Mind over matter: Local chiropractor’s invention could be used to help treat depression
Thomas Blake is a chiropractor in Liberty, North Carolina, and has been a doctor since 1988. Blake has innovated a device that can be used as an alternative therapy to improve mental health without taking prescription drugs.
“I came up with the device in 2012 and originally I had a patient come in, probably mid-40s very upset one day and I asked her about her son, who was a senior in high school it was September, I remember, and he wasn’t going to be able to start the year,” Blake said. “He suffered terrible depression and the medication they put him on turned him into a zombie; he could not even leave the house, the medication just had really wiped him out.”
Blake said the mother was upset because the doctors told her that the next step would be to institutionalize her son. As she sat in his office upset and crying, Blake said she mused about any alternative medicine that would treat her son’s depression while not shutting him down.
“That got me thinking about other alternative modes to depression maybe something else besides medication,” Blake said. “Thirty percent of the depressed population don’t even respond to medication. So, I started doing some research. I spent probably close to half of a year to a year of periodically researching different options and reading different research articles to get some proven techniques to get out there alternative things that have helped people.”
Blake’s invention, the MIND Device, which stands for the Mood In-hancing Neuro Device, incorporates both old and new therapeutic techniques such as light and magnetic therapy. Blake said light therapy has been around for about 50 years and it is primarily used in Alaska and the Arctic Circle because of the six months of darkness experienced there. Blake said due to the darkness there are high incidences of depression and alcoholism.
“They are not getting enough sunlight stimulant in their retina and that is how the body releases serotonin,” Blake said. “Serotonin is the happy hormone and makes people feel energized and motivated – it helps with self-esteem and self-worth without that light stimulation those people are just very depressed.”
Bake said magnetic therapy has been FDA approved since 2008 and even a few hospitals have been using it. An MRI magnet is used to pinpoint an area of the left frontal lobe (Blake said that is the area they feel where mood is regulated from) and helps stimulate the release of neurotransmitters. Blake said this process kind of mimics the same effect as antidepressant medicines but without the side effects.
The MIND device is essentially a visor worn on the head with a shade covering the eyes, which has LED lights built into it, as well as a magnet the size of a half dollar on the left side of the device. The LED light is completely safe and emit UVA rays, which he said are basically harmless. The visor can be tightened or loosened depending on someone’s head shape. Blake said the device should be used in the morning and recommends that it is used between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. because he said the morning is “certainly when we want serotonin to increase.”
“Serotonin stimulated by light while the opposite, melatonin is stimulated by darkness and puts us to sleep,” Blake said. “It not only helps depression and anxiety it also helps people regulate their sleep.”
Blake said to wear it for up to 30 minutes a day, preferably in increments of 10 to 15 minutes to get acclimated. Blake said the device can be worn for 30 minutes a day four to five times a week.
“Do it the same time every morning because you’ll want that stimulation and you want your body used to that,” Blake said.
Blake said the objective with the MIND device is to promote mental health awareness and to provide a natural solution to prescription medications. Blake said the main reason he started researching this is because he wanted to provide an alternative solution that worked without the harsh side effects of prescription medications.
Blake said through his years of research on the topic, depression affects 20 million Americans and only 20 percent of them seek help because they are afraid to talk about it. Blake said the MIND Device can be used therapeutically in the privacy and company of one’s own home and is safe and affordable.
Alex Womack is an investor and entrepreneur in partnership with Blake. Womack believes in the device’s ability to help people because it helped him so much. He said he suffered for many years with depression so severe it nearly killed him. He believes this device may have saved his life.
“God in me said to not give up and I had to find another way to solve my depression,” Womack said. “I began to research ways to treat myself naturally. I began to experiment with Meditation, Plant based dieting, intense fitness, St. John’s Wart, Niacin, Vitamin B12.”
Womack said, after two years of searching and suffering his wife told him of Blake, her chiropractor, and his device. Now, Womack said he uses the device every day for 20 minutes a day and it has improved his mood drastically since. Womack said he feels happy after using the device and that it makes him feel clear, focused, motivated and he has more energy than he did before.
“My vision for The MIND Device is that we are able to serve millions of people who suffer from depression restoring their mental health and wellbeing using all natural solutions,” Womack said. “We want people to live joyful, peaceful, loving and fulfilling lives.”
The MIND Device pamphlet states that the device uses a powerful magnet that needs to be kept away from electrical devices and is not intended for children under the age of 12 years old. If persistent headaches, vision disturbances or any other disturbances occur, the pamphlet states to discontinue use and consult a physician.
The disclaimer on the pamphlet states, “Although magnetic and light therapy has helped individuals with depression disorder, not all participants will respond to this treatment. If you do not respond within an appropriate time frame, consult a doctor for a psychological evaluation.”
“There is nothing that is end-all, be-all but we feel it’s a good alternative,” Blake said. “We just want to be a light for mental illness.”
The MIND Device is available for purchase through the website at theMINDDevice.com for $199 with free shipping and a 30-day, money back guarantee. The MIND Device will be launching on Amazon on Oct. 1. For more information visit their website and social media pages on Facebook, www.fb.com/theminddevice and Instagram, @theminddevice.