The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely had an impact. And while a lot of the resources are put towards a vaccine and fighting the physical effects the virus has had on our body… yet what is being done to support the mental health impact the virus has had? Enter Synctuition. It has been developed to help reduce stress and calm the mind with surround sound music and meditation journeys.
By using the amazing power of 3D sound, Synctuition goes far beyond meditative relaxation providing an immersive mind travel experience. Michael Burich, co-founder and COO, Synctuition shares his insights on this game-changing app and why we all need to download and use… NOW!.
Where did the original idea to create Synctuition come from?
We came up with the idea of Synctuition on the heels of the 2008/2009 financial crisis. We could see how the crisis affected people’s mental health and how, in combination with other factors such as the rising addiction to technology, overexposure to negative information, substance abuse, loneliness and so on, we would eventually face a global mental health crisis. We wanted to create an entertaining way for anyone in the world to work on their mental health (regardless of whether they’ve practiced meditation or mindfulness before or not). We also wanted the product to be backed with science and advanced tech and all of that took us on a 10 year journey of creating Synctuition.
Was it planned to make the practise of mindfulness easy? Or was that a happy accident?
It was absolutely intentional. We understood that people’s attention span was getting shorter and they’re constantly distracted by thousands of thoughts and worries about things in their past or in their future. Ironically, it’s often things which are totally out of their control. We wanted to find a way to take a person on a journey almost as soon as they begin listening so that they can be present in the moment and not worry about anything else. This is why we chose to record the program in 3D and create something we like to call “mind movies”, an immersive experience created with our sounds and the listener’s imagination. Synctuition’s journeys feel so real you immediately become “part of the story.”
With so many sounds from so many locations – who recorded each? And was that part of the joy in creating the app?
We had a special team travel the world, recording sounds in different environments with special equipment. Right now we only have five levels out and we have close to 12 levels already planned out, so the team is still out there recording new sounds constantly. I believe we built an unprecedented library of 3D sounds.
How do you decide what sounds to use, and will you continue to keep adding new sounds?
It’s really a team effort and the creative brilliance of our sound team. We created every 25 minute Synctuition journey like a mini movie, therefore we went through a similar process like one would when shooting a big budget Hollywood film. First, we script out the journeys together with psychologists, then we create a mood board for each journey to create a “visual story.” We then choose the sounds we need to create the visual story (which is not an easy task when you have to paint a picture using sounds only). Once we know what sounds we need, our team records them (or sometimes we get inspired by some of the sounds they recorded in the field). Once that’s done, we begin adding music, vocals and of course our secret sauce, the technology layer of Synctuition, including binaural beats and gamma waves. The secret behind Synctuition is the perfect recipe of how all the elements above come together into a beautiful audio journey, only we had to do it over 100 times.
Is your love for sound or meditation?
We love music and we love meditation. We feel both have healing properties and complement each other in a unique way to create an incredibly powerful tool to improve mental health.
I love this:
Each Synctuition listening session feels like a mental shower, washing away your problems and daily worries. Synctuition is the best audio meditation technology for complete relaxation.
When planning the app, was it designed for the western world who don’t quite appreciate the benefits of mediation yet love the thought of technology?
Allow me to address the first part of the question first, as it’s one of the key ideas behind Synctuition. We call Synctuition a “Mind Spa” because what it does is allow you to wash away the negative information you accumulated throughout the day before going to bed. If you think about it, it’s exactly the same as brushing your teeth before going to bed, you get rid of all the leftovers and “dirt” left in your mouth from eating and drinking throughout the day. It’s no different with our minds, only our minds, and our brain in general, is our most important organ. It’s our mental state and our mental health that determine the quality of life we will build in our physiological world. If we don’t wash away the negativity we are exposed to daily, we end up being negative, think negative thoughts and what’s worse, infect others with our negativity. That’s why Synctuition takes you into a positive place that sparks your imagination and takes your mind away from negative thoughts. Doing this regularly before sleep helps you “wash away” this negativity instead of storing it in your subconscious. This results in better sleep, less stress and anxiety and a feeling of overall optimism; you start your day fresh and with an open mind. That’s why we call it Mind Spa and we feel that soon mental hygiene will become as natural as our physical hygiene.
