How Our spiritually charged Music Works
The first question on everyone's mind when they discover this spiritually charged music is how do binaural beats work?
Understand, this isn't some new-age fad: it's a naturally occurring science that has been around for centuries.
So get comfy, and if you have a couple of minutes and I'll explain it all…
The Ancient Discovery of the Benefits of Rhythm & Repetition
We understand that in past times, societies didn't refer to this science as binaural beats, but what they did know was that consistent, rhythmic sound had incredibly powerful healing and spiritual properties.
Scientist Melinda Maxfield, PhD, conducted research on the drumbeats used during rituals of ancient cultures and found that they generally beat at a steady rate of 4.5 beats per second.
This consistent beat is a key component that induces a trance-like state for the tribal members, due to the brain shifting into a 4.5 beats-per-second brainwave frequency, which is a low Theta brainwave state, as you'll learn about below.
Indeed, in almost every ancient culture, repetitive beat formats have played an important role in wellbeing and prosperity.
For example: through the use of repetitive drumming and chanting, Tibetan monks, Native American shamans, Hindu healers and master Yogis have been able to induce specific brainwave states for transcending consciousness, healing, concentration and spiritual growth.
Allow me to digress a bit, and bring in some modern research:
Andrew Newberg, neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania, and author of “How God Changes Your Brain”, Made the discovery that while people are deep in prayer or meditation, activity in our parietal lobes drops to almost nothing.
The parietal lobe is responsible for sensory awareness and orients us in the world. Newberg theorized that the drop in activity during meditation and prayer explains that deep sense of oneness we feel with the universe when engaged in these focused meditations.
What most people find interesting is that although the creation of binaural beats music has only been possible through technological advancement in the last 100 or so years, the use of this natural science dates back thousands of years.
Ancient cultural groups were aware that the brain could be entrained through repetitive sound well before modern science was able to prove the process.
The Founder of Binaural Beats
The way binaural beats work was first discovered in 1839 by a Prussian physicist and meteorologist named Heinrich Wilhelm Dove.
It wasn't until 1973, though, that biophysicist Doctor Gerald Oster brought the technology into mainstream awareness in a publication called ‘Auditory Beats in the Brain' (Scientific American, 1973). In his paper, Oster stated;
It is possible that hormonally induced physiological behavior changes may be made apparent by measuring the binaural-beat spectrum.
Forty five years on, and a heap of research by scientists and sound engineers later, the science of binaural beats (brainwave entrainment) is used by people all over the world to entrain the brain into different states that contribute to stress relief, focus, aiding sleep, pain relief and much more.
How Do Binaural Beats Work?
The word binaural means “having or relating to two ears”.
This represents the process, which works by simultaneously
sending a marginally different sound frequency to each ear
Brainwave entrainment happens inside the brain, and is caused by a physiological response. Upon hearing two tones of different frequencies – sent simultaneously to the left and right ears – the brain perceives a third tone based on the mathematical difference between the two frequencies.
The brain then follows along at the new frequency and produces brainwaves at the same rate of Hertz (Hz).
Still with me? Good, Let’s continue.
For example: if a 200 Hz sound frequency is sent to the left ear, and a 205 Hz to the right ear, the brain will process those two frequencies and perceive a new frequency at 5 Hz.
The brain then follows along at the new frequency (5 Hz), producing brainwaves at the same rate of Hertz (Hz). The technical term for this process is ‘frequency following response'.
The 5 Binaural Beats Brainwave States
As explained above, binaural beats can entrain the brain to different states, of which there are five key categories (shown below). The effect on the listener is dependent on the brainwave state the music is targeting.
We test our music on a wide demographic of people prior to prior to offering the music in our office. This allows us to provide music that is proven to work and fit for purpose.
The graphic below shows the five core brainwave state categories used in binaural beats music and their associated benefits:
Delta waves (.2 to 3 Hz) are the slowest brain waves and occur primarily during our deepest state of dreamless sleep.
(Deep Sleep- Pain Relief- Anti-Aging (Cortisol reduction/DHEA increase)- Healing-Access to the unconscious mind)
Theta waves (3 to 8 Hz) occur during sleep but have also been observed in the deepest states of Zen meditation.
(REM sleep- Deep Relaxation/ iner peace-Meditation-Creativity-Hypnopompic & hypnagogic states)
Alpha waves (8 to 12 Hz) are present when your brain is in an idling default-state typically created when you're
daydreaming or consciously practicing mindfulness or meditation. Alpha waves can also be created by doing aerobic exercise.
(Relaxed focus- Stress reduction-Positive thinking-Accelerated learning-Flow state effortlessly engaged in activities)
Beta waves (12-27 Hz) typically dominate our normal waking states of consciousness and occur when
attention is directed towards cognitive and other tasks. Beta is a ‘fast’ wave activity that is present
when we are alert, attentive, focused, and engaged in problem solving or decision making.
Depression and anxiety have also been linked to beta waves because they can lead to "rut-like" thinking patterns.
(Focussed attention (external stimuli)-High level cognition-Analytical thinking/problem solving-Stimulates energy)
Gamma waves (27Hz and up) typically hover around 40 Hz and are the fastest of the brain wave bandwiths.
Gamma waves relate to simultaneous processing of information from different brain areas
and have been associated with higher states of conscious perception.
(High-level information processing- Cognitive enhancement-Memory recall-Peak awareness-Transendental states.
binaural beats brainwave states
The benefits listed under each brainwave state are general associations and it should not be assumed that all frequencies within the state’s range will produce these benefits.
There are specific frequencies associated with specific states, and indeed different results will be experienced in the high, middle, and low areas of each brainwave state.
Test the Science for Yourself!
After reading this information, you probably ‘kind of get it'. But to fully understand how binaural beats work, you need to hear the effects in real time.
Below is a sample of a raw (naked, with no music overlay) Theta binaural beat set to 6 Hz. Put your headphones on and press play on the player.
When you have both earphones in/on your ears, note that you hear a single pulsating sound. Some liken it more to a wavering or trembling type sound. Make sure your volume is turned up.
Now, remove one earphone – left or right, it doesn't matter. When you remove one earphone, you will notice that the pulsation disappears completely and that you hear a single tone in the earphone you still have on.
When you put the other headphone back in your ear, the pulsating sound comes again.
This is because when you have both earphones in, your brain is perceiving a third tone from its mathematical interpretation of the left and right tones (a binaural beat). In this case, that interpretation is 6 Hertz.
Your brain follows along at this frequency. This is the ‘frequency following response' process I discussed earlier.
And there you go! You have just entrained your brain using a binaural beat(s)! Of course, you'll have to listen for at least a few minutes to start feeling the effects.
Please note: When you take one earphone out, move it as far away from your ear as possible. With some headphones you may still be able to hear the pulsating sound if the removed headphone is still fairly close to your ear; this is because your brain can still detect the frequency vibration coming from the headphone. In addition, push the earphone that’s still on your ear tightly to your ear, while moving the other earphone as far away as possible.
what are binaural beats used for
Why is it Called “Binaural Beats Meditation”?
‘Binaural beats meditation’ has become a common term for listening to binaural beats music.
This may seem a little confusing, because not all binaural beats music is designed for meditation and relaxation. However, there are three main reasons as to why this name has been adopted:
1. In a similar way to meditation, a lot of binaural beats music is designed to entrain the brain in a similar way to that of meditation, which is referred to as mindful awareness, or entirely in the present moment.
2. Generally speaking, binaural beats music is accompanied by ambient, relaxing music, which is usually quite similar to the sound design used in meditation music.
That's it! We hope you now better understand how binaural beats work.