What are Binaural Beats and How to Use Them…
There are a stunningly vast array of benefits you can experience from listening to binaural beats – a fascinating form of soundwave therapy.
When one of America’s most famous living philosophers, Ken Wilber, was asked what the average person could do to raise their consciousness, he replied:
There’s already a technology that can be used to raise human consciousness. It’s called binaural beats.
Researchers and everyday people alike have mentioned the following benefits:
- Reduced stress
- Reduced anxiety
- Increased concentration
- Increased focus
- Increased confidence
- Increased motivation
- Enhanced mood
- Deeper sleep
- Deeper meditation
Binaural beats have also been used in more esoteric forms of spiritual practice, such as:
Best of all, it only takes on average around 7 minutes for the brain to entrain (or harmonize with the frequencies), so giving yourself between 7 to 30 minutes will help you to start feeling the effects. So what exactly are binaural beats?
What Are Binaural Beats?
Here’s what you might be thinking: binaural beats just sound like some new age fad.
Here’s me: actually, binaural beats were discovered in the 1800’s and trance-like music itself has existed for thousands of years. Not only that, but binaural beats have been supported by scientific research (more on that later).
From the trance-inducing sounds of drum beats in tribal shamanic cultures to the repetitive chanting of Tibetan monks, rhythmical sound has extremely powerful healing benefits.
Put simply, binaural beats are a form of rhythmic and repetitive sound frequencies which put you into a meditative state easily. It was a physicist named Heinrich Wilhelm Dove who discovered the way binaural beats work in 1839.
When the binaural beat sounds enter your ears they produce something in your brain called “brainwave entrainment.”
What is Brain Entrainment?
Brainwave entrainment is a fancy term that basically means altering your brainwaves to adjust to the pace and rhythm of a sound such as those created by binaural beats. When your brain waves synchronize to the sound waves of the binaural beats, the result is a state of deep relaxation.
How Do Binaural Beats Work?
If you’re the type of person who likes the nitty gritty details of how something works, read this section. BUT if you’re not, skip to the next section. In any case, binaural beats are quite fascinating.
Binaural beats work by sending two different frequencies to each of our ears. When hearing these two frequencies simultaneously, our brains create a third ‘phantom’ tone out of the mathematical difference.
Here’s an example:
If a 310 hertz sound frequency is sent to one ear, and a 315 hertz frequency is sent to the other ear, your brain will process these sounds in a way that results in hearing one 5 hertz frequency. Your brainwaves will then synchronize to this 5 hertz sound frequency.
If you listen to 410 hertz in one ear and 400 hertz in the other, your brain will interpret these two simultaneous frequencies as 10 hertz, and your brainwaves will adjust to this new frequency.
Here’s a picture that depicts the process:
Basically to summarize in the most simple way possible: each of your ears receives two different frequencies, and your brain ‘creates’ a third frequency, which then slowly alters your brainwaves.
Pretty cool, right?
Scientific Support of Binaural Beats
Throughout the past twenty years, numerous scientific studies have been conducted on the physical and mental health impacts of listening to binaural beats.
If you’re like most people, you probably find poring through academic papers boring or time-consuming. So here is a summary of some of the findings:
- People who suffered from memory, attention, stress, pain, headaches and migraine issues were shown to benefit from brainwave entrainment (based on a summary of 20 peer-reviewed studies found here)
- Binaural beats were found to increase creativity, relaxation, and meditation(study here)
- Brainwave entrainment was found to help increase focus, problem-solving, creativity, memory, learning, sleep induction, pain control, and enhance learning (source)
- Increases IQ and results in dramatic improvements to memory (thesis here)
- Reduces anxiety (study here)
- Deepens and extends sleep quality (study here and here)
- Helps with overcoming addiction (study here)
These are just a select few of the many studies conducted out there.
Are Binaural Beats Safe?
Yes! Numerous studies on brainwave entrainment have shown that listening to binaural beats is perfectly fine and has no reported side effects. But, to err on the side of caution, it’s advised that people with epilepsy or those who suffer from seizures, as well as pregnant woman, should consult a physician first.F
You’ll find a lot of binaural beats music out there, but not all of it is legitimate or high quality.
The binaural beats that I personally listen to and recommend are from the Binaural Beats Meditation studios. Their music is created by professional sound engineers who have over 17 years of experience!.
You will need to sign up for the free newsletter to receive the download. Also, another thing. In order for binaural beats to work, make sure you wear headphones (any kind). It’s pretty simple.
One of my habitual ways to unwind, get into an easy meditative state, and let the stress of the day melt away is by listening to binaural beats from these guys. So please do try them out! Their work is of the highest quality. (Note: yes, our website does earn affiliate commissions from them, but I only recommend them because I personally use their music to help relax my mind and reduce nervous tension – and it works!)
The Five Levels of Binaural Beats
There are four known categories, or levels, of binaural beats. Each level provides a different source of healing. I’ll explain below:
30hz-100hz – Gamma
SPIRITUAL AWAKENING, HEIGHTENED CONSCIOUSNESS, LOVE, AND HARMONY
Gamma brainwaves possess the highest frequency we know of. In this state, our brainwaves are so harmonious that many people report feeling elevated states of consciousness, even mystical experiences. This frequency is often experienced by monks, nuns, yogis, and experienced meditators. Gamma frequencies also enhance memory, awareness, and mental processing.
Recommended Track: Kundalini Awakening by Binaural Beats Meditation (awaken your spiritual energy)
14-30hz – Beta
FOCUS, PROBLEM-SOLVING, AND ENHANCED ENERGY
Beta brainwaves are typically those we experience when we are wide awake and full of energy. You can think of this frequency as the equivalent of taking stimulants like caffeine, Adderall, or various nootropics. The Beta frequency is good for generating a concentrated, focused, and analytical mind. In fact, the brainwave you probably possess while reading this is of the Beta frequency.
Recommended Track: Super Brain Power by Binaural Beats Meditation (increases your energy and information retention)
8-14hz – Alpha
CALMNESS, TRANQUILITY, AND CREATIVITY
Alpha brainwaves create a state of inner relaxation and are powerful ways to reduce stress and tension. The tranquility produced by this frequency also helps to soften the mind and produce states of feeling “in the flow.” Heightened creativity and abstract thinking are also attributed to the Alpha frequency.
4-8hz – Theta
INSPIRATION, INTUITION, AND DREAM RECALL
Theta frequencies have long been viewed as the doorway to the subconscious mind. Heightened intuition, deep relaxation, extrasensory perception, and vivid dreaming are all connected to this frequency. There is a distinctly dreamy and otherworldly feel that accompanies the Theta brainwave. Many therapists and hypnotherapists make use of the Theta frequency to tap into the subconscious mind and heal core issues. As such, this frequency is a powerful way to change limiting beliefs and do deep inner work.
Recommended Track: Astral Projection by Binaural Beats Meditation (enter the hypnagogic state which is a portal to the astral realm)
0.1-4hz – Delta
PAIN RELIEF, HEALING, AND REGENERATION
The Delta brainwave is experienced by us every night in dreamless sleep. It is also experienced by advanced yogis and monks who can enter the Delta frequency during deep meditation. This frequency assists in both emotional and physical healing, as well as enhanced immune functioning, significant stress reduction, and even anti-aging benefits. The Delta frequency is a terrific way to experience deep repair on the physical, emotional, and psychological levels.
How to Use Binaural Beats
As we’ve seen, binaural beats can be used in almost every facet of life. But how do we use them?
Here are some suggestions:
- Choose one frequency you would like to work with (or if you prefer, experiment with many)
- Find a quiet and undisturbed place
- Use noise canceling headphones to gain the greatest impact (if you don’t have noise canceling headphones, usual earbuds will be fine, but you need to wear headphones to benefit from binaural beats)
- Incorporate binaural beats into your meditation or relaxation time
- If you need a mental boost, listen to the Beta frequency during study or work hours
- The brain requires about 7 minutes on average to ‘entrain’ (fall into sync) with the binaural beats, so give yourself at least 15-30 minutes to experience the benefits
- Listen to binaural beats for one month minimum and notice the impacts they have
I hope this guide has helped to open another doorway to healing. Binaural beats are a simple but powerful way to experience everything from calmness and creativity to increased energy and heightened consciousness.