These days, many people are turning to natural health aids to help compliment the use of medication and therapies. When someone is being treated for bipolar disorder, their psychiatrists often recommend a strict diet and regular exercise to help combat the depression, anxiety, and mood swings that come with the illness.
The use of meditation is another way that many people deal with the troubling symptoms of depression and mania. This technique combines stress reduction like deep breathing with cognitive behavioral therapy.
When one regularly practices meditation, especially during and right after the practice, a feeling of well-being may be observed. Some research points to increased brain levels of GABA, a biochemical associated with relaxation and reduced anxiety. Some clinicians think that meditation boosts levels of nitric oxide, which is known to relax blood vessels. The most impressive findings have come from the Laboratory of Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin, where psychologists have found that meditation can change the wiring of the brain.
Through the practice of mindfulness meditation, brain scans in patients showed an increase in activation in areas in the left side of the brain associated with decreased anxiety and positive emotional states.
There is little research that has been done on meditation and bipolar disorder specifically, but because it helps anxiety and depression, it is proposed that it can help those with this mental illness. During this time,  meditation has helped me and given me a sense of peace; it has never hurt me. However, it is the opinion of some that meditation can be risky for those who have mental illness.
I have no data on this, but as a response to one woman’s concern, meditation and spirituality expert Deepak Chopra advised people with bipolar disorder to start meditating five minutes a day, twice a day, for a month. Of course, I always recommend to talk to a doctor or other expert to see if meditation is right for you.
Last updated: 15 Jul 2013Views expressed are those solely of the writer and have not been reviewed. What if you could have just the upside of bipolar (the energy, the enthusiasm, the passion, the brilliance) without any of the downside? Many famous people have success that is attributable to them being in a perpetual state of bipolar hypomania. For decades, thousands upon thousands of the most accomplished business people, athletes, doctors, lawyers, professors, government leaders, and others had been quietly using a technology that does just this.
Surprisingly certain kinds of meditation actually stabilize the bipolar personality to stay in the positive hypomanic orientation.
When you are upset - anxious, depressed, angry - these regions of the brain (the amygdala and the right prefrontal cortex) become very active. NEW YORK April 4, 2009 — An all-star concert on meditation brought Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (the two remaining Beatles) together for their first performance together in seven years.
Saturday's concert, which also featured Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Donovan and others, ran for about four hours. Between the music, the night's stars talked about the power of meditation to overcome problems.
When Jason from 37 Signals saw Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship he said, "Seeing Tiger Woods in person was incredible. Hits the ball, crowd goes wild, head down, walks to the ball, takes his next swing, crowd goes wild, head down, walks. It used to to take years (even decades) to accomplish the deepest levels of focused meditation, but now a new technology has come out that allows even a novice or a child to reach those levels in just minutes. When Harvard researcher Sara Lazar recently compared the brains of American meditators to a control group, she found that parts of the cortex responsible for attention were, on average, 5 percent thicker. The Australian-based study of 48 children aged under 12 found that meditation led to an average 35% reduction in symptom severity over six weeks, and enabled many to reduce their medication. Improvements occurred in behavior, self-esteem levels, of anxiety, and in sleeping patterns.
Meditation calms the mind and nervous system, and is also showing profound results where practiced, according to proponents: better grades and SAT scores, less bullying, longer attention spans and happier kids.
Angela Haick, the principal of Piedmont Avenue, said she was inspired to try it after observing a class at a local middle school.
Yolanda Steel, a second-grade teacher at Piedmont, said she was hopeful that the training would help an indigo generation better manage a barrage of stimuli, including PlayStations and text messages. Rutherford, his teachers and his students began meditating in the classroom twice a day for 20 minutes. This CD Audio Set brings together technologies from brain research with innovative recording and sound-processing techniques, for an audio induced experience unlike anything that has come before. This Immersive Audio Experience is designed to trigger your brain to produce brainwave patterns that match the brainwave patterns of expert meditators.
It used to take years of discipline to develop the ability to rapidly shift states of consciousness and achieve peak meditation states at will.
This groundbreaking audio technology transforms a simple pair of headphones and a CD or MP3 player into a powerful meditation training tool that makes deep meditation incredibly easy to achieve - even for someone who is bipolar. Today, using the latest in psycho-acoustic audio technologies you can shift your brainwaves to your desired state of mind simply by listening to these brainwave entrainment audio programs on your CD or MP3 player. With this amazing technology you can reliably and consistently enter profound states of consciousness - at the touch of a button - unleashing your power to focus, learn, create, meditate, sleep and heal.
