I always tell clients to turn on music when they do their cardio. Then pick music that inspires them to move. In most cases the beats per minute for workout music should exceed 120 beats per minute. While all of this is good advice, the music could be doing even more with the help of some new technology. Dopamine releasing headphones hit the market as a way to increase the amount of “happy” chemicals that’s released while listening. The combination of exercise and dopamine releasing head phones *could make you unstoppable!
How the Nervana System Works to Create Dopamine Releasing Headphones
The Nervana Generator can be pair with any music player, and then connected to the special Nervana headphones. These aren’t just any set of ear phones! They actually emit s low electrical impulse directly into the ear canal. The electrical impulse stimulate the vagus nerve. The beats of your music are paired with the electrical impulses which signal the vagus nerve in the brain to release dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. Since the headphones have a built in mic, you can also use them in live events such as concerts by using the “ambient” mode selection.
Since the device consists of 2 parts, the generator and the headphones, you are able to change the settings based on what you’d prefer to hear. The generator has 3 settings: Ambient, Formula, and Music. While on the “Music” mode it simply plays the music you’ve selected while stimulating your vagus nerve.. If you switch the device to “Ambient” mode, it replaces the music with sounds from the environment. “Formula” mode silences all noise and only stimulates the nerve.
This could be used for many purposes. Imagine meditating using the Formula mode, or relaxing on your lunch brake using the Ambient mode. You could even reenergize yourself by combining the music mode while working or using the music mode in combination with cardio.
Combining Dopamine Releasing Headphones with Your Workout
Let’s start by taking a closer look at what “happy” chemicals your brain releases when you workout. Endorphins are the primary chemicals released during exercise. Couple that with the Dopamine, Serotonin and Oxytocin and you could have a match made in heaven!
Endorphins (Released During Exercise)
If you’ve ever experienced a “runner’s high” then you know all about the endorphins released during exercise. When you exert yourself during exercise your body releases this chemical which interact with the receptors of the brain to reduce the perception of pain.
Endorphins also induce a happy feeling similar to morphine. This euphoric feeling is usually coupled with a positive outlook and increased energy.
Dopamine (Released with Headphones)
“Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain‘s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them. Dopamine deficiency results in Parkinson’s Disease, and people with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction. The presence of a certain kind of dopamine receptor is also associated with sensation-seeking people, more commonly known as “risk takers (source).”
Serotonin (Released with Headphones)
“There are many researchers who believe that an imbalance in serotonin levels may influence mood in a way that leads to depression. Possible problems include low brain cell production of serotonin, a lack of receptor sites able to receive the serotonin that is made, inability of serotonin to reach the receptor sites, or a shortage in tryptophan, the chemical from which serotonin is made. If any of these biochemical glitches occur, researchers believe it can lead to depression, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, panic, and even excess anger (source).”
Oxytocin (Released with Headphones)
“Oxytocin is a powerful hormone. When we hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin levels drive up. It also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. In fact, the hormone plays a huge role in pair bonding. Prairie voles, one of nature’s most monogamous species, produce oxytocin in spades. This hormone is also greatly stimulated during sex, birth, breast feeding—the list goes on (source).”
What People Are Saying about Nervana Headphones
Amanda Gutterman, a writer for Futurism, quoted a colleague who tried Nervana as saying, “I felt the electricity go into my arm, and everything was tingling there, but the best moment for me was afterwards when I finished and stood up. I felt like I reached a personal high point. I couldn’t stop smiling or laughing. I was like, ‘Oh wow’. For about five minutes, my happiness level was a 10 out of 10. Then it got foggier, but I was still unusually happy for about an hour.”
How Much Are Nervana Headphone?
While the you don’t have to pair the dopamine releasing headphones with exercise, why wouldn’t you?! You’re mostly likely already wearing headphones! On the flip side, if you haven’t had time to get to the gym that day or your having an extremly stressful day (or life), wearing these headphones to unwind could be the best way to stay positive and happy without extra medications!