Alpha stimulation: Stimulation of alpha waves has been shown to provide stress-relief among employees, is able to provide pain relief, and improve measures of competence and recognition. If you have significant work-related stress, entraining certain alpha frequencies may help you decrease arousal and improve relaxation. Post-surgical stress doesn’t appear to benefit from alpha stimulation.
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Regular production of Alpha brainwaves ensure that your immune system stays in top shape. This is made possible since they’re able to keep the body relaxed, thus reducing the chances for stress to build up. As a result, your body doesn’t end up producing harmful chemicals which can harm your immune system. By keeping anxiety and stress at bay, Alpha brainwaves reduce your chances of having to deal with stress-induced or anxiety-related sickness.
With each pulsed tone, the brain produces an electrical response. The effects one experiences are the creations of the brains reaction to the “tones”, what neurologists call the “cortical evoked response” (the electrical response of the top most cortical layer of the brain). The brain is a mass of neurons, each taking part in storing, retrieving and transmitting electro-chemical impulses: information, colors, images, sounds, smells and tastes. Brainwave entrainment stimulates different areas of the brain allowing for the awakening and subsequent release of various levels of stored material. It also has an effect of quietening the mind for clearer thought and process.
Isochronic tones work just the same in delta as they do in alpha, theta and beta and they are widely used in the brainwave entrainment community to help people sleep. Like you, I’ve also seen some websites saying they don’t work in delta, but it’s a bit like the game of Chinese Whispers, where someone makes a comment and then after it gets passed around and shared a lot the message gets distorted and appears to be a fact. I don’t know of any scientific reason why they wouldn’t work in delta. I remember some people talking about this on a brainwave entrainment forum many years ago. They were saying they found isochronic tones a bit too abrupt for using to help them sleep and they preferred binaural beats, as they thought they were a more soothing sound. That was just a personal preference shared by a couple of prominent forum members at the time and some people then took that as a fact for everyone. That’s where I think that belief originated from.
Sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) is one final type of brainwave that has been studied. SMR, also known as low beta, is a type of brainwave, which occurs in the sensorimotor cortex, in the 12 to 15 hertz range when that area of the sensorimotor cortex is idle and immobile. The purpose of SMR brainwaves is not well understood, but some neurofeedback practitioners report training to increase SMR brainwaves can be beneficial for people with autism, epilepsy, ADD, insomnia, drug addiction, and as an aide to better manage stress.
If brainwave entrainment leaves you with unwanted side-effects (see below) or discomfort, you’re probably encouraging a range of brainwaves that are already excessive in some area of your brain. The way around this is to get a brain map to see what your brain’s strengths and weaknesses are, and see what (if any) brainwaves could use some encouragement.