Do Binaural Beats Really Work? And Are They Dangerous?

Do binaural beats work

Binaural beats, or binaural tones, are auditory processing artifacts, or apparent sounds, caused by specific physical stimuli. Via Wikipedia

Do binaural beats work to help people achieve a better, deeper state of meditation?

If you ask the average person, you’ll get any number of responses.

Some people love the use of a brainwave entrainment product with binaural beats for meditation, better focus at work, and even deeper sleep.

Others find that a product with binaural beats is fine to use, but they don’t really experience as many benefits as others have experienced.

There’s another group that would tell you that binaural beats are just a scam, a hoax to deprive desperate customers of their money and that in reality they do not work.

So do binaural beats work?

Is there any science to back up the claims that the producers of brainwave entrainment products make?

Or is it just another internet scam that is trying to take your hard-earned money away from you?

Best Brainwave Meditation Programs – Check Them Out


Where Did Binaural Beats Originate?

In 1839, it was discovered that the human hearing system actually analyses time differences between both ears within certain frequency ranges.

When these frequencies are below 1000hz for most people, though they can be as high as 1500hz, all it takes is a slight variation of a few hz in one ear for their to be a perceived time difference that the brain can track.

Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, who initially discovered what binaural beats could do, never got to see the fruition of his discovery.

It wasn’t until 1973 that science and alternative medicine sources began to study the effects of binaural beats on the human mind.

In countless studies, it was discovered that any changes above a 30hz could be perfectly distinguished by the brain as coming from two sound sources.

Therefore all binaural beats have a difference of 30hz or less.

Initially binaural beats were used as a diagnostic tool.

That’s because people who have Parkinson’s Disease cannot distinguish the hz difference in sounds, no matter how slight the oscillation.

After Robert Monroe discovered that people were reporting out of body experiences with binaural beats tuned with a 4hz difference, the production of effective brainwave entrainment products began in earnest.

Robert Monroe was a successful and distinguished business executive, dedicated family man, and noted pioneer in the investigation of human consciousness. He also invented Hemi-Sync® and founded The Monroe Institute®, a worldwide organization dedicated to expanding human potential. Via monroeinstitute.org

 

 

What About Clinical Research Studies?

The clinical research on binaural beats is limited.

Do binaural beats work in these clinical applications?

In one study conducted at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, researchers performed a blind study on eight people who were well-versed in meditation techniques.

The research found that binaural beats that oscillate at a frequency of 7hz can enhance the effects of meditation.

On the other hand, researchers discovered in this study that oscillations of 15hz actually harmed the effects of meditation on the human body.

Based off of that research and other similar studies, the oscillation of binaural beats has been linked to specific mental states based on the frequency of the pure tones being heard.

  • Under 4hz: deep sleep assistance
  • 4hz-7hz: deep meditation/relaxation
  • 8-13hz: body rhythm enhancement, pre-meditative states
  • Above 13hz: energy enhancement, mental focus

Depending on your specific needs at any given time, therefore, it is possible for a brainwave entrainment product, using binaural beats, to enhance a specific mental state.

From meditation to better sleep to the energy to make it through a work day, just 30 minutes or less with a brainwave entrainment product can tune your mind to the specific brainwaves you need to have produced.

Binaural beats

 

Brainwave Entrainment Goes Beyond Relaxation and Focus

The electrical activity emanating from the brain creates frequencies called brainwaves. Via brainev.com

 

Many people utilize brainwave entrainment for personal relaxation and better sleep.

Some use brainwave entrainment products at work for better focus.

Did you know, however, that addiction specialists also use brainwave entrainment?

The combination of training the mind between alpha waves and theta waves has shown to be beneficial in the breaking of serious and debilitating addictions, especially alcoholism.

When used in combination, these binaural tones assist those who suffer from alcoholism to retune their minds to accept a new learning process.

The mind has learned that alcohol is an effective coping skill and so it becomes addicted to its use.

When it doesn’t get it, people can experience severe depression-like symptoms until they get more alcohol.

Some might even feel guilty about abusing alcohol, so they stop, feel worse, and then drink again in a destructive cycle.

Over an 18 month period, people who utilized brainwave entrainment to assist with their alcoholism were better able to control their endorphin levels and ultimately stay sober longer, more reliably, and have a better chance of breaking the addiction once and for all.

 

Are Binaural Beats Dangerous?

No (but in certain cases/situtations it is recommended not to listen to them).

Binaural Beats are a natural phenomenon that occurs within the mind when different frequency levels are heard. It’s a perception, nothing more.

Your ears hear sounds at different frequencies every day. These sound waves all have different shapes that are based on the frequency of the sound. Low frequency sounds have elongated waves, while high frequency sounds have very short and compressed waves.

If binaural beats were dangerous, then any two sounds that a person heard that occurred on two different frequencies would be dangerous.

There are a few ways where a person could abuse binaural beats and cause damage to their hearing.

  • By listening to the recordings at a volume level that is above 85 decibels.
  • Through prolonged listening sessions that cause a headache, either from noise levels, headphone ear compression, or other issues.
  • By listening to recordings in high traffic situations where you are unable to hear an approaching danger.

Binaural beats are even being integrated into therapy practices for those who have ADD, a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, and even for sleeping and anxiety disorders.

Binaural beats are not dangerous. You would need to hurt yourself purposely for them to cause any damage.

Just make sure you do not listen to binaural beats while driving or operating dangerous machinery (or when you do anything else that requires concentration). Do not listen to them if you suffer from epilepsy or experienced seizures in the past. Also you shouldn’t listen to binaural beats if you’re pregnant, photosensitive, wear a pacemaker or you’re under the influence of medication or drugs. 

