Brainwave Entrainment

What is Brainwave Entrainment?

The concept of brainwave entrainment sounds very technical, and indeed to be created for specific benefits, the techniques and protocols can be very complex. However, understanding what brainwave entrainment is doesn’t have to be difficult. Human beings have used the phenomenon of what is known as the Frequency Following Response (FFR) for millennium, after all. Visualize a primitive human tribe gathered together and dancing or swaying hypnotically with the rhythm of a drum beat, imagine the hypnotic trance created by the repeating rhythms, and you have an understanding of the underlying principles of brainwave entrainment.

But let’s back up a little bit. Your brain produces brainwaves, and these brainwaves are measured in frequency (Hertz, or Hz), which is how speedy they are; and they are also measured in amplitude, which is how strong they are. Your experience of consciousness at any time depends on the brainwaves you are producing at that moment. This is a simplistic explanation, but say you are feeling anxious, even panicky-your brainwaves are very fast, at a very high frequency. As you calm down, your brainwaves slow down, through the beta frequency range, which is your usual wide-awake functioning state, down into alpha, which is the brainwave of relaxation and hypnosis, down further into theta, which is a state of consciousness even though the brainwaves are too slow to support thought. Finally, you drift all the way down into delta, the brainwave of deep sleep. This explanation makes it sound like you only experience one type of brainwave at a time, but in fact, your brain produces all of these brainwave frequencies simultaneously, to a greater or lesser degree.

Frequency Following Response (FFR) is the phenomenon of the brain “synching up” with a frequency introduced from an external source, that falls within the range of frequencies produced by the brain naturally. Within a few minutes (about six) the brain will synchronize its primary brainwave frequency with the external source and a corresponding change in experience of consciousness will occur. It has been discovered by scientific experimentation and study that certain brainwave frequencies and patterns create specific effects on the mind and therefore on the body, and so protocols have been developed to help with all manner of illness and disease, from ADD/ADHD to migraines, and more. A very common use of brainwave entrainment, however, is as a form of passive meditation. Brainwave entrainment can occur through audio or visual input. In 200 AD, Ptolemy noted the effects on consciousness of watching sunlight flicker through a spinning wheel. People who are prone to epilepsy, however, should not use visual methods of brainwave entrainment.

You may use brainwave entrainment recordings to address specific physical or emotional issues, or to experience a deeper and more profound meditative state, or to experience passive meditation. 

The Modern Meditation Series brainwave entrainment recordings use the Frequency Following Response phenomenon to create entrainment in you, the listener. Our recordings all use isochronic tones rather than binaural beats, which are superior in many ways. Due to the use of isochronic tones, many of our recordings do not require headphones.
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