On Benefits of Binaural Beats

You may be familiar with the term “binaural beats”, especially if you’re into mind machines or brainwave entertainment. The word “binaural” is defined as “of two ears”. The technology behind this involves the brain being stimulated using different sounds in each ear using earphone with the goal of creating sensory or even spiritual feelings.

When the brain hears the alternating beats and tones in each ear, the brain syncs up with the tone’s patterns and produces various positive psychological experiences such as a sense of calm, happiness or possibly an enhanced intelligence and mental focus.
There is a lot of research going on trying to create different binaural beats but the execution is always the same: you put on the earphones, quietly lie back and listen. Psychologists and neuroscientists are divided on benefits of binaural beats, they are mostly concerned that regular use may develop into addiction and call binaural beats a “digital drugs“.

The technology of binaural beats is not new at all. The discovery of binaural beats goes back to the 1839. This is when Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, a scientist from Prussia discovered the concept and started experimenting and using binaural beat technology. But it’s just been in recent decades when high-quality headphones became generally available that practical use has taken off. Using good quality headphones enabled the technology to be kicked up a notch because each pattern of sound can be isolated to just one ear, and there are no background distractions. This isolation of sounds, beats and tones has contributed greatly to the science of binaural beats.

An article in Scientific American, 1973 called “Auditory Beats in the Brain” by Gerald Oster was about the results of a pioneer study on binaural beats and introduced the topic to the public at large. This article is still mentioned today due to its organized and detailed explanation of the topic.

Can You Benefit from Binaural Beats?Can You Benefit from Binaural Beats?

Under undisturbed conditions, when used the right way, binaural beats have been shown to help people achieve a deep state of relaxation and meditation. There have been reports (but no proof) that binaural beats are able to produce one or more of the following as different sound patterns are used:

  • An improved mood and increased happiness
  • A sense of being “high”, similar to what drugs produce, when used in “recreational doses”
  • An enhanced ability to focus and concentrate
  • Improved memory and intelligence
  • Various spiritual experiences, as in ESP, past-life regressions and “Christ consciousness”
  • An increase in metaphysical experiences, such as lucid dreaming and telekinesis
  • Enhanced sexual enjoyment and performance
  • Improved physical and sports abilities
  • A heightened sense of experience and awareness
  • Improvement in physical ailments including eyesight, arthritis, acne and even weight loss
  • Enhanced creativity

There are even more applications for binaural beats which include practical, spiritual, and recreational uses. Just some of them are listed here so that you have an idea of the full array of uses. 

What is the Exact Mechanism that Causes the Result?

To enjoy the benefits of binaural beats you should ideally don a set of high-quality headphones and just lie back and relax. First you will hear a series of different tones called “white noise”. There will be a slightly different sound in each ear. This is why they call it “binaural”. There may also be some ambient sounds in the background if they’re on the recording, like the sound of wind, rain, or birds chirping. These are added to give you a better meditative experience.

Your brain will begin to interpret the different beats and to synch its brainwaves to the beats. These beats have been designed and recorded to stimulate a specific area or regions of the brain. It depends on what types of tones and beats you are hearing. This brain stimulation affects your feeling of wellbeing or it could be another effect you are hoping to achieve. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as “the frequency following response”.

Everyone is different and every session is different so it might take a number of sessions over time to get and maintain the results you are looking for.

Have There Been Scientific Studies Done on Binaural Beats?

Yes there has been a lot of research done analyzing all the effects that binaural beats has on the brain and human functioning. The technology has still not been fully accepted by the mainstream scientific community but there is ample evidence that this is not a pseudoscience or just a fad.

Are Binaural Beats Effective for Everyone?

There have been many people that have reported good results using binaural beats. However there are a certain percentage of people that claim they’ve gotten no results. What has been seen however is that with consistent, repeated use, results will be seen over time.

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