I also believe that the dangers of brainwave entrainment should be further explored as well. There are relatively vague benefits, but it remains unclear as to whether entraining certain frequencies may be detrimental to performance or induce harm. Despite the fact that brainwave entrainment has existed for a long term, it remains an understudied niche in neuroscience.
A study that tested photic stimulation for reduction of poor behavior in ADHD children found that 15 sessions of photic stimulation between 12 Hz and 14 Hz resulted in behavioral change. This behavioral change was measured using the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist – which accounted for not only the parent’s perspective, but self-reports from the children. Statistically it was stated that behavior improved up to 70% in the stimulation group compared to controls.
Gamma brainwaves occur during creative thinking and processing of memory and language and in many learning activities. These brainwaves are not present at all when a person is under anesthesia, but return as soon as the person becomes conscious again. Multiple scientific studies have shown gamma brainwave entrainment to be helpful for reducing distractibility, improving short-term memory, improving motor coordination, and relieving migraine headaches.

Some people are more sensitive to the audios than others – if you are one of them, be sure to take a break from what you are listening to and come back to it later. Always follow your body’s signals, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. You can always drop me a line for some honest advice on anything related to brainwave entrainment, meditation, holistic health, etc. You can also rest assured that all brainwave entrainment products listed here are of the highest quality – most of them I have used for years. I also highly recommend reading What Is The Best Brainwave Entrainment Product, too.  Don’t feel shy to bother the creators of the products themselves, and their support teams – you are in your full right to do so!
When blended with musical sounds, brainwave entrainment frequencies induce specific states of mind, which are the result of those brainwaves, delivering them in pleasing and relaxing audio tracts for use with and without stereo headphones. For example, alpha and theta waves, because they exist at the borders between conscious and unconscious thought, are especially rich and useful for tapping into and stimulating subconscious processes.
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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.
I came to the conclusion that it is not necessary, from what I’ve read in the books of numerous spiritual teachers as well as from my own experiences, where some of my most profound leaps in consciousness actually came when I wasn’t struggling. Although there were times when I had to put forward effort, my meditation practice and my spiritual practice really seemed to gain momentum when my heart and my devotion became so deeply engaged that it was no longer merely a discipline, but a profound love affair that was moving me along. Some of my biggest leaps in growth actually came about almost effortlessly.
By exposing an individual to repeatedly external stimulus which can be flashing lights and/or recurring sounds, the entrainment process consists in pushing the brain to adjust to match the frequency provided. Unlike other forms of neurotherapy which require the individual to actively respond to stimulus, entrainment creates an immediate neurophysical response which is instinctive and effortless for the person being provided with the light and/or sound combinations. The key outcome of the sensory stimulation is known as the ‘Frequency Following Response’.
For centuries, brainwave entrainment has been associated with a number of benefits. Of the range of brainwave states that exist there are four frequencies that are the focus of brainwave entrainment; each of these states has a different physiological effect and achieves a different result. What they have in common is the power to trigger your state of mind in order to get a specific outcome.
We all experience different states of mind each day: states such as sleep, focus, or creativity, for example. Every state of mind has a unique electrical signature that can be detected in the brain. These signatures are known as “brainwaves.” Using specialized equipment, these waves (or frequencies) can be measured and recorded, allowing us to map what brainwaves are present during certain key states of mind.
There's no doubt that brainwave entrainment audio is a great technology for anyone who is interested in encouraging altered states of consciousness and it certainly can help people to reach deeper states of relaxation than they might normally have access to. I myself will often listen to brainwave entrainment music in order to enhance my practice of meditation. But let’s keep a balanced perspective, put all the marketing hype to one side for a moment and acknowledge that there is no brainwave entrainment technology in this world that can make you meditate like a Zen monk “at the touch of a button”, despite what some might like you to believe. The mind is NOT a machine. It moves through various states of consciousness in an organic way and at a natural pace. We certainly can guide and accelerate that process with the use of brainwave entrainment audio, but we cannot control it with the same sort of specificity and immediacy as you might control the speed of the car you drive.
This is probably the most popular choice of frequency. The theta state is a state of tremendous stress relief. The benefits associated with theta level relaxation include improved concentration, reduced hyperactivity and improved memory. While in a state of theta relaxation, one’s blood pressure, breathing and heart rate all slow to a much more restful and healthy level that promotes natural healing. During theta relaxation one may also experience vivid flashes of mental imagery as the mind opens to memories or subconscious information that is not available to the conscious mind during the normal waking state. The theta state is a very deep state of relaxation that is excellent for deep hypnosis and mental programming.
Most programs start at a work/life busy brain Beta frequency of twenty light flashes per second (20Hz) and slowly ramp them down to Alpha (relaxation and meditation) at 8-12 HZ, Theta (deep relaxation and dreaming) at 4-8 Hz) and Delta (dreamless deep relaxation) of .5-4Hz. We have taken measurements at Mass General with state of the art EEG equipment and have seen a slowing of the brain waves from Beta to Theta in two minutes and complete brain wave harmonization in the left, right, anterior, posterior and occipital regions of the brain.
By exposing an individual to repeatedly external stimulus which can be flashing lights and/or recurring sounds, the entrainment process consists in pushing the brain to adjust to match the frequency provided. Unlike other forms of neurotherapy which require the individual to actively respond to stimulus, entrainment creates an immediate neurophysical response which is instinctive and effortless for the person being provided with the light and/or sound combinations. The key outcome of the sensory stimulation is known as the ‘Frequency Following Response’.
Anyone who has sought out different methods for enhancing cognitive ability will probably have come across a technique known as Brainwave Entrainment. However, it is a fairly niche area of brain training, meaning that this form of stimulation is often overlooked in favour of more mainstream methods. The following outlines what Brainwave Entrainment actually is, how it is used, and some of the benefits attributed to it.
Biofeedback enhancement: In 1981, researcher Arturo Manns discovered that 15 minutes of stimulation with isochronic tones enhanced biofeedback protocols for bruxism (grinding of teeth). They did this by increasing muscle relaxation superior than standalone biofeedback. Brainwave entrainment is different from biofeedback in that it does not allow the person to consciously control their brainwave state.
If you're struggling to focus and feeling a bit tired and unmotivated while studying, you can help boost your concentration and energy levels by increasing Beta activity.  The SMR range is right at the bottom of the Beta range, so it's not too intense, and so is ideal for playing in the background and using as a general study aid.  If you are looking for something a bit higher for a more intense focus session, try my Study Focus isochronic tones session, which uses frequencies between 14-17Hz.

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."
The Frequency following response (FFR), also referred to as Frequency Following Potential (FFP), is a specific response to hearing sound and music, by which neural oscillations adjust their frequency to match the rhythm of auditory stimuli. The use of sound with intent to influence cortical brainwave frequency is called auditory driving,[39][40] by which frequency of neural oscillation is 'driven' to entrain with that of the rhythm of a sound source.[41][42]
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