Monday, November 12, 2018

Do we have the ability to create new Neurons as we get older?

Do we have the ability to create new Neurons as we get older?

Age has no influence. Those who have been labeled mentally challenged or “older” can benefit from neuroplasticity challenges. The rest of us can experience training for focus, concentration, logic and the ability to perceive sensory input for skill improvement.

The thought has been for years that the brain was “hard wired”.  Research assures us that every experience, every new thought, every movement of our bodies promotes brain growth and that age has no influence

Learning is not only possible but probable. In the right setting much progress can be made to improve short term memory and excite the brain to new heights of communication and socialization.

As you read you have serotonin altering the blood flow to various parts of your brain.  The serotonin sets off cascades of impulses and modified electrical vibrations to different parts of the brain.  This encourages brain cells to begin to “hold hands” and communicate to enhance connection to make new neurons for brain plasticity.

The secret ingredient to mental learning for brain plasticity revolves around the trust factors we support. We must trust our brains and believe they can change. Reciprocal trust is mandatory when learning any new mental function. We must trust our own brains and our brains must trust us to use its abilities.

Learning to use sound, color and movement sends an impacted message to the brain to wake up, connect and experience new neuronal growth. Specific training protocols have proven highly effective in developing new neuronal growth in the brain. Proof of such growth can be monitored through PET Scans. New neuronal growth can be traced and measured to trace specific growth in designated areas of the brain.
One of the more interesting factors in brain plasticity is the need for calmness when asking the brain to function well. To function at your highest level you must maintain a low arousal level. The brain cannot function at its best in stressful situations. Becoming anxious or upset delays the brain connection needed for maximum functional memory.

Vibration plays a vital role in the overall scheme of brain function. Frequency, the language of the body, helps connect the brain for growth. Color, light and sound have frequencies that influence the brain/mind/body connections. Brain waves are displayed in frequency; sound frequency and color frequency all merge giving impact to the brain for change. The frequency of movement also plays a role in this combination of stimulation for brain growth.
Many well known psychiatrists and neurology-based researchers have preset programs to develop brain-body connections. These programs center around mental exercises, diet, exercise and other well-known approaches to better mental health development. There are programs for neuronal growth and sensory integration to specifically develop new mental ability in children and adults through the use of light, sound and color frequencies as the base of these programs. Through brain stem stimulation, calmness development, attentional focus and self- confidence training exciting results have been recorded.

Because frequency is the language of the brain it becomes an advantage to use neurotechnology of light, sound and color to enhance brain function. The brain has four distinct types of brain waves: delta, alpha, beta and theta. All four are used daily to direct the thought processes of the brain to accomplish certain goals.. By developing the ability to calmly direct the brain processes, greater function is reached and new neuronal growth is accomplished. By developing emotional strength, self enhancement and healing emotions the brain becomes healthier and ready to function at an enhanced level. Light and sound devices provide step-by-step approaches for developing a calm, capable growing brain.

It is important to remember that for four hundred years we have thought that we died with the same brain we were born using. Research has now proven that we have the ability to make new neurons for our brains to keep them young, fluid and useful.

Neuroplasticity improves Learning and Memory

Neuroplasticity improves Learning and Memory

Our brain’s ability to delete older neuronal synaptic networks while editing and generating newer networks improves learning and memory. The more neuronal synapses that are activated can increase our learning ability. These synaptic triggers can alter pre-existing networks for better efficiency or create new neuronal connections for overall density. 

Synaptic transmission occurs when something new is learned, and immediately ‘sent’ to short-term memory. Short term memory impulses then electrochemically transform into long-term memories through reverbration. The brain is a massive neuro-communication center. It is constantly learning and remembering, building new and negating old synaptic connections. Through learning to focus, to be totally aware of your mental, emotional and physical state of being, and knowing that you can achieve the desired brainwave state at will, is the basis of brainwave focus training.

