Filed Under: Brainwave Entrainment, Creativity, Emotional Healing, Flow State, iAwake Weekly Call, Life Optimization, Meaning of Life, Meditation Technology, Practice of Meditation, Spiritual Development, Waking Up Tagged With: Benefits of Brainwave Entrainment Meditation, Brain Entrainment Meditation, Brainwave Entrainment, Brainwave States, Conscious Evolution, Creativity, Life Optimization, Stealing Flow, Waking Up
How does brainwave entrainment work? Consistent, precisely engineered audio frequencies in the form of binaural beats cause the brain’s frequencies to match the stimulus. Your brain perceives two beats with slightly different frequencies (which are inaudible to the ear) through your headphones. It takes the difference between the two, and matches its own frequency to it. This is called the “frequency following” response.
Good to hear from you and glad you got some value from the article. In total honesty I do feel that brainwave entrainment is safe, and that the big point is not to over-use it, or to push yourself too hard. You can almost think of it like an herb or nutritional supplement. You don’t expect big results the day/week of taking it, and if you don’t get results, you don’t keep taking more. You take it in regular safe doses over a recommended period of time and let it synergistically work its magic. Generally I think you are safe to listen to the audio you made, I just recommend taking it gradually with gamma in particular. Listen for just 10-15 minutes at first and see how your brain handles it. If it doesn’t produce any unwanted feelings then jump right in. But even then I recommend only listening once per day, and taking one day off per week.
The same goes for brainwave entrainment. You can’t just listen to an audio as many times as you want and expect that more is always better. In a very real way, you are “exercising” your brain. You are pushing it to build new neural pathways, to communicate with itself in new ways, and to adapt to a new kind of mental stimulation. This is incredibly good for you, but there is a limit that you must observe.
Binaural beats were the first method discovered for brainwave entrainment and works by delivering tones of different audible frequencies to the two ears with the difference in frequency between the two tones being the frequency of entrainment. The difference in frequency between the two tones must be less than 30 hertz, and this resulting frequency is called a beat or the target frequency, and it is processed in a brain region called the olivary body. When listening to such tones with stereo headphones, the two hemispheres of the brain become synchronized at the target frequency.
Transparent Corp's Research Area is arguably the most comprehensive resource for collated brainwave entrainment research. Update: the main research area on Transparent Corp's website is currently being updated, so it is offline. However, you can still access their peer-reviewed research paper as a PDF here: “A Comprehensive Review of the Psychological Effects of Brainwave Entrainment“.
So often it is presented as such a highly scientific technology that can only be created by “experts”. Buzz words like “scientific”, “certified engineer”, “frequencies”, “cortical evoked response”, “anterior brain activity”, are used to make it seem over-complicated, and pseudo-scientific pictures of “data” and “brain readings” are pasted all over sites to further qualify claims of how powerful and amazing these people’s product is.
With brain wave entrainment technology, changing brain wave states is an instantaneous and effortless process. The 'periodic stimulus' can be sound, vibrations and/or light. We have found that we get the best results with blinking lights which are experienced through closed eyelids. This is only problematic for people with existing diagnosis of photo-induced epilepsy, as blinking lights can induce a seizure in them. The programs are enhanced with Deepak Chopra doing the narration along with holographic sound effects and original music composed and performed by Rudy Tanzi.
Only 4 of the participants reported no change as a result of the stimulation. Four years later in a study (1989) by Anderson analyzed LED photic stimulation for the treatment of headaches. There were 60 patients included in the study which involved Variable Frequency Photo-stimulation (VFP) with specialized goggles that contained light-emitting diodes.
Your brain operates at certain levels of activity – the normal waking, active Beta, the meditative Alpha, the asleep-and-dreaming or deep meditative Theta, and the deep sleep/unconscious Delta. Beta is characterized by one thing we all want to get away from – stress.But that brainwave state has its place. It’s the action mode, and that’s the way it should be! If we’re not alert when we’re awake, bad things can happen, right?
The mechanism for this is that when your eyes or ears are exposed to a particular frequency of pulses or beats, the thalamus first distributes this information to the entire brain, including the visual and cerebral cortex where neural activity begins to synchronize to the incoming frequency, producing hemispheric synchronization and a balance of brainwave activity across the brain.
