The Power of Rhythmic Entrainment

by Craig Gordon

Do you believe that you are what you eat? Judging by how often that phrase is spoken it seems to be a generally accepted notion. If, indeed, we are what we eat, what does that really mean and how can we understand it in a way that can be practically applied to oneís life? The answer lies in the concept of Rhythmic Entrainment (say what?).

As we discussed in the previous installment, all foods have qualitative effects, personalities if you will, that are "transmitted" to the consumer through the act of consuming (eating). These qualities include temperate, growth direction, flavors, textures, and so on. Of all these "energetic" qualities, none is as revealing as the quality of rhythm.

The word rhythm is very useful to us in the culture of music. Musical rhythms can be fast or slow, with variations that we'll call regular and irregular. There's the straight-ahead rhythm of the Rolling Stones, fast and regular perhaps, the slow and regular sound of Barbara Streisand, Salsa's fast and irregular feeling; Reggae's slow and irregular grove.

Foods also have rhythms, which are evident in the way a particular plant grows, or an animal behaves. A chicken, for example, is a somewhat nervous animal. Like the Salsa, they are fast and irregular. The salmon, on the other hand, has a much different personality, which allows it to swim upstream to spawn itís eggs. Like the Stones, the salmon is fast and regular.

Ok. Foods have rhythms. Big deal, right? It is a big deal because of rhythmís entrainment ability. What is entrainment? According to Websterís Dictionary, the word "entrain" is defined as "to go aboard a railroad train". But there is another definition, noted as "rare". It says, "To draw after oneself". What does that mean? Letís look at a few examples.

When you go to a performance of a major star like, Barbara Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, or Bill Clinton, you get drawn in to the performerís personality, their rhythm. Itís what happens when people say, "He/She had the crowd in the palm of his hands". You go home singing the songs. You are entrained by the performer.

The same is true for the foods we eat. When we eat salmon, we become like the salmon. We can swim "against the tide" (activists take note!). Too much chicken, however, can cause us to bicker and peck at each other. And, of course, thereís the late Frank Purdue example, who started to look like one his flock.

In his book, "Time Shifting, Creating More Time to Enjoy Your Life", Omega Institute co-founder and director, Dr. Stephan Rechtschaffen, describes entrainment this way:

"Rhythmic entrainment is one of the great organizing principles of the world, as inescapable as gravity. It explains how one rhythm works with another, and how separate entities, from molecules to stars, will fall into rhythm as automatically as a pulse beats or a butterfly flaps its wings".

Our rhythm can be described as our way of being, how we feel, in a particular moment. Itís the essence of who we are as individuals. Which is why itís useful to know how to change our rhythm intentionally, rather than reactively. Simple awareness of rhythmic entrainment provides a powerful way to understand how and why we choose particular foods, substances, entertainment, etc.

What is your rhythm? Do you have a clue? Are you happy with the rhythm of your life? What can all this fodder about rhythm do for your life? Here are a few things to think about to assist you in getting in touch with, and refining, your rhythm.

Meditate and consider your rhythm.
How are you vibrating?

Do you like your rhythm?
Would you like it to be different?

How do you change your rhythm now when life gets tough?


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