For me, brainwave entrainment actually helped me more easily meditate on my own without the technology. There is definitely evidence to suggest that the neural pathways that form from listening to these audios aids the brain in better producing these brainwaves on its own moving forward. Though I used brainwave entrainment for several years, almost daily, there was also a point in my life where I went without the technology and meditated daily on my own. I believe that even this practice was accelerated drastically by my listening to bwe in the past.
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.
A study published in Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology by Paul Williams and Michael West in 1975 examined the brainwave states of people experienced in meditation while using photic stimulation, and another study by Leonard, Telch, and Harrington in 1999 examined the successful use of brainwave entrainment techniques for attaining meditative states in subjects.
Binaural beats can be experienced in any float session you book. To this point in your floating practice you may, or may not, have heard of – or perhaps already experienced – binaural beats and their effective use of being a unique option/tool to listen to while in (or out of) the tank. But what exactly are binaural beats, how do they work and why choose to listen to them? All good questions, so here we go:
I have spending time in a floatation tank for the last 9months and just recently added the audio of crystal bowls into the tank. HOLY FLOAT! If you have experienced the bowls live then you know the physical experience that they produce; aside from the meditative side. Well, this effect is accentuated 10fold while in the tank. I have also started to float with binural entrainment audio and have seen a few effects.
Brainwave entrainment music can be used almost anywhere and anytime, making this mood and self-improvement method versatile and flexible enough to do at work, while traveling, or at other times during the day. When used in the workplace during short rest periods, brainwave entrainment techniques can enhance concentration, communication, and work productivity.
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.
Our brains follow cues from outside stimuli, and brainwaves mimic the pulse rates of the sounds we expose it to. So, by creating tracks that pulse sound waves at a desired frequency, we can effectively coax our brain into that state. In layman's terms; by listening to some strange sounding brainwave frequency audios, we can literally slip our brain into a state of feeling calm, alert, focused, energized... and the list goes on. Pretty cool, right!?
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
Specific tones that resonate at certain frequencies are created and embedded within the acoustic architecture of the original waveform. Your brainwaves latch onto these embedded carrier frequencies and attune themselves to the same vibratory rate. Brainwave entrainment now occurs that is similar to binaural beats yet there is no need for headphones to deliver these entrainment effects.
Hemispheric synchronization: Whether it’s optimal or suboptimal to operate in a state of hemispheric synchronization remains unknown. Some speculate there are numerous benefits of brain waves operating in “sync” as a result of entrainment. There may be an increased communication between the right and left hemisphere of the brain – which could improve certain functions. However, it is also important to realize that increased hemispheric synchronization may not be as beneficial as many have speculated.
The most common way to use a brainwave entrainment is for a short-term benefit, to help guide your brain into a particular mental state at the time you need it. In a similar way to how you might take a sleeping pill before bed to help you get to sleep, or maybe drink some coffee or an energy drink to help wake you up and give you a boost of energy.
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.
Good to hear from you and glad you got some value from the article. In total honesty I do feel that brainwave entrainment is safe, and that the big point is not to over-use it, or to push yourself too hard. You can almost think of it like an herb or nutritional supplement. You don’t expect big results the day/week of taking it, and if you don’t get results, you don’t keep taking more. You take it in regular safe doses over a recommended period of time and let it synergistically work its magic. Generally I think you are safe to listen to the audio you made, I just recommend taking it gradually with gamma in particular. Listen for just 10-15 minutes at first and see how your brain handles it. If it doesn’t produce any unwanted feelings then jump right in. But even then I recommend only listening once per day, and taking one day off per week.
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.
Isochronic tones have only been proven to have an effect while you are listening to them, that’s why you won’t find me claiming anywhere that there are potentially positive long-term effects. Once the tones stop, your brainwaves are no longer being stimulated by the sound and so they stop being in sync with the tone frequency. For you to think you are still feeling the effects after all this time and from such a short time listening to them, I think it may be linked to anxiety. I know that some people who are new to this type of thing can build up a strong feeling of anxiety, after worrying about the potential effects brought on by fear of the unknown. I suspect the problem may be psychological with you worrying about the potential effects and keep repeating the experience from memory in your head. When you keep going over the same thing in your head like that and worrying about it, it’s easy to then spot other potential side-effects like how your nostrils and body temp is feeling, then making links back to that experience and labelling that as the reason. I think the best way to overcome this is to realise that the side-effects you are mentioning are completely unrelated, so there is nothing to worry about. These tracks are literally listened to for millions of hours a month on YouTube across loads of channels. If the effects lasted for a long time people would just listen for 5 minutes and come back in a couple of weeks. But people keep coming back to listen because that’s the only way to feel the benefit and effects…while you are listening to them. If you are unable to stop thinking and worrying about this on our own, I recommend that you speak to your doctor about it or a specialist in dealing with anxiety issues. I hope that helps.
There appeared to be some evidence that 10 Hz stimulation (alpha waves) improved anxiety, but it wasn’t statistically significant. A study that utilized a ramping format of alpha to theta to delta waves (over the course of 10 minutes) found a significant improvement in anxiety. In terms of long-term stress, there is evidence that alpha and beta stimulation improved measures of “competence” and “emotional exhaustion.”
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.
These brainwave entrainment devices are also known as brain machines, dream machine or psychowalkman, AVS device or brainwave frequency generators. Optimize your peak performance and event-related potential (evoked potential via human enhancement). It is now possible with audio visual stimulation (AVS) mind machine brainwave entrainment. We have the best mind machines available. The revolutionary bluetooth MindLightz provides the worlds first completely wireless light and sound experience as well as iphone/itunes music inegration. We have the most popular devices including The Mind Alive DAVID Delight Pro, the Proteus from Mindplace. Now you can experience altered states of consciousness, ganzeld effects and Hemi-Sync sensations for inner peace, personal wellness, accelerated learning, meditation, behavior modification and deep, restful sleep.
