While it may not be a perfect therapeutic option for treating certain psychological conditions, brainwave entrainment is yet another tool that warrants further testing and exploration. There is clear evidence that certain protocols may benefit human performance. Unfortunately nearly all of the research has been conducted by those who clearly are affiliated with those who manufacture brainwave entrainment products.
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.
From a brainwave entrainment effectiveness perspective, it’s my understanding that the response from isochronic tones stimulation starts to diminish over 30Hz and that 40Hz is about the limit for using them. So from what I’ve read on the topic a 100Hz beat wouldn’t work, probably because it’s too fast for the brain to process and synchronise with it.
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If the further development of consciousness and awareness is your ultimate goal, there really is no substitute for actual meditation, of which many techniques are the result of thousands of years of human endeavor and accumulated knowledge and experience. Sure, it's not as easy as putting on headphones and pushing a button, but achieving authentic inner peace and relief from the stresses of human existence will mean so much more to you when earned through the time-tested route of traditional meditation. (Plus, once you learn to actually meditate, you can do it anywhere anytime without having to rely on being plugged in to something!)
Hi EJ, at the moment, there hasn’t been any research to give an indication of how long you should or shouldn’t listen for. Over time, I’ve seen people use my tracks for longer and longer. I started off providing 30-minute study tracks, but through demand, I extended them to 3-hours. I know from the many thousands of comments I’ve had on YouTube that a large number of people play those 3-hour tracks on repeat, or listen to different ones, one after the other throughout the day. I’ve also seen apps where you can play tracks like mine on continuous repeat. So it’s common for people to listen to them all day while they are studying.
Because the brain filters and interprets reality in a split-brained way, we tend to see things as separate and opposed, rather than as connected and part of the oneness spoken of by the great spiritual teachers (and, in the last few decades, by quantum mechanical physicists). Thus, at a deep level, the dual structure of our brain, in conjunction with brain lateralization, predisposes us to see and experience ourselves as separate from, and often in opposition to, the rest of the world—instead of experiencing the elegant interconnectedness between us and everything else. Our childhood associations and programming build on this inborn tendency by training us to seek this and avoid that, to move toward pleasure and away from pain, to do good and not bad, and so on. The greater the lateralization in the brain, the greater the feelings of separation—and the greater the feelings of separation, the greater the fear, stress, anxiety, and isolation.
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“.
I am fortunate to be working with Deepak Chopra, M.D., and Dr. Rudy Tanzi, co-authors of the bestselling book Super Brain, on a technology called Brain Wave Entrainment. Deepak is very well known, but Rudy is an amazingly interesting person as well. He is the Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Vice-Chair of Neurology at Mass General Hospital. Rudy co-discovered three of the four original Alzheimer's genes and today runs the Alzheimer's Genome Project. He also plays the keyboards, including, at times, for Aerosmith. He is kind of a real life "Buckaroo Banzai."
Specific tones that resonate at certain frequencies are created and embedded within the acoustic architecture of the original waveform. Your brainwaves latch onto these embedded carrier frequencies and attune themselves to the same vibratory rate. Brainwave entrainment now occurs that is similar to binaural beats yet there is no need for headphones to deliver these entrainment effects.
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.
After one month of using Equisync, I feel relaxed, calm and not stressed at all, despite that I am leaving my present job soon for an early retirement, I handle the situation very well. I have the feeling that I’m going to be ok and there is nothing to worry about. This is what I have gained so far from using Equisync and it’s really meaningful in the erratic world that we live in.
This is the reason why I stress that one should ALWAYS read the instructions provided by the brainwave entrainment product creator, and always do their due diligence in researching the source of any products they purchase. When using a high quality product, these instructions are clear, precise, and always backed up by an extensive network of support and additional information. The product creators who have put in the necessary amount of effort and time to come up with a high quality product always make sure that you don’t get it wrong.
First discovered by biophysicist Gerald Oster at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, Brainwave Therapy sends pure, precisely tuned sound waves of different frequencies to your brain via stereo headphones. In his EEG research, Oster discovered that when different vibrations, or sound frequencies, are delivered to the brain separately through each ear (as with stereo headphones), the two hemispheres of the brain function together to "hear" not the external sound signals, but a third phantom signal. This signal is called a binaural beat, and it pulses at the exact mathematical difference between the two actual tones. For example, a signal of 100 Hz delivered to the left ear, and a signal of 107 Hz delivered to the right creates a binaural beat of 7 Hz that in this case falls into the Alpha range
No side effects have been reported from brain entrainment use. Most producers of the technology warn against the use of brain entrainment by children under age 18, people with seizure disorders, and pregnant women. Studies have not been conducted on these populations to date. Additionally, (and this goes without saying) it is suggested that you do not drive while listening to brain entrainment due to the relaxing effect.
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".
…I got curious about the Equisync II CDs and it was the 2nd track that started giving me some body signs that revealed me I was in the alpha state. I never practiced meditation before, however, I follow the Gurdjieff and Ouspensky teachings which, if you are not aware, tell us how to do quite the same thing as meditation in our everyday lives while performing our daily tasks. I also believe that Equisync II was more appropriate for me because my life is also dedicated to collective causes, my personal life is totally under control, but your CDs were able to relieve my severe depression after only 3 days of practicing, my chronic insomnia condition which had been lasting for over 27 years seemed to be finally healed. I am truly amazed, really.
Meanwhile, the therapeutic benefits of listening to sound and music is a well-established principle upon which the practice of receptive music therapy is founded. The term 'receptive music therapy' denotes a process by which patients or participants listen to music with specific intent to therapeutically benefit; and is a term used by therapists to distinguish it from 'active music therapy' by which patients or participants engage in producing vocal or instrumental music. Receptive music therapy is an effective adjunctive intervention suitable for treating a range of physical and mental conditions.