 

Do Binaural Beats Help With Studying?

do binaural beats help with studying

Even in the quietest of environments, it can be difficult to stay focused on materials that need to be studied. The mind begins to wander and think about random things. If you need to focus on the information at hand instead of wondering what to have for breakfast on Tuesday, then binaural beats can help you out.

What binaural beats are able to do is increase your levels of concentration. This helps to add neural pathways to the information superhighway in your brain. The result?

You can retain more information in a shorter amount of time and then recall it better at a later date.

How does this work? Binaural beats engage the entire mind while they are being played. The mind finds the differences in frequencies interesting. Instead of random thoughts about squirrels and Facebook status updates, you stay focused on the information in front of you.

It’s like having your own set of noise canceling headphones – except that they cancel out the noises in your head.

 

Why Are Isochronic Tones Used With Binaural Beats?

Isochronic tones are the regular beats of a single tone.

Think about a piano for a second.

Imagine if all someone did was push down the Middle C key on their piano with the sustain pedal.

Every time the key would be struck, the same tone would emerge.

The sustain pedal would then keep that tone playing out, although with a fade as the vibration of the string within the piano fades after being struck by a hammer.

The only difference between this scenario with a piano and an isochronic tone is that the isochronic tone wouldn’t fade away over time.

It is a solid, pure tone that is repeatedly struck at regular intervals.

This is done to encourage the mind to tune itself to the frequencies of the binaural beats that are being heard.

Why does this happen?

The audible sounds of the isochronic tone go from 0 to 100 in basically no time at all.

Imagine a car that could accelerate from 0 to 100mph in less than a second.

The acceleration would push you back into the seat, the skin on your cheeks might flap a little in the breeze, and you’d lose your breath for a moment before going “Whoa!”

That’s what happens to your brain with an isochronic tone.

It gets the attention of your mind because it is a sudden, loud, and tuned sound.

It makes your brain want to listen to the sounds you’re putting through your ears!

That’s why it is so effective when combined with the specific oscillations of binaural beats.

 

Do Binaural Beats Help In Lucid Dreaming? 

Do binaural beats help with lucid dreaming

One of the best ways to trigger a lucid dream is to fall asleep while repeating a certain thought over and over. Binaural beats can help you achieve this.

The problem that many people have with lucid dreaming is that they do not progress into and out of a dream state fast enough to remember the events that occurred. To remember a lucid dream, you must essentially wake up directly from the dream.

Binaural beats will help to put you into a dream state quickly because they eliminate the racing thoughts, to-do lists, and other environmental sounds that can keep you awake. Gentle sounds help to further relax the body.

To assist with lucid dreaming, try setting an alarm clock to rouse you out of your dream in the middle of the night. If you don’t remember the dream, reset your alarm, play the binaural beats again, and make another attempt.

Most people can achieve their first lucid dream using these basic methods in the first 3 weeks of trying to have one.

 

Why Don’t Other Sounds Create Binaural Beats?

If you’re familiar with a synthesizer, then you’re pretty familiar with the various waveforms that a sound can take.

A synthesizer can produce a pure sound from it’s origination source.

What it cannot do is produce a pure sound once you begin to manipulate the waveform through the oscillation matrix.

Triangle waves, sawtooth waves, and even square waves can all maintain harmonic frequencies and authentic reverberation, but the purity of the sound is modified in order to create the variation within the sound wave.

Because the purity of the sound is corrupted to create the various unique sounds, the target frequencies cannot be maintained.

Therefore you may still get an audible beat effect, but you won’t be able to achieve the tuning effect on the brain that a pure tone can generate.


What Do Binaural Beats Ultimately Do?

Many people look at the short-term benefits, such as a better meditation session, but think nothing of the long-term effects that binaural beats can provide.

Music is unique in that it engages the entire mind at the same time in some way.

From memory to sensory perception, music creates an experience that allows your brain to communicate more effectively with its various parts.

Your brain is split into two different hemispheres.

Those two hemispheres are connected by what is called the corpus callosum.

Think of it as a bridge that information can cross so that one part of the brain can communicate with the other part.

During normal activities, information that crosses the  corpus callosum is essentially going at the speed of traditional snail mail. It’ll get there, but it’s going to take some time.

Ever wonder why you can’t remember what you entered a room to do? Blame the bridge.

Now engage your mind with a brainwave entrainment product that includes binaural beats.

You’re engaging both hemispheres at the same time, activating an active two-way communication over the corpus callosum.

Instead of traveling at the speed of snail mail, now the information in your brain is moving at the speed of e-mail!

Perfect practice makes perfect, so over time, the use of binaural beats will speed up the information being passed around in your brain so that you can remember more, think on your feet better, and ultimately be sharper in everything that you do.

Will you be a Trivial Pursuit master?

Maybe not… but you will be working toward maximizing the potential your mind has always had.

 

What Could Binaural Beats Do For Your Mind Today?

Although some people don’t always experience an immediate benefit from binaural beats, many people do or will over a period of a few days of use.

Keep in mind that binaural beats aren’t going to work if you use them constantly or are trying to experience a specific outcome by using the wrong frequency oscillations from a pure tone.

Do binaural beats work?

They do, they’re clinically proven to be of benefit, and they could provide you with the missing puzzle piece to your sleep, meditation, or focus routine.

Why not give a brainwave entrainment product a try today?

Find out for yourself if binaural beats are going to work for you or not!

 

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Images from Pixabay: studying man, fantasy

 

 

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I am an enthusiast of meditation and contemplation. I also like listening to brainwave entrainment music. In my view it's really effective. I hope you'll find something interesting on this blog.

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