This is a question commonly asked by a great number of people, looking to find a solution to problems like anxiety, stress, migraines, or simply exploring various ways to take their meditation practice to a whole new level. Having been skeptical enough to fully research the subject myself, as well as gaining more than seven years of experiential knowledge with brainwave entrainment products, I have meant this article to serve as a starting point for anyone in need of a trustworthy resource in brainwave entrainment research and information.
Let’s make it clear that one’s perception of whether brainwave entrainment works or not can greatly vary, depending on their expectations. Some may have read that brainwave entrainment audios will alleviate pain or anxiety, and others that it is going to bring them to a deep level of relaxation, greatly enhancing their meditation practice. Both statements may be true if we undertake a structured approach to exploring the topic.
You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe; harmonic connection between all living beings, every where, even the stars…The music is all around you, all you have to do is listen.” All physical matter is in a state of vibration. Most of us don’t perceive the vibratory reality of the universe, or hear the sound. But it is there nonetheless. Those who have perceived this vibratory reality have called it by various names. Some call this primordial music of the universe the “music of the spheres”. Some call it “Aum” or “Om” and try to align themselves with it by years of meditation practice. Others call it shabd or audible life stream, the song Divine, the Word of God through which and by which all things were created.The one truth behind the many different religions is that of “hearing” (not necessarily with the physical ears) the cosmic sound and following it back to the Source. A truly happy, meaningful life is the result of focusing our energy on the cosmic sound of music while living our lives on earth. This is the same as living our lives on earth while our mind is tuned into a higher level of consciousness than that of our normal day to day mindset. From this level of higher consciousness (divine consciousness, cosmic consciousness, Christ consciousness, Messiah consciousness) where we are in tune with the inner music we naturally flow in tune with the eternal love (deeper than mere human emotional love), and wisdom (intuitive guidance), and our life reflects the unique musical song we are at the core of our being. This inner music, sound current, energy, or vibration is the source of a truly spiritual life of which religious superiority or mere ethical living is a cheesy imitation (but that is another subject).
Scientists have found out that all these states of the mind can be measured, as one emanates certain brainwave patterns, easily detected with an EEG (encephalograph). The alpha brainwave patterns are the ones associated with physical and mental relaxation, while beta brainwaves are emitted during our usual state of alertness throughout the day. Theta brainwaves occur in a state of meditation, while delta brainwave patterns are the ones emanated by our brains during deep sleep. All these have the corresponding frequency, measured in pulses per second; i.e. alpha ranges between eight and twelve pulses per second (Hz), beta ranges between twelve and thirty pulses per second, etc.
To understand how binaural beats, monaural beats, and isochronic tones can improve your overall well-being at a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level a basic understanding of the electrochemical functions of the brain is necessary. Our brain is made up of billions of brain cells or neurons which use electricity to communicate with one another. The combination of millions of neurons sending signals all at the same time produces an enormous amount of electrical activity in the brain. This activity can be detected and mapped using EEG devices. Such mapping shows that the brain is emitting specific frequency brainwave patterns that relate directly to different mental processes all the way from wide awake and highly focused (beta) to deep, dreamless sleep (delta).Following are the 4 most common brainwave classifications as revealed by EEG devices. The brain is a dynamic, living organ. During these dominant patterns, other frequencies still exist and there is no exact, single frequency that our brain operates on.Frequency range Name Usually associated with:13 to 40 Hz Beta waves Active, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration. Throughout the day our brains are in the beta range. At this level we are active, busy, and all our emotional responses are at this level whether we are depressed, irritable, angry, happy, glad, full of energy etc.7 to 13 Hz Alpha waves When we begin to relax or begin to get drowsy, but are still awake and conscious (maybe at pre-sleep) we are said to be at the alpha level.4 to 7 Hz Theta waves Dreams, deep meditation, hypnosis.Defining Binaural Beats, Monaural Betas, and Isochronic Beats.Binaural Beats – Binaural beats require headphones if you want to see results. Binaural Beats work by broadcasting two separate frequencies in each ear. For example, if you want to tune your brain to a 7 Hz frequency, you could play 200 Hz in your right ear, and 207 Hz in your left ear. The brain will compensate for the difference between the two and produce a third tone that will be exactly 7 Hz. This will result in your brain frequency being lowered to the theta level of 7 Hz.Monaural Beats – Monaural beats are the opposite of binaural beats because the input is the same in each ear therefore you don’t need headphones but good speakers are always a plus. In the case of monaural beats the sound is the same on each side whether you use headphones or speakers, but the volume must be tuned precisely (not too loud and not too low) for the beats to be effective.
The brain rapidly entrains motor responses to auditory rhythms that are stable and steady, synchronizing states below and above conscious perception thresholds.Different Methods of Brainwave Entrainment.There are three main forms of entrainment used today to alter consciousness.BINAURAL BEATS-one frequency is played in one ear and a slightly different frequency is played in the other. Each ear is connected to the opposite side of the brain and when each half hears something different, it compensates by creating a third beat, that is not really there. The sound only exists in your brain and causes both hemispheres to entrain at a single frequency.
So, does brainwave entrainment really work? All this being said, the actual question that should be asked here is whether brainwave entrainment audios can truly alter your brainwaves, bringing them to one of the above mentioned states (alpha, theta, etc). Again, with the use of the exact same machine – encephalograph (or simply EEG) – it has been proven that yes, they can. Of course, the efficacy of the different audios varies greatly between producers, but this is a whole different theme to explore. The point of this article is to clearly demonstrate that it has been scientifically and materialistically proven that brainwave entrainment audios can bring one’s brain to a specifically designed state. Consequently, yes, brainwave entrainment does work in the sense that it can bring you to a state associated with deep meditation or deep sleep, which in turn can ensure further benefits such as improved memory, pain relief, and many more (again, you should rather explore the gains associated with the various brainwave patterns).
To wrap it up, brainwave entrainment MP3s offer a modern, practical way for people to experience things that were once only preserved for certain groups of individuals. It is up to the user for these, though, to further research the various audios and products available out there and to clearly set their goals. Different brainwaves produce different results, and this is why products would be designed in various ways, too. Some bring you to alpha, others go all the way down to delta… It is up to you which realms of your brain you wish to explore… So, anyways, how far exactly do you see brainwave entrainment taking you?