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Thread: Audio Sync Cushion

  1. #1

    Default Audio Sync Cushion

    I saw the Homedics iCush mentioned in another thread as a way to incorporate tactile sensation to a session. I snagged one on Ebay, and after using it a few times, I really like it. I?ve experimented with self hypnosis a lot, but I have trouble getting my brain to slow down enough to focus on one thing for any length of time. Audio/visual entrainment helps; not just the entrainment part to increase alpha or theta brainwaves that are more conducive to trance states, but it also gives my brain multiple, specific things to focus on that aren't unrelated to the goal. Focusing on the sound or the lights can only help the process. The iCush pad seems to add to that effect by incorporating another sense. Instead of sensory deprivation, I guess I?m kinda going for the opposite: sensory overload. I don't know if that's a valid technique, but it seems to quiet my inner dialogue better than anything else I've tried.

    I think the Homedics iCush is discontinued, so my main point in posting this was mostly to let folks who might be interested know that there are several other new and used Homedics iCush audio Sync cushions on Ebay for a wide range of prices right now. I don?t know any of the sellers or the quality of the products; just passing on the info. :-)

  2. Default Re: Audio Sync Cushion

    Never seen this before - how does it feel? :-)

    Your intuitive point about sensory overload is a well-established phenomenon used for hypnotic induction. Milton Erickson, the Godfather of modern hypnotherapy, employed this technique often by overloading his clients up to the point of confusion and leveraged the resulting "mind in limbo" state for the induction of hypnotic trance.

    A nice example of this are some audio recordings created by his daugther Carol Erickson - these fine productions are still available on her website for download and use dual induction at various points, i.e. you have two speakers, on the left and right side, who seemingly provide different images and suggestions simultaneously. Headphones recommended :-)

    You may find that once you actually have established a stable trance state, it may feel more comfortable to reduce incoming stimuli again - once the mind is quiet, it can be pure bliss to dive into and experience inner space, with an intentional focus on whatever inner exploration you intend to pursue. This is just one more thing I love about the KASINA: The control buttons for light and sound volume are so intuitively placed that it allows me to reduce sensory input without having to interrupt the session or even put down my goggles. And getting into Ganzfeld vision and random noise provides a canvas for whatever ideas or images are ready and helpful to rise out of the inner depths :-)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Audio Sync Cushion

    I use the iCush a lot. It is part of my meditation chair. I use it at the beginning of a session. It 'times out' at around the point where I really start to go deep. I love the trailing trembles that it leaves in my body. It seems to aliven and awaken every nerve fiber and move energy. It makes me feel hyper aware at the onset and then drifting away from the body as the vibrations decrease. Used with entrainment it causes a full being resonance.

    The iCush is the cheapest option that I know of that syncs with audio. It is a shame that they discontinued it. But I would say picking up a used one is worth it.

    I like your approach for sensory overload and I practice similar techniques. Another aspect I use is an ultrasonic diffuser with essential oils, particularly clary sage. I run it for a short time during the session. I also sometimes use different scents when anchoring affirmations. I have a portable 'pill' type diffuser that I carry and take a wiff throughout the day when I am working on certain self-programming.

    Putting all the senses to use is very powerful.

    Thanks also Mike for your insights. Erickson was a genius.
    Last edited by neuroasis; 04-08-2016 at 11:13 AM.
    If you know something I don't, speak up! If maybe I know something you don't, ask away!

  4. Default Re: Audio Sync Cushion

    I love your suggestions to include sensory stimulation on other levels than just auditory/visual. Yesterday, I had the spontaneous impulse to leverage my chi machine for a hypnotherapy client which worked similar to what you describe with regards to the iCush. While not synching to musical input, it helped put my anxious client into a very relaxed state. At the end of 15' when the machine stops, you usually feel the vibration of a flow of energy that moves through your body head to toe (I guess that's why they call it CHI machine ;-). I had only planned to offer him the short massage as a quick relaxation but then realized that he was in a nice state of trance already and so continued with deepening trance inductions right away. Your post now made me think I should use that myself at the start of a session to help put my body at rest.

    Definitely worthwhile to check which kind of relaxing gadgets you have at home and give that a try in connection with AVS :-)
    On that note, I also had good experiences with lying on my Yantra acupressure mat while enjoying a session.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Audio Sync Cushion

    Quote Originally Posted by Neuro-Surfer View Post
    Never seen this before - how does it feel? :-)
    I quite like it. How it feels depends on the audio input. Something with a slow but strong isochronic beat or 100% modulation so that there's minimal sound in between the beats causes a very rhythmic pattern in the cushion with pulses of strong vibration and less strong or no vibration in between the pulses. That seems to do a good job of really reinforcing the target frequency, especially if the visuals are the same distinct flashing pattern. It's visual, audio and tactile stimulus all telling my brain "ok, slow down to this frequency now." I find it very relaxing and well, hypnotic, but I don't get the residual whole body vibrations from it once the cushion turns off after 10 minutes, so that can be a little jarring for that tactile sensation to just suddenly stop and it tends to yank me out of whatever trance state I may have been heading towards.

