Drawing from my background in psychology, critical theory, and art, I have conducted extensive research into what light and sound technologies are available that are validated by research to have significant effects on mental states and rates of emotional and psychological change. I chose the most effective technologies, conducted further research with them, modified, extended and integrated them to allow for a therapy to be conducted with them. The resulting therapeutic modality integrates a sensory light and sound environment with techniques addressing thought and emotion in order to reach beyond the contents of our daily lives to the structures behind our experience for thorough and effective growth and change. Research has shown that brainwaves vary at particular frequencies associated with particular mental states. Light and sound waves or pulses can be similarly varied at frequencies that fall within the range of brainwave frequencies. When the correct amount of stimuli are presented to our senses at these frequencies our brainwaves begin to vary at the same rate as the stimuli. This is a common process of resonance that can be seen in examples of sound waves such as a string on a musical instrument that begins to vibrate when another string is vibrating at a resonant note. This process, called Brainwave Entrainment, allows light and sound to elicit mental states such as relaxed, focused and creative states.
Beta (14-30 Hz)
Concentration, arousal, alertness, cognition. Higher levels associated with anxiety, disease, feelings of separation, fight or flight.
Alpha (8-13.9 Hz
Relaxation, learning, relaxed focus, light trance, increased seratonin production. Pre-sleep, meditation, beginning of access to sub-conscious mind.
Theta (4-7.9 Hz)
Dreaming sleep, increased production of catecholamines (vital for learning and memory), increased creativity, integrative emotional experiences, high potential for behavior change, increased retention of learned material. Hypnagogic imagery, trance states, deep meditation, access to sub-consious mind.
Delta (.1-3.9 Hz)
Dreamless Sleep. Human growth hormone released. Deep trance-like, non-physical state, loss of body awareness. Access to sub-conscious mind.
These are all forms of receptive states which involve openness to change, feelings of contentment and experiences of heightened awareness. Studies have shown that spending time in these states reduces stress, anxiety and depression as well as increaes mental flexibility and focus. These light and sound techniques reduce our everyday, distracting auditory and visual stimulation to a more cohesive rhythmic focal point, thus reaching deeply meditative states. One’s ability to reach these states increases, both with and without the light and sound techniques, as neuronal pathways to these states are created with exposure to the treatment.
Ambient Sound & Light
In addition to this use of light and sound to create receptive states, Synaesthetic Surround also uses further ambient light and sound techniques to create an environment that reduces stress, increases creativity and imagination, and loosens habitual thought patterns. Therapeutic and mindfulness techniques are integrated with this environment for a treatment that addresses issues and specific desires for change and growth through visceral, structural growth.