LIGHT-SYNC™ uses a technique called audio-visual entrainment (AVE). It is a subset of brainwave entrainment and uses flashes of lights and pulses of tones embedded in music to guide the brain into various states of brainwave activity.
AVE is believed to achieve its effects through several mechanisms simultaneously. These include:
- altered EEG activity
- dissociation/hypnotic induction
- limbic stabilization
- improved neurotransmitter production
- altered cerebral blood flow
AVE consists of constant, repetitive stimuli of the proper frequency and sufficient strength to "excite" the thalamus and neocortex. These stimuli do not transfer energy directly into the cortex. The direct transmission of energy from AVE only goes so far as to excite retinal cells in the eyes and pressure-sensitive cilia within the cochlea in the ears. The nerve pathways from the eyes and ears carry the elicited electrical potentials into the thalamus. From there, the entrained electrical activity within the thalamus is 'amplified' and distributed throughout other limbic areas and the cerebral cortexes via the ortical thalamic loop. AVE involves the continuous electrical response of the brain in relation to the stimulus frequency plus the mathematical representation (harmonics) of the stimulus wave shape.
AVE effects on the EEG are found primarily over the sensory-motor strip, frontally, and in the parietal lobe (somatosensory) regions and slightly less within the prefrontal cortex.
It is within these areas where motor activation, attention, executive function, and somatosensory (body) awareness is primarily mediated. Auditory entrainment (AE) is the same concept as visual entrainment, with the exception that auditory signals are passed from the cochlea of the ears into the thalamus via the medial geniculate nucleus, whereas visual entrainment passes from the retina into the thalamus via the lateral geniculate nucleus. Eyes-closed AVE at 18.5 Hz has been shown to increase EEG brainwave activity by 49% at the vertex. Successful entrainment leads to a meditative, peaceful kind of dissociation, where the individual experiences a loss of somatic and cognitive awareness.
However, it is possible for visual entrainment to trigger seizures.
Evidence of sensory effects
Glicksohn reported altered states of consciousness from photic driving and its relationship of self-perceived creativity.
Other studies have shown that stimulation can produce both transient and lasting changes in the EEG. Collura articulated the relationship between the low-frequency and high-frequency components of the steady-state visual evoked potential as reflecting anatomically and physiologically distinct response mechanisms.
Additional clinical studies explored the use of photic entrainment to induce hypnotic trance and to reduce pain, control gagging and accelerate healing in dentistry. More recently, the induction of dissociation was explored, which aided the understanding of dissociative pathology and development of better techniques for relaxing people suffering from trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Dissociation begins after approximately four to eight minutes from properly applied AVE. A restabilization effect occurs where muscles relax, electro-dermal activity decreases, peripheral blood flow stabilizes, breathing becomes diaphragmatic and relaxed, and heart rates becomes uniform and smooth. Visual entrainment alone, in the alpha frequency range (7–10 Hz), has been shown to easily induce hypnosis, and it has been shown that nearly 80% of subjects entered into either a light or deep hypnotic trance within six minutes during alpha AVE. AVE provides an excellent medium for achieving an altered state of consciousness.
A review of 20 studies on brainwave entrainment found that it is effective in improving cognition and behavioral problems, and alleviating stress and pain.
The results of a study on children with attention-deficit disorder found that AVE was more effective than neurofeedback for treating ADD symptoms.
A migraine headache study involving seven migraine sufferers found that AVE sessions reduced migraine duration from a pretreatment average of six hours to a posttreatment average of 35 minutes. Measuring 50 of the participants' migraines, 49 migraines decreased in severity and 36 were stopped when using AVE.
Another clinical study showed declines in depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation following a treatment program using AVE. A study by Berg and Siever used audio-visual entrainment devices on women suffering with seasonal affective disorder. Both depression and anxiety symptoms were reduced in participants, as compared to a placebo phase.
Participants also reported improvements in their social lives, with increased happiness and sociability, decreased appetite, increased energy and weight loss. A study by Cantor and Stevens found significant decreases in depression scores in participants after four weeks of using AVE.
How to use LIGHT-SYNC™
All LIGHT-SYNC™ products are 20 minutes in length.
You can enhance the effects of LIGHT-SYNC™ by running the programs on your mobile device or tablet.
Whilst lying down place your device on your forehead, just above the bridge of your nose. Makes sure the screen is facing inward towards the top of your eyes and forehead. You can close your eyes or keep them open, whichever works best for you.
If you have google cardboard goggles or similar you can place your mobile in the goggles aperture and run the program that way.