This is your opportunity to discover the astonishing power of the latest in brainwave and Psychoactive Sound™ technology.
This breakthrough Psychoactive Sound™ technology lets you induce any mental state you wish, instantly with just the touch of a button.
Imagine, if you will, immersing your brain in a sonic environment containing powerful, but safe, audio frequencies and strobes that put you into an incredible experience of alert focus, passionate creativity or deep meditation.
With this technology you can be alert, focused, creative, calm, or deeply meditative - any time you want to - all by choosing your CD and pressing play. The Psychoactive Sound™ process has been scientifically proven to work by naturally synchronizing your brainwaves to embedded carrier frequencies. We have become a drug dependant society, using coffee and energy drinks to wake us up, Ritalin and Adderall to help us focus in school or work, alcohol to help us unwind, anxiety medication to calm our nerves and sleeping pills to help us overcome the effects of all the stimulants we take during the day. Chemical stimulants, drugs and alcohol are clumsy, unhealthy and dangerous tools for helping us choose our brainwave states. If you believe in the power of your thoughts to attract positive or negative experiences into your life, then you understand how destructive it can be to use stimulants that suppress the very brainwaves that offer you a sense of peace and well-being. The other notable downside of chemical stimulants is that they tend to stay in your system for many hours longer than you want them to, resulting in restlessness, irritability, inability to unwind at the end of the day, and insomnia at night.
Finally, many of these stimulants have been shown again and again in studies to be bad for your heart, because they force your heart rate to accelerate beyond normal functioning levels causing unnecessary stress and wear & tear on your body's most precious organ. Studies show that the brains of many people, when confronted with certain kinds of problems, instead of shifting to an alert focused state, will switch to patterns of frustration or emotion. Researchers have mapped the brainwave patterns of the highest-functioning most intelligent 1% of the population; then used this brainwave audio technology to guide lower-functioning peoples' brains to those same states. Michael Tansey used brainwave entrainment to treat dyslexia and other learning disorders, reporting a 19 point average increase in IQ score post-treatment.
Your brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons, which use electricity to communicate with each other. With the discovery of brainwaves came the discovery that electrical activity in the brain will change depending on what the person is doing. Researchers have found that not only are brainwaves representative of a mental state, but they can be stimulated to change a person's mental state, and even help treat a variety of mental ailments. Our CD audio guides and stimulates your brainwaves through a complex neural process using Psychoactive Sound™ brainwave entrainment.
When the brain is presented with a rhythmic stimulus, the rhythm is reproduced in the brain in the form of these electrical impulses.
The predominance of brainwave activity is between 2 and 20 Hz; so normal audible frequencies cannot directly entrain brainwave activity, because the human ear cannot effectively hear frequencies below 20 Hz. If a 315 Hz sine wave is played into the right ear and a 325 Hz sine wave is presented simultaneously to the left ear, an amplitude modulated standing wave of 10 Hz, the difference between the two tones, is experienced as the two wave forms mesh in and out of phase within the superior olivary nuclei. This new frequency is not heard in the ordinary sense of the word (the human range of hearing is from 20-20,000 Hz). To summarize, by using very carefully designed sound signals you can entrain your brainwaves into a desired mental state.
Synchronizing your brain hemispheres using our Psychoactive Sound™ can lift you to much higher levels of effectiveness in your life. After using this meditation program regularly for a few days, you or your child will find it easier and easier to quiet the mind and focus on tasks throughout the day. With a unique combination of psycho-acoustics this 10, 20, or 30 minute experience immerses you into meditation as deep as expert meditators who have taken years to master this state.
Using a rich combination of Alpha and Theta brainwave triggers, your mind will be guided into a state of alert but peaceful rapid cognition.

One study showed that as novice archers trained over many weeks, their improved performance corresponded to gradually increasing surges of Alpha waves just before their best shots. With a unique combination of The Tomatis Method, Psychoactive Sound™ and Brainwave Entrainment frequencies, this 70 minute sound experience elevates your brainwave state and stimulates your nervous system. Using a rich combination of alert Alpha and Beta brainwave triggers in conjunction with elements of high-frequency cognitive stimulation of The Tomatis Method, your mind will be guided into a state of alert but peaceful rapid cognition.
In the last decade, medical science has discovered something already well known within many cultures: meditation can be a potent part of any holistic healing program for people with bipolar disorder. In all cases, meditation brings tremendous benefit to the bipolar patient, and can be used along with prescriptions or other therapies — at no risk. One of the most recent breakthroughs in medical science has been the use of meditation for bipolar disorder. Science has proven what was already known in many cultures around the world: meditation for bipolar disorder works. But meditation doesn’t only work for bipolar disorder, it is, rather, one of the most important aspect of any holistic healing program.
