Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE) is a technique that utilizes pulses of light and sound at specific frequencies to gently and safely guide the brain into various brain wave patterns. By manipulating your brain wave frequencies, you have the ability to boost your mood, improve sleep patterns, sharpen your mind and increase your level of relaxation, all with the simple push of a button!
AVE is capable of producing situationally appropriate brain wave frequencies through the process of entrainment (the tendency of physiological processes to mirror environmental stimuli). AVE also increases cerebral blood flow (blood flow in the brain) and increases the metabolization of glucose in the brain for improved functioning of the neurons. The combined outcome of these processes is improved mental performance. It is an effective, inexpensive alternative therapy for many disorders such as anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), PTSD, Fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Our AVE devices are also used successfully to boost physical performance for athletes, academic performance for students and cognitive performance for seniors.
An important objective of entrainment is to produce a dissociative state, which is a meditation-like state of deep relaxation. It is the brain/body rehabilitative benefits produced by this deep trance-like state that makes AVE so useful for so many conditions. The dissociative state can be first observed by noticing deep and diaphragmatic breathing. Hands and feet become warmer as arteries dilate. Skin color will become pinker as blood flow increases throughout the face and body. Blood flow will increase in the brain as well. The person will experience feelings of profound relaxation and contentment as beneficial neurotransmitters are released into the brain. When in this deep state, the brain/body’s regenerative repair chemicals (parasympathetic hormones) and stabilizing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, endorphins and dopamine are released, which restore good brain function. AVE contributes to this restoration by providing a stress-break, increasing cerebral blood flow and encouraging impaired neuronal firing which allows the brain to return to normal function.
When the body-mind effects from experiencing AVE are fully appreciated, the experience becomes as regular and beneficial as many other life essentials such as quality sleep, good nutrition, pure water and exercise. Sleep is another area where AVE has been shown to be beneficial, contributing to the natural regenerative process of the body and brain.
There are a number of things that are going on when you are using a DAVID:
1) Your EEG activity is being altered - As the AVE frequency changes, so does the frequency in the brain – it’s that easy! For example, our Feeling Better sessions re-stabilize brainwaves by suppressing left frontal alpha while boosting right frontal alpha to normal levels.
2) You are being dissociated – When using AVE, you get drawn into the present moment and let go of thoughts relating to your daily hassles, hectic schedules, paying bills, worries, threats or anxieties and stop the unhealthy mental “chatter.” Dissociation involves a “disconnection” of self from thoughts and body awareness, as is experienced during deep meditation. Dissociation begins in four to eight minutes from properly applied AVE.
3) Your limbic system is being stabilized – Your body is calmed, your breathing becomes rhythmic, your hands warm and your muscles relax.
4) A number of neurotransmitters are being produced – People with depressed mood have low levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. AVE boosts brain levels of serotonin, and norepinephrine to improve overall well-being.
5) Your cerebral blood flow is being increased - CBF is associated with many forms of mental disorders, including anxiety, depression, attentional problems, behavior disorders and impaired cognitive function. CBF tends to lower as we age often causing cognitive decline. People experiencing depressed mood usually have lower levels of CBF in the left frontal and prefrontal lobes.
Read Dave’s article Audio-Visual Entrainment: History & Physiological Mechanisms for more information.
If you have sleep problems and you are thinking about using Audio-Visual Entrainment to help, please read Dave's article on sleep.