Brain Entrainment Technology Vs. Brainwave Biofeedback
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While studies show brainwave biofeedback techniques are helpful for some conditions, the field’s image has suffered from the over-hyped claims of fringe groups who sought
altered states and
the solution to all human problems.
Brainwave biofeedback requires some effort, although today practitioners have made it fun through computer games - some that teach kids with ADD to increase their beta waves and enjoy better concentration. Recommended by well-known holistic practitioners, these techniques are slowly becoming more mainstream.
On the other hand, the more "passive" brain entrainment technology, at this time supported by mostly anecdotal reports of its ability to “re-train” the brain abound, has found its place for good in the holistic care of many illnesses and health disorders, especially in people with multiple, complex needs.
Entrainment is a principle for piano-tuners and bridge-builders alike: how objects in movement can affect each other and synchronize.
A bridge must be able to withstand the heavy vibrations created, and at times amplified, by traffic.
A vibrating piano tuning fork will cause another tuning fork to vibrate in sync if they’re close enough.
During entrainment, the listener’s brainwaves become synchronized with rhythms embedded in the recording.
As dominant brainwave states are linked with different states of consciousness - delta with sleep, for example, or beta with concentration - the theory goes that if the brain is tuned to a desired wave pattern, the desired state of consciousness will be created.
You may be consciously - or unconsciously - seeking entrainment. Ancient warriors drummed themselves into pre-battle trance states, while today’s club-hoppers boost their theta waves by listening to trance music.
While it’s possible to entrain the brain to certain frequencies, no one knows for sure if creating specific wave patterns will induce the desired states of consciousness - even though these states are reached through other methods, such as by practicing yoga or meditation.
Although brainwave entrainment has potential, further studies are needed on the uses of brain entrainment for better health.
Einstein, however, once said: “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be science.”
The Insight CD uses a specific type of audio technology to guide your brain into various brainwave states. To understand why this detail is significant, it is important to understand how the brain contributes to a person's state of mind and level of consciousness.
There are several types of brainwave states. Your brain consistently cycles through each of these brainwave states many times throughout the day and night. It is a completely natural biological occurrence in every human being.
Your brain does not operate in only one brainwave state at a time but instead pulses in all these brainwave states simultaneously, with one of the states being dominant at any given time.
The dominant state indicates your "state of mind" or level of consciousness. Each of these brainwave states occurs in a specific frequency range.
Gamma: 40Hz or Higher
Gamma brainwave states are the most rapid in frequency. They have received the least attention and research, although more attention is currently being paid to them than in years past.
Research has indicated that your brainwaves briefly reach the Gamma state at moments during:
bursts of precognition or
processing of high-level information.
The Gamma brainwave state corresponds to frequencies of 40Hz or higher.
Beta: 13Hz - 40Hz
The Beta brainwave state is associated with a heightened state of alertness and focused concentration. When your mind is actively engaged in mental activities, the dominant brainwave state will be Beta. A person would be in a Beta state:
in active conversation
playing sports or
making a presentation.
The Beta brainwave state corresponds to frequencies ranging from 13Hz to 40Hz.
Alpha: 8 Hz - 12 Hz
Alpha brainwaves are slower in frequency than Beta brainwaves and represent a state of relaxed mental awareness or reflection. Alpha brainwave states are typically associated with:
problem solving and
accessing deeper levels of creativity.
The Alpha brainwave state corresponds to frequencies ranging from 8 Hz to 12 Hz.
Theta: 4Hz - 8 Hz
Theta brainwaves are even slower in frequency and represent a state of:
Research has proven thirty minutes a day of Theta meditation can dramatically improve a person's overall health and well-being.
deep relaxation and meditation
light sleep and dreaming.
Theta brainwave states have been used in meditation for centuries. Theta meditation has also been known to cause the need for less sleep.
The Theta brainwave state corresponds to frequencies ranging from 4Hz to 8 Hz.
Delta: 0Hz - 4Hz
Delta brainwaves are the slowest in frequency. They
represent a state of deep dreamless sleep and
have long been associated with healing
While Delta brainwave states usually only occur in deep sleep, it is possible to train yourself to remain awake while reaching the Delta state to experience even deeper levels of meditation and awareness.
The Delta brainwave state corresponds to frequencies from 0Hz to 4Hz.
With the help of the Insight audio technology, you can guide your brain into any of these brainwave states naturally and effortlessly, simply by listening to an audio CD using stereo headphones.
