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.
In the past, the most common method of inducing specific brainwave states was through the use of binaural beats. One specific beat was played in one ear (through stereo headphones) and a different beat was played through the other. What the brain would naturally do in hearing these variated beats was create its own beat from the combination of the two (ie if a beat at 100 Hz was played in one ear, and a beat of 110 Hz was played in the other, the brain would resonate at 10Hz). Aside from this directing the brain into a specific state, it also causes the two hemispheres of the brain to synchronize, promoting whole brain functioning. More recently, other methods have been discovered for inducing specific brainwave states, such as isochronic tones, and monaural beats, but the bottom line is that
My personal experience of this was that it could get very harrowing; at times, I would literally be gritting my teeth and contracting my ribs while I was in meditation, because it was pushing me so hard. I began to ask, “Is it necessary to push this hard in such a static way and create overwhelm over such prolonged periods in order to propel spiritual evolution?”
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."
When making an educated decision on what product is best for you, it is important to have a general understanding of how the technology works, and what the benefits are of visiting the specific brainwave states. Please click the link to visit a more detailed article – How Does Brainwave Entrainment Work, and the benefits of Alpha, Theta, Delta, and Gamma brainwaves.
In March I started using the CDs that I affectionately call “Meditation for Dummies” and am very pleased with the results so far. My blood pressure has dropped, I am sleeping better and notice that I feel much more calm and less stressed. Instead of feeling that I need to “find the time” in my schedule to meditate, I look forward to that totally relaxing half hour–that peaceful feeling of floating.
All brainwave states serve important mental functions, and with today’s lifestyle, returning to a peaceful way of being is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve and maintain for any period of time. This continual stress or alerted state causes disease in the mind and body, which is why it’s paramount for us to relearn or retrain ourselves to get back to these healthful and rejuvenating states.
Binaural beats require two separate tones from two sources that are combined inside the listener’s brain to form the target tone. The lower frequency sound is called the carrier tone, and it is combined with a higher frequency sound known as the offset tone. Because of this, binaural beats must be listened to with stereo headphones or the effect is lost. Binaural beats create a hypnotic effect, but they are not the most effective tool for brainwave entrainment, and binaural beats are often ineffective for people with hearing loss.
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.