Contributing writer for Wake Up World
I have to admit, I’ve always had a fascination with shortcuts to higher levels of consciousness and have shamelessly embraced technology to this end. A veteran in all manner of brain wave entrainment soundtracks, I’ve found some work better than others for increasing creativity, focus and learning; supporting meditation and calming an overactive mind, as well as promoting sound sleep.
For those who are new to brain synchronization technology, binaural beats are sound patterns that, when listened to through headphones, encourage synchronization of the left and right brain hemispheres. Depending on the speed of the binaural beats — gamma, beta, alpha, theta or delta brain waves are enhanced, each with their own beneficial characteristics. Production of brain chemicals — like DHEA, GABA, endorphins, serotonin, melatonin and growth hormone — is also triggered, while the stress hormone cortisol is lowered.
To understand how binaural and brain synchronization works, we first have to look at the different levels of brain wave patterns, which fall into five categories:
Gamma: The fastest brain wave frequency, gamma brain waves measure between 25 and 100 Hz (cycles per minute) — with 40 Hz the most typical for humans. Peak concentration, exceptionally high levels of cognitive functioning and being in “the zone” are the most prominent characteristics of gamma brain waves. People with high levels tend to exhibit extraordinary intelligence and compassion, strong memory and incredible self-control. Seasoned meditators, like monks and nuns, often have elevated gamma brain wave activity. Compassion and loving-kindness practices appear to yield the highest level of gamma waves.
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