Learning affects the brain in two different ways, neither of which would be possible without the unique plasticity of our brains. In response to a new experience or novel information, neuroplasticity allows either an alteration to the structure of already-existing connections between neurons, or forms brand-new connections between neurons. The latter leads to an increase in overall synaptic density, while the former merely makes existing pathways more efficient or suitable. In either way, the brain is remolded to take in this new data and, if useful, retain it. While the precise mechanism that allows this process to occur is still unclear, many researchers theorize that long-term memories are formed successfully when something called “reverbration” occurs. When we are first exposed to something new, that information enters our short-term memory, which depends mostly upon chemical and electrical processes known as synaptic transmission to retain information, rather than deeper and more lasting structural changes such as those mentioned above. The electrochemical impulses of short-term memory stimulate one neuron, which then stimulates another. The key to making information last occurs only when the second neuron repeats the impulse back again to the first. This is most likely to happen when we perceive the new information as especially important or when a certain experience is repeated fairly often. In these cases, the neural “echo” is sustained long enough to kick plasticity into high gear, leading to lasting structural changes that hard-wire the new information into the neural pathways of our brains. 

These changes result either in an alteration to an existing brain pathway, or in the formation of an all-new one. In this way, the new information or sensory experience is cemented into what seems, at its present moment, to be the most useful and efficient location within the massive neurocommunication network. Further repetition of the same information or experience may lead to more modifications in the connections that house it, or an increase in the number of connections that can access it as a result of the amazing plasticity of our brains.

Neuroplasticity is the saving grace of the damaged or disabled brain. Without it lost functions could never be regained nor could disabled processes ever hope to be improved. Plasticity allows the brain to rebuild the connections that, because of trauma, disease, or genetic misfortune, have resulted in decreased abilities. It also allows us to compensate for irreparably damaged or dysfunctional neural pathways by strengthening or rerouting our remaining ones. While these processes are likely to occur in any number of ways, scientists have identified four major patterns of plasticity that seem to work best in different situations. Take the case in which healthy cells surrounding an injured area of the brain change their function, even their shape, so as to perform the tasks and transfer the signals previously dealt with by the now-damaged neurons at the site of injury. This process, called “functional map expansion,” results in changes to the amount of brain surface area dedicated to sending and receiving signals from some specific part of the body. Brain cells can also reorganize existing synaptic pathways. This form of plasticity, known as a “compensatory masquerade,” allows already-constructed pathways that neighbor a damaged area to respond to changes in the body’s demands caused by lost function in some other area. Yet another neuroplastic process, “homologous region adoption,” allows one entire brain area to take over functions from another distant brain area (one not immediately neighboring the compensatory area, as in functional map expansion) that has been damaged. And, finally, neuroplasticity can occur in the form of “cross model reassignment,” which allows one type of sensory input to entirely replace another damaged one. Cross-model reassignment allows the brain of a blind individual, in learning to read Braille, to rewire the sense of touch so that it replaces the responsibilities of vision in the brain areas linked with reading. One or several of these neuroplastic responses enable us to recover, sometimes with astonishing completeness, from head injury, brain disease, or cognitive disability.

How Are Pulsed Light and Sound Frequencies Associated With Brainwaves?

How Are Pulsed Light and Sound Frequencies Associated With Brainwaves?

Brainwaves are the electrical wave patterns generated in every individual’s brain. These waves vary according to level of consciousness, subconsciousness and unconsciousness and are characterized by four distinctive types of brainwaves. Each of these electrical wave patterns contain distinctly different ways of perceiving, processing, learning and knowing information. All of these brain waves are produced at all times. However, a predominance of a specific desired brainwave state can be created at will, which allows an individual to maximize his or her capabilities towards achieving peak human excellence.

Researchers have proven that brainwave frequencies determine what brainwave state is being experienced at any given time by measuring the production of brainwaves through the utilization of EEG (electroencephalogram) instrumentation. The frequencies that produce these various brain states can be tracked on a computer monitor. As mentioned earlier, these frequencies are generated in every person's brain, and are the result of outside stimulation that has been passed to the brain via electrical signals from our different senses. Pulsed light and sound frequencies stimulate the neural activity of our vision and hearing, and can safely direct our minds to produce specific frequencies that are associated with the four general brainwave categories. That tidbit of information comes courtesy of Michael Hutchison back in 1992. Michael was a pioneer in light and sound frequency stimulation and an important contributor towards the growth and understanding of light and sound instrumentation.


