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.
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.
If you’ve used brainwave entrainment and experienced any benefits, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below. Be sure to discuss why you believe the entrainment was effective and/or whether you think it could’ve been a placebo effect. I’ve played around with the products and feel as if they are great for relaxation enhancement, inducing a temporary perceptual change (i.e. altered state of consciousness), and arousal reduction.
In simplest form, they are an audio technology which are used for (safe) brainwave entrainment. Our subconscious mind operates, throughout the day and night, in various brainwave state frequencies, measured in cycles per second (Hz) These frequencies range from the slowest (Delta) frequencies experienced in deep, dreamless sleep and in deep meditation where your conscious-awareness is fully detached, to the fastest (Gamma) frequencies associated to stimulating flow states, high-level thinking and information processing. There are actually 5 known brainwave state frequencies each having their own set of unique characteristics:
- Added the ability to create a playlist of your own iTunes library music and use it as the background. The behavior of the app when iTunes music is used instead of the included ambience is slightly different so please review the help. Notably, unlike our included ambience which can be played at a volume below the device volume, iTunes music can only be played at the device volume. So when playing iTunes music the Ambience volume slider disappears.
The frequencies embedded into each NeuralSync™ audio integrate three audible tones with a fourth subliminal pulse. This inclusion of both audible and subliminal entrainment engages brainwaves far more efficiently than single protocols such as standard meditation practices, binaural beats or isochronic tones. Because this waveform is also balanced, it compels both sides of the brain into hemispheric synchronization much more easily and effectively than other methods.
Dissociative but not present. In college I started having difficulty with reading comprehension/absorption (not dyslexia, I could read everything out loud easily but not gather the meaning). Over the past two years or so, my memory has been concerning, as I am not middle or late aged. Since it had been getting worse, I have been researching for several years now for a cure. Biofeedback led me to neurofeedback (which I can’t afford at the moment).
- Added the ability to create a playlist of your own iTunes library music and use it as background. The behavior of the app with iTunes music is used instead of, or combined with our included ambience, is slightly different so please review the help. Notably, unlike our included ambience which can be played at a volume below the device volume, iTunes audio can only be played at the device volume. So when in iTunes mode the Ambience volume slider disappears.
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.
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.
In 1839 Heinrich Wilhelm Dove discovered binaural beats, which led to the further discovery of the frequency following response and the beginnings of the science of brainwave entrainment. This science uses the power of specialized sound to FORCE your brain to stop producing defective brainwave patterns - OVERRIDING them to create positive neural feedback instead. Endorphins are created to alleviate pain, serotonin increases to combat anxiety - happy brain chemicals of all kinds are made in response. And the best news? As you continue with it, your brain re-learns to produce these healthy, beneficial and healing brainwaves on its own!
Both brainwave entrainment and neurofeedback deal with brainwaves, but the similarity stops there. Entrainment pushes your whole brain into a pre-determined state, while neurofeedback teaches you how to move specific parts of your brain on your own. It is the differeence between forcing the brain into a given position, and skills building so you can move it there yourself.