Light and Sound Machines - Training Wheels for the Brain

Stress relief, heightened focused concentration, creativity, superlearning, easy changework, instant Samadhi. These are goals that can be reached if you use a Light and Sound Machine. Sometimes referred to as a Brain Machine and Audio and Visual Stimulation (AVS), these devices allow the user to reach states of being in a controlled way.   Neurologists have studied the brain since the late 1800’s seeking ways to help people with injuries and learning dysfunctions.  Recent discoveries have reached the general population. If something can help a person with a learning disability or brain injury, what could it do to a “normal” person?  The brain has 100 billion neurons generating and transmitting electrical signals. These signals can be detected by devices called EEG machines (electroencephalograph) One of the chief discoveries is the correlation of brain waves to states of being.  Sleep, alertness, stress, relaxation, mediation have been shown to match particular wave patterns. Neurologists have given these brain wave patterns names taken from the ancient Greek Alphabet.  Typical alert behavior registers at 30 or more hertz (cycles per second).  Alpha state is a state that is easily achieved by closing the eyes and relaxing. 7-13hz is the range for the Alpha condition.  Sleep is the lowest frequency at 0.5 to 3hrz.  The most difficult state to achieve and maintain is the in-between state of Theta (3-7hz).  It is the state found in the brains of meditation masters. Many people work for years to reach the Theta state reliably and consistently. Either the mind wonders of into some train of thought or it falls asleep. What if there was a way to quick and easy way to learn how to meditate?

In the late 50’s a radio broadcaster named Robert Monroe was experimenting with sound tones for super-learning. He discovered that sound frequencies created certain effects in the brain. When two different frequencies are played in both ears the brain will resonate at the vibration that is the difference between the two tones. If one tone is played in the left ear at 110hz and 100 is played in the right ear the brain waves will resonate at 10hz, which is the same as Alpha Waves. The same effect is triggered by flashing or flickering light. That is why looking at a campfire is so soothing. The fire just happens to flicker at the alpha rate.  He coined the term Frequency Following Response (FFR).

Light and Sound Machines are devices that bring that experience from the lab into your home for a fraction of the cost. Typically they consist of a controller, stereo headphones and lightglasses. The controller is a computer that produces the light and sound sessions. There is a user interface for selection of time, and the combination of desired frequencies or brain states. They can be selected manually, or a pre-programmed session can be chosen. Headphones deliver the sound with high quality comfort. The lightglasses are like opaque sunglasses with two or more LED lights positioned over the eyelids.  

Here are some features that can be found in superior brain machines:

·      Rechargeable batteries – nothing worse than a blissful L&S session cut short due to dead batteries. ·      Input jack - add music or hypnosis recordings to the sessions ·      Programmability  - custom design your own sessions. ·      Two or more output jacks - share the experience ·      Ramp up ramp down – a gentle beginning and end ·      Download sessions via computer  - add to your collection ·      Color choice – red, green or yellow –what is your preference? ·      Carry case or bag – safely store and transport ·      Ongoing customer support – what happens when you have a question or problem?   My personal experience with brain machines started in the late eighties. I discovered the book Megabrain by Michael Hutchison.  He described various technologies for accessing and enhancing brain states such as brain machines float tanks, nutrition, and electro-stimulation. I purchased a basic AVS unit from a direct mail advertisement and began to use it regularly.  I experienced some wonderful peak experiences using it along with meditation tapes.

The system I am using now is called Nova Pro by Photosonix. I have used it for over ten years.  It is a real workhorse and creates beautiful experiences for me. The only problem I have had is the headphones had to be replaced after the phone cord got sucked into a vacuum cleaner.  Totally my fault, but easy enough to go to any department store and pick up a new set of headphones. So, where do you get a Light and Sound Machine? There are a number of manufacturers and even more distributors for them. I have found that there is a cost savings by going directly to the manufacture if you can. That is why I chose the Photosonix unit. I got a great price for it at the time. I am still using it after all this time. Ebay is a good source for a great bargain on an L&S machine. Some are sold brand new, others are used and at a remarkable savings.   Referance

Photosonix -

The Monroe Institute

Mega Brain by Michael Hutchison-

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