Neurotechnology and the Mind-Body Connection by Dr. R. Ditson Sommer (1997)


Introduction by George Block

Doc Counsilman once said, if you gave 3 coaches an equal number of athletes, and 1 coach was a physiologist, one was a kinesiologist and 1 was a psychologist, the psychologist would win every single time.

We are at an age in our sport where understanding the mind and finding ways to help our athletes achieve their potential in such a stressful situation and stressful world we need all the help we can get and I am glad that it is just us here today. It’ll give us an edge over everybody else. Some of you might have gotten started with this yesterday. Dr. Sommer comes to us with a lengthy background in psychology, nutrition, neurotechnology, stress management, learning styles and peak performance training. She holds degrees from Columbia University, Indiana University, Texas Women’s University, with advanced studies at Menninger Clinic, Southwestern Medical School and Southern Methodist University. Dr. Sommer has also held professorships at the University of Wisconsin, Texas Women’s University and Verturbo College in Lacrosse, WI. Without any further ado, I would like to introduce Dr. Rayma Ditson-Sommer.

What we want to talk about, many of you already understand, and what we do, you’ve been around in our room to try out the neurotechnology, be on the bio feedback, and try the light and sound. For those of you who haven’t, this talk’s going to be a little different than the one we had the other day because to do it again would bore me and if you heard it, it would bore you. So what we want to do for a minute is just pick up a couple of little things from that talk and give you a little bit of history about neurotechnology.

Neurotechnology of course is the use of the neurologically technical instrumentation of knowledge to study behavior and to change behaviors. There are different ways of doing that, there is bio feedback of different kinds. We have EEG bio feedbacks where you use electrodes, you have EMG which you are probably the most familiar with where you go into the muscle and see how the muscle moves and then there is GSR which is galvanic skin response and I like GSR because it is non-invasive. You can put it on, they use to have a little thing that when you slipped your fingers inside and rested them, you got information from that. We have gone past that – our bio feedback machine has lasers and it simply looks into the fingers and gives us a readout on perspiration, the vaso dilation of the veins and tells us for instance what the heartbeat is, what the pulse rate is and the peripheral temperature . Actually, not the brain wave, but the brain stimulated response to the different sides of the body, so that we can tell from that stress, we can tell from that dominance, there is quite a few things that we use it for. I am not going to get into that here, because it is something that you need to see from a demonstration. But what we use it for is data gathering developing a protocol for each individual athlete that we see. And those athletes can have needs for all kinds of things. We have not been able, probably up to about ten years ago, to meet those needs in any other way except in long term therapies.

Then came neurotechnology and light and sound. Sound of course was the first one that was discovered and worked with through the Monroe Institute and different places in using sound, using binaural beats and using different things – we’ll talk about those. The light and sound neurotechnology we are talking about was discovered about 1930, and the people that used it realized that if you had a flashing light that the brain would go to it, or train to it and stay with it. It became to be pretty prolifically understood about World War II when the people who were watching radar, would just sit and simply watch the radar, and after a while would say nothing. They were just there. And what happened of course was they went into a relaxation response while watching this red dot flash off and on.

So they had to change it a little bit because it was pretty important for these people to be able to tell people who was coming and who was going. They discovered then that you could actually not only tell what was going on in which side of the brain, but synchronize those by using that flashing light which we use today. Then we put sound with it because we found out that binaural sound also helped with that quick entrainment, so what we have is an ability to decrease stress, and increase comprehension and concentration very quickly. It is not anything that hasn’t been done before, it’s not anything that Zen Buddhists can’t do, you know, after so many years of study, but it’s what you can do as a coach with a swimmer or with an athlete that has a concentration problem, who has quite a few different things that need to be worked with and it can happen quickly.

Because now we are getting to the point where time is money – you have a lot of people to work with – and you can’t spend three different days, three different weeks teaching how to do these kinds of things. Now we can actually do that through light and sound, and that’s sort of what we are going to discuss today. To understand this, you need to know what the brain wave patterns are, some of you may know these, but in the event that you don’t and because I need to be continually helping myself remember these though I’ve used them for ten years. You think of the brain waves from what I taught you yesterday, or the day before in “Drink TAB.” There’s Delta, Theta, Alpha and Beta. Delta is the lowest, the slowest, from 0 to 4 and that is where you have good rest and recovery. Then we have imagery and learning in Theta, from a 5 to an 8 Hz, and these hertz are cycles per second. They are both sound and light. The Alpha then is from 9 to 12 and Beta is 13 plus. Depending on what we want to accomplish, we use those hertz.

