My name is Peter Meilahn, and have been a teacher to clinical staff at The University of Minnesota Medical Center, and I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and biofeedback practitioner in Minnesota (here is my clinical website, www.minnesotabiofeedback.com).
I created this site to help as many people as possible with simple techniques that have good results for individuals and communities. You can share this site with family members, co-workers, schoolmates, and people you help through your work. Clinicians and other healthcare or human service professionals can share it with people they are working with too.
I created the questionnaire below to ask you key questions that will reveal which sounds will work best for you based on brain research for how certain sound speeds help us either slow down, or speed up.
If users answer these questions every week, they will constantly be re-evaluating how they are doing, so they can re-adjust what they are doing. This lets them learn how to use these sounds the best way they can for them. Each month is different. So, please review these questions every week. The questions and suggestions for which sound to use are based on clinical research on what each type of sound training does. I have seen in thousands of hours of clinical sessions that the research is accurate.
If you see a question that doesn’t apply to you, move on to the next question.
- Most people feel results right away for things like focus, relaxation, sleep anxiety or pain.
- The average changes that we share from research comes from using the sounds with 30 minute sessions, 2-3 times a week for 6-8 weeks.
- It takes most adults and teens about 50 hours of practice to learn a new skill to the point that they can do it automatically from “muscle memory”. This includes like balancing heart and brain rhythms in a new way. Some people’s need to use the sounds more if they have a more long term or developmental need (like for chronic pain or autism).
- The results are often life changing. And, you can share your membership with family, friends, co-workers, and people you help through your work.
Before we start, here are a few rules for how to use the sounds:
- The sound meditation on this site is meant for people who are at least 11 years old.
- They are also meant to be listened to while relaxing, and on headphones. Obviously, don’t use them with anything that can hurt the listener.
- Each listener is expected to agree to the rules in the rules page in the menu.
- We also ask that people do not use them while under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drugs.
Trying not to over-focus:
- Please don’t listen to the focus sound within 5 hours before bed. We copy rhythms we hear, like we copy music, but this process is more focused. Listening to the attention and focus sound before bed will cause your brain to wake up more, somewhat like caffeine. The attention and focus sounds are good for increasing focus during your day.
Questions for Guidance
How the Questions and Answers Can Help You:
If you do not think you can accurately answer a question, please skip it. The questions all cover different topics that are for different people and situations. There are only a few of them, and they give us insight into a person’s nervous system balance. When someone is helped by practicing brain rhythms with the sound rhythms for one thing, other struggles start to clear up too. All of our successes, health, and struggles are related. So, if just one question makes sense to you, the other things in your life will improve. So, you can just answer the questions that fit your needs. If you want to find our more about your specific situation, The Research Page is full of information and research. We will be updating it with more facts, explanations, and research. You can read The Research Page topics to find out more.
Do you or the listener have a history of seizures?
The research on the attention and focus sounds, available to members, shows that they increase brain brain rhythms for attention and focus. This are known to help seizures. However, there are relaxation rhythms on this site too, and these are used by listeners to slow the whole brain down. This can contribute to seizures. So, please don’t listen to the relaxation sound if you have a history of seizures. If you have a history of seizures, and want to relax, you can listen to ocean sounds, since they cause the brain to slow down.
Would you like to improve your ability to fall asleep?
If you do not have a history of seizures, you can listen to The Relaxation Sound before bed. This has helped a lot of people fall asleep faster.
Are you or the listener between ages 10 and 25?
If yes, you can try the focus sound twice a week. If it doesn’t feel good, then stop. For most students, it increases their memory and mental accuracy by an average of 22%. It will help you focus for school work. If you feel over-focused, please try The Relaxation Sound. You can go through the questions below with a parent to see how you can add another sound meditation to your week.
Are you or the listener experiencing frequent or chronic pain?
