What is the health benefit of binaural rhythms?
It is said that binaural rhythms put a person into the same state as meditation, but much faster. In fact, binaural rhythms can:
- decrease anxiety
- increase focus and concentration
- decrease stress
- help relax
- help build up creative moods
- develop creativity
- help with pain
Meditation is the practice of calming the mind and abating the amount of random thoughts. It is proved that practicing meditation reduces stress and anxiety, slows down brain aging and memory loss, helps strengthen emotional health and increases attention span. It might be hard to practice meditation regularly, which is why people seek help in progress.
Binaural rhythms from 1 to 30 Hz are supposed to create the same brainwave pattern that could be experienced during meditating. When you listen to a sound of certain frequency, your brain waves will sync up with that frequency. The theory is that binaural rhythms can help create frequency necessary for your brain to create the same waves that are experienced during meditation. That way of using binaural rhythms is sometimes called brainwave immersion technology. Based on this experience,
How to use binaural rhythms?
All you need to try out binaural rhythms is a binaural rhythm itself and a set of headphones. You can either easily find binaural rhythms audio files in the Internet (in YouTube, for example, or purchase CDs) or download audio files directly to your mp3-player or any other device. Special app is very easy to use.
As it was said before, for binaural rhythm to work, there must be two tones of frequency lower than 1000 Hz, and the difference between them mustn’t exceed 30 Hz.
You need to decide which brain wave matches your desired state.
All in all:
Delta range binaural rhythms (1 to 4 Hz) are relevant to deep sleep and relaxation.
Theta range binaural rhythms (4 to 8 Hz) are relevant to fast sleep, anxiety decrease, relaxation, and meditative and creative states.
It is thought that alpha-frequency binaural beats (8 to 13 Hz) help relaxation, positivity and reduce anxiety.
Beta-frequency binaural rhythms (14 to 30 Hz) are related to increased concentration and attention, problem solving and memory improvement.
Find a comfortable place free of any distracting factors. Just listen to the sound of the binaural rhythm for at least 30 minutes every day through headphones to make sure that the rhythm work (synced up) with your brain.
You can experiment with listening duration to find out what works better for you. For instance, if got high level of anxiety or stress, you can listen to the audio for even an hour or more. Remember that you must use headphones for binaural rhythms for them to work correctly. You can also close your eyes while listening.
Expert opinions on brave frequencies
“Considering the popularity and effectiveness of meditation as means of distressing and maintaining good health there is utmost necessity of thorough studying of how it affects brain activity,”– says Professor Jim Lagopulos from Sydney University.
Lagopulos is the main researcher between his own university and researchers from NTNU conducting a research of alterations in electrical activity of the brain during unfocused meditation. Whether we are mentally active, rest or sleep our brain always stays active to some extent. The research controlled the frequency and location of electric brainwaves with EEG (electroencephalography). The EEG electrodes were placed on the head of the object with tailor-made hat.
The participants were experienced Acem Meditation practitioners. It’s a method developed in Norway. They were required to rest with closed eyes during 20 minutes and randomly meditate for another 20. The abundance and location of slow and fast electrical brainwaves (delta, theta, alpha and beta) were measured and recorded.
Which frequencies match which states?
During meditation theta-waves were found mostly in the frontal and middle parts of the brain.
“These types of waves are supposedly caused by the relaxed state which controls our inner experience. That is the significant difference between meditation and relaxation without using any technique,”– point out Lagopulos.
“Resent researches showed that theta-waves indicate deep relaxation and are more often found among experienced meditation practitioners. The source, perhaps, is the frontal part of the brain which is connected to the monitoring of other psychic processes.”
“When we measure mental calmness, these areas give signals to lower parts of the brain, causing a reaction of physical relaxation which happens during meditation.”
Alpha-waves were more prevalent in the rear parts of the brain during meditation rather than during simple relaxation. They are common for general resting without sleeping.
