Sound therapy is a wonderful healing force used in many cultures around the world. Binaural meditation is meditation using binaural beats. It's like exercise for your mind. It helps with memory, mood, cognition, and even in the care of brain diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.
Here we will look at how your brain responds to frequencies and how you can hack your brain with binaural meditation.
Are you wondering why you don't hear much about binaural beats meditation?
Well, many people in the neurology medical field do know about it! Binaural beats and brainwave entrainment are used to treat Alzheimer's disease.
Many people swear by meditation and mindfulness because it reduces high beta levels in the brain. This allows it to function at a more relaxed pace. You can teach your brain to be more relaxed via entrainment. When people are in more relaxed and meditative states, improved mood, memory, and cognition follow.
What is Binaural Meditation Technology?
Using binaural beats technology is really easy. When people talk about binaural beats, it might sound high-tech and complicated. But, the bottom line is, it’s placing headphones over your ears, sitting back, and pushing the ‘play’ button on, from whichever device suits you best. That’s in a nutshell.
But actually, understanding what binaural meditation is and how it can be of benefit to you is a little bit harder for many people to understand. Most people have heard the word, ‘frequency’ when it comes to music, so maybe this is a good place to start when it comes to binaural beats.
The Science Behind Binaural Meditation is Frequency
What is meant by frequency? It is the number of times sound waves cycle between the negative and positive brainwaves or vibrations, per second. Frequencies are measured in Hertz (Hz) and each cycle is measured in Hertz.
As humans, our hearing capacity is measured in hertz too. Low noises we will hear at around 20 Hz, or we can hear up to very high frequencies, such as 20,000 Hz. You can get frequencies that go even beyond these measurements, but they are out of the human audibility range.
Somebody Figured It Out
We all love nature and the sounds it makes.
The sound of thunder…
Ocean waves pounding on the beach…
The gentle flow of a river…
These melodic sounds make us conscious of the connection between the body and the mind.
In the 1600s, Christian Huygens, a Dutch scientist noticed two clocks with pendulums hanging together. He noticed the synchronization of speed and angles of the pendulums. If he moved one of the clocks to another wall, there was no synchronization.
He realized that the vibrations on the shared wall were what “communicated” the two clocks. They entrained themselves back on the same wall, back to the same pattern of movement and speed of the other clock.
Humans, like clocks, also have rhythms present in our own bodies. These rhythms are present in our hearts, and our brains. If we introduce an external rhythm that vibrates our body or our auditory system, we will also experience the entrainment the clocks did – it’s called brainwave entrainment.
Entraining Your Brain
If you know binaural beat therapy, you know that two separate tones are heard in your ears. That’s what the word binaural means – “having two ears.”
Each of your ears will receive a slightly different frequency, all at the same time. That means that each tone will be at a slightly different frequency as you listen through your headphones.
When you hear the two tones together through your left and right ear, your brain perceives these tones as ‘music beats’, audible to your ears. The difference in the frequency between the two tones being heard is what is called binaural beats.
Your brain picks up the difference in the tones, and then ‘trains’ itself to ‘hear’ the difference between the frequencies to which it is listening. And this process is called ‘frequency following response’.
For the ‘music beats’ to be noticed though, the tone frequencies need to be below 1,000 Hz. Also, the difference between the two different frequencies must also be less than 30 Hz, or equal, for this effect to occur. If not, then the two tones will be heard separately in your ears and the brain won’t perceive any beat.
So if a frequency of 200 Hz was sent to your left ear and 205 Hz to your right ear, there’s a difference of 5 Hz between your ears. This is the binaural beat; it is the frequency that your brain will follow along to.
When a person’s brainwaves are at 6 Hz, then the person can experience a lot of calm and feel a deep sense of relaxation. There is even a name for this. It’s called Theta State.
To trigger the frequency response process, the brain needs to pick up the right and left tones at the same time. You could listen through your speakers if your head was positioned in the right way between the left and right speakers and if you were close enough. But the effect would be reduced, compared to headphones.
When using both headphones, the sound in your ears will pulsate. This means your brain is busy interpreting the tones, listening for that difference, and then adjusting and responding.
If you were to take one of the headphones off, you will notice the pulsating sounds disappear altogether. This means your brain is no longer ‘training’ itself or adjusting to the two different frequencies.
It’s Building Your Brain
There are benefits to all this – call it brainwave entrainment. If you can squeeze even 12 minutes of your day for a binaural meditation it may be one of the best things you can do for yourself.
For instance, Zen12 is a Binaural Beats meditation program designed to bring fast and effective meditation to the masses. I've used it for a few years and even wrote a review here. It is deeply relaxing and you can get the same effect of meditating for one hour in as little as 12 minutes.
