Entrain Your Brain into Alpha
I LOVE entrainment! The one and only scientific term that I LOVE!
Since I started reading about entrainment, I can see it working everywhere! And can see how important it is to know about it when it comes to giving birth and being a Mother.
What is Entrainment?
In 1666 Dutch physicist Christian Huygens, the inventor of the pendulum clock noticed that the pendulums of 2 clocks mounted on the same wall had synchronised! This was the birth of the term “entrainment”.
“Entrainment involves the ability of the more powerful rhythmic vibrations of one object to change the less powerful rhythmic vibrations of another object and cause them to synchronise their rhythms with the first object. Through sound it is possible to change the rhythms of our brainwaves, as well as our heart beat and respiration.”
Jonathon Goldman, Resonant Sounds
Examples of Entrainment:
- women living together and their menstrual cycles synchronise;
- talking to someone who is anxious...you start to feel anxious;
- talking to someone who is very relaxed (monk / swami) brings you into a state of relaxation;
- listening to fast fitness music and you exercise for longer than if there was slow or no music;
- a baby’s heart beat will synchronise to the slow steady beat of a lullaby being sung to them.
How Does Entrainment Affect YOU Before, During and After the Birth?
“When we utilize singing bowls or practice toning, the fine, harmonious vibration instantly entrains us to the frequency of our own essence.” Dr Mitchell Gaynor
Here are some examples:
- Baby in womb is being affected all the time by mother’s rhythms.
- Kangaroo care – preterm babies are encouraged to be held skin-to-skin with their Mother (heart-beat to heart-beat);
- When you need to relax during labour, breastfeeding or settling your baby, listen to relaxing music;
- When you need more energy to cope with contractions or a long labour, feeling tired after broken sleep or carrying baby all day, listen to energising music;
- When using a crystal singing bowl you can entrain brain waves to the Alpha state;
- Toning to slow down breathing and entrain brainwaves to the Alpha state (see below).
Brain Waves / Sound Waves, Same Thing!
I was SO excited when I realised that that brainwaves and sound waves are both measured in cycles per second or hertz. Here is why!
Because of "entrainment", sound waves move or pull or drag our brainwaves into different states of consciousness. As Jonathon Goldman points out above, "they change the rhythms of our brainwaves, heart beat and respiration". This on it's own has huge implications! When aware of this you can start using sound in your life to alter your own state of consciousness depending on what you are needing at the time....Thinking? Doing? Sleeping? Meditating? Birthing?
Here are the four main brain wave states:
- Beta Waves – from 14 - 20 hz, This is our normal waking state of consciousness where we are talking, thinking, doing ... our busy state!
- Alpha Waves - from 8 to 13hz, This is when we are daydreaming or meditating. We feel; relaxed and alert at the same time. This is the state we need to move into and stay in during labour.
- Theta Waves - from 4 to 7hz, This occurs in states of deep meditation and sleep.
- Delta Waves – from 0.5 to 3hz, This state occurs in deep sleep and in profound states of meditation or healing.
You can hear a special sound called "Infrasound" when playing a crystal sing bowl and making a toning sound with it that is slightly higher or lower than the pitch of the bowl. (I'll explain this in more detail one day...). When you do this you'll start to hear a "wah, wah, wah" sound. This is the sound, the infrasound, that I was spinning out about during my SoundBirths and that was doing the magic of entraining my brain from Beta into the Alpha state. It felt like magic...and it was fun...but really it was just plain old science.
If you want to know more about the Science of Sound watch the videos or read any of these books below:
Shh Sound Health in 8 Steps...
The 4 Ways Sound Affect Us ...
Good Vibrations: The Scienc...
The Power of Sound – Jonathon Goldman
Healing at the Speed of Sound – Don Campbell
The Mozart Effect – Don Campbell
And be aware of how your brain is being entrained from now on!