The Neuro-Shift Effect

An invention by R.R. Wayne, Ph.D.



What is it?

The Neuro-Shift effect offers a new way to release natural resourcefulness, boost resilience, and lower reactivity to seasonal allergens.



  • Onset in 2-3 minutes.
  • 10 minute application for effects lasting all day.
  • Employs common food substances and/or vitamins absorbed through the skin.
  • Amounts of active substances absorbed are very low.
  • Can be used in advance, or in the moment, when the need arises.


    How does it work?

    The user applies a topical preparation of a neuro-active food substance, herb, or dietary supplement to a skin location where nerve bundles lie close to the surface, such as the frown area of the brow, or the center of the palm of the hand. Tiny amounts of neuro-active compounds from the applied substance penetrate the skin and locally modulate the nerves underlying the site of application. Then, there's a surprising systemic shift to a pleasurable state of heightened resilience and balance. There's also a drop in reactivity to airborne allergens. Depending on the substance employed and the period of application, these effects can last from a couple of hours to several days.


    Potential applications:

  • Stress management for travel & commuting, medical & dental procedures, family caregiving, emergency & crisis.
  • Support for respiratory & nasal comfort in the presence of seasonal allergens.
  • Support for mental states conducive to problem solving and learning.
  • Facilitation of "flow" in improvisational and interactive groups.

    The story of the Neuro-Shift effect

    I discovered the Neuro-Shift effect in early 2009 while looking for a way to help my wife deal with chronic pain and depression poorly controlled by conventional medication. We were intrigued by the reported impact of Botox® injections on intractable depression (see this article from the Washington Post), but we were also wary of the high cost and potential side-effects. Looking for alternatives, I hit on the idea of applying a common anesthetic to the frown area to mimic the effect of Botox®. It worked, triggering a sense of well-being, a drop in anxiety, and a pleasurable resilience to stress. It also reduced my wife's pain. In exploring the ramifications of that initial discovery over the following year, I found that simple preparations of many common neuro-active food substances--from Vitamin D to chocolate to green tea--can evoke the same kind of effect, when applied to the right skin locations. I also found that these applications appeared to help maintain nasal and respiratory comfort during hay fever season.


    I had originally hoped to commercialize these discoveries, and I filed a Provisional Patent Application based on them. Unfortunately, I soon learned that all transdermal applications of herbs, vitamins, and food substances are regulated by the FDA as pharmaceuticals. This made commercialization beyond reach for an independent inventor such as myself. As a result, I decided instead to make the information freely available to the public.


    Try it yourself:

  • Chocolate & Allergy Relief
  • Neuro-active Lip Balms: Resilience & Allergy Relief in a Stick?
  • Breathe Rite® Strips for a Mood Boost?


    Why does the Neuro-Shift procedure do what it does?
    The precise nature of the boost to resilience produced by the Neuro-Shift procedure is unknown, but it may work a bit like hitting the re-set button on our emotional state. Suppose that people unconsciously encode their habitual thoughts and emotions at the body level in subtle patterns of tension and sensation. And suppose we normally use this body-encoded pattern to interpret our situation and respond to it with habitual reactions. Then when key nerves involved in this encoding are locally modulated, it could disturb our habitual coding patterns and render them undecipherable. As a result, the system would have to "re-set" until the modulation subsided. For a time, our nervous system would need to rely on fresh, in-the-moment processing rather than habitual reactions to deal with any given situation we encounter. This could conceivably yield the state of heightened resilience and lowered allergic reactivity induced by the Neuro-Shift procedure.


    Responders and non-responders
    Although the majority of people who have tried some variant of the Neuro-Shift procedure respond as described, there is a significant minority who seem to have no response to it at all. If you are healthy and not taking any interfering medications, you can get an idea whether you are likely to respond, by performing the following simple test: .


  • Use your fingers to stretch and immobilize the frown-muscles in your brow.
  • Continue doing this for a minute or two. Notice how it affects you.


    If stretch-immobilizing your frown muscles feels good, giving you some sense of uplift, easing, comfort, or relief, you are likely to respond well to the Neuro-Shift procedure. If, on the other hand, this does nothing for you, you may be currently unresponsive. Note, however, that individual sensitivity to the procedure can vary considerably from one time to another.


    Is it just a placebo effect?
    With a new pharmacological treatment, there is always a chance that any observed effect results from the expectations of the subject, rather than from the treatment itself. In other words, it may be a placebo response. With the Neuro-Shift effect, the phenomenon manifests itself at the mind-body interface, which is notoriously subject to placebo influences. It could easily be that the unusual mode of application of the common neuro-active substances in the Neuro-Shift procedure generates an intensified expectation of some unusual systemic response, with this expectation producing the observed effects.


    Now, I am not in the position to carry out clinical trials. In addition, double-blind testing of the Neuro-Shift effect is not entirely straightforward, given that any neuro-active substance applied to the skin near underlying nerves can sometimes produce noticeable sensations of tingling or numbness for a short while after application; these sensations can alert the subject that s/he has not received the placebo (and any substance that produces such sensations cannot be considered a placebo). Nevertheless, I have been able to design a double-blind test that should be able to distinguish between a placebo response and a genuine response to treatment.


    The test design requires the subject to distinguish between the effects of a substance that has a short elimination half-life (and thus a relatively-brief expected duration of action), and a substance that has a long elimination half-life (and thus a relatively-long expected duration of action). Neither the subject nor the experimenter knows which substance is actually being employed in a given test until afterwards, and either substance can potentially produce noticeable sensations for a short while upon application. As of this writing (6/17/2010), I have conducted four of these tests, with myself as the subject, and in each of them I have easily been able to distinguish the compound with the short elimination half-life from the compound with the long elimination half-life, by subjectively evaluating the duration of action. No such subjective discrimination should be possible if the perceived effect is entirely a response to placebo. The chance of my being able to get the right answer four times in a row by pure guesswork is one in sixteen.

    Prepared by R. Rush Wayne, Ph.D. Questions? Concerns? Email rushwayne at q (dot) com. Or find Rush on Twitter. @NeuroShft (no "i").