Now more than ever we are all looking for ways to manage stress, anxiety and enhance relaxation, not to mention expand our productivity. Binaural beats, the latest phenomenon of “transformative” meditation uses soundwaves – combined with the backdrop of soothing music – to achieve a different brain state. This state, depending on the frequency of the soundwave, can enhance cognitive development, memory recall, pain relief or promote relaxation, sleep, and stress relief – to name a few of its many heralded effects.
Affecting the brain via soundwaves dates back thousands of years with ancient cultures aware of how the brain could be affected through sound repetition, well before modern science was able to perfect the process. Heinreich Will Helm Dove, a Prussian meteorologist and physicist, has been credited for discovering binaural beats in 1839 through a series of experiments. His findings were then built upon over the years with the help of modern technology.
Research suggests that by wearing headphones over both ears and exposing the brain to two different frequencies, one in each ear, the brain then interprets these “beats” as one consistent rhythmic, almost phantom beat. These sound waves then create shifts in the brainwaves themselves by entering the brain into different states of being. This “different” state of being can be broken down into the five different types of brain waves: delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma. Hence, the effect binaural beats have on listener is dependent on the brainwave state of the music they’ve chosen.
More specifically, low-frequency waves (deemed the more “restful” state of being) – delta and theta – can boost relaxation, improve sleep, aid in pain relief and creativity. The delta state is often referred to as the most regenerative and healing place one can be in. In the mid-range frequency of alpha state, your brain’s focus turns inward in a meditative way and becomes more conducive to positive thinking and increased learning, often deemed the gateway to your subconscious mind. Whereas in beta state, your attention is tuned to the outside world which results in a productive (yet more short term) state for active problem solving. Research also discovered that alpha, theta, and delta brain wave patterns produced during binaural beats therapy can alter the hormonal production of cortisol, DHEA and melatonin, impactful factors in aging, sleep and relaxation. Lastly, in a higher frequency gamma state (the more “alert” state), awareness is at its peak which is opportune for memory recall and cognitive enhancements on a more profound level.
There are many places you can find binaural beat mediations, from You Tube to membership sites such as Binaural Beats Meditation. According to James Matthews, the site’s customer manager, it is not just individuals that use binaural beats but businesses and therapists as well. He stresses the motivation to access binaural beats is not just for sleep issues or stress relief. Matthews explains, “We also have many people using our music for pain relief, either as an alternative or complementary addition to prescription medication, depending on the severity of their condition.” Furthermore, they also offer asubliminal messaging product range with music tracks that contain positive affirmations to help you overcome self-limiting beliefs around fear, lack of confidence, motivation, weight loss, and addiction.
In light of the times, there has never been a better time to seek out meditation in any form to improve one’s state of being. So join us on a 14-day binaural journey and see what it opens in your own mind. The result could be utterly transformative!