Betty W. Phillips, Ph.D., Psychology
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Another Resource for Stress: Hemi-Sync

Another Resource for Stress: Hemi-Sync Technology


From our first cry as we enter the world and thereafter, we encounter stressful life experiences on a recurring basis. Although some of us are born more optimistic and cheerful, and some of us are more adaptable and "roll with the punches," over time we all accumulate stress responses which ultimately affect our emotional and mental stability as well as our health. We've also become rather cynical about media-touted solutions. Will the new miracle drug kill us with a side effect?  Will our health insurance cover needed treatments?  Do I have the time to do all this stuff? Since the FDA can't even protect us from spinach or jalapeno peppers, who can we trust?


If you share these concerns, you'll love this column. Hemi-Sync is enjoyable and it's not expensive nor time consuming. You won't need insurance or prescriptions and you don't need to sit in doctors’ offices. There are no negative side effects and you won't need the FDA to tell you whether Hemi-Sync is helpful for you.


So will Hemi-Sync cure all that ails you? Of course not. You should try it, and you can judge for yourself.   You may be familiar with stress reduction products that require you to sit or lie down with your eyes closed. Hemi-Sync CDs can produce their positive effects even while you go about your daily activities!  I use these products myself with good results.


I'll describe the Hemi-Sync technology and history, then the types of products and effects you can expect. Each of the CDs has an audible portion, music or verbal guidance, encoded with background Hemi-Sync tones chosen to produce a desired effect. The technique was developed and tested over forty-five years by Robert Monroe and the Monroe Institute. Bob Monroe was a successful radio show producer and businessman who experimented with effects of sound technology on human behavior. He found that binaural beats and the frequency following response could be used to alter human brainwaves and behavior. The Hemi-Sync technology feeds a different tone into each ear and the brain creates the binaural beat from the difference between the two tones.  Even though the tones and binaural beats are generally inaudible, the input produces proven effects on mental and emotional functioning. The tones gently lead the brain to a positive state of hemispheric synchronization, although the process is under your voluntary control.  There is no hocus-pocus here, just an exciting new technology for you to try. Stereo input is necessary for the Hemi-Sync effect, ideally stereo headphones, but stereo speakers can provide almost as effective results when positioned correctly.


Most of the single CDs are $19.95 each; buy four and you get one free.  Every October through early December the products are available for a 20% discount.  I recommend buying the CDs from the nonprofit Monroe Institute to help the Institute continue its good work.  You can call 1-866-881-3440 toll-free or use the website  They will send you a catalog of products and/or you can sample snippets of the songs on the website.  I have a lending library of the CDs for my clients.  Please note that I have no financial interest in the products.


63 of the CDs are Metamusic, different types of Hemi-Sync musical compositions. 69 additional CDs are verbally guided. 78 CDs are available in foreign languages. I'll describe the different products according to the brainwave focus.


The beta brainwave state (12-30 Hz) produces focused attention and concentration. These CDs are very useful for individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder or for the rest of us when we have to focus on boring tasks.  Metamusic titles include Remembrance and Lightfall, and single CDs include Concentration and Retain-Recall-Release. Hemi-Sync in Motion is useful for work or exercise.


Many of the CDs are developed with combinations of brainwaves including alpha (8-12 Hz) for relaxed focus or theta (4-8 Hz) for meditation or creativity. You can choose your desired style of Metamusic while enjoying the stress reduction benefits.  The single CDs using these brainwaves include a variety of meditative and health improvement titles.


Insomnia is often caused by stress but in turn will exacerbate your stress producing emotional and health problems. Some Hemi-Sync titles generate delta sleep brainwaves (.5 to 4 Hz). Super Sleep sounds on a single CD support deep delta sleep states.   Soothing ocean sounds are available on other single title CDs.  Metamusic titles such as Sleeping Through the Rain contain a combination of brainwaves helpful in lulling you to sleep. Any of these CDs can be put on repeat to support continued sleep. Guided meditations such as Sound Sleeper are available for those who prefer direct assistance.


Parents: your young children may love some of the five bedtime story CDs designed to help them relax and drift into sleep.  TMI also has produced CD series on varied topics such as lucid dreaming, pregnancy, surgical support, and cancer or stroke recovery.  "Going Home," a valuable series developed with the assistance of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, provides support to the terminally ill patient and family members. Several DVDs are available, for example, Blossoming Lotus with mandala images and inspiring music.


The Monroe Institute has also developed Hemi-Sync-based residential programs to teach skills such as meditation and expanded states of consciousness. These programs are described on the website. The Gateway Experience series is available on CD, although this is not a substitute for the Gateway Voyage program.


So, relax and happy listening!