The whole purpose of this, the underlying benefit is to feel happier, more chilled, and sharper. Does it appeal to you, this fun, easy way of becoming happier and more relaxed?
Today, scientists and doctors do a lot of studying on people’s brainwave frequencies. Our brainwave frequencies depend on what our state of mind is, and our state of mind can vary because of our brainwave frequencies.
If you want to be motivated, alert, fully engaged mentally, then it makes sense that your brainwaves need to be in that high-frequency beta, higher than 15 Hz range. But if you are looking to be rested and calm, then the frequency range would need to be between 9 and 14 Hz. If you need real relaxation and calmness, you need even lower frequency ranges of between 5 and 8 Hz or even the very low-frequency range of between 1 and 4 Hz.
It’s a Form of Meditation
Life today is extremely stressful and hectic. When most people look for Binaural meditation they want calming, relaxing, and meditating type audio sessions.
The beats, however, aren’t limited to a specific frequency range. There are available in each of the different brainwave frequency ranges. Not only do they offer calm and relaxation, but you can also get energized with binaural meditation. They work in exactly the same way.
Why Do People Love Binaural Meditation Beats So Much?
Because it helps people with studying, sleeping, anxiousness, and more.
This is not really new technology – binaural sounds have been around a long time. Look at Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. In 1839, he discovered binaural beats. Around the 1970s, exciting ways of using the beats in a therapeutic way were being talked about and used.
Later, via the Monroe Institute, which was founded by Robert Monroe, showed that there are four top brainwave frequencies that occur in the brain naturally:
- Alpha frequencies, occurring at 8 Hz-13.9 Hz.
- Theta brainwaves, occurring at 4 Hz- 7.9 Hz.
- Beta frequencies, occurring at 14 Hz-30 Hz.
- Delta frequencies, occurring at 0.1 Hz-3.9 Hz.
All brainwave frequencies produce different functioning in the brain.
When you are sleeping, then the brain is in the delta state, relaxed and quiet. When you wake up, the beta brainwaves become active and your mind will be at its sharpest then.
The Benefits of Binaural Meditation
Binaural meditation is meant to treat stress and anxiety and help people improve concentration and motivation skills. But let’s look at what people say they have experienced when using binaural beat therapy and how it benefits them:
- Reduced anxiety
- Reduced stress
- Better focus
- Better concentration spans
- Increased confidence
- More motivation
- Better and deeper meditation
- Improved mood and psychomotor performance
Each person will have a different purpose for using binaural beats therapy. Some people want to try anything to get rid of tension and stress, while others want to try and improve their concentration skills or deepen their levels of meditation.
Research shows that when people listen to binaural beats changes happen in their brain because the binaural beats activate certain parts of the brain.
Want to get started? Are you anxious to reap the benefits? You will only need a short amount of time. In fact, you only need about 12 minutes of time. It is also recommended that you continue to use it on a regular basis.
Does Research Support Binaural Meditation Therapy?
There was a study concluded where 19 participants were involved, conducted by a certain Dr. Vincent Giampapa, This research found that by using binaural beats therapy in three of the brain patterns, i.e. alpha, theta, and delta patterns displayed positive effects on the human body, namely an improvement in the production of hormones such as DHEA, cortisol, and melatonin.
It was noted that 68% of the participants had increased levels of DHEA when they used binaural beats therapy. Dr. Giampapa also noticed there was a reduction of cortisol by as much as 70-80% in the participants. Other research studies showed an increase of melatonin by as much as 97.77%.
The phenomenon of binaural beats was thoroughly tested after much research in 1973 by the biophysicist, Gerald Oster, at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. His research has been published in The Scientific American and has paved the way for more development in the areas of auditory stimulation in order to enhance brain functioning. His publication is called ‘Auditory Beats in the Brain’.
Brainwave entrainment and binaural meditation induce the same mental state that you experience with traditional meditation practices – it’s just quicker.
People say the best way to limit negative thoughts and to reduce anxiety and stress is with meditation, that regular meditation reduces stress; it stimulates new brain cell formations and slows down the rate at which brain cells age.
Quieting the mind is not easy; it can take years to master it. The past 50 years have brought about many technologies that have been specifically developed to induce the same state in the brainwaves as that of medication. It has arrived in the form of binaural beats.
The best part about using binaural beats is that it helps you just relax, letting the beats do the work for you. You don’t need all the knowledge of how it all works before you can get the effects. All you need are the stereo headphones, and off you go – it gets you into the amazing and fascinating world of your mind!
Next time you want to start your day feeling motivated, reach out for your binaural beats download – forget about the cup of coffee – with binaural beats, you are on the cutting edge of brain improvement!