis of this area indicated that differences in responses were likely due to chance. For this reason, we could not conclude that the use of METAMUSIC tapes accounted for the differences in perception.

Area III: The use of the Exploring tape for increasing creativity in planning or problem solving had the following effect on me.

Expected Distribution

Felt Less Creative…………………..0

Felt Normal Creativity………………13

Felt More Creative…………………..0

Actual Responses

Felt Less Creative…………………..3

Felt Normal Creativity……………….9

Felt More Creative…………………..1

Statistical analysis of this area indicated that differences in responses were likely due to chance. For this reason, we could not conclude that the Exploring tape accounted for the differences in perception.

Area IV: The use of the H-PLUS process for producing a relaxation response had the following effect on me.

Expected Distribution

Less Relaxed………………………..0

Normal Relaxation…………………..13

Increased Relaxation…………………0

Actual Responses

Less Relaxed……………………….0

Normal Relaxation…………………..3

Increased Relaxation……………….10

Statistical analysis of this area indicated that the differences in responses were not likely due to chance. For this reason, we may state that the use of the H-Plus tape accounted for the differences in the perceptions of the participants.

General Conclusions:

Concentration – Based on analysis of participants’ perceptions about the effects of various tapes during the workshop, the Concentration tape was not perceived as having an effect on the focus or alertness of the group. It was noted, however, that due to the nature of this tape, personal perception may not be the best way to evaluate its effectiveness. A system to evaluate an actual increase in skill or knowledge following use might be more appropriate. Even though the statistical analysis did not indicate an impact on participants’ ability to focus more intently, the facilitators believed that there may have been more impact than was perceived. The source of this observation: although conditions in the workshop environment were hot and humid, participants seemed well-focused. Normally, this type of setting would have worn down their attention span. Some distraction was noticed when Bob Monroe’s voice became audible as the tape recycled on the auto-reverse equipment.

METAMUSIC – Participants thought METAMUSIC selections, including Cloudscapes and Daybreak, had a positive effect on their levels of productivity and relaxation during small group discussion sessions and breaks. Workshop facilitators felt that the music was enjoyable for all, including the instructors. Standard stereo equipment (with four speakers, one in each corner of the room) was used for sound delivery. No problems occurred relative to the use of the music tapes.

Exploring – Use of this tape for guided imagery and for enhancing creativity in planning and problem solving was not perceived as helpful by the group. Facilitators attributed this response to placement in the workshop format and time constraints. Exploring was introduced at the end of the workshop, time was short, and the room was very hot and humid. These factors were inappropriate to create an environment for optimal use. It will be used again in the future with a better understanding of the conditions that would maximize its impact.

H-PLUS – The PREP side of H-PLUS Relax was perceived by participants to have an impact on their state of relaxation. Many people mentioned about this effect. Approximately 50% said they could not believe anything could relax them to the degree that was accomplished. There was insufficient time to assess uniformity of results with the Function Command. However, several comments indicated that the relaxation response was present when it was used.

Summary and Personal Observations:

Facilitators believed that the Hemi-Sync technology used in this project enhanced the delivery of the conflict management seminar. Statistical analysis is basic in nature and is built on the personal perceptions of the participants rather than on hard data. Even the basic statistical approach employed in this instance added an additional portion of credibility to the conclusions drawn.

Problems were minimal. Obtaining personal tape players for each indivdual was more of a logistical difficulty than anticipated. Moving the stereo equipment in and setting it up proceeded smoothly. Careful orientation resolved most questions about the nature and intent of the tapes. Some did see the tapes as similar to hypnosis and one person feared a conflict with their Christian beliefs. These concerns arose despite a careful orientation which will be repeated at succeeding seminars. The technology is demonstrating its value and will see continued use with those interested in improving their personal performance and satisfaction.

REFERENCES

Coulson, Louis T. & Strickland, Alison 1990 Journeys Into Creative Problem Solving: Inviting Insights and Inventing Ideas Through Imagery. Applied Creative Learning Systems Inc., Seminole, FL.

Peak and Other Exceptional Experiences During the Gateway Voyage

by Todd J. Masluk, MA, Ed.M.

Background

A revolution is occurring in consciousness expansion, the development of altered states, and psychospiritual growth (Walsh & Vaughan, 1993). At the forefront of this movement is an array of “neurotechnologies.” I These neurotechnologies are one of the newest hopes of promoting psychological growth. Many claims have been made regarding the efficacy of neurotechnological approaches to enhancing human performance and promoting exceptional positive well-being (Hutchison, 1994). Their potential to induce peak or similar kinds of experience is also suggested by some researchers (Isaacs, 1993; Wilson, 1991).

Despite such claims, a computer-assisted search of the literature has revealed a dearth of empirical research on the nature and patterns of peak-experiences associated with the use of these modalities. One program in which audioguidance is used is the Gateway Voyage conducted at The Monroe Institute (TMI). Anecdotal reports suggest that peak or similar experiences are a common occurrence during this program, and participants’ lives are often dramatically changed by these events. The unusual frequency and consistency with which such events reportedly occur constitute a phenomenon worthy of investigation. However, to date there have been no systematic attempts to confirm these claims by empirical means.