They are used in the frequency that is in the light and sound, and there are not many people writing these programs. There’s quite a few machines on the market but they are not programs that are written for a specific cause. What you have to do is know what exactly is going on, what research has been done and what you want to happen in that program. I wrote the programs for the Sportlink, I also write custom programs for people who come through our center, for things other than sports enhancement. So the cycles per second is the brain wave patterns which is what this is all about.

This is what happens. The way it works is the brain has its own cycles per second depending on what you are doing, and hopefully everyone is in Beta in here. That is hopefully you’re focused on me. So we are figuring that you have 13 Hz going on if I wanted to increase that, embellish that, add to that, I would hit a program that would get to 13 Hz very quickly and maybe take it up just a little bit, depending on what I wanted. If I wanted for instance to have you rest, the program would start where you are, we presume you would be in Beta and go down into a rest and recovery cycle. If it was for sleep, you would stay down if it was simply for recovery, we would use the isomudic principle which means you take somebody where they are, take them wherever you want them to go, but you always bring them back. That’s a basic principle that is very important to learning that you don’t let somebody off at the bus stop, you bring them all the way back. So we do that with hertz.

These are used for all these different things, depending on what it is that we want to do. The lights and the sound merge with the brain waves through frequency. They are both electric, they both have frequency. If you hit a frequency that the brain is utilizing at the point it will immediately take. If you are a little bit higher or lower, it takes about a minute to really entrain and go with and the brain then will follow wherever these hertz go. It is not something that is New Age, it is not something that is spooky, it just makes a lot of sense if you think about it, it’s very easy. It is not dangerous unless you have a severe epileptic situation, that responds to photic stimulation (then you might have a situation), but I’ve never had one and I’ve dealt with many, many, many people, up in the thousands, so that is not something you have to worry about, but you should always ask. The thing about this that is so exciting is that you can get a great deal of learning done in a small amount of time because what happens to people who want to learn something or who want to rest or who want to get into a relaxation response or whatever it is you want for a good sport, many of them cannot get there.

I told you in the talk the other day that I work with Olympians, some of who have attention deficit disorder, and they don’t learn the same way that the other swimmers learn. For instance to them, time is different. Ten minutes to an attention deficit disorder person is an hour. So they’ve trained ten minutes, they feel like they’ve done an hour. They do an hour of training, they feel like they’ve been there all day. So what you have to do is work with them in a different way. Another thing is that most of these people spend a great deal of time in Theta, which is the specific brain wave if you remember, where there is imagery and learning, there is also sort of a daydream state in Theta. If you are not working with them specifically, they can go off into a daydream, which by the way in time competition is a really neat place to be, because the calmness that comes with it is just the open door to the flow, to the “Zone.” Therefore, these people are some of the best swimmers that you have, but if you need to teach them something, you can use this.

The sound is binaural. The sound and the lights use the same hertz in all light and sound neurotechnology. The reason for that is that there is a double stimulation. The sounds are binaural in this Sportlink that we have, they are not all binaural in other ones. The reason we use binaural is because the Moroe Institute spent a great deal of research telling us that binaural sounds work so much better because you hear one sound here, one sound here and you actually hear a third sound. So that is very conducive to get you into the brain wave that you need to be in. So now, if you want, if you have a program that has to do with getting ready to swim or a performance or getting a competition that will use pulse sound which is a duh – duh – duh – duh -duh, which is not binaural because we don’t want too much relaxation, we want just enough. This is the way that works.

I just don’t want to go through this whole thing and you just sit there, be sure and stop me and ask questions at the time, not all the way at the end. Does anybody have any questions about what we are talking about at this point? OK. Either you’ve understood it all or you are all in Delta. I just hope that you’ve understood it all. And we’ll go on.

The use of light and sound is probably the best for visualization exercises. Mental imagery for developing positive attitudes for awakening a mind state, for relaxation response and recovery, sleep and jetlag. This is what we have put into this machine. Let me explain a little bit about how we use it for instance first in visualization. Visualization is necessary for an athlete to develop if he wants to get into a peak potential state. His performance depends on high energy, and coordination and right hemispheric function. So one of the first things we have to do is get him to know what that is and get him to be there. How many of you know what anchoring is and use it? OK, so I won’t bore you if I tell you what that is.

