What is Syntonics?

The word “Syntonics” is derived from the word “syntony”, which means to bring into balance.  Syntonics is known as “Optometric Phototherapy.” It is the use of visible light frequencies, through the eyes, to enhance visual attention and the ability to comprehend what we see. Syntonic phototherapy has been used clinically for over 90 years in the field of optometry and is proven to be both safe and effective with a high rate of success. It is based on the principle that specific light wavelengths entering the eye can balance the body’s autonomic and endocrine systems. Using light as an energy therapy is also utilized in different ways by a variety of healthcare professionals from GPs to Chiropractors, to Acupuncturists, Physical Therapists and Psychologists

Historical background…

Coloured light for healing dates back to the earliest times of recorded history, including Egyptian and Mayan civilizations.

Optometric use of color was developed by William Henning in the 1920’s. He invented an instrument that exposed patients to colored light along with lenses and prisms to train a myriad of functional vision problems. He achieved excellent results as noted in the books he published.

In 1941, Harry Spitler was the first to detail how ocular light stimulation results in changing the physiology of the thalamus, hypothalamus and pituitary gland in the brain. Spitler concluded that imbalances in the nervous and hormonal systems caused many bodily, emotional, and visual ailments.

Who could benefit from Syntonics?

Syntonic Phototherapy is an effective therapy for visual and visually related conditions such as headaches, eyestrain, reading difficulties, lack of attention, amblyopia and strabismus. It is also used to treat the visual consequences of stress and trauma, including traumatic brain injury. Syntonic Phototherapy is be used very effectively in conjunction with other rehabilitation treatments such as traditional vision therapy for focusing, convergence and eye movement deficits.

How does Syntonic Treatment work?

Studies show that light frequencies have the ability to affect EEG patterns. Light has an effect on heart rate and the hormones affecting emotions. The goal of Syntonic Phototherapy is to treat eye conditions by balancing the autonomic nervous system. Light entering the eyes not only allows us to see but also joins together other important brain centres such as the hypothalamus and pineal gland to allow normal visual processing to occur. Coloured light therapy, through the eyes, can act as a powerful tool to stimulate the biochemistry of the brain.

A traditional syntonic treatment plan requires 20 minute sessions on 5 consecutive days each week for a total of 20 sessions. The sessions can be done in the comfort of your own home with a hired electrical light unit. The light unit uses white light directed through coloured absorption filters. The patient observes this light for the duration of the session in a darkened room.

The specifically prescribed filters generate wavelengths of light to complement the patient’s neurological and endocrine system to create changes in symptoms, behaviour (mood, attitude, coping-ability), performance (academic, athletic, expressive) as well as changes in optometric test results.

How do Optometrists choose the appropriate wavelengths of light for treatment?

Syntonic Phototherapy evaluation begins with an assessment of symptoms, eye tracking ability, binocular eye co-ordination, visual motor performance, pupillary reaction to light and peripheral vision sensitivity. The perceptual visual field is tested for size, perception of motion and response to colour.

Pupil responses are examined because abnormal pupil responses reveal imbalances in the autonomic nervous system. Optometrists also evaluate the patient’s functional fields or peripheral vision sensitivity. Functional fields are a measure of how effectively a patient can process visual information. Reduced functional fields are common in patients with fatigue and stress. Research has shown that the smaller the functional field, the poorer the optometric and academic performance.

Is there scientific evidence that Syntonics can work?

Many scientific papers and publications have shown Syntonics to be effective and that this relatively short term treatment can significantly improve visual skills, peripheral awareness, memory, behaviour, mood, general performance and academic achievement.