Brain Tap Science and Technology Guide
Welcome to BrainTap Technologies! This guide is to help you better understand the science and technology of the BrainTap audio-sessions, the BrainTap headset, and brain wave entrainment in general. We encourage you to read this guide carefully and keep it handy as a reference.
When was Light & Sound first used clinically?
This first clinical use of light & sound was the Brain Wave Synchronizer, created by Sidney Schneider. Starting in 1958, this device used primarily for reducing pain in patients during dental procedures and for patients undergoing surgery. How do tones create relaxation?
In 1839, an associate professor at the University of Berlin, H. W. Dove, discovered what he termed binaural beats. His early research showed that putting a given frequency in one ear and a different tone in the other causes a person to hear a third tone, which is the difference in frequency of the two tones.
He found that the human ability to hear binaural beats appeared to be the result of evolutionary adaptation and that our brains detect and follow binaural beats because of the structure of the brain itself. Until a 1973 article by Gerald Oster, however, binaural beats were considered no more than a scientific curiosity. Oster’s paper was groundbreaking not so much in presenting new laboratory findings, but rather in bringing fresh insight to the topic by identifying and connecting a variety of relevant research performed after Dove’s discovery.
Oster is credited with uncovering just what effect binaural beats could have on the mind and body. He viewed binaural beats as a tool for cognitive and neurological research. Moreover, he identified the auditory system’s propensity for selective attention (sometimes referred to as the cocktail party effect), which is our ability to tune out distractions and focus on a single activity. Oster also found that Parkinson’s sufferers and those with auditory impairments generally could not hear binaural beats. Thus, he concluded that binaural beats could be used for diagnosing certain disorders. He also discovered gender differences in the perception of beats and felt that how a woman perceived the tones could be used to gauge fluctuations of estrogen (the latter assertion rising from a study he replicated that corroborated findings of gender differences in the perception of beats).
Oster’s publication of “Auditory Beats in the Brain,” along with his assertion that binaural beats could be created even when one of the frequencies is below the human volume threshold (which supported his hypothesis that binaural beats involved different neural pathways from those involved in our direct conscious perception), launched a wave of new research into frequency following response.
How do binaural beats work?
- Two separate tones of a slightly different pitch generate a binaural beat
- One tone is presented to the left ear and the other to the right ear
- Your brain combines the two tones to make a single new tone
- The single tone pulses to match the desired brainwave frequencies
- Your brain follows the pattern and creates the relaxed state How does light create relaxation?
Almost since the time humans discovered fire, it’s been observed that flickering light can cause alterations in consciousness and even inexplicable visual hallucinations. Throughout history, stories abound of tribal elders, healers, and shamans using this knowledge to enhance their practices.
Early scientists, also captivated by this phenomenon, explored its practical applications. Around 200 AD, Ptolemy experimented with a spinning spoked wheel placed between an observer and the sun. The flickering of the sunlight through the spokes of the spinning wheel caused patterns and colors to appear before the eyes of the observer. Many of these observers described a feeling of euphoria after exposure to the light patterns.
Joseph Plateau, a Belgian scientist, used the flickering of light through a strobe wheel to study the diagnostic significance of the flicker fusion phenomenon. As he caused the light flickers to come faster and faster, he found that at a certain point the flickers seemed to “fuse” into a steady, non-flickering light pattern. In 1829, Plateau dubbed this phenomenon persistence of vision. He noted that healthy people could see separate flashes of light at much higher flicker speeds than were sick people. Today Plateau is recognized as the first animator. Modern filmmakers still rely on persistence of vision to trick our brains into believing that what we are viewing is actually moving and not just a series of still images.
At the turn of the century, French physician Pierre Janet noticed that when patients at the Salpetriere Hospital in Paris were exposed to flickering lights, they experienced reductions in hysteria and increases in relaxation.
By 1990, scientists could measure the effect of light on serotonin and endorphin levels. In one such study, eleven patients had peridural (the outermost of the three membranes covering the brain and spinal cord) and blood analysis performed before and after participation in relaxation sessions using flash emitting goggles. An average increase of beta-endorphin levels of twenty-five percent and serotonin levels of twenty-one percent were registered. The beta-endorphin levels are comparable to those obtained by cranial electrical stimulation (CES). The researchers concluded that photic stimulation has great potential for decreasing depression-related symptoms.
