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Balancing Your Brain Can Change Your Life

Image of BrainJoy logo

 Story by Cheri Hammons


“As a client, I can say with all certainty that the technology that BrainJoy offers is not like any other I have experienced. The session made a significant, positive difference in my outlook on everyday life. I have RLS (restless leg syndrome) and now I can sleep though the night. I am living proof that it works. Thank you, BrainJoy!”

DM, Medford


“I’m so grateful to BrainJoy for the beautiful changes in my 14-year-old son after one full intensive. He sleeps through the night again, went from poor math scores to A’s and has an elevated overall disposition.”

KG, Medford


“I was astonished at the results after going through the BrainJoy experience. The clarity and sense of wellbeing gave me the ability to work at what I consider my maximum potential.”

KF, Medford


Brainwave Optimization™ may sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, but this holistic treatment is making waves, so to speak, as an alternative form of therapy that helps with a wide range of issues such as focus and memory, depression, anxiety and sleep problems.

“I think of brainwave optimization as neurofeedback on steroids for the 21st century,” says Kathleen Kellenbeck of BrainJoy, a Brainwave Optimization™ center in Medford. Kellenbeck is a Master Certified Brainwave Technologist with a 30-year combined background in western and alternative healing, and the medical and high tech industries. She and her husband opened BrainJoy, an affiliate of Brain State Technologies, which is based in Arizona, in 2011 after discovering and using the therapy themselves.

Brainwave Optimization™, simply put, is a high-tech form of sound therapy designed to balance the frequencies of the brain. Electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors are placed in key locations around the head and on the earlobes where they, in real time, measure the activity in the brain. The sensors receive that information and send it to a computer where software translates the data into the sound of healthy brainwaves. The brain resonates with the musical tones to achieve functional balance and harmony.

“The front of the brain, for example, is responsible for executive functions like planning, memory and intellectual interpretation of emotions. If we find the frequencies in charge of sleep disproportionately busy in the front that’s going to cloud your ability to focus,” explains Kellenbeck. “So we’ll target the sleep frequencies in the frontal lobe by generating musical tones based on the information received by the sensors together with instructions we provide to the computer. When the brain hears those sounds it recalibrates.”

As the client lies in a relaxed position, the sounds are played through ear buds. Positive changes in the brain begin developing in response to hearing the sounds. The end result is balance and harmony in the brain.

“The musical tones ‘reset’ the brain to an auto-calibration of sorts. The pitches and rhythms are all unique to the individual, to each session, moment to moment, location to location because the sensors are reading brain activity in real time, 256 times per second, so it’s really customized,” says Kellenbeck.

She cites successes with clients who have suffered everything from traumatic brain injuries and many forms of addiction, to children with learning disabilities and behavior disorders. And this author can attest—as a mother whose baby has not given her a full night’s sleep in nearly a year—that treatment had a positive effect on the new mom brain fog even of the best of us are stricken with.

Treatment is set up as a series of 12 sessions and an assessment. Each session is 90 minutes long, with the first 10 sessions in close succession—two a day for five consecutive days, for example. “We want to have the momentum of one session upon another strengthening the positive changes that are occurring so they can become dominant,” she says.

“The brain registers accumulation of stress as trauma and while our response to a circumstance may be the very best it could be in the moment, the brain can sometimes get stuck in those patterns.” Kellenbeck explains. “One may learn new healthy behaviors but if the brain is out of balance it’s going to be really hard to be consistent with them. Once the brain comes into balance, one has a greater capacity to make healthier choices, have healthier responses, and to be able to see the forest through the trees, really.”

1007 E Jackson St, Medford

Grant to Fund Expansion of Brainwave Studies at Wake Forest Baptist School of Medicine

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Feb. 24, 2012 – The Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation has
awarded a $600,000 grant to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to expand the brainwave
research program directed by Charles H. Tegeler, M.D.
A 2011 grant from the foundation allowed Wake Forest Baptist to launch a research study for
migraine headaches using Brainwave Optimization™, a non-invasive technology that helps the
brain achieve balance in neural oscillations.

