There is a good chance this isn’t the first time you have seen the words “binaural beats.” In these modern times we all seem to be on an endless quest of perfect physical and mental health as well as a relaxed and clear conscious. In some cases we already know the answers. If you want to be thinner and healthier you exercise, eat right, and try to drink water more than other beverages. But there are plenty of other times we don’t have all the answers! This is one of those times in the field of health where we admittedly don’t have all the answers, however there is obviously great potential.
The reason binaural beats are so popular is the possibility that they may influence the very frequencies of our brains. If this turns out to be true and very effective it will have amazing consequences on our day to day lives and health. Before we get too excited, we also have to approach this whole concept with caution. At the end of the day there are not that many binaural beats warnings, it appears to be mostly safe. We will go over the basics and how they may potentially work, that way you the reader can decide if it is worthy to try out or heed any warnings and stay away.
Right now in your brain you have frequencies cycling back and forth. Hook yourself up to an EEG and you can tell exactly what brainwave is currently running. These brainwaves are always present and consistent until brain death when they completely cease to be. Until then for the rest of your years you will have one of the waves below being emitted by your brain.
Gamma – These waves are present when you are very alert
Beta – These waves are present during normal waking hours, alert but not super focused
Alpha – With this wave you are awake but with a relaxed state of mind. Essentially present but not thinking very much.
Theta – These are present during deep relaxation and on the verge of drifting off to sleep.
Delta – This is when we are in a very deep and dreamless sleep.
Now that we know the different waves, we can get an idea of what the binaural beats effects may have on us. As you can guess our goal with brainwave entrainment is to find a way to simulate one of the waves above and play it to give us the desired state of mind. Let’s take a closer look at what binaural beats are to get an idea if they may just be more helpful than harmful.
How Binaural Beats Work
One definition of a beat is the interference pattern between two frequencies. Long before we had tuning machines for musical instruments, we tuned them with these beats. These beats tell you which interval you are at, or if no beat than you are in unison with the same two notes. Binaural beats are similar, except they are not a beat you are actually hearing, as we will explain.
When you hear the beat out loud like tuning an instrument, it is called monoaural. If you separate the frequency in two ears with headphones that is when it becomes binaural. Another factor that makes a binaural beat is that the two frequencies must be under 1500 Hz and only 40 Hz apart. 40 Hz binaural beats (like gamma waves) are the fastest you can hear. Take one frequency at 530 Hz and play it on ear, take another at 520 Hz and play it in the other ear. As these two play you will “hear” a third 10 Hz beat in your headphones. However, you are not really hearing it, it is only an auditory illusion.
That’s right, the binaural beats effects are not even real in a sense. We don’t know how or why our brains hear this third frequency. Regardless though it happens and that is the whole point of the binaural beat. We are simply tricking our brains into thinking it hears a certain wavelength. And the reason for this is to hopefully trick our brains into mimicking a frequency. If we play a 10 Hz wave it is our hope that our brain will enter an alpha wave like state. We don’t know exactly if this works yet so it is best to read as much as possible and pay attention to any binaural beats warnings.
Just because we haven’t found all the answers yet doesn’t mean we haven’t made some great strides. Scientists know that oscillations of other sound and light waves can have positive and negative effects on people. Recently they found quickly flickering green light is beneficial for migraines and headaches. They have also discovered that specific white light patterns can help dementia patients. Sound as well has shown to affect us in a variety of ways, look at the potential sonic attack mystery that occurred in Cuba!
Of course much of this is all still in various phases of research. Just as well binaural beats effects are puzzling scientists as to how and if they work, they just don’t know. Much of the research being done is not that accurate and depends on word of mouth. This is because people are pretty impatient when it comes to improving their health, so they just jump right in. Not only is that a binaural beats warning, it is also a warning for most unsubstantiated health claims. We really need to learn to look a little more before we leap.
The way to tell the difference between solid research and nonsense is to listen to the claims made. If a website makes incredible statements about the healing binaural beats effects than you know they are full of it. Honest players in the binaural world will acknowledge that we don’t have all the info, but we are being smart and approaching the situation with caution. Having high hopes for a treatment is different that blindly following.