Brainwave frequencies are described in terms of hertz (Hz), or cycles per second and are measured by an electroencephalogram (EEG). The four general categories of brainwave frequencies and their main characteristics are:

Delta brainwaves range from five-tenths to three hertz (0.5-3Hz) and are associated with being extremely relaxed, characterized by sleep.

Theta brainwaves range from four to seven hertz (4-7Hz), characterized by being deeply relaxed and inwardly focused. This brainwave state is also associated with rapid learning and the assimilation of new information with high retention, heightened motivation to activate goals, bursts of creativity, insight and new behavior patterns.

Alpha brainwaves are a frequency pattern ranging from eight to twelve hertz (8-12Hz). They most commonly occur when we are calm and relaxed, yet mentally alert. These brainwaves are also present during daydreaming.

Beta brainwaves are the next highest frequency pattern, ranging from thirteen to thirty-four hertz (13-34Hz), and can be separated into three sub-categories. The first is high beta, ranging from nineteen to thirty-four hertz (19-34Hz). When high beta is the dominant brainwave state, anxiety and stress are most likely to occur. The second sub-category is mid beta, with frequencies ranging from fifteen to eighteen hertz (15-18Hz). Mid beta is characterized by action, with focus on external surroundings. The third is SMR beta (Sensorimotor Rhythm), ranging from thirteen to fifteen hertz (13-15Hz). While in this state, focus is also on external surroundings, but the individual is more relaxed than in mid beta.

Generally speaking, beta brainwaves are characterized by logical, analytical and intellectual thinking, verbal communication and awareness of surroundings.

Gamma brainwave frequencies are a high frequency pattern beginning at thirty-five hertz. There has been some evidence that gamma frequencies are associated with states of peak performance. Most light and sound instruments have the capability to generate gamma frequencies. While in this brainwave state, sensations are centered on being mentally, emotionally and physically "charged" or extremely energized. These frequencies are the highest known brainwave patterns, but are considered to be part of the beta frequency category.




Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Will a Mind Machine help me get to sleep?

Will a Mind Machine help me get to sleep?

What happens when you are ready for a good night’s sleep? Do you rehash the activities of your day as you close your eyes? Do you think about what needs doing for tomorrow? Do you find all this thinking is keeping you from going to sleep and you end up becoming anxious? Just way too much brain chatter! Try a mind machine. Choose one of the built-in sessions targeting  Delta brainwave frequencies found on almost every light and sound mind machine. Stop focusing on those ‘got done’ and ‘to do’ lists and just allow your mind drift. So many people have benefited from this approach. 

Delta brainwave frequency programs are for going to sleep. If you suffer from any type of sleep disorder, such as insomnia, bruxism (teeth grinding) or experience nightmares, seek professional medical help. Your light and sound unit can be the ideal "at home" adjunct to the professional treatment you receive. Psychologists have observed that utilizing light and sound mind machines in this fashion will assist patients who have a sleep dysfunction as part of their symptom pattern get to sleep easier and remain asleep. 

Medication that aids us in falling asleep can often linger through the next morning. Delta brainwave sleep sessions do not do that- you awake refreshed. Try these sessions for jet lag or adjusting to shift changes at work. These delta frequencies are all you need when you are unable to fall asleep on your own.
Delta brainwaves are the deepest frequencies (.5-3 Hz) we produce. When we are in the delta brainwave state, we are asleep. All kinds of external noise can prevent us from going to sleep and so can internal "brain chatter". How do you deal with it? Do you take a pill? They have certain disadvantages. Some pills that help you fall asleep have a morning after "hangover" effect that can impair your concentration. They can be dangerous should you awaken during the night and find you must get out of bed. Sleeping pills may also induce tolerance and dependence, and they may interact dangerously with other medication and alcohol. Mind machines are safe and effective alternatives for falling asleep. 

Make sure the light and sound instrument you purchase has at least one session to help you fall asleep. You could live in the middle of nowhere with only the chirping of crickets in the background, but if your mind is active, going to sleep can be difficult. 

Here are some reasons for using a sleep session:
-Shift change at work.
 -Cannot stop thinking about the day's events.
-New surroundings/staying in a hotel.
-Over tired.
-Thinking about what will happen tomorrow.
-Jet lag/crossed too many time zones.
-Too much outside noise / barking dogs, sirens, etc. -Ate too much / cannot get comfortable.
-Have a new family addition (infant, puppy). -Feeling excited / have nervous energy. 

