The music and the pace and movement of the images used in "A Sense of Calm" are specially constructed to promote calming alpha brain waves. The music is new and the images are deliberately abstract, so they do not require a memory response to be effective. They are also “non-threatening” in the sense that they are constructed in a way that minimises any negative associations that can often occur with familiar music and scenic imagery.
Abstract images can also encourage visualisation, where the viewer creates scenes, or assigns meaning to the images in their own imagination. The movement of the images also gently promote smooth pursuit eye movement which help to increase awareness (Kerkhoff et al 2013) and optical divergence, similar to focusing into the distance, which relaxes the eye muscles.
Because “A Sense of Calm” helps to create an alpha wave rich atmosphere, the recipient of the therapy is drawn towards a state of relaxation without any effort on their part, unlike exercise based relaxation methods that require conscious and physical effort. This is very important for conditions like dementia, autism, Down Syndrome and other learning difficulties where it is often difficult to engage with someone who is distracted by their agitation and / or confusion.
As a relaxation aid "A Sense of Calm" displays a number of benefits –
1. It comes in the convenient form of a DVD.
2. Flexibility, because it can be used in a purpose build sensory room, in a hospital ward, a care home, a classroom, or at home.
3. It can be used on its own or to accompany other therapies.
4. It is based on the principles of multi-sensory therapy.
5. It helps to create an alpha wave rich atmosphere and the recipient is drawn towards a state of relaxation without any effort on their part, unlike exercise based relaxation methods.
6. It does not rely on memory to elicit the response, so avoids any adverse reactions.
7. It can help as part of a treatment to reduce the reliance on anti-psychotic and anti–depressant drugs.
8. It can be used for a range of medical conditions.
9. The abstract imagery encourages visualisation that enhances the relaxing effect.
10. Promotes smooth pursuit eye movement, which increases awareness and optical divergence, relaxing the eye muscles.
For more on sensory relaxation, please read our booklet on sensory calming in our resource section.