BrainTap’s History with Light & Sound Technology
Our founder, Dr. Patrick K Porter, PhD has been leading the brainwave entrainment industry for more than 30 years. The BrainTap headset is Dr. Porter’s seventhgeneration light & sound device and is based on years of development, clinical use and enhancement using new and improved technologies.
- – Las Vegas – Tested and worked with the Sensory Input Learning System (S.I.L.S.) Light & Sound Machine.
- – Developed the first portable light & sound machine, the MC2, with Light & Sound Research, Inc. of Scottsdale, Arizona.
1989 – Introduced the upgraded MC2 Plus at the Consumers Electronics Show in Chicago—won “Best New Gadget.”
1995 – 1997 Galaxy Voyager used in-clinic and with affiliate centers and sold retail.
1998 – Galaxy XL Voyager used in-clinic and with affiliate centers and sold retail.
2000 – The Pathfinder used and sold through franchise outlets.
2001- The Pathfinder II used and sold through franchise outlets.
2009 – Unveiled the Zen Frames – Portable Achievement Device for sale to practitioners and for online sales.
2013 – Released the MindFit for sale to practitioners and for online sales.
- – Unveiled the MindFit Neuro-Trainer all-in-one headset for sale to practitioners and for online sales.
- – Present – The BrainTap Headset
For more details on the history of brainwave entrainment using light and sound, and Dr. Porter’s own story, please reference Chapter 4 in his book, Thrive in Overdrive; How to Navigate Your Overloaded Lifestyle.
What is brainwave entrainment?
Entrainment refers to the synchronization of organisms to an external rhythm. In the case of brainwave entrainment, it is the frequencies of light and sound that entrain the brain and, to a lesser extent, the nervous system.
What is dissociation?
in the context of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), dissociation is simply a mild and temporary detachment from immediate surroundings. Dissociation can occur when we daydream meditate, exercise, read a good book, drive on a highway, watch a movie or enjoy a sporting event. Dissociation in the context of NLP (as used on the BrainTap audio sessions) is not related to the clinical definition of dissociation, which relates to mental disorders.
What are binaural beats?
The literal meaning of the term binaural is to “hear with two ears.” A binaural beat occurs when two different pure-tone sine waves are presented binaurally (one through each ear). For example, if a 530 Hz pure tone is presented to a subject’s right ear, while a 520 Hz pure tone is presented to the subject’s left ear, the listener will perceive a third tone, in addition to the two pure-tones presented to each ear. The third sound is called a binaural beat.
What is a sine wave?
A sine wave is defined as a smooth and repeating oscillation. This wave pattern occurs often in nature, including sound and light waves.
What are Isochronic Tones?
Isochronic tones are equal intensity pulses of sound separated by an interval of silence. They turn on and off rapidly, but the speed depends on the desired brain frequency. The discrete nature of isochronic tones makes them particularly easy for the brain to follow. While binaural beats rely on balanced hearing in both ears, isochronic tones work effectively for nearly everyone, except for someone with complete hearing loss. This is one of the reasons BrainTap’s proprietary algorithms incorporate both types of tones.
What is Schumann Resonance?
The Schumann Resonance is the number of times per second that electromagnetic radiation travels around the earth. The rate of the Schumann Resonance is 7.83 Hz, which falls into the relaxed alpha brain wave range. It’s believed the reason we relax when in nature is our brains are synchronizing with the Schumann Resonance.
What is Sensory Motor Rhythm (SMR)?
SMR is the low beta brainwave rhythm of 12 to 15 Hz that occurs in the sensory motor cortex of the brain.
How does the BrainTap headset work?
The BrainTap headset features harmonizing tones synchronized with gentle light pulses that travel through the ear meridians and the retina, sending direct signals to the brain and guiding you into deep relaxation. This innovative form of brainwave training is called frequency following response, and it provides maximum results in the least amount of time.
The flickering light patterns and binaural beats reach the brain by way of the optic nerve and inner ear respectively. Within minutes the brain begins to match the frequencies of the light pulses and sound beats. Unlike biofeedback, where the user attempts to consciously change brainwave activity, light and sound induced entrainment influences the brain without any conscious effort. Your clients will love the fact that braintapping is a passive experience.
What is BrainTap?
