Modern Meditation Series™ Recordings Frequently Asked Questions

What are brainwaves, and what is “brainwave entrainment”?

Brainwaves are the electrical activity produced by our brains.  They are measured in frequency (Hz) and amplitude.  As stated on the home page, our level of consciousness at all times is determined by the brainwaves we are creating.

The chart below shows what these brainwaves look like when plotted on an EEG machine.


Beta brainwaves are created between 12 and 30+ Hz.  Beta is the brainwave associated with our normal, waking state.  In this frequency, our minds are capable of the reason, thought, logic and decision making that we associate with our conscious minds.  Higher frequency beta waves are associated with anxiety and panic.  People suffering from anxiety and panic disorders often produce too much high frequency (28 Hz and up) beta brainwaves.  The mind can be entrained to produce more alpha and theta brainwaves, causing the person to feel calmer.  People often comment that the “chatterbox” or sometimes incessant music in their heads goes away with a few sessions of listening to a brainwave entrainment product designed for anxiety, such as Cumulative Bliss.

Alpha brainwaves are created between 8 and 12 Hz.  Alpha is a slower brainwave, but is still a high enough frequency to support thought.  You are able to use logic when producing a preponderance of alpha brainwaves, but you generally don’t care to.  This is why alpha is the brainwave state most commonly achieved in hypnosis–you are more suggestible when your critical factor is set aside, as it is in alpha.  Alpha is also a highly creative state.  You may find yourself able to visualize more clearly and have “aha” moments when in alpha.  Better recall is also a benefit of alpha, and it is useful to be in a light alpha state when learning something new or taking a test.

Theta brainwaves are created between 4 and 8 Hz.  Theta brainwaves are too slow to support conscious thought, yet it is still a level of consciousness–your subconscious mind is still active and listening to your surroundings.  Theta is the frequency the brain uses to access memories and emotions, and is associated with increased recall ability, learning and creativity.

Delta brainwaves are created between 0.5 and 4 Hz.  Delta is the brainwave of deep, dreamless sleep.  When sleeping, brain activity spikes into the theta and alpha frequencies, creating sleep spindles as shown in the graph.  If you are having problems sleeping or staying asleep, entrainment in the delta frequency has been shown to help.

What is Brainwave Entrainment?  Brainwave entrainment is a form of neurofeedback, which uses the natural capacity of the brain to synchronize with frequencies outside of itself, which fall in the range of frequencies which the brain itself naturally produces.  Brainwave entrainment, then, is as old as our brains.  In fact, ancient and modern civilizations alike use this capacity of the brain to create emotional states, whether that is through the rhythms of tribal drumming or the trance state evoked by watching a flickering flame.  Modern neuroscientists have mapped the brain’s responses to entrainment in the various frequencies, and created protocols for achieving desired effects.

Brainwave entrainment is a safe, natural alternative for treating conditions such as insomnia, stress, ADD/ADHD; to affect mood; and to achieve the advanced mental and emotional states associated with meditation.

Are headphones required?

This will depend on the recording, and is noted in the information on each recording. If the recording incorporates binaural beats, or has differences in the signals for the right and left ear, then you will need to use headphones to gain the benefits with those recordings.

Recordings using isochronic tones and with identical left and right audio signals do not require headphones.  Some products, such as Blissful Sleep, are specifically designed not to require headphones to be effective.

How can your recordings work without headphones?

The need for headphones is determined by the method of brainwave entrainment used, and by whether there is a different audio signal for the right and left ears (the left and right brain hemispheres, respectively). 

There are forms of brainwave entrainment that do not require headphones for their effect, such as isochronic tones which are used in some of the Modern Meditation Series™ recordings.  Other forms of entrainment, such as binaural beats, do require headphones.  The information provided with each recording indicates whether or not headphones are required.

How often should I listen to my recordings?

We recommend listening once or twice a day from four to seven days per week.  If you miss a day, simply resume listening on the following day.  Avoid listening to the same recording more than twice per day to avoid over stimulation.

What time of day is best for listening?

There is no best time of day for listening. Let your personal preferences guide you.  Many people find that starting the day with an alpha or theta band recording sets a calm tone for the balance of their day. Others find that it is rejuvenating to listen at the end of their day.  In short, you can listen at a time of day that works for you.  If you are listening to the same recording twice, it is more beneficial to separate your listening times by a few hours.

Is it safe? Who should not use brainwave entrainment recordings?

Yes, it is very safe, but only for those not mentioned below:

  • If you have ever experienced a seizure or epilepsy, or have any other ailments that affect the brain, you should consult with your doctor before using any kind of assisted brain entrainment.
  • Individuals under the influence of medication or drugs should consult a physician before using these, or any other, brainwave entrainment products.
  • Do not use these recordings while under the influence of alcohol or other mood altering substances, whether they are legal or illegal.
  • Children under the age of 18 are to be examined by a physician for epilepsy or illnesses that may contribute to seizures prior to the use of the recordings.


Modern Meditation Series™ recordings are NOT meant to replace medical or psychological treatment or consultation. If you have a serious medical condition please consult with your physician. Ask about brainwave entrainment and work with your physician to choose the right treatments for you.

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