When you listen to binaural beats/tones, you are actually listening to two slightly different pitched frequencies. Each frequency goes to each of your ears independently. When this happens your brain responds by creating a third tone, making up the difference between the two frequencies. This shift in frequency then shifts your brain’s consciousness and changes your state.
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."
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).

Brainwave Entrainment is the process of synchronizing the brain to specific frequencies and patterns embedded in audio tracks. These frequencies correlate to specific emotions, feelings, and even energy levels. Using nothing more than sound, Brainwave Entrainment can enhance creativity, change moods, and even alter behavior like sleep and energy levels.
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.

“A light sound machine is a brainwave entrainment tool.  Using sound (headphones) & light (strobe light goggles) stimulation, listeners are gently guided into specific brainwave states. Each audio beat and pulse is a specific frequency. Our minds ‘think’ in terms of frequency. Brainwaves change frequencies based on neural activity within the brain. Hearing and vision are considered the favorable senses for affecting brainwaves safely. By presenting beats and pulses to the brain, the brain begins to mimic or follow the same frequencies. This process is referred to as entrainment. In essence, these instruments speak to the mind in it’s own language – the language of frequency.”
Delta brainwaves have the slowest frequencies, ranging between 0.1 and 4 hertz, and these are the brainwave states associated with deep sleep, trance states, and unconsciousness. Few people can remain awake during delta brainwaves states, although this state is recorded in awake infants between ages of three months and one year and also in babies just before birth. Delta waves are also linked with increased production of HGH, DHEA, and the neuro-transmitter serotonin.
Different states of mind are associated with specific brainwave frequencies that would be inaudible if played directly. These frequencies can be induced in the brain indirectly by playing two different audible tones into each ear, which after being processed by the brain, are perceived as an inaudible beat matching the target brainwave frequency. As you listen, your own brainwaves fall into step with this inaudible beat, and after a few minutes synchronize with the target brainwave frequency. Brain Wave's 35 programs layer these binaural sequences into multi-stage sessions that have helped thousands of people focus and concentrate, feel positive and motivated, and sleep more soundly.
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]
When the brain is stimulated with pulsed sounds (neuro-electrical activity via the nerves originating from the ears), the overall activity of the brain will respond to and align with these pulses. By selecting the desired rate, the brain — via the frequency following response (entrainment) — can be naturally induced towards the selected brainwave state.
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.
The brain produces electrical signals. These signals change depending on what we are doing and what mental state we are in. For instance when we sleep these signals are different from when we are awake. This brain activity can be measured with EEG. It will output in Hz (Hertz - cycles per second) these electrical signals. The most dominant brainwaves will tell us what sort of state a person is in. The slower vibration (lower Hz), the more relaxed that individual is. Using audio technology we get the brain to start following the beats or pulses in a sound if done exactly right.
Practitioners are discovering a number of different areas in which entrainment therapy may bring positive benefits. From managing mental health more effectively through to providing increased mental focus and concentration, it is thought the technique can be adapted according to the specific issues being treated. An improved immune system, enhanced levels of pain management, and a reduction in autoimmune disorders are also thought to be achieved through the therapy, leading many individuals with chronic ill health to consider brainwave entrainment as a non-invasive yet effective therapy.
Brainwave entrainment is a colloquialism for such 'neural entrainment', which is a term used to denote the way in which the aggregate frequency of oscillations produced by the synchronous electrical activity in ensembles of cortical neurons can adjust to synchronize with the periodic vibration of an external stimuli, such as a sustained acoustic frequency perceived as pitch, a regularly repeating pattern of intermittent sounds, perceived as rhythm, or of a regularly rhythmically intermittent flashing light.