I’ve experimented with a number of brain entrainment products over the years, and it has been a generally positive experience. In a previous post I discussed my adventures with the Monroe Gateway Experience and that continues to be a fun ride. I also use special music tracks to increase my work productivity, and this is what I want to talk about here.
Binaural Beat, Monaural Beats, 3D sound, and Isochronic tones
I use different brain entrainment products to achieve different results:
– I mostly listen to binaural beats as part of the Gateway Experience. This technology works by combining two slightly different frequencies to create a new sound – one that the brain would otherwise be unable to pick up on. I tend to turn the volume of these tracks down low so I’m not sure how much they benefit me. I’m able to achieve deep states of meditation without binaural beats so I just use them like beacons. One of the nice things about using this type of brain entrainment is that it has allowed me to identify different meditation states so that I can move to them at will.
– I like to listen to 3D sound while reading in bed in the evenings. It is best with headphones but I sometimes just stick it on the speakers because it gets my son in a good mood for sleep. I like the nature tracks where I’m surrounded by all the sounds of a forest. One thing I miss while living in Thailand is the European forest – not that I visited them that much when I lived there. With 3D sound I can close my eyes and pretend I’m there. I’ve also been experimenting with winter tracks because I might use these the next time our electricity goes and we have no air conditioning.
– Monaural beats involve combining two different frequencies and they work in a similar way to binaural beats. The new frequencies created include, beta, alpha, theta, delta, and gamma. I use beta frequencies to increase my productivity and alpha to increase creativity levels. It is claimed that listening to theta waves can allow people to reach levels of meditation deeper than a Zen monk who has been practicing for decades. I can’t confirm this because I usually get a headache when I listen to theta waves for too long.
– Isochronic means regular beats of the same tone. Many of the tracks I listen to contain these.
Effectiveness of Brain Entrainment
There are apparently plenty of scientific studies that back the efficacy of brain entrainment. I must admit that I’ve not looked at any of this research because my own litmus test for efficacy is that it works for me. Even if these technologies are only providing a placebo effect it wouldn’t make a difference to me personally so long as it works. The placebo effect is greatly undervalued in my opinion.
I have bought some products that did not live up to their claims. There were even a couple of tracks that made me feel ill and I haven’t been able to listen to them since. Overall though, these products have benefited my life. I’ve notice a significant increase in my productivity, focus, and creativity when using specific tracks, and I can depend on these when I’m struggling with work. They are not any type of magical solution, but the effect is enough to make buying them worthwhile for me.
Music to Make Mondays More Productive
I work as a freelancer so this means that I’ve got a great deal of freedom when it comes to scheduling my work. Despite not being tied to a Monday to Friday work week I still struggle with Mondays. I continue to enjoy writing but this morning I could barely bring myself to look at the keyboard. I just felt so tired and my brain gave the impression of being stuffed with cotton wool. So instead of going to work right away I listened to a beta track to give my brain a kick start. It worked perfectly and even before the track had reached the end I was happily banging away on the keyboard. It turned out to be a reasonably productive morning.
Turning All My Music into Brain Entrainment
I recently downloaded a trial of a piece of software called Mind Stereo that allows me to add brain entrainment to any music track. The only problem is that most of my music has been bought from iTunes and it is not possible to import these tracks directly (there is a way to do it but it involves burning my iTunes tracks onto CD). It also works with internet radio and this works out good for me because I like to listen to ambient/new age music when I’m working. I only started experimenting with this product yesterday so I can’t really comment on its effectiveness yet.