alarm-ringing ambulance angle2 archive arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up at-sign baby baby2 bag binoculars book-open book2 bookmark2 bubble calendar-check calendar-empty camera2 cart chart-growth check chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up circle-minus circle city clapboard-play clipboard-empty clipboard-text clock clock2 cloud-download cloud-windy cloud clubs cog cross crown cube youtube diamond4 diamonds drop-crossed drop2 earth ellipsis envelope-open envelope exclamation eye-dropper eye facebook file-empty fire flag2 flare foursquare gift glasses google graph hammer-wrench heart-pulse heart home instagram joystick lamp layers lifebuoy link linkedin list lock magic-wand map-marker map medal-empty menu microscope minus moon mustache-glasses paper-plane paperclip papers pen pencil pie-chart pinterest plus-circle plus power pushpin question rain reading receipt recycle reminder sad shield-check smartphone smile soccer spades speed-medium spotlights star-empty star-half star store sun-glasses sun tag telephone thumbs-down thumbs-up tree tumblr twitter user users wheelchair write yelp youtube

87th International Conference of Light and Vision

Different filters for SyntonicsI had the opportunity to go to the 87th International Conference of Light and Vision and sit in on their Syntonics 101 course. Syntonics is a form of photo therapy applied to the eyes that impacts the autonomic nervous system. It seeks to balance one’s sympathetic and parasympathetic responses with specific frequencies of light. Hence, the name “syn” meaning same and “tonic” meaning tone: same-tone, syntonics.

Why is a balanced nervous system important? To understand this, we need to further breakdown the difference between the sympathetic and parasympathetic sides of the nervous system. Firstly, neither of them are under one’s direct control. They both reside under the autonomic nervous system or the things one’s body takes care of without their direct command or control. Think of jerking a hand away from something hot or digesting lunch. One doesn’t tell their body to do such things, they just happen. Secondly, if there’s an imbalance between the two systems, it effectively means one’s body is stuck on either fight/flight or rest/digest mode. Having one’s nervous system constantly tell them that they should be running or fighting whatever stimulus that’s around them is not a particularly helpful response to say, homework, nor would the opposite response of drowsiness.

So now that we better understand the system that syntonics work on, we can understand how they are used. Typically, a patient would view a combination of frequencies of light in a dark room from a special lamp known as a syntonizer for up to 20 minutes. In that 20 minutes, a patient would look at two different filters: a color that brings them more towards one end of the sympathetic/parasympathetic spectrum and a color that brings them back to a balanced point. The colors chosen are derived from a kinetic visual field test, pupillary response to light, and the patient’s medical history.

The impact syntonics can make in vision therapy cannot be understated. I’ve seen people practically melt when looking at some of the more calming lights. I work with a lot of patients who’ve had concussions and it makes a huge difference in their therapy. They often come in with headaches and almost always leave in less pain/discomfort. My patients are often surprised at what a difference looking at a couple different lights can make in 20 minutes.

Jordan Renkert

June 2019