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Neurohacking - Tutorials
Written by NHA   
Sunday, 23 March 2008 17:31
Article Index
Neurohacking Tutorial 1 - Basics & Golden Rules
Brains and Networks
The Golden Rules
When Things Go Wrong (Anxiety)
Basics About Intelligence
NHA Guide To Methods and Tech
Hacks and Exercices
All Pages





Hacks & Exercices

Reducing Anxiety Hormones:

Here's a summary of your choices of methods:

Physical & spatial methods: Exercise, yoga, nutrition , massage, breathing exercises, chanting, dancing, retreats.

Chemical & supplementary methods: Drugs, medication, dietary supplements, herbs. (For more info see the ‘drugs & chemicals’ section in the library.)

Tech (“mind machines”): EEG, Bio or Neurofeedback, light & sound, GSR (Galvanic Skin Response biofeedback), NMS (Neuro-Magnetic Stimulation), TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), CES (Cranial Electrical Stimulation) REST & flotation tanks and many other devices. (For more info see the “Methods & Technology” section of the library).

Scientific, cognitive & psychological methods: CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), FA (Functional Analysis or Assessment), NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), DA (Discourse Analysis), IA (Interactional Analysis) (For more info see the ‘methods & tech’ section in the library).

Physiological, spiritual & imaginative methods: Meditation, self-hypnosis, visualization, martial arts, acupressure/puncture, lucid dreaming, modeling. (For more information see the ‘Methods & Technology’ section in the library.)

All these methods can be affective against anxiety and can help balance brain chemistry. As soon as you find one that works for you start using it regularly, but do keep exploring other methods because you may find a better, even more effective one, or a method with fewer side effects. You may like to alternate between methods. That is what NH is often about; finding exactly the right techniques for you personally to use to achieve optimal mental health and strong intelligence.


Exercises to Improve Physical Senses and the Brain’s Physical Condition

Unless otherwise directed do not do these exercises more than once a day.


If You Have Poor Sight

Eyeball muscle exercise: Moving the eyeballs in all the directions they can go (including round and round) for a few seconds each day (be precise and increase time gradually to avoid strain) will restore flexibility to the eyeball. The exercise will also massage the eyeball. Be methodical. Up, down, left, right, diagonals, round and round. Movements between the positions should be slow and steady, the eye focusing naturally. Do not neglect to blink regularly.

Lense muscle exercise: The other muscular operation of the eye is the focusing of the lense inside the eyeball. People often tire their eyes by using them for long periods at a fixed focal length. If this tends to happen in your occupation, take some time out to smoothly shift your focus from near to far objects. Repeat this many times (start with 30 seconds and increase slowly to whatever is comfortable. Then try and relax your eyes so that everything goes out of focus, and after a few seconds snap back into focusing on something within range.

Exercises to Improve Attention

Color Composition: Collect objects and scraps of similar but not identical color. Cut areas from colored packaging, materials and plastic, leaves, wood, flowers until you have filled a small cardboard box. Then arrange the pieces in a long line, in a sequence so that one color will flow into the next.

Using Peripheral Vision (needs assistant): Stand staring straight ahead. The assistant introduces objects into your cone of vision from behind. Say when you first see the object and then try to identify it without moving you eyeballs. Start with large brightly colored geometric objects and move on to smaller more camouflaged objects. Assess each other's progress.

Ambient Sound attention training (can also be used as a meditation exercise): For this exercise and each of the following developments it is suggested that you repeat it once a day for ten days and then note any improvements. It is essential to work gradually and methodically, or little useful progress will be achieved.

  1. Sit outdoors or open a window. Sit still and comfortably and relax. How many sounds can you hear? Count them. Write them down. Distinguish for each sound - direction and cause.... differences in tone and strength... rhythmic qualities... groupings.
  2. Select one of the most obvious sounds and list everything you can imaginably say about it. (next time, select a new sound.)
  3. Detect one of the faintest sounds you are hearing. List everything you can say about it.
  4. Select the most pleasant sound you are hearing. Note every reason why you feel it is pleasant.