After thirty years of being a mind machine distributor, many clients have gotten married and started families. A newborn at home can really turn "sleep time' into turmoil. In an effort to regulate the newborn's sleep cycle, many have utilized delta frequencies. They also use it for them- selves. And as their newborns have become toddlers and infants, getting their little ones to go to sleep can oftentimes be very difficult. The sleep sessions are perfect for times like these, for both you and the infant. Do they wake you up in the middle of the night because they are thirsty? Many of us have been in that situation. If there is a problem, fine, we deal with it. But how many times has the real reason been because they like to see mommy or daddy try to function while still in the throes of sleep? Run a delta session! Many parents have tried this approach and it really works. The session is like a sleep trainer. Go to sleep. Stay asleep. Get a good night's rest. That's what it is all about.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Biofeedback Training vs. Mind Machines: What Everyone should know…

Biofeedback Training vs. Mind Machines: What Everyone should know…

Biofeedback is a method for treating people to improve their health by using electrical signals from their own bodies. Therapists and psychologists use biofeedback to help stressed and anxious patients learn to relax and to help their clients cope with pain.

We all know something about biofeedback. It’s about learning to alter our brainwaves with no outside help. And when we achieve the targeted brainwave frequency, our mind receives an audio or visual reward. It works. Repetition is key to progressing. The more you practice the better you get. But if you don’t personally have a biofeedback system, making appointments to visit a biofeedback technician can get expensive.

There is a good chance you have already used a form of biofeedback. For instance, have you ever gone outside to walk your dog on a cold and blustery day? Your body told you it was cold, prompting you to wear a jacket. How about when you stand on a scale and it shows you gained weight? Time to consider doing a little cutting back. And at sometime in our life we have had our temperature taken, thinking perhaps we are exhibiting signs of illness. If you were running a temperature higher than 98.6, then would be a good time to rest and drink liquids, and of course, contact your physician. Clinician’s machines can find a person’s internal bodily functions with much greater sensitivity and precision than in the past. The results of each biofeedback session are valuable for both the client and the clinician, as the information can be applied to gauge and direct the next treatment session.

Biofeedback training can be demanding on patients. Patients need to review their daily routine to learn if they are contributing to their own negative feelings. Patients need also personally commit to practicing biofeedback training awareness or relaxation exercises every day. They must change their routine, their day-to-day lifestyle, and accept much of the responsibility for maintaining their own health.

There is absolutely nothing wrong about going to see your physician or therapist for alleviating anxieties, modifying behavior and a myriad of other symptoms biofeedback has proven effective in treating. The drawbacks are the time it takes to adequately overcome your unwanted symptoms, the amount of practice necessary to progress, the need for scheduling multiple appointments and the cost of each visit.

So keep it simple. One method for determining your current level of stress is measuring your GSR (Galvanic Skin Response). GSR refers to changes in your sweat gland activity that are reflective of the intensity of your emotional state. If biofeedback is your method of choice, there are several at-home GSR-measuring devices that can be beneficially adjunctive to the treatment you receive from your biofeedback clinician, devices like the Thoughtstream with Mental Games, Biodots and Aware Squares.

With biofeedback the participant must produce the targeted brainwave frequency with no outside help. Yes, that does take time and a lot of practice. There is an alternative. Mind machines are the opposite of biofeedback. Instead of trying to produce the targeted frequency all on your own, mind machines contain programs that guide the mind’s brainwaves to a specific brainwave frequency with absolutely no effort on the part of the participant. No need to see a clinician for guidance, mind machines have proven to be highly beneficial and cost-effective alternatives for those seeking improved daily performance and increased wellness.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Everyone with Pre-Op and Post-Op Anxiety should know about this…

Everyone with Pre-Op and Post-Op Anxiety should know about this… 

Outpatient procedures happen. So do in-patient, only that’s worse because we feel like crap and have to stay there.

Just thinking about what is approaching, making lists of all the stuff at work and around the house that we have to do beforehand, can raise our anxiety level. That’s not even counting appointments for blood work, x-rays, EKG, pulmonary exams, ct-scan and pre-op physical from our primary care physician. No aspirin, Motrin and herbal supplements 7 days prior to surgery. And what about your Living Trust’s advanced healthcare directive? Anxiety loves to get in our heads during times like this! And we need to approach the whole thing with a positive mental attitude?