We use anchoring a great deal in other fields. Anchoring is developing a state, the best state you want that swimmer to be in and then teaching him how to get back to that state very quickly. You can do that through physical cues, you can do it through auditory cues, but whatever it is, whenever they do that cue, that state comes back if you’ve taught it to them correctly.

  1. Since this training is through the use of the senses, can you do this through the use of smell? and you introduce the swimmer to the smell through the right side?
  2. It would be the same idea, I’ve never done that. I’ve never used smells, but it’s a sensory input, so yes, hearing, seeing , yes so smells I suppose would be. I suppose you would have to be very careful, depending upon what it was, because it needs to be at that point, and you know if its popcorn, then that person is in that readiness throughout the entire meet. So I don’t know what you would use, but yes I suppose so. Anchoring is being able to use things that are a little less involved, like licking your lips, flicking your fingers, saying a specific word, humming, anything that will bring it quickly. The point is that the stimulus doesn’t matter, it’s whatever you and the swimmer would decide would work. Its how you teach it to them so that it will work is what matters.

Now to develop an anchor, for instance let’s develop a visual anchor, say you are in a meet, you want to remember for an occasion when you had boundless energy, when you swam your best swim, when you felt the best, when you were the most energetic, you ask them to remember that. Or you remember a very positive place that you’ve been, and you ask them to remember that, this place was where everything was wonderful, the best feeling they have ever had, what you’re doing by doing that is actually stimulating them to remember something in the right side of the brain.

That’s where all of these nice things happen, they are nonanalytic, and they are specifically pleasurable. The research on people getting into the “Zone,” into the flow, show us that pleasurable experiences are important. So in order to do that, we have that step one. Step two is to see yourself in a positive state, a winning state – I’m there. I know I’m going to win, I feel it. Put yourself back at that positive place where you were before saying those things to yourself. You can sprint, there are people who say that they can hear the – what do you call them – is it aerators that are turned on in the pool. They can hear certain things. They can feel the water. They can smell the water. When they go back to that place.

This place, this experience that you are creating, is the one that you create, the one that you want to swim in and then you develop a cue. The cue can be whatever you want it to be. But if you practice it enough and if you want it to work quickly, then you would use an Alpha program while you are describing this, while you are thinking about this, and stop it in the middle, and give the cue, whatever it is, and go back into the Alpha, and it will actually become a learned experience.

You have to do it more than once of course, depending on the individual, how many times you have to do it, and it depends on how well you do it. You can do it with groups, if you want. What you have to do is they have to be able to visualize what you want to bring them back to. That’s the whole clue. The exact point you want them at when they use this cue is what you want. If it’s on the block, if it’s when they see the flag, whatever it is and wherever you want this to happen. Now if they are swimming, they can’t put their fingers together, some lick their lips, you can use an auditory cue that you have given them. So what you are doing is taking this coaching a step farther and putting it in there, ready to retrieve it. It’s just like putting money in the bank, when you take it out, you can use it.

You use the cue when you do that, then you always use the same cue. If that cue doesn’t work, get another one, then always have the same one. You’ve watched basketball players use theirs. I’ll bet if I ask you, you could tell me the cue or the anchoring for lots of different basketball players – it’s the free throw line. For instance Jeff Hornicek who use to be with Phoenix has a way of doing his and the announcers say “oh, he’s saying hello to his children. But he’s not. He puts his hand on his right cheek, draws it down, then he gets ready and he throws the free throw. Charles Barkley bounces a ball six times, throws it up twice. They’ve got elongated anchors. And they go on and on. And you watch athletes and see what their anchors are, because they all use them. And they need to be used in this field. It’s absolutely perfect for you guys, because you’ve got kids who are running around at meets and you know they can’t think of what they are doing, then all at once you get them into that cue and they are ready. They’re on goal.

  1. Does this anchor have to be a specific to the individual or do you have like a team anchor that you try?
  2. Sure. If you have an individual swimmer that is really having some trouble, sometimes they need their own anchor for that problem. I work with some world class swimmers for instance, who couldn’t get off the block, or they couldn’t this or couldn’t do that. Carla Gertz was one of them who wanted to swim the 800 very badly, and half way through some way or another, she had anchored herself to become physically ill. After about 400 meters she was already sick. So we figured that if we introduced an anchor and taught it to her through light and sound and she used the light and sound over time before she swam, also before she slept and some other times, but then she would get to that anchor. I got a card from her the other day, she won a silver and she didn’t get sick. So it is a learned thing, it may not happen the first time, but it will happen, because the brain is ready to learn all this stuff and it’s very important for young swimmers. No matter where they’re swimming, they can be at home in the pool with their mind. Swimming their best swim. So it’s very important.

