Low Energy Neurofeedback System
What is the LENS?
The LENS is a revolutionary technique for restoring optimal brain function.
The LENS, Low Energy Neurofeedback System, feeds back information to the brain by using a faint radio frequency signal that is based on the person's EEG. The power of this signal is much less than the radio waves that surround us everyday.
It triggers an assessment and evaluation of what you are doing at a fundamental level. The LENS prompts an updating or examination of brain operation. An analogy might be similar to rebooting your computer for a fresh start or defragmenting your hard drive (brain) for optimal system performance.
The change can sometimes be noticed in a moment or may take a few hours to appear. This is often reported as a welcome feeling of calm and control, again our goal of relaxation. The brain recognizes efficiency and adopts it as a new way of working. Symptom improvement follows naturally. This is often noticed as a surprising increase in competence, functionality and relaxation.
Top (LENS Map) View: Two LENS Maps showing the progress over 4 total mapping sessions.
The LENS, or Low Energy Neurofeedback System was invented by Dr. Len Ochs and uses a very low power electromagnetic field, like the ones that surround digital watches and wires in the wall, to carry feedback to the person receiving it. The feedback travels down the same wires carrying the brain waves to the amplifier and computer. Although the feedback signal is weak, it produces a measurable change in the brainwaves without conscious effort from the individual receiving the feedback. The LENS software allows the EEG signals that are recorded at the scalp to control the feedback.
The almost undetectable feedback power uses a frequency that is different from, but correlates with, the dominant brainwave frequency. When exposed to this feedback frequency, the EEG amplitude distribution changes in power. Most of the time the brain waves reduce in power; but at times they also increase in power. In either case the result is a changed brainwave state, and much greater ability for the brain to regulate itself.
When stress or other outside factors, or biologically based mechanisms, disturb the nervous equilibrium, this type of relaxation modality can catalyze the brains own ability to rebalance, which to the stressed individual, can be experienced as a reversal effect and affect typically problematic high powered slow waves.
When used toward this end (it's not a medical device; it's an educational tool for somatic re-education and relaxation) the central nervous system learns to re-tone it's own reactions to stimulation. The size of one's neurological reaction reduce, which helps the person to be more discerning and function at a higher level.
Our personal experience with the LENS started with recovery of trauma and also facilitated a reduction in pain. Because each person is different there is no way of knowing the exact effect the LENS will have on an individual. But our goal is a more relaxed, less stressed, better functioning and focused individual.
The LENS Approach:
More Covered Sites, Less Total Time
10-20 EEG Sites used in LENS Protocol
As an area comparison; conventional Biofeedback which also uses the same “scalp locations”, tends to use a few sites, typically O1, O2, C3, C5, and maybe CZ, to achieve results. LENS protocol uses most of the cranial surface, or about 19 to 21 sites, depending on the protocols. Protocols for each LENS site typically vary in length from 4 seconds to 33 seconds for most of the mapping protocols.
How a person proceeds with the LENS is determined in a multi-step process involving offset determination, site mapping, suppression mapping and total amplitude sorting to determine the order of subsequent site therapy. For the first map, no data is available, so we use a suggested site order protocol. However, once the first LENS Map is completed, a wealth of information exists and the next mapping sequences are based on the previously completed LENS Map data. Then a determination of Offset Frequency may completed. It’s the Offset Frequency’s job is to affect the amplitude of the brainwave signals and provide a nudge for rebalancing and ultimately relaxation.
With LENS; a series of bar graphs display the signal amplitudes for each of the sites that are analyzed or mapped during a session. Each site’s amplitude (the height of the bar) yields information on the functioning of the cortex. A “lower amplitude” site (shorter bar) is thought to represents an area where the cortex is functioning well requiring less power to operate. Higher amplitude sites (taller bars) indicate areas where the cortex is functioning less well. How much fluctuation exists to create these averages yields information on suppression and reactivity. Typically, by the time the higher amplitude sites are reached, they have been lowered to some degree by the processing of lower amplitude sites. This is not surprising since different parts of the brain are connected.
LENS Treatment Protocol = Less is More
As far as what a LENS session involves, this is highly dependent on the person. For some people, one site with “ultra low feedback” is a completely sufficient treatment, whereas another person may respond best to 7 feedback sites in one session. In LENS there is one main axiom, “Less is more”. The duration of the “ultra low feedback” of the LENS is about 1/100th of a second out of typically 4 to 33 total seconds of exposure time. Contrast this with the 20 minutes of continuous exposure at much more high power with conventional devices such as the Alpha Stim, or ~ 1 hour with conventional biofeedback systems that are also systems that attach to the head/scalp. So you get the idea. The signal strength is so low that it’s almost at the RF limit of wiring, or another way to look at it is it is less than 1/1000th of a cell phone’s power. Very low energy, very precisely timed, is the heart of the Low Energy Neurofeedback System (LENS).
Dr. Len Ochs (Ochs Labs) and Julie Beasley (NeuroPaths) - Training session at Stone Mountain Center, NY.
One paper we presented at the LENS Conference in 2008 was an analysis of “side benefits” other than relaxation for a client having Fibromyalgia. These following charts illustrate how she perceived other side benefits to our LENS relaxation modality. She was typically much more relaxed by the 3rd or 4th site, but the side benefits were also very welcomed. Sometimes we have nice surprises coupled with relaxation.
These case results involve 2 individual cases and therefore do not necessarily reflect LENS results over a broader sample size because every case is unique and different. Still it seems this these types of “side benefits” using LENS relaxation therapy exist and are often reported within the LENS Users and Practitioners community.
The great source for a more detailed understanding of the LENS may be found in a book by Stephen Larsen, Ph.D.
The HEALING POWER of NEUROFEEDBACK:
The Revolutionary LENS Technique for Restoring Optimal Brain Function
Excerpts and paraphrasing of the above “short summary” of how the LENS works were taken from this book and class notes. Stephen operates the Stone Mountain Center in New Platz, New York.
Top (LENS Map) View of the Cortex Functional Areas
Position of Head
In LENS Maps
(Top View) &
10-20 Sensor Sites
Top LENS Map View
Modalities for Relaxation & Peak Performance