If you’re feeling stressed out in your home or work life, or just feeling down on yourself, there’s a chance that your body isn’t producing the right amount of serotonin - a hormone that influences feelings of happiness and the release of dopamine into the body. This might sound scary, but don’t freak out! There are some easy ways to help manage your condition. Studies suggest that one of the benefits of meditation is the regulation of mood-altering hormones like serotonin and dopamine.
Among Body and Brain Yoga’s specialized practices is a type of meditation called Brain Wave Vibration (BWV), which not only clears your mind but also helps return your brain to a relaxed and energized state- an ideal state for the secretion of serotonin.
Ilchi Lee, who developed Brain Wave Vibration, says, “BWV is so easy. Anyone can learn it in one minute.” All you have to do is turn your head left and right. The key point is that, in the process of shaking your head from side to side, a phenomenon of integration takes place in your brain. Not only do the left and right hemispheres become integrated horizontally, there is also a vertical integration of the three-tiered structure of the brain comprised of the neocortex (thinking brain), limbic system (emotional brain), and brain stem (vital brain). Through that process, thoughts and emotions subside and the vital energy of the brain stem becomes amplified and transmitted throughout the entire brain.
Brain Wave Vibration is such a simple meditation that you can complete a three to five minute session in any comfortable location, such as your home or office.
1. Sit with your back straight and relax your neck and shoulders.
2. Close your eyes and move your head from side to side. When you first begin, move your head slowly. Then, when you feel the rhythm of your body, gradually increase the speed of your movement. There’s no need to strain yourself or move too quickly.
3. After one to three minutes, stop and exhale deeply three times.
4. In this state, keeping your eyes closed, breathe comfortably and feel the sensations inside your head. You should be able to sense that your thoughts and emotions have calmed down and your head feels more relaxed. People with a keen sensitivity to energy may even be able to feel energy ‘moving’ inside of the brain as the different functions of the brain become balanced.
If you’ve practiced this meditation, could you experience a state in which the energy in your brain seemed to flow more comfortably and smoothly? Ilchi Lee says that the brain waves emitted in such a state are “healthy, pure brain waves.”
Because brain wave vibration is so simple, anyone can practice it easily at any time and in any place. Practicing Brain Wave Vibration for just three minutes can help release stagnant energy from your neck and shoulders, refresh your brain, and enhance your concentration and creativity - and there’s science to prove it.
Brain Wave Vibration is an easy-to-learn and practical type of meditation. The basic idea is to relax both mind and body through natural rhythmic movements. This type of movement can help to quiet the thinking mind and soothe emotions- think of a mother rocking a baby- and bring awareness more fully to the body. It is a dynamic meditation used to manage stress and improve brain function.
All of this was the subject of a research study* funded by the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology. The study was conducted over two years by the collaborating research institutes of the Seoul National University Hospital, the Seoul National University College of Medicine, and the Korea Institute of Brain Science (KIBS).
The study was designed to assess the association between stress, positive affect and catecholamine levels in meditation and control groups. The meditation group consisted of 67 subjects who regularly engaged in Brain Wave Vibration mind-body training, and the control group consisted of 57 healthy subjects. The strength of this study was the relatively high number of subjects, who were around the same age and practiced the same type of meditation.
The study concluded that people who practiced meditation using Brain Wave Vibration exhibited less stress and higher levels of plasma Dopamine (DA) (hormones that trigger a positive mood) in stressful situations compared to a control group, according to the international science journal, Neuroscience Letters, published June 2010.
According to the study, the 67 participants in the meditation group who practiced Brain Wave Vibration were able to respond more positively even during stressful situations. Their stress hormone levels indicated better stress management skills and a faster capacity to shift from a negative attitude to a positive one despite stress. Specifically, the control group demonstrated that the stress they experienced brought their mood down, whereas the meditation group showed that stress exerted less influence on how they felt. The Brain Wave Vibration meditation method seems to train the sympathetic nervous system to regulate and reduce stress.
“Now it is widely accepted that the benefits of meditation include positive effects on regulating stress. This study ... gives us a clue that this can be by the regulation of the sympathetic nervous system, especially by elevation of DA level in this vibrative meditation group,” says the study’s primary investigator, Dr. Do-Hyung Kang from Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience Center, Seoul National University Medical Center.
So, there you go. If you’re looking for a way to improve brain function, get out of that funk you’re in, or relax and destress, Brain Wave Vibration is a great type of meditation to try. It is scientifically proven to help increase dopamine levels in the body- getting you back to feeling like your best self!