Jeffrey Thompson
& Pat Moffitt,
Brainwave Symphony:
Orchestrate Your State of Mind

(Relaxation Co., 1999)

If you want to know which relaxation CDs work, do not go to your nearest guru or healthcare professional. Instead, ask your nearest Vietnam War (or later) veteran. We check out all new releases and talk among ourselves, recommending the ones that actually relieve sleep disturbances and produce a calming effect. Brainwave Symphony is no exception. I rushed to buy it when it hit the shelves. I love the set and have never regretted the purchase, but it did prove that my brain is wired slightly backward to most and made me raise an eyebrow in question toward the military.

There is a specific brainwave pattern for each state of consciousness. Researchers investigated why music has accompanied mankind throughout the ages, especially in important activities or rituals. They discovered that music can affect your brainwaves and began to research the purposeful manipulation of brainwaves with music. Since that time, we have seen the market flooded with "music therapy." This is one of the better sets that I have found.

Brainwave Symphony includes a CD for each of four primary consciousness states and brainwave patterns. It "combines carefully selected Western music from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic and 20th-century eras with breakthrough audio technology." Alpha is for tranquility, active relaxation and alert meditation. It contains the work of Bach, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Warlock, Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven and Bononcini. Beta has the work of Baroque and Classical eras and is designed for concentration, heightened focus and peak performance. It contains the work of Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Albinoni and Alberti. Theta is for deep meditation, enhanced creativity and heightened intuition. It includes the work of Finzi, Britten, Williams and Debussy. Lastly, Delta draws on the compositions of Chopin, Mendelssohn, Holst, Albinoni, Barber, Bridge, Parry and Elgar to mimic the brainwaves of deep relaxation, restful sleep and rejuvenation.

I found Beta to be excellent background music for extended periods of writing, reading or studying, while Theta is great for writing poetry. Alpha put me straight to sleep and is an excellent choice for transitioning from work to bedtime -- the "wind down" period.

Shockingly, Delta agitated me and got on my nerves. I felt tension building throughout this CD and became restless and jumpy. Not believing the results, I asked several friends to try the set without offering any details about my experience or explanations. Only one non-veteran reported any adverse reaction to the Delta CD. All the others said it made them sleepy or relaxed. Seven of 10 veterans reported reactions that ranged from "restless" to "ready to kill." Perhaps the set should include a disclaimer for veterans.

Drs. Pat Moffitt and Jeffrey Thompson, leading brainwave specialists, scored the music in this set. Thompson has made many groundbreaking discoveries in brainwave patterns. His audio programs are used in 26 countries. Moffitt specializes in the use of cross-cultural music in Western healthcare and teaches healthcare professionals to use music in clinical and home settings.

I recommend this set as one of the better ones on the market for the general public. However, I must add that the Classical Relaxation and Nature's Retreat series by Direct Source are equally effective for relaxation and much more effective for many veterans.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 21 August 2004

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