If you practice meditation, you have probably heard about binaural beats. This is a modern technology that allows you to enter into a meditative state. Unlike traditional methods, when using binaural stimulation, immersion is quick and easy. The developers claim there is no need for long-term training of skills development or fightingt against extraneous thoughts and doubts about the correctness of the actions performed. This sounds so incredible! But can binaural beats really give us relaxation and quality rest? Or they can harm our bodies? In this article, you’ll find the answers to these questions.
What Are Binaural Beats?
Binaural beats is a brainwave synchronization technology. They exist only in the brain and are not really “rhythms” in the usual sense. The essence is as follows: each ear at the same time catches a little different sound, and the brain combines the frequencies into one, creating a “rhythm”. For example, the left ear catches 210 Hz, and the right ear — 200 Hz. In this case, the brain creates a “rhythm” frequency of 10 HZ — it is just right for the meditative state. If you need “to recharge your batteries” and focus on your work or sports, you need a 16 Hz frequency.
You should remember that binaural stimulation does not work without headphones. If you just play 2 different frequencies, they remain separate sounds. But only when they are fed in isolation to different ears, the brain begins to generate a new “sound” with a frequency equal to the difference between the frequencies of the sounds.
How Does It Work?
When the frequency is supplied continuously for 7 minutes, the frequency of the brain is synchronized with it. This is a natural reaction, which was known to ancient civilizations. They immersed the audience in a state of hypnosis with the help of rhythmic drumming. Now the same function is performed by rhythms that you can hear in Nightclubs. The difference is that the dance rhythms create the energetic state, and the binaural rhythms — the meditative state, that is, a person mentally and physically relaxes. Like modern club music, rhythmic drumming and melodies due to its hypnotic effect previously allowed a person to achieve a state close to trance.
Brain activity is determined by the frequency of waves – this is typical for all forms of energy, including sound and light.
In a state of wakefulness and activity, the brain works on the Beta frequency. In meditation, it switches to lower frequencies – Alpha, Theta, Delta. Beta frequency is associated with stress, from which we all want to get rid of. Using binaural stimulation, it is possible to banish extraneous thoughts and to remove yourself from problems.
Theoretically, binaural beats change the brain’s electrochemical environment, which also causes changes in mind and consciousness. When, while maintaining brain awareness, it is simultaneously captured by the low frequencies, a unique state arises. Practitioners call it “the mind is awake, the body is asleep.” The presence of slightly higher frequencies in the brain can provoke an increase in suggestibility. How you perceive depends on the state of your consciousness. Some states narrow perception, others – expand it. Most often the states of consciousness change depending on the influence of constantly changing environment — both internal and external.
When using binaural beats a person can continuously meditate until the end of the recording. There is no need for additional effort to dive into this state.
Types Of Brain Oscillations
Binaural beats fluctuate in the brain with different frequencies.
Each phase of the waves refers to a different state of the body. There are 5 main binaural beats.
Gamma binaural beats are the fastest fluctuations. They range from 30 to 170 Hz.
Gamma waves are associated with increased activity, emotional perception of the environment, moments of awareness of something, fear.
The frequency of beta waves varies between 14 and 42 Hz. This effect on the brain makes the body stay awake, wake up, focus.
People use Beta waves to treat depression, poor selective attention, problems with remembering various information.
The appearance of alpha waves begins when your eyes are closed and you are in a passive and relaxed state.
Bioelectrical oscillations slow down and there are bursts of alpha waves, the frequency of which varies in the range from 8 to 13 Hz.
With the continuation of such relaxation, alpha waves begin to dominate the brain and you may experience a state of complete peace.
Theta waves occur during the transition from complete peace and tranquility to drowsiness. The oscillation frequency becomes moderate and more rhythmic, from 4 to 8 Hz.
Binaural beats of theta waves are accompanied by the appearance of visual images that can be taken from memories or fantasies. This is so-called dream-like images.
Theta state allows you to open access to the unconscious part of the mind, so at this moment various creative ideas, unexpected insights, new associations are born.
Delta waves dominate when you are falling asleep. Their frequency is less than 4 Hz.
Some people can be in the Delta state without losing awareness. This equates to a deep trance.
When exposed to Delta waves, the brain releases a huge amount of growth hormone, and the body’s recovery and healing processes are enhanced.
Indications And Contraindications
People use binaural therapy to treat a variety of psychoemotional disorders.
- various phobias;
- panic attack;
- neurological pathologies.
- low level of learning capability;
- speech disorder;
- problems with concentration;
- disorders of psychomotor development.
But you have to remember that binaural therapy is completely prohibited for people suffering from:
Binaural Beats Benefits
Synchronization of brain waves provides several effects:
- Mindfulness meditation is an opportunity to pay attention to your body, thoughts, the surrounding world, abstracting from extraneous thoughts.
- Synchronization of the brain hemispheres, so it begins to function fully. It improves intellectual ability and memory. This allows you to effectively solve problems and achieve your best performance during work.
- Getting rid of stress and relaxation. Binaural beats help to stop worrying and clear the mind of negative thoughts. With daily meditation, the activity of areas of the brain associated with stress is reduced.
- Self-improvement. The frequencies of alpha and theta are responsible for the development of consciousness. This opens up opportunities to creatively visualize, learn to focus, control thoughts and emotions instead of letting them control you.
- Binaural stimulation allows you to normalize sleep, mood, appetite, get rid of headaches, quit bad habits. It also helps to improve sports performance, as it teaches to tune in to the result, to focus and free your head from stressful thoughts.
How To Use Binaural Beats?
All you need is a computer, smartphone or other gadgets, as well as headphones. You need to get comfortable, close your eyes and relax. You should listen to binaural beats for at least 7 minutes — this time is necessary to synchronize your brain with the external frequency. For best results, you should meditate from 15 minutes to half an hour. You can do this with your eyes open, focusing on a specific object — for example, on a burning candle. However, it is easier for beginners to meditate with their eyes closed – so it is easier not to be distracted.
When listening to audio, you will not hear the rhythms themselves. It will be a soothing melody or the sounds of nature — this music helps to relax and immerse in a state of consciousness suitable for meditation.
DO NOT listen to binaural beats while driving. It slows down reflexes, which can be dangerous on the road.
DO NOT listen to such beats when you’re doing intellectual work. Since the meditative state is incompatible with rapid critical thinking, which is focused on performing a specific action.
It is believed that binaural beats are absolutely safe. This technology uses the same frequency at which the brain works during meditation. Natural frequencies influence electrochemical processes in the brain, immersing it in a meditative, deeply relaxed state.
But you should understand that all computer programs, technologies, and techniques in this area are aimed at commercial demand. In fact, pure binaural beats are neuroacoustic drugs.
It is also believed that binaural beats can cause harm to your body. They can be dangerous for teenagers because at this age the brain is not able to perceive even a minor pathology without consequences. The fact is that in nature pure binaural beats do not occur. The body is not familiar with them, they are not natural for it. Since “acquaintance” and “interaction” occurs in the brain, the consequences can be serious for the whole body.
The Bottom Line
Many experiments show that treatment with binaural beats can be very effective in eliminating mental and emotional problems. But keep in mind that such therapy has contraindications and should be used carefully. If you’re not sure if binaural beats are good for you or not, then it’s better to be extra cautious and not use them. In this case, you can use regular meditative music with nature sounds or mantras for your meditations.