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Brugmann University Hospital,
Sleep laboratory


Variable frequency audiovisual stimulator: new technologies for quickly attaining deep relaxation.

Locoregional anesthesia

Dr Diebold and Dr Litchinko, Private Hospital, Gentilly

Drs Diebold and Litchinko have been pioneers in introducing these new tools for surgery since 1989. They have had experience with over 5,000 patients of which 96% embraced the technique with enthusiasm. These patients did not have be given analgesics and sedatives in addition to the anesthesia admininistered!

Relaxation cassettes for surgery

Dr Lamesh, anesthesiologist, Erasme University Hospital

Drs. Lisoir and Litchinko created three recordings for patients to listen to before, during and after sugery.

Overall satisfaction:

  • Increased patient well-being before, during, and after the operation.
  • Surgeons can operate without being disturbed by the usually distracting movements of patients caused by discomfort.
  • The anesthesiologist contributes to this well-being while reducing the use of toxic drugs. He enriches the therapeutic relationship before and during the operation.
  • The hospital stay is shorter because patients experience fewer post-surgery complications.

Relaxation/painkillers during dental care


"With Mentalstim (professional model) patients' attention is drawn away from the dental work underway and time seems to go by much faster for them. They experience reduced anxiety and pain. Dentists can work better without the patients staring at them." (Dr Laitat, Report on 55 patients, May 1995)

Indications: Bridges, tooth extractions, cavities, root canals, miscellaneous care

University Hospital of Saint-Pierre - Recovery room


In July 1994, Drs. Van Alphen and Roger Henneaux introduced the Mentalstim and Meta Relaxation cassettes to the recovery room. 94% of patients who tried Mentalstim asked for it again! Given these excellent results, a second machine was purchased in December 1994.

"Certain post-surgical pain and complications are directly related to anxiety. The rate of vomiting, which was on average 35% to 40%, fell to 12%! Cardiac complications fell from 14.4% to 2.3%, and respiratory complications from 6% to 0.3%. "All problems considered, and regardless of illness, 25% fewer patients suffered!" (Le Vif Express, 11/4/94)

The medical department of a Belgian Ministry


Dr Grijp, head of the medical department studied the therapeutic methods available for the treatment of depression and its related secondary psychosomatic effects. The Mentalstim was selected in 1994. A second machine was acquired six months later!

"The Mentalstim is an excellent anti-stress tool. Patients are satisfied and use this relaxation method on a regular basis to defuse chronic stress." (Dr Grijp, TRP, April 1995)

What are the indications for use in hospitals?

The Mentalstim is very well suited to fighting stress induced by surgery, to prepare for painful examinations, to help cancer patients, to mentally prepare for childbirth, for anxiety among insomniacs in sleep laboratories, for cardiology, in the recovery room, for pain clinic use, and for stomatology. This list is not exhaustive!

What are the indications for use in psychosomatic medicine?

The symptoms of stress can be uncovered by general medicine, osteopathy, physiotherapy and psychology. These new and effective deep and quick relaxation technologies can be used as additional means to treat them.

What are the indications for use in psychosomatic medicine?

No one has ever doubted of the usefulness of relaxation. But, for the first time, and thanks to technology, relaxation can be achieved without a therapist being present at all times. Today more than ever, this explains the success of these new technologies and why they are being introduced everywhere in the medical field!

The operating principle involves the synergetic interaction of two factors:

An electronic console (V.F.A.V.S.) delivers rhythmic audio-visual stimuli through glasses and a headset.

A. The desired deep relaxation is obtained in five steps which are not necessarily consecutive:

  1. Stimulation of the perceptual field
  2. Change of focus to rich visual imagery
  3. Sensory hyperstimulation/increased thresholds/sensory floating
  4. Gradual erasure of internal imagery
  5. Slowing of the brain rhythm (alpha)

B. A CD player enables the simultaneous playing of music, relaxing voices (metaphors, multiple voices, psychoacoustic techniques, nature sounds, etc.)

Mode of operation:

When they shut their eyes, users quickly see geometrical shapes and colored images appear which are similar to works by the painter Vasarely. These visual hallucinations can probably be explained by the fact that the neuronal area of the brain is attempting to deal with the unusual information created by the intermittent light. This leads to the hypothesis that the effectiveness of the audiovisual stimulator is due to the user's attention becoming unfocused.

The sensory threshold gradually increases due to overstimulation and the user increasingly isolates themselves from external stimulation. On the other hand, imagery is reduced because when the user closes their eyes they slowly move towards the upper part of the eye socket. The ocular mobility which enables image recording in the visual cortex is reduced. This leads to an "emptying" of the mind and the brain's rhythm slows spontaneously, probably because it is no longer being stimulated by the perception of data to be processed. This hypothesis is in contradiction to the tradition FRA theory (frequency response adaptation). It is true, however, that stimulation frequency speed appears to impact access to the various levels of consciousness.  For example, a slow stimulation rhythm will tend to induce sleep whereas a moderately slow one will induce a state of relaxation close to sleep known to stimulate memorization, recuperative, healing and other capabilities. A fast stimulation rhythm leads to a state of conscious creative inspiration while facilitating cognitive work thanks to a process by which internal parasites become unfocused. This stimulates abstraction and creative faculties.

We believe that the rate of stimulation does not impact the state of consciousness because of a FRA (frequency adoption response based on the oscillator principle). Our theory is that the brain rhythms, like cardiac rhythms, are simply the result of brain activity. There is substantial biochemical activity when it processes cognitive data. Therefore, associated electrical activity is rapid (rapid beta rhythm).

It is very unlikely that intermittent external stimulation can have an impact on the natural rhythm of nerve cells. Another hypothesis which may explain this variation in rhythm is the cultural belief which states that the rapidity of stimuli to which the subject is exposed will result in a corresponding state of consciousness. It is, for example, culturally established that a rapid stimulation rhythm leads to agitation whereas a slow rate of stimulation is far more likely to relax.

None of our experiments in several sleep laboratories or our work with control groups have enabled us to demonstrate the existence of a frequency adaptation response. S. Krsmanovic has proven through his neo-EEG experiments that the frequency adaptation response is utopic and that it is not supported by scientific observation.

Summary table