Apart from the traditional methods that help maintain your brain’s normal function, what if you could optimize your brain performance by combining conventional practices with technology? While it sounds like science fiction, biohacking has been around for a while and has opened a new door to health enhancement. Here are seven ways that make biohacking your brain possible.
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7 Ways for Biohacking Your Brain
Biohacking the brain might sound intimidating at first since it has to intervene with your normal brain activity. However, apart from some radical practices requiring technology, some other biohacking techniques might be simpler than you think. Before having a closer look at the seven ways biohackers enhance their brain performance, let’s find out what this unique practice is.
What Is Biohacking?
Biohacking is a do-it-yourself biological practice that combines body modification and technology to enhance performance and health. Biohacking can come in various forms, from taking biohacking supplements to embedding technologies such as electronic chips, magnets, and tattoos within the human body.
Biohacking experiments are often conducted outside of formal labs and institutions in the hopes of optimizing human physical and cognitive performance. These experiments can be non-profit enterprises designed for community learning or commercial purposes involving building a business.
Despite its unfamiliar terminology to many people, “biohacking” first emerged in the 1980s. The term “hacking” initially refers to finding new and creative ways to overcome obstacles, which, in this case, are the limits of human health.
Biohacking Your Brain in 7 Ways
Biohacking Your Brain by Diet
The simplest way to boost your brain is to provide your brain with sufficient nutrients and antioxidants. According to an article about the effects of nutrients on brain function by NCBI, some antioxidant foods positively affect the brain.
Alpha-lipoic acid, a coenzyme found in meats such as the kidney, heart, and liver, and vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and potatoes, helps repair memory deficiencies and reduce cognitive decay in patients with memory deficiencies.
Vitamin E has also been linked to cognitive performance, as vitamin E deficiency has been linked to poor memory performance in older people. Vegetable oils, almonds, green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals are high in vitamin E.
Curcumin is another antioxidant food that has proven to reduce memory deficits. Considering the high consumption of curcumin in India, it’s conceivable that it plays a role in its low Alzheimer’s disease prevalence.
Biohacking Your Brain by Exercising
According to research by the Mayo Clinic, the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can enhance mood and reduce anxiety by releasing endorphins and keeping your mind off worries. Exercise may also help avoid depression and stress once you’ve recovered.
The article also suggests that exercising 30 minutes or more for up to five days a week may dramatically alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms.
According to a review from NCBI, exercise mitigated depressive symptoms by −7.3 points in a literature search involving data from around 850 individuals. It also showed that the effect of exercise was comparable to that of cognitive therapy.
In a 16-week trial involving 156 older adults with major depressive disorder (MDD), participants engaging in regular exercise during the follow-up period ten months afterward were more than 50% less likely to be depressed. The trial also suggests that exercise and antidepressants were equally effective.
Biohacking Your Brain by Meditation
Meditation is an ancient practice that promotes a calm mind. It might sound conflicting at first when considering meditation as a biohacking practice. Nevertheless, various studies are proving the positive effects of this old technique on the brain.
In an 8-week test involving non-experienced meditators, 13-min daily guided meditation lowered anxiety, decreased negative mood state, improved attention, working memory, and recognition memory.
Biohacking Your Brain by Music
Music has long been considered a cure for the mind. While many people listen to music for relaxation, there are more benefits of implementing this simple practice. Several studies have indicated that music therapy can help individuals with stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and traumatic brain damage recover their natural range of movement.
Biohacking Your Brain by Neurofeedback
According to a review by NCBI, neurofeedback is a non-invasive, safe treatment for various issues and diseases, including ADHD, anxiety, depression, epilepsy, ASD, insomnia, schizophrenia, learning disabilities, and dyslexia. However, neurofeedback is expensive, time-consuming, and its effects are not long-lasting.
Biohacking Your Brain by Infrared Saunas
An infrared sauna makes use of infrared light to generate heat. This kind of sauna heats the body directly without heating the surrounding air. Several studies have looked into using infrared saunas to treat several chronic health problems, including ongoing headaches and dementia. So, consider trying an infrared sauna if you want to relax, as it might also help you improve your brain’s function.
Biohacking Your Brain by Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST)
Used in this therapy, a sensory isolation flotation tank is a dark, sound-reduced tank filled with skin-temperature saline solution. This therapy suggests that since a person floats on the surface of saltwater and is entirely separate from the outside world, the brain is expected to enter a deep state of relaxation.
Restricted environmental stimulation therapy might have certain benefits, such as muscular relaxation, improved sleep, pain relief, and reduced anxiety. This unique therapy also provides a variety of effects on the brain, from enhanced creativity to clearer thinking.
According to a study involving 50 participants, there were significant decreases in stress, muscular tension, pain, depression, and significant mood improvements, judged by the participants’ increases in serenity, relaxation, happiness, and general well-being.
Another study including 65 participants showed that after seven weeks of the flotation program, the participants improved their optimism and sleep quality, apart from reduced stress, depression, anxiety, and pain. The study also showed a connection between mindfulness and consciousness during the flotation tank relaxation.
Humans now can control their biology through medicinal, dietary, physical, and technological means. Up until now, with adequate evidence proving its effectiveness, it’s fair enough to say biohacking has all the potential to elevate your brain performance.
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