The BrainTap audio-sessions (delivered on the BrainTap mobile app) use sound technology, and the BrainTap headset contributes the dimension of light. These combined technologies use a science know as visual/auditory entrainment, a method of guiding the brain through frequency. These frequencies are introduced to the brain through the ears and optic nerve using computerized technology emitted through headphones and a specially visor equipped with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The lights flash at predetermined frequencies and are coupled with binaural beats, which are heard at a low level through the headphones. The visual/auditory entrainment is typically synchronized, but can be varied depending on the desired effect. BrainTap combines for distinct technologies:
Light Frequencies – light pulses train the brain to produce a healthy balance of brain wave activity, transforming the listener into a mental powerhouse with the right mindset to accomplish just about any goal. (Delivered via the BrainTap headset.)
Beats and Tones – Imbedded tones emulate relaxed brain waves, guiding the brain to an extraordinary level of relaxation and meditation. (Delivered via the audio-sessions from the BrainTap mobile app.)
Auriculotherapy – Trigger points in the ears, called meridians, are known to directly affect the body’s organs and systems. These are typically activated using acupuncture needles, but light frequencies are known to have the same effect. The BrainTap headset are uniquely equipped with 9 LED lights set at the optimum frequency for providing a sublime feeling of serenity and balance…all without needles! (Delivered via the BrainTap headset.)
Audio-Session Library – Patrick K. Porter, PhD created guided visualization audiosessions to help you become the designer of your own life. With a selection of more than 700 titles—all encoded to work with the BrainTap—you’ll know how to focus on everything you want out of life so you can have it, effortlessly! (Delivered via the BrainTap mobile app.)
10-Cycle Holographic Music – The music on the Audio Library audio-recordings is designed to create a full 360-degree experience that delights the mind with calming thoughts and images. (Delivered via the audio-sessions from the BrainTap mobile app.)
What does BrainTap do?
BrainTap lets you reach deeper meditative states without years of disciplined practice, leading to mental clarity and intuition. It enhances sleep so you can awaken feeling rejuvenated and energized. It reduces stress, worry and irritability while supporting emotional stability and mental harmony. By achieving the right mindset, you can lessen negative self-talk and self-destructive impulses and overcome bad habits, freeing you to explore and expanded self-awareness with boundless creativity. Best of all, you will experience the joy of higher states of consciousness where you attract and manifest your desires!
What is happening when I use the BrainTap headset?
There are several things that are going on when you are using the BrainTap headset:
- Your EEG activity is being altered – Your brain naturally follows rhythms and patterns, and it will do just that with the lights and tones being delivered through the audio file and headset. As the light and tone frequencies change, so does the frequency in your brain – it’s that easy!
- You are being dissociated – When playing any of our sessions on the BrainTap mobile app, you get drawn into a state of mindfulness, focusing on the present moment, so you can remove yourself from the daily hassles of dayto-day living. As you disconnect from the day’s mind chatter, you will gain a new, fuller awareness of self, as is experienced during deep meditation. Dissociation can happen at any time as you’re listening, depending upon the algorithms built into the session, but usually occurs at around 7 minutes
- Your limbic system is calmed– Your breathing will slow and become rhythmic, your hands warm and your will muscles relax. The limbic system is involved in motivation, emotion, learning, and memory.
- Mood enhancing neurotransmitters are being produced – People in a depressed mood tend to have low levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, often brought on by the stress response. Audio/visual stimulation has been shown to boost brain levels of serotonin, beta-endorphins and norepinephrine, which naturally occur when you reach the relaxation response, to improve overall well-being.
How do I use the BrainTap audio sessions and the BrainTap headset for Visualization?
For centuries, people have used visualization and imagery to enhance their quality of life. Imagery is not only related to sight, but also to smell, taste, sound and touch. The clearer one can create these senses in one’s imagination, the probability that the desired results will occur is increased dramatically.
Visualization is a powerful tool for replacing undesirable behaviors or responses. For example, you may have responses of anxiety, fear, anger, eating, smoking or a host of other behaviors when stressed. You would like to replace these behaviors with calmness, acceptance, abstinence or other desirable behaviors. Visualize these new responses using the following procedure:
- Select a session (The Better Life Me Series is perfect for this exercise.)
- Dim the intensity of the visor lights to allow greater conscious control during the session.
- Clearly visualize yourself in the situation where the undesirable response occurs. Visualize the situation up to the point where the response usually begins. Do NOT visualize your usual response.
- Next visualize yourself with a NEW response. Visualize the remainder of the scene as if it is happening right here, right now. Include new feelings, sensations of touch, sight, dialogue and even smell. Be aware of your breathing and muscle tone. In situations involving loved ones, do your best to feel a sense of closeness, understanding and caring for those persons.
