If anybody would like to look over the scientific evidence concerning brainwave entrainment and isochronic tones, I’ve done a lot of research over the years which I’ve collected at the PubMed website of NCBI – a branch of the National Institute of Health – that provides access to a large library of medical journal articles. I’ve made my list public so you can look through the journal articles that were published concerning this topic. Here’s the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1tmDFOl0XtyA4/collections/51531796/public/. Most of the collection only gives access to abstracts or summaries unless you’re at some kind of educational institution that has a subscription to the particular journal that article is in, but I actually find abstracts really helpful. So have at it, read away. And if your psychiatrist/therapist thinks you’re nuts for feeling better after listening to isochronic tones, just whip out your 82-page collection of scientific journal abstracts written by her peers and give it to her to read. 🙂

The main gist of brainwave entrainment audios, without getting too technical here, is that they effortlessly guide one’s brain (when listened to with stereo headphones) into a specifically targeted state, as designated by the creator of the audio. They are able to alter your brainwave states through the use of specific audio frequencies, and specific beats-the most common of which being binaural beats (though there are other types of beats being used as well).  When one frequency is played into one ear- let’s say 1115 Hz- and a slightly different frequency is played into the other-say 1125 Hz- the brain is forced to reconcile the two, and creates its own “phantom” frequency that is the difference between the two- in this case 10 Hz.  Not only does this allow the brain to be led into specific brainwave states, but it also allows the two hemispheres of the brain to synchronize with each other, stimulating and promoting whole-brain functioning.
So using the example track above, the right ear is sent a 20Hz beat, compared to a 10Hz beat in the left ear.  As the right ear receives the higher frequency of beat, this works to increase the speed of the ‘left' brain hemisphere, which can be helpful for people with conditions like ADD, who are often found to have an abundance of slow wave activity in the left brain.
The reason I am telling you this is to consider that it is critical for you to seek advice from sources that have wide-spreading experience with brainwave entrainment. Having personally used the technology for over 13 years, in combination with many other more ‘traditional’ methods such as yoga, meditation, visualizations, positive affirmations, NLP, etc., I believe that my personal experiences and the in-depth research I have conducted in order to make sure I approach this safely, can serve as a good starting point for you.
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
So discovering the field of Brainwave Entrainment is very exciting and promising. However intriguing, there are a few things that make me a bit sceptical towards it. F.i. I’m not too keen on having to rely on any external stimuli, as (regular) meditation is one of the very few things where you are absolutely independent from anything external to make a change within, which to me makes it so special.
An important objective of entrainment is to produce a dissociative state, which is a meditation-like state of deep relaxation. It is the brain/body rehabilitative benefits produced by this deep trance-like state that makes AVE so useful for so many conditions. The dissociative state can be first observed by noticing deep and diaphragmatic breathing. Hands and feet become warmer as arteries dilate. Skin color will become pinker as blood flow increases throughout the face and body. Blood flow will increase in the brain as well. The person will experience feelings of profound relaxation and contentment as beneficial neurotransmitters are released into the brain. When in this deep state, the brain/body’s regenerative repair chemicals (parasympathetic hormones) and stabilizing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, endorphins and dopamine are released, which restore good brain function. AVE contributes to this restoration by providing a stress-break, increasing cerebral blood flow and encouraging impaired neuronal firing which allows the brain to return to normal function.
I’m working as a consultant for a new and growing holistic wellness company. I am responsible for determining which products would be the most advantageous for both our patients and for retail sales. I have personally purchased the Equisync I CDs to test them. My daughter suffers from major anxiety. The CDs helps her to relax and be less anxious. I tried it myself one time and it was very effective at putting me into a deep meditative state. I believe that your product works and I would like the wellness company to carry Equisync for patients to use and purchase.
Thank you for the info. I must add that the Yoga Nidra state is the state in which a person can be in Delta but fully conscious. I did experience this state accidentally 3x in 2yrs after discovering Swami Rama’s teachings about the state&1 of the techniques for it(only 4 seems to exist & are practiced in monasteries at the time,according to him. He was the yogi who 1st demonstrated the 4 states,fully aware of himself & his surroundings, under lab conditions).
The pitch frequency measures and describes what a beat sounds like, i.e. does the isochronic beat have a deeper bass sound, or is it high pitched and sharper sounding? The beat waveform frequency describes how many times the beat is repeating per second, i.e. how fast it is beating. You don’t really need to concern yourself about the pitch frequency, as that doesn’t have a direct influence on brainwave entrainment and doesn’t play a part on the measurement on an EEG. I only mentioned it because you were referring to humans not being able to hear below 20Hz. I change the pitch frequency just to suit the mood of the track. For tracks that are to be relaxing, for meditation or sleep, I tend to use a lower pitch frequency so it sounds deeper and more relaxing and I never have that lower than 100Hz. For an energizing, high focus track I might use a more higher pitched 200Hz isochronic tone, because that is sharper sounding and less likely to make you feel sleepy. That’s all you really need to know about the pitch frequency.
