By Deane Alban
Contributing writer for Wake Up World
Brainwave entrainment uses sound technology to help you achieve a desired state of mind. It produces an effect similar to meditation but is different in one significant way. It’s fast.
If you are looking for a way to improve concentration, reduce stress, and increase creativity, it doesn’t get any easier than using entrainment technology.
While it is high-tech, the science of brainwave entrainment is easy to understand, once you know a few basics.
Your brain cells generate electricity to communicate with each other. This electrical activity forms patterns or waves. Scientists have identified four main brainwave states:
- Alpha: Occurs when we are aware but physically and mentally relaxed.
- Beta: Occurs when we are alert, afraid, or tense.
- Theta: Occurs in that drowsy state we experience just before falling asleep.
- Delta: Occurs when we are soundly asleep.
The Phenomenon of Entrainment
The phenomenon of entrainment was discovered by a Dutch scientist over four hundred years ago. He noticed that his room full of pendulum clocks synchronized automatically. Even when he intentionally disrupted their rhythms, they would always re-synchronize. He called this phenomenon entrainment.
Since then, there has been a lot of research on entrainment and it has been found to commonly exist in nature. Fireflies entrain their flashing and frogs entrain their croaking.
You entrain every time you hear a musical beat that has you bobbing your head or tapping your foot. When you go to a concert, everyone is entraining with the music, and with each other. Pretty amazing!
To see animal entrainment in action, watch this 1 minute video of a white cockatoo named Snowball entraining (i.e., moving to the beat) with the Backstreet Boys. Snowball can also be seen on YouTube dancing to Stevie Nicks and Michael Jackson, and has even been featured in a Taco Bell commercial. You’ll see why – this bird has serious *star quality*!
I’ve seen this many times and it never fails to amuse me. Snowball’s really got the moves!
Why Use Brainwave Entrainment Software?
When you listen to sounds of a certain frequency, your brainwaves will synchronize with that frequency. By using brainwave entrainment software or CDs, you can get your brain into a desired brainwave state at will.
The most desirable mental state is the theta state. This is the same state sought after in meditation. You can also achieve this state under hypnosis.
Traditional meditation is time-consuming and requires dedication and patience. Not everyone is temperamentally cut out for it, and those people are often the ones who could benefit the most! Brainwave entrainment is a shortcut to get some of the desired effects of meditation, fast.
The Great State of Theta
What’s so great about the theta state? (Try repeating that 10 times… )
The theta brain state is associated with:
- Enhanced ability to learn
- Deep relaxation
- Improved focus and concentration
- Boosted immune function
- Stress reduction
- Increased insight and intuition
- Creative inspiration
Anytime you feel like you’re “in the zone“, you’re in a theta state. Likewise for those times you feel deeply connected to another person, to nature, or have a spiritual experience. Can you see why this brainwave state is worth striving for?
Brainwave Entrainment vs. Meditation
The benefits of meditation and brainwave entrainment are very similar. Terms like mind technology or brain technology are often used to describe the mechanism of brainwave entrainment too, so it’s sometimes hard to tell if an entrainment program is meditation or brainwave entrainment.
A main objective of meditation is to quiet your mind, usually by being mindful of your breath or by repeating a mantra. Training your mind to be quiet might be one of the hardest things you’ll ever try! Some days you’ll be successful, but some days you will find it very frustrating. That is why so many people who try meditation give up on it.
Brainwave entrainment therapy delivers specific sound frequencies to your brain to create the same brain state. The only requirement is that you listen with stereo headphones or ear buds. It’s as easy as that! It’s been compared to “push button meditation” or “meditation on demand”.
Some mind technology programs are designed to take you through other brain wave states in addition to the theta state. For example, some programs will help you achieve a delta brainwave state so that you can sleep better.
3 Ways to Try for Free
There are many reasons why people don’t meditate: they have tried and it didn’t give them the results they hoped for; they don’t have the discipline; or they aren’t convinced it’s worth the effort. The following brainwave entrainment programs brush those excuses aside.
Try these programs for free. No strings attached. I promise that you won’t even need to get out a credit card.
- My latest discovery is OmHarmonics. I particularly like that the sound technology isn’t noticeable — all you hear is beautiful, relaxing music. OmHarmonics is part of the Mindvalley family of self-help programs that includes the classic Silva Life System.
- Brain Evolution demo MP3 file is 15 minutes of pure sound technology.
- Brain Ev’s companion program, Brain Salon, offers a free MP3 called “Razor Sharp” that is specifically designed to help people with concentration and focus problems. Perfect!
Even if you are just curious, I urge you to take advantage of one or more of these free offers. Then take your mind for a test drive and notice how you feel. I’ve used all three of these programs and always feel like I’ve taken my brain on a vacation after each session.
If you’ve had experience with any brainwave entrainment program, we’d love to hear about it. Leave your thoughts and comments on this Facebook post or in the comments below.
Entertainment in Action — 32 Metronomes Self-Synchronizing
- Why Meditate? Science Finds Clues at Life.Gaiam.com
- Scientific Research – Brainwave Entrainment at Project-Meditation.org
Updated August 2014
Recommended reading by Deane Alban:
- 5 Reasons You Aren’t Getting Enough Vitamin D.. and What You Can Do About It
- Five Common Food Additives That Can Damage Your Brain
- Food Scams and Myths: Why Quality Matters
- The Alarming Truth About Supermarket Meat
- 18 Choices You Make Every Day That Keep You Up at Night
- Can’t Get the Hang of Meditation? Try This Instead
- Is Your Olive Oil Lying About Its Virginity?
- Stress, Telomeres, and the Secret to Prevent Aging
- Zapped: Your Brain on Electromagnetic Fields (Infographic)
- 20 Common Medications That Can Cause Memory Loss
- 5 Common Food Additives That Are Toxic to Your Brain
- Coconut Oil Cures Alzheimer’s Disease: Truth or Wishful Thinking?
- 6 Common Habits that Rob You of Essential Brain Vitamins
- The ABCs of Vitamins for Memory and Brain Health
- Eat Your Way Smart With a Brain Food Diet
Deane Alban holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and has taught and written on a wide variety of natural health topics for over 20 years. Her current focus is helping people overcome brain fog, “senior moments”, and other signs of mental decline now, and preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia in the future.
The human brain is designed to last a lifetime, but modern life takes a greater toll on the brain than most people realize. Deane teaches the best ways to keep your brain healthy and stay mentally sharp for life at her website BeBrainFit.com.