Light & Sound Neurotherapy (“LSN”) is a treatment with proven success for numerous problems, based on more than 75 years of basic and applied research.
The research studies summarized below document that LSN is a robust treatment that frequently results in sustained improvement for a wide variety of difficult to treat conditions, including anxiety, stress, depression, migraines, ADD, ADHD, trauma, and addiction. LSN has also been shown to enhance mental clarity and peak performance.
Summarizing across these studies, researchers have documented that frequency-based light and/or sound neurotherapy (LSN):
- Strengthens the same brainwave frequency that corresponds to the light and/or sound stimulation.
- Increases brain metabolism and cerebral blood flow.
- Appears to generate positive biochemical changes in the brain; and
- Often results in immediate clinical benefits after only a single session. Multiple sessions may result in lasting improved functioning.
Clinical researchers have found that LSN is a robust treatment effective in facilitating relaxation, meditative and hypnotic mental states29-37 as well as promoting improvement in numerous mental and physical disorders.
Data below presents the key findings from 16 clinically focused LSN studies. These 16 studies demonstrate LSN’s effectiveness for numerous conditions ranging from anxiety, depression, and PTSD to pain-control for migraines and PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome). Four studies found LSN to be an effective adjunctive treatment for patients with substance abuse disorders.
- Cantor & Stevens (2009)22
Study of 16 adults with treatment-resistant depression
Subjects received LSN 30 minutes per day, five days per week for four weeks (total of 20 sessions).
Key Findings: Significant reductions in depression only occurred during active LSN treatment with patients averaging a 70.9% improvement.
All patients had at least a 50% reduction in depressive symptoms.
The improvements were still present when subjects were re-assessed 4 weeks after the end of treatment.
- Wolitzky-Taylor & Telch (2007)38
113 college students with pathological worry
Key Findings: Subjects who received 12 LSN sessions (three times per week for four weeks) had the highest rate of clinically significant change after four weeks at 67%.
A follow-up conducted three months after treatment ended showed that improvements were maintained despite receiving no further treatment.
- Nomura, et al, (2006)23
40 patients undergoing a follow-up endoscopy
Outcomes were measured by changes in EEG’s and the pain and discomfort reported by the patients.
Key findings: After slow-wave LSN treatment, 90% of subjects experienced reduced pain and discomfort during their follow-up endoscopy, compared to only 15% in the control group.
Slow brainwave activity significantly increased in the subjects. The degree of pain and discomfort felt was highly correlated to the proportion of slow-wave brain activity.
- Padmanaban et al, (2005)24
Relaxation Relief from Anxiety Healing
108 patients undergoing ambulatory surgery
Pre-operative patients were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups, using (1) rhythmic tones embedded in music; (2) the same music without the rhythmic tones; and (3) no intervention.
Key Findings: Rhythmic sound stimulation resulted in an average 26.3% reduction in pre-op anxiety, compared to 11.1% for the music-only group and 3.8% in the no intervention group.
Rhythmic sound stimulation was superior to music-only stimulation in reducing pre-operative anxiety.
- Kliempt, et al, (2000)25
Healing and Relaxation
76 surgery patients under general anesthesia
Subjects wore headphones while under general anesthesia and were randomly assigned to listen to rhythmic sound stimulation, classical music, or a blank audio tape.
Key Findings: Subjects using rhythmic sound stimulation required more than 77% less fentanyl compared to patients listening to classical music or the blank tape.
- Lane, et al, (1998)26
Improve Mental Focus
Subjects performed 30-minute of computerized tasks on 3 different days.
Key Findings: Subjects who experienced Beta-frequency binaural beats gave more correct answers and made fewer mistakes than those who experienced theta/delta frequency beats.
Beta brainwave stimulation was associated with less negative mood.
- Berg & Seiver, (1999)42
74 adults with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Subjects received sub-delta LSN treatments five days/wk. for two weeks, followed by beta wave LSN treatment for 2 weeks. The control group did not receive LSN.
Key Findings: Following the betawave LSN treatment, 100% of subjects in the treatment group showed reduced depression, and 84% scored as being clinically non-depressed.
- Tan et al. (1997)43
15 geriatric patients with dementia
Key Findings: LSN patients showed significant improvements in attention. LSN patients made significant improvements in mood.
- Pigott et al. (2009)44
65 substances abuse in patients
Patients received LSN combined with mindfulness meditation training three mornings per wk. for four wks. in a group setting. Of the 65 patients, 44 were assessed as moderately to severely depressed following detox.