    Audio that's has less distinct isochronic beat or a more blended modulation, especially when mixed with a steady binaural beat tone that doesn't modulate, causes more consistent vibrations in the cushion. There are still rhythmic pulses (for lack of a better term) that increase or decrease in intensity to match the pattern in the audio, but it's more like rolling waves of vibration, if that makes any sense. Because it's more of a constant vibration (I guess), I do get that whole body vibrating sensation even after the cushion turns off, which is something I've never felt before. It's a really neat feeling.

    Your intuitive point about sensory overload is a well-established phenomenon used for hypnotic induction. Milton Erickson, the Godfather of modern hypnotherapy, employed this technique often by overloading his clients up to the point of confusion and leveraged the resulting "mind in limbo" state for the induction of hypnotic trance.

    A nice example of this are some audio recordings created by his daugther Carol Erickson - these fine productions are still available on her website for download and use dual induction at various points, i.e. you have two speakers, on the left and right side, who seemingly provide different images and suggestions simultaneously. Headphones recommended :-)

    You may find that once you actually have established a stable trance state, it may feel more comfortable to reduce incoming stimuli again - once the mind is quiet, it can be pure bliss to dive into and experience inner space, with an intentional focus on whatever inner exploration you intend to pursue. This is just one more thing I love about the KASINA: The control buttons for light and sound volume are so intuitively placed that it allows me to reduce sensory input without having to interrupt the session or even put down my goggles. And getting into Ganzfeld vision and random noise provides a canvas for whatever ideas or images are ready and helpful to rise out of the inner depths :-)
    Good to know I'm on the right track with sensory overload. Confusion and dual inductions seem to work better for me than progressive relaxation and other induction types. Those give my brain too much leeway to wander. Thanks for the heads up about Carol Erickson. I'll definitely check that out. "Once the mind is quiet," you say. Heh. I don't think my mind has *ever* been quiet and I haven't even thought of a goal beyond getting to that stage.

    And totally agreed about the controls on the Kasina. Very convenient and easy to control with minimal effort or thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by neuroasis View Post
    I like your approach for sensory overload and I practice similar techniques. Another aspect I use is an ultrasonic diffuser with essential oils, particularly clary sage. I run it for a short time during the session. I also sometimes use different scents when anchoring affirmations. I have a portable 'pill' type diffuser that I carry and take a wiff throughout the day when I am working on certain self-programming.
    Incorporating scent is a good idea! I'll add that to my list of things to try. Thank you for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neuro-Surfer View Post
    I love your suggestions to include sensory stimulation on other levels than just auditory/visual. Yesterday, I had the spontaneous impulse to leverage my chi machine for a hypnotherapy client which worked similar to what you describe with regards to the iCush. While not synching to musical input, it helped put my anxious client into a very relaxed state. At the end of 15' when the machine stops, you usually feel the vibration of a flow of energy that moves through your body head to toe (I guess that's why they call it CHI machine ;-). I had only planned to offer him the short massage as a quick relaxation but then realized that he was in a nice state of trance already and so continued with deepening trance inductions right away. Your post now made me think I should use that myself at the start of a session to help put my body at rest.

    Definitely worthwhile to check which kind of relaxing gadgets you have at home and give that a try in connection with AVS :-)
    On that note, I also had good experiences with lying on my Yantra acupressure mat while enjoying a session.
    I haven't heard of chi machines or Yantra acupressure mats. I could google (well, and did just to get a mental image to better understand what you were saying) but I'd rather hear from someone who has used 'em, the chi machine especially. I admit I'm not familiar with non-Western concepts like Chi and energy flow, but it sounds like it did have a relaxing and beneficial effect on your client. I'm intrigued.

  6. Default Re: Audio Sync Cushion

    Googled it as well and surprised about the price tag! I only paid 60€ for mine, it's really nothing overly fancy - the equivalent of someone taking your feet and gently moving them side to side for 10 to 15 minutes.

    If you feel that your energy is pretty much in your head, physical stimulation and relaxation can help to develop a stronger sense of being in your body. We can only be aware of very limited information (e.g. until you read the following sentence, you probably weren't aware of how exactly your feet feel right now and how your contact with the ground is). By shifting your awareness, elements enter your consciousness that were "out of scope" before. Via physical stimulation and relaxation, your awareness gently shifts to how your body feels - and that will automatically take some of the surplus focus away from the mind. Tastes differ, but anything from Yoga to sauna or running can do the trick - the chi machine and the Yantra mat are just two examples.

    So why is this potentially a good thing? For one, stress and our Western focus on thinking tend to lead to an overly strong focus on the mind, with ruminating probably being the most common problem for my clients. So finding a better balance between mind and body usually feels great - people typically feel calmer, more alive and assured. Also, all emotions start as physical sensations in the body (check out Ant?nio Dam?sio, a Portuguese neuroscientist, if you want to dig deeper). When people are not well connected with their body, they often have a hard time making decisions because they are cut off from a huge part of their evaluation system. This concept is known as "somatic markers".

    I hope this makes sense :-) Have fun exploring!
    Last edited by Neuro-Surfer; 04-14-2016 at 09:25 PM.

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