Recent research from Harvard Medical School, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and Psychology Today concur: the benefits of guided meditation, binaural beats, brainwave entrainment and positive subliminal messaging are real and profound.
Research published in 2013 on Guided Meditation from the Harvard Medical School:
“Meditation appears to produce changes in brain activity. It also can lower your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, oxygen consumption, adrenaline levels, and levels of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress...there are many types of meditation that can result in physiological benefits, such as guided meditation.”
Duke University published research about binaural beats that investigated whether binaural beats within the electroencephalograph frequency range can entrain EEG activity. Their conclusion: "Results suggest that the presentation of binaural auditory beats can affect psychomotor performance and mood. This technology may have applications for the control of attention and arousal and the enhancement of human performance."
Research published in 2013 on Binaural Beats from Frontiers in Human Nueroscience, a journal of the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine, concludes that binaural beats increase creativity:
"Results showed that binaural beats, regardless of the presented frequency, can affect divergent but not convergent thinking."
A 2014 article on Brainwave Entrainment published in the Huffington Post discusses the work of Deepak Chopra and Dr. Rudi Tavi, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School:
"Research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that when people's brains are in a Delta brain wave state, beta amyloid production in the brain ceases and the toxic material is cleared away. One thought is to explore the possibility of using brain entrainment technology to help treat Alzheimer's, but at this point all it is being used for is to help people meditate, relax and dream instantly and effortlessly."
The positive impact of Subliminal Messaging is discussed in Psychology Today from an article published in 2015:
"Two recent studies on subliminal messages have found that subconscious visual cues can improve athletic performance and reduce negative age stereotypes of physical ability."
Kelly Howell also co-authored the book Brain Power, positively reviewed by the Mayo Clinic.
"Brain Power is a well-researched, well-referenced and practical guide to maintaining and improving your mind as you age. It provides proof that the brain can adapt, grow and learn new skills with age. Even better, the tools provided are practical, achievable, and proven."
Carnegie Mellon is conducting brain sync research and making "significant scientific progress in understanding autism at the genetic, behavioral and neurobiological levels" in a study that examines synchronization of brain hemispheres in toddlers.
For further readings on the frontiers of conscious evolution, please see these articles.
- Biofeedback: Three Decades of "Little" Breakthroughs
- Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
- Auditory Beats in the Brain
- The Mind Revealed
- A New Theory of Consciousness
- The Brain Wave Frequencies of Health
- Alpha-theta Brainwave Training and
- Beta-endorphin Levels in Alcoholics
- Neural Feedback and Brainwave Training
- Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
- Early Development of Alpha and Theta Brainwave Training
- Classic Reading 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Biofeedback: Three Decades of "Little" Breakthroughs, Part 1
Excerpted from the "Mind-Body Connection," The Center for Mind/Body Medicine
Some of the most important "breakthroughs" in the field of biofeedback have come not from one definitive study but from the accumulation of numerous studies over many years. Rather than focusing only on the latest published articles, we felt it important to place the field of biofeedback in its historical context.
Back in the 1960s when experimental psychologist Neal Miller first demonstrated that the autonomic nervous system could be trained to alter some bodily processes, it was thought biofeedback would change the world. Miller's discovery uprooted the prevailing paradigm, that the autonomic, or visceral, nervous system was basically "dumb" and beyond voluntary control. At the time, some scientists predicted that biofeedback eventually would allow patients to "take a fully active and direct role in literally learning not to be sick" (Dienstfrey, 1991).
Over the next three decades, some 3,000 articles and 100 books on biofeedback were published. And although the research has not uncovered the kind of "unified field" originally hoped for, biofeedback has been shown to be an effective treatment for dozens of specific ailments. These include bronchial asthma, drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety, tension and migraine headaches, cardiac arrhythmias, essential hypertension, Raynaud's disease/syndrome, fecal and urinary incontinence, irritable bowel syndrome, muscle reeducation, hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, epilepsy, menopausal hot flashes, chronic pain syndromes, and anticipatory nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. While biofeedback has been used successfully to treat some psychological and mental disorders, it seems to work best with patients in which physiological processes are relevant (Futterman & Shapiro, 1986).
The most common forms of biofeedback today make use of instruments to "feed back" information about such bodily processes as muscle tension (EMG feedback), skin temperature (thermal feedback), brain waves (EEG feedback) and respiration. By watching the monitoring device, patients can adjust their thinking and other mental processes in order to control bodily processes. In some cases, subjects learn by trial and error what kind of thinking or behavior affects those processes. In other cases, subjects are taught specific methods, such as relaxation or imagery, which it is believed will have an impact on bodily functions.
One of the most exciting areas of biofeedback research today is the use of alpha-theta brainwave training. This therapy has proven effective in the treatment of various disorders, including chemical dependence, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, multiple personality, panic and eating disorders. Drs. Eugene Peniston and Paul Kulkosky's (1989, 1990, 1991) pioneering work showed that training chronic alcoholics to increase the lower-frequency alpha and theta brain waves, while controlling the higher frequency beta waves, resulted in significantly less depression, less craving for alcohol and less relapse. (The alpha brain wave has been associated with a tranquil, serene state, while the theta wave corresponds to a deeper meditative state.)