Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Brainwave deficiencies can lead to depression, insomnia, illness, poor concentration and even accelerated aging. What many don't know is how easy brainwave entrainment can be. By training our brains we can become happier, healthier and even increase our abilities. How does it work?

It's really more simple than you can imagine, especially with the wide variety of software programs and harmonic compact discs that can now be purchased or even downloaded for free. These programs are very user friendly and have preset frequencies you can select depending on you goal. Many have built in guides that pop up and explain which frequencies do what. Once you have a brainwave program, all you have to do is relax, listen to your earphones and neurology does the rest, you don't even have to think about it. Most programs include options to listen to background ambiances such as birds, sea shore, forest sounds, and thunder and rain.

However, if you suffer from seizures of any type be SURE to consult your doctor before using any of the audio tracks, especially if you opt to use light patterns.

The big question everyone asks when they first learn about entrainment is "Does it really work?". The answer is very definitely YES. In fact, the principles of entrainment encompass chemistry, biology, pharmacology, astronomy - well these principles are universal.

A Brief History of Brainwave Entrainment

While brainwave entrainment has been around for a long time, many of us have never heard of it. As a matter of fact, the "ohm" sound that is made during meditation is actually a brainwave entrainment technique. Specifically, the humming sound is at a certain wavelength. Hearing the sound, the brain begins to mimic the wavelength. This is called the "frequency following response."

A really good example of this frequency following response is an incident that happened to Dutch scientist and clock maker Christian Huygens in 1656. He hung two pendulum clocks next two one another on the wall, and found quite by accident that they slowly synchronized themselves with one another. The synchronization is found to be so precise that any mechanical intervention would not make them any more closely synchronized. This phenomena even works with a roomful of clocks.

Hans Berger first discovered Alpha brainwaves in 1929. Shortly afterward, researchers learned that the frequency of the waves could be altered by using flickering lights, called "Photic Driving". Then in 1942, two scientists R.S. Morison and E.W. Dempsey of the Harvard Medical School, found that repetitive stimulation could be used to alter and stimulate the production of various wavelengths by the brain. In 1959, Gian Emilio Chatrian observed that when the brain heard clicks at a frequency of 15 per second, the brain would alter the frequency it produced.

The 1960's brought about a dramatic change in the way this knowledge was applied in the medical field. Anesthesiologist M.S. Sadove, MD found that photo stimulation reduced the amount of anesthesia required by patients.

How Brainwave Entrainment Can Work For You

It has been discovered that the brain produces a range of frequencies. The table below explains the ranges that are most often worked with in entrainment.
  • Beta Waves - 14 to 30 Hz - This range is associated with a fully alert and active person who is awake and focused. This range is optimal for working, athletic performance and taking tests.
  • Alpha Waves - 8 to 14 Hz - This range is associated with a relaxed and awake state. Much like the one you are in when at home watching television, visiting with friends or listening to music. It is noted that people with addiction problems are deficient in alpha and theta waves and that stimulating these frequencies help curb the desire to abuse drugs or drink alcohol. Stimulating alpha waves can make a person feel more optimistic and have a happier outlook overall .
  • Theta Waves - 4 to 8 Hz - This range is associated with a drowsy state. This frequency range is not common in adults and is more predominate in drowsy children. Theta waves are known to produce a calm relaxed state of well being and decrease the amount of sleep needed. They are also extremely helpful to insomniacs by helping them to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Delta Waves - Below 5 Hz - This range is associated with deep sleep. Certain frequencies in this range are known to cause the release of HGH (Human Growth Hormone), which is essential for cell repair, healing and is also associated with slowing the aging process. Delta waves, along with waves even lower are associated with relieving the symptoms associated with arthritis and other conditions that produce ongoing chronic pain.
Here is the enhanced brain function you can achieve after just 6 minutes!

    Keep in mind that the brain can put out several frequencies at once. It was once thought that only one frequency at a time was produced.
    Here are some links that you might find interesting and will help to get you started.
    • guide-to-self-help-techniques.com/brainwave.html - This site has a lot of information regarding the slower frequencies that have a lot to do with peace of mind, ADHD treatment, cell growth and healing. A lot of helpful links are available there as well.
    • transparentcorp.com - Although this site sells brainwave entrainment programs, I still recommend visiting here. There are lots and lots of great pages with great printouts of EEG tests with information about how the brain produces waves. You can also download their programs for a free trial period. I highly recommend them for their ease of use and cutting edge technology. Their programs use isochronic tones instead of binaural beats. Not only are isochronic tones found to produce much greater results than the binaural beats, you can listen to them without earphones, leaving you free to be more comfortable.
    A word of encouragement. Although it all may seem confusing at first, you will catch on quickly.
    My personal favorite program is from Blissive Software, called Natura Sound Therapy. I love the fact that all I have to do is slide the slider or click the button. The background sounds are easily customized and I was able to understand and use the program easily the very first time I used it. Click Here to check out their site and download a free trial.

    The programs at transparentcorp are a great place to start because of the great preconfigured tracks, user friendly pop up tutorials and ease of use. You don't have to give any information to download the free trial and if you can't afford to buy it, then there are also some sites that have been put together by people who have their programs and have created some great tracks that you can listen to on your computer of mp3 player. I recommend the free download even for awhile since they have some great tutorials that walk you through using the programs.