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difference between other brain entrainment programs?

Discussion in 'START HERE: Registration & Introductions' started by kdoyler, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. kdoyler

    kdoyler Member

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    Hey,

    I was hoping I could ask for some advice regarding the difference between lifeflow and the brain evolution system which claims to be more effective and is a lot cheaper.

    If anyone has experienced both programs I would appreciate some feedback to help decide which to pursue.

    Thanks Kevin.
     
  2. GilesC

    GilesC Member

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    Hi Kevin and welcome to the Project Meditation community.

    I can't say I've heard of Brain Evolution system, but I've just googled to find their website and have to say that the site itself comes across as very marketing oriented with some psychological marketing tricks employed on it. e.g.

    The mind, when being instructed, will ignore the word "Don't", so the above is effectively saying:

    It's the same as me saying to you... "Don't think of a banana"... you have no choice, just in reading that you will have thought of a banana.

    Also, their information is showing signs of inaccuracy/misunderstanding if you ask me.. e.g.

    .: BrainEv :. Brainwave Entrainment training with the Brain Evolution System

    There are various meditation techniques, but the purpose of the meditative state is not to be focused on thought.

    Those are just a couple of observations from a quick persusal of some of the site.

    ;)

    Hugs

    Giles
     
  3. Ta-tsu-wa

    Ta-tsu-wa Member

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    Kevin,

    Let me try to throw a little light on this for you.

    First, understand that anyone wanting to sell a product in a market with competing products is going to say theirs is better and more effective. Few people would buy a product whose marketers said, "There are other products out there a lot better than ours, but we'd like you to buy ours anyway." So take the claim of "ours is better" for what it's worth; just an automatic marketing statement. You have to determine for yourself which is better based on what you can actually learn about it, not on the surface statements made by its producers, and that includes Lifeflow.

    Let me make a couple of observations about the Brain Evolution product that I've personally noted.

    The BrainEV producers are critical of other companies, especially CenterPointe which produces Holosync products. While there is much one could be critical of regarding Holosync, perhaps the greatest source of frustration many people feel towards it is the over-the-top marketing blitz tactics used by CenterPointe. No need to rehearse that here. Most everyone who's dealt with them is familiar with what I'm referring to, and if you're not, just Google "holosync aggressive marketing" and you'll quickly discover how many people are turned off by their style.

    Unfortunately for BrainEv, its creators have largely emulated that same aggressive marketing style. I was asked to compose a product review on BrainEV so I began research by requesting their demo track. As soon as I supplied them with my e-mail address I began getting daily sales messages, sometimes several messages a day. This was shortly after the initial release of their product, so I do not know if they have tempered the marketing blitz since opening business, but at that time they were at least as aggressive as CenterPointe.

    The marketing messages they sent daily contained huge numbers of claims about their product, many of which looked to be rather exaggerated. I wrote them with specific questions about some of these claims and statements but received no response other than continued marketing messages. Eventually, I took myself off their mailing list to get them to stop.

    Here are a few points that were problematic in their claims:

    Gain valuable insights into your conscious and subconscious thinking processes!

    Alright, how is manipulating your brainwaves going to give you any insight into either your conscious or subconscious mind? We all go through the various brainwave states every day as a natural part of both our waking and sleep time, but that doesn't convey any special insight into the conscious or subconscious mind. Insights such as this are the result of using some type of deliberate analytical process or specific technique, not the mere product of brainwaves. Certainly, learning to manipulate brainwaves could be an asset if combined with techniques, analysis, or some other therapeutic modality such as cognitive behavioral therapy, towards gaining insight into conscious and subconscious processes, but brainwave manipulation alone would do little or nothing in that regard.

    Discover how to consciously change your emotions - to enjoy greater freedom!

    Again, how will simply guiding my brainwaves give me conscious control over emotions? It could certainly facilitate learning to work with emotions through some form of technique or therapy, but alone it will do little or nothing.

    Explore the undisturbed landscape of your consciousness - uncover your own profound wisdom!

