Following the disinterest in developing and providing support to brainwave entrainment software in lieu of it's streaming session enterprise brain.fm, Transparent Corp has shut down it's Community Forum. I have been voluntarily moderating the board for over 3 years. If enough interest is there, I will put up a forum on this site. Please leave a comment, or send me a message if you would like to have a forum to discuss anything and everything pertaining to BWE.
A March 2017 study done at Northwest University in Chicago found sound modulated to brainwave frequencies significantly improved deep sleep, and tripled recall ability in seniors.
This is a continuation of earlier sleep research done by Dr. Giovanni Santostasi and Adam Hewitt, co- founder of brain.fm.
The sessions developed for the study is a far deviation from the traditional sleep induction entrainment sessions of the past. Earlier sessions logically steered brainwave patterns from beta, down to delta in a steady progression using isochronic tones. These sessions had the advantage of the ability to play over speakers as the listener lay in bed.
The newer sessions used in the studies, and what are featured on brain.fm, takes a radically different approach. Here, they start at sub- delta frequencies and slowly ramp into delta, before coming back down and starting the cycle over again. The idea is to "push" delta frequency amplitude from behind so to speak.
They are designed to be listened to continuously through the night. Instead of isochronic tones, modulated music or noise ambiance are circulated in 3-D space around the listener. This creates a relaxing "rocking chair" effect, and proves to be very dissociative. The mind will put a higher priority on sound that seems to be moving, and will be less likely blocked out as static noise, or habituated. Isochronic tones can be rather harsh and "thumpy" to listen to, especially if strong square waveform patterns are used. Tones in the theta band are the same rhythm of the beat in techno music, and may prove to be energizing for some listeners.
The trade off is that headphones must be used to get the full benefit. The good news is that wireless "sport" or "sleep" headphones can be purchased for a little over $10 on Amazon. These feature thin, flexible speakers in a soft headband that doubles as a sleep mask.
I have designed a session that also includes Spectrastrobe for photic entrainment. Red light is used to minimize melatonin to serotonin conversion. I find if you put your light frames on a nearby dresser or night stand in a darkened room, it provides a gentle light flicker that adds to effectiveness. Relaxing music with a rain background is used for the audio portion. All sounds are modulated to the entrainment. Play on a loop all night. You can download from my Homepage.
Just when you thought binaural beats would become extinct due to the popularity of other methods such as isochronic tones and modulated sound, a study published November 28, 2016 showed listening to 15 Hz binaural beats during a visuospatial working memory task not only increased the response accuracy, but also modified the strengths of the cortical networks during the task. Beauchene C, Abaid N, Moran R, Diana RA, Leonessa A (2016) The Effect of Binaural Beats on Visuospatial Working Memory and Cortical Connectivity. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0166630. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166630
It has always been known that listening to binaural beats promotes hemispheric synchronization, but they were deemed ineffective at boosting beta brainwaves due to the low wave depth and subsequent lack of a strong cortical response needed for entrainment. This research shows that listening to binaural beats, specifically at 15 Hz (SMR) increases brain function when several areas of the brain must work together. This has been thought as the realm of gamma frequencies (27- 100 Hz), that increase in amplitude when performing such tasks. Binaural beats are not possible in the gamma range. When the tone frequencies are farther apart than 25 hz the brain isn't quick enough to detect the phase relationship between them, so the tones are perceived as individual, as opposed to a combined "beat".
Entrainment in the SMR spectrum (12- 15 Hz) has many benefits including better sleep patterns and a higher resistance to stress. It is unknown if any of these benefits can be had by using binaural beats, or if any increase or decrease in benefits can be had by combining another form of entrainment like light flickers. The study does not mention increases in amplitude specifically around 15 Hz, but rather sites the ability of binaural beats to increase activity outside it's target frequency.
I have created a 15 Hz binaural beat session available to download on my home page. It uses the optimal pitch needed to provide the strongest beat. I also used Spatial Binaural Beat Panning modulation on the background noise. It is encoded with Spectrastrobe for use with your Kasina light and sound machine.
Also, you will find an updated gamma session that follows the protocol used in the Alzheimer's study.
I know it has been a while since I have been active on the site, but that is all about to change! Interest seems to be picking up in the brainwave entrainment industry! First, I have just completed an extensive Mindful Meditation and Brainwave Entrainment program for Worksmart Australia to use in their phone app. From what I have seen of the app, it is quite impressive! There is over 100 sessions including a full progressive meditation protocol, and updated Holosync type program, as well as an extensive array of specialty sessions including those of esoteric interests. Keep posted for more info on availability.