Introduction to the Study

A dissertation study was conducted to: (1) examine the qualitative nature of reported peak and peak-like experiences during the GATEWAY program as recounted by participants; and (2) to study selected characteristics that may differentiate participants who have these experiences from those who do not.

Description of Participants

Participants consisted of volunteers from TMI’s Gateway Voyage. Out of eleven groups, 160 people (81 males, 79 females) participated. They ranged in age from 24 to 72, with a median age of 46.5.

Measurement Instruments

A two-part Peak-Experience Questionnaire (PEQ) was developed for this study. Part I was used to collect retrospective self-reports of participants’ recent peak and other personally significant experiences. Part II was designed to explore the impact of these experiences on participants’ lives, as well as the cognitive processes involved in integrating them.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was used to assess the personality types of participants in the program.

The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI), a self-report, paper-and-pencil inventory, was used to assess participants’ thinking or cognitive styles. The inventory is based on a metaphorical model of the brain that is quadripartite: left and right cerebral, and left and right limbic. The HBDI indicates one’s degree of preference for each of the four thinking styles associated with these four “areas” of the brain.

Procedures

  • Pre-Gateway
    The HBDI and MBTI were administered to volunteers by Gateway Trainers on the first day of each program. Demographic data were also collected to further define the research population.
  • Post-Gateway
    Part I of the PEQ was mailed to participants one week after Gateway. Part II of the PEQ was mailed six months after Gateway. Accompanying the PEQ was a transcript of each participant’s most significant experience(s) to aid in accurate recall. Reminder notices were sent one week after the initial mailings. If there was no response after three weeks, the mailings were repeated.

Preliminary Results

Out of 160 participants, 125 completed the study. Incomplete but useful data were collected from 35 participants who dropped out.

The MBTI was completed by 157 participants. The most frequently occurring type (40 participants) was “INFP” (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving).

The HBDI was completed by 156 participants. The most frequently occurring type (47 participants) was “2211”. Primary characteristics of this type are the ability to be creative, holistic, and synthesizing in the right cerebral quadrant, and interpersonal, emotional, and spiritual in the right limbic quadrant. Secondary characteristics include logical, analytical, and mathematical thinking associated with the left cerebral quadrant, and organizational, planning, and structure with the left limbic quadrant. In common parlance, these people are more “right brained” than “left brained”.

One hundred twenty-one participants who reported peak and other powerful or significant experiences on the PEQ (for a total of 291). Of these 121 participants, 23 were single experiencers (i.e., reported only one experience) and 98 were multiple experiencers (two or more). Twenty participants did not report any experiences. Nineteen participants did not return the PEQ. Only two negative or “nadir” experiences were reported. The fact that only two nadir experiences were reported–out of a large pool of positive experiences–suggests that the Gateway program is overwhelmingly perceived as positive and growth-producing.

In addition to peak-experiences, a large variety of other “exceptional human experiences” were reported ii for which a provisional classification was developed. In Table 1, experiences were grouped by phenomenological content under four major categories: Intensified Sensory and Perceptual Experiences (Body) , Cognitive Experiences (Mind) , Psychodynamic Experiences (Emotions), and Transpersonal Experiences (Spirit). A fifth category, Miscellaneous Experiences , was added to accommodate those which did not logically fit any of the other four categories. More experiences were reported under the category of “Transpersonal Experiences” than for all other major categories combined. The sub-category containing the greatest number of reported experiences is Other Experiences of Consciousness Outside the Usual Experiential Realms of Time and Space . However, it is closely followed by Peak and Peak-Like Experiences and Inner Guidance or Channeling Experiences in descending order of frequency.

Data were also collected on the conditions under which experiences began. Insight was sought into what may possibly trigger or facilitate such events. Participants’ peak and most powerful or significant experiences occurred most frequently (72% of the time) while listening to Hemi-Sync® tapes. This finding suggests that the majority of personally meaningful experiences had during the Gateway program are directly associated with the use of the Hemi-Sync technology.

A variety of consistent aftereffects were reported: a greater commitment to one’s psychospiritual growth; a sense of being more self-determined and responsible for one’s life; a greater self-acceptance; living more fully in the present; a greater love for humanity; an increased willingness to take risks; an increased desire to help others; feeling more inner-directed (less willing to please others at the expense of self); an increased spontaneity; introspective (more willing to use inner guidance in decision-making). The overall effects pointed in the direction of increased self-actualization.

In addition, for many the effects also implied a newly-acquired sense of self-transcendence or realization that one is, indeed, more than one’s physical body . This new, expanded sense of self included belief in the existence of other levels of reality; feeling inherently connected to something larger than self; belief in some form of benevolent “higher power”; and the loss of fear of death ( knowing there is life after death).

The data suggest that some kind of active cognitive engagement is necessary to integrate one’s experiences. Some methods of engagement were preferred. Discussing the experience with others was the method most frequently cited. Many participants mentioned confining discussion to trustworthy, significant others, or to those who had undergone similar experiences. The next most frequently method was to read about similar experiences. This was followed–in order of frequency–by keeping the experience to oneself (many found the occurrence too sacred to share), and writing about it. These four processes were the predominant modes of synthesis. Other approaches included: pondering the experience; painting or drawing the experience; expressing it musically; reliving or replaying the experience in one’s mind; meditating on the experience; trying to recreate it; listening for inner guidance.

