Light Therapy and its Benefits for your Mental Wellbeing
Words: Ferina Natasya Aziz
Photos: David Van Dijk
Light therapy is known to help seasonal affective disorder during the fall and winter months. For those in the tropical climate like us here in Singapore, sunlight deprivation is not a problem. However, with rising depression, anxiety, insomnia cases, emerging evidence shows that light therapy may help increase the levels of neurotransmitters - such as serotonin - similar to how antidepressant medications work.
And that's what we did - we experienced the healing benefits of PandoraStar; a brainwave entrainment light emitting lamp, said to help train your brainwaves towards deep meditation and relaxation.
Light therapy through PandoraStar Light, being a tool for the brain to access any frequency state from 0.1 Hz to 200 Hz as well as deep relaxation states outside our normal consciousness. Not sure if you know but I suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder and when I heard about PandoraStar Light Therapy - the first thing that came to mind was "not another woo-woo thing to help me relax" but i went anyways because i'm curious as a cat. And upon further reading, I knew the connection with light, sound, would tie to the different brainwave states: Alpha, Beta, Theta, Delta and Gamma. More on the 5 types of brain waves.
How does it work? Using a unique inverted triangle array of LED lights that interlock to create a series of hexagrams, PandoraStar stimulates various brain regions by focusing rays of light on the retinas. Through closed eyelids, users experience a “visible” frequency entrainment of kaleidoscopic patterns of colours and psychedelic imagery, inviting the feeling of calm and enjoyment.
Does different brainwave states affect different behaviour? Beta waves (38 - 15 Hz) are the brainwaves of our "normal"waking consciousness, of our outward attention, of logical, conscious and analytical thinking. They are involved in conscious thought, logical thinking, and tend to have a stimulating affect. Having the right amount of beta waves allows us to focus and complete school or work-based tasks easily. Having too much beta may lead to us experiencing excessive stress and/or anxiety. Alpha waves would be a wakeful relaxation state.
It helps with:
- Deep meditation
- Creative Visualisation
- Stress Management
- Anxiety Reduction
- Depression Management
- Sleep Improvement
- Cognitive Enhancement“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies." - Dr. Gaynor
Sound + Light Therapy This multi-sensory experience (of about 20 minutes) included the beautiful sounds of Singing Bowls by Christina Shiu. The accompaniment of the sounds produced when the rim of the singing bowls are rubbed by the mallet adds to the "buzzing" not only in the head but pretty much left all cells in my body vibrating. Pure bliss!
The verdict: I think this combination is a beautiful complement as the vibrations from the singing bowl deepen the meditative state, sinking me deeper into relaxation. On a physical level, I may not see any changes except that my body felt heavy and panicky at the start (perhaps it was the unfamiliarity) or maybe i am not prepared to see what's really going on in my mind.
But internally, i knew the sound and light has deeply touched and brought me on a journey of emotional planes. Physiologically i feel like i needed to be in a that deep (albeit a little scary) state to get over the intense sensation and pressing the panic button but going deeper into the session, the body slowly understands and enables me to release the tension around the body and mind.
Thanks for the light+sound trip! I'm addicted to the post-pandorastar buzz.