- Visualize this process several times during a session.
- You may slip away from awareness at times during a session. As soon as you regain awareness, begin visualizing again.
Although braintapping helps to produce vivid imagery, you may have difficulty maintaining conscious control when you want to use this visualization technique. This can occur when the lights in the visor are too bright and/or the tones are too loud. If the entrainment becomes too prominent, all SMR activity is suppressed. The SMR component of brainwave activity is necessary to maintain conscious control of guided imagery. To achieve and maintain an optimal mix of enhanced imagery and conscious control of your visualization, it may be helpful to select a lower intensity setting and/or decrease the volume of the tones.
How many sessions can I listen to in a day? Can I use two sessions back to back? How often can I use BrainTap?
It depends on what you are using BrainTap for and what results you want to achieve. We recommend using the BrainTap audio-sessions or headset every day or every other day. But you can use it more often if you like. An optimal listening plan would be an AM (SMR) session in the morning, a relaxing and meditative theta session (Stress Reduction or Vibrant Health series) in the afternoon or evening, and then a sleep session before retiring (Healthy Sleep Habits or PM). You may also select a sleep session in the middle of the night if you wake up and are having difficulty falling back to sleep.
What sessions can I choose for braintapping?
You can pick from over 46 categories depending on what you would like to focus on.
Our most popular categories are: Habits of naturally Thin People; Stress Reduction; Healthy Sleeping Habits; Pain-Free Lifestyle; Habits of Non-Smokers; Accelerated Learning; SportZone; Life-Mastery; Vibrant Health.
How will I know BrainTap is working?
Each person’s experience is unique, and there is not right or wrong. No two people experience the same feelings or sensations while braintapping, and your experience will likely vary from one session to the next. You might experience lightness, heaviness, or a tingling sensation. You might even feel your eyelids flutter. You may feel as if you are drifting in and out of conscious awareness or feel dreamy, similar to how you feel right before falling asleep at night. Sometimes, as you release tension, your body might jerk or twitch. All of these are indicators that you are experiencing the alpha/theta state the BrainTap headset is designed to create.
How long does it take to see changes while using BrainTap?
This depends greatly on how often you are braintapping and what you are using it for. Different people use BrainTap for different purposes and thus will see varied results. Some people notice results after one use, and the most common improvement seen immediately is improved sleep quality. But typically, people using BrainTap five times per week notice significant results in two to four weeks.
What light intensity should I choose?
When you begin your session, adjust the intensity (brightness) of the visor lights to a comfortable level. A brighter intensity level creates more vivid colors and “sharper” patterns. Children and people susceptible to headaches or with sensitive eyes should keep the intensity lower. Again, the more comfortable your experience, the better your results. It’s always a good idea to start lower and work your way up to brighter intensities.
Should I keep my eyes open or closed? Should I stay awake or fall asleep during a session?
Most people prefer to use the BrainTap headset with eyes closed. This allows the user to remain more relaxed and rested. Also, with your eyes closed, the eyelids serve as a viewing screen. Autistic children often will prefer to keep their eyes open. Don’t worry about this; the light will not harm their eyes. If you are using a session for visualizing or for learning, it is advisable to stay awake so that you can consciously choose your imagery. When using BrainTap for general relaxation, however, most people enjoy drifting off.
If I want to stay conscious, how can I stay awake?
Often, when using sessions that use an alpha and/or theta frequency (5 to 7 Hz), the user will drift in and out of consciousness. If you want to stay more conscious, it is recommended that you sit straight up as opposed to lying down or lying all the way back in the chair. Sitting up can also help if you find that a person is prone to snoring.
What are brain waves?
Our brains produce electrical charges. These charges create a rhythm know as brain wave patterns. These patterns are observable through electroencephalograph (EEG) instruments. EEGs record and measure large amounts of neurons firing in unison. Brain wave patterns are commonly grouped into four different categories: beta, alpha, theta and delta. In recent years, with better measurement technology, a fifth brainwave, gamma, has been identified. Each of these brain wave patterns is associated with various states of mind.
Beta waves 13-30 Hz:
This is the wide-awake alert state where you spend most of your waking life. Beta is your reactionary mind. It is the level of your mind where fears, frustrations and negative emotions are processed. This is also where your strongest filtering system operates. It is called the critical factor. The key purpose in using the BrainTap headset is to train your mind to get out of this state where stress is dominant.