Summary and Conclusion

Based on data collected from eleven groups, it appears that peak-experiences occur with regularity during the Gateway Program, as well as a wide range and multidimensionality of other trans-ordinary experiences. This great variety and depth of experiences suggest that Gateway helps to facilitate a huge opening or expansion of consciousness. This expansion seems to occur in both the outer and inner dimensions of being. Interestingly, the types, intensity, and richness of patterns of experience reported bear a striking resemblance to those reported by psychedelic (LSD) researchers (Grof, 1976; Masters & Houston, 1966; Pahnke & Richards, 1972). A useful metaphor to conceptualize the types of experience reported is that of turning up the volume on life . One becomes more physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually awake.

To the extent individuals are willing to acknowledge and consciously integrate such profound experiences, their lives may radically change in positive, growthful directions.

Table 1

Major Categories and Frequencies of Reported Experiences

  1. Intensified Sensory and Perceptual Experiences (Body)
    A. Deautomatization Experiences (11)
    B. Somatic Awareness (18)
  2. Cognitive Experiences (Mind)
    A. Enhanced Mental Abilities (17)
  3. Psychodynamic Experiences (Emotions)
    A. Regression to Early Childhood (and other life periods) (2)
    B. Resolution of Emotional Conflicts and Personality Integration (16)
  4. Transpersonal Experiences (Spirit)
    A. Extreme Psychological Well-Being Experiences (23)
    B. Peak and Peak-Like Experiences (43)
    C. Psychical Experiences (21)
    D. Inner Guidance or “Channeling” Experiences (42)
    E. Imagery of the Personal and Transpersonal Unconscious (19)
    F. Encounter Experiences (25)
    G. Other Experiences of Consciousness Outside the Usual Experiential Realms of Time and Space (46)
  5. Miscellaneous Experiences
    A. Infrequent and Idiosyncratic Experiences (5)
    B. Uncodable Experiences (3)


Note Frequencies for types of experience are in parentheses after sub-category names.

References

Grof, S. (1976). Realms of the human unconscious: Observations from LSD research. New York: E.P. Dutton.
Hutchison, M. (1994). Mega brain power. New York: Hyperion.
Isaacs, J. (1993). Psycho-technology: Its present and future. Megabrain Report, 2(1), 8-13, 29.
Masters, R.E.L., & Houston, J. (1966). The varieties of psychedelic experience. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Pahnke, W.N., & Richards, W.A. (1972). Implications of LSD and experimental mysticism. In C.T. Tart (Ed.), Altered states of consciousness (pp. 409-439). New York: Doubleday.
Walsh, R., & Vaughan, F. (Eds.). (1993). Paths beyond ego: The transpersonal vision. Los Angeles, CA: Tarcher/Perigee.
Wilson, E.S. (1991). A psychophysiological study of the Hemi-Sync process. Hemi-Sync Journal, 9(4), 6-7.

I “Exceptional human experience” was coined by Rhea White, a noted parapsychologist, as an umbrella term for many types of experience generally regarded as psychic or mystical. It is a useful construct for considering the varieties of experience as points on a continuum and for examining possible connections between some, if not all of them. It may provide the “big picture” that might be overlooked if we were to study these experiences as discrete types of experience only.

II A more detailed classification of the reported experiences, including definitions and a list of specific types of experience under the categories listed in Table 1, is available from the author upon request.

The Way of Hemi-Sync – Free Download

In order to help you experience the benefits of using Hemi-Sync’s binaural beat technology, we’re offering The Way of Hemi-Sync for free! You can download the MP3 or order the CD (shipping charges will apply to the CD).

This verbally guided demonstration will introduce you to the extraordinary benefits of the whole-brain states of consciousness made possible by Hemi-Sync®.

You will hear, feel, and understand how Hemi-Sync® works and then enjoy a relaxing and deeply restful experience. 29 minutes.

Way of Hemi-Sync 300x301

To download the MP3 to your computer,

Click Here

(35MB filesize)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cautions and Disclaimer

While many of our audio products contribute to wellness, they are not intended to replace medical diagnosis and treatment. DO NOT listen to Hemi-Sync® while driving or operating heavy equipment, or with other devices that may influence brain wave activity. If you have a tendency towards seizures, auditory disorders, or other adverse mental condition(s) DO NOT listen to Hemi-Sync® without first consulting your physician. In the unlikely event that you experience any unusual physical or mental discomfort, immediately discontinue use. ALL WARRANTIES WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE DISCLAIMED.

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Understanding Attention Deficit Disorder

by Bill Handel

 

In the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s, doctors thought a possible cause of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), or “hyperactivity” as it was called then, was exposure to lead and other environmental toxins, possibly fetal alcohol syndrome, or even fetal exposure to drugs. Although in some cases this may have been a correct assumption, for the majority none of these possible causes was a factor. There were many theories as to the cause and/or causes of ADD, but researchers really had no idea. Even today, modern medicine has no real clue as to what causes ADD.