Focusing on one sound amongst many: Collect together four sources of sound; TV, radios, clock, music players etc. Put them all on at a quiet but equal volume and different programs. Shut your eyes and listen attentively to one of them only for about one minute. Switch attention to another sound source for one minute. Every minute switch your attention. It doesn't matter how interested you become (within reason) ... switch. If you find this too difficult move the sound sources further apart and turn to face the one you are paying attention to. If you find it too easy add more sound sources. A super exercise to do at dull meetings or boring parties!


Exercises to Improve Touch Sensitivity

Two Point Discrimination: Obtain a pair of blunt compasses or tweezers or a short piece of firm wire bent in half. Open them so the points are about 3mm apart, with this gap you will probably still be able to discriminate two separate points touching the skin of your fingertips or lips, but if you now place the compasses on your chest you can only feel one poke. Adjust the gap until you can feel two separate points on your chest. Measure this gap. In this way a chart may be made of the sensitivity of the skin in different parts of your body. Having made a chart, repeat this exercise for a minimum of ten days, in different areas, and see if there is any increase of sensitivity. What conditions change the sensitivity of your skin to touch? If you get improvement quickly or are very sensitive to start with, you can try a harder version if you can find an assistant. Do the exercise with the assistant placing the compasses on the skin and keep your eyes closed.

Tactile enhancement: Choose an area or a room that contains nothing that could be knocked over and broken or spilled, or trip you up. Spend 15-30 minutes exploring the room blindfolded. Be sure to make a good job of the blindfold, putting cotton wool pads over the eyelids if the contours of our face make it difficult to get a good seal. Identity all objects by touch alone. Estimate the weight and dimensions of various chosen objects, checking your guesses later. If an object you know well surprises you with the way it feels, spend some time with it. Notice the exact position of fittings such as handles, relief design, indentations, holes, robustness, flexibility, articulation etc. Gradually increase the speed and confidence with which you can move about the room. Repeat this exercise once a week, until you can move around the room with as much ease as if you were not wearing a blindfold. After a break of a week or so move on to a new room, area or place. 

Object Identification: Procure many similar sized objects covering a range of basic forms. Do not include sharp objects. Put them in a bag or a box. Wearing a blindfold, tip them out carefully onto a table or the floor in front of you and without picking them up, examine them by touch alone. Become readily conversant with their different shapes, textures and details. (needs assistant) Sitting comfortably before a table, wearing a blindfold, ask a friend to place on the table several surprise small objects from around the room, which you touch in the same way, without picking up. Try to determine what the articles are.

Repeat for ten days, and note down changes in touch perception.


Exercises for Increasing Smell or Taste Sensitivity

Explore your room/apartment/house/hut systematically for smells: Note down as many smells as you can and try to describe them in a couple of words. Can these smells be organized into groups in any way? This initial exploration will give you plenty of information on where to find smells for doing the following exercise. It will also give you a most extraordinary odor-based mental plan of your home.

The personal associations and mental effects of smells: Sit with a particular pleasant smell within effective range. Think about its associations and note them down. What other things smell similar? Then further involve yourself with the sensation and notice any attitude effects - does it elevate, excite or relax you?

Touch/taste discrimination: Using a mirror, with a small spoon put a bit of honey onto the tongue. Is it the slippery feeling or the sweet taste that is first perceived? Dab your dampened little finger into pepper and put a very little pepper onto the tongue. Pinch the nostrils with the other hand. Is there a taste separate from the irritation? Experiment with other edibles. List them, and note the components of the sensation that they give.

