What is a Sound & Light Machine?
Since ancient times man observed that flickering lights and rhythmic sounds often produced a relaxed state of mind. Around 200 A.D. the astronomer Ptolemy noted that when a person looked toward the sun through the spokes of a spinning wheel, the flickering sunlight caused patterns and colors to appear and produce a feeling of euphoria, even though the eyes of the observer were closed.
Modern scientific research has verified this phenomenon: the brain tends to assume the rhythms of a flashing light stimulus, known as the frequency following effect. Scientists have also shown that certain states of consciousness tend to be associated with certain brainwave patterns. For example, when we are in a deeply relaxed state of mind our brainwaves emit an electrical frequency of 4–8 Hz per second.
The basic idea behind light and sound technology is that the gentle pulses of light can lead one to the state of mind associated with that particular frequency range. The various pre-programmed “sessions” found in the Galaxy can be used for different purposes, including meditation, stress reduction, accelerated learning, restful sleep, increased creativity, and goal setting.
In actuality, we continually receive stimuli that affect our mental state, whether it’s music, TV, the internet, or the spoken word. When one begins to understand their moods and performance states are really a reflection of the mental states they are in, then adjusting that state in a conscious fashion seems the natural thing to do.
The beneficial effects of light and sound have been clinically tested and verified for over 50 years. Many physicians, mental health professionals, and educators routinely use devices like the Galaxy to help their clients. With gentle pulses of light and sound, you can attune your mind to the desired state at the touch of a button.
Brainwaves of short amplitude and very rapid pulsations of 14–30 cycles per second (Hertz or Hz). This pattern is optimal for intense mental activities such as calculations, linear logical analyses, and other highly structured functions.
Characterized by a slightly larger amplitude of 9–13 Hz, this pattern typically occurs in daydreaming, relaxed awareness, guided or focused imagery, and smoothly rhythmic athletic activity. Serotonin production is increased and there is often a euphoric, effortless feeling of “flow” as the doer is absorbed in activity.
Brainwave patterns that are more ragged and irregular, in the 4–8 Hz range. This pattern is associated with deep unconscious imagery, and thus creativity, as the person drops into a state of drowsiness and near-sleep.
Pulsations that range between 1–3 Hz. In this range of profound relaxation, images and dreams have largely subsided, as the person slides into a state of slow wave restorative sleep. Meditators who remain aware during this state of near unconsciousness report tranquility and peace.
Benefits of using the Galaxy
Sound & Light Machine
Different states of consciousness are associated with specific brainwave patterns. By aligning your mind to these patterns, the Galaxy can be used for a wide range of purposes.
Relaxation and meditation. Light and sound machines are perhaps best known for their ability to help users achieve a state of calmness — and in many cases, in shorter periods of time than required with many traditional methods. Managing stress is also essential for physical health and a sense of well-being. The Galaxy can be an effective addition to any meditation or stress reduction programs.
Creativity. You are most creative when you’re in the right state of mind, what some call “the zone.” By using the Galaxy before creative activities, you can be in the state of mind where you are most receptive to creative insights. Use the complex, shifting visual images you see during a session as a stimulus to your creative imagination and unlock the doors to creative breakthroughs and creative problem-solving.
Restful Sleep. “Sleep” sessions use theta and delta frequencies to gently soothe your mind and help bring restful sleep. Light and sound machines can help with insomnia and other sleep disorders — naturally, without the use of drugs.
Accelerated learning. In this age of information and technology, knowledge translates into success. The highest achievers must also be effective learners. The “Learn” sessions in the Galaxy will help tune you to the optimal state for accelerated learning, comprehension, memorization, and more.
Visualization and goal achievement. Light and sound machines are powerful tools for those wanting to achieve goals and program their unconscious mind. Sessions in the theta range put you in the state of mind where you are most receptive to new ideas.
Entertainment – The stunning effects of light and sound can be used solely for entertainment purposes. Trigger your imagination with a light show like you’ve never seen before!
A light and sound session typically take the user through a range of brainwave frequencies in sessions that range from 10 minutes to 45 minutes. In this 20-minute Lucid Dreaming session from the Galaxy, the user is gradually taken from a “normal” beta activation state of consciousness down to the theta state.
What is achieved by being in these states of mind?
The following are some of the areas being explored by users of these machines: psychological stress relief, deep relaxation, assistance in falling asleep, memory improvement, increased learning, stabilizing emotions, increased intellectual focus, lucid dreaming, sensory stimulation, increased physical energy.
Increases in I.Q. especially in children with ADD
Improved memory and attention span
Better results in meditation (deeper trance achieved)
Pain management and relief
Higher scores on tests
Improved cognitive ability
Easier access to hypnotic states
Frequently Asked Questions
Utilizing light and sound pulses at a specified frequency, these machines stimulate the brainwave frequency associated with a particular mental activity, essentially leading perception from the waking state to a variety of altered states of consciousness.