 

Attention Deficit Disorder is generally described as an inability to hold focused coherent thought for more than a few seconds to a minute or two. It is usually associated with difficulty learning, reading, and memorizing, and may be accompanied by acting out, poor socialization, feelings of inferiority, and a lack of emotional control.

 

There are many good ideas being investigated right now, and quite a few research studies being conducted by major medical institutions, pharmaceutical companies, universities, hospitals and independent researchers. But no one has nailed down the real cause…yet!

 

Types of ADD

 

According to Michael and Lynda Thompson, and pediatrician William Sears, who co-wrote “The ADD Book,” there are three main categories of children diagnosed with ADD, with some smaller variants.

 

1) Free Spirit ADD. These kids DO NOT HAVE ADD!

 

These are bright, creative, and energetic kids who think, act, and learn differently. They are exhausting for parents, challenging for teachers, and inconvenient for society. They do not do well in a school environment that rewards sameness and undervalues difference. They are not tolerated well by authoritarians, and they may need a different style of teaching and or parenting. They definitely need a different style of learning, and certainly don’t need a label. These bright wonderful children may be geniuses; don’t stifle their potential with drugs and oppressive learning therapies.

 

2) Situational ADD

 

These kids have some type of problem in their environment; either at school, at home, after school, at a relative’s house, or somewhere else. The problem causes them to act out and creates ADD-like symptoms that are very real. They have ADD to be sure, but it is caused by something external; something is bothering them or hurting them or worse. Something could also be happening to a family member or a friend; it doesn’t always have to be happening to them. Children are very empathetic.

 

3a) Neurobiological ADD—Excess Theta Brainwave Production

 

This type of ADD is also believed to be the most common, where the child (or adult) has an overabundance of Theta waves in the left hemisphere of their brain—the logical half most involved in the traditional learning process. If theta brainwaves are prominent when a person is sleeping, he or she is dreaming. If the person has a prominence of Theta waves when they are conscious, they are daydreaming, and although this happens to everyone occasionally, it generally only lasts from a few seconds to a minute or so. Imagine if you were that way all of the time…you can see how that would be a problem, especially in a classroom trying to learn.

The chart above lists the approximate brainwave frequency range for various physical activities, and shows a graphic representation of what the various brainwaves look like on an EEG readout. You can see an obvious difference between the high frequency Beta brainwaves at the top of the chart and the much slower Theta brainwaves, which are below the Alpha relaxation range and three to six times slower than that required for traditional learning.

 

Even though a child (or adult) with ADD may be conscious, awake, speaking and socializing, Theta brainwaves are still much slower than what is needed to concentrate on specific subjects for more than a few minutes, and to properly store and retrieve memories. These people can be forever locked in a daydream state that constantly interferes with the traditional learning process.

 

Every brain is an advanced bio-computer that uses electricity and neurotransmitter chemicals to communicate internally. If the electrical charge represented by the overall brainwave frequency is not high enough, the neurotransmitter chemicals won’t be able to jump the gap between brain cells (or not enough of the neurotransmitters will make the jump), resulting in no signal or a weak signal that confuses nearby brain cells. For a brain to operate properly it must have the right balance of neurotransmitters and electrical charge; if that is off even by a little bit the brain does not work properly. It really is that simple!

 

3b) Neurobiological ADD—Alpha Brainwave Deficiency

 

There is another type of ADD, which is less common, but it should be mentioned in order to have a complete understanding of the ADD syndrome.

 

This particular type of ADD is called “Alpha Brainwave Deficiency,” caused by stress or anxiety that prevents the brain from producing enough Alpha relaxation brainwaves. Therefore, even when the individual rests, the mind and body are not resting, which in turn leads to brain fatigue, which leads to more anxiety, which leads to less alpha production…resulting in a never-ending spiral.

 

In order to combat this problem, we recommend using binaural relaxation CDs approximately one to three times a day to promote relaxation and greater Alpha brainwave production. If the CDs prove beneficial they can be used as necessary until anxiety is reduced, and then every few days as a refresher to focus on relaxation and maintain Alpha brainwave production.

 

Individuals who find that CDs don’t work, or find the relaxation effect only lasts a short while after listening, may need additional help. Some great additions are yoga, stretching, meditating, massage, music, herbal teas, walking, deep breathing, acupressure and even acupuncture.

 

ADD is similar to a computer with a weak power supply; you can turn it on and boot it up but some components don’t always work as they should. And there are always intermittent problems. Over time a weak power supply can erode an entire system and cause the dreaded “blue screen of death,” requiring the replacement of major components.

 

Although humans don’t have power supplies or replaceable components, and we hopefully won’t have the “blue screen of death” for quite a few years to come, you get the idea. The best and safest way to make a major change in brainwaves, without affecting the delicate balance of neurotransmitters within the brain, is by using binaural beat CDs.

 

My Personal Journey with ADD

 

As a parent, receiving the diagnosis that your child has ADD is a bittersweet message. You are heartbroken for your child, but at the same time you probably suspected that something was wrong for a while. It can be a relief finally knowing why there are problems with school, homework, grades, behavior, etc.

