To understand how brainwave entrainment works a understanding about brainwaves will be helpful. The 4 most common brainwaves are beta (13 hz – 30 hz), alpha (8 hz – 12 hz), theta (4 hz – 8 hz), and delta (0.5 hz – 4 hz). Although all 4 brainwaves are active in the brain at all times, one of these patterns is usually dominant depending on whether you are busy, emotional, relaxing, sleeping etc. Your dominant brainwave pattern is responsible for your state of awareness at any given moment.
Following is a brief description of the beta, alpha, theta, and delta brainwave states:
Beta waves (13 to 40 Hz ) – Beta is identified with active, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration.
Alpha waves (8 to 12 Hz ) – When we begin to relax or begin to get drowsy, but are still awake and conscious, when we are day dreaming, we are at the alpha level.
Theta waves (4 to 8 Hz) – When we are asleep and have dreams, and experience rapid eye movement (REM), and have hallucinations, and even when we experience deep meditation, we are at the theta level. When we lucid dream (this is when you are conscious while you are dreaming) we are at the theta level.
Delta waves (0.5 to 4 Hz) – Delta waves are usually associated with deep, slow brain activity found in deep sleep. Delta waves are experienced predominantly in newborn infants, as well as in healthy adults in deep rejuvenating sleep, or in very deep states of brain enhancing, emotional cleansing, bodily renewing meditation.
Other brainwave states are:
Gamma and HyperGamma brainwaves (30 hz – 100 hz) which are usually very weak in the average person. However recent studies show that gamma brainwaves have been found to be very strong in Tibetan monks while doing a Loving Kindness meditation.
Lambda brainwaves (100 hz – 200 hz) are very high brainwave frequencies associated with wholeness, integration and mystical experiences. Furthermore, lambda brainwaves have been found to ride on epsilonbrainwaves in the range of 0.5 hz or lower. (Recently the brainwaves below 0.5 hz have been classified as a separate band called Epsilon.)
Those who are advanced in meditation experience hyper gamma and lambda brainwaves which are normally very weak, or even nonexistent, in the average person. Mystical consciousness is associated with hyper gamma and lambda brainwave activity where epsilon brainwaves are present.