Go behind the scenes of brainwave entrainment technology creation with Joseph Kao, developer of the extraordinary meditation tool Journey to the Center of the Self. Here, in an interview with John Dupuy, CEO of iAwake Technologies, Joe describes the amazing complexity of the brainwave entraining soundscape he created to both accompany his deeply inductive, 30-minute, guided meditation on the first track of Journey, and also stand alone as a music-only track that holds you in a profoundly relaxed, still, yet clear place on the theta/delta border. To find out all that went into the making of the inductive guided meditation on the first track of Journey, see A Guide to Transpersonal Meditation: Journey to the Center of the Self, part I of this interview.
One problem with researching binaural beats is that listening to them does not guarantee brain entrainment. Although a determined listener should be able to focus on the beats enough to relax and let his or her brain match the binaural beat wavelength, sometimes, and for some people, it just won’t happen.  Also, some claims, such as astral travel, are not scientifically measurable at this time, and so are unverifiable in scientific studies. However, there are several studies that suggest that a meditative state is more easily attained when listening to binaural beats, suggesting that other such states may well be acheiveable too.
When signals of two different frequencies are presented, one to each ear, the brain detects phase differences between these signals. "Under natural circumstances a detected phase difference would provide directional information. The brain processes this anomalous information differently when these phase differences are heard with stereo headphones or speakers. A perceptual integration of the two signals takes place, producing the sensation of a third "beat" frequency. The difference between the signals waxes and wanes as the two different input frequencies mesh in and out of phase. As a result of these constantly increasing and decreasing differences, an amplitude-modulated standing wave -the binaural beat- is heard. The binaural beat is perceived as a fluctuating rhythm at the frequency of the difference between the two auditory inputs. Evidence suggests that the binaural beats are generated in the brainstem's superior olivary nucleus, the first site of contra-lateral integration in the auditory system (Oster, 1973). Studies also suggest that the frequency-following response originates from the inferior colliculus (Smith, Marsh, & Brown, 1975)" (Owens & Atwater, 1995). This activity is conducted to the cortex where it can be recorded by scalp electrodes.  
The brain has two hemispheres that operate somewhat independently from one another. The two hemispheric structures of the brain are connected by a large nerve, called the corpus callosum, which sends information back and forth between the two sides of the brain. In most people, the left hemisphere controls language, logical thinking, and analytic processes and the right side contains the centers for emotion, intuition, and non-linear creative thinking.
... These factors may be the specific frequency of BB; the targeted population-because it is known that older people have different quality of brainwave activity than, e.g., youngsters (Bazanova & Aftanas, 2008;Clark et al., 2004), and the tests used to detect the possible changes in working memory capacity. Based on the research showing a positive impact of alpha-range BB on cognitive functioning, specifically attention, auditory sequential memory, working memory, working memory storage, reasoning ability, cognitive processing and hemispheric synchronization, (Carter & Russell, 1993;Cruceanu & Rotarescu, 2013;Foster, 1990;Kennerly, 1994;McMurray, 2006) as well as on the wealth of research documenting the important role of alpha brain wave activity on vigilance, in-hibitory processes, attention, filtering out irrelevant information working memory, the visuo-spatial component of working memory, perceptual abilities and information processing speed (Braboszcz & Delorme, 2011;Clark et al., 2004;Engle et al., 1999a;Freunberger et al., 2011;Klimesch et al., 2007;Lachat et al., 2012;Oprisan, 2004;Palva & Palva, 2007;Rihs et al., 2007;Sauseng et al., 2009;Tuladhar et al., 2007;VanRullen & Koch, 2003), we believe that BB of a frequency that corresponds to the alpha range of brain activity has a temporary effect on working memory capacity. In our study, subjects were exposed to 9.55 Hz BB stimulation while we measured their working memory capacity through the Automated Operation Span Task (AOSPAN). ...
Brainwave entrainment is a colloquialism for such 'neural entrainment', which is a term used to denote the way in which the aggregate frequency of oscillations produced by the synchronous electrical activity in ensembles of cortical neurons can adjust to synchronize with the periodic vibration of an external stimuli, such as a sustained acoustic frequency perceived as pitch, a regularly repeating pattern of intermittent sounds, perceived as rhythm, or of a regularly rhythmically intermittent flashing light.

You’ve heard me talk before about how sound can make a difference to sleep. Patients often tell me that they fall asleep to relaxing music, they seem to find it really helps them let go of active thoughts and quiet their mind—which, like yours probably does, tends to race from one thing to the next all day long (aka I can’t turn off my brain syndrome).