I am also pleased to announce that I will be teaching an eight week course on brainwave entrainment, hypnotherapy, and personal biofeedback. It would be held in the Detroit Metro/Ann Arbor area May 9 through June 20, 2017. A full course description can be found here Mind Workshop Course
You can now download my sessions available through CD Baby! These sessions will be based on the latest research and trends and will be constantly updated.
My first submission is a gamma session based on new findings that 40 Hz photic entrainment reduces levels of the toxic proteins seen in Alzheimer’s disease. This has been receiving a lot of attention in the general scientific community, and is validating brainwave entrainment as a legitimate treatment. More information can be found here www.theguardian.com/science/2016/dec/07/strobe-lighting-provides-a-flicker-of-hope-in-the-fight-against-alzheimers and here emediapress.com/2016/12/18/mit-reverses-alzheimers-with-40hz-blinking-lights/
The Super Gamma Entrainment Session was inspired by this study. It utilizes the most up-to-date light and sound entrainment techniques including embedded 3-D sound modulations and a custom designed waveform pattern that improves entrainment at faster frequency rates. It utilizes significant frequencies that have been found to increase blood flow to the brain stepping up into gamma. I also have available an updated Focus Boosting session that features randomized frequencies in the beta range, and an updated Schumann Resonance session that mimics the natural fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic field. For a cash outlay that would piss your waiter off if you left it for a tip. these sessions may be the best investment you ever make! You can download from my Home Page.
This is my take on the hunter/ farmer theory explaining the existence of ADD. Please, take a moment to read it. It can be very empowering if you are living with the condition, or know someone who is .
The beginning of human existence, before the agricultural revolution, humans existed as nomadic hunter/ gather tribes. When resources ran dry, they simply packed up and moved to another location. This existence was steeped in danger. The tribe was vulnerable to predators, either wild animals, or competing tribes wanting to invade or protect fertile territory. These tribes needed a guardian to watch over the tribe, especially at night when everyone was sleeping.
This guardian would stay up all night on constant vigil. Narrowly focusing on a single task was a deterrent. If the guardian kept his focus on one task very long, a predator could sneak up from another direction. The guardian had to be constantly active to stay awake. To pass the hours of nighttime solitude, the guardian painted pictures, or carved trinkets, usually of this favorite subject- wild game. The qualities that made a guardian also made him a skilled hunter. When hunting, the guardian could focus intently at the task at hand, unlike when the task at hand was keeping the tribe safe.
When the sun came up, the guardian could finally rest and get some sleep. Lacking social contact due to his nocturnal life, he didn't fit well with the rest of the tribe, and usually kept to himself. His main social life was with fellow guardians, which he found mates and generated offspring with similar qualities, who also became guardians. The guardians were a valued member of the tribe, heros that protected the tribe when most vulnerable, and providers of meat that gave humans the ability to thrive.
As time passed, humans developed the ability to plant crops, raise livestock, and construct walls and barriers to protect against predators and enemies. Governments were developed, and military and police forces were employed to protect the interests of the tribe. The praise and value shifted from the individual guardian to that of the King or Chief that organized and trained its forces. The once proud and highly revered guardians were now reduced to that of the commoners. Their nocturnal habits did not fit in well with the lifestyle of the farmer that had to make the most of the daylight by sleeping early in the night and rising just before dawn. This must have been a traumatic blow to the ego of the guardians who probably took employment as a warrior or guard.
As even more time passed, human brains evolved to become even less dependant on the skills of the guardians in favor of scholastic engineering which brought about the industrial revolution. Ironically it was the high protein diet made possible by the guardian's hunting abilities that allowed our brains to grow and evolve. In his attempt to provide and become a valued member of society, the guardian fueled what was to become his demise. Those with the guardian trait found it harder to to excel in this new environment. Even jobs in the military or police require a "formal" education from established institutions that catered to the abilities of the larger population that were made up of those with farmer traits. Some found a way to market their artistic and creative abilities, others resorted to drugs and alcohol.