So we know the gist of how binaural beats are made, but what are the exact binaural beats warnings? The most common one you will see is concern for epileptic patients. It’s not for certain, but scientists are divided between whether they help epilepsy or cause more harm. Until they find some solid evidence anyone with this condition should obviously avoid using them. It’s wise to find a totally different approach to your health problem in that case. Another binaural beats warning is not to use them on children. This goes for any potential medicine or treatment. Children have developing brains and are lot more susceptible to problems, they are never to be used in any unfounded scientific setting. Luckily most children aren’t troubled by lack of sleep and clearing their overworked and stressed out brains!
Other than that the binaural beats warnings are very few and far between. Which may be a sign that they don’t work as well because you would think they would make more drastic changes in the brain. Perhaps though they work so subtly that we have a hard time noticing any negative effects. In a way you will be experimenting on yourself to see what aspect of binaural beats is beneficial and which may be a negative or ill effect.
For the most part the average user of binaural beats effects is very happy with them. Some users swear by theta and delta waves to sleep. Others find using alpha and beta waves they have more focused concentration. If you read most user reviews, you will see the biggest binaural beats warnings is usually that they had no effect on some people. When you think about it, that’s not really the worst negative! Clearly, we want something good to come out of it, but having nothing happen is better than having something bad happen.
Should I Use Binaural Beats?
If one thing is clear, it is that binaural beats effects are not clear! I’m sure that’s not want you want to hear, but it is the truth. In figuring out whether you should use them or not it is best to assess your situation and see if they can be more of a help or a harm. For example one common claim is that binaural beats for headache is very helpful for easing discomfort. However, there is also a chance that depending on the type of headache or wave used that it may do more damage. Often binaural beats warnings come with gamma waves as they can induce headache or anxiety. Clearly it can be helpful or harmful it is up to you to take it slow and see how you are affected.
Another common claim is that we can get a boost from binaural beats energy. Of course in this situation we wouldn’t be using alpha, theta, or delta waves. Our interest would lie in the more alert states of mind like beta and gamma waves. Again these waves can have an energetic effect on some, but others will have to heed the same binaural beats warning as for the headaches. It is a matter of experimenting to see what works for you and what doesn’t.
There are a ton of potential issues to clear up with binaural beats. The major and obvious ones are better sleep, more productive meditation, and enhanced concentration. Sometimes we see it for more specific disorders like binaural beats ADHD. Considering alpha and theta waves are the focused and relaxed waves of our brain they may be of great aid in attention disorders. It is up to you to figure out whether or not to attempt binaural beats for your exact problem.
Assuming you follow the basic binaural beats warnings and be mindful you will likely have no issues with using them. The simple fact is that they are not really dangerous, most adults who us them have positive reactions for the most part. As long as you be careful and have realistic expectations than by all means you should try them out. Just don’t expect a miracle cure all, because there is no such thing as that in binaural beats or any potential healing method.
Where to Find Binaural Beats
If you decide to use binaural beats than there are plenty of places to find them. Online you will find a plethora of various beats to use for brainwave entrainment. Again your biggest binaural beat warning will be avoiding places that make over the top claims. You will easily find plain binaural beats, and some will come with music and ambient sounds. It is up to you to find one that suits your particular needs.
And if you want to take it the extra mile you can even make your own relaxation, meditation, and deep sleep tracks. There is plenty of apps and software that allow you to make your own binaural beats effects. This will allow you to have custom made track, one you can even add in some music. If you want something for sleep you can pick the time that you move from beta, to alpha, theta, and then ending on delta and finally sleep! Or you can create a midday mindful relaxation track with only alpha and theta waves. If you really get good at creating your own tracks, you may be able to help out your family or friends.
So there you have it, the basics of brainwave entrainment and any included binaural beats warnings. As we mentioned in the beginning, there really aren’t that many negative effects. Still it is wise to approach the subject with caution. Try a few different wavelengths out, theta for meditating, delta for sleeping, and maybe some alpha for a midday concentration break. Pay attention to the effects they have on you and stick with the ones that work best. Before you know it, science will catch up and we will have a lot of better answers on how auditory perceptions may help heal us physically and mentally.