My name is [name removed] and I purchased the full Equisync set about 2 years ago and I’m very happy with this product. I still feel and notice euphoric and life changing effects to this day and I’m so grateful for this fact. I continue to follow the research on this subject and know that as science and technology advances a more quality product can be produced.
Today, EEG machines are used for diagnosing epilepsy and sleep disorders, for determining dosages for anesthesia, and measuring the brain activity of people in comas or suffering from brain trauma. EEG machines also continue to play a role in researching and understanding brainwave entrainment and developing new and better methods for delivering the benefits of this form of brainwave modification. 
A 2008 study at Hofstra University played two different binaural beats and a control sound (a babbling brook) to patients with high blood pressure. There was no difference between the groups. In one small study from Japan that was published in the Journal of Neurophysiology in 2006, they played various binaural beats to nine subjects, and observed the resulting EEGs. They found great variability in the results. Their conclusion was that listening to binaural beats can produce activity on the human cerebral cortex, however the cause was more likely a conscious auditory reaction and was not correlated to the frequency of the binaural beat. However, a 2005 study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that they were able to induce a desired frequency in the EEG matching the phantom beat frequency encoded in a binaural beat, however this was with a single subject and was neither blinded nor controlled.
The review by Cahn also notes findings describing a heightened emotional state of meditators. A more complex study, conducted in 2008 by Lutz et al., focused on emotional response during meditation.[9] This investigation involved the creation of a “compassion meditation” state by novice and experienced meditators and testing the meditators response to emotionally charged sounds. fMRI results indicated heightened activity in the cingulate cortex but also in the amygdala, temporo-parietal junction, and right posterior superior temporal sulcus in response to the emotional sounds. The authors of this study believe this indicates greater sensitivity to emotional expression and positive emotion due to the neural circuitry activated.[9]
Brainwave entrainment music can be used almost anywhere and anytime, making this mood and self-improvement method versatile and flexible enough to do at work, while traveling, or at other times during the day. When used in the workplace during short rest periods, brainwave entrainment techniques can enhance concentration, communication, and work productivity.

♥ I've beeen training in self-hypnosis for a while (under supervision and for a reason) and found that the 8-4 Hz beats put me very quickly in a deeply relaxed state. Definitely the thing! With the timer, I can shut them for the real self-hypnosis. I haven't tried the other beat generators yet, but this one works much better than I expected and clearly does the job. In a few words: I'm impressed!

I have purchased several brain entrainment CDs, all of which have cost far more than the one I am using from the EOC Institute. Without a doubt, your CD outperforms the other ones hands down. It is nice to know that there are companies out there that truly put the customer first instead of the “ALMIGHTY DOLLAR” Thank you so much for your excellent product. It is a big help.
Sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) is one final type of brainwave that has been studied. SMR, also known as low beta, is a type of brainwave, which occurs in the sensorimotor cortex, in the 12 to 15 hertz range when that area of the sensorimotor cortex is idle and immobile. The purpose of SMR brainwaves is not well understood, but some neurofeedback practitioners report training to increase SMR brainwaves can be beneficial for people with autism, epilepsy, ADD, insomnia, drug addiction, and as an aide to better manage stress.
"When these people talk of religious experience, they are talking of a meditative experience," said John Haught, a professor of theology at Georgetown University. "But religion is more than that. It involves commitments and suffering and struggle ­ it's not all meditative bliss. It also involves moments when you feel abandoned by God." "Religion is visiting widows and orphans," he said. "It is symbolism and myth and story and much richer things. They have isolated one small aspect of religious experience and they are identifying that with the whole of religion."
I have purchased several brain entrainment CDs, all of which have cost far more than the one I am using from the EOC Institute. Without a doubt, your CD outperforms the other ones hands down. It is nice to know that there are companies out there that truly put the customer first instead of the “ALMIGHTY DOLLAR” Thank you so much for your excellent product. It is a big help.
Isochronic tones work by influencing your brainwave activity and they can’t directly affect the body. That said, the brain does control the body, so sensations and feelings can sometimes be felt in the body after stimulating your brainwave activity. Some people who are new listeners of this type of audio can sometimes feel tingling sensations in their body. Not everyone feels this and these sensations usually stop once you get more used to using the audios. Isochronic tones are considered as a safe technology. However, sometimes they can leave you feeling temporarily fatigued, especially if you listen to them for an extended period (hours) when you first start using them. If you felt fatigued, I would recommend using them for a much shorter period while you are getting used to them and ensure you are well-hydrated.