Now in Alpha, as you’re doing this, you’re doing visualization. I got into a little bit of trouble, but I can get myself out of it because I said that visualization takes place in Alpha, 9 to 12 hertz with relaxation, but mental imagery takes place in Theta. Now what is the difference? Anybody have a good definition? What is visualization? Visual. Seeing. You’re seeing yourself. So you can see yourself, you can see things and it’s sensory. To me and to some other people that I’ve talked to, the mental imagery is the actual act of doing it. Feeling it. I worked with Gary Hall, Jr. before the trials and before the Olympics and he was in my office, he images very well because he has attention deficit disorder. Visualization is almost impossible for him because he is in Theta most of the time, that’s where attention deficit people are. That’s where one out of every ten of your swimmers is by the way. One out of every ten. So you’ve got some Theta thinkers. Let them image and let the other people visualize. But he can mentally image so that I can actually pick up his motor movements with him being flat on a bed as he swims the swim, the actual motor connect, and synapse. So if he’s out of the water, or if he’s on a plane and he wants to swim a while, what does he do? He images the swim. If he’s using bio feedback, and using his light and sound machine, the muscles are actually moving and synapsing. That’s not just him, that’s anybody that uses mental imagery well.

  1. If you were moving from one to the other, and you want to get them ready for performance, which is Beta, and you’re saying that he has some difficulty being in Alpha because Beta is right where he’s at. Is it a problem engaging him from Theta into the Beta area and does he have to be afraid to jump?
  2. You mean getting out of Theta into Beta? Yeah. It is, but that’s what we taught him how to do and it’s very easy to get into Beta. You know, just swim to Hawaii, go to the fair, or go to a disco, that’s Beta, it is pleasurable and it is on the right side. So that’s what you want to do, it’s not only what brain wave you’re in, but which side of your head you’re in when you’re swimming. When you’re coaching, and being taught, you want to analyze it, you want it in the left, and that’s where you want him to be. But that left has to be turned off when it is time for that swim.

Most of the swimmers who come to me, especially European swimmers have so analyzed that swim and they can’t turn it off for the competition. They are still analyzing, – where is my elbow, where is my butt, where’s this, that’s not going to work. You’re not going to cut off seconds with your brain being on the left, you’re going to learn how to cut them off, if you want to cut them off, you’ve got to get over. So this is another way of using light and sound for a swim. We use the light and sound so we have a program that actually helps keep them in the right. There are lots of little ways of doing this. The user’s guide that will come with the Sportlink teaches all this because I realize that it is strange. You know you’re not going to get that all at one time, you may not even agree with it in the beginning.

  1. I’m sorry, but I got a little lost. A. You analyze on the left side of your brain?
  2. Well, you can analyze in any of them. Mostly you would do some analyzation. If you were learning you would be analyzing in Theta, and in competition they would kick it up to Beta, and they are still not free enough.
  3. I would assume these guys are analyzing in Beta. Are they using the wrong side of their head?
  4. Yes. Well even with that they would be in a low Beta. But the analyzation cuts down the time. If you read anything, you read Benson’s works, you read all these works about the flow, the zone, there’s a relaxed state, so you swim in low Beta, you sure should have gone through a little bit of Alpha, in order to get into that flow, but it’s so quickly done. We have a bio feedback machine in room 233 and you can see how quickly the brain is moving. Come look at it to see how quick these kids and your swimmers are – their brain is moving all of the time. They are not just staying in one wave length. You’ve got to get it in there and keep it in there. You have ways of doing that and you do that very well. If you teach little children, you have to stay in Beta on the right side of the brain, because that’s all they have. They don’t even change over until 7 years of age, so all of the instruction needs to be very flowery and very much fun and music, maybe colors, and all of that because that’s where they are.
  5. Can you analyze adults in a dream state?
  6. Well, that’s kind of hard. Delta is, if it was high Delta, if it was 4 you might. You might. But Delta is slow enough that the brain slows down for a rest and recovery kind of thing. Now you don’t have to be sleeping we have a program for instance that’s mind awake, body asleep. People were in on it yesterday and said, “I knew everything that was going on, but I was rested.” That’s a state, but that’s very high Delta and you would really have to know how to get into it. I would just leave that for rest and recovery. That’s where we have some programs that are for jetlag and sleep before competition and things like that and that’s where they take place.
  7. (inaudible audience)
  8. Well that’s the way we do it, we talked about that before, I suppose it would be 0.1. If you go below zero you know you are not going to swim anywhere. But it differs, it can be 4.5 to 5.5, we talked about how to put it up here. So we just started at zip and went on, no of course you’d have a brain wave. You might not have very much, you wouldn’t be going anyplace, but you’d have some. These differ by maybe .5 it’s just depending on whose doing what. If you get a 24 channel EEG it will be a little bit different than this. But for learning purposes, this is what I use. Because it makes sense. Now visualization (we just talked about imaging) takes place in Alpha. What do you have to do in order to visualize? – Relax. By the way, did you know that there is no learning without relaxation? Learning does not go in without a little bit of relaxation. So if you are trying to teach something new, you need to get into either some kind of relaxed state or by saying something funny or something just to get a little bit of relaxation to allow that in. Because there isn’t any learning without relaxation. That is one of the things wrong with our school rooms today, they are in such high stress, that kids are just not learning. So you’ve got to do something to get in there. You don’t have to be in there very far, but you need to be in.

