FAST TRACK IT TO ZEN

Women's Health Australia - - HEALTH -

If calm­ing your mind in med­i­ta­tion seems about as likely as Trump declar­ing him­self a fem­i­nist, we have good news (on the med­i­ta­tion front, any­way). E-med­i­ta­tion – aka, zap­ping your brain with tran­scra­nial di­rect-cur­rent stim­u­la­tion (TDCS) while you om – could help you achieve a monk-like state in 20 min­utes flat. Se­ri­ously.

“TDCS is a safe form of brain stim­u­la­tion in which two elec­trodes are placed on the head and de­liver a weak elec­tri­cal cur­rent to the un­der­ly­ing brain ar­eas,” ex­plains Bashar Bad­ran, a US neu­ro­sci­en­tist lead­ing the re­search into e-med­i­ta­tion. “The elec­tric­ity is de­liv­ered to spe­cific brain ar­eas that are as­so­ci­ated with a med­i­ta­tive state. Stim­u­lat­ing these ar­eas ac­cel­er­ates and en­hances med­i­ta­tion for both novice and ex­pert med­i­ta­tors.”

Two re­search tri­als have shown peo­ple feel more calm, and also ex­pe­ri­ence less mind-wan­der­ing and rest­less­ness when med­i­tat­ing us­ing TDCS. Re­searchers from Canada are also ap­ply­ing TDCS to yoga, with ini­tial re­sults in­di­cat­ing sim­i­lar ef­fects.

The out­comes are so pos­i­tive, Bad­ran and his col­league Baron Short are now test­ing a por­ta­ble TDCS de­vice called Zendo at med­i­ta­tion classes in ma­jor US cities, which will one day be avail­able for home use. It de­liv­ers an elec­tri­cal cur­rent through ad­he­sive elec­trode pads that feels like a “warm, tin­gling sen­sa­tion”, with the only known side ef­fect a lit­tle skin red­ness af­ter 15 min­utes. Om-az­ing.

Your move: While you wait for Zendo to switch on, you can har­ness the ef­fects of TDCS to fast-track phys­i­cal learn­ing with Halo Sport. These clever and crazy hi-tech head­phones stim­u­late the mo­tor cor­tex to help you pick up new move­ments faster – like your hand­stand scor­pion in yoga. Check it out (for a hefty price tag of about $700) at haloneuro.com.

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