Color me skeptical. I don’t believe everything I read. I like to try before I buy. I’m over 30 but I trust no one (under or over 30). I’m willing to try new gadgets but have learned to choose wisely.
As a wife, mommy of three, and aging Mac360 Value Vixen™, I’m willing to trade a few coins for any Mac app that does different. Here’s the story of an interesting Mac app that scared the bejesus out of me, and, to date, the only Mac app I’ve seen with a warning label.
You Only Get One Brain
Even if you’re a schizophrenic Mac user, you still only get one brain. As much as I want my brain to work better, it’s important to give due consideration to what goes into it, and why.
Skeptical or not, any Mac app with a promise and a warning label smacks of danger.
A dangerous Mac app automatically means I must try it. Why? Because, I’m an Apple Fan Grrl and I have learned to live dangerously. I let my children play with my Mac and my iPhone.
Yes, a child can accidentally call someone in China.
What attracts me to a brain changing Mac app? The hope of relief. The allure of digital drugs and drinks but without the side effects. Or, maybe it’s just me looking for a good time while my beloved San Diego Padres figure out a new way to fold before the season ends.
Shaping Brains For Fun And Profit
Brain Shaper is a Mac app that claims to improve concentration, put your brain into a meditative state, improve sleep, and invigorate the mind. Trust me. Being scared can be invigorating.
What it does is simple. Brain Shaper combines binaural beats (sound) and a series of flashing light patterns that move your mind into various states of consciousness. Somehow or another, Brain Shaper’s functions—the beats and the light patterns—have an effect on the mind.
So should the warning label:
WARNING: Brain Shaper creates a strobe light effect, people with photosensitive epilepsy should not use this program, as it may cause seizures.
Brain Shaper is simple to use and it’s actually easy to walk through each of the 11 brainwave entrainment sessions.
For example, the Active Concentration session raises your brain wave frequency to make you more alert. It’s like a big cup of coffee but without the crash. The Complete Meditation session works to match your circadian rhythm to keep you awake while being relaxed.
Brain Shaper is easy to set up and use. The control panel is straightforward even if you don’t fully know or appreciate the benefits of each aural and visual session.
There are two basic things I want my brain to do. The first is simple. When I’m awake, I want my brain to work better. Be more alert. Faster. Sharper. Clearer. The second is more of a desire. I want more sleep, better sleep, more restful sleep, feel refreshed after sleep.
Click on any of the 11 brainwave session buttons and you get a description of each. Click the Start button to enter that session. Options include changing the Ambient Audio (Pink Noise, Lullaby, Water, Rain), setting the session duration, adding a Secondary Tone and Visualizer.
What Happened To My Brain?
Brain Shaper is scary at first. Click Start and a bunch of weird sounds hit your headphones (I tried it first with our family room entertainment system connected to the Mac and it scared the bejesus out of my kids).
Over time the sounds are supposed to shape your brain to match the selected function. Click the visualizer and you’ll have a flashing yellow light hit your Mac’s screen, hence the warning label. It’s a little unsettling at first. No. Wait. It’s scary. I immediately had a vision of being held captive and yet captivated by some alien technology designed to force me to go to Walmart every day.
Combined, the tones, sounds, and visualizer definitely take your mind off whatever troubles you had before you clicked the Start button.
Does it work? I definitely felt relieved when the first session completed. Admittedly, the Active Concentration session made me feel the same as the hour after a visit to Starbucks, so it’s already less expensive than a non-digital pick-me-up.
More of the other sessions are tied to meditation and deep sleep than waking or concentration. So far, after trying multiple sessions (active and waking in the morning and meditation and sleeping at night) I don’t see any negative side effects. My credit card balance remains the same. Our dogs don’t bark at me when I walk by. My kids still know who I am. And my husband hasn’t asked who I am and what did I do with his wife’s body.
Again. Does it work? Brain Shaper does something. My sleep last night was pretty good—no one woke me asking for water or lights or a massage, so I feel good today. Good enough that I’ll try Brain Shaper again. If it works really well for me, than I’ll connect the Mac to the family room TV and plunk the kids down in front of it for an hour. Maybe they’ll take a longer nap.
The app itself is a Mac version of Brain Shaper for the iPhone so you can get your brainwave entrainment session on the go.