For instance there is a program, number 3, that you can use to do this. When using the program, you can make a tape while the person is using the program, they can make a tape, the brain had much rather hear your voice than anybody else’s and reacts to your voice quicker. By the way, we talk to ourselves with approximately 45,000 words a day, so hopefully that person is speaking some positive words to themselves, because if they are not, they are actually imprinting negative stuff. The brain listens and when you say something, surprisingly, if you believe in neurolinguistics programming or if you’ve studied it at all, that becomes a neuronal impulse and is seated and put away as learning.

I worked with a young lady that is in our club, I don’t know how many sessions, maybe ten, who was told two years ago that she would never make a cut. And she believes that. And she probably never will, because it is almost impossible for her, and she is very, very good in school, very left brained, very analytical, and in trying to work with her we improved her time, we improved her attitude a little bit, but until she lets go of that learning and replaces that learning, nothing is going to happen, because the brain listens to that and that’s where the function comes from and that’s why you need to understand mind/body connection and conversion.

What you’re doing with the body has to be converted into some kind of signal and understanding by the brain. It’s not just out there by itself. OK? Some of the things about visualization that are important are to say to yourself or for kids say, “can you see yourself swimming in the water?” You are having a good time. Now remember, we told you before something pleasant. You’re having fun in the water. See yourself at a swim meet. You’re ready to go, you practiced hard, you’re eager to swim. You know you’re going to win. Think of your swim and how you will move through the water. Now that’s sensory. Feel the water as you see yourself swimming Talk to yourself. Tell yourself, I’m doing a good job. As you’re swimming. Most of you know this because you’ve told me that. Tell yourself, “I can do this. I can do it.” When you tell yourself, I can do that, than the brain says, well, OK, then let’s get it done. Tell yourself to stay calm, stay steady, and enjoy your swim.

There are pre-competition routines, you can write all these yourself, and I don’t need to be telling you these. The things that you can use mental imagery for, moving up to Theta, would be things like technique enhancement, and you analyze and correct errors, in performance by using Theta, because what are you doing? You’re relearning or learning. And we do that where? In Theta. Remember super learning? Everything was written about super learning, and Lozarnoff and Ostrander, he was a Bulgarian, and did you ever read any of that?

Well, what they did was, they went into Theta and they used Baroque Music, to try to enhance the learning, that was OK over there, but it wouldn’t work over here, we have the lab at ASU where we tried it and we slowed the beat per minute down, to 57 and 58 as opposed to 60 and the people caught it. So some way or another, the Bulgarian brain goes a little faster than ours. But they did that by using the Theta waves, by using Baroque Music, and people learned quicker.