In present times, so much emphasis is put upon scholastic achievement and work environments that cater to those with farmer traits, the once valued skillset of the guardian has now become a disorder. They are not any less intelligent, or in any way less valuable to society. Instead of being attentive to the specialized traits of a once valued, but small class of people, modern society has labeled them as disabled and has found drugs that try to make them act more like farmers. Depression is once again pounded into the guardian, who now is reduced to a broken, disabled commoner that must seek medical attention to fit in to today's society.
This story explains the traits and plight of those labeled as ADD. Mostly males, nocturnal sleep cycle, not able to narrowly focus on mundane tasks, yet hypervigilant to what is deemed important, hyperactive, prone to depression and anxiety, artistic and creativity are all traits of a once proud and valued segment of ancient society. Without the guardian, human tribes would have succumbed to the food chain. Instead, a high protein diet provided by hunting game was the building block the brain needed to evolve to the analytical thinkers we are today.
Many people don't believe ADD is a disorder, rather just an excuse for bad parenting. I believe ADD is a biological trait that has become a disorder. These traits do not conform to the farmer traits that thrive in the institutional environment of today's world. It is time we quit trying to pound the square peg in a round hole and recognise the hunter/ guardian traits and develop the means to nurture and guide those who possess those traits to excel in the modern world.
If you are one of those labeled as ADD or ADHD, your ancestors were the artists that crafted on cave walls. Because of them humans evolved to the top of the food chain. Realize your brain is wired differently than that of the farmer. Embrace the strengths of your biological traits. Think differently, not harder. If you incorporate this concept into your life, you will naturally follow the path of the least resistance that is more suited to your positive traits.
I have been getting asked a lot about Midbrain Activation lately, so i thought I would share my thoughts on the subject. There are a flood of new "schools" showing children reading books blindfolded and performing other super human brain tricks. I have not seen any credible testing that this is indeed is really happening, so I take it as a grain of salt.
Part of the process involves meditation and listening to "Midbrain Activation Music" that contains some form of entrainment.
While the new "Midbrain Activation" movement is controversial touting many super human benefits, the concept is not new. A toned down version called "Hemispheric Synchronization" has existed for decades, and does have some scientific credibility. The esoteric "Third Eye Opening" practices have been around for thousands of years. Midbrain Activation appears to me as a melding of Hemispheric Synchronization with Third Eye Opening practices.
The right/ left brain model is also under debate. However, if you look at EEG data, most people will favor one side of the brain over the other. This is clearly apparent in the brains of chronically depressed individuals, and those with ADD, that show increased activity in the right brain. There are several NP3 sessions taken from scientific research that use isochronic tones of different frequencies channeled to each ear independently to slow brainwave activity in the right hemisphere and increase activity in the left.
The adage that we only use 10% of our brains is simply not true. We use 100% of our brain. What is true is that most of us get stuck in a particular way of thinking so it may look like certain regions of the brain are doing most of the work, while others seem to be dormant. By taking on new tasks and activities such as playing a musical instrument or learning calculus, you will use different parts of the brain that you weren't using as much before, so you can say you have "activated" more of your brain. Learning calculus being linear and non verbal will likely increase beta activity in the left prefrontal region, learning a musical instrument will require several areas such as the auditory cortex, the sensory motor region, the left prefrontal and the right prefrontal regions to work together. These areas will show different frequencies when activated. It has been found that when several areas of the brain work together on a single goal, gamma brainwaves get elevated. This pattern is also seen in Tibetan monks when they are performing seemingly super human feats such as tummo. It may be that gamma frequencies is the common language that helps connect the regions that operate at different frequencies. With this knowledge, increasing gamma activity with entrainment may be useful in getting the different regions of the brain talking to each other.
The midbrain is not only associated with vision, hearing, motor control, sleep/wake, arousal (alertness), and temperature regulation, it also, being located at the center of the different brain regions is a super conduit connecting most of the brain's epicenters. This area operates at low beta 12-15 Hz (SMR). Not only is this in the middle of the brainwave spectrum, happy, successful well adjusted people usually exhibit a lot of activity in this range. Addicts and dysfunctional people have low amounts in this range. Increasing brainwaves amplitude in SMR with entrainment has a balancing effect and has many benefits such as improved sleeping patterns and higher resistance to stress. If you want to use all of your brain, it is a good idea to "activate" it with SMR entrainment.