Previous research work using the technology – known as High-resolution, Relational,
Resonance-based, Electroencephalic Mirroring™ (HIRREM™) – for primary insomnia, was
very promising. The new grant will allow Tegeler and his team to continue the migraine study
and expand their work on insomnia, while adding research projects on mild cognitive
impairment (MCI), and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

“This new technology is intended to facilitate greater balance and noise reduction in brain
functioning, which may result in improved symptoms,” said Tegeler, the McKinney/Avant
Endowed Professor of Neurology and the primary investigator for the study. “We hope to find
new solutions for a number of conditions that are significant health issues for society, illnesses
that affect large numbers of people and for which safe, effective, non-invasive treatments are

Tegeler said if these new studies turn out as expected, Wake Forest Baptist will be able to
compete for additional support, including federal funding, while expanding the research
program to include other important clinical conditions. He said that the ongoing migraine study
could not have been realized without the grant from Susanne Collins and her foundation.
“Her support made it possible to hit the ground running and cut years off the research timeline,
which will make it available more quickly for people who need it,” Tegeler said.
Describing the processes behind brainwave research, Tegeler said the human brain is made
up of the left and right hemispheres that work together as parallel processors— normally with
balanced progression of amplitudes and frequencies from front to back as well as side to side.
When a person undergoes trauma or a major stressor, he explained, the autonomic response
for survival kicks in, and the brain pattern can become unbalanced as a result. If the brain fails
to re-balance itself, Tegeler said, it can lead to further adverse health effects, such as difficulty
sleeping, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Brainwave Optimization™ uses sensors affixed to the scalp and connected to a computer to
detect the brainwaves of various brain lobes. A brainwave is electromagnetic energy that can
be broken down into amplitudes and frequencies. Higher frequencies have more cycles per
second and, relative to sound, are at a higher pitch on a musical scale.

To reflect the brain’s own balanced wave patterns back to itself, the frequencies are assigned
a musical tone, and played back to the subject via ear buds. As the brain resonates with the
transmitted sounds, changes occur in the neural network. Measuring these changes and
scientifically evaluating their effects are important in determining whether there are positive
outcomes, as well as for evaluating the possibilities of future treatments for health issues such
as insomnia, MCI or TBI.

“We are learning how the brain can balance itself, or autocalibrate,” Tegeler said. “There had
been many anecdotal reports of benefits with Brainwave Optimization™ but no randomized
clinical research trials, performed under Institutional Review Board-approved protocols.
Thanks to this generous grant from the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, we are on the
way toward finding safe, effective, non-invasive solutions for the management or prevention of
these important clinical disorders.”

NHL Kurt Sauer: How Brainwave Optimization™ Changed My Life

Kurt Sauer, Phoenix Coyotes defenseman and NHL All-Star, has “gone through the last 20-some months, trying to figure out what is going on.”
After nearly two years of searching for a solution for headaches, constant pain, lack of energy and sleep problems, Kurt came to Brain State Technologies®. With the help of founder Lee Gerdes, Kurt looked to turn back the clock to a time before he was cross-checked into the boards during a game against the Anaheim Ducks. This destructive hit left Kurt with a severe concussion and whiplash that has prevented him from playing the game he loves.

“I felt like I had a knife in the back of my shoulder blade; tingling made a line across the top of my head. There was a throbbing pain in my temples on both sides and then my vision went off. For two more weeks, I tried to play hockey. It didn’t work. I wasn’t doing well. Basically, I pulled the plug on myself after I tried to do a conditioning drill and it made me dizzy where I had the spins.” Kurt has seen doctors specializing in the neck, spine and brain. According to Kurt, no one has been able to make a clear diagnosis.“We’ve basically went through the last 20-some months, trying to figure out what is going on. Not one symptom has gotten better or disappeared. I did the medical. I went through the doctors. I went through vestibular. I went through physical therapy for my neck. I went through chiropractors, acupuncturists, doctors; multiple, MRIs, the whole works. Nothing yet has worked, so when I heard about Brainwave Optimization™, I was ready to learn more.” After his first series of sessions, Kurt was sleeping better, his headaches were improved, and he had more energy.

“The technology is phenomenal. The biggest change for me is waking up in the morning. I have way less of a headache; a lot less – where now it’s easy to wake up. I even got to play football yesterday with my little boys and I didn’t feel like it knocked me out at all. That was the a first time in two years so that was great.”