No problem on the later reply. So sorry you’re having to go through all this.
I assume you said other than HeartMath because you already use it. HRV-biofeedback would likely be the most effective device.
You also said device (as opposed to supplements, meditations, tea, etc) so I will assume you’re referring to devices and not supplements as the one thing.
Brain mapping and neurofeedback should be done with a licensed professional so I won’t include that in the next best device category.
So that leaves us with AVE, CES, and temperature biofeedback.
Temperature biofeedback is difficult to do and is a much more “advanced” biofeedback technique that will likely leave you frustrated at this point. However, it is very powerful once you’ve learned to settle your sympathetic nervous system. So keep this on the back burner for the future.
CES has a lot of research behind it. See this page for a number graphs taken from various studies specifically looking at anxiety: https://alpha-stim.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Key-Summary-Anxiety.pdf AND here for a more detailed list of studies: https://www.alpha-stim.com/healthcare-professionals/research-and-reports-2-2/
HOWEVER, although I cannot say for sure, my guess is you will get the biggest response from AVE (e.g., the David Delight from MindAlive.com) using the Meditation 1 (10 Hz alpha) or Meditation 2 (7.8Hz alpha-theta border).
Below is an excerpt from my clinical website (NiagaraNeuropsychology.com) on AVE to learn more about it. Note most of the info is taken directly from MindAlive.com.
ALSO, note that there is a risk of seizures when using AVE with those who have a seizure disorder. So DO NOT use AVE if you have a history of seizures.
Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE)* is a technique that utilizes pulses of light and sound at specific frequencies to gently and safely guide the brain into various brain wave patterns. By altering your brain wave frequencies, you have the ability to boost your mood, improve sleep patterns, sharpen your mind and increase your level of relaxation.
AVE is capable of producing situationally appropriate brain wave frequencies through the process of entrainment (the tendency of physiological processes to mirror environmental stimuli). AVE also increases cerebral blood flow (blood flow in the brain) and increases the metabolization of glucose in the brain for improved functioning of the neurons. The combined outcome of these processes is improved mental performance. It is an effective, inexpensive alternative therapy for many disorders such as anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), PTSD, Fibromyalgia and chronic pain. AVE devices are also used successfully to boost physical performance for athletes, academic performance for students and cognitive performance for seniors.
For a comprehensive review of the psychological effects of AVE click HERE.
An important objective of entrainment is to produce a dissociative state, which is a meditation-like state of deep relaxation. It is the brain/body rehabilitative benefits produced by this deep trance-like state that makes AVE so useful for so many conditions. The dissociative state can be first observed by noticing deep and diaphragmatic breathing. Hands and feet become warmer as arteries dilate. Skin colour will become pinker as blood flow increases throughout the face and body. Blood flow will increase in the brain as well. The person will experience feelings of profound relaxation and contentment as beneficial neurotransmitters are released into the brain. When in this deep state, the brain/body’s regenerative repair chemicals (parasympathetic hormones) and stabilizing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, endorphins and dopamine are released, which restore good brain function. AVE contributes to this restoration by providing a stress-break, increasing cerebral blood flow and encouraging impaired neuronal firing which allows the brain to return to normal function.
There are a number of things that are going on when you are using AVE :
Your EEG activity is being altered – As the AVE frequency changes, so does the frequency in the brain. For example, when an AVE unit is set to pulsate at 10 Hz alpha, the brain responds by producing more alpha which leads to a feeling of deep relaxation.
You are being dissociated – When using AVE, you get drawn into the present moment and let go of thoughts relating to your daily hassles, hectic schedules, paying bills, worries, threats or anxieties and stop mental “chatter.” Dissociation involves a “disconnection” of self from thoughts and body awareness, as is experienced during deep meditation. Dissociation begins in four to eight minutes from properly applied AVE.
Your limbic system is being stabilized – Your body is calmed, your breathing becomes rhythmic, your hands warm and your muscles relax.
A number of neurotransmitters are being produced – There is some evidence that people with depressed mood have low levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. AVE boosts brain levels of serotonin and norepinephrine to improve overall well-being.
Your cerebral blood flow (CBF) is being increased – CBF is associated with many forms of mental disorders, including anxiety, depression, attentional problems, behaviour disorders and impaired cognitive function. CBF tends to lower as we age and is correlated with cognitive decline. People experiencing depressed mood usually have lower levels of CBF in the left frontal and prefrontal lobes.
*Adapted from MindAlive.com
Click HERE to read more about the history of physiological mechanisms of AVE.
See the video below for more on how AVE works: