How Brainwave Entrainment Works
With roots dating back to Shamanic rituals, when ancient cultures used the rhythmic stimuli of drums to enter a deeply relaxed state or trance, brainwave entrainment helps people relax, meditate, reduce anxiety, manage pain, and more. The most well-known brainwave entrainment uses audio recordings, listened to with headphones or earphones. While the listener might hear sounds such as ambient music, bells, rainfall, or water streams, it is the sounds they do not hear which create the brain entrainment. In fact, the soothing sounds mask the inaudible frequency tones or pulses embedded in the sounds where the entrainment takes place.
Brainwave Entrainment Whole Brain Functioning
Brainwave entrainment uses carrier tones and pulses called binaural beats and/or isochronic tones. Repeatedly exposing the brain to these tones conditions the brain to the frequencies and activates brain states which correspond to peak performance. Performing at your highest potential is called whole brain functioning.
Binaural Beats and Tones
The most popular form of brainwave entrainment are binaural beats, referring to the listening of two different sounds at two different frequencies entering your left and right ear respectively. Wearing headphones allows for left/right hemisphere stimulation, impacting each brain hemisphere in different ways. The brain then creates a third tone, making up the difference between the two frequencies. This shift in frequency shifts the brain’s consciousness, changing one’s state.
Isochronic tones are evenly spaced tones where the beat is created by turning a tone on and off. Isochronic beats are said to produce strong cortical responses in the brain. Headphones are not required and those who do not respond well to binaural beats often respond well to isochronic tones.
Additional brainwave entrainment technologies include:
- White Noise
- Harmonic Box X
- Monaural Beats
Brainwaves are grouped into four patterns:
- Beta: State of alert activity, dominant state during waking hours; Beta wave frequencies range from 12hz to 38hz
- Alpha: State of relaxation, rest, and light meditation; Alpha wave frequencies range from 8hz to 11hz
- Theta: Just between resting and sleep, ideal state for hypnosis; Theta wave frequencies range from 3hz to 8hz
- Delta: Deep sleep; Delta wave frequencies range from 0.2hz to 3hz
Brain Entrainment Benefits
Used to promote and enhance optimal functioning, benefits of brain entrainment technology include:
- Making rapid changes in state or behavior
- Creating lasting change
- Increased concentration
- Increased ability to learn
- Stress reduction
- Deeper and accelerated meditation
- Reduction of cortisol levels
- Help with depression