Key Findings: 65.7% had a remission of their depressive symptoms. 91.4% showed a 50% or greater improvement in their Beck Depression Inventory score. After treatment, 65.7% scored within the normal range in Trait Anxiety.
- Weiner et al. (2008)45
Substance Abuse Major Depression
10 substance abuse in patients with major depression
Patients received LSN five afternoons per wk. for two wks. and also listened to audio coaching CDs during their 30-minute LSN group sessions.
Key Findings: LSN patients averaged a 75% decrease in their feelings of depression and hopelessness. LSN patients averaged an 80% increase in their self-esteem. 90% of the LSN patients had a 50% or greater improvement.
- Weiner et al. (2008)45
Substance Abuse Major Depression
18 substance abuse in patients with major depression
Patients received LSN three afternoons per wk. for two wks. and also listened to audio coaching CDs during their 30-minute LSN group sessions.
Key Findings: 72.2% had a 50% or greater improvement in their Beck Depression Inventory score. LSN patients averaged a 34.1-point decrease on the MCMI Major Depression scale.
- McIlveen et al. (2008)46
Substance Abuse Post Traumatic Stress
10 substance abuse in patients with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder)
Patients received bilateral LSN stimulation sessions twice weekly for two weeks and also listened to audio coaching CDs. Patients also received LSN three times weekly for two weeks and listened to audio coaching CDs during 30-minute group sessions.
Key Findings: PTSD symptoms decreased by an average of 36.4% on PDS Symptom Severity scale and 10.3 points the on MCMI’s PTSD scale.
LSN patients averaged a 24.2-point decrease on the MCMI’s Major Depression scale.
- Solomon (1985)47
21 patients with muscle-contraction type headache, 3 patients with acute sinusitis headache, and 4 patients with migraine headaches
Patients received slow-wave (1-3 Hz) LSN for 5 minutes during their headache.
Key Findings: 19 out of 21 patients with muscle-contraction headache reported complete relief after treatment.
- Anderson (1989)48
7 patients with long-standing migraine headaches
Patients self-administered LSN at the onset of migraines. The average duration of treatment was 30 minutes.
Key Findings: Of the 50 migraine headaches reported, patients rated 49 as being helped and 36 as being stopped.
LSN reduced the median duration of migraines in all patients from an average of 6 hours to an average of 35 minutes. 18 months after treatment, the interval between migraines had increased for 2 of the patients. Patients reported faster relief when using LSN in the higher frequency range and brightest setting.
- Norton (2000)49
55 patients with long-standing migraine headaches
Patients self-administered LSN daily for 30 days to determine if daily use decreased the frequency of migraine headaches.
Key Findings: 44% reported that migraine frequency was ‘Somewhat Less’ or ‘Much Less.’
Of the 28 patients whose migraines were normally preceded by warning signs, 53% reported that the frequency was ‘Somewhat Less’ or ‘Much Less.’
- Anderson et al. (1989)50
17 women with severe and long-standing Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Patients self-administered LSN daily for 15 minutes during the three treatment menstrual cycles. Key Findings: After the first treatment cycle, there were reductions in PMS symptoms for depression, anxiety, affective lability, irritability, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, change in appetite, breast tenderness, and bloating.
Patients’ median reduction in PMS symptoms was 64% after one cycle of treatment and 76% at the end of treatment.
At the end of the final treatment cycle, 76.5% experienced reductions in PMS symptoms of 50% or greater, and 70.6% no longer met the criteria for PMS.
Both the severity and duration of PMS symptoms tended to return towards pre-treatment levels in the follow-up menstrual cycle.
The following present the findings from ten different studies of people with ADHD and/or learning disabilities. These findings document LSN’s effectiveness for many symptoms common in people with ADHD and/or learning disabilities. Summarizing across studies, researchers found that LSN treatment:
Increased sustained attention
Improved impulse control
Decreased anxiety and depression
Improved essential learning skills including:
Mental processing speed
Verbal and non-verbal IQ
Improved academic performance
Generated improvements similar to psycho-stimulant medication; and
Maintained the treatment gains for up to 16-months following treatment termination.
ADHD and Learning Disability Studies
- Carter & Russell (1993)51
Learning Improvement Grade Improvement
26 boys with learning disabilities
14 boys were attended private school and 12 attended public school. The private school boys had 40 LSN sessions lasting 25 minutes during school, while the public-school boys had only 18 sessions. The private school boys also had an additional 40 sound stimulations administered at home by their parents.
