Brainwave Entrainment History & Significant Studies
Since the official scientific validation of brainwave entrainment back in 1959, research and studies into the science have continued at a feverish pace - and unveiled a number of surprising findings.
In the 1960s, scientists began using it to help alleviate anxieties and reduce pain receptor levels. Anaesthetist M.S. Sadove MD began using photic stimulation to reduce the amount of anaesthetic required for surgery. Later, surgical dentist Bernard Margolis DDS published a report on using brainwave entrainment to induce a trance-like state prior to dental procedures, which resulted in patients requiring less anaesthetic, and experiencing less bleeding, gagging and overall fear.
During this time, artist Brion Gysin also created the "Dreamachine," which used a lightbulb and a cut-out cardboard cylinder, placed on a turntable, to help induce alpha brainwave states using brainwave entrainment.
In the 1970s, scientist Gerald Oster published "Auditory Beats in the Brain" (Scientific American, 1973) which greatly extended the range of research on brainwave entrainment and its use as a powerful cognitive and neurological research tool. It also highlighted his belief that monaural beats were a superior audio entrainment technique.
From this research, the not-for-profit Monroe Institute was also founded in the 1970s, specifically to study meditative practices, binaural beats, and other slightly more etheric aspects of self-development.
In the 1980s, inventor of the TENS unit, Norman Shealy, studied the effects of 30-minute sessions of brainwave entrainment at 10Hz. His results found a daytime drop in the level of melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleep), and large increases in endorphin, serotonin and norepinephrine (the chemicals that make you happy).
In other words, a 30-minute 10Hz session produced increased alertness and improved mood levels. He also noted that more people experienced better results with entrainment than with hypnosis or other relaxation methods.
During this time, isochronic tones were discovered by Arturo Manns. These are pulses that turn on and off in a precise pattern, to achieve the desired response - and were found to be significantly more effective than other forms of audio entrainment.
The 1990s saw continued research. Highlights include the Metro-Dade Police department study, which concluded that entrainment can reduce both muscle tension and heart rate. Psychological tests also showed the police were more able to handle stressful situations following entrainment.
In 1992, a report from the University of Alberta found that correct entrainment produced a marked decrease in pain. In 1993, a blind study group of learning disabled boys between 8 and 12 found that after forty sessions, the children showed an average IQ increase of 8 points. Another report in 1994 used entrainment to successfully treat children with ADD. In the mid-90s, scientists used it to treat PMS successfully (symptom reduction of 50%+) in over three-quarters of those using entrainment.
Further studies throughout this period have found that brainwave entrainment has brought favorable results for those with chronic fatigue, SAD, hypertension, headaches & migraines, ADD symptoms, and chronic pain.
But it doesn't stop there. The vast majority of individuals using brainwave entrainment utilize it to enhance their life and advance their own personal development.
Popular uses include relaxation, meditation, improved sleep quality, a decreased sleep requirement, "super learning," enhanced creativity, greater mental acuity, and increased focus.
Now and into the Future
In the 21st century, brainwave entrainment continues to grow in popularity, as neuroscientists carry on exploring the brain - including prominent names such as Dr. Thomas Budzynski, David Siever, psychologist Michael Joyce, and Transparent Corp's Dr. Tina Huang.
More and more home users have since discovered the power of brainwave entrainment, which has launched a whole new market of entrainment products designed to specifically assist in key areas.
The advent of high quality audio equipment now means that individuals can listen to the most powerful of audio recordings from the comfort of their own home. Methods of generating binaural, monaural and isochronic recordings have also improved substantially, to the point of being able to track the tiniest of frequency changes with razor-sharp accuracy.
In recent years, other advanced stimuli, such as sound modulation and complex phase/timing relationships (such as 'Harmonic Box X' and other techniques), have been additionally utilized to bring about desired results.
And uses for brainwave entrainment continue to grow. These days, even game manufacturers are discovering the power of brainwaves, with the launch of toys with EEG-like devices built-in. Using these products, you learn to control your focus and other brainwave frequency patterns, and this helps you progress through the game. Popular products include Star Wars Force Trainer, and the Mindflex game from Mattel.
Today, we sit at the cutting edge of science, with the ability to induce precise brainwave responses within minutes – using the most advanced brainwave entrainment audio possible.
And all you need to get started is a pair of headphones, and a few minutes of your time.
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