    This postulates some direct relationship between wisdom and brainwaves which is, to say the least, a wholly unsubstantiated and a rather silly leap. It would mean, if this is correct, that when you possess certain brainwaves you are automatically possessed of wisdom. I would love to see any study or even anecdotal evidence to suggest such a relationship.

    Get rid of all social anxieties and phobias - become more confident!

    Entrainment can certainly be of use when combined with proper therapies and techniques in relieving phobias and social anxieties, but if it was so simple to banish these by merely altering brainwaves every therapist in the world would have been using entrainment and achieving unprecedented success. This is not only an exaggerated claim, it probably crosses well over the line of what is and is not permissible to state as far as making medical claims go for marketing purposes. Were it ever to come to the attention of a regulatory agency I rather suspect they would be required to remove it from their web page.

    Get rid of bad habits, emotional baggage and illogical brain "programming"!

    As above, "habits" and "illogical brain programming" are not going to be resolved simply by having particular brainwaves. Brainwave entrainment might enhance therapeutic work on these problems, but that's not what the claim is. This claims that simply manipulating the brainwaves produces these results, and that's just not true.

    Banish negative past experiences - and live happy and free, without negative emotional restraints!

    Same as above. This sort of thing is the province of therapies and techniques designed to work with these issues. Brainwave manipulation can be an aid in such work, but alone it would do little or nothing.

    These are the types of questions I asked the BrainEV producers to provide supporting evidence about, and which drew only a refusal to respond on their part. Of course it is expected that marketing language will put any product in its best light, and will attempt to entice you to give that product a try. Even the use of hyperbole (deliberately exaggerated statements to emphasize a point) are acceptable and quite useful. But statements like those cited above are making concrete claims that are not based in fact. At points they even border on making specific medical claims, and they do so while getting the facts wrong on top of things.

    Part of the problem is that the producers seem to have fallen into the trap created by some other big names in the entrainment industry, believing that the mere presence of certain brainwaves is all that's required for specific effects to manifest. For example, the idea that you can listen to an entrainment track and that simply by listening to it and doing nothing more other than going on about your normal business, you are somehow gaining the benefits of meditation. The BrainEV people have fallen for this same deceptive and false proposition.

    Their product is aimed mostly at meditation. They write:

    In just SIX MONTHS of using the Brain Evolution System, you can reach advanced states of mind that previously required DECADES of meditative practice.

    And yet they provide no instruction for any technique of meditation. They claim that their product is in and of itself, meditation:

    Is BrainEv a meditation system? In a nutshell, yes. Meditation can take many, many forms, and the Brain Evolution System can easily be considered a meditation toolkit for the brain.

    This is nonsense. It raises concerns about the product since the designers themselves display such a superficial and erroneous concept about what entrainment is and is not, and about what it can and cannot do.

    However, I'm one who believes the real proof of something resides in whether or not it works. I'm inclined to set aside these other issues for a moment and look at the design and theoretical basis behind the product.

    The BrainEV system has a few intriguing points to it. The claim is that it is based on a three-pronged entrainment scheme. It uses the common binaural waves, which is to be expected. There's nothing particularly unique in that.

    It also uses what the producers call "rhythmic entrainment". Unfortunately, the term is their way of saying isochronic waves. I say "unfortunately" because there are several older products on the market which do use a process called "rhythmic entrainment" and it has nothing to do with isochronics at all. Their choice to use the term here could be confusing considering it has already been used to describe something quite different. So for the sake of clarity, let's just call it what it is; isochronic waves. There is nothing particularly outstanding here, either, though including the isochronics is an improvement over binaurals alone. They do not actually talk much about them or highlight some of their benefits as much as they could. The reason for this is, I believe, the fact that they have a third entrainment feature which is unique to their product and so they spend most of their time touting that.

    The third feature they call "Temporal Brainwave Entrainment". The word "temporal" has to do with "time", and particularly with how time is experienced. In short, what they do is take sections of their tracks and stretch them out so that those same sounds take slightly longer to play out than if they were played at normal speed. Conversely, they compress some other sounds so that they play in a shorter amount of time than at normal speeds. These stretches and compressions they say, are calibrated so as to match the entrainment frequency of the other two parts of the track; the binaural and isochronic waves.

