Gaining in popularity over recent years, Light and Sound machines are based on some of the newest research that is out there today to promote healthier lives. Using cutting edge technology systems, light and sound machines offer options for meditation that go far beyond simply sitting cross-legged in a quiet room!
First entering the scene a few decades ago, light and sound machines were first associated with the hippy generation of the ‘60s and ‘70s, but have now gone much further than that. In fact, they have been the target of much scientific research that digs deep into the way that the mind and body function together through the manipulation of brain waves. Sometimes referred to as mind machines, these light and sound machines have been gaining ground over the years as technology capabilities have increased.
If you’ve heard about light and sound machines and are interested in learning more, then you have absolutely come to the right place. Here we’ll answer all of the questions you have been wondering about related to light and sound machines—plus a whole lot more.
- What are Light and Sound Machines?
- How Do Light and Sound Machines Work?
- How Light & Sound Machines Work With Brain Waves
- Light and Sound Machines—Do They Work?
- What are Light and Sound Machine Benefits?
- Do Light and Sound Machines Cause Hypnosis?
- Where to Find a Light and Sound Machine?
- What are the Best Light and Sound Machines?
- Are Light and Sound Machines for Babies Available?
- What is the Best Light and Sound Machine for Baby?
- Using a Light and Sound Machine
What are Light and Sound Machines?
Light and sound mind machines use light and sound pulses that are programmed at specified frequencies to stimulate the brain activity of the user. Sometimes also called mind machines, the intention is to lead the mind of the user from typical consciousness (while awake) to an alter state of consciousness that many people desire in order to promote their mental and emotional health.
For many people, these machines are linked with the concept of meditation that goes back for centuries. Often exercised in eastern religions, meditation is the practice of using a technique to focus the mind in order to achieve an emotionally calm and mentally clear state of being. Light and sound mind machines help to bring meditation to a heightened state through the use of audio visual effects such as flashing lights and binaural sound beats.
How Do Light and Sound Machines Work?
Producing patterns of flashing lights that are computer generated, mind machines combine these lights with binaural tones which are believed to be able to calm an anxious or stressed mind. Sounds come from a headset while pulsating lights are experienced by wearing a set of goggles which use pulsating LED (Light Emitting Diodes) lights. These lights are bright enough to be seen even when the eyelids are closed, but are not dangerous to the eye.
The brain tends to grab onto rhythms produced by a flashing light, following the frequency and creating deeply relaxed states of consciousness. Certain brainwave patterns (around 4-8 Hz per second) represent a state of deep relaxation. When gentle pulses of light are emitted, they will lead the brain into a state of mind that is associated with the frequency range presented with lights and sounds.
How Light & Sound Machines Work With Brain Waves
The brain has a spectrum of waves divided into 5 bands, each with different mental states associated with them. The brain wave states are:
- Delta Waves: Deep, unconscious thought related to insight and intuition. ½-4Hz
- Theta Waves: Subconscious thought related to deep relaxation and creativity. 4-8Hz
- Alpha Waves: A dreamy or “spacey” state which is passive and receptive. 8-13Hz
- Beta Waves: Externally focused, conscious thought. 13-30Hz
- Gamma Waves: Linked to alertness and anxiety (not well understood). 30-100Hz
The purpose of a light and sound machine is to bring the brain waves frequencies to an intended level in order to change the state of thought. This is done through the use of pulsating sounds and lights. Although typically used to slow down the brain frequency and take it in to a state of relaxation and subconsciousness, it can also be used to increase the brain wave patterns. This means that care must be taken to use the right light and sound patterns in order to get your brain into the state that you are intending.
Some of the feelings and states of mind that can be achieved through the manipulation of brain wave frequencies with a light and sound machine include:
- Peace and calm
- An intuitive sense
- Less feelings of being self-conscious
- Healing acceleration
- Heightened awareness
- Compassion for others
- Acceptance of the surrounding world
- Decreased agitation and anger
- Positive response to memory
- Excitement and positivity
- Enhanced problem-solving
Light and Sound Machines—Do They Work?
No one knows exactly why, but most practitioners agree that these mind machines, which use computer-generated lights and sounds, can actually help people to feel better. Most experts believe that the influence of the lights and sounds on the user’s brain frequency can be beneficial by stopping the mind from wandering and helping to promote concentration during times of meditation.
Psychiatrists note that the process of staying focused during meditation allows the brain wave patterns to change, promoting the mechanism of relaxation in the mind. Also, many people find that their minds are much more open to the power of suggestion during a state of relaxation, and this means that they can focus better on setting and following through with goals in their daily lives.