Binaural beats are thought to encourage hemispheric synchronization because both halves of the brain must work together to produce the beat. This is the basis for Monroe Industries Hemi- Sync program. Panning light and sound slowly back and forth such as in EMDR is also theorized to shift thinking patterns between the hemispheres. Alternating entrainment where a tone is rapidly modulated from right to left causes a large degree of harmonic brainwave activity, so this may have use in stimulating several frequencies simultaneously.
I do not advocate altering the brainwaves of children while they are still developing and shaping their minds unless it is an alternative to prescription drugs. However if I were to design a protocol for an adult, it would go something like this:
20 min gamma session 2-3 x a week
20- 30 min SMR daily alternating entrainment
EMDR session 2-3 x a week
R/L hemispheric balancing session 2-3 x a week
Third Eye opening meditation using binaural beats 7.83 Hz daily
Treating addictions with BWE is multi dimensional. The usual protocol is to use entrainment as a substitute for the substance. Quite often those that are addicted to depressive drugs such as alcohol are craving relaxed states, so alpha/theta frequencies can help. Those that are addicted to stimulating drugs such as cocaine get their reward from increasing brainwaves, so beta and gamma stimulation is in order. This is not always the case though.
Universally, increasing low beta 12-15 Hz (SMR) is helpful. Most addicts have low SMR activity. Healthy, well adjusted people are teaming with SMR waves. Entrainment in this band can help with the sleep disorders many addicts face, and can help the user deal with stress and anxiety better. SMR helps with focus so addicts can think more clearly. It also has a balancing effect, so it is useful to those with overactive minds as well as those with an abundance of slow wave activity.
The Schumann Resonance 7.83 Hz is also used in a lot of addiction sessions. This frequency increases blood flow to the brain more than others- up to 30% in some cases. More blood means more oxygen and nutrients which leads to improved brain function. That is to say if the nutrients are available. Most addictive lifestyles drain the body of B and D vitamins as well as helpful antioxidants such as vitamin C,E and omega 3 fatty acids. Even though a person is downing alcoholic beverages one after the other, the diuretic effect of the alcohol is pulling more water than it is replacing out of the system leaving the drinker severely dehydrated. This wreaks havoc on the brain, which is 75% water. If you are going to use BWE for an addiction problem, nutritional supplementation and hydration will greatly increase your success.
The Schumann Resonance is also in the "thalpha" range, that produces the hyper suggestible state best for mental programming. Positive affirmations and suggestions given in this state are imprinted in the subconscious more readily. Increasing confidence and self esteem and producing a positive outlook on life goes a long way to long term recovery. Unlike neurotherapy which takes at least 3 weeks for new neural pathways and connections to be made, the psychological aspects of mental programming can have a positive effect right away, even after only 1 session in some cases.
It involves using alpha entrainment while vividly visualizing the perfect outcome in the 3rd person as if you were watching a movie. You can also repeat affirmations to yourself. This is internal dialog with yourself, so it is in the first person such as "I am the master of my body". This internal dialog is very powerful. The person you talk to the most is none other than yourself. It is this very same dialog done in a negative manner that fuels addiction.
Going deeper to low alpha/ high theta and listening to recorded affirmations is also very effective. Important notes are to keep the suggestions simple, positive, and to the point. They should be delivered in the 2nd person as in "you are the master of your body" and should be imagined that it is coming from a respected source such as a doctor or mentor. Limit the affirmations to 3-4 per session and repeat over and over. The human mind seems to believe statements more readily about themselves if it comes from someone else. Most importantly, the subject must convince themselves during and after the session that the change has already taken place.
These guidelines may not work for everyone. Brainwave patterns are as unique as the individuals themselves. A QEEG can give some insight on what direction to take. There is a technique that proves to be very effective at finding the right frequency not only for cravings and addictions, but also for chronic pain relief.
The procedure is for the user to "dial in" the frequency that works best for them. First, have the user rate what their craving or pain level is on a scale of 1-10. Then slowly pan up or down the frequency scale until the user notices a change. Then have them rate it again. Do this several times as if fitting them for glasses. The Console feature in Mind Workstation Enterprise works well for this, but the same thing can be accomplished by creating sessions that ramp frequencies slowly, no faster than 1 Hz per 2 min. Use sine a waveform to avoid harmonics. Start at the max volume/ light intensity comfortable, and once you find the key frequency, see if any adjustment improves results. Ideally the user would dial in each time they use the session as brainwave states are constantly changing. However, they may start at the last frequency used, and dial in a new one if not effective.