So you can do anything that you want that has to do with learning. In that there are programs that will actually enhance the person getting into Theta, being able to learn. You can do preparation for competition, you can replace negative beliefs, and that’s where you replace them – in Theta. You unlearn the one that’s negative, hurtful and you relearn one and you say to them, “Now, take this out” – and Vandler who is a neurolinguistics programing person has 290 a swish technique that he used and he would say, “Take that negative thing out and swish it. And then put back in a positive one in the same place.” So then you visualize – I’m going to take out this loss thing, and I am going to swish it, I am going to drop it, I am going to throw it away, then I’m going to pick up the positive one and I am going to put it in. Now in doing all this talking with these people, if you are doing it one to one, or even if you are doing it in a group, it is extraordinarily important that if you want them to get the message quick, that you speak to the right ear. That you talk to the left side of the brain, through the right ear. If you have to get them to put an ear mold in the left one, when you’ve got 30 of them in a room, you still will get farther because they are only hearing what you are saying and it is going immediately to where it ought to be. The left ear listens to all kinds of extra-strenuous sounds, and it’s like the frontage road on the freeway, the right ear is bang – pay the toll – go – and they catch it very quickly.

  1. How can you measure what level the swimmer is at? In other words. I may have a swimmer that is in need of help?
  2. Well they’re set up for pre-competition and you certainly would not want to use this on somebody who has never used it before. I mean you would have used it in practice and before smaller meets and the meets that you have in your club. There are ways of knowing that, thereby whether they need help with visualization. What do they need help with? Almost like a prescriptive kind of thing. We have one that our swimmers use the Sportlink about 5 minutes before they swim because what’s happened is that if they are in a – we live in a hot area – and the last meet I went to I was surprised anybody lived through it., it was so hot. All these kids are milling around you know and they are hot and they’re sweaty, a lot of stuff is going on, and we want them to be focused and it’s hard to get that done. So we have a program that will literally help them get right into the bilateral synchroning that you need a little while before you swim. You don’t want to swim in synchroning but you want to have been there. There are programs for that. By the way, when you’ve got people at a meet, it’s really, really important if you want them to do well in competition, that you get them to quit talking all the time, surprisingly, talking is a big left brain thing.

When kids are talking, yelling having a fit in the left brain and you want them to go out and swim in the right brain. So they need to keep their mouths shut awhile before they get in the water.

  1. (inaudible audience) something to do with the kids in the pool and all blocking their left ear and turning their right ear to the coach as a group.
  2. I said, or I meant to say, if you’ve got 30 of them in a room, and you’re doing Dryland, that’s where you would use it, certainly not in the water, because half of them would be going – which is right?, which is left? But when you are doing something, especially with an individual kid, you know you could do that. Certainly not in the water. I mean you would have to put a little tattoo for them to know which is which sometimes. You can ask them to lock these in and we will have a way in the manual to teach you how to anchor and how to visualize and how to image because it’s a step by step thing on how to do that. Some of the other things that we had talked about that we would do would be the positive attitude we talked about that a little bit. Remember that you can change attitudes. But you cannot change them just by telling somebody they have to tell you. They have to believe it. They have to have learned it. Even though it’s swimming, it isn’t any different than learning trig – it’s all learning. Then it’s performance.

The meet is the test, but the learning happens in the same areas in the same way. If we were going to work with the relaxation response, relaxation response is a definite, specific place where people can be and need to be, if they are going to at all swim a good swim. It doesn’t have to be the minute before, but the Alpha brain waves that are needed to experience this response and of all the research that I’ve read from sports psychologists, people have to have felt the relaxation response, experience the relaxation response if they are to get into the flow or into the “Zone.” It’s actually the door in. Bilateral sychroning is very important so we have a program that teaches the sychroning and relaxation at the same time, like a two for one. Since that state is important and because you’ve got kid swimmers, do you know how many of them know what relaxation is? What may be relaxation to them is maybe not be a total response. We use biofeedback for that. The one we have in the room upstairs you can actually see and they can feel what relaxation is. That’s where I am supposed to be. Little kids have a lot of trouble with that because they are running around – where? – In Theta and relaxation is in Alpha. So I know you don’t try to get them to do that because I’ve seen meets where they just go. That spontaneity is great.

  1. When you say little kids, what are the ages?
  2. 7 and under. By 7 or 8 they have crossed over the corpus colosseum in the middle of the brain and they are developing the left side. Now people with attention deficit don’t cross over, this is one of the reasons why they have very little logic, they are always late to practice, they have no time management, they have sequencing problems, if you want them to do, something – 1, 2, 3 4, things – they may get to 2, but they won’t get to 4, unless they have done it over and over and over and it’s the same sequence. These are the kids or the people that are in – I don’t know what you call it but I’ve heard it called the “clown lane.” The kids who clown around can’t get in the water, can’t stay in the water, and are touching other people, pushing, shoving, laughing, 291 talking. Many of these kids are attention deficit kids. They can be the hyperactive kid or they can be just the attention deficit. The child who is very very quiet, very introverted in swimming who just doesn’t quite get it will be the ADD child. He doesn’t have to be jumping all over the place. But he’s not getting it either.