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that any one techniquesis best for bipolar disorder. Sitting Breathing: Seated breathing techniques are usually the best place for beginners to start. Walking meditation: The most basic type of movement meditation is a walking meditation, which is used a lot in Zen practices.
Music: without doubt, the easiest way to enter a meditative state of mind is to simply put on some relaxing music. Learning meditation for bipolar disorder is no different to learning other techniques. Once you learn to meditate you will take control of your mind. Mindfulness is a meditation therapy that uses self-control techniques to overcome negative thoughts and emotions and achieve a calmer, more focused state of mind – a moment-to-moment awareness with qualities of kindness, curiosity, and acceptance. Mindfulness was originally an ancient eastern approach to wellbeing that has been found, through recent psychological research, to be a powerful way of managing a range of mental health conditions. The great thing about mindfulness is that it’s not only a technique you practice now or then, but a way of living your whole life, moment by moment.
In mindfulness, you learn to see thoughts as just thoughts rather than as facts or situations you must react to. By practicing mindfulness, you notice that both types of thoughts are just thoughts, and you don’t need to react to them or even give them your full attention. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was developed about 10 years ago as a treatment for recurring depression. MBCT is now being rapidly researched for a range of different mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder.
Another experiment on MBCT for bipolar was carried out on 2 groups at Oxford University, UK, and 2 groups at the University of Colorado, USA. Mindfulness looks like a potentially effective way of managing bipolar disorder, especially the depressive pole, which may be the most difficult to treat with medication alone. Reduces stress and anxiety, which contribute significantly to the onset of both mania and depression and may worsen the course of the illness. Improves a person’s ability to manage thoughts and feelings and increases awareness of the way the person tends to internalize external stimuli.
Mindfulness exercises include guided body scan meditation, mindful walking, mindfulness of breath, and mindfulness of thoughts and feelings. If you’ve had any sort of mindfulness training, please share your experiences and insights.
To find out more, you can read my book, Mindfulness For Dummies, which comes with over one hour of guided mindfulness exercises on CD. Last updated: 14 Apr 2011Views expressed are those solely of the writer and have not been reviewed. This is a unique combination of some of the finest Mozart music pieces (determined by the legendary Dr. We are so caught up in the fast pace of our daily lives that we don’t take time to truly live quietly and peacefully in the present moment. Recent technological advances now offer us the key to inducing incredibly deep meditation at the touch of a button - using a new sonic technology called Psychoactive Sound.
Olympic Team, FedEx, IBM, Microsoft and thousands of other extraordinary companies were using this technology before most of us even knew about it.
After three months, researchers found an over 50 percent reduction in stress and anxiety and improvements in attention span, focus and impulse control.
Richard Davidson, director of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin, has shown that this overactivity in the amygdala and the right prefrontal cortex, (which make you upset, anxious depressed and angry) is quieted through meditation, and the left prefrontal cortex - a region associated with happiness and positivity - becomes more active. The event was held at Radio City Music Hall to promote the teaching of at-risk youth meditation techniques.
Howard Stern said he has meditated for 37 years, told the crowd that he credits meditation for saving his mother from depression. Most agree that being able to keep your focus while playing competitive golf can be more difficult than keeping focus on algebra. Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Ramesh Manocha revealed to the World Psychiatric Association conference in Melbourne, Australia. And a slew of recent medical studies are cropping up to back up these claims including research and voluntary in-school programs for more than 2,000 students, teachers and parents at 21 U.S. Now all it takes is your headphones and this revolutionary Brainwave Technology Meditation Program. When you are having trouble focusing or you are having trouble sleeping it is because you are in the wrong brainwave state for what you want to do. Whether you want to be in a state of alert focus, calm, creativity, deep meditation or sleep; all of these states can be quickly and easily achieved by using this new technology to control your natural brainwave activity.
This is so powerful it will immediately begin to create profound, positive changes in your life! Now there is much better solution - Psychoactive Sound™ embedded music containing this subtle but extremely powerful new brainwave state guiding technology. You also may have noticed that while you may get a lot of tasks done at first while you're on these stimulants - WHAT you're getting done may not be the wisest choices. Accessing and harnessing the genius brainwave states used to be a rare and difficult skill, but now almost anyone can do it easily with the assistance of this Psychoactive Sound™ technology.
