What Is Brainwave Entrainment?
Brainwave entrainment is a scientific method of bringing one's brainwaves into sync using rapid pulses of light or sound. It mimics the effects of deep meditation by changing the brain's frequency from normal, everyday Beta frequencies (between 13 and 30 Hz) to any of the other frequencies.
These patterns include
Alpha frequencies (between 8 and 13 Hz) -- used for meditation
Theta frequencies (between 4 and 8 Hz) -- experienced during deep relaxation
Delta frequencies (between 0.5 and 4 Hz) -- experienced during dreamless, slow-wave sleep.
Entrainment slows the mind's brainwave frequencies to these levels to achieve complete synchronization of the hemispheres of the brain. It has been around for ages; the ancient cultures of the world all had methods of manipulating brainwave frequencies, from Sufi chanting to Native American drum circles.
What Is Brainwave Entrainment & How Does It Work?
While meditation can achieve the same effects as entrainment, it takes time to master the techniques of proper meditation. Entrainment can be induced using computer software, sound tones or pulses of light through closed eyelids. It is generally much quicker to slow the frequency of brainwaves using entrainment than it is even to use medical equipment to monitor neuro-feedback and cause it to feedback on itself. The way all of these methods reduce brainwave frequencies is by synchronizing them with a visual or auditory pulse, like a rapid, unwavering drum beat.
What Are the Different Methods Used?
Auditory and visual brainwave entrainment using computer software can become quite sophisticated and precise. Using binaural beats, a piece of entrainment software can play precise tones of sound into each ear to produce a difference in the tones heard only in the brain. The difference between these tones contains a rapid rhythm that brings the brainwaves into sync with its pulse, thereby controlling the frequency. Monaural beats are somewhat different because they can be produced audibly outside of the brain using only speakers or headphones. Audio-visual entrainment relies on flashes of light through closed eyelids to synchronize brainwave frequencies, although this method can be dangerous for epileptic practitioners.
How Long Has Entrainment Been Around?
Ancient cultures knew instinctively that the brain's wave patterns could be manipulated using rhythm and syncopation. Some cultures used meditation or psychoactive substances to achieve similar effects, and they sometimes combined all of these methods to switch brainwaves between Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta frequencies. Examples of ancient world cultures using some form of brainwave entrainment include whirling dervishes, Tibetan prayer bowls, Menzuma chanting, African trance dancing, and Native American rain chanting. The difference between these ancient methods and modern entrainment is that current techniques work almost instantaneously and can be tuned to the precise wavelength to induce a meditative, relaxed or slow-wave state.
Why Is Brainwave Entrainment Good for the Mind?
Like meditation, relaxation, and sleep, brainwave entrainment gives your mind a rest from the fast-paced Beta-frequency patterns experienced in everyday life. When the mind stays in this highly charged state for too long, it gets out of sync and can lead to mental and emotional discord. The wave patterns of the different areas of the brain become synchronized through entrainment, and people who practice meditation or entrainment generally feel much more balanced and content in their lives. Brainwave entrainment isn't the only way to achieve harmony and synchronicity in the mind, but it is the fastest, easiest and simplest way.