I have found that putting a lid on all my brain chatter so I can allow myself the opportunity to focus, to create a mental list/schedule/timeline to follow leading up to surgery is primary, and my anxiety decreases with every checkmark I make next to my list. How I do it is with my iphone and Bluetooth lightframes and headphones. The Apple app is called mindLightz by Mindgear, Inc. and the Bluetooth lightframes and headphones are sold by Mindmachines.

There are six specific light and sound brainwave frequency sessions on my mindLightz Bluetooth mind machine that are definitely helping me. I want to stay feeling balanced, focused, and aware that my spouse is also feeling anxious. The mindLightz has 83 different sessions including a manual mode enabling the user the flexibility of choosing individual specifics such as Sound Effects, Binaural/Tone volume, Frequency adjustment, Pitch, Duty Cycle, Intensity and lightframe color selection. With all those parameters, finding sessions that meet your needs at any given time is quick and easy – simply use the slider bars for adjustments.

The six sessions I found that work best for me are the 15 minute Alpha Break (for relaxed attention), the 30 minute Deep Theta (a twilight state for deeply relaxed creativity), the 20 minute Problem Solver (for help in determining what comes first, then next, etc.), the 30 minute High Energy (for getting that fire lit under my rear), the 14Hz Trainer (smack in the middle of SMR) and the 45 minute Sound Sleep (for going to and staying asleep, much like a welcome power nap – not too long and not too short). I use various colors for my visual stimulation as they activate my brain’s  cortex into generating quite a colorful display for my mind to observe. I use cooler colors such as green and blue when targeting lower mental states like Theta and Delta, and warmer colors like yellow, red and orange while in high Alpha and Beta. Add the Bluetooth headphones, then choosing the music from my iTunes library and getting comfortable, and I am ready to spend the next mind entraining minutes shedding any anxious thoughts trying to barge their way in to my consciousness.

I have used my mindLightz for past medical procedures and I have been using it lately, prepping for my next surgery in two weeks. The mindLightz mind entrainment system keeps me relaxed, which helps everyone around me stay relaxed. Like I wrote in the beginning – medical procedures happen. Focus on yourself, focus on your family (especially the one who will be taking care of you during recuperation!) and forget about anxiety. High anxiety levels just screw things up.

The morning of an operation means having to fast. And plenty of time to think about what’s going to happen. A 20 minute Alpha session helps rid my vision of donuts, coffee, pancakes, and my mind of useless worry. And then it’s time to leave for the hospital, which causes my blood pressure to rise. A lot. 

After surgery and waking up in the intensive care unit after an operation, I’m struck by the realization that mentally, emotionally and physically I am in shock. My body is whacked, with IV lines in my neck, wrist and back of hand. The ICU nurses say multiple IV lines are necessary in case of emergency. OK. But it sucks.

Nurses are incredibly compassionate people. Normally I try to be, but after major surgery that’s not going to happen. When my wife comes in, we share our thoughts and concerns, and before she leaves she unpacks my iphone, mindLightz lightframes and headphones. We tell my nurse what it is, what I’ll be using it for, and she asks if I brought more than one. 

Since starting a regime of using mind machines for pre- and post-operative recuperation my body appears to heal quicker than expected and while hospitalized my need for pain-suppression medication has decreased without any major discomfort. The nurses have asked why I pass on my pain meds (I feel I don’t really need any at that time), the surgeons also find my response interesting, which has lead to several of them incorporating light and sound brainwave frequency stimulation into their answers to other patients interested in finding alternatives to (oftentimes highly addictive) pain medication.

The mindLightz light and sound mind machine is a non-intrusive method for dealing with the mental, emotional and physical discomforts of pre- and post-operative surgery.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Do Mind Machines really help People with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

Do Mind Machines really help People with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder

The individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder characteristics were the hunters of old, the warriors whose responsibilities included keeping others safe. The jobs assigned to these individuals included constantly monitoring the environment and to keep themselves fully aware of any dangers. Movement was of prime import, flexibility a desired talent.