These kids need special approaches because out of this group could very well be your next champions. These are the kids that live in the right brain and are ready to go. But you’ve got to help them know how to get there, how to do that. So they are definitely the ones you want to speak in the right ear to, they are definitely the ones you want to say to, “close your eyes and listen to me,” never say look at me so I know you hear me. It is extraordinarily important for these children. The reason for that is, as you are swimming in the water, there is a little place at the base of your brain called the reticular activating system (RAS). The RAS that literally is stimulated and that’s where learning takes place.

So you are helping that child turn on that learn faucet for later on also. You are going to get more and more referrals. We in our club are getting gobs of them because the word’s out that we have a center there for ADD and that we work with that. I have also put out the word with 3 or 4 doctors who deal with ADD and that we have a good swim program. Now if you want to add to your swim program there is a way, if you can handle it. But these are the best swimmers. The people who come into my office, the ones that go are those kids.

  1. I have two questions, one is I don’t know if you subscribe to the concept of patterning – the creeping and crawling and in swimming, in effect, you are using the arms and legs together to help in this to try and explain why we can help the young kids with the transferring of both sides of the brain.
  2. Well, the word patterning sets off a memory in my mind, the idea is great, there was a Doman Del Accado Center in Philadelphia that did patterning and I had a negative thing about that because with the parents that had Cerebral Palsy children, if the child didn’t get up and walk and it wasn’t OK, then the parents got blamed for not working hard enough. And they had the neighbors in and everybody was patterning this kid 3 or 4 times a day. The idea though is great in fact right now, put your pencils down and take your hands and put them out like this. Now this is something you can work on with your kids. Put them straight out, now turn the thumbs down, I’ll do this slowly, now cross the hand and it doesn’t matter which one goes first for you left brained analytical people, just cross them. Now clasp them together and roll them under and cross your feet. Now just close your eyes and look down the railroad track and see those tracks come together, do you see them come together, that’s sychroning. Both sides of the brain are working together into one image. And you can do those exercises with them very quickly. Another one is the calf stretch. Stand up get hold of the chair in front of you and just bend one knee keeping that foot on the ground, the heel down, and stretch as far as you can go. Then count to 3 that’s the hard part, and then do it on the other side. Now the gastrocoel holds the cerebral spinal fluid down when you stretch that the cerebral spinal fluid goes right up to the brain, and learning is easier, and swimming is easier. So in all your stretching, that’s very important, for the mind body connection.

Take your 3 fingers on both hands open your mouth find where your jaw meets. Get those 3 fingers in there, now rub, way back almost by your ear, can you feel that hinge? Go clockwise for about 5 or 6 and then go backward for about 5 or 6, and if you do that long enough you will feel it, do you feel it in your hand? Keep doing it and you will. What happens is that all the nerves to the brain and the head are right here. That’s why people that have TMJ have such pain. So by doing that you are innervating those. A few of these little things before a practice makes a big difference to kids, and in people. So that was working on the awaken mind state.

  1. When you are using sound, what type of music should we not use and what type of music do you recommend?
  2. Do not use all of today’s music, anything with lyrics, you don’t want any talking. Manheim Steamroller “The Endangered Species” is the best tape along with “Bones” by Roth is another one, that’s drums.
  3. Inaudible to do with relaxation.
  4. Yes it is. Of course I deal with different people than you do and I like the ocean sounds – the ocean is Alpha, and it will work. I work with people who have had situations and sometimes the water will bring up the wrong memory. That’s the only thing. I learned that the hard way. I used to say “see yourself by the ocean” and I dealt with a lady who had been raped at the ocean side and that was in the back of her mind, so you’ve got to be careful. When you are asking people to visualize they need to bring up their own pictures.

You may have kids in your group that you don’t even know about that are in an abuse situation, when they bring up the picture you get some of that inference. If you give them the picture, it may trigger something. Remember the autonomic nervous system, is that part of you that gets you to that fight and flight thing and you don’t want them down there, because you don’t swim down there.

