What are Binaural Beats and How They Work
The binaural beat is the difference between two frequencies, which are both below 1000 Hz, heard by a person exposed to those frequencies. In line with that, you hear one frequency in one ear and the other one in the other ear.
For instance, let’s say that the sound that you hear in your left ear has the frequency of 300 Hz and the one in your right ear is 310 Hz. The binaural beat produced by this frequency difference is 10 Hz.
This beat that emerges between two low and close frequencies allegedly has numerous positive effects on the human mind and body. Because of that, some people undergo the binaural beats therapy, which heals their health and mental issues.
The purpose of this text is to explain the physical aspects of binaural beats, as well as their effect on our health.
DIFFERENT FREQUENCY PATTERNS
People who are exposed to different frequencies have different levels of electric activity in their brains. Based on the sets of similar features that are typical for certain frequency differences, there are four established types of frequency patterns.
The frequency differences between 8Hz and 13Hz are called alpha patterns. These brain waves are usually connected with deep thinking, i.e. contemplation, as well as with relaxation. This is so because they turn your mind to be more introspective, rather than to observe outer things.
As such, they can be quite inspiring when you need to concentrate on work tasks since they can improve your productivity. What’s more, studying or artistic and creative efforts accompanied by alpha patterns could be more efficient.
Here you can hear an hour-long session of the 12Hz alpha pattern.
The frequency range from 14Hz to 100Hz covers the binaural beats called beta patterns. Since this scope is quite wide, beta patterns don’t have a unison effect on our mind and body.
In line with that, the low-end beats are believed to improve our focus and readiness. So, if you want to wake up in the morning in an alert mode, you might want to set up beta patterns as your alarm. For instance, this video can be used for that purpose, or as a preparation for the situations in which you want to be as assertive and concentrated as possible.
As opposed to that, the high-end binaural beats could lead to anxiety and fear. Because of that, it’s not easy to find samples of beta patterns that exceed 25Hz on YouTube or online in general. Such recordings could increase the level of stress in their listeners, which is why they’re avoided.
Delta binaural beats are all the frequency differences ranging from 1 Hz to 4Hz.
These patterns have the lowest frequency in the zone of binaural beats.
What’s clear from the sheer numbers here is that these patterns are associated with the lowest level of brain activity. In other words, delta binaural beats occur when we’re sleeping, i.e. during the deeper stages of sleep.
That’s why you might feel lost or confused when somebody wakes you up from a deep sleep – your brain was in the delta state. Now it needs a few seconds to reach the working temperature.
Since they’re related to the calm and tranquil state of mind, delta patterns are beneficial for people who need comfort, healing and peace. Hence, binaural therapists apply these beats in soothing psychologicallytormented individuals, as well as people suffering from a headache and anxiety.
Finally, theta patterns are slow brain waves, ranging from 4Hz to 8Hz, i.e. one step above the delta beats, but below alpha patterns.
When you’re meditating, or when your brain is calming down to fall asleep, you’re in the theta state.
That’s why theta patterns are associated with reminiscing, strong mental images, and memories. The brain waves in the 4-8Hz range are present when our brain is processing the data from the day behind us. This makes the theta patterns comparable to dreaming with your eyes open.
To conclude, getting into the theta state will make you feel completely relaxed, without worries or negative thoughts. That’s why theta meditation is a popular method in binaural beats therapy.
Try reaching this state with the help of the theta beats from the video below.
Each of these patterns of binaural beats is used for different treatments within the binaural beats therapy. Improved concentration, reduced stress, stronger motivation, boosted self-confidence, enhanced physical functions and better sleep are only some of the benefits you can yield from the binaural beats used in everyday life.
Now, let’s get deeper into the practical use of binaural beats.
THE PRACTICAL USE OF BINAURAL BEATS
Measurable physical category
Basically, you can use binaural beats in two different ways: on your own, or within the binaural beats therapy.
If you’re doing that without any professional supervision, you need to learn a bit more about the effects each of these patterns will have on your mental and physical state. This article is both resourceful and informative for that matter, but don’t stop here. The more similar pieces you read and videos your watch, the more knowledge you’ll possess regarding the proper use of binaural beats.
Likewise, playing binaural beats and brainwave patterns without knowing enough about their effects could make the entire endeavor counterproductive.
When it comes to binaural beats therapy under professional supervision, it’s important to inform the therapist about your problems, and the expectations that you have of that therapy.
It’s also good to know that binaural beats are an accurate physical category that can help you improve some things in your mind and body. They’re not metaphysical beliefs or intangible ways of treating mental and physical issues but easily measured tangible natural occurrences.
Equipment for the binaural therapy
If you want todo the binaural therapy on your own, you need to get a pair of proper stereo headphones. It’s important that they’re stereo because this system will enable you to listen to both frequencies in your ear, and record the binaural beats.
