Brainwave Entrainment 101
We have so many tasks and so little time. We are constantly thinking about numerous things related to work and to our personal life. This is naturally very stressful and exhausting. That is why people look for effective methods to get rid of all the tension and fatigue and to feel calm and focused. This is what brainwave entrainment can help you to achieve. It has gained immense popularity in recent years, but it has actually been used since the 1960’s. Find out everything which you need to know about this method for mental stimulation and relaxation.
What Brainwave Entrainment Is?
The human brain works all the time. No matter what type of activity you do, it emits electrical impulses which are transmitted via the neurons. This is what brainwaves are. Many decades ago scientists discovered that the frequencies of the brainwaves produced during different activities and emotional states vary. When you are involved in intense mental activity the frequency can be as high as 30 Hz. In the dreamless phase of sleep, the frequency falls below 4 Hz. In the first half of the 1930’s, research studies revealed that the frequency of brainwaves can be modified with the use of external stimuli. This is how brainwave entrainment was born.
The stimuli used for influencing the frequency of brainwaves include special rhythmic sounds and light. At present sounds are preferred over light as they are suitable even for people with sensitive eyes. When you hear the rhythmic sound, it is reproduced in the brain via a wave which has the same frequency as the sound wave. It is important to note that while all rhythmic sounds can influence the brain in one way or another, only those which are tuned to have the same frequency as specific types of brainwaves can have a genuine and lasting impact on brain activity and on the mind as a whole. When such a special rhythmic sound is played, the brain responds by producing a wave with the same frequency. The two waves are synchronized. This is what entrainment is. This is a natural phenomenon studied by many sciences including biology and physics. Its therapeutic effect is direct. The brain can be fine tuned to help you relax, fall asleep, focus better and many other things.
It is an interesting fact that even though the science behind brainwave entrainment has been known to us for less than a century, this method has been practiced by people for thousands of years. One of the best known forms is meditation. It has also been found that the rhythm of the drums can also influence the brain. That is why it is not surprising that in many tribal cultures drums were used for religious and spiritual rituals and even for healing. Now you do not have to learn meditation techniques or how to play the drums in order to influence your state of mind in the desired direction. You simply need to listen to a special MP3 recording. This method is not only easier and more accessible to everyone. It has also been found to produce positive results more quickly.
The Brainwave Entrainment Technology
There are different types of rhythmic sound stimuli that can be used for brainwave entrainment. The best known and most widely used ones are the binaural beats. The unique thing about them is that there are slightly different tones going into each of the ears. When the two sound waves interact with each other, a pulse is created. This interaction occurs inside the brain and the resulting pulse is responsible for the entrainment. Basically, it helps to tune your brain into the desired mental state.
While binaural beats are quite potent, they are typically paired with isochronic tones so that the entrainment is more powerful. These tones are evenly spaces and also create a pulse. Instead of using two tones for producing the pulse, one and the same tone is turned on and off. When binaural beats and isochronic tones are combined, the desired effects from the therapeutic method are achieved more quickly and last for longer. That is why the typical modern entrainment system includes both.
As technology advances and more research is done on the functioning of the brain, other types of tones are getting included in the in the sound stimuli. These tones usually focus on certain parts of the brain such as the temporal lobe in order to enhance the effect. In this way, the desired results are obtained with fewer and smaller sessions. They are longer-lasting as well.
One important question that many people ask is whether they will hear just a monotonous beat when listening to the MP3 recordings. This is not the case. The binaural beats, isochronic tones and other rhythms are integrated into sounds and tunes which are pleasant to the ear. These are usually natural sounds like those made by the sea. When you use a system of good quality, you can expect the sound to be pure and pleasant.
How to Use It?
Now that you know what brain entrainment is, you would certainly want to know how to use it . While a simple method like meditation has a set of techniques which can be applied daily, the modern systems designed for achieving the desired state of mind are more concentrated and goal-oriented. The typical system is designed to have an all-encompassing effect on the human mind. There are also specialized systems that target one particular area such as helping you to fall asleep.
The typical comprehensive system is practically a course that you have to follow for a set number of weeks. There is one recording for each stage of the course. You will have to listen to it for a predetermined period of time every day. This period is quite short and therefore easy to fit into your daily schedule. You will not have to devote a lot of time to using the system. You will receive recommendations on the best time of the day for listening to the MP3 recordings.
