Saturday, 27 October 2012

Binaural Beats

Getting Into the Rhythm of Binaural Beats With Brainwave Entrainment

The entire building trembled from the reverberations as the Japanese drummers of Kodo reached new crescendos. The traditional opera goers at New York’s Lincoln Center were engaged but not a toe was tapping. The rhythmic beats of the drums had lulled the crowd into a hypnotic trance.  Drums have been altering states since ancient shamanic tribes began dancing on the earth, but modern man has only recently become consciously aware of the binaural beats behind this phenomenon. 

The use of auditory stimulation to induce meditative states and alter consciousness has been growing in popularity.  Binaural beats are a form of mind altering brainwave entrainment. When two sounds close in frequency are played, one into each ear, the brain synthesizes these frequencies to produce a third, lower frequency equal to the difference between the two.  For example, frequencies of 250 and 260 hertz (hz) would create a binaural beat of 10 hz. This low frequency beat plays in a rhythmic pattern due to a wavering effect, or oscillation, within the central nervous system. 

One of the most powerful applications of binaural beats is in brainwave entrainment: the ability to tune into specific brainwaves – alpha, beta, theta, delta or gamma, for example – to control brainwave activity.  In brainwave entrainment, binaural beats have numerous applications, including to:

Achieve a deeper state of relaxation during meditation – When neurotransmitters in the brain pick up brainwave activity, they begin to make changes in brainwave activity. Binaural beats allow one to choose specific frequencies to achieve the desired meditation result. For example, deep relaxation can be achieved with binaural beats in the alpha range (7-11 Hz). For a deeper meditation, try theta (4-6 Hz) waves.  Lucid dreaming is achieved in the delta (4 Hz)
Alter consciousness – Meditation is the act of altering consciousness. The experience may range from achieving a deeper state of relaxation – more alpha waves – to experiencing more extreme changes in consciousness, such as one that can induce an out-of-body experience (OBE). Binaural beats activate the brain’s reticular activating system which, in turn, stimulates the thalamus and cortex, altering the elements of consciousness.  Mental states that can be affected by expanding consciousness include arousal states, attentional focus and level of awareness, according to the Monroe Institute, which pioneered work in brainwave entrainment and binaural beats in the 60s and 70s.  The Monroe Institute views binaural beats as one of several techniques used in a guided induction process to alter consciousness.  A seminar or brainwave entrainment tape is a good place to start.[1]

Reduce symptoms of ADD/ADHD – Symptoms of ADD/ADHD, one of the autism spectrum disorders, include social, behavioural and language deficits. Although the exact causes of ADD/ADHD are still being investigated, these deficits relate to underactive areas of the brain caused by abnormal brainwave frequencies that affect beta brainwaves.  When it comes to normalizing brainwave activity in a person with ADD/ADHD, binaural beats can hit just the right frequencies. 

Binaural beats have been applied in many other areas, including sleep induction, pain management, stress reduction and in the treatment of depression.
Brainwave entrainment through binaural beats is a powerful and easily accessible tool for inducing a new state of mind.  If the shamanic drummers could use binaural beats to harmonize the earth’s frequencies, consider the life-enhancing benefits of actively using them in your life.

[1] Holmes Water, F. (1997). Accessing anomalous states of consciousness with a binaural beat technology. Journal of Scientific Exploration. 11 (3) pp. 263-274.  Retrieved from,

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