You may not have heard of it before now, but the scientific field of Brainwave Entrainment isn’t new.
In fact, it’s been around, and proven in laboratory settings for nearly a century now. But to understand how sound can alter your brainwave patterns, I need to explain a few things before it will make any sense.
The first thing you need to understand is that at any given moment in time, your brain produces not one, but five different types of brainwaves: Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.
These electrical signals are how your brain cells communicate with each other, and one of the five is always more dominant than the rest. Which one depends on your mental state, how you feel, and whatever it is that you happen do be doing. It changes constantly.
For example, right now, as you’re reading this, you are most likely in a Beta dominant brainwave state. Where exactly you fall in the Beta frequency range depends on how alert and focused you currently are.
The important thing to realize is that there is a specific and somewhat predictable brainwave pattern directly associated with every single action you could ever take, as well as every single way you could ever feel.
To put it simply – how you feel changes your brainwaves – but amazingly, the opposite is also true.
You can change your mental state, and how you feel, by changing your brainwaves with an external stimulus. This effect is known as Brainwave Entrainment.
Why it works is somewhat more complicated to understand. It starts with a strange phenomenon found in nature called the Frequency Following Response, which describes a process by which similar patterns are able to synchronize with each other.
For example, pendulum clocks hanging on a wall set at different rates will synchronize with each other. Metronomes in close proximity will synchronize as well.
But the Frequency Following Response also affects natural systems. Fireflies in large groups will synchronize their light flashes, while mosquitos that fly together will synchronize the speed at which they flap their wings.
It also explains how certain types of sounds are able to influence your brainwave patterns.
When your brain is exposed to a steady rhythmic sound at a specific frequency, say 8 beats per second (8 Hertz), your brainwaves will begin to synchronize with the frequency of the beat. In this example, 8 Hertz, which happens to be an Alpha brainwave, temporarily becomes your dominant brainwave.
And because 8 Hz Alpha Brainwaves are closely correlated with feelings of stress relief, relaxation, and deep meditation, by simply listening to the sound of the beat, you will almost instantly find yourself feeling very relaxed.