Waking state: attention directed to surroundings. Includes agitated, restless/”monkey mind” states which are especially amenable to treatment with light and sound stimulation.
Alpha state: Relaxed, tranquil, daydreaming, “inward awareness” state. Light meditation here.
Hypnagogic or “twilight” state: Borderline sleep; deep meditation state; hypnotic state; access to the unconscious mind and enhanced retrieval of memories; creativity, accelerated or “super-learning”, inspiration. Associated with increased theta brainwave activity.
Trance state: Deep, dreamless sleep; deep rest. Often associated with increased delta brainwave activity.
Light and sound is an effective tool for anyone who wishes to explore altered states of consciousness, awareness expansion and sensory stimulation, psychedelic-like visual imagery, and those seeking an entertaining path to relaxation.
With special light-bearing sunglasses over your closed eyes and headphones over your ears, you are immersed in colorful dancing geometric patterns and entrancing sounds. The light and sound pulse rate shifts from state to state as the session progresses; mental activity will follow the pulse rate of the machine.
The following are some of the areas being explored by users of these machines: psychological stress relief, deep relaxation, assistance in falling asleep, memory improvement, increased learning, stabilizing emotions, increased intellectual focus, lucid dreaming, sensory stimulation, and increased physical energy. While some of these benefits have been substantiated by research studies, these machines are experimental and results will vary from person to person.
Binaural beats occur when two sine (pure) waves of slightly different frequencies are presented to the left and right sound channels: the difference between the left and right is synthesized by the brain and perceived as a slowly modulated frequency. This is known as a binaural beat frequency. This beat frequency is typically modulated at the same frequency as the lights.
We suggest that the Galaxy be used at least three times per week. It can be used on a daily basis. It provides completely natural forms of stimulation. Multiple sessions per day can cause increased drowsiness in some users. However, there is no danger of overuse.
No. Anyone can deliberately resist the soothing effects of pulsed light and sound if they choose to do so. Individuals with excessive “mind chatter” and those with especially rigid mental processes may initially find a light and sound machine less effective. Using the system for only a few minutes will also generally prove ineffective.
Yes. Individuals with a very rare condition known as photosensitive epilepsy should not be exposed to flickering light except under medical supervision. Likewise, we suggest that individuals who are uncomfortable with bright light, those with heart conditions, or those who feel at all uncomfortable with the light/sound experience, should consult their physician prior to regular use, as should users who have ever experienced seizures of any sort.
Which sound you use is mostly a matter of preference. Pitch often corresponds to the type of session you are using. Higher pitches tend to be more energizing, while lower pitches tend to be more relaxing. Binaural has proven to be an effective type of sound effect for altering consciousness.
In actuality, brainwaves vary over a wide continuum. The four states generally referred to are artificial categories, created by EEG researchers to describe states of mind that are typically associated with certain patterns. Sessions don’t remain in only one of those brainwave patterns; they usually work by taking you through several different frequencies at different times during a single session. For example, a session that is predominately in theta may, at times, move up to alpha. This effect would be different from another session predominately in theta, but which dips down into delta. It is this rich tapestry of “changes” within each session that makes each one unique and allows them to produce different results.
A user’s intent also affects the type of result a session might produce. For example, one person might use a theta-type session for visualization and be actively engaged in the process. Another person, using that same session for sleep, would take a much more passive role, thus achieving an entirely different result.
On one hand, if you fall asleep during a session, it may mean that the session is effective in giving you what you need at that time—sleep. On the other hand, if you fall asleep every time you use your light and sound machine you can try several things: use a more energizing program, try sitting up if you’ve been lying down, turn the brightness of the LiteFrames or the volume up, or try doing a session at a different time of the day.
You should always keep the volume of the headphones within a safe range. Like any audio device, excessive volume over a period of time could damage your hearing. Use a volume that feels comfortable. There is no danger to running the LiteFrames at maximum brightness, however. Brighter lights can improve a session’s effectiveness, but don’t make them bright for this reason alone if it feels uncomfortable. Volume and brightness should always be set to the level that feels most comfortable to you.
Yes. If you are using the Galaxy as an adjunct to meditation or visualization, you may find the lights too distracting. The binaural option is very effective in this instance. TIP: Try listening to the binaural for more focus while studying.
If you’re gone for more than a few minutes, it’s more effective to start over.
It’s best to “let go” and let the light and sound take you. If your mind is very active and keeps drifting away from the light/sound session, gently bring your attention back when you notice, but don’t strain to stay concentrated.
Once children reach beyond the fifth year of development they can benefit greatly from light and sound, especially when used with visualized images. The need for self-control, calmness, and self-esteem is ever-present in children, and the need continues to grow as they mature. The leading researcher in the use of light and sound devices in early childhood development, Dr. Rayma Ditson-Sommer, has found improved concentration, accelerated learning, and a better attitude toward school and other stressful situations in children who used the programs daily.
This won’t harm your eyes, but a light and sound machine is designed to be used with your eyes closed.