Most people are not familiar with the mental states of intense concentration and laser-like focus that come so easily to great thinkers and achievers; so they have not trained their brain to shift to the higher cognitive ability state when it is needed. After undergoing audio brainwave stimulation (just like our product), the students outperformed a control group and significantly increased their GPA. He observed improvements in reading and a half year advancement in grade level as well as substantial improvements in attention. The combination of millions of neurons sending signals all at once produces a large and measurable amount of electrical activity in the brain, which can be detected using sensitive medical equipment (such as an EEG). For instance, the brainwaves of a sleeping person are vastly different than the brainwaves of someone wide awake. When the brain is given a stimulus through the ears, it emits an electrical charge in response, called a Cortical Evoked Response (shown below). If the rhythm becomes fast and consistent enough, it can start to resemble the natural internal rhythms of the brain, called brainwaves.
For example, a 4 Hz brainwave is associated with sleep, so a 4 Hz sound pattern would help reproduce the sleep state in your brain. This has traditionally served as a barrier between the outside environment and a human being's inner brainwave state. It is perceived as an auditory beat that can be used to entrain specific neural rhythms through the frequency-following response (FFR mentioned above) -- the tendency for brainwaves to entrain to or resonate at the frequency of an external stimulus. This can provide you with an easy high-tech shortcut to help you wake up, focus, relax, meditate, sleep, etc.
Theta is best known as the brain wave state of dreaming sleep, but it is also associated with a number of other beneficial states, including increased creativity, varieties of superlearning, increased memory ability, and miraculous moments of integrative experiences where you make broadly-based positive changes in the way you perceive yourself, others, or a life situation. In the slower Theta brain wave pattern, the brain makes lots of relaxing endorphins that melt your stress away — as you will feel when you try it for yourself.
Generally people are asleep in Delta, but expert meditators are able to remain alert in this state — and now people who use CD#3 of this Psychoactive Sound™ Suite can as well! When you have whole-brain sensory integration, you become less self-conscious and function more intuitively. You get 3, 5, 10, 20 and 30 minute versions allowing you or your child to gradually build your ability to quiet your mind for extended periods of time. Not only will your ability to meditate improve, but the benefits will be felt in all aspects of your life as your mind begins to work more efficiently. One key difference between the kind of focus this audio meditation program develops and that produced by caffeine, Ritalin or other stimulants, is that this state of alert focus is not made by suppressing your Alpha brainwave functioning - in fact this audio meditation experience actively triggers Alpha activity.

This Alpha-Beta brainwave-stimulating audio can wake you up in the morning and keep your mind clear, sharp, and highly focused throughout the workday. The natural enkephalins and catecholamines released by the brain suddenly make your memory and learning skills so much more powerful. One key difference between the kind of focus this CD audio elicits and that produced by caffeine, Ritalin or other stimulants, is that this state of alert focus is not made by suppressing your Alpha brainwave functioning - in fact this Psychoactive Sound™ experience actively triggers high Alpha activity.
People who suffer from bipolar disorder experience shifts in mood, which go from manias to depression. Bipolar patients who use mindfulness as a part of their daily practice show increased levels of peace and less mood swings for many hours after the practice session.
Its functions include knowing good from bad, right from wrong, the consequences of actions.
Patients who practice meditation are shown to take control of their mind, to suffer less severe highs and lows, and to find regularity to their moods. The best bet when beginning to use meditation for bipolar disorder is to include several different techniques, techniques that incorporate both sitting, standing and moving meditations, and which also include open and closed meditations. People who practice mindfulness regularly find they are more focused, calm, and better able to cope with the challenges of life.
Thoughts commonly come and go in the mind, and if you treat all thoughts as true and assign them all the same level of importance, you’re more prone to feel down in the midst of negative or self-judgmental thoughts and highly elated in the midst of positive thoughts. After all, thoughts arise merely out of your perception of reality or are borne out of your own thought process. MBCT teaches participants the skills that enable them to be more aware of their thoughts without judgment, viewing negative (as well as positive and neutral) thoughts as passing mental events rather than as facts. Preliminary research published in 2008 by Professor Mark Williams, one of the developers of MBCT, has shown promising results. These were small groups but again results were promising, showing reduction in depressive symptoms and thoughts about suicide, and to a lesser extent, a reduction in anxiety and manic symptoms. All of these exercises are on the audio CD that comes with the book Mindfulness For Dummies. Miklowitz, et al., International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, Volume 2, Issue 4, December 2009. If you can just find a way to keep your bipolar in the hypomanic end of the spectrum - you can become very successful. In studying meditating monks, Davidson found they had developed especially high activity in the area associated with happiness and positivity. Brain scans they conducted revealed that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input. When this happens, the brain responds by synchronizing its own electrical cycles to the same rhythm. The same concept can be applied to nearly all mental states, including concentration, creativity and many others. Since 10 Hz is in the Alpha brainwave range, which is associated with relaxation, this has a relaxing effect.
