Human beings have been on a quest to increase our brain power for higher mental performance. In improving our untapped brain power, it is believed that we can bring increase focus, improve memories and positive breakthrough in ways that we perceive and function in the world. Conventional recommendations range from better diet, more exercise, use supplements, daily meditation practice, less alcohol and better sleep.
One way to gently tap into this potential is by doing something we already do every day – listen. But more specifically, when we listen to sound or tone that oscillate with slight variations into each of our ears, our brain will entrain (meaning to resonate) with the resulting frequency which can be observed as changes in brainwave patterns but felt as changes in our state of consciousness.
In 1973, Dr. Gerald Oster, a biophysicist at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where I worked as a neuroscientist some 25 years later, published a paper in Scientific American called, "Auditory Beats in the Brain", explaining the phenomena discovered as binaural beats. Dr. Oster also found that binaural beats can induced synchronization of electrical activity in both hemispheres of the brain, which is like exercising and expanding brain functions. This results in measurable positive changes to the body.
When you listen to a sound, especially if the sound you listen to from your right ear has a different frequency that your left ear (e.g. 100 Hz vs. 120 Hz, as in a tone that oscillates at 100 and 120 beats per second respectively), this differential of 20 Hz creates beta waves (range 12 - 38 Hz) and is associated with our normal awake consciousness for problem solving, decision making, and other focused activities. Differential of 8-12 Hz creates alpha waves, which has the property of inducing relaxation and meditative states. Differential of 4-8 Hz create theta waves, which increases dreamlike consciousness and intuitive awareness. Differential of 1-4 Hz of creates Delta waves, which bring your body to deep sleep for regeneration and self-healing. Differential of 25 - 100 Hz or commonly at 40 Hz, creates Gamma waves, and is associated with universal love and spiritual oneness. Lesser known and studied are Epsilon (<0.5 Hz) and Lambda (100-200 Hz) waves, while appears to be at opposite ends of the oscillation ranges, are said to be associated with each other where you travel from the deep stillness experienced in Epsilon emerging to deeper yet superconsciousness expansion of Lambda.
Today, you can easily experience these states of being induced by sound when you listen to recordings created specifically to train your brain, induce quality sleep, relaxation, expand consciousness and perhaps a lot more to be discovered. Many are available on the internet like YouTube and Sound Cloud. Search for “Binaural Beat” or Solfeggio frequency (another fascinating sound topic to be discussed at another time). Some I used are from Meditative Mind, iAwake and Greenred Production.
Rather than recordings, you can also up-level your personal vibration to access your brain power in a full-body sound immersion experience. Whether as a group in a sound bath or sound meditation, overtone emitting instruments will give your brain and body what participates may describe as a sound massage. In my private healing session, in addition to using recordings, I use instruments that produce specific frequency at your ears such as tuning forks to entraining your brain to go through these different waves. Often I use instruments to bring you into a deep theta or delta state before going even deeper for energy healing work for specific effect.
Be your own scientist and experiment what works for you. Come back and tell me your experience!