 

Our search for an ADD alternative began when one of our children and the children of several friends were diagnosed with ADD within a short time of each other. There was no doubting the kids’ educational difficulties as we battled through the homework process, and the lack of responsibility regarding everything every day. As a parent who is also a martial arts instructor, I resolved to find anything and everything that would help my kids and my students naturally and without medication.

 

I was encouraged by the fact that binaural beat tapes and CDs had been used successfully over the past 50 years, and the fact that millions of people had good experiences with them. The first success of the Anti-ADD System was with my own ADD child, who had quite an interesting variety of problems in high school. But use of concentration CDs, supplements and changes in diet eventually led to a graduation with honors. The next successes were with some of my martial arts students with ADD, whose parents I convinced to try these “cool new concentration CDs.” The overwhelmingly positive response from parents and teachers, along with the success of the students themselves, encouraged me to put together the Anti-ADD System so that others could benefit too.

 

By combining the power of binaural beat CDs with information on natural anti-ADD supplements and nutritional support, we have given children and their parents a tool they can use to achieve greater results than they could have on their own. Binaural CDs are not toys, a gimmick, or pop culture fad. They are a safe, powerful and non-invasive tool that changes the way the mind and brain operate. If they did not work so well, and provide such great results, they would have died out years ago.

 

Woman Sleeping

The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep

“Oh sleep! It is a gentle thing; beloved from pole to pole.”

—Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

The simple ritual of a good night’s sleep is an unparalleled necessity for good health. Referred to by William Shakespeare as “the chief nourisher in life’s feast,” sleep is a critical function that allows us to restore vital physical functions, fuel and nurture our creativity, enhance feelings of well-being and provide renewed energy resources for the next period of activity.

 

While we all know that lack of sleep affects the quality of life, few of us realize the full range of problems—physiological, psychiatric, emotional and mental—that can result from chronic sleep problems. Whether it’s too little sleep, too much sleep or an inadequate quality of sleep, disturbed sleep patterns impact how we look, feel and perform on a daily basis, and can have a major impact on our overall quality of life.

 

An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems, significantly impacting their health, safety and alertness. Studies conducted over the past several decades indicate that chronic sleep disorders may also contribute to heart disease, hypertension, stroke, depression, diabetes and other serious illnesses.

 

Little was known about sleep until renowned sleep pioneer William C. Dement, MD, PhD, established the world’s first sleep disorder clinic in 1970 at Stanford University. Now in his 80s, Dr. Dement is still considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on sleep, sleep deprivation, and the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. He is credited with saving thousands of lives “without seeing a single patient” by researching, identifying and publicizing sleep disorders and the effects it can have on the quality of life.

 

One of his top initiatives, taught to thousands of Stanford students over the years in his enormously popular Sleep and Dreams course, is to make the public aware that “drowsiness is red alert!” — encouraging each person to become aware of their own fatigue limits to avoid serious consequences. Wake Up America: A National Sleep Alert, a 1992 sleep study also associated with Dement, concluded that accidents and reduced productivity caused by sleep deprivation or sleep disorders could cost the U.S. up to a hundred million dollars per year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that “drowsy driving” is responsible for the loss of more than 1,500 lives, and causes at least 100,000 vehicular accidents each year.

 

What robs us of our sleep? Experts consider stress the No. 1 cause of short-term sleeping problems. Other causes include irregular work schedules, jet lag, physical discomfort from illness, a distracting or uncomfortable environment, and lifestyle choices such as alcohol and/or caffeine consumption that can interfere with the ability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. More serious problems include sleep apnea, characterized by interrupted breathing; involuntary limb movements such as restless leg syndrome; and narcolepsy, characterized by an abnormal tendency to involuntarily pass directly from wakefulness into deep sleep.

 

Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Adequate amounts of uninterrupted sleep is recuperative and rejuvenating. People who routinely get less than 7 hours sleep, or 8 or more hours with several interruptions, often show symptoms of sleep deprivation: irritability, attention deficit, and increased stress levels.

 

Most people experience sleep problems from time to time, but chronic, persistent sleep problems can seriously affect health and wellbeing. If you consistently find yourself feeling tired or not well rested during the day despite spending enough time in bed at night, you may have a sleep disorder and should seek medical advice. A general practitioner or a sleep specialist should be able to help.

 

For people who have occasional sleep problems, there are some simple methods that can help promote sleep and the ability to stay asleep:

 

Have a good sleeping environment.  Remove any distractions, such as noises or bright lights, and replace an uncomfortable bed or pillow if necessary.

 

Follow a sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day—even on weekends—creates a solid habit.

 

Avoid late-day caffeine consumption. Stimulants can take hours to wear off, making it hard for some people to fall asleep at night.

 

Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed. Alcohol can interfere with deep, restorative sleep, keeping you in the lighter stages of sleep. 

 

Avoid large meals and beverages late at night. A large meal can cause indigestion; drinking fluids can cause frequent awakenings to urinate.

 

Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t fall asleep or keep waking up, get up and do some relaxing activity until you feel sleepy. The anxiety of not being able to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.

 

Don’t take naps after 3 p.m.  Late afternoon naps can make it harder to sleep at night.

 

Relax before bed. Take the time to unwind—create a soothing bedtime ritual, such as a warm bath, reading or listening to music.

