5 Common Questions about Brainwave Entrainment Answered

Brainwave entrainment has become more and more popular in recent years, and rightly so, as it can help people to improve their lives in dramatic ways. However it is also one of the most misunderstood self improvement methods and one I get asked to explain again and again. Hopefully I can clear things up; so here are the 5 most common questions (and answers) about brain wave entrainment:

1. What Is Brainwave Entrainment?

When using brainwave entrainment, you are exposed to a periodically repeating pulse of sound or light. The purpose of this is to cause the frequency of your brainwaves to match the frequency of the stimulus. This works thanks to a natural phenomenon called the 'frequency following response'.

Brainwave entrainment is useful because specific mental states are associated with the production of specific brainwave frequencies. So by listening to particular frequencies you can access these various states of mind more easily.

Lets say you’ve been feeling pretty stressed lately and so want to access a really deep, relaxed state of mind. Well this is relatively easy with brain entrainment, but would normally require a lot of practice to achieve through unaided meditation.

2. What Are The Main Types Of Brainwave Entrainment Technology?

Sound and light are the most commonly used methods, with sound recordings being the cheapest and most accessible form. Sound-based entrainment techniques include binaural beats, monaural beats and isochronic tones.

- Binaural beats are the oldest and most widely used technology. They work by playing two tones, one through each ear. Each tone has a different frequency, and the brain integrates the two tones to produce the third ‘entrainment’ tone. This self-created third tone has a frequency that is equal to the difference between the first two tones.

- Monaural beats also uses two tones, but in this case they are combined before reaching the ear, so the brain doesn't need to do the work of creating its own tone to entrain to.

- Isochronic tones are the newest form of brainwave entrainment technology. A distinct sound pulse is turned on and off rapidly at the frequency you want to entrain to. Research suggests these as the most effective individual method but the most powerful entrainment results are produced by combining all 3 methods.

3. What Is Brainwave Entrainment Used For?

There are so many uses for brainwave entrainment this is actually a really difficult question to answer. Basically there as two types of benefits you can get;

First the specific benefits from being able to get into a specific state of mind so if you want to be relaxed, or more focused, or in receptive states to learn, there are literally as many uses as there are states of mind.

And secondly there are a number of more general benefits that you will start to experience after a few weeks of daily use as a result of increased whole brain functioning. Some key benefits include:
- Increased ability to learn and focus
- Enhanced creativity and problem solving as the connection between your rational conscious and intuitive subconscious develops
- Feeling calmer, more relaxed and more in control
- Boost in energy and motivation

4. Does Brainwave Entrainment Really Work?

Yes, brainwave entrainment does work - this is a very thoroughly researched technique with a lot of scientific backing. Binaural beats in particular have been extensively studied since their discovery back in the 19th century.

As with any technique not everyone seems to get the results they want from brainwave entrainment. However in my experience in most cases this is simply because people don't stick with it for long enough to see the really big results. Although you will feel some benefits immediately after the first time, it usually takes a couple of weeks of consistent use before you’ll start to notice yourself the effects as you go about your life day to day.

5. Is Brainwave Entrainment Safe?

Light-based programs can carry a risk for those who are epileptic or have similar disorders, as flashing lights can trigger seizures, but if you stick to sound based entrainment methods you won’t have any problems.

One really important point to remember is to only use a good quality recording; otherwise you'll just be wasting your time. Many of the finely tuned pulses and frequencies used in genuine recordings are lost in conversion to other file formats, especially in combination entrainment methods.


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