Another powerful way to have an effect on the brain with music, sound, and vibration is through brain wave entrainment. Although this section gets a bit heady (excuse the pun), I invite you to stick with me and embrace your inner geek.
Heart entrainment, discussed in the previous chapter, shows how the internal rhythm of our heart can synchronize to the external rhythm of music to create more orderly, beneficial heart rhythms.
But music can also affect your mood by entraining the brain to more relaxed states, where we become more focused and attentive and can increase our cognitive abilities, sleep more soundly, and learn to meditate.
While heart entrainment is based upon synchronizing the heartbeat to specific tempos, or beats per minute, brain entrainment is based on the brain synchronizing to specific musical frequencies, which are measured in hertz (Hz).
Music is a delivery system of frequency to the mind. Each note has a specific frequency, but we can also embed additional brain wave frequencies outside of the standard notes into music to allow the brain to entrain to our desired states.
When our internal brain waves are affected by the external brain wave frequencies that are contained in the music, this is called brain wave entrainment. For instance, if I were looking to move into a very creative state, I would utilize music that contains alpha and theta frequencies. If I have insomnia, I might incorporate music that contains delta frequencies.
There are many technologies that are used to induce and target the different brain frequencies, including binaural beats, isochronic beats, monaural beats, and many more. These are such keys of how music affects your mood that each type could have its own article. I invite you to investigate the pros and cons of them all and see which ones resonate with you. In addition, I am creating my own delivery system called adaptive music, which utilizes specific harmonics to accommodate the different targeted brain states.
An amazing amount of research has been done to prove the benefits of music and the brain, but we’ve only just scratched the surface. There is so much excitement and potential around integrating music as a transformative pathway to heal and improve our minds.
I am thrilled to be working with Dr. Daniel Amen, who is a double board-certified adult and child psychiatrist, author, and researcher.
We will be conducting exciting new research to determine how music may provide supportive benefits to the brain and to determine how to create and influence positive changes by selecting specific pieces of music to affect brain function.
I have also had the privilege of working with Dr. Joe Dispenza, a researcher, lecturer, and author, and have composed live music to accompany his meditations with over five hundred attendees at each workshop. During these powerful meditations, a group of participants were studied using EEG brain mapping technology to determine specific brain activity. The research showed people reached very coherent brain wave states in a very short period of time during the meditations. It is amazing to see firsthand how music and meditation can help in moving people to beneficial brain states where transformation can occur.
Knowing how to entrain both our hearts and our brains can lead us to a place of true synchronization and greatly improve our mood, where our heart and mind are seamlessly connected in constant communication through the music we listen to.
At the end of the article, I have provided examples of the types of music that induce the different brain wave states that can affect your mood to help you get started on your journey toward your own brain entrainment exercises!
As you become more familiar with the frequencies that evoke specific responses within your brain, you should feel free to branch out and find other pieces of music that can have an effect on these brain wave states.