There is no need to do anything special. There are no exercises that you have to do or a diet that you have to follow. The only rule that you have to keep is to listen to the recordings while you are not occupied with anything else. If you want to focus better for an important assignment, for example, you should devote time to brainwave entrainment beforehand. This will enable you to get the best possible result.
After you have completed the course, you can repeat it as many times as needed in the future. You will receive advice on the frequency at which this can be done. In general, you can use an all-encompassing system as part of your efforts to achieve a set goal such as earning a top grade in in an upcoming exam or quitting smoking. The system will help you to achieve the right mindset for getting where you want to be.
Safety and Effectiveness
Both clinical research and the extensive use of brainwave entrainment have revealed that this method for mental stimulation is safe to use by healthy individuals. If you have a serious chronic health problem or you are suffering from an acute medical condition at the moment and take medications, you should consult your doctor before using it. The same advice applies to pregnant women as well. Most people with a medical problem can use the method safely and gain positive results. In fact, it can be used as part of the therapy. Still, it is always best to check.
There is no need for taking any special safety measures when using a system for brainwave entrainment. You just have to remember not to listen to the recordings when performing another activity and especially the operation of machines including the driving of a car. This single rule is easy to remember and to follow.
There are only a few potential side effects associated with the use of this method for mental stimulation. These include low mood and headache. They are extremely rare with well tuned systems. Additionally, if they appear, they are usually extremely mild. The low mood will go away quickly and the headache will not cause any serious discomfort. The few people who experience the side effects report that they are reduced in a very short time and eventually disappear completely.
There are various research studies that have confirmed the effectiveness of brainwave entrainment. One of the most recent studies was carried out by researchers from the University of York in the United Kingdom. The results, which were published in 2014, revealed that the method has therapeutic effects on patients. It reduced anxiety and physical pain in people suffering from various types of conditions including migraine and sinusitis.
This method can help anyone to achieve the desired state of mind. It is difficult to estimate how quickly the positive effect will be felt and what its magnitude will be given that the result always depends on the system used and on the individual traits of the user as well. However, modern systems that include a combination of tones have been shown to bring improvement in days rather than in weeks. The size of the effect usually increases gradually and can be retained in the longer term.
The Major Benefits
Daily stress and anxiety can be greatly reduced and eventually eliminated with the use of brainwave entrainment. You will get into a relaxed state of mind and forget about all your worries. The effect is practically the same as the one that you will receive with medication, but it is greater in size and longer lasting.
This method for brain stimulation is a natural mood booster as well. People who use it are happier and less likely to get depressed. You should definitely take advantage of it when you have a bad day.
Better sleep is also among the primary benefits enjoyed by people who use brainwave entrainment. This therapeutic effect is seen even in those who have sleep problems due to a physical condition. You will get asleep more quickly and get a deeper and more energizing sleep during the night. The best part is that you do not have to sleep for longer to get the beneficial effect. It is worth pointing out that a system designed for overall improvement will help you to get better sleep without the need to use it before you go to bed. The sound stimuli will actually not help you to fall asleep. When you listen to the recordings, you will feel relaxed, but you will not start snoozing.
Higher mental and physical energy throughout the day is another fantastic benefit that you will enjoy. This is a result of the stimulation and of the better sleep that you will get. Additionally, the stimulation of the brain has been proven to have a positive physical effect as well. The blood flow in the body is improved and each cell gets more oxygen and nutrients. This is how you will feel better both mentally and physically.
Improved focus and mental agility are among the main reasons why people use brainwave entrainment. You will concentrate better on all tasks that you do including work assignments that require a lot of thinking and exercise that you do in the gym. This will help you do everything more effectively and more quickly as well. With greater mental agility, you will think faster and be more creative even when you are under pressure. That is why the method is believed to boost intelligence. What it actually does is helping you to use your full potential.
Better overall health is another benefit that you will enjoy at all times. When the brain and all other organs and systems in your body work optimally due to relaxation and good sleep, you will be at lower risk of all kinds of diseases. Additionally, when you have improved performance in everything that you do, you will be able to get better control over your diet, exercise regime and lifestyle as a whole.
Brainwave entrainment is certainly worth trying.