Brainwave entrainment dates back to indigenous and ancient cultures. In shamanistic cultures, ritual drumming and rhythmic prayers were used to bring about trance states. Shamans in such trance states were said to possess healing power. Today’s highly complex technological world incorporates technology into the healing process. Here are the highlights and turning points of Brainwave Entrainment:
Ptolemy philosophized on the mental effects of sunlight generated by a spinning wheel.
Dutch scientist Christian Huygens recorded the first entrainment phenomenon. He deduced that pendulum driven clocks in a room will fall into synchronization over time.
Hans Berger sets the stage by conducting the first ever systematic study of electrical phenomenon in the human brain. Brainwave entrainment begins to develop.
Hans Berger discovers the Alpha brain wave. Researchers immediately established that flickering lights can drive the strength of waves beyond its natural frequency (also known as Photic Driving, using light stimulation).
1930’s and 40’s
William Gray Walter carried out the first scientific research with newly developed Strobe lights and EEG equipment.
Building on Dempsey and Morison’s discovery on tactile stimulation (1942), Dr. Chatrian observed in experiment, auditory entrainment responding to clicks at the frequency of 15 per sec. He concluded that stimulation causes brain wave synchronization.
1960’s and 70’s
Peaked interest in altered states led Brion Gysin and Student to invent the Dreamachine.
Joe Kamiya (1968), published article on neurofeedback. First to argue that people may train themselves to control their own brain waves.
Anesthesiologist M.S. Sadove utilized photic stimulation to diminish the use of anesthesia while carrying out surgery.
Dr. Gerald Oster (1973), analyzed how the combination of 2 pure tones results in rhythmic beat (Binaural and Monaural beats). He noted that beats may be used to treat neurological disorders.
Dr. Glen Solomon extended brainwave entrainment to headache and relaxation.
Arturo Mans (1981) developed isochronic tones. It was later widely combined with other technologies in an attempt to treat disorders.
Michael Hutchison (1981) outlined the probable uses of entrainment in his book MegaBrain. He made arguments for using entrainment to attain optimal meditation and creativity.
Dr. Brockopp confirmed the findings of Inouye (1980) that Cerebral Synchronization is easily produced by photic stimulation. He studied audio-visual brain stimulation and hemispheric synchronization under EEG monitoring to reach his conclusion.
Harold Russel and John Carter set a benchmark by using brainwave entrainment to treat learning disorders. They concluded that subjects showed a 2 point increase in IQ score.
Studies continue today in brainwave entrainment. Research now, focuses on the effect of entrainment on a particular disease, as opposed to the process per se in its early days. Diseases such Hypertension, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Pain, Seasonal Affective Disorder, among others are currently being researched.