When someone listens to binaural beats both hemispheres of the brain are being stimulated. Subsequently increasing the percentage of brain cells, and improving mental awareness (Mattson 2015).
Let’s talk about sound healing! To start, everything that is considered matter in the universe oscillates on its own frequency (hertz). Yes, even a delicious apple pie has a frequency! A frequency is the number of complete oscillations per second of energy (such as sound or electromagnetic radiation) in the form of waves (“Frequency”). Interesting fact; scientists have identified over ten million different frequencies in the sun alone. Theoretically stating that the sun is one gigantic bell infinitely ringing a melodic song (Mattson 2015)! Like the sun, humans radiate different sound waves/frequencies based on that person’s mental and physical health. So how can we keep those “waves” in balance? Well, meditation helps bring the body and mind back to balance…. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a mad case of squirrel brain that causes my mind to spin like a hamster wheel 24/7. So, I decided to do a little research to see if there was an easier way to ease the constant rush hour traffic in my mind. That’s when I stumbled upon binaural beats.
Binaural beats are sound waves/frequencies that are usually heard through headphones. For instance, the left earbud would resonate at 10 Hz, and the right earbud would be pulsating at 20 Hz. The brain can only hear one of the two tones at a single time, so the brain creates the difference between the two by subtracting the smaller frequency from the larger one; resulting in 10 Hz. If sustained, the frequency of the binaural beats eventually manipulates the mind into EEG- associated states (Padmanabhan, Hildreth and Laws 2005) See Figure 1 below to see range of brainwave/EEG (electroencephalography) associated states the mind can be manipulated to.
Figure 1: Science has proven that these binaural beats have the power to put your mind into a state of deep relaxation or then can do a complete 180 and keep you anxious or alert.
Incredible, huh? So, how can we apply binaural beats into our lives? Remember how I mentioned I diagnosed myself with a mad case of squirrel brain? To clean up the clutter in my
mind, I have dabbled in a couple different methods. The first technique I tried was an app called Binaural. It’s a super user-friendly app that simplifies what a brainwave state is and what corresponding frequency would benefit your current mental state (refer to figure 1 diagram). I have also surfed the web or checked on Groupon to see what sound healers are available in the area. If you are open to it, I recommended joining a group sound healing session. The healer in my area charges about $25 for 90 min of gongs, chimes, singing bowls- you name it! You would not believe how cleansed and refreshed you feel after the session. In my opinion, the best form of sound healing is through pure tones/frequencies (such as gongs, and singing bowls), rather than digitally through your phone (such as binural beat apps), to be able to receive the numerous benefits. Alright, so this might feel a little over whelming; especially, if it is new information to you. However, I will dive deeper into sound healing with gongs, chimes, and tuning forks in later blogs to come! To conclude, discovering a proper balance between the mind and body is a treasure most people never find, fortunately results have shown binaural beats might be the “X that marks the spot”.
Figure 2:This is a picture from the sound healing center I attend; located in Milwaukee, WI.
“Frequency.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/frequency.
Mattson, J. 2015. Ancient Sounds Modern Healing. Oil City, PA.
Padmanabhan, R., A. J. Hildreth & D. Laws (2005) A prospective, randomised, controlled study examining binaural beat audio and pre-operative anxiety in patients undergoing general anaesthesia for day case surgery. Anaesthesia, 60, 874-7.