Changes in neural oscillations, demonstrable through electroencephalogram (EEG) measurements, are precipitated by listening to music, which can modulate autonomic arousal ergotropically and trophotropically, increasing and decreasing arousal respectively. Musical auditory stimulation has also been demonstrated to improve immune function, facilitate relaxation, improve mood, and contribute to the alleviation of stress. These findings have contributed to the development of neurologic music therapy, which uses music and song as an active and receptive intervention, to contribute to the treatment and management of disorders characterized by impairment to parts of the brain and central nervous system, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer's disease, and autism.
The Alpha waves have for years been the most popular frequencies to use during Brainwave Entrainment. They have the ability to enhance light relaxation as well as positive thinking and they are often utilized for enhancing what is known as ‘super learning ability’. The Beta waves have a frequency of 13-25 Hz and they assist in enhancing a standard state of alertness. In addition, they are an effective remedy for both stress and anxiety.
Sound and light are the most popular methods to entrain the mind, yet there are a few other options in our toolbox. Using vibrational energy from sources such as magnets and electricity has been proven to help overcome addictions, depression, and even treat neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s. In this section, we cover these alternative forms of brainwave entrainment.
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.
Participants in the included studies were children and adults, either healthy or with conditions such as learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, migraine, stress, anxiety and myofascial pain. Interventions included single, alternating, ascending or descending frequencies of photic or auditory stimulation or audiovisual entrainment selected either by the participant or by the investigator. Nearly half the studies used single sessions and the rest used multiple sessions ranging from nine to 100. Length of session varied from 0.5 seconds to 60 minutes. Frequency of session varied from twice daily to weekly. Outcomes reported in the review included cognition (including verbal skills, performance skills, attention, memory and overall intelligence/achievement), short- and long-term stress, pain, headache/migraine, mood, behavioural problems and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Unlike many traditional therapies for dealing with stress, anxiety, depression or cognitive impairment, entrainment does not require a focused effort from the person having the therapy, as the brain instinctively follows the frequency. This makes it a much more effective therapy for managing some of these challenging conditions, by automatically inducing a sense of relaxation and a reduction in negative physical and emotional patterns.
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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 mechanism for this is that when your eyes or ears are exposed to a particular frequency of pulses or beats, the thalamus first distributes this information to the entire brain, including the visual and cerebral cortex where neural activity begins to synchronize to the incoming frequency, producing hemispheric synchronization and a balance of brainwave activity across the brain.
Generally speaking, the brain will usually entrain to the strongest stimulus which would be isochronic tones over binaural beats. So when you see people add binaural beats at a different frequency to the isochronic tones, that would not produce additional brainwave entrainment at another frequency. If they are both at the same frequency I haven’t seen any research to indicate whether that would be beneficial or not, but my belief is that it would weaken the potential for entrainment. When you look at the waveform of an isochronic tone there is a distinct empty space between each beat, making it very pronounced and effective. When you add binaural beats at the same frequency it looks like this: http://www.mindamend.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/isochronic-tones-binaural-beats-combined-waveform.jpg. The depth of the waveform is now half as deep and less effective. This is before the binaural beats are formed inside your head, where the waveform is hard to determine and measure. From listening to that type of combination the beats sound much less pronounced, which has to make them much less effective in terms of a brainwave entrainment stimulus, compared to isochronic tones on their own.
While it may not be a perfect therapeutic option for treating certain psychological conditions, brainwave entrainment is yet another tool that warrants further testing and exploration. There is clear evidence that certain protocols may benefit human performance. Unfortunately nearly all of the research has been conducted by those who clearly are affiliated with those who manufacture brainwave entrainment products.
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Learning: Since performance improves among those with ADHD and cognitive function may be boosted, one may hypothesize that learning would also improve. Those that are struggling to learn as a result of inattentiveness may benefit from stimulation with beta frequencies. Deficits in learning tend to be associated with abnormal or excess slow wave frequencies.
Stress: In one randomized controlled trial with 108 participants, a single session of alpha and delta stimulation resulted in significantly less anxiety in surgical patients. Another session of theta stimulation resulted in improvement in certain measures of stress. Stimulation with certain frequencies of alpha and beta were reported to provide the most significant benefit for those who are stressed.
You’ve probably heard people talk about the power of “positive thinking.” While some might tell you that it’s based on faith or strong belief, research has shown that there’s a third ingredient that helps you get that frame of mind – Alpha brainwaves. The rhythm produced by this brainwave – especially those that hit the frequency of 10 Hz – is said to help in the enhancement of one’s mood and thoughts, enabling one to experience and enjoy a positive state of mind.
I have had your Equisync CD’s for a little more than 2 years. Some recent stresses prompted me to start listening to them again. Wow……these cd’s are no joke. I have been playing them consistently for the past 2 weeks and they are a tremendous help. I have to ask about the Equisync III cds. Can this elicit a detox reaction? I played it in its entirety one night and the next morning I felt like I was having a healing crisis. I am not complaining 🙂 I believe these particular cds allows tremendous amounts of healing light to enter the body through the higher chakras.
The activity of neurons generate electric currents; and the synchronous action of neural ensembles in the cerebral cortex, comprising large numbers of neurons, produce macroscopic oscillations. These phenomena can be monitored and graphically documented by an electroencephalogram (EEG). The electroencephalographic representations of those oscillations are typically denoted by the term 'brainwaves' in common parlance.