Odor type discrimination: Put half a dozen different flowers on the table before you. Pick up each flower in turn, and savor its scent. Then with your eyes closed shuffle the blooms about, and then taking each one separately try to identify it by its smell. Afterwards reconstruct these smells in your imagination, remember what they were like, relating each to the flower to which it belongs. If you find this too hard, try it with different essential oils dribbled on tissues or cotton with their names written on the back (so you can check you’re right). Practice discriminating between them. Take two of your samples at random. Inhale the odor of one. Do the same with the other. Then moving away from them, think of the first smell- then think of the second. In your mind compare them, noting the difference. Repeat with different kinds of extracts (in pairs).

Detail Differentiation: Take one particular category of taste/smell and sample 6-10 varieties. If these may be sampled simultaneously - as in the case of cheeses - note the unique characteristics of each sample. Then arrange it so you may sample each without seeing it - of course it is difficult to hide cheese textures - and guess which it is. If several may not practicably be tested simultaneously, as with bottles of wine - although wine tasting parties are a good excuse to do this - then make notes on the taste at the time. Then compare your notes and memory of this taste with the next.

Olfactory (sense of smell) sensitivity: Using aromatic oils or essences; find the smallest amount that you can detect by putting a drop into a pint of water. If you can smell it, dilute with another pint of water and throw 1/2 of the solution - ie. 1 pint - away. Repeat dilutions until smell is no longer detectable. If one drop is not detectable add more drops and count them. Repeat for 10 days, making a graph of your results. Why can you smell better on some days than others? Does your sensitivity increase by the tenth day? Repeat with different smells. Compare results.

Thermal (heat) sensitivity: Surface Temperature Variations. The simplest way of stretching the body’s heat control mechanisms out of their 'central heating slumber' is to vary the surface temperature of the skin quickly without allowing serious heat losses. The best way to do this is to go to a shower with separate hot and cold controls - set the heat full on, then adjust the cold until you can comfortably bear it. When you are well heated step out of the shower and turn off the hot. Then dive back under the rapidly cooling shower, for as long as you can bear it, or until you are well cooled off. (The first time you may only be able to bear a quick splash, but regular repeated practice makes the practice a pleasant and invigorating one). Then repeat this quickly 3 or 4 times until you feel yourself tingling all over. This tingling is the lazy old thermo-nerve endings spluttering their way back into operation. The refreshing effect initiated by the tingling will continue for about half an hour. (Sauna, Russian and Turkish baths can do a similar job, but require more time and money. Outdoor sweat lodges and swimming in Spring and Autumn will be as good, if you make sure you get well warmed up between dips).

Assessing Conduction of Materials: Different materials have the capacity to hold different amounts of heat. Metal holds lots and wood holds little. So, even when it is at the same room temperature, a metal bar will feel colder than a wooden rod. Go around your room (blindfold helps) or your house (the parts of it that are at a similar temperature) and check out the comparative temperature of different materials. List them in order of cold to warm. Floors, walls, plastic, water, glass etc. will all be at roughly the same temperature but will feel different because of their different heat capacity.

DIY Head & Face Massage

A great one for in the bath or shower, or before bed.

Relax your hands. Massage and shake them out until they feel tingly. Rub them together... fronts, backs and between the fingers.

Begin by slapping your scalp all over with loose wrist and limp fingers. Then massage the scalp using the fingertips. Think of tension being released in the back of the neck; as it releases it lengthens. Fingertip massage around the hairline. Stroke the forehead. Place the palms of the hands over your eyes and imagine the eyelids relaxing under your hands.

Brush the skin back from center temple around to the ears. Continue this down the face pulling the skin back from the center line in slow rhythmic waves.

Such simple pleasure can seem unworthy of the effort of self discipline and not functional enough to be included in your self-care. To find out why they are, repeat this exercise daily for ten days and note the effect.

Just For Fun

We now know that emergence can result from the mere repetition of some pretty simple rules This can be viewed in the example of ‘Langton’s Ant’ at: http://www.theory.org/software/ant/

Last Updated on Monday, 29 May 2017 17:58