I would like to start off by saying that many bold statements are made about this technology from people who have a self-interest in promoting or rejecting it. We have to face the truth by accepting that people are profiting from brainwave entrainment, and as a result of this other groups of people are being affected in a negative way (from a business point of view). This is a reason why you can find all kinds of claims from someone who has never used or tested the technology.  Unfortunately I have found in my own personal journey of using brainwave entrainment that there are some great people out there making some great products, and there are also some irresponsible and untrustworthy people out there trying to grab a slice of the pie.
In fact, there is more to answering this question than meets the eye. As someone who’s also been skeptical enough to do the research, I am more than happy to explore the issue in great depth. The important thing to address here is what have you been told that Brainwave Entrainment would do?  Depending on whose site you’ve landed on you may have been promised different things.  The promised benefits of this type of product are a long list, and more things are still being added to it.  You may have been told that brainwave entrainment would help you meditate deeper, and rocket launch your spiritual evolution from doing so.  You may have been told that it would help your brain release positive neuro chemicals and anti-aging hormones that would improve your health and help you feel more positive emotions, overcoming anxiety, and you also may have been told that listening to brainwave entrainment on a regular basis would help your brain evolve, building a higher threshold to mental and emotional input, growing neural pathways, and synchronising the two hemispheres of the brain.
Binaural beats can be experienced in any float session you book.  To this point in your floating practice you may, or may not, have heard of – or perhaps already experienced – binaural beats and their effective use of being a unique option/tool to listen to while in (or out of) the tank. But what exactly are binaural beats, how do they work and why choose to listen to them? All good questions, so here we go:
Generally, the established brain entrainment technology has been to use various static levels, lowering the carrier frequency of the binaural signals over time. By doing this, you basically increase the resonant power of the carrier frequency to resonate more deeply with the resonant frequency of the brain and the nervous system. This process pushes the nervous system over time. The limitation I find with this system is that it takes a static approach, in the sense that it gives the nervous system the same degree of stimulation day in and day out. The idea here is that if you keep whamming your nervous system with the same stimulation on a daily basis, it will eventually kick in and learn. Then your nervous system and your brain will jump to the next level.

It is important to take an objective look at published scientific evidence to determine whether brainwave entrainment is an effective treatment for certain conditions and/or symptoms. Most preliminary evidence suggests that while the technology will not cure any condition, it may be a successful adjunct treatment when used carefully with the proper protocol.
They are a useful and effective tool that allow you a structured means in which to entrain your brain into a desired, new brainwave state using an intended set frequency range of the audio track. Frequency ranges for desired sleep, recovery and deep meditation states to different/higher frequency ranges for performance “flow-states” and high-level focus and calculation.
These are lower frequency waves: The state is generated when our thoughts are really not concentrated and our minds wander freely, or we are in a relaxed state such as meditating or daydreaming. We also experience Alpha Brainwaves when we are gently busy with routine tasks like pottering in the garden, taking a shower, putting on makeup, doing light housework. Alpha is considered to be the bridge between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.

…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.
Hi. This article contains a lot of information about brainwave entertainment. Thanks. I have a question. I downloaded an Android app that plays isochronic tones. I like to use an Isochronic tone at 2.5Hz that is in Delta range and is supposed to help me get a deep and dreamless sleep. I use it without headphones and just keep the smartphone next to my pillow. But I do not know if I should keep the tone playing all the time while I sleep or put it on timer to shut off after some specified time. A custom timer is possible with the app. Can you please guide me.
There are primarily three ways to elicit the frequency following response through an audio: binaural beats, monaural beats, and isochronic tones.  Binaural beats was the first method to be discovered, and has been used since the 80’s, after being first made known and popular by Robert Monroe of the Monroe Institute (the institute is still around today, though Mr. Monroe has passed away).  Binaural beats basically work in this way: one specific frequency/beat is played in one ear, let’s say, 1115 hz., while one slightly different frequency is played in the other at the same time, let’s say, 1120 hz.  What the brain will naturally do while exposed to these two frequencies in either ear is create its own “phantom” beat, that is the difference between the two frequencies.  In this case, it would be 5 hz., which is the frequency of the theta brainwave state.  Therefore, your brain would be led into the theta state.  At the same time, your brain working to combine these frequencies also ends up synchronizing its two hemispheres, and functioning in a whole-brained fashion while the listener is using the audio.
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.
So let’s start with the basics, and we can move on from there. An easier way to understand brainwave entrainment would be to think about how your brain gets entrained in real life, without the use of any technology. Have you ever heard a song on the radio that stuck into your mind throughout the day and maybe even the next one? Now think about a repeating sound, like the ticking of a clock – simply listening to it your brain starts producing alpha waves that match that tick-tack sound. Or have you ever been at a meeting when you immediately felt sleepy? That is because the majority of people in the room were feeling that same way and your brain simply matched the brain wave patterns they have been emanating. We can go on exemplifying this phenomenon, but the main point is that our brain is altering and adapting in direct response to what we hear, think, and see.
A study by Tina Huang, PhD, and Christine Charyton, published in the September 2008 issue of the journal, Alternative Therapies examined the results of twenty previous studies measuring the effectiveness of brainwave entrainment for improvements in cognitive dysfunction and deficits, stress reduction, pain management, migraine and headache control, pre-menstrual syndrome, and behavioral difficulties, and all showed significant improvement in symptoms using entrainment techniques.
