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.
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.
[…] We are fortunate in this day and age to have technology available to us that effortlessly leads the brain into deep meditation, through a scientific process called the ”frequency following response”.  This amazing technology, most commonly called brainwave entrainment, substantially enhances the meditative process, and allows people in their very first session to reach brainwave states that would otherwise take several years to reach through traditional meditation techniques.  This means that you can start reaping the powerful benefits of meditation quickly, and without having to exercise your “discipline muscle” at all!  If you are interested- learn more about brainwave entrainment. […]
The brain produces electrical signals. These signals change depending on what we are doing and what mental state we are in. For instance when we sleep these signals are different from when we are awake. This brain activity can be measured with EEG. It will output in Hz (Hertz - cycles per second) these electrical signals. The most dominant brainwaves will tell us what sort of state a person is in. The slower vibration (lower Hz), the more relaxed that individual is. Using audio technology we get the brain to start following the beats or pulses in a sound if done exactly right.
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The same goes for brainwave entrainment.  You can’t just listen to an audio as many times as you want and expect that more is always better.  In a very real way, you are “exercising” your brain.  You are pushing it to build new neural pathways, to communicate with itself in new ways, and to adapt to a new kind of mental stimulation.  This is incredibly good for you, but there is a limit that you must observe.

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.
I have read something different about theta waves and learning languages. A University of Washington study tested students resting brainwave activity before learning French. They found that students with a higher amount beta/gamma and a lower amount of delta/theta activity were better at acquiring a second language. When you are dominant in theta, that is the lowest and most deeply relaxed awakened state you can be in. I think it would be much harder to really concentrate, fully understand and learn new information while in a theta state, so I would personally consider using theta while studying.
When the body-mind effects from experiencing AVE are fully appreciated, the experience becomes as regular and beneficial as many other life essentials such as quality sleep, good nutrition, pure water and exercise. Sleep is another area where AVE has been shown to be beneficial, contributing to the natural regenerative process of the body and brain.
No matter what you use: USE it. At least for a couple weeks.  And have realistic expectations...  Brainwave Entrainment is not some pill or quick solution (even if there are some sessions that usually give almost immediate results e.g. for sleep induction or pain relief), it is a tool that requires training and works best in combination with good breathing / meditation techniques.
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! 
If you find that you are really heavily into overwhelm, you can just turn the volume down and meditate with the biofield amplitudefrom your iPod, CD player, PC, or Mac transmitting a very healing biofield technology that allows you to dig deeper into meditative states without putting your nervous system on edge. Now you are pushing and purifying your nervous system without bludgeoning it.
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.
Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE) is a technique that utilizes pulses of light and sound at specific frequencies to gently and safely guide the brain into various brain wave patterns. By altering your brain wave frequencies, you have the ability to boost your mood, improve sleep patterns, sharpen your mind and increase your level of relaxation, all with the simple push of a button!
You may already have a good feel for where each of the different brainwave states takes you, and know intuitively what will work for you the best on a day-to-day basis with your meditation practice. If you are a little fuzzy about the differences between the brainwave states, however, and would like to have a really clear, visceral sense of what each state does for you and how they resonate with you physically, mentally, and emotionally, one way you can find out is to listen to Harmonic … [Read more...]
I also believe that the dangers of brainwave entrainment should be further explored as well. There are relatively vague benefits, but it remains unclear as to whether entraining certain frequencies may be detrimental to performance or induce harm. Despite the fact that brainwave entrainment has existed for a long term, it remains an understudied niche in neuroscience.
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
What happens when you meditate using the Profound Meditation Program 3.0 is that instead of statically giving the nervous system the same level of juice every day, you consciously attune and intuitively adjust your nervous system and your energetic system’s unique stimulation recovery cycle. With PMP 3.0, you have a type of system with enough carrier frequency power and biofield amplitude to push your nervous system and your energetic system for a lifetime—and it is a system as dynamic as your growth and recovery cycles are. This system will enable you to push your spiritual development and growth much more quickly, recover much more quickly, and experience less overwhelm.
I have purchased several brain entrainment CDs, all of which have cost far more than the one I am using from the EOC Institute. Without a doubt, your CD outperforms the other ones hands down. It is nice to know that there are companies out there that truly put the customer first instead of the “ALMIGHTY DOLLAR” Thank you so much for your excellent product. It is a big help.

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.

  It's like gaining a new level of clarity... understanding.... wisdom. When you're able to artistically and logically render solutions to problems... when you can objectively and subjectively evaluate opportunities and their innate qualities... when you can read people and empathetically understand them... you're given a foresight that others simply lack.
Theta waves have another interesting characteristic. The Earth has a measurable resonance of 7.83 hertz known as the Schumann resonance. Because the Schumann resonance is a constant background frequency surrounding all life, it may play a special role in biological activity. The Schumann resonance frequency falls within the range of theta brainwaves and may have something to do with why these brainwave frequencies are so powerful. 

It may be that you had the volume too loud, but I would expect you to hear the effects of that straight after you’ve stopped listening, not on a day you haven’t used them. It might be something similar to muscle memory, where you suddenly remembered the sound and sensations it gives you as if you were hearing it again. I don’t know how long you’ve been using this type of thing for, but maybe it’s something that will settle down and disappear once you become more accustomed to the sound.
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.
Theta waves have a frequency between 4 and 7.5 hertz, making them slower than more wakeful alpha but faster than the dreamless slumber of delta. Theta brainwaves are the frequencies of nighttime dreams and REM sleep when the brain goes through bursts of activity and eye movement. People also experience theta waves in a state of light sleep, deep relaxation, during meditation and prayer, and when daydreaming. Theta waves produce an experience of inward wakefulness where we become disengaged from the outside world while engaging in inner activity. At the lower frequencies of theta, sleeping states are experienced, and at the higher range of frequency, awake relaxed states are experienced. 

Deep relaxation is another major benefit resulting from the brains cortical frequency following response while using brainwave entrainment. As the brain tends to mimic the rate of frequency it is exposed to, thus allowing it to enter into that brainwave state, this helps explain why this technology can produce benefits commonly found with meditation.


One can also learn to control and slow down their brain waves through various neurofeedback technologies such as electroencephalograph (EEG), galvanic skin response (GSR), and heart, pulse and breath rate monitors. These devices measure stress and relaxation parameters and then "play" back the signals to the user so they can use the signals as a beacon to guide and "steer" themselves into a relaxed state. This takes some time, work and discipline but is much quicker than learning meditation.
Subsequently, the term 'entrainment' has been used to describe a shared tendency of many physical and biological systems to synchronize their periodicity and rhythm through interaction. This tendency has been identified as specifically pertinent to the study of sound and music generally, and acoustic rhythms specifically. The most ubiquitous and familiar examples of neuromotor entrainment to acoustic stimuli is observable in spontaneous foot or finger tapping to the rhythmic beat of a song.
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