The thoughtful megaphone

Lynne McTaggart

Lately I’ve been thinking about entrainment in healing - how the electrical signaling in the brains of people gets synchronized and becomes more powerful, particularly during a Power of Eight® group. When this happens, the frequencies, amplitudes and phases of the brain waves start operating in tandem.

There are loads of studies, which have been carried out since 1963, that demonstrate this extraordinary effect. One of my favorites was carried out by the psychologist Ulman Lindenberger and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany in 2009.

After placing EEGs on a batch of pairs of guitarists, the researchers discovered that when two or more people play music together their brains begin to mimic each other. The brain waves of each pair become highly synchronized and “in phase”—which means their brain waves begin peaking and troughing at the same time at certain key moments.

Entire areas of the two brains create synchronized patterns, particularly the frontal and central regions, but also the temporal and parietal regions, those parts of our brains that govern our sense of self in space.

In this instance, the synchrony suggests the guitarists begin to feel a sense of unity with their fellow guitarists.

The same team went on to study guitarists who were improvising together and discovered what’s been called a “hyperbrain pattern”—the tendency of the brains to work in tandem so closely that they come to resemble a single giant brain—particularly when both guitarists are playing at the same time.

Other scientists at the University of Lancaster in the UK and the University “G. d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara in Chieti, Italy, have discovered the same results when studying groups of jugglers. The juggling pairs develop not only a hyperbrain pattern, but also coordinated heart and breathing rates.

As I observe all the time with my Power of Eight® groups, this is no longer a collection of separate individuals. The borderline separating them has been erased. This is a supercharged hive, a supergroup. They aren’t just connecting—they are merging. And they’re beaming out instructions to the world.

Entrainment is a term in physics which means that two oscillating systems fall into synchrony. It was coined in 1665 by the Dutch mathematician Christiaan Huygens, after discovering that two of his clocks with pendulums standing close to each other had begun to swing in unison. He’d been toying with the two pendulums and found that even if he started one pendulum swinging at one end, and the other at the opposite end, eventually the two would swing in unison.

Two waves peaking and troughing at the same time are considered ‘in phase’, or operating in synch. Those peaking at opposite times are ‘out of phase’. Physicists believe that entrainment results from tiny exchanges of energy between two systems that are out of phase, causing one to slow down and the other to accelerate until the two are in phase.

It’s also related to resonance, or the ability of any system to absorb more energy than normal at a particular frequency (the number of peaks and troughs in one second).

Any vibrating thing, including an electromagnetic wave, has its own preferential frequencies, called ‘resonant frequencies’, where it finds vibrating the easiest. When it ‘listens’ or receives a vibration from somewhere else, it tunes out all pretenders and only tunes into its own resonant frequency. It is a bit like a mother instantly recognizing her child from among a mass of school children.

Planets have orbital resonances. Our sense of hearing operates through a form of entrainment: different parts of the membrane of the inner ear resonate to different frequencies of sound.

Resonance even occurs in the seas, such as in the tidal resonance of the Bay of Fundy in the northeast end of the Gulf of Maine, near Nova Scotia.

Here’s the interesting part when it comes to intention. Once they march to the same rhythm, things that are entrained send out a stronger signal than they do individually. This most commonly occurs with musical instruments, which sound amplified when all playing in phase.

But it occurs in all of nature. At the Bay of Fundy, for instance, the time required for a single wave to travel from the bay’s mouth to its opposite end and back is exactly matched by the time of each tide. Each wave is amplified by the rhythm of each tide, resulting in some of the highest tides in the world.

In humans, entrainment doesn’t stop at the brain. This attunement of energy is created throughout the body.

Research carried out at the Institute of Noetic Sciences has shown that when one of a bonded couple sends intention to his partner, the heart rate, the autonomic nervous system, the brain waves and the blood flow to the extremities of both parties all become entrained, even when the people are situated at a distance from each other.

Of course, hyperbrains, entrainment and resonance don’t take a moral stance.  Entrainment can be used for good or bad. Think of Hitler entraining his audiences in his long and powerful speeches. Or ‘destroying mind’ in Qigong, used to overpower an opponent. And all the present, potentially devastating political possibilities, particularly through the use of modern-day technology.

But also think of the flip side—the enormous implication of entrainment for healing each other and even healing the world.

Evidence suggests that people receive healing deep in their bodies by being retuned to the more coherent energy of the healer’s intention. During healing, it could be that the ‘orderly’ energy of the well person entrains and ‘re-orders’ the sick. In order to have the most powerful effect, a healer or sender needs to become ‘ordered’ on some subatomic level, mentally and emotionally.

As I’ve discovered with the Intention Experiment and the Power of Eight® circles, certain conditions and mental states make our intention especially powerful and ourselves more ordered.

And one of the most powerful mental states of all seems to be altruistic intention: getting off of yourself.

So it all comes down to who is doing the intending and for what purpose. But one thing is clear.

When held together as we do during Intention Experiments and Power of Eight® circles, the tiny thoughts we hold inside ourselves create a thundering symphony that is heard around the world.

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Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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