My wife gave me a very cool yuletide gift this year; a Proteus Mind Machine!
This is a light and sound therapy machine that is very hard to explain without allowing the reader to try one of these nifty little things for themselves. Utilizing light and sound pulses at a specified frequency, these machines stimulate the mental activity in various ways, essentially leading their minds from the waking state to a variety of altered states of consciousness. Like I said, its a bit hard to accurately describe how incredibly cool the experience is when you are using this thing, you sort of have to be there. I guess you'll have to take my word for it!! If you should ever get a chance to give one of these a try, by all means, give it a go!! You are bound to find it unique, enjoyable, and most likely a very different experience than anything else you have tried.
Personally, I absolutely love it!! I look forward to taking a little time and just flying around inside of my head for a while.
Here is some information that I copied from a selection of websites about this device:
Light and sound stimulation systems--often called mind machines--generate precisely timed patterns of modulated sound and light which can gently lead your mind into a variety of interesting and beneficial states of consciousness. These powerful tools can help you relax deeply, experience less anxiety and fall asleep more quickly. They are also favored by those who wish to explore alternate states of consciousness such as meditation, trance/shamanic states, lucid dreaming, "magic journeys," etc.
- Relax more deeply
Ever have trouble silencing your "monkey mind?" Light and sound stimulation uses completely natural forms of stimulation to gently lead your mind into slower, more tranquil mindstates.
- Experience less anxiety
Use of light and sound machines has often been compared to "electronic meditation." Regular use of our products can help reduce anxiety and other common responses to psychological stress.
- Fall asleep more quickly
One of the most powerful and effective applications of light and sound stimulation lies in its ability to rapidly induce deep, refreshing sleep.
- Enhanced creativity
When you're in the "twilight" state, you can access the power of your subconscious mind and use it for solving creative problems. You may even find your enjoyment of music and art increasing, with regular use! Discover why Writer's Digest called one of our systems the "idea generator"! Also, see our new art section to see how light and sound have influenced the visual arts.
- Improved visualization
Flickering light activates your visual processing mind much more strongly than does ambient light. That's why it's easier to visualize scenes while using our products than normal. In fact, most people will "see" a stream of colorful, dreamlike or kaleidoscopic images during a session. If you rely at all on your visual imagination or memory, you'll find our products especially beneficial.
- Accelerate the learning process
Light and sound stimulation can help you improve your school grades, boost verbal IQ, reduce mental stress and focus more clearly on your studies. If you are interested in this application be sure to see the recently published study which demonstrated a significant increase in college Grade Point Average following regular use of our technology.
While I don't know whether all of the benefits that are ascribed to this machine are valid or truthful, what I can attest to is that, for one thing, when I use my Proteus, I have incredibly vivid and colorful visual experiences, and when I use the program that is designed to promote a deep and restful sleep; It knocks me out like a light!! I wake immediately when the program ends, turn off the device and put it away, and when I close my eyes, I drop off again immediately and sleep until either the alarm wakes me, or I wake on my own. Now, this is saying something, because I usually wake constantly throughout the night, get up to use the bathroom, etc., etc. I have only been using this thing for a very short time, and already, I am totally hooked!!
Apparently, this technology is all based on a phenomenon called 'Brain Entrainment', which is a natural process by which the brain waves will synchronize themselves to light and/or sound stimulii. In times past, this was used by many cultures, through drumming, chanting, or through the use of long lines of dancers circling a fire to a beat; the observers outside of the dance circle would see the fire being repeatedly blocked from view and then revealed once again by the movement of the dancers... causing the brains of the observers to become 'entrained' to the beat of the drums and the dancers movements!
I find it to be a very relaxing and enjoyable pastime, and have hopes of being able to explore various altered states of consciousness with my new toy!