 

Natural remedies. Holistic remedies for sleep problems include breathing techniques, visualizations, mantras and herbal preparations. Monroe Products offers a full line of audio CDs, using the extraordinary Hemi-Sync® technology, that can help you fall sleep and stay asleep, as well as catch a fully-restorative nap in 30 minutes.

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Uncommon Tips for Health and Well-Being

by Russ Mason, M.S.

For the better part of a decade I wrote for Alternative & Complementary Therapies, a medical journal. My principal task was to interview doctors and other health care practitioners who had something new to offer to the discussion about wellness, and preventing disease. I learned a lot.  Previous to this, I studied health and nutrition on my own, since I wanted to know the bottom line: what should I do to maintain my health, to keep my hair, and to forestall the aging process?  This article will hit some of the highlights of little-known facts and ideas. I hope you will find them useful.

 Diet

Most people know that processed foods are bad; and that whole, organic foods are the best.  It is desirable to avoid sugar in any form (except honey), any white food (pasta, white rice, white bread) and to take a good daily regiment of dietary supplements. The one-per-day vitamin doesn’t have the nutritional punch to be of value. A good multivitamin will provide a nutritional base; but adding such nutrients as vitamin C (with bioflavenoids), vitamin E (with selenium), Coenzyme Q-10, and zinc (for men) or iron (for women) will go a long way toward optimizing health. If you drink alcohol, taking a B-100 complex, along with an extra 500mg of vitamin B-1, and 1000mg vitamin C, will help the body recover more quickly. If you eat fatty fish (tuna, swordfish, salmon) then adding fresh parsley will be of benefit. There is mercury in all of these fishes and the chlorophyll in the parsley will act like a magnet, attract the mercury, and carry it out of the system.

 

Edgar Cayce had much to say about food combining, and this is often overlooked. The rule of thumb is: if you are having meat, then do not eat starches (bread, potatoes, pasta, corn). Meat with vegetables is fine, as are starches and vegetables. 

 

Cayce also spoke of the acid/alkaline balance, and this has recently been affirmed in many research studies. Most of the foods we eat, especially meat, sweets, cakes, etc., are acid-forming foods.  Vegetables such as lettuce, parsley and celery are alkaline forming foods. Disease cannot thrive in an alkaline environment, and a handy tonic to ensure your body is alkaline, is mixing a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda in a glass of water and drinking it, at least once a day. This simple remedy has been shown to help prevent cancer.

 

Another cancer-prevention tip is to eat 8 fresh apricot seeds every day.  The seeds (also called kernels) contain amigdalyn, one of the most powerful cancer-fighting substances known to science.  In studies at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, amigdalyn was shown to prevent metastases 80% of the time.   They are available inexpensively online at RainrockNutritionals.com.

 

Anti-Aging

 

When we are young and growing, our pituitary glands produce growth hormone (gH).  This gives young people a special glow, energy and stamina.  However, as one ages, the pituitary releases less of it.  However, by stimulating the pituitary with amino acids, such as l-Arginine, l-Ornithine, plus other nutrients, it will release growth hormone into the bloodstream.  There are many effective amino acid formulas on the market, and the best are available from Beyond-A-Century.com.  They work wonderfully well; they promote vibrant skin tone, increased muscle mass and fat loss. 

 

A site worth visiting is Life Extension; or LEF.org  The doctors who contribute to this site are on the cutting edge of how to live longer, younger, and healthier.  They also sell products on their site, but many can also be found inexpensively on eBay.  One of their products is the best skin cream in the world:  Rejuvenex.  It’s the best formula for nourishing and firming the skin. 

 

Skin Care

 

Despite the vast quantities of products on the market, very few actually help the skin.  That is because vibrant, healthy skin requires good nutrition; and this means supplements that are not very well known.  Hyaluronic acid (170mg per day) will add firmness, smoothness and a youthful glow; Collagen (500mg per day) will help reduce wrinkles, and is best taken with vitamin C.  Taking these supplements and using Rejuvenex, will give you younger and healthier skin.

 

Odds and Ends

 

If you have trouble falling asleep, taking 500mg of L-Tryptophan before bedtime is helpful.  L-Tryptophan also has anti-aging benefits, particularly when taken in combination with vitamin B6 (25mg).  Melatonin (3-5mg) is not only helpful to fall asleep, it is also a powerful anti-oxidant. 

 

If you suffer from occasional arthritis pain, taking 500mg of Devil’s Claw (an herb) works wonderfully well.   Other nutrients, such as Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM are helpful for repairing cartilage but do little for pain relief. 

 

Of all the factors that can impact a person’s health, nothing is more powerful than a positive disposition.  Happy people tend to thrive, even if they smoke, drink and do not eat wholesome food.  Interestingly, those people who meditate tend to be happier than those who do not:  they have achieved a level of awareness about themselves, their life, and are likely to be more stress free.   As you know, there are dozens of Hemi-Sync®  recordings that can be a significant aid to meditation.  Part of the fun is trying them out and finding which works best for you.