No special equipment is required. As long as you are using stereo headphones, you can listen to the Insight CD via:
a portable CD player, or
even your computer's CD-ROM drive.
The choice is yours.
Binaural (Stereophonic) Beats
Binaural (stereophonic) beats are made when tones of slightly different frequencies are sent to each ear, causing the two hemispheres of the brain to “hear” the silent difference between the tones as a third signal.
This gets the hemispheres electrically in-sync for more powerful, unified brainwaves - like two sets of vibrations, merging together, amplifying and shaking the bridge.
The process can also be done with light or even touch; it’s all about creating a stimulus to excite nerves to fire into the brain.
Binaural beats are useful for entrainment but for them to work their best magic, one’s ears need to be tuned-in to separate speakers.
A study published by the journal Physiology & Behavior (Vol. 63, 1998), suggests binaural beats can affect subjects’ performance and mood.
Using an electroencephalograph (EEG), the researchers compared the effects of beta and theta/delta ranges on 29 people.
The results imply the beta-inducing beats helped the subjects do tasks requiring attention better and more cheerfully, while the theta/delta beats impaired the subjects’ ability to think clearly and left them feeling low-key.
Studies like this look promising.
Binaural (stereophonic) beats were originally discovered in 1839 by German experimenter H. W. Dove. He discovered when signals of two different frequencies are presented separately, one to each ear, the brain detects the phase variation between the frequencies and tries to "reconcile" that difference.
In doing so, as the two frequencies mesh in and out of phase, the brain creates its own third "phantom" signal - a binaural (stereophonic) beat - equal to the difference between those two frequencies.
Research has proven that introducing a binaural (stereophonic) beat will cause the brain to begin resonating in tune with the frequency of that beat.
For example, if a frequency of 100 Hz is presented to the left ear, and a frequency of 105 Hz is presented to the right ear, the brain "hears" a third frequency pulsing at 5 Hz, the exact difference between the two frequencies.
This is called the Frequency Following Response and was thoroughly researched and tested in 1973 by biophysicist Gerald Oster at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
His research on binaural (stereophonic) beats and the frequency following response was published in Scientific American and paved the way for further development in the area of auditory stimulation to enhance brain functioning.
Since that time, binaural (stereophonic) beat technology has been endorsed by scores of doctors and scientists around the world.
Binaural (Stereophonic) Beats in History
From the droning chant of Tibetan monks to the rhythmic beat of a Native American drum, sound has played an important role in healing and spiritual practice throughout history. Primitive cultures were aware of the powerful and beneficial effects of binaural (stereophonic) beats on the brain centuries before modern science recognized those same effects.
Research conducted by Melinda Maxfield, PhD, demonstrates how the drumbeats found in the rituals of various cultures beat at a steady rate of 4.5 beats per second, inducing a trance-like state in listeners. This trance-like state is a result of the brain's shift into a 4.5-beats-per-second brainwave pattern, a low Theta brainwave state.
Using repetitive beats or chanting, Native American shamans, Hindu healers, Tibetan monks, Sufi dervishes, and practiced Yogis have been able to induce an entire range of brainwave states for healing and the attainment of higher levels of consciousness.
In India, there exist songs and mantras created specifically for use in curing illness and disease, practiced by Babaji - Hindu healers - to heal even such medical problems as arthritis and smallpox.
Everywhere we turn, in every culture throughout history, binaural (stereophonic) beats have been a powerful tool in the healing process, as well as a guide in spiritual ceremony and ritual.
The Insight CD has taken the research and those thousands of years of proven effects and paired them with the power of today's technology.
The Frequency Following Response
By introducing a binaural beat via stereo headphones, you can guide your brain into very specific brainwave frequencies via the Frequency Following Response
When your brain begins to resonate with the binaural (stereophonic) beat, or "follow" along with the beat, it is called the Frequency Following Response.
For example, by listening to a binaural beat pulsing at a frequency of 5 Hz - a low Theta frequency - you can trigger your brain to resonate at that same 5 Hz frequency, automatically inducing brainwaves in the Theta range.
By listening to a binaural beat pulsing at a frequency of 10Hz - an Alpha frequency - you can effortlessly guide your mind into the Alpha range.
By introducing a harmonically layered combination of frequencies and binaural beats to your brain via the Insight CD audio technology, you can effortlessly induce amazingly powerful states of focused concentration or deep relaxing meditation while stimulating various parts of your brain to work together in synchronization.