As for the second part of the question. We didn’t design it only for the western world in mind. We just took all the advances of technology and the research now available on meditation and mindfulness and merged it with the benefits of these practices. We made it very easy to start using the app as it requires no previous practice, so there is no learning curve. By making it so accessible and fun we hope there will be a whole generation of people working on their mental health who may not have done so using traditional meditation methods.
Do you find it annoying that century old healing modalities such as meditation, now need to be backed by science for them to be valid?
I feel that meditation has validated itself over centuries and is proven to have incredible benefits for our minds and our bodies. Sure, the younger generation likes to question things and wants “proof” which in the bigger picture isn’t a bad thing, considering the amount of misinformation out there. In our case though, we didn’t use science to prove that meditation works, but rather we used science to back up the advanced technologies we are using within Synctuition. We have great tech in there such as binaural beats, gamma waves, rhythmic entrainment and each of them is safe and has a lot of benefits which is what we chose to back with scientific research.
With such high rates of mental illness, and we know meditation can help, what is your plan for the app?
We’ve conducted very deep research about mental health and it’s causes. We analysed how mental health was deteriorating before the pandemic and how much it accelerated after COVID-19. The results shocked us, the problem is real and it’s getting worse. If nothing is done, we are a on a fast track towards a global mental health crisis. This is why we’re trying to get the app into as many people’s hands as possible. We’re now in over 70 markets and we see usage growing in almost every single one of them. Aside from just talking about the app, we are doing what we can to raise awareness for mental health overall and we are trying to get people to grasp the simple concept of cleaning your mind from negativity being no different to brushing your teeth. That’s our ultimate goal, to see people work on their mental health as part of a normal and daily routine. We work tirelessly to make it as simple and fun as possible with Synctuition.
How have you seen the evolution of meditation over the past 10 years?
I think there is a huge rise in the level of awareness in society towards mindfulness and meditation and the benefits they have. It’s no longer a “foreign concept” and is one that we are happy to see growing in popularity in different demographics. Apps like ours make it accessible to all ages and especially to people who may be scared of the word “meditation” simply because they feel it requires a certain skill set they fear they may lack. We are very humbled when we think that we have somewhat helped to popularise this practice through our “Mind Spa” concept and helped people improve their mental health and overall level of positivity.
Congratulations on the app, it is fresh and enjoyable and certainly washes away worries. It definitely takes the best from the East and melds beautifully with the science and technology enjoyed by the western world. Was this the plan from conception?
We never thought of it as merging Eastern and Western culture. We feel both cultures are extraordinary and have very important values. We just understood early on that with the rapid increase in the amount of information, the rise of social media, and other addictions, it’s only a matter of time before we experience a global mental health crisis. We decided to use modern technologies that were becoming available in combination with timeless wisdom to create a product that could help wash away some of the daily negativity we are exposed to. This in turn will help us reduce the levels of anxiety we experience and help us live a more balanced and positive life. Most importantly we wanted it to be very fun to use while helping to strengthen our mental health.
Right now the Synctuition App is free until 31 July 2020. Simply go to the App store, download and sign up! https://apps.apple.com/us/app/synctuition-meditation-program/id1166940722
Subscription usually AU$12.50/month, AU$149.99/year
Synctuition is an Estonian born start-up offering a unique relaxation experience technology. By using the amazing power of 3D sound, Synctuition goes far beyond meditative relaxation providing an immersive mind travel experience that cannot be compared to any other audio meditation in the world. Launched in 2019, it became one of the world’s leading mindfulness apps with over three million users in Europe, the U.S. and Asia within the first year. In 2019 the startup was also selected by Google as one of the Top 10 fastest growing startups in Europe.