To understand how brainwave entrainment works a understanding about brainwaves will be helpful. The 4 most common brainwaves arebeta(13 hz - 30 hz),alpha(8 hz - 12 hz),theta(4 hz - 8 hz), anddelta(0.5 hz - 4 hz). Although all 4 brainwaves are active in the brain at all times, one of these patterns is usually dominant depending on whether you are busy, emotional, relaxing, sleeping etc. Your dominant brainwave pattern is responsible for your state of awareness at any given moment.
Following is a brief description of the beta, alpha, theta, and delta brainwave states:
Beta waves (13 to 40 Hz )- Beta is identified with active, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration.
Alpha waves (8 to 12 Hz )- When we begin to relax or begin to get drowsy, but are still awake and conscious, when we are day dreaming, we are at the alpha level.
Theta waves (4 to 8 Hz)- When we are asleep and have dreams, and experience rapid eye movement (REM), and have hallucinations, and even when we experience deep meditation, we are at the theta level. When we lucid dream (this is when you are conscious while you are dreaming) we are at the theta level.
Delta waves (0.5 to 4 Hz)- Delta waves are usually associated with deep, slow brain activity found in deep sleep. Delta waves are experienced predominantly in newborn infants, as well as in healthy adults in deep rejuvenating sleep, or in very deep states of brain enhancing, emotional cleansing, bodily renewing meditation.
Gamma and HyperGamma brainwaves(30 hz - 100 hz) which are usually very weak in the average person. However recent studies show that gamma brainwaves have been found to be very strong in Tibetan monks while doing a Loving Kindness meditation.
Lambda brainwaves(100 hz - 200 hz) are very high brainwave frequencies associated with wholeness, integration and mystical experiences. Furthermore, lambda brainwaves have been found to ride onepsilonbrainwaves in the range of 0.5 hz or lower. (Recently the brainwaves below 0.5 hz have been classified as a separate band calledEpsilon.)
Those who are advanced in meditation experience hyper gamma and lambda brainwaves which are normally very weak, or even nonexistent, in the average person. Mystical consciousness is associated with hyper gamma and lambda brainwave activity where epsilon brainwaves are present.(SeeBrainwave Chart).
"Brainwave synchronization or "brainwave entrainment", is any practice that aims to cause brainwave frequency to fall into step with a periodic stimulus having a frequency corresponding to the intended brain-state (for example, to induce sleep). 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."
The human ear can't hear lower frequencies within the 0.1 hz - 15 hz range. This is where brainwave entrainment can help. Binaural beats, for example, trick the nervous system into perceiving lower frequencies. For example, when you listen to a 200 hz tone in one ear, and a 210 hz tone in the other ear, the human nervous system will try to resolve the input from both ears and manufacture a "phantom" 10 Hz tone. This is the actual binaural beat.
Binaural beatsare the most recognized form of brainwave entrainment. With binaural beats a slightly different tone is presented into each ear. The tones then combine in the brain to form a pulse or "beat". The pulse heard by the listener is actually the difference between the two tones. For example, if the left ear is given a tone at 200 hertz and the right ear is given a tone of 210 hertz, then the listener will hear a beat of 10 hertz. And the brain will entrain to that rhythm. By listening to a brainwave entrainment mp3 embedded with binaural beats designed with a 10 hz frequency relaxation will follow as your brain becomes "entrained" by the repititious rhythm of the binaural beats.
Monaural beats(similar to isochronic tones) use a single tone that is manually spaced, turning on and off in a precise pattern, whether a 10 hz pattern, or 9 hz, 8, hz, .3 hz etc.
Isochronic tonesare similar to monaural beats, but a little sharper. The tone pulses of isochronic tones turn on and off very fast which indices the brain to synchronize with the pulses. Some are of the opinion that isochronic tones are more effective than binaural beats (when used alone) and monaural beats (when used alone). An advantage of using isochronic tones is that you do not need to listen using headphones although headphones are always recommended for optimal results no matter what type of audio entrainment.
Harmonic Box Xis a tone-based brainwave entrainment method described by James Mann in his book, Awakening Mind 1. The method is unique in that it incorporatesboth monaural and binaural beats, in a harmonic formation.Harmonic box x is believed to be the most effective of all the above mentioned entrainment methods (binaural beats, monaural beats, isochronic tones). Harmonic Box X has been described this way: "Box X is called "Harmonic" because of the arrangement of the tones. Two binaural beats are set up to stimulate the primary brainwave frequency, and the voices are arranged in a way that creates a "crossover" beat of double the primary frequency (double = harmonic). Finally, the tones in one ear are set up to beat at triple the primary frequency, and the other ear is set up with the primary frequency."
Post from old Bwgen forum:"After trying harmonic box x, Wow!, is all I can say. What power! I just wished I had this method a few years ago.....It makes ALL the difference. It basically uses harmonics of the frequency you want to use. Say for example you have a beat frequency of 10Hz and pitch of 200Hz. This would be voice 1. For voice two you would make the beat to -10Hz and the pitch would be 10Hz x 2=20Hz, 200-20Hz=180Hz. 180 Hz would be the pitch for voice 2. This creates from memory two binaural beats plus 2 monaural beats. This is really simple to do but has quite powerful results."
In our 4 mp3 series' (Alpha, Theta, Delta, Epsilon), which is also available as a whole in the Ultimate Brainwave Entrainment Mp3 Program, we utilizeHarmonic box x.
By now you are probably wondering what harmonic box sounds like, or even what binaural beats, monaural beats or isochronic tones sound like. Well, they sound kind of dull and boring by themselves and most people will give up listening to them after a few seconds before the tones have a chance to be effective. For this reason we combined the harmonic box x entrainment with ambient music (see our samples).
Following are samples of plain tones without any music just so you can hear the difference between the entrainment methods and also the difference between higher frequencies and lower frequencies etc.
You need good headphones otherwise you won't hear the Binaural Beats or lower frequencies (3 hz with 55 hz)
All this info we shared may sound complicated and complex in some cases. But What you really need to know is that brainwave entrainment is highly effective and easily fits into your daily routine. Just 20 minutes to an hour a day listening to brainwave entrainment mp3's you begin to reap the rewards.
Meditation is key to a truly healthy life on all levels, and by daily listening to our brainwave entrainment mp3's can quicken your meditation practice.