Don't be afraid to try frequencies out of the norm. Early research leaned toward delta frequencies for pain relief. Now we are finding gamma frequencies can help also.
Ibric, Victoria L. , MD, PhD. "Neurofeedback in major depression associated to addictions - a case study." Journal Of NeuroTherapy
Wong, M.R., Brochin, N.E., & Genfron, K.L. (1981). "Effects of meditation on anxiety and chemical dependency." Journal of Drug Education, 11, 91-105.
Brainwave entrainment software. If you want to get serious at hacking your brain, investing in software that produces entrainment sessions is inevitable. I am talking full fledged programs, not some frilly phone app. While those can be convenient and a fun little tool to have, they cannot provide you with the power and flexibility of a dedicated software program. The same rules apply, look for a free trial, a money back guarantee, and customer support. Especially the latter. Learning to use software on things that we know about is hard enough, much less on something we know little or nothing. Look for a comprehensive help guide, video tutorials, and a real person you can talk to. The best programs will have built in sessions you can use, or use as a template. Stick to these at first, and as you learn more about the software and BWE, gradually customize the templates to your liking. This way you will safely learn at your own pace and not be overwhelmed.
The advantages of using software is that it is universal and dynamic. Dynamic in the sense that you can change just about every aspect of a session to suit your needs or liking. Universal meaning it is a lifetime tool. I originally got into BWE as a meditation tool. As life changes, so did my use of sessions. I have used sessions to battle depression, help me get by with little sleep when working 2 jobs, boost focus and accelerated learning hypnotherapy, and most recently, helping adult ADD. Software can also be adaptable to others in your household. The disadvantages are that you must learn to use it, and take a little time to create a session when needed. This can actually turn into an advantage if you make constructing BWE and mental programming sessions a hobby, like I did. Also, the software might not be able to produce sessions compatible to your light and sound machine.
There are two brainwave entrainment software programs that I recommend, those from Transparent Corporation, and Sharm. Both offer a two week free trial, but Sharm reduces their sessions down to five minutes for the trial version, which will give you a feel for what you can do with the software, but 5 minutes is not long enough to judge how effective the sessions are. Transparent's NeuroProgrammer 3 has a pretty nifty setup Wizard which will ask you a series of questions, and will offer you a list of sessions that will suit you best. This will point you in the right direction and greatly increase the probability of a positive experience. You can download the free trial here, NeuroProgrammer 3 (Windows only). Get yourself comfortable, plug some headphones into your computer, close your eyes and just listen. Transparent is gracious enough to make their full programs available to use as much as you like for the 2 weeks. The only thing disabled in the trial version is the ability to export sessions. I know that it is a lot to ask, but if you can put aside a mere 20 minutes a day to listen to a session, at the end of the trial period you should be able to notice a positive result. If you feel absolutely nothing has happened to you and your brain, you can close this book and ask for a refund. I can almost guarantee that you're going to feel something.
For those who know nothing, or next to nothing about BWE, this is a great program to start with. It is easy to use right out of the box, using wizards and video tutorials to get you going quickly. For an investment of $59.95 you get 120 built in sessions, and the ability to modify the sessions to your liking. There are hypnotic visuals, or screen flashing if you do not own a mind machine. It is Audiostrobe, and Spectrastrobe (MindPlace) compatible. You can create hypnosis and mental programming sessions via your own microphone, or text to speech. The software lets you include any song or sound you have on your hard drive into your session, or you can use the limited built in ambient sounds, hypnosis scripts affirmations, and a few samples from their Thought Sounds royalty free music collection. After you purchase the software, you can export the sessions to your personal player, or burn a CD. This is the only feature that is blocked in the trial version. Transparent is big on using only the latest, scientifically proven sessions and the most, high tech way of delivering them. A great feature unique to them is the ability to embed entrainment into a song or any sound as a carrier. By using this feature, you can create a brainwave entrainment session without the thump- thump- thump of an isochronic tone. If you have an Android phone, you can experience this by downloading their free Brainwave a Day phone app from Google Play Also, you can connect an array of biofeedback or EEG devices directly into the software to actually optimize each session to your personal response to the stimulus (BioOptimization) . Multiple users can be set up with their own account within the program. The license includes installation on multiple computers for life, and comes with an unconditional 90 day money back guarantee. NeuroProgrammer 3 Ultimate, gives you full control on editing the existing sessions, as well as creating your own. If you already have the regular NP3 you can upgrade at any time for the price difference.
