Meditation has become both a buzz word and a fix-all for people struggling with anxiety and stress.
But if you're having trouble finding time to achieve that inner zen, there's a man in Toronto who can get you there in just four minutes.
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Aaron Labbé is the creator of LUCID, an immersive audio-visual experience that he's bringing to Kitchener Friday for Night Shift.
Participants lay in a fabric-covered dome with headphones on and another device - called an electroencephalography reader - clipped on their forehead.
As the participant lies there, the device reads their brain waves and begins to create a unique blend of music and ambient noise, which is fed through the headphones.
"All you need to do is just listen to the music. Just kind of open yourself up to it," Labbé said.
"There's multiple layers of different instruments that kind of get added in. There's different types of ambient noise that moves around you, and it just continues to kind of take you on this dream-like journey."
That "dream-like journey" takes about four minutes but represents several months of work for Labbé and his colleagues.
Besides creating an algorithm that matches a person's brain waves to different musical and ambient sounds, the team had to understand the science behind psychological states like anxiety, stress and depression.
'Overwhelmingly positive results'
In layman's terms, Labbé said what LUCID does is create "what's called a beat frequency in order to sync up with the rest of your brain waves, and then slow them down."
The experience has been tested and tried out by "several hundred" users, and Labbé said he's had "overwhelmingly positive results."
"This is something that somebody can use potentially anywhere at anytime," he said. "I mean, it works especially for people who have anxiety. I find that it's a great decompression method for them. But so far we haven't had a lot of negative feed back."
Anyone who tries LUCID out during Night Shift gets a free copy of the music the program generates for them.
Labbé said every mix is like a piece of the person's identity, because their brain created it, so "your mix will be different than everyone else's."