So you do have to be a little bit cautious, but ocean music is one of the things that has been used. We have a tape that we use that I did probably did 5 years ago that has for relaxation on one side and learning on the other side. Relaxation is a form of “When You Wish Upon A Star” with ummmms in – it seems like everybody likes it. Some way or another it was a good feeling, and it brings smiles and the smile is the winning. That’s where you win. And the other side has beats that go with learning so it depends on who did it, but yes, a long answer to a short question.

Ocean will work. The relaxation response is very important it slows the heart rate, it lowers the need for oxygen, and it can actually lower lactate acid in the blood. If you can get a good response. Therefore we have a program that is written exactly for that purpose, in the recovery section. You can do it other ways, if you want to do it fast, then you use neurotechnology. It’s not that you cannot do it, it has to do with the time factor. You have to have a lot of people, you have to deal with a lot of people, in order to pay for whatever is going on. Recovery is very important after a race. The relaxation responses used are important, but you need to get down into Delta to recover. Deep relaxation and complete rest are absolute mandatories for peak performance, and that’s of course taper or whatever you do before for the taper part of it, you can promote circulation, cause vessels to expand and excrete endorphins. In fact I think you had endorphins released this morning didn’t you? The problem with the sinuses and endorphin opened that side of the nose. Endorphin releases are not strange to neurotechnology with sight and sound, they happen all the time So this is another use for somebody who got a real tight muscle or some cramps and things.

There is a Dr. Roger Kaye who did some research that has to do with the use of light and sound in the Delta-Theta program which is what ours is in, increases endorphins, and dopamine and they have measured this. We also measure to find that the use of this program helped cleanse the body of lactate acid, increase the serotonin, increased Beta endorphins and as you just said, increase protein flow and increase growth hormones and glutenizing hormones. Of course the growth hormone is secretion which helps with pain, so those kinds of relaxation things are necessary. Sleep is really important. A lot of kids can’t sleep, you lose a lot because they can’t sleep. In taper they get very anxious, they don’t know whether they have rested enough, or whether they have rested too much. They don’t know whether they are doing what they should be doing in taper, unless of course you have given them a specific step-by-step, day-by-day calendar, then they can. The sleep program we use is 80 minutes, the reason for that is that there is something that is called intermittent insomnia, people go to sleep for an hour but then they wake up. Parents will say “Well, when I looked in on him ten minutes after he went to bed he’s asleep, but then they are awake in an hour. So we wrote a program that went 80 minutes that went across that hour waking period and it is working very well.

So that’s important, especially if you are traveling through time zones, you need sleep. And that brings me to the last program that we wrote that has to do with travel. Travel has been one of the biggest problems, I guess, since mankind in athletics in going from place to place.

What happens is you get jetlag and jetlag is the lack of light. We have a program that if you go east to west you use it one way and if you west to east you use it another, if you go through 3 time zones you use it one way, 6, 9 on, the point being that you prepare yourself for going through 9 time zones, 10 time zones, you start 3 days before you leave, using light and sound on a specific schedule, therefore you are storing up the light, you’re storing up what your body needs. Then we have a rest program and an awake program, and the awake program is probably the best I have ever written I really like it myself even if I do say so, because when you just can’t think and you put this on and you are there. I slept 2 hours last night, and I used this program twice today and I’m feeling good. So this is what this is about, it is not taking the place of anything, it’s simply going the next step.

I think bringing the mind body connection together, allowing you to utilize that connection, has been a problem in sports forever, to make the conversion, between what you want people to do and them to do it. That conversion is a brain wave, that’s the bridge and everybody fails because they cannot convert when they need to. We even have a joke now that we are waiting for a call from Tiger Woods, who didn’t make the cut yesterday, so for the first time now, he’s out of the “Zone,” we’ll see how he comes back. We’ve had very, very elite golfers to our center, who have lost interest in playing – money is not a big thing, which is hard for me to imagine, but they love the game and they still want to win. So it worked with them in doing those things. You have to be sort of individualized in a group.

  1. (Inaudible referring to jetlag.)
  2. Well, I didn’t have to do the research, it was already done, I read a lot of research, on spectrum – are you talking about full spectrum? There is no way to put a full spectrum unless you live in it and that’s great, if you have them, we are getting ready to put them in our office, but a full spectrum of light on an airplane traveling, if there is a way to do that, I don’t know, what we have done is used the colored lights, the goggles are all the way across, even comes into the periphery, and because the retina where this bounces off of and is thoroughly safe, with your eyes closed, you are seeing it in the mind’s eye, then you are getting a lot of light.
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