TMS & Strobe Light Technology assisting Wellbeing: Interview with Dr Alexander De Foe 10-07-19



you you hello my name is Joyce Bok I am from salubrious event and today I have with me dr. Alexander Dafoe and I want to interview Alexander in light of our upcoming event emerging technology assisting well being Alex will be one of our speakers and he'll be talking about a couple of technologies that being refined or being manufactured and being tested to assist people in various aspects of mental health and well-being so hello Alex yeah do you want to just tell us a bit about yourself and your work sure so I started I'm getting into research about ten years ago I'm informally studying various anomalous phenomena looking at our body experiences and altered states of consciousness so this was really my passion in my main area of interest I then started researching these topics more formally I'm at Monash University as part of my PhD in psychology so this was a really fascinating area for me to start looking at and using more rigorous scientific approaches and also recognizing some of the challenges of trying to understand the spectrum of consciousness and where these altered states fear recently I become a lot more interested in the uses of modern technology to explore some of these phenomena so we've had quite a number of breakthroughs in virtual reality and other techniques recently that I really opened up a lot of avenues to look at altered states to look at altered perception and these various experiences so in particular looking at how we can induce them more in a controlled way in a laboratory that's being a really interest of my looking at back intersect between consciousness and technology and how they can better and for my understanding on from human perception and a number of other variables so that sounds something that I'm still currently researching at the moment I wouldn't say that I've got you know any one single focus or one single interest area but generally have a curiosity about how we can use modern technologies to help further our understanding of consciousness and human condition wow that's fascinating such a huge area that hasn't been tapped into enough through scientific design and experimentation Wow so ok so just on one of the devices that you're going to be talking about is called the TMS or the transcranial magnetic stimulation device what is it so TMS has been around for a number of decades now but recently we're seeing more portable devices become available and the device that I've been working with I wouldn't call a full TMS device but it borrows elements of the technology and especially the use of magnetism to alter brainwave States in to alter mind States and so this device I actually came across from a researcher called messenger I in the United States who was interested in using magnetic stimulation to produce altered states of consciousness so he actually invented the god comet which is a variant of TMS it uses very similar technology it's not the same as the sort of TMS devices you would find in hospitals or traditional laboratories but it uses a lot of the same principles with the idea that by creating a magnetic field very close to the brain we can actually produce very similar states of consciousness to what we find in mystical experiences or in accounts of psycho-spiritual experience in altered states where people might have he earns or a visionary phenomena there is even a goggle sort of state of consciousness and Persinger claims that this device can produce the States very quickly by simply subjecting someone to magnetic stimulation I'm so the device I use came about from one it festinger's research students were actually developed an even more portable device for portable version of the god helmet if you like called the shock recorder which actually is really easy to use it just you know apply some modules to the top of the head and it's not quite as bulky and uncomfortable as the original guy helmet I having said it's not quite as powerful in the awkward we do still see some interesting effects by putting people in a slightly different state of consciousness where they feel a little bit more relaxed meditative they might even have some imagery experiences come on that's something that I've been exploring recently and I think by bringing these principles of TMS until a more portable format where people can apply them in everyday it's a really fascinating way to explore them especially considering that the really high-end industry level chemist devices aren't really accessible to the average person okay so what cannot be youthful more in terms of therapeutic settings so that's a really interesting question and surprisingly you know if we look at the literature TMS more broadly who's trying really strong effects looking at depression anxiety and reducing some of the symptomology associated with those conditions but it's just under stay you're not really you know studied sufficiently so this is where there's really a lot of opportunity to explore the use of TMS for those applications interested by own research background I'm also interested in looking at what can this technology tell us about the nature of human consciousness to what a state can induce altered states and what does this tell us about and intersect between mind and brain and how influencing certain regions of the brain can produce these pretty profound mystical or altered state experiences so I'm from that vantage point you know I think we can learn quite like using visualization and imagery and meditation and more of a controlled way therapeutic purposes and I think it's very open-ended I think there's no at least that these are