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Brainwave entrainment is clearly NOT an effective standalone treatment for mental illness, but it may be an effective adjunct treatment in certain individuals. It should also be mentioned that when using brainwave entrainment, you may want to have a specific purpose in mind. If your goal is to relax, yet you’re using a protocol that is stimulating, you may falsely conclude that it doesn’t work even though you’re using the wrong protocol.
I’ve been on the brainwave vibe for about 6 months now, & I’m really diggin’ some results! I find that there are certain frequencies, I guess, that feel right and comfortable to my mind; I also find that I can physically feel the area of my brain that “pure” (no frikkn ocean waves) tones are affecting as I listen to them. This occurs the moment I hear the sound. Kinda like energy, a brain tickle. Spooky & awesome!!
A few months ago I decided to test the ability of the “Equisync II” brainwaves therapy combined with other more traditional self-improvement programs and the results have been even more amazing to me. Currently in my mind I honestly believe this type of therapy can be a breakthrough, or simply the genesis of a new type of therapeutic techniques to correct several psychological, and behavioral human issues including depression, lack of organization, and self-esteem among many, many other possibilities.
Theta waves have a frequency between 4 and 7.5 hertz, making them slower than more wakeful alpha but faster than the dreamless slumber of delta. Theta brainwaves are the frequencies of nighttime dreams and REM sleep when the brain goes through bursts of activity and eye movement. People also experience theta waves in a state of light sleep, deep relaxation, during meditation and prayer, and when daydreaming. Theta waves produce an experience of inward wakefulness where we become disengaged from the outside world while engaging in inner activity. At the lower frequencies of theta, sleeping states are experienced, and at the higher range of frequency, awake relaxed states are experienced.
There are many sources of binaural beats on the internet and YouTube to check-out and experiment with yourself – I recommend using headphones for optimal effectiveness. However, like most things, not all binaural beats are created equally (especially if they are free on the internet) and therefore not as effective or enjoyable to listen to. This is why I HIGHLY recommend the binaural beats created by master audio technician, music producer and meditation teacher, Cory Allen – which can be found here:
Headaches: There are several reports of brainwave entrainment providing therapeutic benefit for those suffering from general headaches or migraines. A study in 1985 analyzed photic stimulation within the theta range (5 Hz to 8 Hz) and discovered that this protocol provided significant headache relief. A total of 19/24 participants noted that the “slow wave” photic stimulation provided “complete relief” from chronic headaches and migraines.
All brainwave frequencies are useful and beneficial at certain times – there is no brainwave that is intrinsically better than another. However, by deliberately choosing to attain a particular brainwave state, a corresponding mental state can be brought about at the same time. For example, a working person who has been in an overly alert beta brainwave pattern for many hours can quickly shift their mind and body into a relaxed state by listening to a few minutes of brainwave entrainment music for inducing alpha or theta brainwaves.
Thanks for the coupons, I had originally looked into these cd’s after my doctor recommended them, but my mom wound up buying them for me for Christmas (she didn’t know about the coupons I had!) Anyway just listened to Equisync II today for the first time, I was in such a state as to where I didn’t know if I’d fallen asleep or not! I hadn’t but was in such an amazing place.
Cvetkovic D, Simpson D, Cosic I (2006). “Influence of sinusoidally modulated visual stimuli at extremely low frequency range on the human EEG activity“. Conference proceedings : … Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference 1: 1311 – 4. doi:10.1109
Because of the way they are created, there may be a positive benefit from listening to binaural beats without considering the brainwave entrainment aspect, but I haven’t seen any research on that. I first discovered brainwave entrainment through binaural beats about 10 years ago now, but they didn’t do anything for me. So I’ve never been a regular user of them. I believe isochronic tones are a more effective way to produce hemispheric synchronisation because they produce a much stronger response in the brain
There are many advantages and disadvantages with binaural beats. One of the major advantages is hemispheric synchronization. Since both hemispheres are required to create the beat within the brain, this method is an excellent way to create greater harmony between areas of the mind typically functioning independently. Binaural beats are also known to have effective hypnotic and relaxing effects.
Every NeuralSync™ audio is recorded with full-range frequency sweeps that cycle rhythmically throughout the entire audio. The dynamics of the sweep are then additionally enhanced with simultaneous left-to-right channel crossing. Because of this augmentation, the effects are multiplied, the intensity is amplified and the brain is drawn into the mental state more consistently and powerfully than with the static methods of other protocols.
2) You are being dissociated – When using AVE, you get drawn into the present moment and let go of thoughts relating to your daily hassles, hectic schedules, paying bills, worries, threats or anxieties and stop the unhealthy mental “chatter.” Dissociation involves a “disconnection” of self from thoughts and body awareness, as is experienced during deep meditation. Dissociation begins in four to eight minutes from properly applied AVE.
The formal name for this process is called the “frequency following response”, where the human brain will literally “follow” a specific frequency/beat after being exposed to it for (usually) about 8 minutes. Technically the definitive term “entrainment” does not exactly match the actual process of what is happening to your brain when listening to these audios, but its close enough, and the name has stuck now with these products becoming more popular and widely known.
Deep relaxation is a major benefit resulting from the brain’s cortical frequency following response. By selecting the desired rate the brain, via the frequency following response, will tend to mimic the rate it is exposed to and thus enter that brainwave state. This helps to explain why this technology can produce benefits commonly found with meditation. One of the most valuable benefits of consistent brainwave entrainment is that we are able to experience and recognize the various states of consciousness. With practice we can learn how to re-create these states.
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.
Robert Monroe, a radio producer and executive published a popular book called Journeys Out of the Body about his out-of-body experiences when using brainwave entrainment. He later founded an original brainwave entrainment audio company, Hemi Sync. In 1981, the book Mega Brain by Michael Hutchison brought brainwave entrainment information, techniques, and terminology into the popular press.
While the physiological and psychological processes being uncovered by brain science in the study of brainwaves is sometimes complex and still being investigated, certain basic principles are well-established, easily understood, and helpful for achieving the most effectively use of brainwave entrainment when seeking relaxation, improved sleep, lowering of anxiety, or other goals. This important background information and scientific knowledge presented here includes:
Many people experienced in using alpha brainwave entrainment report that the state of mind associated with alpha waves is a time when they feel most consciously connected to their subconscious mind. The intense experience of hypnagogic sleep, reported by some people as a feeling of being awake and asleep at the same time, is also associated with alpha brainwaves.
With brainwave entrainment audio, the brain will "catch on" and follow (entrain to) the desired brainwave frequency. BrainAscend uses the binaural and isochronic type of entrainment together with amplitude modulation. Isochronic tones have been proven to be the most effective brainwave entrainment technology and does not require headphones. Binaural beats are powerful when it comes to increasing synchronization of the brain hemispheres. You don't have to use headphones, though it is suggested. This is automatic meditation. Press play, close your eyes and BrainAscend does the rest!
Changes in neural oscillations, demonstrable through electroencephalogram (EEG) measurements, are precipitated by listening to music, which can modulate autonomic arousal ergotropically and trophotropically, increasing and decreasing arousal respectively. Musical auditory stimulation has also been demonstrated to improve immune function, facilitate relaxation, improve mood, and contribute to the alleviation of stress. These findings have contributed to the development of neurologic music therapy, which uses music and song as an active and receptive intervention, to contribute to the treatment and management of disorders characterized by impairment to parts of the brain and central nervous system, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer's disease, and autism.