What Is Brainwave Entrainment?
Training your mind is nothing new. You did it in school. You may have done it on the football field or tennis court while you psyched yourself up to perform your best. You’ve probably trained your brain to awaken at approximately the same time each morning, remember upcoming events, or stay cool under pressure.
So what’s so cool and new about brainwave entrainment?
In a word: technology. Brain entrainment is the name for utilizing sound to create positive changes in your mental or even physical performance. Various tones are played into the ears which the brain picks up on and begins to follow. This stimulation causes your brain to concentrate on and function better in various ways.
The Mechanics of Brainwave Entrainment
Ever go outside and hear the chirping of crickets? Have you ever noticed that all those hundreds of crickets all sing differently, and at different times? Neither have I. Their tempos all match to create a single, synchronized sound. That’s entrainment, and it’s been observed for thousands of years.
Brainwave entrainment works by sending tones of various frequencies into your ears, usually via headphones. But what your brain “hears” is more than the tones. It interprets the frequencies (in Hz) and patterns and becomes stimulated.
As the brain processes these tones, it begins to follow their path. This is called the “frequency following response.” As the brain continues to “follow” the patterns set by the tones, it becomes trained to continue that path – hence, brain entrainment.
Going back to the cricket example, your brain waves begin to match the sound wave frequencies entering your ears.
In the Beginning, There Was Light
Training the brain by stimulating it in various ways is a science that goes back at least a millennium. In ancient Egypt, it was discovered that light in certain patterns could produce positive changes over time. This research was headed by Ptolemy. one of the greatest minds of his time. Ptolemy’s discovery sparked an interest in the use of the senses to send messages to the brain.
With the invention of the EEG machine to measure electrical activity in the brain, in the 1930’s and 40’s scientists such as William Grey Walter experimented with the use of flickering light. He noticed that brain wave activity on both sides of the brain began to match the beats of the strobe lights. This was a profound discovery, because until then the left and right sides of the brain were seen to work independently of each other. (Read a detailed discussion .)
The use of sound today is just one method of affecting brain waves, but it’s proven to be a very effective one, sending information directly into the brain and producing the changes we want.
Brain entrainment is simply the technique for utilizing external patterns to achieve these changes. The most effective way is through sound.
What Positive Changes Can You Expect?
All this history and research is fascinating, no doubt. And it’s given today’s great technological minds plenty to think about. But what about practical applications – what can brain entrainment do for you?
Quite a bit, according to researchers and actual users. Brain entrainment techniques (including the use of monaural beats, binaural beats and isochronic tones) have been used for everything from enhancing focus to improving physical ailments.
People just like you the world over have used brain entrainment to:
- improve IQ scores, in an isolated study of college students
- improve mental focus
- reduce stress and anxiety
- improve public speaking
- reduce the experience of pain in the body
- improve sexual experience
- achieve a “high”/street-legal non-drug experience
- enhance creativity
- achieve physical goals such as weight loss
- have spiritual experiences
- become more social
- become better at a various tasks, including physical abilities, such as sports
- improve memory
- live a happier, more fulfilled life
Is Brain Entrainment Dangerous?
To date, there are no studies specifically linking brain entrainment, when used properly, to negative side effects. However, you are altering your perception and attempting to cause changes in the way your brain performs certain processes. So do take a few precautions if you’re undergoing the process of brain entrainment.
- Brainwave entrainment isn’t a drug, but be cautious when driving or operating heavy machinery for a few hours following a brain entrainment session. Your reflexes may be more relaxed or your perception may be altered slightly during this time.
- If you have a mental or physical ailment which can produce depression, hallucinations or aggression, don’t attempt brain entrainment unless your doctor has given his/her approval.
- Do not use drugs in an attempt to enhance the entrainment process. We do not recommend that you use ANY drugs at ANY time that have not been prescribed or approved by your doctor.
What Results Can You Expect?
Not everyone achieves 100% satisfaction with any given technique. Brain entrainment is no different in this regard. Some people achieve great results, some achieve satisfactory results, and some people don’t see any improvement.
Some people may respond well to one form of technique but not to another, or may have good results with certain programs but not with others.
You may need to experiment to find the right methods for you. However, most clients find that in the end, it’s worth it. Opening your mind – in fact, literally introducing your neurons – to new, enhancing experiences can make a world of difference in how you view life and in the things you achieve.
There’s still so much to discover when it comes to the human brain. Brain entrainment is just one way to explore all the possibilities – and perhaps, to create a better, happier you.