In March I started using the CDs that I affectionately call “Meditation for Dummies” and am very pleased with the results so far. My blood pressure has dropped, I am sleeping better and notice that I feel much more calm and less stressed. Instead of feeling that I need to “find the time” in my schedule to meditate, I look forward to that totally relaxing half hour–that peaceful feeling of floating.
Besides scientific literature, some authors have written of the promising research on meditation in books targeted for general audiences. One such book, Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson, PhD shares the current scientific research and investigations into meditation.[19] Hanson, a neuroscientist and researcher, explains to readers the scientific studies in plain language and discuss the impact of the results. Hanson’s main argument is that positive emotions, like love can be strengthened through meditation in a neuroplastic manner, citing dozens of scientific studies to support this claim.[19] Hanson’s viewpoint is representative of a larger popular movement to study and embrace Eastern phenomena including meditation in the Western world.
Synchronized brain waves have long been associated with meditative and hypnogogic states, and audio with embedded binaural beats has the ability to induce and improve such states of consciousness. The reason for this is physiological. Each ear is "hardwired" (so to speak) to both hemispheres of the brain (Rosenzweig, 1961). Each hemisphere has its own olivary nucleus (sound-processing center) which receives signals from each ear. In keeping with this physiological structure, when a binaural beat is perceived there are actually two standing waves of equal amplitude and frequency present, one in each hemisphere. So, there are two separate standing waves entraining portions of each hemisphere to the same frequency. The binaural beats appear to contribute to the hemispheric synchronization evidenced in meditative and hypnogogic states of consciousness. Brain function is also enhanced through the increase of cross-collosal communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
Binaural beats were discovered in 1839 by a German experimenter, H. W. Dove. The human ability to "hear" binaural beats appears to be the result of evolutionary adaptation. Many evolved species can detect binaural beats because of their brain structure. The frequencies at which binaural beats can be detected change depending upon the size of the species' cranium. In the human, binaural beats can be detected when carrier waves are below approximately 1000 Hz (Oster, 1973). Below 1000 Hz the wave length of the signal is longer than the diameter of the human skull. Thus, signals below 1000 Hz curve around the skull by diffraction. The same effect can be observed with radio wave propagation. Lower-frequency (longer wave length) radio waves (such as AM radio) travel around the earth over and in between mountains and structures. Higher-frequency (shorter wave length) radio waves (such as FM radio, TV, and microwaves) travel in a straight line and can't curve around the earth. Mountains and structures block these high-frequency signals. Because frequencies below 1000 Hz curve around the skull, incoming signals below 1000 Hz are heard by both ears. But due to the distance between the ears, the brain "hears" the inputs from the ears as out of phase with each other. As the sound wave passes around the skull, each ear gets a different portion of the wave. It is this waveform phase difference that allows for accurate location of sounds below 1000 Hz(9). Audio direction finding at higher frequencies is less accurate than it is for frequencies below 1000 Hz. At 8000 Hz the pinna (external ear) becomes effective as an aid to localization. In summary it's the ability of the brain to detect a waveform phase difference is what enables it to perceive binaural beats.
Now for the good part: depending on the frequency, binaural beats can be used to manipulate what kinds of waves your brain is sending out to promote sleep, deep thinking, etc. The lowest frequencies, from 0.1-4 Hz, are the best for deep sleep, pain relief, and reduction of stress hormones like cortisol. Additionally, these frequencies aid in the release of DHEA and melatonin, two of the sleep hormones. The next lowest, from 4-8 Hz, promotes REM sleep (when vivid dreaming and memory development occurs), deep relaxation, and is great for meditation. The higher frequencies, from 14 up to 100 Hz, have benefits like increasing focus, awareness and cognitive functioning for activities like information processing and problem-solving.
E I slept n cy time u attempted it I had the worst feeling ever my brain was so so heavy had a serious gravitational pulling to the ground and terrible twisting and painful movements in my head they b come u bearable I do t know what’s wrong my body seems to want to stay in a weird relcexd kind of state where I just want to stay in that state all the time I feel like a paralysis my whole body is weighted numb and dead I stopped all meds but it still happening nobody knows anything about this music nobody believe it’s cause ld me problems I am really u happy my life is a mess my head feels so so heavy and weighted I can’t hold it up I had a neck injury a while before I had listened to the music I been every where I seen all doctors had mri nobody can help me I do t know wats caused this my body and head does not want to co e out this state I can’t live this way please can u help me is the bi aural beats to blame I just do t know it seems
Results of this research proved that, indeed, the brain would entrain itself to the frequency equal to the difference between the two frequencies played. So if a subject listened to a 210 hertz tone in one ear and a 214 hertz tone in the other, the 4 hertz difference is the perceived “beat” that the brain, after listening for a while, will match itself to.
