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.
Initially the children were entrained to a mu-alpha rhythm (7 to 9 Hz) to decrease theta waves. After the initial mu-rhythm entrainment, they entrained SMR-beta waves for 22 minute sessions. The results as interpreted by TOVA demonstrated significant improvements in: inattentiveness, impulsivity, and variability. Teachers and parents also reported behavioral improvements among the children. Using the right brainwave entrainment protocol may be a potential Adderall alternative for those with attentional deficits.
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.
There are primarily three ways to elicit the frequency following response through an audio: binaural beats, monaural beats, and isochronic tones. Binaural beats was the first method to be discovered, and has been used since the 80’s, after being first made known and popular by Robert Monroe of the Monroe Institute (the institute is still around today, though Mr. Monroe has passed away). Binaural beats basically work in this way: one specific frequency/beat is played in one ear, let’s say, 1115 hz., while one slightly different frequency is played in the other at the same time, let’s say, 1120 hz. What the brain will naturally do while exposed to these two frequencies in either ear is create its own “phantom” beat, that is the difference between the two frequencies. In this case, it would be 5 hz., which is the frequency of the theta brainwave state. Therefore, your brain would be led into the theta state. At the same time, your brain working to combine these frequencies also ends up synchronizing its two hemispheres, and functioning in a whole-brained fashion while the listener is using the audio.
I first became aware of brainwave meditation programs and brain waves when researching alternative methods for treating the bipolar disorder I had been unsuccessfully living with my entire adult life. I eventually learned a method of releasing difficult emotions on the spot, which I then practiced extensively, and consequently found it easier and even desirable to meditate for fairly lengthy periods of time. Though I took up meditation as a serious daily practice and experienced many undeniable benefits, I nonetheless intermittently experienced life-debilitating bouts of mania and severe depression, often resulting in chaotic mixed states and an inability to maintain daily social functions. During these times, it became nearly impossible to sit in meditation.
Additionally, most of the studies have been conducted with extremely small samples and the touted benefits are vague. When studying the effects, it would be beneficial to hook each participant up to an EEG, note initial brainwave activity, then post-entrainment, note any changes. Although certain conditions share similarities in brainwave activity, this is clearly not always the case.
There basically are a few things that you can use to deduce whether you think these claims are true, and will work for you. A few manufacturers of this type of product have taken the time to hook up experienced meditators (like zen monks) to encephelographs, then fashion their audios to mimic what is occurring in these deep meditators’ brains. It would make sense then, to a large degree, that you could experience similar benefits from your brain undergoing this process.
Insomnia: Perhaps one of the most promising uses of brainwave entrainment technology is for those struggling with insomnia. While the technology is unlikely to provide a “cure” it may help those who have a high level of arousal or are “keyed-up” – reduce their level of internal arousal and sleep. Specifically insomnia that is induced by excess stress (e.g. beta activity) would likely benefit from slower wave stimulation (e.g. alpha activity) to aid the brain in transitioning into sleep.
***NOTE: (Last one) Please do research on which brainwaves do what before just trying out the first track you find! Also read descriptions of what frequencies are being used in the track, so you know what you are training your brain to! (Example: You struggle with OCD and have some anxiety. You see a track titled “Clear, Focused Thinking” and you try it out w/o reading the description. You either do not experience anything or you end up with worse anxiety/headache than before. If you knew before starting, that your problems were caused by too much Beta wave activity in your brain and the track was all low Beta ramping up to high Beta – you would not listen to it!)
4. Be hesitant committing to any BWE system making wild claims. Profit fueled marketers with little to no experience in the BWE field have created a slew of low-quality entrainment systems on the market. These products typically make outrageous promises such as permanently enhancing the brain within minutes of use. Although BWE is a powerful method to improve the mind, it’s not a magic bullet.
Also, don’t you think that the inherent hemispheric synchronization using binaural beats might be a positive benefit within itself? While it’s true that the huge majority of us use both sides of our brains most of the time, it’s also true that many of us are a bit polarized to one side or the other in general, or when doing a particular kind of activity or focus. I’ve found stimulating a more equally and consistently whole brain activity has it’s own benefits other than the entrainment aspect.
There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all track or frequency range which is right for all kids while doing homework. So that does make it difficult to recommend one thing in particular, and why I have a number of tracks for studying and focus. If they have already learnt and understood the information, but are just trying to commit it to memory for a test, then I would recommend an alpha track, like the Memorization Study Aid product I have with the 10.4Hz frequency you referred to. If they are still trying to fully understand what is being taught in a workbook, then I would recommend a track that is mainly beta frequencies, like my Study Focus tracks. In the middle, I have a number of tracks which use a combination of beta and alpha wave frequencies, like Study Booster, Study Enhancer and Cognition Enhancer. The last 3 use similar frequencies but deliver the tones and brainwave entrainment effects in different ways. As we are all wired a little differently it does sometimes take a bit of trial and error, to see what method or frequency range works best for the individual. These types of tracks are made for a general audience. In an ideal world, you would hook up to an EEG and see in real time exactly what a person responds to best, depending on the goal and current state of mind.
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?”
Brainwave entrainment is a field of study and endeavor founded in the same physiological and psychological processes that make music, drumming, and chanting so powerful as methods for transforming the mind and spirit and aiding in healing of the body. These processes involve how the electrical energy in our brains synchronizes with sounds and visual stimuli, producing a particular brainwave frequency and its associated mental states.
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.
Theta stimulation: There appears to be no benefit associated with using theta stimulation for cognitive functioning, mood, or stress relief. While theta may be a useful way to induce sleep or alter your state of consciousness, there really isn’t much science supporting entrainment in this particular range for most purposes. Photic stimulation of theta between 5 Hz and 7 Hz can be useful for headaches.
Both brainwave entrainment and neurofeedback deal with brainwaves, but the similarity stops there. Entrainment pushes your whole brain into a pre-determined state, while neurofeedback teaches you how to move specific parts of your brain on your own. It is the differeence between forcing the brain into a given position, and skills building so you can move it there yourself.