    This stretch and compression is given their fancy name of Temporal Brainwave Entrainment, but in fact it's a very simple function that many audio editing programs have such as Adobe Audition or Cool Edit. It is nothing new. The only thing that is new is that they say they've matched the rates of compression and stretching to the entrainment frequency and, that this somehow results in entrainment.

    This is another of those claims for which I would have to ask for some type of supporting evidence. Does stretching or compressing sounds cause the brain to follow suit and slow down or speed up its brainwaves to match? I don't know. My guess is, probably not. I've never heard of any research done by anyone to even test such an idea.

    This sounds more like a marketing claim that's used simply to convey a bit of exclusivity to a product, much like Holosync products claim that using deeper and deeper carrier waves results in a deeper entrainment experience. If such were true, and if it was a fact established by any credible research, every entrainment track manufacturing company would be jumping on the bandwagon and claiming their product used the lowest carrier frequencies. That doesn't happen because the claim is of itself completely unfounded. It's just CenterPointe's way of having something exclusive.

    This concept of "Temporal Brainwave Entrainment" strikes me as being much the same. It's interesting, and though doubtful, who knows? Maybe there is something there, but at present there's no evidence of any kind, anywhere, that I'm aware of to suggest the idea has ever been put to the test or researched. Until such is available I have to take this as just a marketing gimmick that is most likely groundless. I'd love to be proved wrong as the concept is intriguing, but this is one of those types of questions I could get no answer about.

    Their product also makes no mention of the use of monaural waves which Lifeflow does include. In fact Lifeflow uses all three, binaural, monaural and isochronic, so it has what the BrainEV system has plus one additional form. I have to presume since BrainEV makes no mention of it that monaural is not included in their tracks.

    One additional area of question I had was in their whole discussion about the brain's use of "shifting" brainwave patterns. That idea is quite correct. The brain does use patterns of differing brainwave frequencies and they do shift slightly most of the time, though one frequency is generally always predominant. What was not clear to me in my research on BrainEV, is if they use combinations of brainwaves in their product. Combinations are too singular to the brain that produces them to be used by any other brain, let alone combinations that have been merely thrown together by some audio engineer based on nothing more than what he thought sounded like it ought to work. Even recording brainwave combinations from one brain and playing them back as an entrainment matrix to another brain is not similar enough to produce entrainment. Combinations are ignored unless they were generated by that specific brain. It was unclear whether or not the BrainEV tracks use combinations. If so, it would virtually eliminate any potential the tracks have to be effective. This was another of those questions I was unable to obtain any answer about.

    I would also question whether the use of "shifting" frequencies is effective or not. If you were to strike a tuning fork and hold it near a piano string of the same frequency, the string would entrain to the fork and begin vibrating after exposure for a certain period of time. But if you used a multi-oscillator which shifted from frequency to frequency rather than a tuning fork, you would find the piano string would not entrain to it, nor would any of the other piano strings. That constant movement would not provide sufficient time for entrainment to occur before the source changed to a different frequency. Entrainment is not instant. It requires some period of time at which the frequency must remain fixed, and if the time alloted is too short entrainment can't occur. So whether or not this shifting scheme used by BrainEV will work at all would depend on how often the shifting occurs, and to what degree the frequency changes.

    One thing BrainEV did well on was their demo track. It wasn't a bunch of marketing chatter with little or no chance to sample the entrainment track without the chatter. That's a refreshing change from some others.

    Since it is free, and since the Lifeflow sample track is also free, my suggestion is that you download both of them and give them a try. Don't listen to them too closely together. Give yourself a few hours or maybe even a day in between so that you can discern which track is having what effect.

    I hope this helps with your question.

    P.S. I see Giles beat me to the punch here. I think he and I noted some of the same things.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  4. quokkie

    quokkie New Member

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    I learnt more about lifeflow from this critique
    Thanks
     

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