If no, please go to the next question. If you answered yes, does it include not having enough concentration? If you want to lower pain and you want to have more concentration, you can listen to The Attention Sound. If you want to just lower your pain levels significantly, you can listen to The Relaxation Sound. Please listen once per day at first, then, if your situation needs it, two or three times a day can be done. Using these sounds for pain is the only time I give users the recommendation to use it more than once a day. You can listen to The Relaxation Sound after The Focus Sound, if The Focus Sound is recommended for another reason.
Have you or the listener ever been diagnosed with autism?
If yes, then you can listen to The Attention Sound to relax or The Focus Sound to increase your calm awareness of others, and lower your distractions. Try these up to once a day, just one sound per day. There are several studies showing that these sounds significantly lower the number of upsets in children with attention and autism struggles, and they improve test and school performance. Social awareness increases with calm attention too. These are both proven to help people with autism.
Do you get migraines?
If yes, then you can listen to The Relaxation Sound, and practice relaxing the blood flow in your brain. This is proven to lower the pressure than leads to migraines. Twice a week, in addition to other sounds would be fine. If you are already listening to this sound because of another question and answer, then just listen once per day. If you are listening to The Focus Sound for another reason, you can do both, and it will create a more effortless, focused state of mind.
Which is easier for you, or the listener; quieting your mind to fall asleep or creating focus in the morning when you wake up?
If a someone is clearly having a harder time focusing in the morning than falling asleep, they can listen to The Focus Sound two or three times in the first week, then try it daily if they need it. It works like a stimulant, but you are training your brain rhythms. It is known to increase memory and mental performance by 22%. If someone has a harder time falling asleep than waking up, it usually means they are over-focusing, and listening to The Relaxation Sound will help. I regularly see clients fall asleep easier, and sleep deeper when they listen to this sound before bed.
If you have a history of seizures, then you can listen to an ocean sound instead. Waves generally flow in a rhythm of once per second or less, and this is a rhythm the brain makes to let go and reorganize.
Would you say you or the listener tends to have more problems with inattention or impulsivity?
If a person struggles with inattention more than impulsivity, then listening to The Relaxation Sound twice a week at first, then more times per week after that can help.
If a person struggles with impulsivity more than inattention, then listening to The Focus Sound twice a week or more can help.
What causes you more anxiety, a sense of thinking of too many things in a way that leads to being overwhelmed (including from traumatic events), or a sense of over-focusing and obsessing about something to the point of ignoring other things?
If you are over-focusing or obsessing to the point of ignoring important things, we recommend listening to The Relaxation Sound. If you are thinking of too many things in a way that is not focused, but leads to feeling more overwhelmed, please try The Attention Sound. You can do one of these per day, and if you need to focus more, you can use The Focus Sound.
In the last three days, have you or the listener tended to fidget more from anxiety or tended to tense up internally while being still or “freezing” your body?
If you fidget more, the Focus Sound could create a sense of focus that lowers the need for external excitement. If you tense up more, and don’t have a history of seizures, then the Relaxation Sound would help your body relax. Both of these will help attention, since attention and anxiety work together.
Which type of anxiety would you say you have more of, a general sense of anxiety, or anxiety about or in specific situations?
If you have more of a general anxiety, then the focus training will help engage your front brain, and will remind you of calm focus for a sense of general calm and a sense of being generally more capable. If you have more situational anxiety, and you don’t have seizures, you can listen to the relaxation sound to relax your brain and mentally rehearse things for practicing calm with them.
When you use the sounds for anxiety, they also significantly lower depression, and lower the stress and impulsivity that lead to addictions.
As you lower your anxiety, you will also release up negative memories that block your conscious mind, and you can reimagine how you can handle that same type of situation while letting go of negative feelings or forgiving. Both of the sounds for anxiety will help attention, ADHD and PTSD too. The focus sound also helps raise brain rhythms that lower the frequency of seizures. Please remember that listening to the sounds is a way to practice them so you can remember the rhythm feeling later the same way we can practice a music rhythm in our bodies.