 

 

 

Russ Mason, M.S., is an award-winning writer and journalist.  Since 2000, he was a regular contributor to ALTERNATIVE & COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES, a medical journal. Over the years, Mason interviewed top doctors and health care practitioners: Jeremy Geffen, M.D., Ralph Moss, Ph.D., Tiereona Low Dog, M.D., Brian Dailey, M.D. and dozens more. Prior to his work with the medical profession, he worked at NBC in New York, on TODAY, WEEKEND TODAY, DATELINE, and other programs. His first novel, JILL MESSENGER: OUT OF BODY, was published last fall. 

 

 

 

The content of this article is intended to inform, not prescribe, and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice and care of a qualified health-care professional. Monroe Products does not accept any liability for errors or omissions. The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Monroe Products. All registered names and trademarks are acknowledged. Reproduction, in part or in whole, without written permission of Monroe Products is prohibited.

 

© 2009 Monroe Products.  All rights reserved.

woman meditating in lotus pose on the beach at sunset

Meditation-Relevant as Ever

by Shaaron Honeycutt, R.Y.T.

 

In today’s society we are constantly bombarded with information and stimulus.  Between our daily activities of home, work, study, and play we have the constant stresses of orchestrating these events, while also being exposed to what is going on in the rest of the world. Television and the Internet play large roles as we get caught up in all of the dramas that society has to offer, enabling a stressful lifestyle that affects our sleep, eating and exercise habits.

 

For more than 3,000 years many cultures have used meditation as a technique to filter or control their physical and emotional states in a way that allows the body and mind to relax and detach, allowing for healing, regeneration and serenity.

 

Possibly best known in association with ancient Far Eastern traditions, meditation typically involves various techniques to relax the body and quiet the “monkey”—restless and chattering mind.  The common aim of these different meditation techniques is the relaxation of the body while achieving a singular detachment (or connection) to a fundamental thing or idea, to bring about a sense of quiet wholeness.

 

The Yoga Sutras, an ancient yogic text by Sage Patanjali, describe meditation (and yoga itself) as the “cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” Preparatory practices include not only those postures we think of immediately when yoga is brought to mind, but so much more, such as breath control, withdrawal of the senses inward, and concentration, all to prepare oneself for meditation.

 

Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar says, “[Meditation] is a way of discovering the greater self. It is the art of self-study, observation, reflection and sight of the infinite hidden within.” Krishnamurti, renowned philosopher and teacher states, “What is important is not controlling thought, but understanding it, understanding the origin, the beginning of thought, which is yourself…when you understand what quietness is, …then out of that comes an extraordinarily quiet mind…. and this is meditation.”

 

If and when this quietness of the mind comes through meditation, according to all the great spiritual traditions, then something really impactful occurs. We realize on a deeply personal level who we truly are, liberated from all our preconceptions, qualms, and desires about what we are or are not. To quote Krishnamurti again, “The mind being still, truth comes to it.”

 

Senior Iyengar yoga teacher John Schumacher says, “Yoga is so much more than exercises, and meditation is so much more than relaxation. Health and serenity are wonderful; they help life be sweeter and easier. But when awareness of truth and reality are possible, why settle for less?”

 

We have opportunity to practice meditation through so many different means and techniques, all of which encourage us to be fully present to our own lives, to each and every moment that exists, all our experiences, with an awareness from deep within our own true spirit. In this consciousness, we become awakened to the fact that we are actually much more than our own personality, more than our relationships, more than what we have, more than who we think we are or should be, and more than these vehicles in which we live and identify with (a.k.a. our physical bodies.) Awakening to the transient nature of all these things can ease so much suffering in our lives. We all can realize this, at least to some extent, through meditation—taking the time for more being and observing, less for doing and efforting. To quote a line of a popular film, “Resistance is futile.”  Acceptance of the ever-changing aspects of existence is a challenge we all face. All it takes is practice and a willingness to surrender to the quiet wisdom within.

 

 

 

Shaaron Honeycutt, R.Y.T., is a certified Iyengar yoga instructor—one of only nine in the state of Virginia. Shaaron has taught yoga for more than10 years and practiced for more than 16. She has studied in India twice withIyengars, most recently in January of 2009.

 

 

 

In the Charlottesville, Virginia area she teaches Yoga for Parkinson’s disease at the Charlottesville Senior Center, at Blue Ridge Yoga, at Stoney Creek in the Wintergreen area, in Batesville at The Polarity Barn, and daily morning classes at The Monroe Institute.

 

 

 

You can find out more about Shaaron at: https://www.journeysintothebody.com/.

 

   

© 2009 Monroe Products.  All rights reserved.

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The Dog Days of Summer

by Judith Madison

It’s a frequently heard phrase this time of year: the Dog Days of summer.

The Dog Days are characterized by high humidity and persistent heat. Fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk days. Those days when dogs lay motionless for hours, stretched out flat on their sides, panting continuously from sunup to sundown.

Webster’s Dictionary defines Dog Days as 1: the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere; and 2: a period of stagnation or inactivity.

The Clavis Calendarium, written in 1813 by a theologian with somewhat alarmist tendencies, defined the Dog Days as “when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies.”

But these observations were made centuries later than when the term “Dog Days” was actually coined. As modern man tends to look to his environment for understanding of the world around him, ancient man, intuitively perhaps, always looked to the skies.

