We are designed to synchronise with one and other, it is called entrainment.


Following are some thoughts on how we are hard wired to resonate and synchronise together and it’s relevance to our future survival on this planet.

In todays world there seems to be this drive towards individuality. If you’re not a winner you’re a loser.

Actually this is the opposite of how we are ‘put together’ in order to survive in this world…and don’t fool yourselves everything that drives us is still about survival and passing on our genes.

But don’t take my word for it. Following are some thoughts about something called ‘Entrainment’…how we are hard wired to synchronise to one and other and the environment around us.

Engaging with music is all about entrainment…and our brains and bodies love it

A quick thought:

Out on the Savannah the big cats were the top of the food chain. Even today none of us would face a tiger alone unless we had a gun. So the gun saves us, not our individual strength. Way back, tens of thousands of years ago we worked as teams to defeat the tiger.

This ability to entrain is part of our total holistic makeup and responds directly to the way we engage with all the natural world around us, of which we are a part. As we move away from these instinctual behaviours we are killing a little bit of who we are inside ourselves.

Music was a continuous ongoing collective activity, an unremarkable event, amongst all the members of the tribes out on the Savannah. Everybody participated. This helped to fine tune and prioritise our abilities to work in sync together and anticipate group actions that are needed in order to survive.

Entrainment is fundamental for our well-being and mental and physical health. Music is one of the ways we can fine tune our emotional awareness towards entrainment and awareness of those we share this planet with.

So about entrainment:

1) Entrainment describes a process in nature whereby two rhythmic processes interact with each other in such a way that they adjust towards and eventually ‘lock in’ to a common phase and/or periodicity. Like when we all clap our hands together in unison.

A physicist in the 1700’s in Holland by the name of Huygens who also built the first pendulum clocks discovered this. Huygens saw that the pendulums of all the clocks in his shop synched up to one another regardless of the starting place of the pendulums.

On a human biological level entrainment is happening all the time.

Dr.Frank Lipman explains it in the following way.

‘….our body contains an autonomic mechanism that synchs us up with strong, external rhythms, pulses or beats, we entrain to the rhythms around us all the time, although we are not aware of it most of the time.

Relationship between external rhythms and your inner rhythms.

The relationship between the external rhythms and your inner rhythms or pulses is inseparable. In fact, our internal rhythms will speed up or slow down to match a stronger external rhythm. Here’s proof: Try counting your heart beat or breathing rate when you’re stuck in traffic, around noisy machinery, or listening to loud rock music. Then count your heart rate or breathing rate when you’re sitting quietly on a beach or listening to peaceful music in a quiet surrounding.

Other examples of entrainment include:

  • When a musician has the audience spellbound, he or she has entrained them into the rhythm.
  • A charismatic preacher can do the same with his congregation.
  • When you meditate in a group, you feel the increased “strength” of the experience.
  • Participating in an exercise class doing aerobics to up tempo music.

There is masses on info on the web about entrainment. A really good PDF you can download is called ‘In time with the music’ by Clayton, Sager, and Will from 2004

Just one short line from their article:

‘…the wide range of entrainment phenomena is not based on a single physical process. Rather, the concept of entrainment describes a shared tendency of a wide range of physical and biological systems: namely, the coordination of temporally structured events through interaction.’ (my bold type)

( Clayton, Sager, and Will: In Time With The Music)

So breaking this down; what is going on is that we are designed to synch up with other vibrating or oscillating bodies we are even designed to be able to do this with an even pulse and an uneven pulse.

Stillness in the Storm (SITSSHOW)

Entrainment! This simple video demonstrates how communication of information works, and that wave dynamics is the fundamental physics of the universe described by so many hidden teachings (Cymatics). Whether Electronically, Sonically, Gravitationally or even mentally, all informational process are a product of entrainment cascading and unification of two bodies into a unified system of data flow. In humans, this works via open mindedness.. do we choose to allow the information in to IN FORM our minds.



This is a bit of a heavy read, and is just an excerpt. Link to the full article follows the excerpt.

Entrainment is defined by a temporal locking process in which one system’s motion or signal frequency entrains the frequency of another system. This process is a universal phenomenon that can be observed in physical (e.g., pendulum clocks) and biological systems (e.g., fire flies). However, entrainment can also be observed between human sensory and motor systems. The function of rhythmic entrainment in rehabilitative training and learning was established for the first time by Thaut and colleagues in several research studies in the early 1990s. It was shown that the inherent periodicity of auditory rhythmic patterns could entrain movement patterns in patients with movement disorders (see for a review: Thaut et al., 1999). Physiological, kinematic, and behavioral movement analysis showed very quickly that entrainment cues not only changed the timing of movement but also improved spatial and force parameters. Mathematical models have shown that anticipatory rhythmic templates as critical time constraints can result in the complete specification of the dynamics of a movement over the entire movement cycle, thereby optimizing motor planning and execution. Furthermore, temporal rhythmic entrainment has been successfully extended into applications in cognitive rehabilitation and speech and language rehabilitation, and thus become one of the major neurological mechanisms linking music and rhythm to brain rehabilitation. These findings provided a scientific basis for the development of neurologic music therapy.

Michael H. Thaut,1,* Gerald C. McIntosh,2 and Volker Hoemberg3

Published online 2015 Feb 18. doi:  10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01185

There is lots more on the internet. Worth keeping in mind that everything in our lives is driven through entrainment!




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