Especially related to relaxation, light and sound machines may work because of the fact that they are passive. Sort of like receiving a massage without having to do anything, mind machines allow something else to do the work and give the user permission to literally do nothing for a time.
Not only that, but one developer of light stimulation software, Ruth Olmstead, notes that phosphate levels in the brain are increased through light stimulus. This then raises the metabolism in the brain, allowing new neural pathways to be built, which ultimately results in better focus and higher memory recall. This may be especially useful for people who have learning difficulties or simply for people who seek to get the most use out of their brains as possible.
Of course, it is important to remember that light and sound machines are not a cure-all for everything or everyone who uses them. Some people find that they do not prefer the way that they feel after using a light and sound machine, and others find it to be less effective than they would like. Although these exceptions may be a case of using a lower quality mind machine or not using it in the way in which it was intended.
On the whole, light and wound machines have been shown to work on a significant number of people and are definitely worth a try. But, of course, the science is still out to verify all of the ways that these machines are effective. Certainly, if you are under the care of a doctor for any illness or disease, you should check with them before use, and never stop using a medication without first getting advice from a medical professional. Labels and warnings of any product should always be read ahead of time and adhered to prior to using any type of mind machine.
What are Light and Sound Machine Benefits?
Light and sound meditation machines offer a natural solution to a variety of difficulties that people experience on a daily basis. These machines provide a natural method of relaxation and meditation which can enhance mental, physical, and emotional health in a myriad of different ways.
Some of the most prominent benefits of Light and Sound Therapy Machines include:
Manage Stress. Light stimulation has been shown scientifically to reduce stress in many people. In the same way that sitting in front of a flickering fireplace can lull a person to sleep, light and sound machines offer a flickering pattern, with synchronized audio tones, that promote relaxation. This may result in the user falling asleep, or simply coming into a state of reduce blood pressure, lowered cortisol, and full body relaxation.
Improve Mental Focus. Some researchers have found that the use of light and sound devices can quickly produce states of relaxation and suggestibility, increasing a person’s ability to receive new information. This could be beneficial for those with learning disabilities, memory problems, or even simple stress that can keep a person from being able to access and focus their brain in the way that they would like.
Cure Headaches. Headaches that are caused by chronic or acute muscle contractions may be effectively relieved with the use of slow-wave photic (light and sound) stimulation. One study of 15 patients showed that most people (14 out of 15) experienced complete relief of their headache and the other person reported a 75% reduction in the intensity of the headache.
Relieve Pain. In addition to the relief of stress headaches, the use of light and sound machines can also promote healthy and natural reduction of pain. The way the mind machine works to promote the production of serotonin and other ‘happy chemicals’ in the brain provides the body with a natural reduction in pain intensity for people who have certain types of chronic pain. An increased sense of well-being and relaxation, as well as promotion of healthier sleep patterns, all mean that the use of a mind machine can have a significant impact on the way that the body experiences pain.
Improve Sports Performance. Athletes have found mind machines to be particularly effective when using them in conjunction with daily training sessions. The protocol of visualization and imagery for athletes allows them to keep their mental states at a synchronous level for longer, in order to be ready for competition.
Through the use of light and sound machines visualization effectively trains the brain and body to work at peak performance. While the muscles are actually at rest, the brain sends minute messages to the muscles through the nervous system. And even though they are not technically at work during the process, the muscles are learning how to perform during a competition.
Successful visualization of being “in the zone” brings the body closer to harnessing the movements and energy needed for performance. When a person can have a perfect performance in the mind, the memory pathways in their brains are trained to make those performances happen again—in real life.
Tested on American athletes in the Sydney Olympics, light and sound machines proved themselves to be very effective. The participants were able to arrive in Australia with absolutely no jet lag and being training before any of the athletes from other teams. This was accomplished by learning about trough and peak periods for each individual athlete, while synchronizing the timing of training, rest periods, and visualization.
Increase Energy. Our busy world today lends itself to pulling us into dozens of different directions which can easily sap us of our energy. Meditation and relaxation practices can help to restore our energy levels and provide us with not only enough energy to just survive the day, but to thrive in it! Tap into additional energy stores that can be accessed in your brain—energy that you probably didn’t even know you could conjure up. This can all be done through spending a little bit of time using your light and sound machine in an intentional manner to kill fatigue and boost your ability to focus and concentrate.
