Much of what is currently written about brainwave entrainment, especially on the internet, is simply … incorrect. It seems par for the course that when something of huge value is discovered as a potential ‘internet product’ that it is going to be marketed within an inch of it’s life. And often with less than stellar regard for actual science, research, or factual knowledge.
This overview is intended to provide a quick summary and clear look at brainwave entrainment and the potential value it holds for us all.
Entrainment is a term borrowed from physics which simply refers to the tendency for two vibrating bodies to lock into phase so that they vibrate in harmony. For example, one tuning fork when struck and placed next to another tuning fork will cause the second one to vibrate at the same frequency.
Now, what if this same phenomenon could be applied in training the brain to lock into the vibrations of an outside stimulus? Scientific studies have shown that this is, in fact, possible.
When the brain is stimulated with pulsed sounds (neuro-electrical activity via the nerves originating from the ears), the overall activity of the brain will respond to and align with these pulses. By selecting the desired rate, the brain — via the frequency following response (entrainment) — can be naturally induced towards the selected brainwave state.
The applications for this technology are unlimited.
Our brains produce “sweeping” electrical charges. These charges create rhythms known as brainwave patterns, which can be seen with an electroencephalograph (EEG).
There are four commonly grouped brainwave pattern categories: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Each of these brainwave patterns are associated with specific states and serve important functions.
· BETA waves are quick waves of 13 to 30 times per second (Hz). Beta brainwave patterns are generated naturally when we are awake and alert.
· ALPHA waves exist between 8 and 12 Hz. Alpha waves usually occur during rest (i.e. when the eyes are closed), intellectual relaxation, deep relaxation, meditation or when quietening the mind. Alpha waves are the desired result of experienced meditators.
· THETA waves exist between 4 and 7 Hz. This is commonly referred to as the dream or “twilight” state. Theta is associated with learning, memory, REM sleep and dreaming. Memory development is enhanced while in this state. When in a theta brainwave state, memory is improved (especially long term memory), and access to unconscious material, reveries, free association, insights and creative ideas is increased.
· DELTA brainwave patterns usually occur when we are asleep. Delta waves are the slowest waves ranging from .5 to 3 Hz.
Here is where we begin to get a glimpse of the benefits of brainwave entrainment technology.
Research indicates that brainwave entrainment stimulation in the theta range appears to be a beneficial approach to accelerated learning.
Applying brainwave entrainment in the alpha range may result in benefits similarly found with Zen or Transcendental Meditation. These benefits extend throughout the body and include improved breathing patterns, higher physical energy levels, an improved outlook, increased sports performance, improved relationships, and increased workplace satisfaction and performance … just to name a few.
With each pulsed tone, the brain produces an electrical response. The effects one experiences are the creations of the brains reaction to the “tones”, what neurologists call the “cortical evoked response” (the electrical response of the top most cortical layer of the brain). The brain is a mass of neurons, each taking part in storing, retrieving and transmitting electro-chemical impulses: information, colors, images, sounds, smells and tastes. Brainwave entrainment stimulates different areas of the brain allowing for the awakening and subsequent release of various levels of stored material. It also has an effect of quietening the mind for clearer thought and process.
Deep relaxation is a major benefit resulting from the brain’s cortical frequency following response. By selecting the desired rate the brain, via the frequency following response, will tend to mimic the rate it is exposed to and thus enter that brainwave state. This helps to explain why this technology can produce benefits commonly found with meditation. One of the most valuable benefits of consistent brainwave entrainment is that we are able to experience and recognize the various states of consciousness. With practice we can learn how to re-create these states.
With today’s lifestyle, returning to a peaceful, mind/body way of being is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve and maintain for any period of time. This causes disease in the mind/body, which is why it is paramount for us to “relearn” or “retrain” ourselves to get back to these healthful and rejuvenating states.
Recent studies have shown that the use of guided imagery while in altered states of consciousness can be a very effective stimulant in psycho immunology, corporate performance and sports enhancement.
Some benefits of brainwave entrainment may include help with:
- Deeper self awareness
- Promoting long-term mental and emotional growth
- Energy and vitality
- Intuition and personal insight
- Focus and attention
And, much more …
Experimentation and research on the effects and applications of Brainwave Entrainment are ongoing in governments and universities as well as amongst health professionals and educators around the world.
In fact, The Morry Method™ has recently been the subject of one such major research study.