Recently developed entrainment software has been designed to correct specific imbalances in hemispheric activity associated with undesirable mind-states. For example, people suffering with depression often have more activity in the right hemisphere, and specially designed brainwave music decreases this activity while increasing activity in the left hemisphere, reducing depression.
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.
Use Holosync® to accelerate the process (our data tells us that Holosync® creates the benefits of traditional meditation about 8x faster, but without spending several hours each day). Holosync® is faster, and it is easier. And, because you begin, the first time you listen, meditating like a 30+ year veteran, you see results quickly. Finally, Holosync® feels so good, and in fact causes you to feel good for the entire day when you use it, that the problem of getting yourself to meditate each day disappears.
In fact, there is more to answering this question than meets the eye. As someone who’s also been skeptical enough to do the research, I am more than happy to explore the issue in great depth. The important thing to address here is what have you been told that Brainwave Entrainment would do? Depending on whose site you’ve landed on you may have been promised different things. The promised benefits of this type of product are a long list, and more things are still being added to it. You may have been told that brainwave entrainment would help you meditate deeper, and rocket launch your spiritual evolution from doing so. You may have been told that it would help your brain release positive neuro chemicals and anti-aging hormones that would improve your health and help you feel more positive emotions, overcoming anxiety, and you also may have been told that listening to brainwave entrainment on a regular basis would help your brain evolve, building a higher threshold to mental and emotional input, growing neural pathways, and synchronising the two hemispheres of the brain.
It is a good idea to follow any instructions outlined by the makers of any type of brainwave entrainment product or program, and to ease yourself carefully into using it. If experiencing any negative side effects, take a break and come back to it later. Brainwave entrainment audios are not recommended for children under the age of 18, and should not be used while driving or operating heavy machinery.
Filed Under: iAwake Weekly Call, Life Optimization, Meaning of Life, Meditation Technology, Practice of Meditation, Profound Meditation Program, Spiritual Development, Waking Up Tagged With: Benefits of Brainwave Entrainment Meditation, Changing Our Brains, Conscious Evolution, Life Optimization, Meditation Technology, practice of meditation, Spiritual Development, spiritual practice, Waking Up
To get a full answer you should really get in touch with the owner of the app, because it does really depend on how their track is constructed and how they intend it to work. I have one 50-minute sleep track which takes you down into delta (http://www.mindamend.com/shop/sleeping-and-dreaming/sleep-induction-isochronic-tones/) and that is designed to just get you to sleep, so you just let play until the end. If you played that track on repeat it might make you jump and wake you up, as the track begins at a higher frequency. I have another 8-hour sleep track which is meant to be played all throughout the night (http://www.mindamend.com/shop/sleeping-and-dreaming/deep-sleep-8-hour-sleep-cycle/). So it does depend on the individual track you are using.
While the physiological and psychological processes being uncovered by brain science in the study of brainwaves is sometimes complex and still being investigated, certain basic principles are well-established, easily understood, and helpful for achieving the most effectively use of brainwave entrainment when seeking relaxation, improved sleep, lowering of anxiety, or other goals. This important background information and scientific knowledge presented here includes:
The brain will entrain to the strongest stimulus. If you combine binaural beats with isochronic tones, your brainwaves will entrain to the isochronic tones. If anything, when you combine the two I believe it makes the track less effective because it makes it harder for the brain to decipher between the two and synchronise to a single beat. There are lots of websites with compelling marketing about the benefits of combining the two together in some funky way, but I haven’t seen any research or lots of anecdotal feedback even to suggest it’s effective to combine them.
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We all experience different states of mind each day: states such as sleep, focus, or creativity, for example. Every state of mind has a unique electrical signature that can be detected in the brain. These signatures are known as “brainwaves.” Using specialized equipment, these waves (or frequencies) can be measured and recorded, allowing us to map what brainwaves are present during certain key states of mind.
Theta brainwaves are next highest in frequency above delta and are especially important for many people using brainwave entrainment and meditation because theta waves are at a threshold, forming a link between wakefulness and the subconscious mind. Theta waves bridge between our awake self and the creative and insightful understandings from below our conscious awareness, and while they are not common in awake adults, they are normative for children under 13 years old.
Meditation enhancement: There are several companies that sell brainwave entrainment sessions specifically designed to enhance meditation. The sounds provide a stimuli to focus on during the meditation, and the brain waves naturally shift towards the frequency provided. Whether meditation is actually enhanced by brainwave entrainment is a subject of debate. However, advanced meditators commonly experience brainwave synchronization – which the right and left hemispheres display the same frequency brain waves. While there are scientific benefits of meditation, it is unclear as to whether they are enhanced, hindered, or unaffected by adjunctive brainwave entrainment.
Recent research at the University of Lisbon finally uncovered the reason for the 350 year-old mystery, finding that the resonance of sound is the mechanism for entrainment of swinging pendulums and ticking clocks, and it seems likely that the energy transferred by sound is also responsible for other observations of entrainment, including brainwave entrainment.
With digital upgrades, Berger’s machine is still in use today, known as an electroencephalography machine, or EEG. Berger used his machine to study the brains of psychologically normal and abnormal people and discovered the first brainwave, called the alpha wave and also known as the Berger wave, along with the faster beta wave, which he observed suppressing the alpha wave when subjects opened their closed eyes.
Binaural Beats or “binaural tones” are created by playing slightly different frequencies separately into each ear. The difference between the two frequencies stimulates a response in the brain which correlates with this frequency difference. For example, if we present a 100 Hz tone to the left ear and a 105 Hz tone to the right ear, a frequency of 5 Hz is stimulated. This is what is known as the “frequency following response”.
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.