Brainwave entrainment is the natural phenomenon that occurs when our brains adjust to follow a frequency presented from an external source. This process is called Frequency Following Response, and is a natural ability of our minds. Why is this important to you, and how can you take advantage of it?
Your state of consciousness at any time is determined by the combination of brainwave frequencies you produce. There are four commonly recognized brainwave frequencies: beta (alert consciousness), alpha (relaxed consciousness), theta (consciousness threshold) and delta (sleep, or unconscious). These are listed in descending order of frequency. Delta is the slowest brainwave, at .5 to 4 Hz, and beta the fastest, from 12 Hz up into the 30 Hz range or higher.
The alpha and theta brainwave states are the states of mind that create the meditation experience. Many studies have been done on the positive health benefits of meditation. The additional benefit of using brainwave entrainment to achieve a meditation state is that you can apply proven protocols that have been clinically researched and shown to be effective for a large group of people for a specific condition, like in the examples below.
Eliminate or reduce anxiety.
Higher frequencies are associated with anxiety and panic disorder. Listening to a brainwave entrainment recording with a protocol designed to address anxiety will very quickly result in a less anxious state overall. This is a great adjunct therapy for those with acute conditions, or an excellent place to start to relieve symptoms for those with milder conditions. Over time, you can raise your threshold to stress. Anxiety is the most under diagnosed and under treated emotional issue in our society, and is aggravated by our modern world, the over abundance of information and high stress. You do not have to live simply with it.
Increase focus and attention associated with ADD/ADHD.
Differences in which hemisphere is producing the preponderance of which brainwave band have been associated with level of attention, and indicated in ADD/ADHD. Daily listening can be an excellent adjunct therapy. People have found that listening to brainwave entrainment recordings extends the amount of time that they feel focused with their prescribed medications. A number of studies have been done with children as well, showing that brainwave entrainment improves attention, reading and impulsiveness and reduces anxiety and depression.
Reduce symptoms of depression.
Over abundance of some brainwaves, creating a brainwave profile that is out of balance overall and across the hemispheres has been associated with depression. Stimulating the upper frequencies balances out the brainwave pattern and makes the person feel more aware and alert. Also, applying alpha frequencies causes the brain to produce serotonin, the chemical that makes you feel happy. This is the chemical that most anti depressant drugs work to inhibit the reabsorption of, to create the effect of having more in your brain. Rather than preventing that, why not stimulate your brain to produce more serotonin? Some studies show that alpha states can increase serotonin production by as much as 21%.
Inability to “turn off” higher frequency beta brainwaves and continuously produce delta waves creates insomnia. Because of the brain’s ability to follow frequencies, simply listening to a brainwave entrainment recording that slows your brainwaves from the busy beta, through alpha and theta down to delta will cause you to fall asleep. This is accomplished without pills and can be used anytime without concern for becoming addicted. Repeated use and association with a nighttime routine will actually train your mind to follow a pattern of falling asleep, resulting in less need for any help with sleeping.
Increase ability to focus.
There are two ranges of brainwaves involved in concentration and focus, and they vary in the brain according to the level of focus on the task being performed. Concentrating while solving math problems, for instance, in someone with good abilities of concentration should see an increase in the beta brainwaves. Moving into a deeper, “hyper focused” state, like a reverie, indicates an increase within the theta range. If you ever get so involved, so deeply focused in a task that you lose all sense of time, then you are producing these theta brainwaves. Playing a well designed brainwave entrainment audio can give you a boost in beta brainwaves–like a jolt of caffeine–to help focus on those mundane tasks that you’d rather not be doing. If you find it difficult to focus for longer periods of time, a brainwave entrainment audio with both beta and theta brainwaves can be played (no headphones required with isochronic tones) in the room to keep you feeling more contentedly focused on your task.
There are so many more indications for brainwave entrainment. This technology deserves much more widespread use and acceptance than it currently has, and should be a solution of first resort in many non-acute situations, prior to using pharmaceuticals. It also makes an excellent adjunct therapy for people on prescriptions, extending the effectiveness of the drugs in some cases, and in some cases actually allowing people to get off of their prescriptions.