Audio Visual Entrainment

Vincent Matlo, an RCC with two masters degrees, is our team leader for this cutting edge service delivery. If you are interested, he will begin with an intake session to design a treatment regiment with you, and supervise your progress.  We have the AVE equipment on sight to deliver timely treatment protocols.


What is Audio-Visual Entrainment?

AVE uses an eye set and headphones to send rhythmic flashes of light to the eyes and pulsed tones to the ears at prescribed frequencies from 1 to 25 HZ to positively influence brainwave activity. The brain will speed up or slow down as it synchronizes with the audio and visual stimuli.


What are brain waves?

Our brains produce 'sweeping' electrical charges; these charges create a rhythm known as brain wave patterns that are observable through electroencephalogram instruments. Brain wave patterns are commonly grouped into four different categories: beta, alpha, theta, and delta. Each of these brain wave patterns is associated with various states of mind.


Brainwaves are categorized by frequency with each category having different positive and negative effects, depending on your current and desired level of arousal or alertness.


Brainwaves indicate both the level and type of arousal in a part of the brain. When a person is awake and engaging in a task, delta, theta, and alpha activity should be low, revealing beta as the dominant wave. As a person relaxes, alpha quickly increases. As a person becomes deeply relaxed and especially with eyes closed, theta will become the dominant brainwave and as a person falls asleep, delta becomes the dominant brainwave with occasional short bursts of sensory-motor rhythm (SMR) in the sensory-motor strip (to prevent sleepwalking).


Brainwaves are situation specific. Therefore, any brainwave can be either beneficial or detrimental to the activity a person is trying to engage in. Stress, hectic lifestyle, and less than optimal diet suppresses relaxing brainwaves.


And likewise, when we are tired during the day, the brainwaves which are essential for mental performance are suppressed. It's easy to see that if a person's brain is not adaptively adjusting the frequency for a given situation, the result will be detrimental to his/her ability to succeed at the task at hand. The brain needs to flex with the various activities that one is engaging in.


Audio visual entrainment or AVE can aid in producing 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.


Although AVE is a relatively new treatment option, there is emerging evidence through clinical trials of its efficacy in the treatment of ADHD, worry, anxiety, depression, SAD, balance and memory in seniors, pain remediation, and cognitive decline. AVE has been used to successfully boost physical performance for athletes, academic performance for students, business performance and corporate wellness, and cognitive performance for seniors.


An important objective of entrainment is to produce a meditation-like state of deep relaxation. The brain-body rehabilitative benefits produced by this deep trance-like state make AVE useful for many conditions. This relaxed state can be first observed by noticing deep and diaphragmatic breathing. Hands and feet become warmer as arteries dilate. Skin color can become pinker as blood flow increases throughout the face and body. Blood flow can increase in the brain as well. Individuals will experience feelings of profound relaxation and contentment as beneficial neurotransmitters are released into the brain.  When in this deep relaxation state, the brain-body's regenerative repair chemicals (parasympathetic hormones) and stabilizing neurotransmitters - such as serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine – can be 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.


During the process of AVE your electroencephalogram (EEG) activity can be altered. As the AVE frequency changes, so does the frequency in the brain. 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 separated from the stress response in your brain and moved to a better brain response. When using AVE, the goal is that you get drawn into the present moment and let go of thoughts related to your daily hassles, hectic schedules, worries, threats, or anxieties, and you stop the unhealthy "mental chatter." Separation from the stress response (also referred to as dissociation in the literature although this has other negative connotations) involves a "disconnection" of self from thoughts and body awareness, like that experienced during deep meditation. This favorable outcome typically begins in 4 - 8 minutes from properly applied AVE.


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


Fourth, several neurotransmitters are being produced. People with depressed mood typically have low levels of serotonin and norepinephrine; AVE is typically found to boost brain levels of serotonin and norepinephrine to improve overall well­ being.


Finally, your cerebral blood flow (CBF) can increase. Diminished 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.  There are individual differences and individual results, and you ultimately determine the value of this treatment through your felt experience.