In the 1950s, Winfried Otto Schumann discovered that the Earth’s magnetic field resonates at 7.83 Hz. It’s the “heartbeat” or the “pulse” of the Earth. Resonating with this pulse of the Earth is said to be highly beneficial to all life on the planet. In the modern industrial/electronic age, there is a huge disconnect between the Earth’s frequency and many people. Manmade interference to the “Schumann Resonance” is causing a great deal of concern among scientists, who have not yet discovered all the ways this interference (electromagnetic frequencies from radios, television towers, high tension electric wires, cell phones and other electronics) may disrupt our lives.
In 1979, Herbert Konig found a correlation between the Schumann Resonance and brain rhythms. What is really fascinating is that he found that the alpha brainwave state is almost identical to the Schumann Resonance of the Earth! When you are in the alpha state, the Earth and your brain are operating at the same frequency. They are in sync; therefore you are in sync with the Earth.
What is the difference between the alpha state and the beta state that is the norm when we’re awake – and why does it matter?
The waking hours are characterized by brainwave activity of 14-21 Hz, called beta. The lower beta levels are necessary for rational thinking and normal activity; but given today’s information-overloaded, overstimulated, fast-paced lives, all of this activity can easily accelerate and intensify to the point where brain activity borders on chaos – so-called “high beta” – resulting in feeling scattered and out of control; unable to concentrate; fearful and worried; restless; unable to think straight; and feeling out of sync. It’s like your mind has become a crazed preschooler high on frosting. Not exactly conducive to a peaceful state of being, effective problem-solving, creativity, not to mention optimal health! The high beta brainwave state causes the brain to dump cortisol, adrenaline and nonadrenalin into the system. In high quantities, these stress hormones wreak havoc on your physical, mental and emotional health. Unfortunately, this is the normal default state for anyone living under a lot of stress. You can imagine how this could lead to a dangerous downward spiral of stress overload, if high beta becomes the norm in tour life!
The good news is, you can re-align yourself with the Schumann resonance, which has been called the “tuning fork for life” – anytime, by using sound. But first, how does music affect your brain?
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How Music Affects the Brain
People have been using music to elicit certain moods since the dawn of man. Virtually every human event has a soundtrack associated with it. War, peace, love, competition, birth, death, celebration, mourning, milestones, adventure, tragedy, comedy… every event that we perceive with our senses, often comes with a soundtrack of music we associate with that event. We all have our own soundtrack of life, and there is a strong memory association between our life’s events and certain music.
More than being the soundtrack for our memories, music has magical qualities when it comes to human moods, behavior and brain function.
- Researcher Oliver Sacks found that humans involuntarily keep time to music, even when not consciously paying attention to it. If you’ve ever been to a dance club, you know the trance-inducing power of repetitive beats. In fact, humans have been using the hypnotic sounds of drums to put themselves into a state of trance since the invention of music.
- Humans can imagine music – we can hear music playing even if it’s not really playing. If you’ve ever had a song stuck in your head, you know exactly how this feels (why it always seems to be the most annoying song in the world is another story!).
- Many studies have shown that music enhances memory, spatial reasoning, math skills, and increases IQ.
- Music helps communication and synchronicity between the two brain hemispheres. This is important because whole-brain thinking is “genius thinking.”
- Music can stimulate the brain to enter the alpha and theta states. Alpha brainwaves induce creativity, and the lower theta waves are associated with “superlearning” and lucid dreaming.
- Music can dramatically alter people’s moods. Classical music, heavy metal, jazz, rap, reggae, pop, tribal… every single genre of music creates different moods and brainwave states.
However, most music fluctuates in frequency, tempo and volume so it doesn’t create a constant alpha state in the brain. It can relax you, but it won’t put you in a specific, constant brainwave state.
If you want to slow your brain activity to the alpha level, one method is to use the Alpha Sound, a constant sound which the human ear cannot detect but the brain picks up like an antenna picks up a radio signal.
The Silva Method’s Alpha Sound entrains your brain to the alpha frequency. Brainwave entrainment happens when the brain synchronizes itself to an external stimulus with a repetitive beat (both sound and strobe lights have been used in research). How is this beneficial to you? By putting your brain into the alpha state, you are able to access the subconscious, where your best personal growth work is done.
The basis of the Silva Method is teaching the individual to operate consciously at the alpha level. The mind in alpha is more relaxed, yet highly alert; creative, intuitive, receptive to learning and more open to suggestion or command. Stress hormones are flushed from the system by the brain’s release of calming substances that also clear up the thought processes and enhance moods.
When you use the Alpha Sound to create the alpha state in your brain, you are once again resonating with the rhythm of the Earth and optimizing relaxation, creativity, enhanced learning and self-programming. What better way to disconnect from the auditory and electronic cacophony that surrounds us, than to resonate with the soothing, natural pulse of the Earth?