The practice of meditation has spread across the west like wildfire over the last century. As our lives continue to fill up with more stress and less free time, more and more people turn to meditation for inner peace. However, it is a practice that takes time, patience and persistence to learn and appreciate its full benefits. It can, therefore, become frustrating for the novice or beginner to get started or progress to an affective level.
Although technology would traditionally be something to avoid when meditating, recent scientific developments have opened new doors for those who need a helping hand. Brainwave Entrainment is a technique through which a person can gradually be brought into a relaxed state via a visual or audio stimulus. To put it simply, it allows people to feel extremely relaxed without any real effort.
So how does it work? Well, as with all waves, our brainwaves operate on a variety of different frequencies. When a person is awake, their brain is operating on a different frequency to when they are asleep. The interesting part is that there are many frequencies of being awake, and being asleep. Brainwave Entrainment attempts to alter brain frequencies by mimicking the desired frequency through a visual or audio signal. This can be achieved by the use of light and sound pulses or vibrations that encourage the brain into different levels of consciousness.
There are generally three classifications of Audio Entrainment - Binaural beats, Monaural beats and Isochronic tones. I wont attempt to explain them in detail, there is a great explanation in this Wikipedia article. Most audio entrainment programs use only one kind of entrainment wave. LifeFlow however, incorporates not only binaural beats but also monaural and isochronic tones in a structure of 12 simultaneous layers. Whether or not this makes LifeFlow more affective than other audio meditation programs is something I cannot comment on, as this is my first experience with audio entrainment. However, LifeFlow claim "The result is an entrainment experience virtually unmatched by any commercial product on the market today". Rather than an artificial substitute for traditional meditation, it is more a tool that helps to speed up the process and enhance the experience.
The LifeFlow Program
I always love it when companies offer a 'try before you buy' opportunity. LifeFlow allows you to download what they describe as an "8 minute wonder" (this has now been upgraded to 14 minutes) free of charge from their website, to test the goods before spending. It is important to listen to the instructional track before trying out the sample to maximize the effect. After listening to the sample I did notice feeling a lot more relaxed than usual. On hearing the gentle sounds, I was blissfully unaware of any subliminal layers even though I was trying hard to find them. So, like any sceptic, I tried it out a few more times to be sure. I have to say that the free sample was pretty darn good, but I longed for more. After a little deliberation, I decided to sign up to the LifeFlow program.
There are many options when signing up. You can purchase the entire series in bulk for a generous discount, or subscribe monthly, risk free with no contact. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with the program you can cancel at any time and get a full refund, plus you get to keep the bonus material sent with your original order. I opted for the monthly option, however I only subscribed for one month to get the first level on the program (for this review).
There are 10 LifeFlow levels in total, and each are recommended to be used daily for about a month before moving onto the next. If you subscribe, the levels are sent in reverse numerical order, from 10 to 1. Levels 10, 9, 8 are designed to take the listener to various levels of the Alpha wave stage - a relaxed state. Levels 7,6,5 and 4 take subject into various levels of the Theta wave stage - a deeper trance-like state. Finally, levels 3,2 and 1 are for advanced meditation, taking the subject to a various levels of the Delta wave stage - this is a very deep state, often associated with sleep.
Testing and Verdict
As already mentioned, I subscribed to the first instalment of LifeFlow only (Level 10). I tried this program for 8 days consecutively around the same time every day (8.00pm) for the full 40 minutes of the track. On two occasions I listened on my 2.1 computer speakers, and the other six I used good quality sound isolation headphones. I was pleasantly surprised that the speakers worked just as well as the headphones, something I was not expecting.
Immediately, I noticed a big difference between subscribed version and the free demo version. On closer inspection I suspect this is due to the fact that the free version is formatted as a compressed mp3 track, while the retail version is raw and uncompressed. This would allow for a greater and more dynamic frequency range - meaning more sound frequencies audible by the human ear. It took about 10-12 minutes before I started to feel completely relaxed. As the track progressed I could genuinely feel tingles at the back of my neck, a pleasant sensation like being excited on hearing good news. Obviously, some of these feelings and sensations could be psychosomatic, I would have to try the product for at least 30 days as recommended by LifeFlow to truly believe the product is affective.
Would I recommend this product to friends and family? Definitely! As a person who used to meditate on a regular basis, I found LifeFlow to be a positive aid in reaching a deep state quickly and easily. I recommend anyone to download and try the free demo. Also, be aware that the bought version is far more affective for reasons mentioned above.
For more information about LifeFlow, and to download the demo, click on the following link:
LifeFlow Meditation 2.0