Promote Better Memory and Learning. Studying for exams, learning a language, or working against dementia, better memory and learning can be the key to success in many aspects of life. The use of a light and sound mind machine enhance relaxation and break up brain “noise” that can keep your mind from retaining the information you need to be able to access. Reduction of anxiety and an increased ability to focus through meditation sessions can improve your ability to learn, remember, and recall all sorts of information with significant accuracy.
Some people have found that apps related to light and sound machines help to work as a GPS for the mind. Ranging from improving the overall score on an IQ test to passing exams at school, people find that these mind machines help them to concentrate and focus. Other people find the altered states of brain wave frequency helps them to memorize and retain information related to learning a language.
Improve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). A rampant problem during the winter months in northern areas, where natural light is lessened and depression rates are heighted, Seasonal Affective Disorder may be helped by the use of a sound and light machine. Winter blues may be affected by meditation as this therapy can reduce anxiety, increase activity in critical parts of the brain, mitigate depression, improve the mood, promote the secretion of “happy hormones”, and provide an overall better outlook on life.
Fight Insomnia. Insomnia is often related to stress and anxiety linked to racing thoughts and inability to get the mind to stop spinning. This can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed and overtired, which is a vicious cycle that can keep a person from falling asleep. Meditation and sleep have natural links in that they are both related to relaxation through docile states of the mind and the body. Light and sound machines are programmed to be used in a way that brings the brainwaves into a natural place of calm and quiet.
Light and sound machines can help to relax the body and generate brain waves that promote relaxation, comfort, and high-quality sleep that rejuvenates your mind and body. As the sensory combination of light and sound beats helps to remove outside distractions, your brain can overcome feelings of anxiety and begin to establish a sense of peace and tranquility. As this promotes deeper sleep, you’ll feel refreshed and energized in the morning, ready to get started with your day!
Battle Against Addictions. The use of light and sound machines helps to retrain the brain to different pathways of thinking, giving the user the tools needed to fight against additions of alcohol or other mind-altering substances. Machines that allow you to record sessions in your own voice help you to lay claim to deep states of meditation from which you can develop a vast reserve of self-control, confidence, and self-respect. Whether a person is trying to quit smoking, stop drinking, gain control over eating, or gain control over other obsessive or compulsive behaviors, the use of a light and sound machine may be beneficial as a part of a broader range of therapy options.
Help Heal Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Resulting from a trauma, sometimes experienced and then buried in the psyche without proper acknowledgement, PTSD can result in various difficulties with daily life. Symptoms and signs vary widely between individuals but may include nightmares, flashbacks, paranoia, social anxiety, irritability, negative thoughts, and physical sensations such as trembling, sweating, pain, or feeling sick. People who use light and sound machines to promote meditation may effectively reduce problems related to PTSD as they lower the amount of stress and anxiety in their daily lives.
Lessen ADD and ADHD Struggles. For adults, teens, adolescents, and children ADHD and ADD can be life-altering and frustrating. Brainwave focus through the use of light and sound machines can be used to incorporate neurofeedback (NFB) training into their sessions to assist the brain with various struggles. Using sessions that are designed to guide the brain into a specific state, pulsed lights and sounds stimulations leave the body relaxed and the brain feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Break Undesirable Emotional States. Angst, anxiety, anger, depression, frustration, and disappointment are all states of mind that can suck us in and drag us down. Instead of allowing ourselves to wallow in these negative thought processes, we can break these cycles through the use of a light and sound mind machine. When a person experiences the Theta level of brain waves, they are more likely to induce emotional healing and let go of painful, stressful, angering, frustrating feelings.
As feelings of warmth, stability, and self-control are promoted in the theta wave frequency, negative emotions lost their ability to gain control. This works as a powerful break to negative emotional cycles and promotes healthy, desirable states of feeling instead. This can not only help to heal the individual but can also promote healthier relationships between family members other important people in life.
Promote Lucid Dreams. Many people desire to be able to dream in a state in which they are awake and aware inside of that dream. This is referred to as a lucid dream and can often be accomplished through the use of a light and sound machine. Many people use this type of experience to promote creativity or to function as a form of relaxation therapy while promoting a sense of transcendental consciousness.
Enjoy a Psychedelic Experience. Without the need for using drugs, people who make use of a light and sound machine can experience an altered state of consciousness that is considered to be psychedelic. The aspects of mind machines often present a significant change in bodily sensations that correspond with increased theta and alpha waves which are often associated with creative experiences. Creative types such as musicians and artists are particularly interested in entering into such a state in order to ‘unblock’ their creative juices and bring them to a less inhibited state that can prime their creative pumps.