I have personally used Holosync, Neuroprogrammer 3, and now I'm currently using Brain Evolution System. They are all great programs within their own rights. Holosync is very pricey and takes many years to complete (6-10 yrs) for their 12 level program and has a hefty price tag of $3195 dollars for the complete set and it uses outdated binaural technology. Neuroprogrammer 3 doesn't have a set time limit for completion as you set your own pace and use whatever sessions you choose to use and you can get the ultimate version for under $100, but this isn't a program that you would use daily in most cases. It does use better technology ( binaural & isochronic ) but it more suited for specialized cases and can be used in conjunction with Holosync or BrainEv. I have just started using BrainEv and I am about to be into the second week. BrainEv uses state of the art binaural and isochronic technology and brings you through your states at a much rapid rate whereas Holosync focuses mainly on certain brain wave patterns during its sessions which could get your mind stuck in certain states because the brain gets used to the specific states it's been entrained to. Also, BrainEv takes just 6 months to complete and you can feel it working immediately. Holosync did do it's job but BrainEv takes the cake on this one due to the short duration of time it takes to complete and uses more advanced entrainment techniques that doesnt leave your mind in a static state. So I would difinately suggest using BrainEv ( first month is free; $299 for all 6 sets ) in conjunction with Neuroprogrammer 3 for more specialized brain training.
The two drawbacks: time and money. It takes a full hour everyday for months, and you can drop quite a bit of cash on it (each level costs around $200 for the digital download version and more for the actual CDs). A level takes a minimum of 6 months to complete, so you have to remain dedicated to see the results. Quite an investment, so you'd need to be in it for the long haul. Great support and service, though.
Applying brainwave entrainment in the alpha range may result in benefits similarly found with Zen or Transcendental Meditation. These benefits extend throughout the body and include improved breathing patterns, higher physical energy levels, an improved outlook, increased sports performance, improved relationships, and increased workplace satisfaction and performance … just to name a few.
The benefits of brainwave entrainment have been debated by numerous experts and, after multiple sessions of observation, the following effects were identified. First, the beats were seen to assist in meditation with the use of low frequencies such as Alpha, Delta and Theta, triggering a sense of relaxation that ultimately allows undisturbed meditation.
Isochronic tones have only been proven to have an effect while you are listening to them, that’s why you won’t find me claiming anywhere that there are potentially positive long-term effects. Once the tones stop, your brainwaves are no longer being stimulated by the sound and so they stop being in sync with the tone frequency. For you to think you are still feeling the effects after all this time and from such a short time listening to them, I think it may be linked to anxiety. I know that some people who are new to this type of thing can build up a strong feeling of anxiety, after worrying about the potential effects brought on by fear of the unknown. I suspect the problem may be psychological with you worrying about the potential effects and keep repeating the experience from memory in your head. When you keep going over the same thing in your head like that and worrying about it, it’s easy to then spot other potential side-effects like how your nostrils and body temp is feeling, then making links back to that experience and labelling that as the reason. I think the best way to overcome this is to realise that the side-effects you are mentioning are completely unrelated, so there is nothing to worry about. These tracks are literally listened to for millions of hours a month on YouTube across loads of channels. If the effects lasted for a long time people would just listen for 5 minutes and come back in a couple of weeks. But people keep coming back to listen because that’s the only way to feel the benefit and effects…while you are listening to them. If you are unable to stop thinking and worrying about this on our own, I recommend that you speak to your doctor about it or a specialist in dealing with anxiety issues. I hope that helps.
Because the mind and body are a single system, changing our brainwaves and spending more time in harmonious, relaxed, and restorative mind-states also affects our physical health. Physical health then reinforces our mental-state, and a feedback loop of either positive or negative processes becomes established. Research studies have shown beneficial effects of using brainwave entrainment for treating migraine headaches, premenstrual syndrome, and for managing physical pain.
I definitely NEED (& can feel a difference mentally) Gamma the most. Beta and Alpha do better my processing. Theta waves are TERRIBLE! My normal symptoms increase when listening to those frequencies! Delta has been helpful for me around nighttime. It has helped my sleep on occasion. *Note: Do not listen to higher frequencies (Gamma, Beta) before bedtime! They will keep you very alert.
So, you have read a little bit about brainwave entrainment and this technology’s purported near-miraculous effects on one’s body and mind. If you’ve browsed my site a little bit, you may have also explored the Brainwave Entrainment Studies (real life stories and research) and the scientific evidence behind this technology. You may have also read about the side effects associated with BWE.