While we don’t train to beta, there’s an improvement that happens because of the harmonics that occur when using the proprietary algorithms of the BrainTap system.
When should I use Beta sessions?
Certain BrainTap sessions train at the lowest beta frequencies known as SMR. SMR stimulation acts as a neuro-stimulant. SMR stimulation in the morning—what we call digital coffee—is an excellent way to start the day and makes an excellent substitute for caffeine.
Persons who experience anxiety when confronted with new situations may find it helpful to use SMR sessions the first few time using BrainTap. Those with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) will find the SMR sessions helpful and calming. Beta sessions are commonly used to perk up cognitive functioning, for helping with focus, and are used extensively in treating slow-brain disorders where continuous alpha or theta activity is higher than normal (under-arousal).
Alpha waves 8-13 Hz:
Alpha is the frequency most associated with creativity, imagination and flow. Alpha is the intuitive mind. It is also the brain state associated with relaxation, tranquility and daydreaming. Flow thinking, or a state of inward awareness, takes place in alpha. It is also known as a super-learning state.
Alpha waves occur during rest, when daydreaming, when the eyes are closed, and during meditation or mindfulness practices. Alpha waves are the desired results of meditators. It may take 10 years of practice or more to produce consistent alpha waves using traditional meditation methods, but with the braintapping the enhancement of alpha can happen in just minutes.
It is believed that many creative geniuses, such as Einstein, stayed in an alpha state of the time. These insightful people often had poor grades in school and were thought to be slow learners. They were likely too busy daydreaming and conceptualizing how the world works to pay attention in class.
When should I use Alpha sessions?
Use any of the alpha-generating sessions, such as the Brain Fitness Breakthrough or Better Life Me, when you want to experience deep relaxation, tap your creative mind, or practice meditation. Alpha sessions are particularly helpful where there is nervous tension or anxious feelings and high arousal, or the feeling one can’t sit still.
Theta waves 4-8 Hz:
This is the breakthrough state where you can reinvent your life. Theta is the inventive mind. It borders on sleep and is often referred to the twilight state, where one is not quite awake, but not quite asleep. It is a meditative state that provides access to the other-than-conscious mind where you have higher levels of creativity, learning, and inspiration, and it is a state that is known for improving long-term memory. Children under the age of 6 operate in theta almost all the time, which explains their unique ability to learn rapidly and without effort.
Theta is also the state in which the BrainTap headset helps you to visualize and realize your goals. Theta is a somewhat mysterious and elusive state of mind. Most people find it nearly impossible to maintain because they fall asleep. But with the assistance of the audio-visual stimulation of the BrainTap headset, theta can be generated for much longer and more productive periods of time than could ever be achieved with one’s own efforts.
When should I use Theta sessions?
Theta sessions are most effective after a few weeks of braintapping, once you’ve become accustomed to meditating and are regularly experiencing deep relaxation. The theta sessions are effective for learning new emotional responses to situations and for developing and stimulating creativity.
Delta waves 1-4 Hz:
Delta waves are the slowest of brain waves and are generated during deep, dreamless sleep. Delta is the unconscious mind. With the exception of the Healthy Sleep Habits and PM Series, BrainTap audios are designed to keep you from falling into this state of sleep. This is why the light and sound patterns of the BrainTap headset system continue to change throughout the session. Newborns operate in delta alone, thus their constant need for sleep and perpetual dreamy appearance. There is growing evidence that individuals may maintain a slightly conscious state while in delta.
When should I use Delta sessions?
People who experience poor sleep, daytime sleepiness or feel as if they’re in a mental fog most of the day will want to use delta sessions before going to bed (but for best results should also do an SMR session during the day). Delta sessions should only be used upon retiring to help you fall asleep or if one awakens during the night and needs assistance getting back to sleep. That said, for just about everyone, BrainTap’s delta sessions will provide a more restful and restorative sleep. These sessions will bring the listener back at the end just enough to remove the headset and the role over to drift into a peaceful sleep.
Why is balancing brain waves important?
All brain wave states are necessary and serve important mental functions. Today’s stressful lifestyle has made it challenging for most people to achieve or maintain the brain waves low-stress, peaceful state. This difficulty causes disease, maladies and disorders in the body and mind. This is why it is so important for us to relearn or retrain our brains to get back to the full-spectrum of brain wave activity we need for the healthy enjoyment of life.
