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Brainwave Entrainment is Near-Instant Meditation

psychodelic art of a human head and waves of color from sound all around used as the header image for the brainwave entrainment article on the Ultimate Healing Guide

Art by tryppi http://tryppi.tumblr.com/image/113584310014

Synthesized Sound Waves

When I recently discovered that the same synthesizers I use to compose cinematic soundtracks could be used to generate healing waves of sound, I was blown away. As a composer, I’ve always been very aware that I was creating my own music to mesmerize myself with it. I could come home after a very stressful day at work, fire up my keyboards and be in my own universe floating free of problems within minutes of letting the music flow through my fingers. Plus, the pure tones of synth sounds have always been very hypnotizing to me.

Music has been an integral part of humanity’s personal entrainment for many years without any of us ever knowing the words “brainwave entrainment”. But as a musician and composer, it’s amazing this entire genre of sound creation was going on for well over a decade without my awareness; I was far too focused on creating pop and cinematic music to notice!

Quite simply, I can create a pure sine wave of, say, 30Hz in your left ear, and another pure sine wave of 36Hz in your right ear, and your brain is forced to calculate the difference between the two. After listening to these simple frequencies for 6-10 minutes, our brain will start to synchronize to the frequency difference. In this case, 6Hz is one of the natural frequencies of our brain during sleep, and this simple combination of tones can potentially put us to sleep just by listening. Or it can be used as a powerful aid in winding down the mind as a form of near-instant meditation.

What is Brainwave Entrainment?

Here’s what brainwave entrainment is all about: tuning the brain’s frequency to the desired setting using a specifically-designed audio track. Such audio tracks are composed by folks with synthesizers or otherwise generated by brainwave entrainment software. The “desired setting” we’re after, to help distract from chronic pain or at least help us get to sleep, is listening to pure sine-wave audio designed to wind down our mind and help us relax. We can change the gears in our brain by listening to audio tracks designed to do so!

Generally, these types of audio tracks are referred to as “binaural beats.” The reason is that when created properly, two audio sine waves collide in our brains the same way water waves can pass through each other; when this happens with sound, we perceive the wave peaks and troughs as audio beats. The perceived audio beating or pulsing can range from obnoxious to almost imperceptible. 

Our Brain’s Operating Frequency Can Be Safely Manipulated

Our brain generates electrical activity which can be measured and turns out the brain generates different frequencies depending upon what we’re doing. If we’re upset and anxious, our brains can get pretty revved up and may even red-line like an engine or metaphorically blow a fuse. Likewise, when we’re calm, focused, or in the middle of a project, our brains are running at a lower frequency than when we’re driving on the highway. Then of course when we go to sleep, our brainwave frequencies slow way down.

People have been studying this phenomenon for at least 30 years, and have mapped out different brainwave frequencies and their corresponding effect upon our physiology and consciousness. There are about five different states and frequency ranges our brain naturally goes through every day.

What if you feel like your brain is racing, you’re having a panic attack, or are about to have a pain flare up – and you’ve got no way to wind down the mind? Just put in your earbuds and listen to some “binaural frequencies” in the range of 8-12Hz, and your brain will synchronize to that frequency in about 10 minutes. The result? Calm mind, inner focus.

Brainwave entrainment is simple, safe, and works for almost everyone. Listening to “binaural beats” on earbuds is the easiest form to practice; when you want to stop, turn off the sound or remove your earbuds. Simple!

Hypnosis: You’re Getting Sleepy

Remember old movies where a psychiatrist would hypnotize someone by swinging a pocket watch in front of their eyes? It has always seemed hokey to me. Hollywood loved to use the mechanism of hypnosis to allow a doctor or psychiatrist to “take over control of someone’s mind.”

Mainstream pop culture has trained us to believe that hypnosis is something to avoid if possible, like a surgery, because it makes us feel unsafe. The concept of giving up control to someone as easily as being hypnotized is a scary concept. Many of us don’t really care to find out whether it’s real or not.

Although I’ve never really “believed” much in hypnosis, turns out we’ve all been doing it to ourselves most of our lives. Any time we fall into a daydream or stare off into space while either recalling old memories or planning future events, we could be considered to be “entranced,” or in a meditative state. Sometimes when we’ve fallen into this state of reverie, it’s difficult for us to extricate ourselves from wherever our mind has gone.

Just saying; entrainment has always been with us, along with self-reflection and self-healing.

Self-Hypnosis Is Easier Than Ever

Now that I understand what entrainment is, I use binaural beats to self-hypnotize and achieve states of inner calm like never before, effortlessly. Binaural beats are frequencies especially created to stimulate the brain into following specific brainwave frequencies. There are thousands of these types of tracks on YouTube, but most of them are pretty worthless.

Contrary to what Hollywood would like us to think about hypnosis, I never feel like I’m losing control of my mind or becoming susceptible to hypnotic suggestion; quite the opposite.  When I’m using binaural audio entrainment for the purpose of meditation, I feel like my self-awareness expands in all directions, while my pain and thoughts move away somewhere off in the distance. Entrainment is not quite the “disembodied awareness” which floatation therapy allows, but it is very powerful nonetheless.

Listening to a couple binaural tracks has become a part of my daily meditation routine. I listen to two specific tracks every single morning with headphones; one to reduce tension pain and calm down, and the second to balance my brainwaves for focus alertness before I begin my daily exercise. I even listen to binaural or isochronic tones while working.

So, really, the idea of entraining people by using sound or repetitive motion isn’t anything new. It’s a gentle method to persuade your mind to calm down, which in turn allows you to calm your body down. Our anxiety and pain can disappear simply by listening to some audio. That’s pretty exciting.

BINAURAL TRAIN – by Les Konley

Frequencies of Instant Meditation

Since our brainwave frequencies are related to states of mind, then we can safely use audio to stimulate our brain into the same relaxed states achieved by meditation. Therefore, simply listening to some frequencies which can calm our mind is a form of meditation. 

Instead of struggling to learn whether you’re doing meditation properly, spend some hours listening to different binaural (with headphones) and isochronic tones (with speakers) available on the internet – and eventually, you’ll find some sounds which resonate perfectly with you. From many dozens of samplings, I have only found about three tracks which I like and which work much better than all the rest.

Start a collection of go-to sounds  that help you calm your mind. And always remember to breathe deeply while listening, and you won’t be able to avoid the experience of deep relaxation.

Binaural Beats for Sleep

Good binaural tracks, enjoyed with earbuds, can help induce the same brainwaves associated with sleep, and therefore makes for a powerful new tool against insomnia. The track I created above usually makes me groggy regardless of the time of day I listen to it, especially if I listen twice. In order for frequencies to work to put you to sleep, they need to be in the target between 4Hz and about 8Hz, so just do a search on YouTube for “Binaural Beats for Sleep 4Hz” and be sure to listen for at least 20-30 minutes if you expect the tracks to work for you.

Binaural Beats for Chronic Pain Management

Be sure to check out the article on Brainwave Entrainment within the Ultimate Healing Guide for more in-depth resources on how to practice instant meditation with binaural audio. It would be a shame if you didn’t try it at least 30 days in a row – to help with getting to sleep, or to help wind down morning anxiety.