Don’t worry, it’s not a complicated question however there is no simple yes or no answer to this question. Even though the exact mechanism of how it works is still being researched, there’s plenty of research supporting the use of binaural beats to enhance creativity, your mood, and other brain functions.
But if you haven’t heard of binaural beats you must be wondering what we are talking about.
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What if someone told you that, you could get into the Zen state of a monk who has been meditating for years by simply listening to sound patterns? Would you believe that it can be done? What if you could improve your focus, creativity and even get into a deep sleep by simply listening to specially designed sound patterns?
These specially designed sounds are binaural beats.
Binaural simply means two ears. We listen to sounds through both of our ears. Actually, the explanation of how binaural beats are formed is quite complex, so we will cover the basics and go into more detail towards the end of this article.
What are the benefits of using binaural beats?
- Improved concentration & focus
- Develop your imagination & creativity
- Relaxation, calmness and helps in reaching a meditative state
- Helps in getting into deep sleep
- Enhanced intuition
- Overall improvement of the communication between the left & right brain
How can I try binaural beats?
Simply use headphones and listen. For example, if you want help getting into a deep sleep, select binaural beats that help you to get into that state and use headphones to listen to it.
There are many websites you can buy and listen to binaural beats, if you are looking to try them out simply search Youtube, Spotify or Google for binaural beats and find something that suits your mood and what you would like to focus on.
If you’re looking for something to listen to offline and on your own then this Mega Meditation Pack from binaural beats meditation is what I recommend.
Are binaural beats effective?
A lot of research has suggested that different states of the brain that are useful for creativity, focus, healing, intuition, and even manifestation can be induced with the use of binaural beats. For children with attention deficit disorder binaural beats have been proved to be helpful in order to improve concentration.
Do binaural beats work without headphones?
Research states that binaural beats can work even without headphones if speakers are placed on either side of the head. However, it’s more effective if you actually use headphones.
Can I use earbuds for binaural beats?
Yes, just like headphones, as long as the sound is received from both ears at the same time, this will work.
However, researchers recommend using headphones if you are first starting off with the use of binaural beats. Eventually, you can move on to speakers if you like.
Even though some researchers claim there is little or no effect of binaural beats on some individuals, the important fact to note is that no research has found there are any harmful effects. Certainly, this method doesn’t claim to have a one size fits all solution.
However, the extensive research that supports the effects of binaural beats and its therapeutic effects certainly add credit to this method of inducing favorable brain states. For example The Monroe Institute Faber, Virginia has patented a process called Hemi-Sync which has been designed to optimize brain performance based on the use of binaural beats; this method has been developed as a result of research data gathered from over 40 years You can download binaural beats from their website; https://hemi-sync.com.
Let’s think about our historical societies for a moment. If you look into how ancient societies carried out their daily rituals and gatherings, we can identify many instances where sounds and music were used during many of their rituals. For example, research carried out on ancient cultures has revealed that drum beats played during rituals remained at a consistent rate. Furthermore, research suggests that this consistent beat had induced a theta brain wave state (relaxed state) for the ancient ritual group. Monks, Native Americans, Hindus, and Yogis from the early days have practiced rhythmic chanting accompanied with drumming which was believed to have been helpful in spirituality and healing.
But research aside, we have all felt the effect of music and how it affects our mood. We all listen to our favorite tunes when we need to feel better. Use of binaural beats may be taking ‘listening to your favorite song’ to the next level, the best option is having an open mind and trying it out for yourself.
Binaural beats – The explanation
When sounds with two different frequencies are heard through the left and right ear, the brain calculates the difference between these two different frequencies and will capture that difference. This perceived sound is called a binaural beat, for example, if two different sound waves of 350Hz and 354Hz are used, the difference is 4Hz.
When you hear sound waves of 350 Hz and a sound of 354 Hz, the difference between them is 4 Hz, which is similar to Delta wave state (1-4Hz).The brain then follows what’s called the frequency following response (FFR), and due to the principle of harmonization, the predominant frequency becomes the delta wave frequency.
By following this principle, if anyone wishes to modify experiences, specific patterns of binaural beats can be used. By changing the predominant frequency of the brain states such as deep sleep, lucid dreams, increased creativity, and relaxation can be achieved.
Brainwaves and Brainwave Entrainment
Our brain can be described as a machine that works using the energy generated by chemical and electrical reactions. These electrochemical reactions produce brain waves. The specific type of brain wave that is produced represents a specific type of state. Depending on the frequency of the brainwave, the neurotransmitters, and hormones that are released into the bloodstream changes, which results in different types of neurological, physiological and psychological states.
Simply put, when we do different creative activities, focus, imagine, do detailed math problems or remember things, our brain needs to be in different states specific to each activity. These states are created by brainwaves.
Similar to normal sound waves, brain waves also have a frequency and an amplitude. Frequency is measured in Hz, the intensity is represented by amplitude.
These brain waves are a representation of the activity of the cortex (outer layer of the brain). It has been well established that the activity of the cortex and the states of consciousness is directly related to each other. Since the brain waves result from the electrical activity of neurons, if a higher number of neurons are activated, the amplitude or intensity can be said to be higher.
Brain waves and the frequencies
- Gamma (30-70 Hz)
- Beta (13-30 Hz)
- Alpha (8-13 Hz)
- Theta (4-8 Hz)
- Delta (1-4 Hz)
Mental states are associated with each brain wave pattern; it is possible to enhance or improve these brain wave patterns in order to change the mental states associated with the respective specific brain waves. This is achieved by the use of binaural beats or sounds that lead to the harmonization of the two hemispheres of the brain. This brainwave entrainment occurs due to the principle of Harmonization.
The emotional states of anxiety, alertness, and focus are associated with Beta waves.
The complicated processing of audiovisual stimulations is associated with Gamma waves. Memory, mental activity, and even the level of intuition is higher when the Gamma frequency is higher. Buddhist monks who practice loving kindness to all beings are usually at this Gamma frequency state.
Alpha waves are connected with relaxation, creativity, and use of imagination.
At beta we prey on each other; at alpha we pray for one another
Theta waves are associated with emotions, dream state and hypnotic states.
Deep sleep occurs when delta waves are created.
Luckily you don’t have to memorize what each brain wave does or their frequencies to use it. Binaural beats are usually available with a description of the intended use, for example, if you wish to experience a meditative brainwave state, there are binaural beats specifically designed for meditative practice. If you wish to enhance your level of creativity, simply listen to binaural beats designed to enhance creativity.
Now that you know the science behind binaural beats, give it a try. Think about it, if you can experience the higher mental state of a monk who has been meditating for years by listening to binaural beats, imagine what that state can do for your well-being.
Enhancement of brainpower always means access to limitless possibilities. Any improvement that you do in your own consciousness will improve the state of the overall collective consciousness.
After all, we are all connected.