Robert Monroe, a radio producer and executive published a popular book called Journeys Out of the Body about his out-of-body experiences when using brainwave entrainment. He later founded an original brainwave entrainment audio company, Hemi Sync. In 1981, the book Mega Brain by Michael Hutchison brought brainwave entrainment information, techniques, and terminology into the popular press.

 Theta brainwaves are the next level down from alpha, at a range of 4Hz-8Hz. These brainwaves commonly occur just before sleep, or in the lighter stages of sleep. They also occur while you are day dreaming, or when you experience a strong emotion. It is not so common for an adult to produce prolonged theta brainwaves unless they are an experienced meditator, or perhaps deeply involved in an intuitive art such as music or painting. A dominant theta brainwave state is one of deep relaxation (deeper than alpha) and natural healing. In prolonged dominant theta states, the brain’s sodium/potassium ratio resets and balances itself, curing mental fatigue, and improving the brain cells ability to transport and exchange neuro-chemicals. Without the means of deep meditation, or brainwave entrainment technology, this benefit would only otherwise come from sleeping or napping.Theta is known as the one of the best states for communication with the subconscious mind.
Entrainment is a phenomenon seen is a wide variety of different natural circumstance. In the field of chronobiology, the study of biological rhythms in living organisms, entrainment is the synchronization of a circadian rhythm with the rhythm of an external pattern, such as the synchronizing of women’s menstrual cycles with the phases of the moon or with one another in a group.
After the illness, I returned to school and found out that I couldn’t understand what the teacher was saying. Or what people were saying to me in general. Then I had difficulty comprehending math (which I was excellent at before). Then my reaction time just CRASHED. I was also classified by new teachers as “flighty”, “in a dream world”, “not mentally engaged”, as my brain began to stay in a state of sleepy-but-unable-to-sleep mode.
With so many thoughts begging for your attention each day, it’s hard to believe that most of them are the same ones you had yesterday. Actually, many psychologists who have studied the thought processes associated with our thinking patterns would agree that, on average, 90% of the thoughts that we become aware of throughout the day are the same thoughts that we have already experienced, over and over again. The reason we are so prone to repetitive thinking is because the brain is always … [Read more...]
Hi. This article contains a lot of information about brainwave entertainment. Thanks. I have a question. I downloaded an Android app that plays isochronic tones. I like to use an Isochronic tone at 2.5Hz that is in Delta range and is supposed to help me get a deep and dreamless sleep. I use it without headphones and just keep the smartphone next to my pillow. But I do not know if I should keep the tone playing all the time while I sleep or put it on timer to shut off after some specified time. A custom timer is possible with the app. Can you please guide me.

The formal name for this process is called the “frequency following response”, where the human brain will literally “follow” a specific frequency/beat after being exposed to it for (usually) about 8 minutes.  Technically the definitive term “entrainment” does not exactly match the actual process of what is happening to your brain when listening to these audios, but its close enough, and the name has stuck now with these products becoming more popular and widely known.


Hi Et, In all the feedback and studies I’ve read and looked into over the years, I’ve seen lots of feedback from people talking about how they don’t like the sound of the tones, or they find them irritating in some way. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any particular reason why one person likes it and the next doesn’t. It’s a bit like normal music, one person’s sweet symphony is another person pneumatic drill. It’s common for people to find it weird and maybe annoying at first, which is how I felt in the beginning. But usually after a few listens you can start to get used to it and appreciate the sound, and especially the feeling it gives you. Personally, I think it can help if you try to embrace the sound, psychologically speaking beforehand. It can also help to have the sound playing at a very low volume, to begin with, then building it up as you get more used to it.
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.
Want to use it as a serious tool for self-development, long-term meditation support, etc.? Find a supplier that is in alignment with your own values and knows what they are doing. E.g. Holosync have decent entrainment technology, but make ridiculous claims and are very salesy and pushy...  I have tried several and always come back to the Monroe Institute and their well tried and tested sessions, mainly from the gateway experience and lucid dreaming series. 

If anybody would like to look over the scientific evidence concerning brainwave entrainment and isochronic tones, I’ve done a lot of research over the years which I’ve collected at the PubMed website of NCBI – a branch of the National Institute of Health – that provides access to a large library of medical journal articles. I’ve made my list public so you can look through the journal articles that were published concerning this topic. Here’s the link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1tmDFOl0XtyA4/collections/51531796/public/. Most of the collection only gives access to abstracts or summaries unless you’re at some kind of educational institution that has a subscription to the particular journal that article is in, but I actually find abstracts really helpful. So have at it, read away. And if your psychiatrist/therapist thinks you’re nuts for feeling better after listening to isochronic tones, just whip out your 82-page collection of scientific journal abstracts written by her peers and give it to her to read. 🙂
Hi Amandeep. I am so sorry to hear you are having these troubles. I am not familiar with Marisa Peers materials, so I cannot comment on this, but I can tell you we have never had an experience like this reported from using the audios we offer on this site. I would cease any and all hypnosis or brainwave entrainment audios, and contact your doctor. The issues you are mentioning sound like they could be a physical issue that may be related to more than the audios you’ve listened to.
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.
At the end of just two weeks of use (I was now into the Equisync II cds), I experienced for the first time ever, what my partner described as Nirvana. I experienced a complete dissolution of individual consciousness, felt at one with everything, and felt the deepest peace, love, and complete bliss I had ever, ever experienced in my life. Since you do all the research on this, you know what I’m describing. Unfortunately, language does not express it. I have never experienced mind altering drugs, but I recall watching a documentary of LSD research, and one of the subjects described the exact same “feelings” as I had when she had received a micro amount of LSD.
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.

