Upgrade your Brain - Upgrade your Life. Neuroplasticity, Neurogenesis, Brain Waves, Brain Health.
Updated: Sep 26
I am happy to introduce one of our facilitators at the Ultimate Wellness Retreats at the Faena Hotel, Miami Beach - Toby Pasman. Toby is the founder of NeuroFlex, a mobile and online peak-performance brain training and assessment service based in South Florida. He is a board-certified Neurophysiology Trainer who assists clients in implementing evidence-based tools and techniques to maximize their brain performance.
Our attendees will have the opportunity to learn how to enhance their Brain, Mind, and Life with science-backed strategies and advanced biohacking technologies, courtesy of Toby Pasman. At the retreat, we are not only going to learn but also explore such technologies and devices as Brain Mapping, Neurofeedback, tDCS Brain Photobiomodulation, and Audio-Visual Entertainment. This includes customized sessions with Zen (theta), Calm (alpha), Focused (beta), or Mood (gamma) modes.
The 3-day Ultimate Wellness Retreat program is designed for your Complete Reset Across All Levels: Spiritual, Psychological, Emotional, and Physical. It includes education on all pillars for longevity.
Toby works extensively with clients who already have well-functioning brains but are looking to reach the next level, whether in business or athletics. They want to go from good to great. I believe that many members of the Ultimate Wellness community share the same mindset. We don't want to just survive but thrive and perform to our full potential.
The concept of consistency in training is quite familiar in the realm of physical fitness, where we all understand the benefits of strengthening our muscles and improving our cardiovascular fitness, even when there's no apparent problem. However, training the brain is not as commonly understood. Many people don't take action to improve their brain function until something goes significantly wrong. That's when they seek out a psychiatrist or another mental health professional who might prescribe medications or other treatments.
Toby takes a very comprehensive approach to brain assessment and training. At one of the last Ultimate Wellness events, Toby shared his personal story and his knowledge on Neuroplasticity, Neurogenesis, Brain Waves, Brain Health with our conscious community:
Toby Pasman - Founder NeuroFlex. Neuroplasticity, Neurogenesis, Brain Waves, Brain Health.
"My background is in neurophysiology research, and I have a Master's in psychology, as well as a couple of board certifications in both brain mapping and neurofeedback.
Brain mapping is essentially a measurement of the electrical activity of the brain. It involves measuring five major brain waves to determine if there's under activity or overactivity in different frequencies and how that relates to conditions like depression, anxiety, sleep issues, and more. Neurofeedback, on the other hand, goes beyond assessment and includes a set of technologies and tools that allow us to harness the power of neuroplasticity to rewire our brains and adjust various frequencies to promote balanced brain waves and restore optimal brain health.
We'll dive deeper into these topics shortly. Additionally, I'm a certified human potential coach through the Human Potential Institute. While I primarily focus on the biological aspects of brain activity with the technologies I work with, there's another crucial side: psychology.
Now, let me share a bit about my personal journey. I struggled significantly with social anxiety while growing up. An event like this, public speaking, would have been a nightmare for me. Alongside social anxiety, I experienced isolation and depression. When I reached college, I started having what I later learned were panic attacks. Somewhere along this journey of dealing with these symptoms, I realized that they didn't define who I was at my core. They were the result of how my brain was functioning biologically. That's when I decided to understand what was happening so I could improve my brain.
I began working at a Rehab Clinic in Deerfield Beach, Florida, under the guidance of Dr. Nicholas Dogress, a leading expert in applied psychology. I immersed myself in learning about these topics. Fortunately, we had access to neurofeedback and neurostimulation equipment after work, and I was able to get a brain map before undergoing any training.
The top image in the map represents brain activity. Lighter colors, such as green and blue, indicate under-activity, while darker colors indicate normal and average activity.
Alright, let's talk about brain waves. The brain relies on both chemicals, like oxytocin and serotonin, and electricity to function. However, to assess the chemical side, we would need to perform a spinal tap. Therefore, in my field, we focus on different frequencies, each with distinct functions, similar to neurotransmitters. For example, serotonin is crucial for mood, and oxytocin plays a key role in social bonding. Similarly, different brain waves are responsible for various aspects of cognition.
Starting with the slowest brain wave, Delta, it's most active during deep sleep. When functional changes occur in the brain, even when structural changes aren't visible on an MRI, we can detect them with a brain map.
Moving on to Theta, this wave is associated with light sleep and deep meditative states. Theta is linked to emotional processing and "aha" moments—those moments of insight and integration that occur during meditation.
Then there's Alpha, the bridge between wakefulness and relaxation. It's often seen when we're awake but resting.
Beta, our most common waking state, is associated with alertness and focused attention.