After downloading NeuroProgrammer 3 you will be asked to agree to the terms and conditions, and to the disclaimer. You will see provisions like this in any kind of brainwave entrainment product that you purchase. Let’s face it, we live in a world where you can get sued for not warning a consumer that coffee is hot, or olives in a salad may have pits in them. I will comment on the points covered in these disclaimers. Don’t take the information as a hall pass. Disclaimers are there as a warning. If you are lucky enough to have been involved in a suit in the past, you know that savvy lawyers will sue everyone involved, looking for a weak spot in the armor in which to sink their dagger. If the person suing you is married, you will also be sued by their partner because they “lost the services of their spouse.” While brainwave entrainment is very safe, especially when compared to prescription drugs, the lack of scientific proof surrounding it can be that weak spot to be attacked.
My comments on different parts of the disclaimer are shown in italics:
Those who should not use this program:
1. Pregnant women.
There really is no evidence or past instances of any harm being done to either the mother or the fetus. However, since not much research has been done regarding entrainment and pregnancy, the potential risk is not worth the reward. In other words, our lawyers made us put it in to cover our ass. If you are pregnant, use entrainment at your own risk, but I never told you it would be okay.
2. Those who wear pacemakers.
See number 1
3. Those that are prone to seizures.
Again, there is no real evidence and no solid evidence that entrainment sessions will trigger a seizure, especially in the case of auditory only stimulation. However, flashing light at the rate of 5-30 Hz has been known to induce seizures. There are some things you can do to minimize the risk: use blue or green light, a sine wave form, and offset the light to the corners of the eye. If you are prone to seizures, using photic stimulation is really not worth the risk. You can use auditory stimulation, but again at your own risk, and you didn’t hear it from me.
4. Those who are photosensitive or epileptic, whether you know it or not.
See number 3. I like the ”whether you know it or not” part. That’s what years of law school will get you.
Those who should consult a physician before the use of this product:
5. Individuals under the influence of medication or drugs, whether legal or not.
Well, if someone is taking drugs for recreation, you know they’re not going to heed this rule. This again falls under the lack of research heading. If you take LSD and then do brainwave entrainment sessions, don’t blame me if you fall down the rabbit hole.
6. Children under the age of 18.
Children under the age of 18 can be more susceptible to seizures and not even know it. Messing with a child’s brainwave patterns is not something you really should be doing unless the reward is greater than the risk. Brainwave entrainment is far safer than ADHD drugs, for instance. In any case, consult your physician. He probably has no idea what brainwave entrainment is and will tell you not to use it out of ignorance.
And finally the best of all:
7. Do Not Listen to Any Brainwave Entrainment Sessions While Driving or Operating Heavy Machinery.
Let’s just use some common sense, people!
You’ll also find a disclaimer not to use brainwave entrainment as a replacement for medical or psychological treatment.
No medical claims are intended expressed implied or even hinted.
This is an FDA thing. If brainwave entrainment required FDA approval, it would take years and a considerable investment to do so. Cranial Electro Stimulation (CES) devices got caught in this trap years ago. The FDA could not find substantial scientific proof to back their claims, therefore classifying such devices as class III- the same as a pacemaker. A consumer would require a prescription to legally obtain such a device. Recently the CES makers have made some headway, but at considerable cost. Let’s keep brainwave entrainment devices for “personal development and self-discovery” purposes only, and bypass all the bureaucracy of the FDA.
The nature of a technology that alters brainwave patterns and can induce altered states of consciousness easily gets blamed for “brainwashing,” “brain hacking” and other far out claims. Nobody can use entrainment on someone against their will, or without them knowing it. It takes active, willing participation in order for it to work, just as with hypnosis. If you hear voices, or feel someone is hacking into your brain, please call 911 and report it. They can help.
I know what you’re going to say: "Wait a minute… this says it uses binaural beats. You said binaural beats are out dated." I did, and they are, but let me explain. Hemi- Sync have always shrouded their formulas in mystery. Robert Monroe was one of the pioneers of BWE, a true visionary in the field. Interstate Industries have 50 years of research and experience behind them. Their unique multi- layered formula holds several patents, so if they choose not to share their technology with the rest of the world, I guess they have the right.
