June 29, 2016 – Entrainment
“Your body contains an autonomic mechanism that synchs you up with strong, external rhythms, pulses or beats, a phenomenon known as entrainment. Actually we entrain to the rhythms around us all the time, although we are not aware of it most of the time.”
Frank Lipman, MD (1954- ) American physician
Entrainment is a concept we do not think about very much, but I believe, if we did, we would benefit greatly. It simply means that we automatically pick up, imitate, the rhythms that are going on around us.
Perhaps the clearest example is music: listening to music, in our bodies we take up and synchronize with the same rhythms as the music. The same is true for all the rhythms that go on around us, or what we call the “pace of life.”
Think of it as being on a train: your speed and direction are exactly what the train dictates; no choice. Well, actually, the choice you have is to get off the train, get on a different train, or just rest in the station for a while…
…which is what I encourage all of us to do, because the result of always being on the fast train, the most common rhythm of contemporary life, is burnout. Watch for the entrainment moments in your life.
However, entrainment can be wonderful. Van Morrison has a song about it: “That’s Entrainment.” He is so taken by his love that he becomes “entrained” around her, takes on her rhythms. But he also says “Entrainment is really what I’m getting at in the music… It’s kind of like when you’re in the present moment – you’re here – with no past or future.” He compares it to a trance.
“Well you, when you come around
You, oh, you make me shake em on down
Well you, in the morning… when the sun comes up
Well you, in the evening when the sun goes down…
You make me holler when you come around…