What is Entrainment? Ever turn on your windshield wipers while listening to a song and notice after a while how they are in time with the music? Or put two clocks in a room and notice that the second hands synchronize with each other? “Entrainment is the process by which the powerful rhythmic vibrations of one object are projected upon a second object with a similar frequency, thereby causing that object to vibrate in resonance with the first object.”(Gaynor, Mitchell L.)
This is one reason we are drawn to certain people or places. Entrainment is the reason we like sounds or dislike them. Think about a time when you heard the sound of water, morning birds, frogs, etc. Think about the sounds of an industrial zone, the big city, or even your cell phone. This sonic entrainment, which can be utilized for our well-being, is what I want to tell you more about. “We human beings also react in resonance with the vibrations and fluctuations in our surroundings, so it follows that our physiological functioning may be altered by the impact of sound waves, whether produced by our own voices or by objects or instruments in our environment.”(The Healing Power of Sound)
Entrainment works with the human mind/body in three distinct ways. It alters our energetic states leading to subtle physiological changes. It can affect us emotionally which affects us on a cellular level. “…Sound can transform negative, repressed emotions into a state of psychological equanimity that has direct and immediate effects on our physiology.”(The Healing Power of Sound) In other words, if your body is clenched tight with stress and you hear a soothing sound you may drop your shoulders and be able to breath more deeply. Lastly, sonic entrainment helps to restore harmony between our essence and the universe – so we actually feel in tune with our inner and outer lives.
We are constantly being affected by entrainment in our daily lives, but what is it like to become more aware of it or even to choose what vibrations we want to entrain too? Begin to notice how you feel, where you have been, and what you have listened to lately. Have you heard birds or machines? The wind or the buzz of fluorescent lights? We choose what we eat, what we watch, and where we live, but few of us choose what we hear most of the time. How does your favorite song make you feel? What nature sounds call out to you? Sounds that tune us in to ourselves are a good place to start for deeper healing. I choose singing bowls, the didgeridoo, and tuning forks as tools to entrain to. Each one of these instruments have harmony and dissonance within their sounds, just like the real world. The slight pulse of the frequencies stimulates the brain to listen more closely helping to quiet the rest of the mind and put us into a more meditative and relaxed Theta state. “Theta states are considered a bridge between conscious and unconscious processes, rarely traveled routes to profound self-understanding and physical regeneration.”(The Healing Power of Sound) Many cultures have used sound as a quickening tool to deepen states of meditation and healing, even using trumpets and drum beats to entrain an army for battle.
Nature has the tendency to move toward harmony. The voice can bring us into harmony with the universe. “Our ability to entrain or experience our harmony with the vibrations of those around us allows us to feel our connection with the world.”(The Healing Power Of Sound) So as spring is hear now, try stepping out into nature and feel what it is like to entrain to the sounds. Play an instrument. Sing with a friend. Listen to recordings that were made with healing intentions. Or just put two clocks in a room and prepare to be amazed by the power of entrainment. Be well.
Author: Geoff Lamden is a naturopath, teacher, foodie, and home remedy maker. Geoff helps those he works with create a deeper connection to themselves, their community, and their natural surroundings for lasting health. Geoff practices naturopathy at Continuum Healing and grows food, Kombucha and community at home and in his family’s garden. He believes that when a person becomes well, a chain reaction of health is started within and around them. It is his honor to offer the gift of wholeness to those he works with.