“These type of waves is considered to be a universal sign of relaxation during meditation and other ways of resting,”– says Professor Oyvind Ellingsen from NTNU.
“The amount of alpha-waves increases when the brain relaxes is relieved of previously formed tasks. It is a sign of deep relaxation, but it doesn’t mean the mind is empty.”
The research held by Malia F. Mason and her colleagues from Dartmouth college in NH shows that the normal state of the brain is silent stream of thoughts, images and memories, which isn’t caused by sensor input or premeditated reasoning, but occurs spontaneously.
“Spontaneous wandering of the mind is what you become more aware of and familiar with while meditating,”– continues Ellingsen, who happens to be an experienced practitioner.
“This activity of the brain id often underestimated. It is possible to be mental processing which binds together different rueful feelings and emotional “leftovers”, puts them in perspective and sorts them out.”
Delta-waves are distinctive for sleeping. During relaxing and meditative tasks, there was a bit of delta confirming that unfocused meditation differs from sleeping.
Beta-waves occur when the brain works over specific tasks such as date planning or active thinking process over a certain problem. EEG showed little beta-waves during meditation and resting.
“These results indicate that you distance yourself from problem solving, just like during resting. The same goes for meditation as well,”– says Ellingsen.
Several researches point out the best relaxation and stress management through meditation techniques when you abstain from attempts to control the content of your mind.
“These methods are often called indirective because the practitioners don’t actively pursue certain experience or a state of mind. They cultivate an ability to tolerate random wandering of the mind without any extreme involvement. Instead of concentrating on getting rid of stressing thoughts or emotions just let them pass without effort.”
Are there any other researches confirming the benefits?
Though most of the researches on the influence of binaural rhythms were rather small time, there are a few which confirm that that auditory illusion actually benefits health, especially in case of anxiety, mood and productivity.
One blind research among 29 people showed that listening to beta-range binaural beats (16 to 24 Hz) resulted in productivity improvement during fulfilling a certain task as well as negating bad mood compared to listening to theta- and delta-range binaural beats (1,5 and 4 Hz).
Another controlled research held among 100 people who awaiting surgery also showed that binaural beats were able to significantly reduce pre-surgery anxiety compared to similar sounds without binaural tones and without sound whatsoever. There was a 50% anxiety decrease among people who listened to binaural beats.
In another uncontrolled research 8 adults listened to binaural CD with delta frequency (1 to 4 Hz) during a period of 60 days in a row. The participants filled out the questionnaires before and after 60-day period answering questions about their moods and quality of life. The results of the research showed that listening to binaural beats during 60 days significantly decreased anxiety and improved their quality of life. As the research was minor, uncontrolled and based on surveys for data collection, it takes much more serious researches to confirm these effects.
One major, recent, randomized and controlled research analyzed practice of binaural beats among 291 patients admitted to ER. The researches witnessed significant anxiety decrease among the patients who listened to the sounds with binaural beats compared to those who listened sound without them or without any sound whatsoever (only in headphones).
Are there any side effects during listening to binaural beats?
There are no known side effects from or during listening to binaural beats. However, you should make sure that the level of the sound coming through your headphones isn’t too high. Extensive exposure to the sound reaching 85 decibel or more might eventually lead to hearing loss. It is approximately the level of noise created by intensive traffic.
Binaural rhythm technology might cause problems in case if you are an epileptic. So, you should consult your doctor before trying it out. Additional researches and tests are needed in order to establish any other side effects during listening to binaural beats for a long period of time.
After several researches conducted among people in favor of health claims binaural beats turned out to be a promising instrument in fighting with anxiety, stress and negative psychic states. The researches showed that listening to CDs and audio files containing binaural beats on daily basis has a positive effect on:
- creative approach
Becoming a master of meditation is not easy. Binaural beats won’t work for everybody, and they are not to be taken as remedy for any certain state. Nevertheless, they offer a perfect way out for those interested in relaxation, calm sleep or meditative state.