Quick decisions and the ability to constantly change strategies through bursts of energy coupled with staying power were the marks of leaders. These people were to be envied because of their ability to think visually. They used actions rather than words and were easily bored longing for the hunt. They were praised for their ability to take risks and face dangers others avoided. They cared for those reliant individuals whose brains allowed them to sit around and engage in long range planning in a cautious manner. Some authors refer to this group as farmers, others think of them as planners and doers. The people who keep details in view as they plan realistically for the future.

Accordingly, if we subscribe to the description of differing individuals, we must try to understand how the more important people, responsible for keeping others alive, are today those individuals who find themselves in great stress and suffering from mental health problems. How did it happen that the “winners” are now seeing themselves as those needing help? Why are 25 million adults and children taking medications, seeing psychiatrists and suffering from stress related diseases when history portrays them as those responsible for the survival of others?

The question may arise as to the characteristic behavior of the ADD and ADHD individual. The following are some of these characteristics:

1. Easily distractible.
2. Possess short but intense attention spans.
3. Tend to make impulsive decisions.
4. Disorganized.
5. Distort time and space.
6. Difficulty following verbal directions.
7. Periodic depression or “down moods”.
8. High risk takers.
9. Easily frustrated.
10. Periodic anxieties.
11. Rapid talkers.

The above characteristics are shared by those individuals diagnosed as ADD or ADHD. Added to the above challenges is the fact that these individuals are hard on themselves and those around them.

We regularly receive calls from parents who have been told their son or daughter is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and told their child needs to start medication. Their first question is ‘at what age can my child use a light and sound mind machine?’  Most in neurotech feel comfortable replying age 5 or 6, but under the supervision of a professional clinician. They should discuss adding light and sound stimulation rather than starting medication with their child’s physician. See what he thinks. Most physicians are aware of the benefits of using light and sound stimulation. Even more are aware of the side effects when using medication.

With so many overlapping symptoms ADD and ADHD are difficult to differentiate, should their child actually have either one in the first place. Over the years with the learning and relaxation programs we’ve sponsored there have been some students that were misdiagnosed with a learning disorder, which is something that could follow them throughout their educational careers.  Best to be absolutely certain that a diagnosis is correct.

If ADD or ADHD is actually happening, how it’s treated depends on which side of the Atlantic Ocean you live on. In the United States ADD/ADHD is viewed as a biological disorder and treated with medication whereas Europeans view ADD/ADHD as a social disorder and treat it with therapy and counseling. Brainwave frequency generation as found in light and sound mind machines has been shown to be an effective therapeutic modality for treating the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.

The very best light and sound mind machine for those with ADD/ADHD is the DAVID Alert Pro by Mind Alive, Inc. Every session contained in the DAVID Alert Pro has been thoroughly tested and proven effective. The system comes complete and ready to use. customers can easily contact us for suggestions on how to maximize their light and sound session experiences and gain answers to questions and concerns when using light and sound stimulation for dealing with ADD or ADHD. 

For those of you who are seeing a clinician utilizing eeg/neurofeedback (NFB) training for targeting ADD and ADHD symptoms realize it takes several visits, oftentimes 30 or more, to see significant gains in brainwave focus. With appointments running $75 per session and higher, our customers are incorporating the DAVID Alert Pro mind machine into their NFB training. Most use their Alert Pro as an adjunctive modality at home to the NFB training they are receiving. Results indicate that this method increases their ability to achieve the desired brainwave state more easily, which in turn leads to better, more productive NFB training sessions.

ADD and ADHD affect people of all ages. Many struggle with other issues like depression, insomnia, anxiety and drug abuse. The DAVID Alert Pro by Mindalive has specific sessions designed for left hemispheric, right hemispheric and whole brain stimulation. These sessions gently guide your brainwaves to a specific brainwave state, editing and reinforcing your neuropathways through pulsed light, sound and cranial-electro-stimulation, with session’s end leaving you relaxed, refreshed and internally invigorated.

The DAVID Alert Pro comes complete with: Tru-Vu Omniscreen Eyesets and Carry Case, high-quality stereo headphones, stereo patch cord, CES earclip Stim cable, 9v battery, ac adapter, comprehensive owners manual with Symptom Survey Checklist and Heart Rate Variability ready.