FAST TRACK IT TO ZEN
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.