This thing blows my mind! The first time I used it I was like "No way!" As I kept using it I discovered that it is literally the only way I am able to fall asleep nights when my mind is so full of thoughts and my anxiety is running rampant! I hate the way sleep aids make me feel like I've been run over by a freight train. I recently switched from using "Deep Sleep" to "Dreamy Sleep" and had the craziest dreams! I normally can't remember my dreams and I was actually able to recall quite a bit of them. Unfortunately last night, I dreamt that I faked the death of my dog last year and I felt like it lasted the whole night so I think I'll be switching back to "Deep Sleep" :( Awesome product though. My *only* complaint is that I wish there were more ambiance options or the ability to use it with Pandora. You can use your own music but I don't have much personal music on my phone so I am limited to using the app's ambiance tracks and they get old after a while. Highly recommend!
Thanks for making Brain Wave the Top Selling Brainwave Entrainment app in the App Store! * The main focus of this update is the Landscape UI for iPad * Note: Headphones/Earbuds are Required for Binaural Tones to be Effective as the Left Ear and Right Ear Audio must be isolated for the Brain to perceive the inaudible low-frequency difference between the two sides.
My name is [name removed] and I purchased the full Equisync set about 2 years ago and I’m very happy with this product. I still feel and notice euphoric and life changing effects to this day and I’m so grateful for this fact. I continue to follow the research on this subject and know that as science and technology advances a more quality product can be produced.
Hi Ulka, thanks for your compliment on my article. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across any studies or much discussion about the problem with habituation and isochronic tones and how to overcome it. The consensus among experienced users is to regularly change the frequencies and music soundtracks you listen to. Adding music to the tones does change the waveform you are stimulated with, so that’s one of the main reasons why I provide different soundtracks for my isochronic tones sessions. I have released some tracks which use amplitude modulations in the music, instead of isochronic tones. It might be worth giving them a try if you haven’t already. I have them in a playlist on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj5tHl2cuWw&list=PLveg0IEcZWN6OIRZyLkv0BJADY7Q6xFCl.
This is good to understand because this is another area where people can make huge promises that may or may not be true. Even in this realm, there is a level of practicality that can be followed. Even meditating at the rate of a super-human monk is not going to “magically solve all your problems”. This technology cannot pick negative beliefs out of your head and implant positive ones just by influencing your brainwaves. It cannot just make you a different person.
No. The frequencies are consistent throughout the duration of each music production we offer. It could be argued that a better approach is to change the frequency over time, starting at a higher frequency when the listener is alert and slowly ramping down as the music progresses and the listener becomes more relaxed. So why have we not taken this approach?
Brainwave Mind Voyages 24 CD Set: Brainwave Meditation Programs, Hemispheric Synchronization, and Brainwave Entrainment Technology (24 BMV CDs: Lucid Dreaming, Astral Trance, Alpha Brainwaves, Theta Brainwaves, Delta Brainwaves, Tones, Astral Vibrations, Remote Viewing, Beta Brainwaves, Lucid Dream Cycle, Lucid Dreams Hypnosis, Guided Dream Incubation, The Whales CD, Rainstorm, The Waters CD, Nature Sounds, Heartbeat Meditation CD, The Om Meditation, Ganzfeld Effect/ White Noise, Breathing Silent Mindfulness, Breathwork Yoga Yogic Breathing Techniques, Tibetan Singing Bowls, Schumann Resonance, Sacred Healing Frequencies Solfeggio Healing Tones)
Beta brainwaves are next highest in frequency after alpha waves, occurring at 13 to 30 hertz. Beta brainwaves are what we experience every day as we are awake and using our analytic mind. Beta brainwaves are needed for concentrating on mental tasks, and when they are present for too long of a time, they lead to stress, anxiety, and even paranoia. Most people do not have trouble achieving beta brainwaves and in fact suffer from spending too much time in beta brainwave patterns. However, those with attention deficit disorder (ADD) who have problems focusing their attention can benefit from learning how to achieve and remain in beta brainwave states for longer amounts of time.
To summarize all this, we can see that the type of product you choose plays an important role in answering that question – “Can brainwave entrainment damage my brain?” My personal advice as a long-term user of the technology is to Be selective about what brainwave entrainment audios you download from the internet, and make sure to follow the instructions!