While they use the term "binaural beats" to describe their sessions, digging deeper they mention "complex, multi layered audio signals." Delving further reveals the use of a technology called Spatial Angle Modulation, which is a way of creating something like a binaural beat using the modulation of a tone through 3D space. The final piece to the puzzle is that the instructions say you can listen without headphones. Binaural beats cannot be formed without using headphones, so the "layering" must somehow be forming monaural beats. Since "binaural beats" have been around forever, and seem to be the catch phrase for entrainment sessions, I guess they just stuck with it. Whether or not the formula used is any better than other methods is best left up to the user. There are research papers presented on the Hemi Sync website, the validity of which will be undoubtedly contested by some. None the less, Robert Monroe is the Jimi Hendrix of BWE culture. He has used sound in ways never thought of before, and quite frankly blew away the minds of a generation. You can't thumb your nose at 50 years of research and development. Some worthy advice from Mr. Monroe himself: "The only way to know for sure is to attempt to reproduce them on a personal experimental level."
Robert Monroe is credited for popularizing the term out of body experience (OOBE). While researching the feasibility of learning while asleep, he often reached an altered state of consciousness wherein he appeared to leave his body. In this state he could readily move about and witness what was happening around him. He devoted the rest of his life to researching and developing sound technology that would shift brainwave patterns to achieve altered states of consciousness. This accumulated expertise culminated in the development of the Monroe Institute and Interstate Industries featuring the Hemi-Sync program. Robert Monroe passed away in 1995 at the age of 79.
Hemi-Sync's foundation is based on promoting full use of the brain, commonly known as "Hemispheric Synchronization." This concept is now being hyped under a new title called "Mid-brain Activation." Although the Mid-Brain Activation programs are a different animal, the goal is to get both sides of the brain to work in harmony. You will find sessions on the Hemi-Sync site for just about anything imaginable, and quite a few that may be unimaginable. Most are reasonably priced. Their flagship series, The Gateway Experience, may seem a little steep price-wise when you add it all together, but the people that I have spoken to who have gone through the program swear that it is worth the investment. The customer service is top-notch, performing well above the expected level of service. A 30-day money back guarantee is offered on CD’s, but not on downloads.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with AJ Honeycutt, President of Interstate Industries and the step son of the late Robert Monroe. He was kind enough to share some of his experience and answer a few questions about the Hemi-Sync programs.
RB: Tucked away on your Articles page are two wonderful stories of Maria Monroe Whitehead and yourself growing up with Robert Monroe. In my book I liken Robert Monroe to the "Jimi Hendrix of the BWE community," highlighting the fact that he used sound in ways never done before with a purpose of opening people's minds to unexplored possibilities. Can you share another antidote about Bob from your past?
AJ: One of the stories I tell goes back to the late 70’s when Bob and my mother flew out west where Bob was going to give a talk. The next day I was late for school and sped out of the ½ mile long driveway trying to get to school on time. That night when the folks called in to check on my sister and me, he said: “Listen, I want you to slow down going out the damn driveway!” Haha… Nobody was around then at probably 4:30am in California, and it’s not like the cell phones we have today, no one would have known how to reach him. Maybe someone ratted me out… maybe not.
RB: The trend in the BWE industry is to promote the clinical uses of BWE and to shun the recreational side in fear of being labeled as new age snake-oil. In my opinion, this has stagnated growth by taking the adventure and mystery out of exploring the realms of human consciousness. Interstate Industries doesn't seem to be afraid of skeptics and still offers BWE programs geared at esoteric interests. Do you think that this has hurt the credibility of BWE as a legitimate vehicle for better health? Thoughts?
AJ: Yes, overall I believe that esoteric pursuits related to binaural beats have turned others “off” in their search for scientific validation. With the technology available in this day and age, we vigorously support those who seriously want to study binaural beats in a scientific method, because it helps us understand more and enables us to improve the nature of what we’re doing. Also, it’s important to understand the power of intention and how that reflects in an exercise, and one’s ability to create a space for themselves using the technology as well as the scripting for that purpose. That said, these are tools that can be used pragmatically for getting some sleep or holding your concentration longer, or you can use them to explore your curiosity of expanded states of awareness. And as they are tools, you can do a lot of different things with them.
RB: What kinds of shifts of interest have you observed from the public concerning BWE in the decades you have been in business?