Also, you’re going to need a smartphone, so that you can easily connect to the Internet and play the videos or tracks with binaural beats. Here you can check out some popular iOS apps with tracks for binaural therapy.
The therapy setting
Since binaural beats are brainwaves, you need to prepare your mind for the forthcoming binaural session. The setting in which you’re going to do that will play an important role in the outcomes of this therapy.
If you’re doing it at home, it’s advisable to clean the place from any clutter. That way you’ll be surrounded bya relaxing and calming environment. If you’re feeling irritated by the setting in which you’re going to undergo the binaural therapy, its benefits will be significantly reduced.
What’s also important is to eliminate any latent noise that might interfere with the binaural patterns you’ll be listening to. Again, this interference won’t cause any medical risks, but it will prevent you from feeling the maximum effect of the binaural therapy.
The duration of the session
Some people who suffer from insomnia play a track with delta binaural beats all night long. While this isn’t forbidden, it’s good to know that their brain doesn’t keep responding to that stimulus throughout the night. It perceives the signals until it falls asleep.
In other words, you don’t have to expose yourself to binaural beats for hours to improve your condition. As a matter of fact, the longer the stimuli, the weaker the perception.
That’s why it’s recommended to listen to binaural patterns for 15 to 30 minutes a day. You should keep on repeating this session for about 30 to 45 days to notice some improvements.
Also, after this initial period is through, you should continue doing the same routine, but within other mind-relaxing activity, such as yoga or meditation. That way, you’ll reinforce the achieved progress and maintain your body and soul.
HOW SAFE IS THE BINAURAL BEATS THERAPY?
We’ve already stressed out that binaural beats and the binaural therapy should neither be perceived as panacea nor quasi-healing. In that light, it’s important to present some relevant evidence that speaks in favor of this therapy and highlight its safe nature.
Doctor Giampapa’s sessions
Dr. Vincent Giampapa, who was the president of the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine, made a significant medical discovery when he realized that the alpha, theta, and delta binaural patterns used during the binaural beats therapy affect the production of cortisol, melatonin, and DHEA.
These are the hormones often associated with our well-being and longevity. The results of his study showed that the binaural therapy can help us live longer and happier.
Dr. Giampapa conducted his experiment on 19 participants, and each of them listened to binaural beats for four hours a day, three days in a row. This is how the level of these three hormones in their bodies changed.
Produced in the adrenal glands, cortisol is one of the chemical substances that accelerate aging.
It has a significant influence on our memory, as well as our learning abilities. When its level is high, it has a negative effect on our body, since it contributes to the feelings of anxiety and neurosis.
When people with high levels of cortisol were exposed to binaural beats in Giampapa’s experiment, it dropped by 46% on average. Some of the participants experienced the cortisol drop of as much as 68%, while the level of cortisol for a few of them went down by 70% or even 80%.
DHEA is part of every hormone in our body and it’s responsible for our resilience to illness, as well for our physical age. As we’re getting older, the level of DHEA is naturally falling, as well. Even when we’re at a young age, the level of DHEA can drop if we’re under a lot of stress. As a result, we’re going to feel weak and ill.
Two-thirds of theparticipants in doctor Giampapa’s therapy with binaural beats experienced an increase in the level of DHEA. One participant even had a 90% uplift of DHEA. On average, this DHEA growth rate was 43%.
Melatonin, also known as the ‘sleep hormone‘, is extremely important for the quality of our sleep.
As people are growing older, the level of melatonin in our body is falling, too. Since our brain needs proper sleep to recover and revitalize, a lack of melatonin slows down some functions of the brain.
The binaural sessions conducted by Dr. Giampapa caused the biggest increase in the level of melatonin. To be more precise, it raised by 97% on average, ranging from 73%, all the way up to 300%.
Pre-operative benefits of binaural beats
A study on the pre-operative condition of patients who are about to enter the surgery has shown that playing binaural audio tracks is the most efficient way of soothing those patients. There were three different groups of patients, and there were three different types of pre-operative audio tracks. The first group of patients listened to an audio track with binaural beats. The second group listened to the same audio track, but without the beats. The third group wasn’t exposed to any sound interventions.
The study showed that the pre-operative anxiety of the patients in the binaural group dropped by 26%. In the audio group without binaural sounds that number was 11%, and in the pre-operative group without exposure to any audio tracks, the anxiety drop was only 3%.
This is another proof of how efficient binaural beats can be in treating different sorts of mental and physical stress.
LIMITATIONS AND POTENTIAL RISKS
So far scientists have mostly praised the effects achieved through the binaural beats therapy, as well as listening to binaural beats in order to find comfort and relaxation.
