■ “I immediately made the decision that this wasn’t going to work for me … I thought it looked dumb,” says New Mexico resident Cynthia Hobson, speaking of the first time she tried Brain Wave Vibration.
__Such a response is not unusual. After all, what kind of results can you get just by rocking your head back and forth or shaking your body? Conventional wisdom suggests real results only come through a lot of sweat and sore muscles. Could it really be that such a simple exercise can result in remarkable improvements in health?
__Despite her initial skepticism, Cynthia decided to go ahead and give Brain Wave Vibration a shot. To her surprise, it worked remarkably well for her, providing relief from a neck problem that had been plaguing her for a long time. She didn’t believe it was possible, but she found that the simple movements of brain wave vibration released tension and realigned the vertebrae of her neck with remarkably little effort.
__Ilchi Lee, founder of the International Brain Education Association, created Brain Wave Vibration on the premise that everything we need to maintain perfect health is already available to us in our bodies, waiting to be uncovered. According to Lee, we all possess an incredible ability to heal ourselves; all we have to do is access that ability. Brain Wave Vibration is meant to help us do just that. He says in his book Brain Wave Vibration, “Every living creature possesses a natural healing ability, which is essentially the ability to bring one’s body back into equilibrium.”
__The essential problem for most of us is that we continually get in the way of our own healing power. The human body possesses a remarkable system designed to maintain equilibrium in our various bodily functions. These processes are all carried out subconsciously by the brain stem, which is the part of the brain that Brain Wave Vibration is most specifically intended to influence. If we can get out of the way and let the brain stem do its job, we could very easily return our bodies to a state of health and easily recover from many of the health problems we encounter.
__But what exactly is keeping our brain stems from healing our bodies? Well, in reality, our brain stem is doing a whole lot of work for us, but we are not sending it the right messages. Most of us are caught in an almost constant “fight or flight” state, otherwise known as stress. In this case, the brain stem is orchestrating responses in the body that are designed to help us work through a crisis situation—our hearts beat faster, organ function is diminished, and our muscles become tense. This would all be fine if our stress was just occasional and temporary, but it causes great damage to the body if experienced continuously.
__How do we know Brain Wave Vibration reduces the stress response? First of all, we know this from the many anecdotal reports provided by people who have experienced the training method. Feeling “more relaxed” and “less tense” are the most commonly reported effects of training. Of course, skeptics might say that this is only the placebo effect or that any exercise could produce these benefits. However, a research study performed in Japan suggests that Brain Wave Vibration does in fact have a concrete, measureable effect on the body.
__The research study was conducted by Arita Hideo, a world-renowned authority in neurotransmitter research who is also a professor of integrated physiology at the Medical School of Toho University. Serotonin, the primary neurotransmitter Prof. Hideo studies, is a chemical messenger associated with peaceful, attentive states of being. People with depression usually have lower than normal serotonin levels. The hormone also helps to regulate sleep and reduces pain in the body. In other words, the more serotonin secreted in your brain, the happier you are.
__To study the effects of Brain Wave Vibration on serotonin production, Prof. Hideo had a group of people practice Brain Wave Vibration for 15 minutes on three separate occasions. He found that the group had an average serotonin level of 186 before the training. Immediately after experiencing Brain Wave Vibration, the subjects’ levels increased to an average of 210. These effects were shown to remain relatively stable, as the average serotonin level one hour after training averaged 200.
__The study also showed an increase in alpha wave production, the brain-wave state associated with waking relaxation and greater blood flow in the brain, especially in the prefrontal cortex. According to Prof. Hideo, who presented the results of the study at the Second International Brain Education and Brain Wave Vibration Seminar in November 2008, these are the most impressive results he has seen among the various mind-body training methods he has studied.
__These results are so impressive and the technique is so simple, it really makes one wonder why someone didn’t think of Brain Wave Vibration before now. Well, in a sense, it has been around forever as a way of relaxing the mind and body.
__People have been using similar activities for ages as a means of calming the mind and body. For example, everyone has experienced the relaxing effects of rocking in a rocking chair or swinging in a hammock. Also, parents around the world bounce and rock their children to help them settle down. Brain Wave Vibration simply allows people to use vibration and rhythm more effectively and deliberately, allowing them to apply this natural healing method to specific parts of the body and with specific healing goals in mind.
__It may be that Ilchi Lee is bringing us back to a method that we once knew but have forgotten. Bradford Keeney, author of the book Shaking Medicine: The Healing Power of Ecstatic Movement, has observed the use of vibration and rhythm in the healing customs of indigenous peoples. Many of these ancient cultures employ healing methods not unlike Brain Wave Vibration. Furthermore, these customs are effective to a degree that would seem to defy rational medical understanding. Perhaps it is simply that these more “primitive” people are more in touch with the natural healing power of the body and understand how to access its full potential.
__Indeed, Brain Wave Vibration is producing results that might be considered miraculous. Many have turned to it, seeking relief where conventional medicine offers little. Yolanda Jarmilla of Mesa, Arizona, who suffers from fibromyalgia, is a case in point. Normally, fibromyalgia symptoms, which include chronic pain and emotional difficulties, can only be managed but not cured through conventional Western medical treatments. Yet, after five months of Brain Wave Vibration, Jarmilla had this to say about the method: “Today I can honestly say that I have no pain whatsoever. It has helped me become more balanced, focused, and strong. It is the best thing that could ever be. I feel it keeps my brain happy, centered, and alive.”