The human brain is a powerful thing. Brainwave Entrainment is a safe, simple method of calming the activity in your mind using music to help you achieve a state of relaxation or even sleep. By listening to specially prepared sounds known as Binaural Beats, your mind will gradually adjust its natural rhythms, to match whatever style of beat you are listening to.
Listening to brainwave entrainment music can provide you with some of the benefits of meditation. It could improve your mental clarity, your creativity and your ability to learn and to concentrate. It can help to bring you peace of mind and emotional stability. It is also one of the most natural ways to treat Insomnia and can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep. It is not a shortcut to a proper practice but it can be used to enhance your meditation experience, although should not be used daily, you still need to train your brain to reach the correct states by itself.
The Science Bit
The frequency of your brain activity will vary depending on your mental state. For example, if you are feeling very alert or busy minded, then your brain’s dominant frequency will be faster than if you are feeling relaxed. Brain activity is normally categorized into the following four major groups, each corresponding to a different frequency.
Beta Brain waves- 12 Hz to 30 Hz
Beta waves are your waves that show for normal consciousness and everyday activity
Alpha Brain Waves – 8 Hz to 12 Hz
When alpha brain waves are the dominant frequency in your brain, you will usually be feeling very relaxed, but aware. When you are waking up in the morning or just beginning to drift off at night you are probably in a state of alpha relaxation. You are awake, but with your eyes closed. When you are in a state of alpha relaxation, your mind is quite clear and receptive to information. Your sense of creativity and your ability to come to new realizations or insights is enhanced when you are “in alpha”.
Research has found that the ideal state for learning is when the brain is in this relaxed, but aware state. This is the state that you can achieve quite easily by relaxing, listening to a guided meditation,or while sitting for a session of formal meditation. This alpha wave state of mind is great for relieving stress. While you are in a state of alpha relaxation, you are also very open to positive suggestions, so it is during this alpha state, while you are still awake, that you may choose to recite some positive affirmations to yourself. Your subconscious mind will be more open to absorbing and adopting the positive words and images that you choose to experience when you are in a state of alpha relaxation.
Theta Brain waves – 4 Hz to 7 Hz
Theta brain waves usually become apparent when you are feeling extremely relaxed or when you are first falling asleep. Theta brainwaves will also show up strongly when you are in a state of deep meditation. While in a state of theta relaxation, your blood pressure, breathing and heart rate will all slow to a much more restful and healthy level that promotes natural healing. You may also experience vivid flashes of mental imagery as you become receptive to memories or subconscious information that is not available to you during your normal waking state. The theta state is a very deep state of relaxation that is may be used for hypnosis, Past life regression, accelerated learning and mental programming. Theta relaxation is a wonderful, dreamy feeling that washes stress away and leaves you feeling very rested. It’s all but impossible to feel stressed during theta relaxation.
Delta Brain waves – 0.1 Hz to 4 Hz
Delta brainwaves dominate during deep sleep. It is during this deepest state of complete relaxation that your body heals itself and resets its internal clock. The delta state is a dreamless, completely unconscious sleep state that allows your body and brain to rest and repair. Without it, you could not survive.
Sound can be used to change the frequency of your brain activity. Just as brainwaves are measured in Hertz, so too are the frequencies of sound, and we can use sound, in the form of binaural beats, to train your brain to enter a state of deep meditation. This is known as brainwave entrainment. The frequency of your brain will change in response to the frequency of the binaural beat that it is exposed to, it will begin to match the frequency. So a meditative state may be around 5 Hz, so you could listen to binaural beats of that frequency to experience similar benefits to meditation. Although not as effective as the real thing, occasional use will definitely relax you. The beauty of binaural meditation music is that it works on two levels. First of all, the music itself gives your mind something soothing to occupy itself with so that you are less inclined to continue mulling over troublesome thoughts. Secondly, the binaural beats that are blended with the music have a direct effect on your brain activity, gradually slowing the activity of the mind and literally guiding you into a state of deep meditation. Even if you are an experienced meditator you will achieve even greater depth and stillness in your meditation by complementing your practice with the use of binaural meditation music. There are lots of Binaural Beats tracks available on You Tube and for download. Have a quiet five minutes to yourself, sit and try some out and see if it helps to improve your meditation.