Do binaural beats work? To answer this question, we first have to examine how the brain functions. The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. It has billions of neurons located within the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is important because it controls what a person learns and memorizes. It promotes attention, awareness, consciousness, thought, language and perception. The brain is located inside the head and is encased within the skull.
When the brain is active, it creates brain waves which can be measured by placing sensors directly on the scalp (EEG: electroencephalography). Brainwave functions are used to describe bandwidths which may be thought of as synchronized electrical pulses that are actively communicating with each other. Brainwave speed is divided into bands based on the speed of the cycles per second (hertz) that is produced.
1/ Different Brainwave Patterns
There are different brainwave patterns known as Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, as well as infra-low brain patterns.
- Gamma brainwave patterns operate above 40 Hz. Gamma is an extremely fast moving high frequency brainwave. These brain waves are present when a person is within spiritual awareness involving love and altruism. When a person begins to become focused, this is when the Beta brainwave phase takes over.
- Beta brainwave patterns operate at 13-40 Hz and are present when someone is alert and engaged in problem solving, decision making or is in a focused mental state. Sub categories of beta brainwave patterns are Low-Beta 13-15 Hz (“Beta 1”), Mid-Range Beta 15-20 Hz (“Beta 2”) and High Beta 20-40 Hz (“Beta 3”). These beta brainwave patterns involve excitement, high anxiety and deep thought. Usually lots of energy is used during these brain pattern cycles which is why a person feels mentally drained after long periods involving that brain activity.
- Alpha brainwave patterns operate at 7-13 Hz and are usually present when the brain is calm. Usually these brain waves are associated with meditation (Zen and Transcendental), learning and integration. For example, after long periods of studying and the brain is tired, alpha brain wave patterns show when a student decides to take a break. Alpha brain waves trigger the initial stages of sleep (“pre-sleep”).
- Theta brainwave patterns operate at 4-7 Hz and is active during periods of sleep (“light-sleep”). These brainwave cycles are also present during deep meditation when the body is using very little energy. The Theta state is the entrance into the dreamworld. It is where the external world and the awareness of time becomes nonexistent.
- Delta brainwave patterns operate at 0.5-4 Hz and are generated in deep sleep or while the mind is within a very deep meditative state (“Yoga Nidra”). Delta waves have much to do with the body’s restorative process.
- Infra-low brain patterns are the lowest brainwave patterns and are hard to measure with accuracy. These brainwave patterns operate at 0.5 Hz and below. Brain network functioning and timing are affected by infra-low brain patterns.
Mu 7.5-12.5 Hz and SMR 12.5-15.5 Hz waves also exist. They involve movement and muscle coordination. These waves exist between Alpha and Beta brain waves.
2/ Auditory Stimulation through Binaural Beats
The binaural effect was discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove but the usage of auditory stimulation to enhance human brain function was brought to light in 1973 by Gerald Oster, a biophysicist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, NY. It was with his discoveries that doctors all over the world have been incorporating auditory stimulation to help people:
- reduce anxiety disorders,
- enter different stages of consciousness,
- focus mental concentration,
- stimulate different parts of the brain.
Benefits of Binaural Beats
Some of the biggest benefits of binaural beats include helping to increase:
- personal development work,
- deep mental and emotional relaxation,
- the creation of ideas and relaxing the mind.
Through the stimulation of various parts of the human brain, visualization can also be enhanced.
So that age old question “Do binaural beats work”? The answer would be “yes they do work” and they can be effective for different purposes.
Click on the following link to stream and download free binaural beats
How to Use Binaural Beats
Using Brainwave entrainment is not very hard. You should seek to understand your reasoning behind using binaural beats. Do you seek sharper mental focus, good night sleep, pleasant dreams or deeper meditation sessions?
For example, if you need sleep music because you have sleep disorders, you should look for recordings that include Alpha, Theta and Delta binaural beats because they can help induce a sleeping pattern. This is a perfect auditory medicine for someone who is considered an insomniac.
Globally, it’s recommended to listen to some brainwave entrainment audios from 10-30 minutes twice daily. This will slowly get your mind and body into sync.
Please let us know if you’ve ever tried binaural beats and what your feelings were. Just leave a comment below. Thank you!