In today’s day and age, experts in the fields of neurology, psychology, self-help and medical health know how brainwave entrainment works and have thus been using its power to help out their clients and patients as needed. So far, the advancements made in this technology’s effectiveness have been very helpful.
Brainwave Entrainment – What Is It?
Although still relatively new, this field is growing quite quickly and basically involves the overall study of naturally changing a person’s brainwaves to help them enter states of mind involving increased intelligence, relaxation, creativity and pure energy with ease. Both scientists and researchers have actually come to find that different brainwaves tend to be linked to these different states of mind. Scientific studies have even shown that they can provide insight to a person’s mind and body, as well as be stimulated in a way that the person’s current mind state changes completely. By producing and decreasing certain brainwave frequencies in the mind, it then becomes possible to create various emotional reactions and states of mind altogether.
How Brainwave Entrainment Works
Here is how brainwave entrainment works: in general, the brain consists of billions of neurons that use electrical signals to communicate with one another. As these neurons simultaneously send out signals, a lot of electrical activity occurs. This activity is sometimes referred to as brainwave patterns because of its cyclic and wave-like nature. Brain entrainment in itself, on the other hand, refers to a physics principle, where two cycles naturally synchronize with one another to work efficiently and successfully. This technology can be used in astronomy, chemistry and electrical systems, as well as in the brain.
Once the brain is stimulated by the senses, electrical charges are emitted, called Cortical Evoked Responses. These responses then move through the brain and turn into what the person hears and sees. If the brain experiences a repeating and consistent stimulus, like light flashes or drum beats, it usually responds by entraining or synchronizing its electrical cycles to match those rhythms. This process is known as a Frequency Following Response, and can effectively change a person’s brainwave patterns as needed. This is basically how brainwave entrainment works.
Advancements In Brainwave Entrainment
Within the past decade, various advancements have already been made in brainwave entrainment and the functions of the brain. Studies actually show that a lot of people do not use their brains to their full capacities. However, if you target the right brainwave band related to the metal states of strong and intense concentration, you can actually improve your overall academic performance. Aside from that, entrainment can be used to bring about relaxing states and deep meditative states, as well. This can especially benefit people who want to complete certain kinds of artworks and jobs or reach special spiritual states.
One case study that was published in 1999 shows exactly how brainwave entrainment works. This study involved 8 students in college who had trouble with their schoolwork. After going through audio-visual brainwave stimulation, these students ended up doing better than the control group that they were facing and boosted their GPA consistently, even after they were done with the treatment!
Doctors then figured out that neuro-feedback brainwave training within an Hz range of 15 to 18 Hz can actually bring about significant changes in a person’s IQ score, most of all in people who have disorders like ADD or ADHD. People who started out with an IQ value that was lower than 100 increased their IQ by at least 33 points in the end! They also experienced significant improvements in terms of arithmetic, memory and reading. During the follow-up the year after, trainees also showed significant improvements in their self-expression, self-confidence and focus.
Altering The Brainwave
The most common method that proves how brainwave entrainment works would involve binaural beats, which also happens to be the earliest type of brainwave entrainment out there. Binaural beats basically send two tones that are slightly different from each other into each ear. In the brain, these tones will come together to form a single beat or pulse that the listener will hear. The right ear might be given a 30 Hz tone, for instance, and the left ear might be given a 20 Hz tone to produce a 10 Hz beat. The brain will then entrain to that particular rhythm.
Although binaural beats happen to be the most common piece of proof on how brainwave entrainment works, there are also other methods that are becoming more popular by the day, as well, such as Isochronic Tones. These tones aren’t as popular as binaural beats, but tend to be more effective in the long run. In a nutshell, isochronic entrainment only involves a single manually spaced tone that is turned on and turned off in a certain pattern to make audio entrainment more effective in the end.
How Brainwave Entrainment Works Better with Isochronic Tones
- Binaural beats involves special speakers or headphones for their use. Isochronic tones, on the other hand, do not involve any kinds of speakers, so they can be used as is.
- Binaural beats cannot entrain the hemispheres of the brain one by one since they require the use of both ears. This can prove to be a major disadvantage if your clinical entrainment protocol of choice requires separate stimulation in each ear.
- Studies show that isochronic tones are much more effective than binaural beats because of how your brain ends up taking in the beats during the entire process.
How brainwave entrainment works and how strong the Cortical Evoked Responses are overall will depend on the overall difference between the troughs and peaks in the brainwave patterns. If you look at the patterns of binaural beats on a monitor, they will clearly appear shallow. This makes the brain entrainment more difficult to detect since it only leaves a small electrical imprint in the human brain. Conversely, the patterns of isochronic tones show separate and individual pulses, thus resulting in higher evoked potentials in the brain’s auditory cortex.