Hi...and wondering:)

Discussion in 'START HERE: Registration & Introductions' started by Mentalius, May 16, 2015.

  1. Mentalius

    Mentalius Member

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    Hi, as a first time poster, I´ll start by introducing myself: I´m a 53 year young Dane, working as a teacher/trainer/consultant as well as a hypnotist/coach.

    Now, about the wondering part: I´ve done the 10 months of LifeFlow 10 - 1. I don´t really feel the tracks have done anything for me, neither specifically or in generel.

    A few days back I decided to play LF 1 while measuring brainwave-patterns, using NeuroSky´s headset. Quite consistently the alpha and theta-waves were quite high, however delta-waves were pretty low. I had higher levels of delta waves (and as high alpha/theta waves) in a self hypnotic trance.

    I would expect that listening to LF 1, would produce more delta waves. Any thoughts?

    Cheers...Mentalius
     
  2. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi Mentalius and welcome to the community :)

    I feel certain that the solution can be found with how you are using LifeFlow. Are you using it with a meditation technique, hypnosis or just for relaxation? I am not familiar with neurosky´s headset or hypnosis so I have searched the archives of the community for answers for you from some very well respected and professional people. The following comments from an audio engineer may be of help to you. There may be parts in this post that are not relevant to your query, still I copied the whole post so you can decide for yourself...

    “I have access to some fairly state of the art audio equipment. Someone commented in one post that I seemed to know a fair piece about audio, and that's the reason why. I do spend a great deal of time working with music and audio tracks so maybe some of my observations would be of interest to others.

    I was intrigued when I first ran the analysis on the LifeFlow tracks as well. Call me curious, I suppose, but I've run audio spectrographs on a number of entrainment products from various companies (out of courtesy I won't specify the names here,) because I always want to know if their claims are backed up by the technical analysis I perform. So here are a couple of interesting points I've found.

    First thing I noticed was that the LifeFlow tracks start and end right at their targeted entrainment frequency. No descending down, no climbing back up. They do fade in and out with the volume, but this does not in any way affect frequency of the entrainment waves themselves. Virtually every other track I've run through the spectrograph tells you in their literature that they begin in Beta, slowly descend down to the target frequency where they remain for a time, then start ascending again back to Beta. I've always found this a most curious thing since, as Michael has said, and as I've read in many places elsewhere, the human brain requires something like 8 minutes to entrain to a frequency, and it only works if that frequency remains constant.

    So my first question when I read the literature of other entrainment companies was...If you start at Beta and slowly and constantly decrease the frequency until you get to your target, then during that period of descent (or ascent at the end of the track,) how is the brain supposed to entrain to the tones because there was never a fixed frequency for it to get a handle on? Everything I've been able to read about entrainment suggests that entrainment only occurs if the brain has a fixed frequency to lock onto. Going back to the example Michael gave about that 17th century Dutch scientist (I forget his name) who discovered the phenomenon of entrainment by starting the pendulums of clocks swinging at different times, then came back later to find they had all synchronized and were swinging in unison, none of those clocks started at one rate and then sped up or slowed over a gradual period of time to give the other clocks a chance to gradually match them. They started off at one rate and they all ended up matching that exact same rate.

    To my mind that suggests that easing your way into entrainment or back out of entrainment is simply not necessary. You pick the target frequency and the brain zeros in on it. As for those entrainment tracks that use the wind up and wind down strategy, since they never give the brain a fixed entrainment wave to lock on to during those "winding" periods, that time would seem to be completely wasted. Your brain doesn't really begin entraining with them until they hit and hold at their target frequency. I'm guessing that's one of the reasons I've found the LifeFlow tracks to be so much more effective. They don't waste any time either at their beginning or end. They just immerse me immediately at the frequency I want to go to. As for gradually coming out, I know that for example, when I'm daydreaming, I'm in a state of predominantly Alpha waves. If something comes up and I need to return to full, normal Beta consciousness, I don't need something to gradually bring me out of the daydream over a 10 or 15 minute period. My brain just goes from Alpha to Beta immediately, and I'm right there where I need to be.

    So those wind up/down periods really do seem to be nothing but wasted filler time on most entrainment tracks. If I have a 30 minute track, and 10 minutes at the beginning is used to wind down from Beta to Alpha or another target frequency, and another 10 minutes is taken at the end of the track to go from the target frequency back up to Beta, that means 20 minutes of my 30 minute track were completely wasted. Worse yet, it means I only got 10 minutes at my target entrainment frequency. If it took the first 8 minutes of that for me to entrain that leaves me with a whole whopping 2 minutes of time at my target frequency. I get 2 minutes of time at frequency from a 30 minute track. That doesn't sound to me as if it would produce much of a result.

