Just as the name suggests, the goal of NeuroRelax is to practice creating a deeply calm brain state, also called a Deep Relaxation brain state. Ultimately, this game is intended to teach you how it feels to be deeply relaxed and give you the tools to replicate that state in your everyday life.
What is Deep Relaxation?
Deep Relaxation is a meditative brain state in which your mind is fully quiet and clear. In NeuroRelax, this state of Deep Relaxation will be represented by the three circles at the bottom of the screen being overlapped and glowing gold. You’ll also hear a distinctive sound to indicate that you are in a Deep Relaxation state. See below for a video with this sound.
What are the benefits of Deep Relaxation?
You may have noticed a rapid rise in the popularity of meditation and relaxation exercises over the past few years. This rise is due, in part, to the fact that meditation and deep relaxation have been shown to have a positive impact on both physical and mental health.
Published scientific studies indicate that regularly meditating or completing relaxation exercises may reduce anxiety and pain(1), improve concentration(2) and sleep(3), and increase self-control(4) and positive emotions(5). In addition, research suggests that meditation and mindfulness exercises may lower blood pressure(6), preserve immune health(5), and even reduce the cognitive effects of aging(7). The goal of NeuroRelax is to help you practice creating a Deep Relaxation brain state on a consistent basis so you may reap these benefits. The Kinetic Neuroscience App is a wellness product designed to promote and encourage healthy lifestyle choices. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition. If you have any questions or concerns about a medical condition, you should consult with your physician.
How do you play NeuroRelax?
It’s easy to start on the path toward Deep Relaxation. First, download the Kinetic Neuroscience App on the App Store. When you open the app, select the Relaxation experience when prompted. Next, put your headset on and go through the sensor verification process. If you need assistance getting connected, visit our support site. Before your start, read the in-app instructions and make sure the volume on your iDevice is turned on. Then, as indicated, close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply, and try to quiet your mind as you listen to the sounds.
What do the different sounds mean?
For instructional purposes, the sounds presented in the videos below have been isolated to make them more clear. Please note that, during NeuroRelax, you may hear multiple sounds together and their volume will be variable based on your success in the game.
Background Music: Throughout your entire NeuroRelax experience, you will hear this music in the background. This music is not affected by your brain state; it is designed only to indicate that the experience is ongoing.
Ocean Waves: As you begin to relax, you’ll hear the sound of ocean waves, which is designed to encourage even deeper relaxation. The ocean waves sound is associated with the orange circle at the bottom of the screen. The more you relax your mind, the more the orange circle will converge toward the center and the louder the ocean waves will become. If you begin to lose your relaxed brain state, the ocean waves sound will soften and eventually disappear.
Gong: Each time you reach a state of Deep Relaxation, the ocean waves sound will be joined by a deep, gong-like sound. At the same time, all three circles on your screen will converge and glow gold to indicate that you have reached the Deep Relaxation state. If you leave this Deep Relaxation state, the golden glow and the gong sound will disappear, and the circles may begin to separate.
Truly calming your mind in a deep and consistent way can be difficult, which is why we made NeuroRelax. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear the ocean waves or gong-like sounds, or if they disappear quickly. It may take time and practice for you to develop the tools for achieving a truly relaxed brain state.
If you become distracted by an incoming notification or start to worry about an upcoming appointment, the app will begin to play distinct sounds to notify you that your mind has become distracted or overactive. These sounds are designed to serve as a gentle reminder to remove any distractions, return yourself to center, quiet your mind, and work towards the Deep Relaxation brain state. You might consider putting your phone in “Do Not Disturb” mode while playing NeuroRelax.
Hum: As you start to become more alert and less relaxed, you’ll hear a low-toned humming sound. When this occurs, the green circle on the screen will move away from the center, indicating that you are exiting a fully relaxed mind state. Once you begin to calm your mind, this sound will quiet and the green circle on the screen will begin to converge toward the center.
Foghorn: If you continue to try too hard, or your mind becomes more busy or worried, a foghorn sound will play. At the same time, the blue circle on the screen will move away from the center. Try taking a deep breath, letting go of any repetitive thoughts, and avoiding over-thinking; this sound will dissipate and the blue circle will converge toward the center as you relax.
(2) Jha A.P., Krompinger J., & Baime M.J. (2007). Mindfulness training modifies subsystems of attention. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 7: 109. doi: 10.3758/CABN.7.2.109.
(3) Black DS, O’Reilly GA, Olmstead R, Breen EC, Irwin MR (2015). Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment Among Older Adults With Sleep Disturbances: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Intern Med.2015; 175(4):494–50. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8081.
(4) Tang Y., Tang R., Posner M. (2013). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Aug 2013, 110 (34) 13971-13975. doi:10.1073/pnas.1311887110.
(5) Davidson, R. J., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J., et. al. (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic medicine, 65(4), 564-570. doi: 10.1097/01.PSY.0000077505.67574.E3.
(6) Koike, M. K., & Cardoso, R. (2013). Meditation can produce beneficial effects to prevent cardiovascular disease. Hormone molecular biology and clinical investigation, 18(3), 137-143. doi: 10.1515/hmbci-2013-0056.
(7) Luders, E., Cherbuin, N., & Kurth, F. (2015). Forever Young (er): potential age-defying effects of long-term meditation on gray matter atrophy. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1551. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01551.