The creative power of the beats
The study “The impact of binaural beats on creativity”, conducted by Reedijk, Bolders, and Hommel, has proven that binaural beats have a positive effect on divergent thinking. However, they aren’t beneficial for convergent thinking. Another conclusion from this study is that binaural beats can’t be used or perceived as a general trigger for cognitive enhancement. As we’ve pointed out earlier in the text, different frequencies affect different parts of the brain. Because of that, each of the binaural patterns has some characteristic effects.
In this day and age, many people are under a lot of stress at work, which sometimes leads to anxiety and depressive conditions. While you can tackle these issues with some proven anti-depression techniques, sometimes you might need to spice up your struggle with negative feelings.
A series of studies has been conducted over the years and they all support the claim that binaural beats can be an effective tool when you’re fighting against such emotional states.
Potential depression incentive
However, the exposure to certain binaural frequencies could increase the feeling of depression, under certain conditions. An experiment conducted on a group of pilots showed that some of them felt a stronger sense of depression when they were been exposed to binaural beats of 7Hz. These results only indicate that binaural beats and the therapy in which they’re applied require professional supervision for sensitive groups of people.
Some people have also reported that they enjoyed listening to soothing and relaxing music that contained binaural beats, but they didn’t feel comfortable when they heard them isolated. Again, this could mean that they simply didn’t play the right type of binaural beats for their emotional and mental state.
In the YouTube video available on the link below, you can try this technique for yourself. It’s relaxing meditation music that contains delta binaural patterns. After that, make an experiment and play only a video or track with delta waves, without music, provided below the one with music and beats. Then you’ll see whether there’s any different in the way you feel while listening to delta binaural beats in different contexts.
COMBINING THE BBT AND RELAXATION METHODS
We’ve reserved the final part of this guide on binaural beats for meditation, yoga, and workout with the soundtrack of binaural beats.
Yoga and meditation with binaural beats
Meditation is meant to clear your mind from the negative effects of the outer world and focus on the inner self. Therefore, enriching your meditation sessions with binaural beats is a great combo for a higher level of mental elevation and recuperation.
What type of the meditation practice you’ll pair with binaural is totally up to you; the most widespread technique is the popular Lotus pose.
If you’re not a hardcore meditator, you can simply sit or lie down on your sofa, close your eyes, immerse your mind into binaural beats and let them take you to a relaxing and calm place in your mind.
This track is suitable both for meditation and yoga sessions, so feel free to include it in your sessions.
When it comes to yoga and binaural beats, you can get even more benefits from that combo. This is so mainly because yoga includes physical activity, in addition to mental focus. For instance, if you’re a more advanced yoga enthusiast, you can even use binaural beats during your tantric yoga practice.
Check out the following video if you’d like to add the binaural patterns to tantric yoga sessions.
Bedtime relaxation with binaural patterns
According to the results of research published by The Guardian, an increased number ofworkers has reported issues with insomnia in the last 25 years. This unpleasant sleep disorder can deteriorate many aspects of your life, which is why it’s extremely important to nip it in the bud.
This is where binaural beats can play an important role. The guide on the Sleep Habits website reports that delta beats are the most efficient option for pre-bedtime relaxation and improved sleeping routine.
Binaural beats and workout
You can improve your concentration and determination during the gym workout sessions if you add binaural beats to that practice.
When we were discussing different types of binaural patterns, we said that the low-end beta patterns enhance focus and alertness. This is exactly what you should include in your workout practice.
Apart from the gym, these beats will help you stay focused and alert during your running routines, as well.
Listen to the beta patterns in the video above and use them to perform your physical activity at a higher level.
Binaural beats and white noise
While binaural beats occur when we have two close, but different frequencies, white noise is a random signal that has the same intensity in different frequencies.
Thanks to its relaxing and soothing effect, white noise is most often associated with delta and alpha binaural beats.
As such, it can be included in your yoga and meditation sessions.
You can also play tracks that contain both white noise and delta beats for a deeper and longer sleep.
If interested in this combination, listen to the video below and see how these two types of frequencies sound together.
THE FINAL WORD
Using binaural beats in everyday life can help you relieve the stress generated by unpleasant situations that each of us has to cope with from time to time. There are many different studies that encourage the use of binaural beats for the purpose of relaxation, mental rejuvenation, and overall well-being. Some researchers have even discovered that we can slow down some aspects of aging if we include the binaural beats therapy in our daily routines.
Still, you need to know that binaural beats can also have no effect if they’re not properly applied. Because of that, those people who are interested in these physical enhancements should both learn more about their types and effects. Also, extending your knowledge of binaural beats therapy through communication with doctors and neuroscientists will teach you how to use them in the most efficient way.
Finally, you’ll notice that there are many commercial providers of binaural beats online. With such an abundance of videos and tracks on YouTube, it’s advisable not to spend money on those commercial solutions, but use those free resources and improve your state of mind with the use of binaural beats.
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