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What is Brainwave Entrainment?

Brainwave Entrainment occurs when your brainwaves synchronize with the waves or beats from some other source e.g. a sound that pulses at a regular beat or a strobe-like flashing of a light source. Today, the most common method of applying brainwave entrainment is through the use of sound files that one then listens to using headphones or speakers.

Background:

Brainwave States

Brainwave states or mind states have been divided by experts in this field into several categories, the most commonly known of which are as follows.

Beta (13-40cps) You are in a beta state when you are normally awake doing your chores, playing tennis, walking, etc.
Alpha (8-13cps) When you are daydreaming, or reclining calmly while silently watching the sunset, or meditating, you are in the alpha state.
Theta (4-8cps) Usually occurs prior to sleep, down to deep sleep. Some veteran meditators can achieve this level even while sitting and remaining alert.
Delta (0.5-4cps) Deep sleep.

cps means cycles per second. It is also referred to sometimes as bps, or beats per second. A machine called the EEG measures brainwaves and graphically displays it as wiggly waves. Actually, your brain outputs not just one brainwave activity, but several, all varying in magnitude and all of the above-cited brainwave states may be present at the same time. When you are running after your pet dog, most of your brainwaves are those of the beta type, making beta the dominant brainwave. Thus, you are in a beta state of mind.

(Please refer to ‘Brainwave Frequencies‘ for a complete listing of Frequencies and its related functions.)

Binaural Beats/Tones

Binaural beats are produced when two tones of different pitches are played together. A beat that is produced in the clash is the binaural beat. The binaural beats products available today are basically made in the following manner:

[150hZ tone] >> (you) << [160hZ tone]

You listen with headphones to a sound file that plays a 150 hertz tone in one ear and a 160 hertz tone in the other. The binaural beat is that ‘whh-whh-whh’ or ‘whish-whish-whish’ sound you hear in your head. If you measure the frequency of the beat, it is actually 10 beats per second. That is, the frequency of the binaural beat is the difference between the two (2) input tones. 160 – 150 = 10.

Isochronic Beats/Tones

A variation to the binaural beat technique is isochronic beats/tones. Researchers today assert that isochronics perform far better than binaurals in terms of producing entrainment. Aside from that, isochronic beats have the advantage of not needing headphones for listening. You can use external speakers. And there is no necessity of picking two (2) right tones to produce it. A regular drum beat will do. The regular whoosh whoosh of a ceiling fan will work. Thus, isochronic beats are simpler, and more effective.

What good can it do for you?

As long as you’re not epileptic, or someone whom neuro-doctors would advise against entrainment exercises, then brainwave entrainment gives only good. There’s no worry about negative effects as our minds seems to have built-in safety features because brainwave entrainment stops being effective at some point during a session where the mind decides it’s got enough and takes full control back. You’ll see when you’ve tried it.

Most users would use brainwave entrainment for de-stressing and relaxation. Others would use it to get into hypnogogic states for hypnosis, self-suggestions, subliminal suggestions. Meditators find that getting centered and focused is faster and simpler when they utilize entrainment sound files during their meditation.

Psychologists have applied this technology in their treatments of ADHD patients.

Programmed
Sleep?

Personally, I use it on and off. But when I do, I never use it in the evenings because it disrupts my usual sleeping schedule. I normally hit the sack at 10 pm, but when I do entrainment sessions, say, at 7 pm, drowsiness comes only at around 3 am. Added energy? So, I make sure I do entrainment exercises either in the morning or at noon. I also noticed that the quality of my sleep is better and my dreams are clearer and easier to recall. No, this space wouldn’t be enough if I were to elaborate on the things I’ve experienced with brainwave entrainment. Please read ‘My Entrainment Experience‘ for some of my experiences with this technology.

[ What is Brainwave Entrainment? ]

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