    The second thing I noticed, and you don't need expensive equipment to test this for yourself, is that I can see the LifeFlow track entrainment beats when I play the tracks on the spectrograph, but you can do the same on your home computer using a freeware program called Audacity. Audacity is a fairly basic audio manipulation program, not complex by professional standards but enough for a home user to get some good mileage out of. One of the features Audacity has is a set of decibel meters that show both the left and right channels of the track you're playing. These show up as a couple of green bars that pulsate with the intensity of the track. This isn't the playback volume these bars are measuring, which can go up or down depending on how I adjust the volume control. What these bars measure are the actual intrinsic intensity of the recorded sound waves themselves. What you see if you play a LifeFlow track is that these these intensity bars pulsate at regular, consistent intervals, which would be the monaural and isochronic waves you're looking at (binaurals wouldn't show up because they're a construct of the brain rather than an actual sound.) In any event, you can put on LF-10, for instance and see the bars pulsating at a steady rate. Then put on LF-4 or 2 or any of the lower tracks and you'll see the bars still pulsating, but at a noticeably slower rate. Even if you can't audibly hear the entrainment waves because you have the volume turned down too low, you can still see the intensity bars pulsating, telling you that the waves are in fact there.

    Interestingly, when I play tracks from other manufacturers I get no discernible patterns on the intensity bars. They just bounce all over the place seemingly at random. That may be the reason I've never gotten any particularly noteworthy results using other entrainment products. All those waves just seem jumbled together. How would my brain ever make sense of them? For that matter, I can't even honestly say that what I'm viewing in those tracks ARE entrainment waves. They might just as well be nothing more than the sounds of the waves or music or whatever else is used to "mask" the buried alleged entrainment waves because there is no consistent pattern to them. I know other entrainment companies use combinations of entrainment wave frequencies and that probably accounts for why there is no clear pattern of wave pulsations...that, and the fact that none of the others I've ever tested have used isochronic or monaural waves, but stick exclusively to binaurals, which, as I said earlier, wouldn't show up clearly on a program as rudimentary as Audacity.

    So when I ran across the LifeFlow series I was, to say the least, very skeptical. I thought to myself, "Here we go again! Another entrainment product that will just show me a jumble of sounds!" Then I tested them and to my very great surprise I found them to be unique and very different than any other track I'd ever tested before. So I started using the LF-10 track and noticed how much it improved my meditative practice. With the technical spectrographic proof before my eyes, and the personal experience verifying to me that the tracks really do what Michael says they do, I had no qualms at all about investing in the rest of the series.”

    Here's a small piece copied from the following link...

    "Even a person with good coping strategies should experience some measure of increased peace and well being early on when beginning to use entrainment in conjunction with meditation. If you truly feel no difference whatsoever this indicates something is not quite as it should be. One or more of the following problems is probably true...

    http://www.project-meditation.org/c...x/2357-principles-meditation-entrainment.html

    The final link explains how hypnosis could also be used as a gateway into meditation if used properly...

    http://www.project-meditation.org/c...box/1526-meditation-vs-hypnosis.html#post7632

    Please let me know if the above is of help to you and also, you can contact the support staff who are always happy to help at [email protected] Look forward to your reply and wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)
     
  3. Mentalius

    Mentalius Member

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    Hi Polyanna and thanks for the welcoming:)

    I already read those, somewhat different than what I´m asking, but nice of you to dive into the archives in order to help:)

    Cheers...Mentalius
     
  4. pollyanna

    pollyanna Moderator

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    Hi Mentalius,

    my apologies. I was focusing on the first part of your statement and offering links that would explain the reasons why you have not noticed any difference at all.

    So I can be sure of your question, please can you tell me...

    When your intention was to be in a hypnotic trance state did you get the brainwave results you were expecting?

    Was your intention to enter the conscious state of meditation when you played LifeFlow 1 and if so what technique did you use?

    Here's the reason for the second question... I understand that specific frequencies of waves tend to be localized and almost compartmentalized in specific areas of the brain. When someone is connected up to an EEG to measure their brainwaves, sensors are placed on several places on their scalp to get readings from the diverse parts of the brain. Beta waves registering in one area of the brain will tell you something entirely different than those same Beta waves if they were present in a completely different area of the brain. The results will also differ depending on what you are doing.

    For example, if you listen to LifeFlow 10 with your eyes open so that your optic nerve is actively processing information, your overall brainwave entrainment will be 10Hz, but if you specifically measured that area near the back of your brain you would find that it would still be producing quantitatively more Beta waves because it would continue processing the information incoming from your eyes.

    Results also differ because each track incorporates a single chosen frequency as a primary and allows each person's brain to fill in the others according to their individual needs.

    Hope this helps and wish you much peace and joy :) :) :)
     

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