In the ancient world the night sky featured a dizzying array of stars, shining brilliantly white against a midnight black sky in the total absence of smog and artificial lights. Different groups of peoples, in different parts of the world, drew imaginary lines connecting the stars, creating images (constellations) relative to their respective cultures. The Native Americans saw different images than the Chinese, who saw different images than the Europeans. The images from our European ancestors—bears (Ursa Major/Ursa Minor), a hunter (Orion), a wolf (Lupus), and dogs (Canis Major/Canis Minor)—are some of the constellations most of us are familiar with today.

The brightest star in Canis Major (the big dog) is Sirius, a star so bright the ancient Romans believed that the earth received heat from it. During the summer, Sirius, known as the Dog Star, rises and sets with the sun, and during late July conjuncts (or appears to join with) the sun. The ancients believed that the Dog Star added its heat to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather. They named this period of time, from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, the “Dog Days” after the Dog Star.

The conjunction of Sirius and the sun varies somewhat with latitude. The constellations have gradually drifted over time and are not in exactly the same position as in ancient times. Today the Dog Days are said to occur, depending on the source, between early July and mid-August, or through to early-September. While this period of time is indeed generally the hottest part of summer, it’s due to the earth’s tilt toward the sun and cyclical summer weather patterns, rather than the heat generated from a faraway bright star.

So allow yourself time to slow down during the Dog Days of summer. Monroe Products offers a variety of products to help you achieve deep relaxation and soul-restorative peace as you while away this hottest time of the year. Please check out our selection of relaxation titles; all of them can assist you in using the Dog Days as a time to rest and rejuvenate as the Dog Star continues to make its eternal way across the sky.

©2010 Monroe Products. All rights reserved.

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Celebrating centuries of giving thanks

The observance of a formally designated day of Thanksgiving originated in America, although regions and cultures all over the world have long observed their own traditions of expressing gratitude for the bounty of life. Essentially harvest-related in their natural form, Thanksgiving activities around the world promote communal harmony and the practice of giving thanks with customs unique to the respective regions. While each culture has its folklore attached to it, harmony, peace, and feeling gratitude is the underlying theme of celebrations the world over.

The first official proclamation in the U.S. was issued by President George Washington in the fall of 1789, as the new president was settling into his newly-created role as head of a newly-established country, and more than a century and a half after the legendary harvest feast between settlers and natives took place at Plymouth Plantation in 1621. Under Washington’s directive, November 26 was declared as “A Day of Publik Thanksgiving and Prayer,” and was to be observed “by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”

Decades later Abraham Lincoln chose to remind a war-ravaged nation to renew the concept of Thanksgiving in an 1863 proclamation:

“The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies,” Lincoln wrote, despite the unremitting misery and devastation of the Civil War. Lincoln’s document goes on to identify the last Thursday of November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise,” with particular compassion extended to those “widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged.”

Years later another president, in a very different America, formally addressed the “day of general thanksgiving” and amended it to be observed on the 3rd Thursday in November. Franklin D. Roosevelt, president of a nation steeped in the economic deprivation of the Great Depression, in 1939 moved the holiday up a week to hopefully stimulate commerce with an extended Christmas (buying) season. Two years later, due to public protest, Roosevelt changed the holiday again to the fourth Thursday in November, where it is observed in the US today.

The turn of the 21st century marked a global effort in international unity, as the United Nations proposed Thanksgiving for its customary International Year designation, creating the “International Year of Thanksgiving 2000.” In his address to the Assembly on December 13, 1999, UN General Assembly President Theo-Ben Gurirab (Namibia) delivered words that could serve well into the century and beyond:

“Standing here under the faces of the peoples of the world in prayer and Thanksgiving, we are reminded of the many challenges still facing us in the world—intolerance, wars, poverty and brutality against children. It is my special wish that the power and compassion of Thanksgiving will guide us in a special way in 2000: The ‘International Year of Thanksgiving.’ We can concentrate on what unites us and make it the Thankful Century.”

We wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are and however you express your gratitude.

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Remembering the Heart of Laurie Monroe

by Maria Monroe Whitehead

When we think of February, thoughts of romance and matters of the heart often come to mind, especially because one of its best known holidays is Valentine’s Day. We take this opportunity to tell you about the creator of our Heart-Sync® line and Opening the Heart® series, Laurie Monroe (1951-2006). Laurie became president of Monroe Products after our father, company founder Robert Monroe, passed in 1995. After many successful years in real estate, she approached her newest–and rather daunting–challenge with enthusiasm.

Laurie is probably most remembered for her ability to live life from the heart. She once said that the heart was the true barometer of character, not the brain. Her belief was that through love comes acceptance and awareness of a connection with All There Is. She believed that this awareness can facilitate and collectively raise the consciousness of the planet, thus creating a positive change or shift, if you will, for humankind. Laurie’s encouragement for others to love themselves and deepen emotional connections culminated in the creation of Monroe Products’ heart-centric titles.

This month we offer special discounts on these and other select titles. We invite you to take the time to become still and envision a better world as you experience these soul-fulfilling exercises.

© 2011 Monroe Products. All rights reserved.