Category Archives: Mindz in Public

Mindz Experiences in Sydney Top 10

It took us just over a year but the Sydney ‘Journey inside your Brain’ Experience has been ranked by AirBnb as number 7 in the top 10 Sydney Experiences.

Our experience differs greatly from other experiences in that it doesn’t showcase the beauty of Sydney or give a ‘physical’ experience like bush-walking, snorkeling or kayaking. It does take guests inside a 19th century Aussie pub for the experience and guests do love the irony of exploring their brain while having a beer!

We find 50% of our guests are locals or interstate visitors who want something a bit different or who are just interested in health, mindfulness and what makes them tick.

So far we’ve had 650 guests and over 200 5-star reviews. Special thanks to the AirBnB people for taking the risk on our ‘totally different’ experience and the hundreds of guests who’s stories and sense of humour never cease to amaze me.

Phil
Sydney Experience Host

#alco_off_365

As the founder of Mindz Brainplay, I decided if anyone was going to be the guinea pig to assess the impact of a year without alcohol on the adult brain it should be me.Β  I created the hashtag #alco_off_365 so that anyone can join me in my ‘suffering’ πŸ™‚ or post a comment on their own experience.

Mind you, this decision wasn’t easy. Two glasses of red with dinner most nights was standard. On weekends this might extend to three or four.

It’s also true I have a family history of dementia with my father having Alzheimer’s for seven years before he died. We know that alcohol induced dementia is common, yet there’s far more dementia patients who’s moderate drinking was not a cause. Many dementia patients have never touched the sauce.

How then, can a full year without alcohol impact the mature adult brain that’s used to moderate daily lubrication? At 63 years old, my brain is a little past its prime, yet certainly nowhere near it’s use-by date. I hope.

How will I assess my year?
As a citizen scientist and educator with an interest in both research based and story-oriented learning, I decided to evaluate my 365-day alcohol-free brain-shift both quantitatively and qualitatively. In other words, I did some basic tests, and also recorded how I felt as the year went on. I also recorded weight and exercise patterns.

For quantitative results, I took three tests before and after my booze-free year. These test are free and all online. I wanted to take tests that were quick and easy for anyone. Not laboratory quality, but indicative. For the tests and my first results…

1. The Short Term Memory Test from ‘Memory Health Check’. I did the Memory Test Challenge with animal pictures to score 72% with a 951ms response time. With the nature pictures I scored 72% with a 958ms response time.Β  Safe to say I scored an average 72%. Not great. Click HERE for the tests.

2. Food for the Brain Cognitive Function Test. I scored 50 which means I was above the norm for my age. A good thing. The test can be taken HERE.

3. Test my Brain Cognitive Speed test. I scored fairly poorly in this with:
β‡’ 7.67 in the Fast Choice test (below average for age)
β‡’ 6.75 in the Flickering Dot test (below average for age)
β‡’ 30.42 in the Fast Reactions Test (above average for age)
The test can be found HERE.

Read more

For qualitative results, I noted my observations before stopping alcohol and then every month according to these criteria:
β‡’ How did I physically feel on a scale of 1-10 + description?
β‡’ How was my social life on a scale of 1-10 + description?
β‡’ How did I feel on waking up on a scale of 1-10 + description?
β‡’ Did I regard my memory and cognitive function as worse, same or better?
β‡’ Did I regard my sleep as worse, same or better?

For my observations before stopping, click HERE.

Feel free to follow, join, comment or contribute to the Facebook page at Alco-off-365 or click HERE.

 

A 'Journey into your brain' Sydney Bookings open!

Our ‘Brain Journey’ 2-hour experiences are now in the top 10 Sydney experiences with over 500 people taking the journey in 2018.
Now you can book your session directly through our booking site – TryBooking.Β 
We provide a beer, wine or soft-drink, snacks and the full2-hour experience for up to 6 people at The Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills. It’s ideal for those wanting a taste of neuroscience without the jargon; an experience you can’t get anywhere else in the world.
The experience also suits those wanting to see how a session would work in a classroom or corporate setting. It’s educational and more fun than your brain can handle.

Before #alco-off-365

Before embarking on my 365 days of dryness, I wrote down some numbers and feelings. My answers are in blue.

β‡’ How did I physically feel on a scale of 1-10 + description?
On a scale of 1-10 I felt a 6. Muscle aches and not handling the gym as normal. Sciatica driving me crazy.
β‡’ How was my social life on a scale of 1-10 + description?
On a scale of 1-10 my social life was a 7. Pretty good. However, nearly every aspect of my social life revolved around alcohol. This worried me.
β‡’ How did I feel on waking up on a scale of 1-10 + description?
On a scale of 1-10, I’d mostly wake up feeling a 6 and take an hour and 2 x coffees to spark up. Sometimes I felt a 7 or 8 while at other times a 5. The average would be a 6.
β‡’ Did I regard my memory and cognitive function as worse, same or better?
My pre-#alco-off-365 cognitive function wasΒ  pretty good yet often my memory was terrible. I put it down to stress.
β‡’ Did I regard my sleep as worse, same or better?
My sleep pre-#alco-off-365 was pretty good yet I knew that on the nights I didn’t have wine with dinner I’d get very tired and be in bed by 8.30.