I practiced this meditation for 1000 days and I absolutely recommend it. I started with 40 days but I couldn't stop. I could feel this awesome energy building up and wanted to experience it. I felt surrounded with a solid protection of dense light which also filled my inner space. Sometimes I would continue a few minutes longer just to indulge in the experience.
This is something which will come to you with practice. For instance you may feel an energy around and inside you like you have shifted dimensions but are still there. Instead of thinking this is God, the Zone or whatever, think of this as your soul, you essence, your expanded pure light being. In this way you will begin to train yourself to find your identity in your expanded being and your internal identity. This is what we want - to let go of the idea that we are a limited ego.
Completely free of spoken words, this program delivers a unique combination of Alpha, Beta, Theta and Delta binaural beats that produce an extraordinary “mind-awake/body-asleep” state through brainwave entrainment. Negative thoughts are dramatically swept away by brilliant flashes of insight and understanding as you experience untold depths of inner peace.
I have never been more creative, productive, more loving to all people nor have I ever been happier in my life. All the wisdom I have found in my pursuit of happiness was somewhere in my intellect. Now it is a part of me. I am using it. I now consider myself a model for younger people to let them see how it is possible to function and be everything they’ve wanted to be. I just celebrated my 85th birthday and I am as young as when I was 25. Thank you for giving me the gift of my true self.
The Neuro Programmer website, as is typical, is full of testimonials and vague references to research. I tried to track down the research they referenced, but could not find anything published or peer-reviewed by the authors named or on the subjects indicated. For example, they cite one study by Thomas Budzynski, but the only thing published by him that is listed on Pub Med is a small study on biofeedback published in 1969. The 1999 study they reference is not listed. Also – Budzynski has connections to another company – Theta Technologies – which sells similar technology.  (The exact nature of his connection is not clear, he was at least a consultant. He is also listed as the director of research for another company, Synchromed, LLC.)  This looks like just another in-house worthless study to support the marketing of a product.

Brainwave entrainment is also known as brainwave synchronization.  According to Wikipedia  brainwave entrainment is “any practice that aims to cause brainwave frequencies to fall into step with a periodic stimulus having a frequency corresponding to the intended brain-state (for example, to induce sleep), usually attempted with the use of specialized software.”

Today, EEG machines are used for diagnosing epilepsy and sleep disorders, for determining dosages for anesthesia, and measuring the brain activity of people in comas or suffering from brain trauma. EEG machines also continue to play a role in researching and understanding brainwave entrainment and developing new and better methods for delivering the benefits of this form of brainwave modification. 
The brain will entrain to the strongest stimulus. If you combine binaural beats with isochronic tones, your brainwaves will entrain to the isochronic tones. If anything, when you combine the two I believe it makes the track less effective because it makes it harder for the brain to decipher between the two and synchronise to a single beat. There are lots of websites with compelling marketing about the benefits of combining the two together in some funky way, but I haven’t seen any research or lots of anecdotal feedback even to suggest it’s effective to combine them.
I can’t thank you guys enough for saving my life. I tell everybody I know about your guys. I love you guys. I word of mouth advertise and give my testimony to the power of your technology almost everyday. I am only 30 years old, but since I was 17 teen years old my life was a miserable roller coaster ride. I ended up being diagnosed with fibromyalsia, bipolar disorder, adhd, manic depression, sever anxiety, severe depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, and you name it. Because of your product, I have never felt better in my entire life. I can cope and manage and more. I can finally sleep a full night without tossing and turning waking to knots in my back and stomach. I can finally stand straight and tall without feeling like I have a pinched nerve in my neck. I have energy again, and a renewed passion for life!

Alpha Waves are electromagnetic oscillations in the frequency range of 8Ð12 Hz arising from synchronous and coherent (in phase / constructive) electrical activity of thalamic pacemaker cells in humans. They are also called Berger's wave in memory of the founder of EEG. They place the brain in states of relaxation times, non-arousal, meditation, hypnosis
Well, except for one reason: The power of suggestion. If I give you a music track and tell you that it will cure your headache, you're more likely to report that it cured your headache than you are to say "Well it didn't effect my headache, but it made my short-term memory better." An interesting experiment would be to buy a binaural track claimed to induce drunkenness, for example; play it for five friends without telling them the claim, and then ask how it made each of them feel. Give them multiple choices to select from. Chances are they're going to respond all over the map. If you have a friend who is a believer in binaural beats, I suggest going ahead and setting up this little test.