This state is a very deep, trance-like, non-physical state you'll have to experience to believe. The Psychoactive Sound™ experience will automatically begin effecting your brainwaves, and you'll soon realize the benefit - amazing clarity of mind and 100% pure focus. Just before his best free throws, an elite basketball player will produce a surge of Alpha waves in their brain. Bipolar patients who introduce meditation to their daily routine see a greater sense of peace and a leveling of their moods for at least several hours after each meditation session.
The fluctuations of the mind do not emotionally affect those while in a state of meditation, nor while outside of meditation — for the skilled practitioner. You can think of the prefrontal cortex as the control center of the brain, with executive functions such as knowing right from wrong, good and bad, outcome of actions, and overall orchestration of thoughts.
Once the practice of meditation becomes habitual, the bipolar patient will develop an internal set of skills, such as moving from a state of confusion and anxiety to one of peace and inner calm.
These shifting moods makes it difficult for people suffering from bipolar disorder to live normal lives. By meditating regularly, patients can greatly decrease their mood swings and find more stability to their emotions. Mood is significantly affected by lacks of dopamine, GABA, serotonin and other brain chemicals. They are able to detach from those moods, meaning that different emotional states have less effect on them. This rollercoaster ride of emotions and energy often seems to trace the same path as bipolar disorder’s ups and downs. Research found that an eight-week course in MBCT resulted in a 50 percent reduction in depressive relapse (compared to treatment as usual) for those who had three or more previous episodes of depression.
Even hyperactive children are able to meditate quickly and effectively, and do it easily with the use of this technology. These and other extraordinary states of mind correspond to unique patterns of your brainwave activity - activity that can be chosen at will using this breakthrough sound technology. In a one year follow-up, trainees showed major improvements in self-esteem, concentration and self-expression. We use some of these patterns in our our Lucid Creativity CD or our Deep Meditation CD audio.
You know exactly what you need to do and you do it, without strain or distracting emotions.
The guided meditations contain voice cues that will help the especially distractible meditator maintain focus on their meditation. Just before their best strokes, elite golfers will produce surges of Alpha waves in their brain. Eventually, meditation leads to an overall higher state of mental awareness all the time, never getting too high or too low, constantly maintaining a well balanced, yet advanced state of mind. It may come as no surprise that bipolar medications, SSRIs, work to increase all of these mood elevating chemicals.
Of particular significance, this brain region has a major affect on personality disorders, namely depression.
Meditation may be the closest thing to a cure for bipolar disorder, leaving an ordinary life within reach.
It  also leads to more awareness, which can help patients to avoid the highs and lows while maintaining a healthy, balanced mental state. Medication boosts those chemicals, but so too does meditation, and it does so without any side effects. The prefrontal cortex has a very significant impact on people suffering from various personality disorders like depression. This slows your mind down and helps to create internal balance and harmony (thereby helping to regulate the lows and highs of bipolar disorder). Now times that by ten and you’ll be somewhere near how relaxing twenty minutes of zen walking is. Mindfulness involves watching thoughts and stepping back from them – like watching clouds passing through the sky.
By being with the experience and mindfully accepting the emotion, you allow the feeling to dissipate in its own time. As a result, the National Health Service in the UK now recommends MBCT as the treatment of choice for those who have suffered from three or more depressive episodes.
They found an immediate reduction in levels of anxiety for the group compared to those who didn’t receive the MBCT training.
When you can shift your brainwaves into your desired range of activity, you can quite literally control your state of mind. This new brainwave activity is conducted to the cortex where it can be recorded by an EEG monitor.
Just before their best shots, elite marksmen and archers will produce a surge of Alpha waves in their left brains.
Studies conclude that meditation healthfully boosts this brain region, effectively smoothing out the manic, while deactivating the depression. Meditation helps to boost the prefrontal cortex, helping to lower the manias and control the depression. This enables you to become a disinterested observer, and thoughts lose some of their control over your emotions.
Also both bipolar and unipolar participants with MBCT had a reduction in symptoms of depression compared to those who didn’t.

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