The list that follows will help you choose sessions based on your needs:
SMR (15 – 12 cps)
- NeuroInfinititi Series
- SMR 10 Session Training Series
Alpha/SMR (14 – 7 cps)
- AM Series
- Alpha (Music Only)
- Brain Fitness Breakthrough
- Optimizing Your Children’s Inner Potential
- Enlightened Children’s
- Consciousness – Children’s
- Better Life Me
Alpha Training – Autism (12 – 8 cps)
- Children’s Opportunity for Brilliance
Theta Training (14 – 4 cps)
- Healing Meditations for Child Abuse Survivors
- Freedom from Addiction Series
- Alcohol Series
- Theta Training
- Say No to Cancer
- Coping with Cancer
- Stress-Free Childbirth
- Stress-Free Childbirth
- Stress-Free Dentistry
- 8 Steps to Coping with Grief
- Vibrant Health
- Heart Healthy Lifestyle
- Freedom from Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Life Mastery
- Mind Over Menopause
- Learning Series
- Lyme Relief
- Pain Free Lifestyle
- BrainTap Breakthrough for Military PTSD
- Public Speaking Series
- Smoking Cessation Series
- Blue Chip Mind of Championship Basketball
- Sales Mastery Series
- Stress Reduction
- Wealth Consciousness Series
- Habits of Naturally Thin People
- Lipo-Light Ultimate Body Contouring Program
Delta Training (12 – 0 cps)
- Delta Training (Music Only)
- PM Series
- Healthy Sleep Habits
How Important is the music and sound?
The best brainwave entrainment is both auditory and visual. Environmental sounds and music have been used for centuries in almost all cultures to create altered states of consciousness. For example, native tribes used drums, chants, and environmental sounds like wind and rain to provide strong mental pictures and associations. There is a reason we find it relaxing to sit by the ocean and listen to waves crashing to shore or the sound of a stream as it trickles over rocks. These pleasant sounds tend to naturally generate alpha brainwave activity.
In today’s frenetic culture, though, we rarely get to enjoy nature’s relaxing effects. For this reason, the BrainTap Technologies team has individually encoded each session so that on a daily basis you can get a perfectly synchronized experience similar to that which nature provides.
The music you hear on every audio-session was composed specifically to complement the alpha/theta brainwave entrainment. The music is designed to create a full 360-degree experience that floods your mind with beautiful images and peaceful thoughts.
Why do some of the audio-sessions have two voices?
This dual-voice technique is intentional. It’s not a mistake! The purpose of the dual voice is three-fold. First, you’ll notice that the ancillary voice moves from right to left. This is to activate both the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Second, you’ll find that the primary voice is more assertive, while the secondary voice is more passive. This, too, is to activate different areas of the brain. Third, the two voices work together to create a whole-brain state by inspiring the conscious mind to let go. When the conscious mind isn’t trying to control every word, it helps the brain to balance while freeing the individual to relax and enjoy the positive ideas and images being presented. It’s advisable to inform clients about the dual-voice so they don’t think there’s an issue with the recording. You’ll find that when you tell them they don’t have to consciously listen to either voice, they’ll thoroughly enjoy the deeper relaxation this dual-voice method provides.
Do I Need to Be Concerned about Blue Light?
We’ve all heard the warnings…too much blue light is bad for you. Avoid blue light before bedtime. Excess blue light can harm your eyes. But why the bad rap?
Like ultraviolet radiation, visible blue light—the portion of the visible light spectrum with the shortest wavelengths and highest energy—has both benefits and dangers. Blue light in and of itself is not bad, but there are some important things you should know.
- Blue light is everywhere.
Sunlight is the main source of blue light, but there are also many man-made, indoor sources of blue light, including fluorescent and LED lighting and flat-screen televisions. The display screens of computers, tablets and smartphones emit significant amounts of blue light, but it is only a fraction of that emitted by the sun. However, the amount of time we spend on these devices and the proximity of the screens to the face have many eye doctors concerned about possible long-term effects of blue light on eye health.
- The open eye is not very good at blocking blue light.
Anterior structures of the adult human eye (the cornea and lens) are very effective at blocking UV rays from reaching the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eyeball. In fact, less than one percent of UV radiation from the sun reaches the retina, but virtually all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina.
- Blue light exposure may increase the risk of macular degeneration.
