Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE)

Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE) is a technique that uses pulses of light and sound at specific frequencies to gently and safely guide the brain into various brainwave patterns. By altering your brainwave frequencies, you can boost your mood, improve sleep patterns, sharpen your mind, and increase relaxation levels, all with the simple push of a button! 

More recently, we are discovering that there are so many other beneficial effects of AVE:

  • Induces healthy dissociation and restabilization which breaks the HPA axis (fight-or-flight activation – fear response)
  • Increases cerebral blood flow
  • Balances neurotransmitters (specifically serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins, and melatonin)
  • Increases in lactate and ATP – energy source for all of our cells – neurons use a lot
  • Increases heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) which protects brain from viral infections, etc.
  • Activates glia which clean up deposits in brain
  • Increases non-inflammatory cytokines which nourish the neurotransmitters
  • Increases circulation of cerebral spinal fluid
  • Improves neuronal stamina.

AVE can produce situationally-appropriate brainwave 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, ADHD, 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, business performance and corporate wellness, and cognitive performance for older adults.

An important objective of entrainment is to produce a dissociative state, a meditation-like state of deep relaxation. The brain-body rehabilitative benefits produced by this deep trance-like state make 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.

Several things occur when you use a DAVID:

First, your EEG activity is 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.

Second, you are being dissociated. When using AVE, you get drawn into the present moment and let go of thoughts related to your daily hassles, hectic schedules, paying bills, worries, threats, or anxieties, and you 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 4 - 8 minutes from properly applied AVE.

Third, your limbic system stabilizes. Your body calms, your breathing becomes rhythmic, your hands warm, and your muscles relax.

Fourth, 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.

Finally, your cerebral blood flow (CBF) increases. 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.

Read blog post: Beyond Frequency

See our Comparison Chart to help you decide which DAVID is right for you!