Key Findings: Both groups showed improvement, but the private school group did considerably better with a significant eight-point improvement in non-verbal IQ as well significant improvements in reading, spelling, and auditory memory functioning.
The public-school group showed significant improvement in only IQ (5.5 points) and spelling.
The private school group also showed greater and significant improvement in behavior.
- Carter & Russell (1994)52
Learning Improvement Grade Improvement
40 learning disabled boys diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder)
The boys were randomly assigned into three groups: 20 received 40 LSN sessions, 10 received language-attention, and 10 received no treatment.
Key Findings: Compared to the two control groups, the LSN group’s verbal IQ showed a significant increase of 4.3 points after 20 sessions and 9.2 points after completing 40 LSN training sessions.
A similar pattern of progressive improvement in reading was also found for the LSN group after 20 and 40 sessions.
Compared to the control groups, the LSN group showed significant improvement in their ability to sustain attention and inhibit impulsive behaviors.
- Patrick (1996)53
ADD / ADHD
Learning Improvement Grade Improvement
25 children diagnosed with ADHD
Treatment consisted of fifteen 40-minute LSN sessions.
Key Findings: LSN significantly improved the children’s ability to sustain attention and decreased impulsive behaviors.
LSN significantly enhanced scholastic achievement.
Three months after treatment ended, the improvement in scholastic achievement scores was maintained.
- Russell & Carter, (1997-a)54
A follow-up to their 1994 study of 40 learning disabled boys (see no. 2 above)
Key Findings: Significant gains in verbal IQ and enhanced ability to sustain attention were maintained for 16 months following LSN treatment termination.
The improvements in ability to inhibit impulsive behaviors were not maintained.
2 b. Russell & Carter (1997-b) 54
Replication of 1994 study (see no. 2 above)
Due to school conflicts, the LSN treatment groups were only able to complete 25 LSN sessions rather than the 40 sessions in the 1994 study.
Key Findings: Both the ADD and ADHD treatment groups showed significant improvements in verbal and non-verbal IQ.
These IQ gains were maintained for 9 months following LSN treatment termination.
- Russell & Carter (1997-c) 54
Learning Improvement Grade Improvement
Replication of their 1994 study with learning disabled girls, conducted by an independent researcher at a different university
Key Findings: LSN treatment resulted in significant increases in verbal and non-verbal IQ.
- Russell & Carter (1997-d) 49
15 boys diagnosed with ADD or ADHD
Five of the subjects received LSN treatment only; five received Ritalin only; and five received both LSN and Ritalin group. Treatment occurred five days per week for eight weeks.
Key Findings: The LSN-only group significantly improved their Raven IQ test performance from 105.9 to 115.0. There was a less though still significant change for the Ritalin-only group.
All of the ten subjects in the LSN-only and LSN-Ritalin groups showed significant improvement in their PPVT IQ scores.
All of the five Ritalin-only subjects showed a decline in their PPVT IQ scores.
- Micheletti (1998)55
Open clinical trial comparing four groups of children with ADHD
Subjects were given forty LSN 20-minute sessions five days per week for 8 weeks. The students’ parents were trained to administer the LSN sessions at home.
Key Findings: Overall, both the LSN-only, and combined LSN/medication treatments were superior to stimulant medication alone.
The LSN-only group showed significant improvements on the reading and spelling sections of the WRAT and the Raven.
The LSN-only group showed significant improvement in their ability to sustain attention and decrease hyperactivity.
All of the LSN group’s cognitive and behavioral improvements were maintained when assessed one month after the end of treatment.
- Budzynski et al. (1999)21
16 college students seeking academic counseling
A total of 30 LSN sessions (15-minutes each) were given.
Key Findings: The GPAs of the LSN students significantly increased by an average of .7 points in the quarter following treatment termination.
- Joyce & Siever (2000)56
34 special education students
LSN consisted of 35 22-minute sessions.
Key Findings: The LSN students showed significant improvement in their ability to sustain attention, inhibit impulsive responses, and improved reaction times.
The LSN students significantly improved their reading scores compared to the control group.
- Joyce, 2001.57
204 students from seven public schools (1st – 11th grades) with a history of impulsivity, distractibility, and learning problems
Subjects received an average of thirty 22-minute LSN sessions over a three-month period.
Key Findings: The LSN students showed significant improvement in anxiousness, depression, hyperactivity, and inattention.
The LSN students showed significant improvement in reading, averaging an eight month gain in grade-equivalent reading scores following three months of LSN treatment.
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