Let's check in with another expert, chemistry professor Thomas Taylor from the Texas A&M. Taylor hooked a load of students up to an EEG machine (like you see in the movies with the sticky plastic pads with wires stuck all over people's heads) in an attempt to analyse 'synthesis thinking' - which is basically a nerd's way of saying "find out how people come up with new and creative ways to solve a problem".
So, what is binaural beats or binaural tones? They are auditory (hearing) processing artifacts, or apparent sounds, caused by specific physical stimuli. This effect was discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove and earned greater public awareness in the late 20th century based on claims coming from the alternative medicine community that binaural beats could help induce relaxation, meditation, creativity and other desirable mental states. The effect on the brainwaves depends on the difference in frequencies of each tone: for example, if 300 Hz was played in one ear and 310 in the other, then the binaural beat would have a frequency of 10 Hz.
In the past few issues of the Advocate Voice Newsletter and the Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE magazine, we have offered ideas about several forms of cognitive behavior and mindfulness information. In the chronic pain community these techniques combined with other therapies, including medications and alternative modalities, can help people sleep, function, relieve stress from pain and improve their quality of life. This month’s app, Brain Wave, 30 Binaural Programs, is another tool to help introduce the idea of using your mind to help control pain and relieve stress.
Use traditional meditation to create the changes in the brain that lead to the benefits I’ve described here. Of course that means going through a long learning curve while you master the art of meditation, motivating yourself to sit each day to meditate. And, to get the benefits I’ve described, you’ll need to meditate several hours each day), and continue in that way for 30+ years.
Scalar waves are a constantly regenerating energy source that imprint a signature on your body with lasting positive effects. They strengthen chemical bonds within DNA, making it more resistant to damage and cleanse blood and cells to improve immune function. They impart energy that helps mental focus, and increase amplitude of all EEG frequencies, but particularly the lower levels where deep rejuvenation, relaxation and healing occur. They leave you feeling refreshed and energized, with lasting pleasant sensations that continue long after each brainwave entrainment session.
The basic idea behind the Laxman light and sound technology is that the gentle pulses of light can lead one to the state of mind associated with that particular frequency range. The various pre-programmed “sessions” found in the Laxman mind machine can be used for different purposes, including meditation, stress reduction, accelerated learning, restful sleep, increased creativity, and goal setting.
Regarding split hemisphere isochronic tones. Think of this as two separate isochronic tones tracks playing independently of each other, one playing in one ear and the other one in the opposite ear. Better still, imagine someone playing and recording a drum beat at a rate of 5 taps per second (5Hz – 5 cycles per second). Then a separate recording of a drum beat is made at a rate of 10 taps per second (10 Hz). You then make an audio track where the left ear/channel hears the 5 drum beats recording and the right ear/channel hears the 10 beat recording. With headphones on, each ear can only hear each respective drum beat and not the other. So you are hearing two different beat recordings at the same time, but it’s different in each ear. A split hemisphere isochronic tones track works just the same. You hear two beats at the same time, not two tones as with binaural beats that create a single beat, but two different speeds of beats in each ear. This is what enables you to stimulate and influence each side of the brain with a different frequency of beat. Binaural beats can only stimulate and influence a whole brain effect using a single beat.
Thanks for making Brain Wave the Top-Selling Brainwave Entrainment App in the App Store! * This update includes support for iOS 6, an optimized UI for iPhone 5, and a new ambient forest background. The app is universal, so you get it across all your devices with one app! Includes optimized UIs for iPhone/iPod Touch, iPhone 5, iPad and support for landscape and portrait orientations.
“Binaural beats are not very noticeable because the modulation depth (the difference between loud and quiet) is 3 db, a two-to-one ratio. (Isochronic tones and mono beats easily have 50 db difference between loud and quiet, which is a 100,00-to-1 ratio). This means that binaural beats are unlikely to produce an significant entrainment because they don’t activate the thalamus.”
Also, don’t you think that the inherent hemispheric synchronization using binaural beats might be a positive benefit within itself? While it’s true that the huge majority of us use both sides of our brains most of the time, it’s also true that many of us are a bit polarized to one side or the other in general, or when doing a particular kind of activity or focus. I’ve found stimulating a more equally and consistently whole brain activity has it’s own benefits other than the entrainment aspect.