- 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.
In 1973, biophysicist Dr. Gerald Oster published a famous article in Scientific American titled “Auditory Beats in the Brain”, which found that when two pure tones of varying frequencies were combined, a third rhythmic beat was created which he called binaural or monaural beats. According to Oster, monaural beats occur when two tones are combined and sent through a loudspeaker, while binaural beats occur when stereo headphones are used to deliver each tone separately to each ear. Oster concluded that monaural beats were a more effective form of brainwave entrainment.
Let's check in with another expert, chemistry professor Thomas Taylor from the Texas A&M. Taylor hooked a load of students up to an EEG machine (like you see in the movies with the sticky plastic pads with wires stuck all over people's heads) in an attempt to analyse 'synthesis thinking' - which is basically a nerd's way of saying "find out how people come up with new and creative ways to solve a problem".
By the 1980s, entrainment technology had merged with advancements in microelectronics technology, making it possible to develop even more sophisticated audio and visual brainwave entrainment products for the marketplace. In the last two decades, a number of scientific studies have reported brainwave entrainment as an effective remedy for ADD, academic learning problems, and improving memory and cognition.
“The great neuroscientist W. Gray Walter carried out a series of experiments in the late forties and fifties in which he used an electronic stroboscopic device in combination with EEG equipment to send rhythmic light flashes into the eyes of the subjects at frequencies ranging from ten to twenty five flashes per second. He was startled to find that the flickering seemed to alter the brain-wave activity of the whole cortex instead of just the areas associated with vision. Wrote Walter, “The rhythmic series of flashes appear to be breaking down some of the physiologic barriers between different regions of the brain. This means the stimulus of flicker received by the visual projection area of the cortex was breaking bounds— its ripples were overflowing into other areas.”
An important objective of entrainment is to produce a dissociative state, which is a meditation-like state of deep relaxation. It is the brain/body rehabilitative benefits produced by this deep trance-like state that makes AVE so useful for so many conditions. The dissociative state can be first observed by noticing deep and diaphragmatic breathing. Hands and feet become warmer as arteries dilate. Skin color will become pinker as blood flow increases throughout the face and body. Blood flow will increase in the brain as well. The person will experience feelings of profound relaxation and contentment as beneficial neurotransmitters are released into the brain. When in this deep state, the brain/body’s regenerative repair chemicals (parasympathetic hormones) and stabilizing neurotransmitters such as serotonin, endorphins and dopamine are released, which restore good brain function. AVE contributes to this restoration by providing a stress-break, increasing cerebral blood flow and encouraging impaired neuronal firing which allows the brain to return to normal function.
To summarize all this, we can see that the type of product you choose plays an important role in answering that question – “Can brainwave entrainment damage my brain?” My personal advice as a long-term user of the technology is to Be selective about what brainwave entrainment audios you download from the internet, and make sure to follow the instructions! 
Are you someone who has turned to meditation or yoga as a way of relieving stress and improving your overall well-being? Yoga and meditation are time-proven methods, used for centuries, which restore mental, physical, and spiritual balance in people’s lives, and brainwave entrainment can be used in conjunction with these practices for even deeper levels of benefit. 

So I began to look at other instances in which the nervous system is being stimulated on a daily basis and discovered that sports science has a lot to teach us about this. Whether you are practicing yoga, meditation, using brainwave entrainment, or working out, it’s all pushing the nervous system. One of the things that sports science teaches us is that the nervous system waxes and wanes like a sine wave in its capacity to recover from, and grow from, the stimulation we give it every day. Static levels of stimulation, where you’re getting the same smack every day, day in and day out, do not allow for the fact that there are times when the nervous system is at its peak to handle the stimulation, and there are other times when the nervous system is in its trough, or valley period, when it is harder for it to recover from stimulation.


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.


I’ve been using equisync first thing in the morning after I get up, and listen to all three tracks in a row. I again listen to all three tracks in the late afternoon. If I don’t have that much time available, I will start on Track 2 or 3, as necessary. I have really started to focus on my breathing, and notice the difference – I finish the session in a DEEPLY relaxed state.

Gamma brainwaves occur during creative thinking and processing of memory and language and in many learning activities. These brainwaves are not present at all when a person is under anesthesia, but return as soon as the person becomes conscious again. Multiple scientific studies have shown gamma brainwave entrainment to be helpful for reducing distractibility, improving short-term memory, improving motor coordination, and relieving migraine headaches.
The phenomena of brainwave entrainment was first described in the scientific literature in 1973 by Gerald Oster in results published in an article in Scientific American entitled, “Auditory Beats in the Brain”. He showed that a specific brainwave could be induced when a person heard two separate, but closely related, sound frequencies, one in each ear. He discovered that when the frequencies heard by each ear differed by about 10 hertz, the brainwave pattern of the person hearing the sound would synchronize to the difference between the two frequencies. For example, if the person heard a 410 hertz sound in one ear and a 400 hertz sound in the other ear, their brainwaves would stabilize at the difference between the two, or 10 hertz. This technique is called binaural beats, and it is a fundamental principle of brainwave entrainment methods.
If the further development of consciousness and awareness is your ultimate goal, there really is no substitute for actual meditation, of which many techniques are the result of thousands of years of human endeavor and accumulated knowledge and experience. Sure, it's not as easy as putting on headphones and pushing a button, but achieving authentic inner peace and relief from the stresses of human existence will mean so much more to you when earned through the time-tested route of traditional meditation. (Plus, once you learn to actually meditate, you can do it anywhere anytime without having to rely on being plugged in to something!)
Jump up ^ Trost W. and Vuilleumier P., Rhythmic entrainment as a mechanism for emotion induction by music: a neurophysiological perspective. In The Emotional Power of Music: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Musical Arousal, Expression, and Social Control, Cochrane T., Fantini B., and Scherer K. R., (Eds.), Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 2013, pp213–225.
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