The fact that blue light penetrates all the way to the retina (the inner lining of the back of the eye) is important, because laboratory studies have shown that too much exposure to blue light can damage light-sensitive cells in the retina. This causes changes that resemble those of macular degeneration, which can lead to permanent vision loss. Although more research is needed, many eye care providers are concerned that the added blue light exposure from computer screens, smartphones and other digital devices might increase the risk of macular degeneration later in life.
- Blue light contributes to digital eye strain.
Because short-wavelength, high energy blue light scatters more easily than other visible light, it is not as easily focused. When you’re looking at computer screens and other digital devices that emit significant amounts of blue light, this unfocused visual noise reduces contrast and can contribute to digital eye strain. Research has shown that lenses that block blue light with wavelengths less than 450 nm (blue-violet light) increase contrast significantly. Therefore, computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses may increase comfort when you’re viewing digital devices for extended periods of time.
- Where is the increased exposure to blue light coming from?
The evolution in digital screen technology has advanced dramatically over the years, and many of today’s electronic devices use LED back-light technology to help enhance screen brightness and clarity. These LEDs emit very strong blue light waves. Cell phones, computers, tablets and flat-screen televisions are just among a few of the devices that use this technology. Because of their wide-spread use and increasing popularity, we are gradually being exposed to more and more sources of blue light and for longer periods of time.
- Not all blue light is bad.
So, is all blue light bad for you? Why not block all blue light, all the time? Bad idea.
It’s well documented that some blue light exposure is essential for good health.
Research has shown that high-energy visible light:
- Boosts Alertness
- Helps Memory
- Helps Cognitive Function
- Elevates Mood.
In fact, something called light therapy is used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons, with symptoms usually beginning in the fall and continuing through winter. The light sources for this therapy emit bright white light that contains a significant amount of HEV blue light rays.
Also, blue light is very important in regulating circadian rhythm — the body’s natural wakefulness and sleep cycle. Exposure to blue light during daytime hours helps maintain a healthful circadian rhythm. But too much blue light late at night (reading a novel on a tablet computer or e-reader at bedtime, for example) can disrupt this cycle, potentially causing sleepless nights and daytime fatigue.
- What about the Blue Lights used with the BrainTap headset?
The BrainTap headset uses a photo-modulated (pulsed, light emitting diodes) which are also used in low-level light therapy (LLLT).
It is important to remember that the BrainTap sessions are designed to be enjoyed with the eyes closed. Most of the issues we described above with blue light are about the amount of time spent with the eyes open viewing the screen on your computer, smart phone, TV or in a room with your eyes open and getting blue light from a fluorescent or LED bulb.
- What NASA says about LED Light Therapy
NASA studies demonstrate cells exposed to LED light therapy exhibit a 150% increase in cellular metabolism suggesting enhanced cellular repair and vitality. Medical researchers across the globe are currently investigating a wide array of physiologic benefits produced by LED light therapy. LED light therapy is noninvasive, painless, and restorative. It is safe in the clinic or at home for all ages and skin types.
Is Epilepsy a Concern?
Epilepsy refers to medical disorders of the brain that cause seizures. It. takes the form of brief, temporary changes in the normal functioning of the brain’s electrical system. Approximately 1.5% of the general population are epileptics or have had an epileptic seizure at some time. A small number (less than 5%) of this 1.5% with epilepsy can have their seizures triggered by a sensory stimulus. The most common seizure trigger for these persons is flashing lights, which usually produce absence (petit mal) attacks (a few seconds of a blank, absent stare with loss of contact with the environment). In addition to known epileptics, an extremely small percentage of the population may be subject to undiagnosed photic epilepsy. Another minute percentage of the population may be subject to photic (light) sensitivity or vertigo, which is not epilepsy, but which, under the stimulus of a pulsating light, could result in a headache, nausea or disorientation.
Who is Susceptible to Photic Epilepsy?
BrainTap uses synchronized pulses of light and sound to guide users into optimal learning states. For the vast majority of users, this stimulus is safe and free of side effects. There are two groups of persons for whom the use of light and sound stimulation is not recommended. These groups include (but may not necessarily be limited to):
- All persons with a history of epileptic type seizures or photo (light) sensitivity. An extremely small percentage of the population may be subject to undiagnosed epilepsy without their knowledge.
- Persons who may be prone to developing seizures, including:
- Those with a family history of and potential inherited disposition toward epilepsy.
- Persons with a history of brain disorders and/or disease, including brain damage, injury, scarring, tumor, blood clot, aneurysm, infection such as encephalitis or meningitis, stroke or other brain dysfunction.