the specific therapeutic benefits it's going to be quite exciting in terms of looking at what we can do and what sort of results people can have this technology Wow fascinating hmm I want to I want to ask you so many more questions but I think I'll leave that for later be able to get a hold of a TMS for the conference during the experiential hour with someone can just try it yes yeah to have a go at the Shakti coil TMS at the conference and have an experience firsthand with the device so the shock the coil is really one of the more approachable sort of devices that anyone they can get ahold of them but it does require some level of scientific and technical expertise to use there will be one at the conference how exciting and the other device you are going to talk about is the light stroke technology Pandora star can you tell me what is the Pandora star sure so the other device so I will be looking at the conference is the light strobing device the Pandora star and so my interest in light streaming technology came about five or so years ago and these technologies started emerging on the market and especially in terms of more high powered high frequency blast roaming devices like TMS light strobing technology has been around for a few decades now since around 2011 2012 we really saw more of a emergence of fairly powerful lights roaming devices rather than the basic sort of light frequencies that were used in the past so we saw this come about the development of Ellucian light which uses quite a powerful quiet strobe and induces altered states it's being used to induce our body experiences to induce psychedelic like experiences to induce deeper meditations mostly limited to research around Europe but a few years later we had you know their maintenance of other devices like Pandora stock and our competitors in the market that were looking to replicate this technology using principles of I'm high speed light stroke and what researchers have found is using different wedding bands like alpha like gamma for instance we can produce different events on the mind again so I found this really fascinating especially using these devices firsthand and that they can provide very deep hypnotic like imagery within five or ten minutes of using the device so again you know so many potential applications both therapy and for research so the nice thing that we've been a handful of research publications on these devices so again it's one of those technologies that's really under study even more so than TMS we simply don't really know exactly how it effects the mind and brain and what's going on but I think that it's a great area to look into more from a research perspective and of course from a practical or therapeutic perspective this is technology that people can try we're using the Pandora star at the conference as well to have a go at having their own experience with the livestream and I think you know having a first-hand experience is really important to kind of springing that curiosity to the forefront of what we can do with these technologies yes Wow yeah so it sounds like these devices have a potential to for someone to experience like a an altered experience that people often seek from taking recreational drugs oh yeah that what some yeah yeah that's what it seems to have the potential where people can have those experience without taking drugs similar sort of mind states that they might with taking certain substances doing so in a more controlled way and obviously you know at the age of technology they can get into those states you know of course you're using the term naturally because so many times that substance is doing care naturally anyway but it does give another outlet for people to explore altered states of consciousness yeah and are there any other unique contraindications where you know people who come to the conference who maybe say have epilepsy shouldn't try these two devices or at least the the Pandora star if they've got epilepsy and are there any other things people should just be aware of sure yes there are some counter indications for both technologies negative effects not very frequent voice so what we find is that you know some people might experience mild headache or a bit of discomfort with the technology but it's very infrequent and usually we find those effects when people use it but quiet for a long period of time so say if they connected to the device for over an hour the same goes for both defenders time the TMS they might find the bit of a mild headache afterwards you have any sort of light strobing technology people photosensitivity or you three of epilepsy that would become indicated to use that technology but most of the time that's due to a medical condition that they may have in the past okay there are those things to keep in mind we have use of this technology yes say you know in the grand scheme they're not very frequent things that occur in fact is that we have to look out for but it is something to be mindful of as you mentioned sure okay I can't wait to try them so all right well thank you very much Alex and Alex will be I'm talking giving a talk on the 10th of August at Elwood saving Club and it would be a four-day conference if you wanted to stay for the extra hour you can try the different devices and to get tickets just go to Melbourne events net so just Melbourne and then event net and you can get tickets there and and Alex is also an author you've written several books and he's done a lot of research so come and meet Alex on the 10th thank you thanks very much Alex for your time thanks joy I look forward to the conference yeah thank you okay me too bye

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