Biohacking with Flexound products

Joonas Kärnä
12 October 2017

Biohacking is the practice of managing your own biology using medical, nutritional, physical, or electronic techniques.

Biohacking in a nutshell

It could be said that everything you do that benefits your health and wellbeing, such as doing exercise and eating nutritious food, is biohacking. To put it short, it is a growing movement where people want to optimize their biology in order to perform better. If you want to feel better, optimize your sleep or boost your brain energy (or maybe all of them), biohacking is a way to achieve that.

There are several ways of conducting biohacking, as well as many types of biohacking devices and accessories to help you measure your health and improve the above-mentioned well-being functions. The most popular ones might be connected to measuring body functions (such as sleep, heart rate or recovery), but as biohacking is gaining more popularity among people, also other kind of devices are being brought to the markets.

Flexound® Xperience products offer a completely new type of devices that are beneficial in biohacking. In the following chapters, we’ll go through their functions better, and explain their usage in biohacking. But first, since they combine both sound and vibration, we'll have to dig a bit deeper into sound- and brain waves.

What are brainwaves?

As you probably know, your brain is made up of millions and millions brain cells called neurons. These neurons are very important for our functioning, as they send and receive electrical signals in a rapid pace and determine how your brain transmits information around your nervous system. This neuronal activity can be measured with a medical equipment called an electroencephalography (EEG), which measures the electricity levels around your scalp.

When that electricity is measured and the EEG graph draws up, these wave-like patterns can be distinguished. The patterns are called brain waves and they change depending on your feelings and what you are doing. Basically, the slower the brain waves, the “slower” you feel. In normal activity state brain waves are faster.

Here’s a brief explanation on brain waves and how they are categorized:

Beta waves (14 to 30 Hz) associate with being awake and concentrating. You spend most of the day in beta waves.
Alpha waves (8 to 14 Hz) associate with meditative and flow states, being awake and relaxed, and the twilight state between sleep and awake.
Theta waves (4 to 8 Hz) are associated with REM sleep and deep meditative state.
Delta waves (0,5 to 4 Hz) are associated with deep, dreamless sleep with complete loss of awareness. It aids in the memory formation.
Gamma waves (38 to 42 Hz) are the fastest of the brain waves. They relate to heightened sense of consciousness and simultaneous processing of information in different brain areas. Even though they're the fastest brain waves, they have also been associated with meditative states.

Vagus nerve is important for health

Vagus nerve dysfunction is associated with a variety of diseases and symptoms like obesity, chronic inflammation and depression to name a few. Vagus nerve is a major part of the parasympathetic nervous system and connects your brain with many major organs such as your heart and gut – as well as your ears. It starts from the brain and goes on the side of your neck down to your organs.

Vagus nerve in the neck and head area

Vagus nerve stimulation helps with several health issues

Stimulation of the vagus nerve can help with lot of different symptoms, such as anxiety, stomach problems and sleep issues. So how can you do that? With multiple ways, such as cold exposure, yoga, and meditation, but also with singing, gargling and humming! You have probably seen some videos of monks chanting and humming while meditating. What they actually do with the chant is that they stimulate their vagus nerve by making the neck (and the vagus nerve) vibrate! And this is where the Flexound® Xperience products step into the picture!

Since vibration in the neck area can make you more relaxed and calm, how about using a cushion that combines high-quality sound with physical vibration of sound waves? Songs with a slow tempo and a steady rhythm might be very beneficial in this. If you search "vagus nerve stimulation" from the internet, you will come across a lot of different songs and frequencies that are meant to make you more relaxed and calm.

Reach your goals by synchronizing your brain

The world around us is filled with different sounds and sound frequencies. The earth, for example, emits a frequency of 7.83 Hz. Different sound frequencies have different effect on our bodies: Low frequency sound tends to calm down our nervous system, whereas higher frequencies activate us. In addition, there is also phenomenon called Frequency Following Response (FFR), which basically means that the brain tends to adjust its brain waves with the periodic sound frequency it’s been stimulated to. Thereby listening to a certain frequency might evoke the brain to adjust accordingly. If your goal is to get deeper sleep, you'd want to expose yourself to frequencies between 0.5 and 4 Hz to guide your brain towards delta brain waves. On the other hand, if your aim is to focus more when for example studying, you could listen to sounds on the frequency range 8 - 14 Hz.

So how exactly can you do the brain-synchronizing in practice? There are two different methods used for brain entrainment: These are binaural beats and isochronal tones.

Binaural beats

Binaural beats are a set of two different frequencies that are played for each ear. If your goal is to get into the deep sleep state, you could choose frequencies like 104 Hz and 100 Hz and play 104 Hz to the left ear and 100 Hz to the right. The brain would then synchronize itself into the difference of those two frequencies (in this case 104 Hz - 100 Hz = 4 Hz). In binaural beats, the base frequency that you play determine how strong the effect will be. This means that even though the binaural beats set of 200 Hz and 205 Hz will result in 5 Hz, using the same 5 Hz result-giving frequencies of 100 Hz and 105 Hz will have more powerful effect. Therefore you should start with higher frequencies and work your way down as you get more accustomed to it.

Illustration on how binaural beats work

With Flexound products you would choose HUMU for binaural beats since it produces stereo sound, whereas Taikofon is monophonic.

Isochronic tones

Isochronic tones are basically pulsed tones that are played in a certain speed making them to form a frequency. For example, a tone that is played five times a second, forms an isochronic tone of 5 Hz hitting the frequency band of theta waves. Since you don't just hear the tones with Flexound HUMU but also feel the vibration, the effect is a lot more noticeable!

Flexound products in biohacking

So why to choose Flexound products when you could just take your phone ear set and use them? Because HUMU and Taikofon are exceptionally good at playing those low frequencies below 60 Hz. They can actually produce a distinct clear sound all the way down to 20 Hz which ordinary speakers usually cannot do! And the vibration of the cushions makes them extra powerful to these kind of methods as they combine two senses: the sense of touch with the hearing. Double impact!

There's a lot of different websites and apps that offer this kind of brain entrainment methods. Here are some examples of brain entrainment providers that use binaural beats and isochronic tones you can go and try. Or just go to YouTube and search “isochronic tones” or “binaural beats”. Happy relaxing! :)

http://brainwave.fm/

https://www.focusatwill.com/

http://sleepstream.explosiveapps.com

http://www.teslasoftware.com/brainwaveapps.html

http://gnaural.sourceforge.net