AJ: With all of the brain research currently being conducted, more “mainstream” folks are open to the idea of BWE technology, and want to understand how it can improve their lives. We have a dedicated group of professionals, ranging from educators and therapists, to medical personnel and forward-thinking business leaders who have not only researched, but used, the technology in their own fields with good results. And then you have the other contingent of customers who are the searchers – those seeking answers to the human/spirit condition, seeking their “Knowns” through the exploration and development of their own consciousness.
RB: Can you tell us a little about the Monroe Institute and your Gateway Experience program?
AJ: TMI is a research and educational non-profit that uses Hemi-Sync® and other modes to explore consciousness and expanded states of awareness. They offer many workshops and on-line courses devoted to these endeavors. The Gateway Voyage is their “Flagship” course, of which the Gateway Experience is the take-home version. A sequential series, the exercises lead you through “Focus Levels” which are steps to help one relax, then move on to other constructed inner spaces from which you explore your conscious self, belief systems, etc. Robert Monroe’s assumption and mantra regarding this was: “You are more than your physical body.” The Gateway course allows you to begin exploring what is true for you.
RB: You have just released 8 new titles to your already impressive inventory of products. Can you describe what goes into the making of one of your programs? How do you select your composers, and how do you work with them to deliver tracks that will produce the desired outcome? Can you tell us more about these new programs?
AJ: Generally we seek out or are contacted by composers that have works that are suitable for the technology and tone of what we want to produce. We have a selection group that listens to demos, reads scripts, and determines what projects we would like to pursue. After that, the process is best defined as collaborative, where we try to create high quality, constructive audio files. If music, we work with composers to get what we think will be the best iteration of the piece based on its relationship with binaural beats, and if verbal, we aim to record the most appropriate and authentic performance of it. After this, we add the technology, music, effects, etc., to create the overall package which is essentially, the Hemi-Sync® process.
RB: A lot of your products are based on binaural beat technology. However you also boast "complex multilayered audio signals," and that your programs can be listened to without headphones. Since the limitations of binaural beats are well known, as well as the fact that they cannot be produced outside the brain, what can you tell us about the other technologies used?
AJ: “Complex multi-layered audio signals” is the Hemi-Sync technology in a nutshell. Instead of using straight Beta, Theta, or Delta frequencies as other BWE products tend to do, Hemi-Sync was able to receive patents because of these multi-layered processes. And if you listen without headphones or ear-buds, obviously you need to be within the field of stereo speakers in a room, or speakers on each side you so the effect is realized. Otherwise, you’re just enjoying the music or meditation. We are primarily a binaural beat company, so we do not use other beat technologies in conjunction with our work at this time.
RB: I see a lot of your titles are offered in different languages. Can you tell us what is involved? Hypnotic induction? Guided meditation? Mental programming? How many countries use Hemi-Sync products? Have you noticed any difference in what kind of titles appeal to different cultures?
AJ: All foreign language titles are translated and then voiced by professionals. We then take those voice tracks and incorporate them into the appropriate audio exercises. Of course the technology remains the same as in our English versions, and we try to mirror the voice as much as we can related to the original. I believe “guided meditation” would be the best descriptor for most of our verbal exercises, and maybe a little mental programming if you want to suggest “affirmations” as being a programming of a sort.
At this point we are worldwide, and offer Hemi-Sync in 6 languages. Most English speaking countries display a good mix of interests, some esoteric, some practical. Japan leans more toward the esoteric, supernatural titles while Germany and France prefer the practical ones.
RB: Has Interstate conducted any new studies? New developments? What is your vision for the future of the BWE industry?
We have a few studies underway, perhaps the most notable is the “Sound Mind Warrior” study found at:
We also have some academic studies in the hopper and will elaborate on them when we have more information relative to their results.
I want to thank AJ for taking the time to enlighten us on the Hemi-Sync programs. I look forward to learning more and experiencing for myself the works of Interstate Industries. As a result, I will take Robert Monroe's advice and "attempt to reproduce them on a personal experimental level." I will embark on the Gateway Experience and write about my journey from an insider's perspective. I invite my readers to take advantage of Hemi- Sync's 20% off, buy 3 get 4th free Holiday Sale and join me in what promises to be an exciting adventure into the inner space of who we are. Get all the details by clicking on the banners on the:
Brainwave entrainment has calmed me when I was anxious, picked me up when I was down, lulled me to sleep when it seemed the world was spinning in my head, sharpened my brain when it was dull, and brought my mind, body and soul together. If just one reader gets benefit from my experience, I consider this work a success.