- Persons withdrawing from alcohol and/or drug addictions, and/or persons with a history of hallucinogenic or other nonprescription drug use.
- Persons in an agitated, highly excited, fatigued, shocked, or highly emotional state or suffering from a mental Illness or abnormality.
- Persons with severe medical problems such as advanced heart or liver disease.
Use of the BrainTap by the above groups is not recommended without direct medical supervision.
The most effective method to ensure you will never have a seizure incident, is simply to prescreen your clients verbally for epilepsy and have them read and sign a waiver or a use consent form. Keep light brightness levels low with new users – usually bright flashes are required to trigger epilepsy.
GENERAL GUIDELINES IN THE EVENT OF A LIGHT AND SOUND INDUCED SEIZURE
- TERMINATE LIGHT AND SOUND STIMULATION IMMEDIATELY
- HAVE AN ASSISTANT CALL 911 OR AN AMBULANCE OR OTHER MEDICAL ASSISTANCE.
- KEEP CALM – SEIZURES ARE RARELY EMERGENCIES. LET THE SEIZURE RUN ITS COURSE. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RESTRAIN OR REVIVE THE PERSON. DO NOT RECOMMENCE LIGHT AND SOUND STIMULATION.
- EASE THE PERSON TO THE FLOOR AND LOOSEN TIGHT CLOTHING.
- TRY TO REMOVE ANY HARD. SHARP OR HOT OBJECTS WHICH MAY INJURE THE PERSON.
- TURN THE PERSON OH HIS/HER SIDE SO THAT SALIVA CAN FLOW FROM THE MOUTH.
- DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN THE PERSON’S MOUTH.
- AFTER THE SEIZURE, ALLOW THE PERSON TO REST OR SLEEP AS DESIRED. AFTER RESTING, MOST PERSONS CAN CARRY ON AS BEFORE.
- SHOULD THE PERSON STILL SEEM GROGGY, WEAK OR CONFUSED. IT MAY BE BETTER TO ACCOMPANY HIM OR HER HOME.
- IN THE CASE OF A CHILD HAVING A SEIZURE, CONTACT A PARENT OR GUARDIAN.
- CANCEL AMBULANCE OR MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IF OBVIOUSLY NOT REQUIRED.
It is not normal procedure to call an ambulance or medical assistance for seizures unless the seizure continues for more than 10 minutes and/or the person does not regain consciousness between seizures. It is however, BrainTap policy that an ambulance or medical assistance be called in the event of any mishap occurring while using BrainTap equipment.
What are some of the uses for the BrainTap?
There are many uses for BrainTap’s technology. For nearly everyone it is effective as a stress reduction, meditation and learning aid. BrainTap has also been successfully used to relieve side-effects of extreme stress. People experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and trauma may benefit from the meditative states and restorative sleep braintapping provides. It has been found to be very useful for helping lessen the stress and discomfort for chronic pain, and has been used for decades for changing habits and enhancing one’s lifestyle. BrainTap may be best known for assisting with the onset of sleep and enhancing the quality of sleep, which is often the first improvement new users notice.
Are there any negative side effects?
Side-effects from braintapping are rare. However, over-use (4 or more sessions in a day) could make a person fuzzy-headed or may cause a night of sleeplessness. Listening to any PM or sleep-inducing session should not be listened to in the daytime and may cause a sleepy, groggy state. Conversely, listening to SMR sessions at bedtime may lead to a restless night. Fortunately, negative side effects from occasional improper use are never permanent and go away within a day.
Will the BrainTap help reduce TMJ tension and pain?
Yes. Most persons with myo-fascial, shoulder and/or TMJ pain, will begin to feel release and relief about 10 minutes into a session. This is a natural occurrence and the benefits become longer lasting as the body consistently returns to the relaxation response with each playing.
Does BrainTap affect cerebral blood flow?
Yes. PET scans and FMRI scans reveal that most brain dysfunction involves an element of poor cerebral blood flow and metabolism in various regions of the brain.
According to Fox & Raichle, photic stimulation can increase cerebral blood flow up to 28%.
Will BrainTap help a tense person relax?
Yes. Braintapping in the alpha and that brain wave states will usually produce profound relaxation in approximately six minutes.
Is braintapping that same as meditation?
Studies have shown that, generally within 10 minutes, achieving and maintaining the brain states of alpha and theta can create the same benefits as those achieved by disciplined meditators with many years of experience.