Would you like to lower ringing in your ears from Tinnitus or sound sensitivity from Misophonia?
If yes, then you can listen to the Attention sound or the Relaxation sound. If you need more relaxation than attention or focus, the Relaxation sound could be better. I have seen this work in my practice. There is more research proving that increasing attention with the Attention sound will help, but I have seen both help. Both sounds will also help with sound sensitivity that comes with Misophonia.
If you use the sound rhythms for 15 sessions, it would increase a brain pattern that is shown to lower tinnitus by 78% when it is increased over 4 weeks with weekly practice. Most people need ongoing use to keep the results.
The Attention is a soothing white noise that some people like better than the relaxation sound.
To help you decide whether to try the relaxation sound or the attention sound for Tinnitus, you can use the sound that also helps you with one of the below. The sounds work for multiple needs at once. If you answer one of the questions below, it will help you decide which sound to use for Tinnitus:
- Would you say you or the listener tends to have more problems with inattention or impulsivity? If a person struggles with inattention more than impulsivity, then listening to The Relaxation Sound twice a week at first, then more times per week after that can help. If a person struggles with impulsivity more than inattention, then listening to The Focus Sound twice a week or more can help.
- What causes you more anxiety, a sense of thinking of too many things in a way that leads to being overwhelmed (including from traumatic events), or a sense of over-focusing and obsessing about something to the point of ignoring other things? If you are over-focusing or obsessing to the point of ignoring important things, we recommend listening to The Relaxation Sound. If you are thinking of too many things in a way that is not focused, but leads to feeling more overwhelmed, please try The Attention Sound. You can do one of these per day, and if you need to focus more, you can use The Focus Sound.
- Are you or the listener concerned with the mental affects of aging, or are you experiencing memory decline? By listening to Concentration Sound, you can improve your memory, and restore it to a certain degree. This technique has been well researched for older adults, and is demonstrated in studies in the research page. Listening for one time per day can help older people increase their memory, and lower anxiety that comes from the less intense concentration that happens in older age. Remember, the key to using these sounds is to learn the key rhythms of relaxing, being steady with attention, or focusing as needed. These are skills, and something you already do to some degree (Otherwise, you wouldn’t be alive!).
Are you or the listener concerned with the mental affects of aging, or are you experiencing memory decline?
By listening to Concentration Sound, you can improve your memory, and restore it to a certain degree. This technique has been well researched for older adults, and is demonstrated in studies in the research page. Listening for one time per day can help older people increase their memory, and lower anxiety that comes from the less intense concentration that happens in older age.
That concludes the starting questions. Below are a few more key guidelines for your safety, so please read them:
Remember, you are practicing how to speed up the brain, slow it down, or maintain steady attention. This is a learning and healing process that is in every education and therapy system.
Please limit using the sound to two or three times in the first week, with using them once per day. After the first week, you can use them once per day as long as you are retaking the assessments on this site to guide you.
A key to using these sounds is to learn the key rhythms of relaxing, being steady with attention, or focusing as needed. These are skills, and something you already do to some degree (Otherwise, you wouldn’t be alive!).
Please, do not listen to the focus or concentration sounds within 5 hours before your usual bed time. Also, please do not listen to the relaxation sound (no matter how you answered the questions above), if you have any history of seizures. If you have a history of seizures, you can listen to ocean sounds to relax.
If you want more information and confidence in the statistics behind the effects of people practicing brain rhythm speeds with these sounds, please visit The Research Page. The research supporting these sounds is amazing. And, your ability to help people you know by supporting this platform is wonderful.
As this site develops, we will add sophisticated, game based brain and psychology tests to guide users. There will also be ongoing development of easy guidance systems to help more people.
Thank You, and Please Consider Sharing Your Membership,
Peter Meilahn, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Clinical teacher to Staff at The University of Minnesota Medical Center and elsewhere.