Brainwave Entrainment a Scam?
Instant Success With Brainwave Entrainment?
Proponents of Brainwave Entrainment often have wild claims like "In Just One Hour, You Can Learn The Long-Lost (Almost Illegal) Mind-Power Secrets That Still Scare Professors, Priests & Politicians to Death!"
But what is the buzz all about? Let's delve a little deeper into this phenomenon called Brainwave Entrainment...
Extravagant Claims With Brainwave Entrainment
Just What is Brainwave Entrainment?
Brainwave Entrainment, or "brainwave synchronization" is the practice of entraining one's brainwaves to a desired frequency (for example, to induce sleep), by means of a periodic stimulus with corresponding frequency. It depends upon a "frequency following" response, a naturally occurring phenomenon where the human brain has a tendency to change its dominant EEG frequency towards the frequency of a dominant external stimulus. Such a stimulus may be aural, as in the case of binaural beats, monaural beats, and isochronic tones, or else visual, as with a dream machine, a combination of the two with a mind machine, or even electromagnetic radiation.
But that all sounds like techno babble. Surely there's a simpler explanation?
Brainwave Entrainment for Dummies
Very simply, listening to a CD with the correct frequencies can transport you easily and quickly to a meditative state, which can help to achieve personal growth and improvement. If you like the idea of getting all the proven benefits of meditation, without the self discipline and work normally required, brainwave entrainment is claimed to be a good option.
You've probably read how brain wave frequencies vary according to mental state. Daydreaming and light meditation take place in the "Alpha" range of frequencies, for example. So if you listen to music containing beats at a frequency of 10 Hz it will feel very relaxing, because your brain will begin to follow this frequency and reproduce the rhythm in the music. You will automatically generate more brain waves at a 10 Hz frequency and enter a relaxed Alpha mental state.
However, not all brainwave products are dedicated to helping you achieve long-term personal growth and improvement. Many products offer temporary effects, but do not help the listener achieve long-term benefits and results. Ideally, you should look for products designed to help you improve your mental and emotional well-being for long-term results. While it would take years, possibly decades, of training to achieve these positive results through traditional meditation techniques or other personal growth programs, some listeners of Brainwave Entrainment products claim to experience the same results and more in an incredibly accelerated timeframe.
Some providers of this audio technology claim to assist you in reaching levels of consciousness as deep and often deeper than those reached by experienced meditators, Zen monks, and Yogis who have been practicing meditation for years. If done correctly, they say, you should feel right away the physical response to this deeply relaxing state. But the physical response is only the first thing you'll notice. Within only a few days, most listeners also claim to see an improvement in the quality of their sleep and a reduction in stress. They say they begin to notice that you feel more calm, relaxed and refreshed. Apparently, each time you listen, brainwave entrainment audio technology will work to stimulate your brain while in this deeply relaxed meditative state, triggering neural pathways to fire, enhancing communication between various parts of the brain, and bringing your brain into a state of "hemispheric synchronization".
For a brief video of this wacky new term, watch the short video below.
What the Heck is Hemispheric Synchronization?
States of Consciousness
- Beta (14 - 30 hertz) - Dominant rhythm when awake, alert or anxious, with eyes open.
- Alpha (8 - 14 hertz) - Relaxed alertness; normally is induced by closing the eyes and relaxing.
- Theta (4 - 8 hertz) - Drowsiness, first stage of sleep; not common in awake adults, but common in daydreaming children.
- Delta (below 5 hertz) - Deep sleep.
Meditation can stimulate these states. Sounds can as well. Listening to specific sounds is the principle behind brainwave entrainment technologies.
The Human Brain
What Does Research Say About Brainwave Entrainment?
Research has apparently shown that this same state of "brain synchronization" is consistently found in the brainwave patterns of highly intelligent, creative, and successful individuals. This state of synchronization is the ultimate goal of many meditators since it allows one to tap into levels of mental performance not normally reached in everyday life.
Mark Joyner, the #1 best-selling author of Simpleology and a highly successful entrepreneur, says this:
"I've played with various types of brainwave entrainment tools for years. Some of them have worked amazingly well for me. Some of them had no effect whatsoever. The Brain Evolution System was one of the few that worked amazingly well. I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot.”
So it appears that some products work, and others do not. The question is how to find those that do.
What these new products do is embed music, or the sounds of water or wind, with beats and pulses that entrain your brain waves to a specific frequency.
It is well established that our brain wave frequencies change with our mental states and vice versa. It is has also been clearly demonstrated that meditators can go into an alpha state at will, and that this has beneficial effects (lowering of stress, blood pressure, etc.). Do the audio recordings accomplish this more easily?
They sure seem to work easily for me. Two products in particular put me in a peaceful state unlike any other music or meditative practice. Studies will prove the effects (some have already), and disprove the wilder claims of some of these products. Given the results I experienced, however, I won't wait for the research, any more than I would have waited a hundred years ago for proof of the existence of vitamin C before I'd continue eating limes to cure scurvy.
The brain bustles with electrical activity during every moment of our lives. Billions of neurons constantly firing on and off form waves that we call brainwaves. These waves can be found bustling about at different speeds during any given time. But there will always be a predominant speed where most of these waves synchronize.
The speed of a brainwave is called a frequency - this frequency is measured in Hertz. Scientists who first measured these waves found that they were connected to mind states. Brainwaves have been divided into four predominant speed ranges, or types. Brainwave types are connected to different mind states, or states of consciousness.
Each brainwave type contains smaller bands relating to specific functions of body and mind. Some complex mental states relate to specific frequencies that repeat in patterns. There are also mind/body processes connected to single frequencies.
Sound has a very small effect on brainwaves when used alone, and shifting a mindstate effectively requires more than stimulation from sound at a sustained frequency.
There are other products and methods on the market such as NLP and various software packages that use sound for entrainment - pulses of sound, music encoded with pulses of sound, different types of binaural beats, and combinations of these. But their own studies show that the effect of any sound based entrainment is much less when compared to light - and very minimal when compared to entrainment methods using synchronized light and sound.
Some of the most common reasons that listeners use brainwave entrainment products are:
- Reducing Stress
- Exploring Altered States
- Increasing Energy
- Having Fun
- Enhancing Creativity
- Promoting Sleep or Deeper Sleep
- Achieving Calm
- Reaching Meditative States
- Effecting Mood and Emotions
- Sports Performance