Years of research has shown that brain-waves not only provide insight into an individual's mind and body, but they can be stimulated to actually change that person's current state. By causing the brain to produce or decrease specific types of brain-wave frequencies, it is possible to bring about a large variety of mental states and emotional reactions.
The benefits of brain-wave entrainment - the process of enhancing your normal brain-wave state - has been known to many scientists and doctors for years. These benefits include, but are not limited to, improvements in the following areas: Temporary Pain Relief, Temporary Stress Reduction, Sleeping Disorders, General Relaxation, and Meditation.
Up until the recent discovery of the more effective Isochronic tones, binaural beats were the most recognized form of brain-wave entrainment. Binaural beats were first discovered in 1839 by a German experimenter, H. W. Dove. The human ability to "hear" binaural beats appears to be the result of evolutionary adaptation. Many evolved species can detect binaural beats because of their brain structure.
In humans, binaural beats can be detected when carrier waves are below approximately 1000 Hz. Here's why: wave lengths below 1000 Hz are longer than the diameter of the human skull. Thus, these wave lengths actually curve around the skull by diffraction and are thus heard by both ears. As the sound wave passes around the skull, each ear hears a different portion of the wave - it's this difference that allows for the accurate location of sounds below 1000 Hz.
The types of brain-waves that brain-wave entrainment influences
The brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons, which communicate with each other using electrical signals. All of these neurons sending signals at once produce a large amount of electrical activity commonly called a brain-wave pattern, because of its "wave" or cyclic-like nature.
Researchers and scientists have found that different bands of brain-waves are associated with different mental states. For instance, the brain-waves of a sleeping person are much different than the brain-waves of an individual that is wide awake. The speed of a brain-wave is called a frequency; which is measured in Hertz. You can tell a lot about what is going on in a person's head simply by measuring the Hertz value of their brain-waves.
brain-waves are divided into five predominant speed ranges, or bands. The brain is constantly emitting nearly every type of brain-wave. However, based on the strength of certain bands of brain-waves and depending on where the EEG electrodes are placed on the scalp, a person can be said to be "in" a certain brain-wave or band. Here are the common types of brain-waves...
For this reason, binaural beats require the listener to wear headphones. However, there are many new brain-wave entrainment techniques being developed, such as Isochronic tones, that do not require the use of headphones and that have actually been proven to be two to three times more effective than binaural beats. Isochronic entrainment uses a single tone that is manually spaced, turning on and off in a precise pattern. This actually enhances the effectiveness of audio entrainment for the following reasons: