From, April 23, 2008

I’M RELAXING in a chair upstairs inside Suite 11 of the historic Kiely House in Santa Clara, a Queen Anne Victorian dating back to the 19th century. Dr. Sue Klear, a licensed psychologist specializing in neurofeedback, has just attached seven sensors to my head and face with an odorless skin-prepping gel to prepare me for the initial stages of Brain Music Therapy, an experimental treatment for insomnia, anxiety, depression and stress.

The treatment records an individual’s brain waves using an Electroencephalogram (EEG), analyzes them and then converts them into two piano tracks—one “relaxing file” and one “activating file.” These are eventually burned onto a CD for the patient to play while going to sleep and after waking up, the idea being that the musical sounds form a correlation to your specific brain waves in order to help eliminate imbalanced brain activity. So, theoretically, you end up sleeping much better and function more productively during the day.

Originally developed at the Moscow Medical Academy as a nonpharmacological method for treating insomnia in the early ’90s, Brain Music Therapy has received a boost from some scientific evidence of its effectiveness, including randomized double-blind studies in small-scale groups. It is now used on an experimental basis throughout the world to treat a variety of neurological scenarios including post traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and withdrawal symptoms from drug or alcohol dependence. The Russian-born Dr. Galina Mindlin received the exclusive rights to provide this treatment in the United States in 2004 and has now treated hundreds of patients through her private practice in New York. Twenty other doctors throughout the United States now use the therapy as part of their practice, and Dr. Klear is the only one in the Bay Area who uses it. She runs her practice out of Suite 11 in the Kiely House.

Here’s the procedure: Dr. Klear first takes me through a basic medical evaluation, which includes me filling out two questionnaires, the Beck Depression Inventory and the Subjective Sleep Scale. Then I sit in the chair while the sensors are placed at key points to pick up my brain waves. This part of the procedure takes about five minutes and Dr. Klear throws some tranquil ocean sounds into the stereo to help me relax, the idea being that the patient needs to be in as relaxed a state as possible during the EEG, so the proper brain waves are recorded. She even closes the window to block out the traffic sounds from outside.

My brain waves are then recorded into the software and Dr. Klear sends the files off to the main center for Brain Music Therapy in Moscow. Since the Russians apparently have a patent on the algorithm that converts the brain waves into musical sounds, that part of the process must be done in Moscow and nowhere else, which adds to the conspiratorial Cold War–esque-KBG-mind-control-outer-space quality of this entire scenario. Before succumbing to the EEG, everyone has to sign a “Brain Music Informed Consent,” which includes this statement: “I agree to allow my personalized EEG recording to be emailed to Moscow so that my personalized recording can be created.”

Hmm. While sitting there looking the Cyrillic Russian printed on the panel of the amplifier to which the sensors are connected, I envision intelligence officials in the Kremlin crouched around a database of Americans’ brainwaves with the intent of finding ways to put us all to sleep. I have to laugh, since by sheer coincidence—and I’m not making this up—I have just finished reading Smiley’s People by John Le Carré, a legendary spy novel containing numerous references to the “Moscow Rules,” which are universal unwritten canons of spook tradecraft. In the initial stages of the tale, Smiley keeps bringing up the Moscow Rules over and over again. They remain in my head throughout this treatment.

Entire article here.