Lastly, there's Gamma, the fastest brain wave. It's interesting to note that gamma waves tend to become stronger with more extended meditation practice, leading to increased present-moment awareness and enhanced consciousness.
Among these brain waves, none are inherently good or bad; they each serve unique functions.
Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis
Now let’s talk about Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis for a moment. It used to be believed that as the brain fully developed, brain cells would die off due to stress or substance use. That's no longer the case; your brain constantly forms new connections and pathways through neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is crucial, and it's the reason behind the ski slope image you see here. It's also a significant aspect of ongoing research in the realm of psychedelics. Psychedelics tap into neuroplasticity, allowing individuals to experience new perspectives, often resulting in long-lasting changes even after the effects wear off. It's like hitting the brain's reset button. When we observe extensive Delta activity in a waking state, it often signifies drowsiness and reduced attention. It indicates insufficient blood flow and oxygen to the brain, affecting its optimal performance.
Neurostimulation is one of the technologies Toby will present at the upcoming Ultimate Wellness Retreat at the Faena Hotel from November 17-19. When we introduce neurostimulation, many individuals experience improvements in depressive symptoms, as measured by tools like the Hamilton depression inventory. This specific montage inhibits the right prefrontal cortex while stimulating the left frontal lobe, resulting in increased blood flow, oxygen, and activity in the stimulated area. It also leads to a greater release of GABA, our primary inhibitory neurotransmitter.
Neurotechnology, like audiovisual entertainment, allows us to modify brain rhythms through our ears, similar to how meditation and psychedelics can alter brain activity. It increases the production of feel-good neurochemicals, such as serotonin, which plays a crucial role in mood regulation. Near-infrared light therapy involves the absorption of heat energy by mitochondria, the cell's powerhouses, leading to increased ATP synthesis and improved cellular energy. It also triggers the release of nitric oxide, a neuromodulator that influences brain function. So, neurofeedback essentially retrains the brain to make it more effective.”
Holistic Approach to your Brain Health
Remember that just as you train your body, you should also train your brain. However, it's not only important to train your brain using biohacking technologies and devices, but also to take a holistic approach through balanced nutrition, rest, supplementation, physical activities, stress management, and other pillars for health optimization. We will explore this comprehensive approach to brain health and overall well-being at the Ultimate Wellness retreat at Faena Hotel, Miami Beach.
One of the fundamental pillars for longevity is stress reduction. So, it is not surprising that the foundational cause of cognitive impairment and memory issues, according to the National Institute of Health, World Health Organization, and numerous other experts, is stress. More specifically, it's the brain and nervous system's inability to adapt to and recover from stress.
I'm not talking only about mental, emotional, and spiritual stress such as fear, worry, excitement, anxiety, relationship issues, negative perceptions, bad attitudes, existential angst, and lack of purpose or hopelessness. I'm also talking about chemical and physical stress. Physical and biomechanical stress can be caused by trauma, micro-trauma, nerve compression, sleep depletion, and so on. Chemical, biochemical, and functional stressors include inflammatory foods, additives, pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, alcohol, caffeine, blood sugar fluctuations, prescription medications, antibiotics, recreational drugs, chemicals, metals, radiation, EMFs, OTC meds, exogenous hormones (BC), parasites, bacteria, fungi, viruses, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, allergies, and an overactive immune system.
Managing stress is crucial because we want to address the foundational causes rather than just masking symptoms. That is why we are dedicating a session to stress management at the upcoming Ultimate Wellness retreat at Faena Hotel, Miami Beach.
Here, I'd like to highlight eight domains for brain health and Alzheimer's prevention that you can implement in your life right now:
Low GL – Eat a low Glycemic Load (GL) diet.
Brain Fats – Include brain-boosting fats like Omega-3, Phospholipids, and vitamin D.
B Vitamins – Maintain low homocysteine levels with B vitamins.
Antioxidants – Consume foods and beverages rich in Anti-Ageing Antioxidants & Polyphenols.
Healthy Gut – A healthy gut is essential for a healthy brain.
Active Body – Engage in regular exercise to stay physically active.
Active Mind – Keep yourself socially and intellectually engaged.
Sleep & Calm - Prioritize quality sleep, maintain a sense of calm, and live purposefully.
Following all these recommendations and implementing biohacking technologies can bring about positive changes in your life. Once you've optimized your biology and have your brain functioning at its best on a biological level, it becomes much easier to make shifts in mindsets, beliefs, and habits. The psychological component becomes more manageable, allowing you to upgrade your mind and, as a result, your life.
Sending You Optimal Health & Ultimate Wellness,
Julia Smila - Consciousness Entrepreneur, Biohacker, FDN-Practitioner, Pranic Healer