How neuroscience is making football injuries heal quicker
Composed footballers play better
One thing that separates the best professional footballers is the ability to keep their heads amongst the chaos and perform consistently under pressure. Playing in front of tens of thousands on the biggest stage can affect the biggest names, despite their talent.
Composure, and staying in flow can be the margin that determines winners and losers. Some of the richest footballing prizes are often decided by one penalty miss, one clinical strike or one lapse of concentration. An individual can carry the mental weight of an entire club or even an entire nation's ultimate goal.
A certain level of stress can be beneficial for athletes. Firing their competitive spirit and providing extra motivation to excel. It can create an urgency to push themselves harder and accomplish goals. But, stress must be managed. Elite athletes are trained from a young age to block out the noise, get focused and stay calm. As we've seen in many a final or end-of-season run-in, this is easier said than done. Self-doubt, anxiety and lack of focus can grab hold. When this happens, the brain sends out messages that cause chemical responses in the body. Sweat, faster heartbeat, mental distractions and harder decision-making are just some of the effects.
Neuro hacking is becoming more and more talked about in the modern game. The ability to tap into an athlete's brainwaves and regulate their mental state can be a game-changer and game-decider. NuCalm, with its patented, clinically proven neuroacoustic software, aims to do just that. Using music as a method to carry information to the brain, NuCalm is far more advanced than just some relaxing music. With NuCalm, a single track can be hundreds of times the size of a regular Spotify track; you know something special is happening.
How the brain affects injury recovery
When using NuCalm, signals sent to the brain reliably change the mental state of the user; and when the user's brain waves oscillate in alpha and theta, the mind and body heal, restore, and recover at a higher rate, helping athletes to recover from injuries faster. Footballers today go to extreme lengths to ensure the best possible recovery post-training or game. Nutrition, ice baths and specific warm-down routines are performed consistently to achieve this. These methods are all standard practices for physical healing. Despite their benefits and a player's best efforts, injuries happen in football. One thing they can't effectively repair is the athlete's mental state, yet it's the mental state that dictates the pace of healing.
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NuCalm downregulates the stress response, lowers inflammation, lowers cortisol, improves immune strength, and increases resilience by guiding brain waves into the healing state of theta. Theta is just above deep sleep and is the state where cellular maintenance and restoration occurs. Athletes following their regular post-game routines whilst incorporating NuCalm into their recovery process heal faster, recover more fully, and sleep better And do so with minimal effort. By simply lying down in a comfortable place, putting on an eye mask and a pair of headphones, select the recovery setting on the NuCalm app, and let neuroscience do the work.
Why injury anxiety affects footballers
Football players and athletes, in general, are trained to function like finely tuned robots; physically, they are in the perfect condition to do so. But mentally, it's proved difficult to control the one thing that drives every decision on the pitch. No matter how physically prepared a player is, if their mental state holds them back, all the training ground hard work is rendered useless.
A footballer's mental state comes under scrutiny not only when they are performing but also when they're on the sidelines. Injury anxiety is a hurdle for players to climb, for older professionals who are likely to have experienced recurring injuries and even young players going through it for the first time. In common football-related injuries, such as pulled hamstrings or ankle sprains, the body instantly goes into survival mode, which involves pain and visible swelling. This overcompensation is how the body naturally protects itself and is called the 'inflammatory response'.
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Because of this unpleasant part of the healing process, players can be negatively affected mentally. Again, the brain is powerful; this negativity can chemically make the RTP [return to play] period longer. Of course, this is a natural human feeling and not something you can simply train out of a player. NuCalm looks to reduce this effect; it does so by suppressing the midbrain stress response and increasing the flow of oxygenated red blood cells to specific brain regions. Stress levels are directly linked to inflammation, therefore the ability to lower stress is critical for lowering the inflammation response. The science proves that NuCalm's technology reduces stress and anxiety, facilitating the optimal mental state for faster healing and recovery.