Do Light and Sound Machines Cause Hypnosis?
Light and sound mind machines are a tool that some hypnotists may use in their therapy with patients, however all light and sound machines are not necessarily going to cause hypnosis during use. The pre-arranged patterns of light and sound are programmed carefully into light and sound machines in specific frequencies to produce the desired results in both the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
Using a light and sound machine can cause relaxation that goes deeply into a dream-like state, and even produce psychedelic feelings. The brain may enter a balanced state of synchrony in which it is most open to focusing or being impressionable. Used without the express application and intention of a therapist, light and sound machines on their own are not likely to enter a person into a state of hypnosis.
Where to Find a Light and Sound Machine?
Light and sound machines are pricey products that are not typically going to be kept in stock at your local discount department store. Because of this, the best way to go about buying a light and sound machine will probably be to get it from an online source. This way, you can have the best possible options at your fingertips, have the ability to compare and contrast the pros and cons, and not have to leave your home!
Just be sure to purchase from a company that offers a money back guarantee and/or reasonable warranty so that you have the option to return your product in case there are any flaws in manufacturing or shipping. Buying a light and sound machine through Amazon helps to make sure that your purchase is secure because of the protection that Amazon gives to purchases made through their website.
What are the Best Light and Sound Machines?
Determining the best light and sound machine will be somewhat dependent on individual preferences for features and benefits. Some of our favorite versions of light and sound machines come with specialized eye goggles, MP3 player, and pre-programmed sessions. Some of these mind machines come with expandable memory, USB interface, several hours of ambient music selections, intuitive menu control and may even be used with open or closed eyes.
Many light and sound machines can be custom programmed by the user through computer applications that incorporate the individual person’s musical taste and personal preferences. This allows the user to determine exactly what type of brain frequency they desire to achieve, whether intended for focus, athletic performance, relaxation, creativity, or other types of activity.
Are Light and Sound Machines for Babies Available?
While you should never use an adult light and sound machine on a baby as it could be very dangerous, some light and sound machines are designed specifically for use by babies. Light and sound machines that can be used for babies run along a similar vein as a mind machine but, of course, they are made to provide comfort and help babies to go to sleep on their own.
Meant to promote calmness and rest while promoting a sense of health well-being, light and sound machines for babies often play soft music or white noise and sometimes have lights that are designed to keep the baby’s mind distracted from crying or being upset. These are often designed to look cute and sweet, fitting nicely into the décor of a nursery in the shapes of cute animals like sheep, elephants, owls, or hippos. Some project soft colors to soothe while other promote bright, stimulating colors that are meant to keep your baby entertained.
What is the Best Light and Sound Machine for Baby?
Those designed specifically to be nursery light and sound machines for babies are going to be the best bet for getting your child to go to sleep. The more options a light and sound machine for babies has, the better. This way you can choose how bright the light should be, how loud or quiet the sounds should be and even which sound tracks you find work best to put your little one to sleep.
A light and sound machine that has a timer can be especially effective. And a portable one with a rechargeable battery powered by a USB port is helpful because it can be taken anywhere you want to put your baby to sleep. Some might project the appearance of a starry night sky onto the ceiling, while others simply display a rotating color scheme to keep baby entertained. For older children they can often function as a nightlight to keep scary shadows away in the night.
Truly, your choice for the best light and sound machine for your baby will depend on whether you want to use it to usher your baby from wakefulness into dreamland, or if you are planning to use it to keep your child’s attention for a time so that they are entertained. Ranging from simple to ornate, these machines for babies may be designed to be placed on a nearby table or hung from the sides of a crib.
Using a Light and Sound Machine
The vast benefits of using a light and sound machine can take you from a feelings of stress and anxiety with Swiss cheese holes in your memory to a state of focus, concentration, relaxation, and getting things done to accomplish an overall feeling of well-being in life. While meditation using a mind machine may not change your life overnight, it may have the power to provide you with a pathway to better control over your brain. It can make you imaginative, bolder, more conscientiousness, and filled with a sense of confidence and insight.
Because of these things, light and sound machines can begin to heal you on a personal level, making you a better friend and family member, improve your ability to be a good co-worker or boss, and generally turn you into a happier, healthier and more productive person! So what’s to lose? Give yourself the opportunity to become who you were meant to be by trying out a mind machine to see if it works on you. There’s so much to gain!