Isochronic tones are the most recent and advanced method for brainwave entrainment audios. With isochronic tones, the same intensity is used for all tones, but they pulsate on and off at different rates. The speed, pattern, and rates of these tones can be changed and altered throughout the recording, and the brain will follow them into desired states. The use of isochronic tones opens up the ability to lead the brain into highly specific states, at specific speeds and intensities. This has opened up the doorway to producing both dominant and subdominant waves(i.e. an alpha brainwave state with subdominant theta waves), and the ability to lead the brain through different waves, at specific speeds (i.e. holding the brain in an alpha state for 10 minutes, then dropping it through theta for 20, and holding it in delta for five before bringing it back into alpha at the end of the recording.) This allows thousands of different possibilities in training the brain, and also makes the process of listening to these types of audios more natural, and more powerful. 
Now next point to make here is that many of the other promised benefits of brainwave entrainment stem from this basic foundation.  For example, it has been said that listening to brainwave entrainment resets the brain’s sodium/potassium ratio, greatly decreasing mental fatigue, and improving the transporting of positive neurochemicals between brain cells.  This promise rests on the fact that it has been shown that this occurs while one is in the theta state. Therefore, the answer would be that yes, because these audios do lead one’s brain into the theta state, then it follows that they would promote the resetting of the brain’s sodium potassium ratio.
The training process allows you to consciously access deeper levels of your brain and consciousness. Your whole brain power and function expands. You become intuitive, relaxed yet focused, creative, your thoughts become clearer and information processing improves more and more. The left and right brain hemisphere synchronizes and you'll start using the full power of your left (analitycal - logical - Intelligence) and right (creativity - imagination - visualisation) hemispheres together. To say that this helps in all imaginable areas of your life is an understatement. You'll also begin to discover deeper realities beyond the physical. You become happier, more relaxed and balanced.
If anybody would like to look over the scientific evidence concerning brainwave entrainment and isochronic tones, I’ve done a lot of research over the years which I’ve collected at the PubMed website of NCBI – a branch of the National Institute of Health – that provides access to a large library of medical journal articles. I’ve made my list public so you can look through the journal articles that were published concerning this topic. Here’s the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1tmDFOl0XtyA4/collections/51531796/public/. Most of the collection only gives access to abstracts or summaries unless you’re at some kind of educational institution that has a subscription to the particular journal that article is in, but I actually find abstracts really helpful. So have at it, read away. And if your psychiatrist/therapist thinks you’re nuts for feeling better after listening to isochronic tones, just whip out your 82-page collection of scientific journal abstracts written by her peers and give it to her to read. 🙂
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.
The results of using EquiSync for only 3 months have been phenomenal! Profound and positive changes have occurred , and continue to occur, in my being. These transformations have become obvious to family and friends as well. I am 71 yrs old and feel better than when I was in my thirties. My energy levels remain high with less sleep. I work out at the gym vigorously five days a week – bicycling and swimming are part of the regimen as well. I volunteer services at Hospice and nursing homes. My short term memory has improved to the point that others remark on my remembering their names after meeting them only once several weeks in the past. Sometimes I find that I’m reading fine print without my glasses. I spent the greater portion of my “productive” years as a monk but had lost the ability to meditate due to the development of A.D.D. Now my ability to stay focused and concentrate has remarkably returned and am reaching meditative states that I’ve not reached in years. Each new day is now seen as another opportunity to serve.
So I began to look at other instances in which the nervous system is being stimulated on a daily basis and discovered that sports science has a lot to teach us about this. Whether you are practicing yoga, meditation, using brainwave entrainment, or working out, it’s all pushing the nervous system. One of the things that sports science teaches us is that the nervous system waxes and wanes like a sine wave in its capacity to recover from, and grow from, the stimulation we give it every day. Static levels of stimulation, where you’re getting the same smack every day, day in and day out, do not allow for the fact that there are times when the nervous system is at its peak to handle the stimulation, and there are other times when the nervous system is in its trough, or valley period, when it is harder for it to recover from stimulation.

There appeared to be some evidence that 10 Hz stimulation (alpha waves) improved anxiety, but it wasn’t statistically significant. A study that utilized a ramping format of alpha to theta to delta waves (over the course of 10 minutes) found a significant improvement in anxiety. In terms of long-term stress, there is evidence that alpha and beta stimulation improved measures of “competence” and “emotional exhaustion.”
Targeted hemispheric changes: Some speculate that specific alterations in brain waves can be made on an individual basis. In other words, you can target one frequency in one hemisphere (via the right ear) and another distinct frequency in the other hemisphere (via the left ear). The left ear affects the right hemisphere and right ear affects the left hemisphere.
The authors concluded that preliminary evidence suggested that brainwave entrapment was an effective therapeutic tool, but further research was required. The evidence presented appeared to justify the recommendation for further research. In view of the lack of controlled evidence and problems with methodology and reporting in the review, the authors’ conclusions regarding efficacy did not appear reliable.
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