Whole Brain Synchronization
When both hemispheres of the brain begin to resonate to the binaural beat in synchronization, this is called "whole brain synchronization". This is also sometimes referred to as "whole brain functioning" or "hemispheric synchronization".
Whole brain synchronization occurs when the various parts of your brain begin to work together, resonating at the same frequencies and causing neural pathways to fire more rapidly.
The left and right sides of your brain begin to work in concert with each other. Electrical activity and energy patterns in your brain become more widespread throughout the brain instead of remaining confined to certain areas. Your brain reaches extraordinary levels of consciousness not normally attainable without years of practice.
Research has indicated this type of "whole brain synchronization" is present in the brain at times of intense creativity, clarity and inspiration. EEG patterns recorded from various test groups comprised of extremely successful individuals also displayed an extraordinarily high level of "whole brain synchronization".
By listening to the Insight CD, you can train your brain to function at this high level of synchronization, opening up the way for positive and beneficial effects.
From the moment you first listen to the Insight audio technology, your brain will begin the process of reorganizing itself for higher thinking and enhanced levels of consciousness.
Stimulation of the New Neural Development
While using the Insight audio technology, electrical activity and energy patterns in your brain become more widespread throughout the brain instead of remaining confined to certain areas.
When this type of stimulation to the brain occurs, your brain begins to create new neural pathways. The neural stimulation encourages new dendritic growth within the brain. New dendritic growth allows for faster and smoother neural communication in the brain, and also provides more "processing power" in the brain.
The dendrites are the many branching fibers extending from the neuron/cell body. These fibers increase the surface area available for receiving incoming information. The more dendrites the brain has at its disposal, the more quickly and smoothly it can process information.
Dendritic growth is a process that occurs throughout our lifetime. Whenever you learn something new, such as learning to play the piano, new dendritic growth occurs as a result of stimulating the mind in a new and different way.
At the same time, old dendritic connections can become inactive and dissipate. (The shortening of dendritic branches and the reduction of the number of branches is associated with senility in the elderly.)
One of the goals in using the Insight audio technology is to stimulate dendritic growth to occur on an ongoing basis to provide an ideal situation for the brain, allowing the brain to:
operate at its maximum possible potential rather than only using a portion of its potential, and
establish dendritic growth for long-term benefits, including benefits that work to counteract the debilitating effects of aging.
Through this type of neural development and whole brain synchronization, the brain eventually learns to achieve more powerful states on its own, so that in time these states may be achieved at will.
Harmonically Layered Frequencies
Most companies offering binaural (stereophonic) audio recordings stop with one frequency, introducing only one binaural beat that may gradually raise or lower your brainwaves into a specific frequency over a period of time, usually in anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes.
What's wrong with only one binaural (stereophonic) frequency?
Your brain typically operates not in only one frequency but in all brainwave frequencies simultaneously, with one frequency typically being the dominant one at any given time.
Every moment of the day and night, various brainwaves in your brain are pulsing in delta, theta, alpha, beta, and even gamma frequency ranges, all at the same time.
Your brain has its own individual brainwave patterns, incorporating a combination of all the frequencies pulsing in your brain. Just like your fingerprints or vocal patterns, your brainwave patterns are unique to you.
The Insight CD does not use just one binaural (stereophonic) frequency. Instead, it harmonically layers the binaural frequencies to create actual patterns, not just single frequencies.
The binaural frequencies are combined in a way that replicates your brain's natural way of functioning, with frequencies that interact with your own brainwaves to evoke the most powerful response on all levels for a dramatically improved listening experience.
Not only does it layers the binaural (stereophonic) frequencies based on the way your brain naturally functions, it also uses a form of harmonic layering with a foundation in the principles of music science.
Even though the binaural frequencies are placed beneath the sounds of natural rain, and are embedded below the audible level and therefore not heard out loud in the same manner music would be heard, the brain still responds more effectively to binaural (stereophonic) frequencies that are blended together in a harmonically pleasing way that is soothing to the ear and mind.
This enhances the effectiveness of the audio technology and allows your brain to resonate smoothly and comfortably with the binaural beats.
By introducing these harmonically layered binaural (stereophonic) frequencies through listening to the Insight CD via stereo headphones, you can effortlessly trigger whole brain synchronization:
enhancing communication between various parts of the brain and
stimulating neural pathways in the brain to fire at increased rates.
In addition to using harmonically layered binaural (stereophonic) frequencies in complex mind-stimulating combinations, the Insight audio technology uses the soothing sounds of natural rain arranged in a very specific way to enhance the listening experience even further.
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