What Are Binaural Beats?
So... What are Binaural Beats? I've been using them for three years, done loads of research, and still find it tricky to get my head around the science and overblown marketing claims.
It's likely you have encountered the same problems, so let's put an end to that now.
This article will:
- Answer the question "What are Binaural Beats?"
- Give you a little bit of history and explain the science
- Explain why people like using them
- Answer some frequently asked questions
- Show you where to get started
Let's get started...
What are Binaural Beats?
Binaural Beats are a form of brainwave technology, and are really just a means to an end.
The end in question is Brain Wave Entrainment, which is what happens automatically when your brain frequency is lowered and the two sides of your brain begin to operate at the same pace.
This is also known as the rather glamourous-sounding Brainwave Synchronisation.
This typically results in a deep sense of relaxation, calm and happiness, which comes about without any conscious effort on the part of the user.
So, what are Binaural Beats? They are simply a tool to get your brainwaves slowed down. All technical jargon aside, they command your brain to rest and go into a more relaxed and positive state, which is a pretty cool thing to experience.
History & Science
So, what are Binaural Beats - and who stumbled across this rather grand idea?
Well, a lovely gentleman called Dr Gerald Oster published an article in an 1973 edition of Scientific American called "Auditory Beats in the Brain". In this paper, Dr Oster realised that you can change the frequencies of the brain by playing certain sounds to it. In doing so, he launched a whole new industry.
Binaural Beats work by playing two slightly different frequencies into each ear through headphones. Your brain interprets the frequencies by entraining (or stabilising) at a level that is the difference between the two signals.
So, for example, you can play a tone in your left ear at 40Hz, and a tone in your right ear at 44Hz, and your brain will create a tone of 4Hz. This is a tone you shouldn't actually be able to consciously "hear".
Why Does This Matter?
This matters because Binaural Beats allow your brain to operate at frequencies that it normally can't access easily under waking conditions. It also allows you to "hear" sounds that the human ear cannot usually perceive.
As such, with Binaural Beats you can easily "drop down" into alpha brain waves, and theta brain waves, and maybe even delta brain waves.
These are all very good for you to experience, as they are the natural states you reach when you are very relaxed, napping, dreaming or in a deep sleep.
Binaural Beats somehow allow you to get to these states by "confusing" your brain with two different signals. While it sounds a bit complex, it's really not scary at all.
Think of it like this: when you mix red and yellow, you get orange. Equally, you can't make orange without red and yellow.
So what are Binaural Beats? They send "red" frequencies to one ear, "yellow" frequencies to the other, and your brain creates "orange". Orange is where you are going to be in a very relaxed, peaceful and alert state, kind of like meditation.
It's nice to be Orange.
Why Do People Use Binaural Beats?
I hope by now you have a satisfactory answer to your question "What are Binaural Beats". It's worth noting, however, that as long as you understand that your brain activity is being lowered, you're ready to start experimenting with them.
Don't worry yourself too much about the Science - it will neither add to nor take away from your results.
The next logical place to go with this article is answering why people use Binaural Beats. Whilst the reasons vary from person to person, here are some of the key benefits:
- A deep sense of relaxation and inner peace, akin to meditation
- Positive, vibrant images and visualisations
- A sense of alertness and creativity
- A powerful feeling of "letting go"
- Minor pain relief
- A better night's sleep
If you like, you can stop for a moment and read in more detail about the proven health benefits of Binaural Beats. There's lots of articles here which should help you out.
Binaural Beats FAQs
Here's a few questions I get asked a lot, which may be on your mind:
Do They Really Work?
In short, yes, every time. The technology directly affects your brain frequency. They work, whether you want them to or not. They all come with a money back guarantee too, but I've not found it necessary to use it.
Are they Difficult to Use?
Yes, if "difficult" to you is putting headphones on, pressing play on your iPod, sitting somewhere comfortable and shutting your eyes for 20-30 minutes.
Seriously, they take very little effort or skill to feel the benefits. When you've been using them a while, you can experiment with visualisations and meditations, but this is totally optional and won't impact on your initial results.
You'll be able to access alpha brain waves straight away, and you should be able to consciously access theta brain waves within just a couple of sessions.
Are Binaural Beats Safe?
Yep. They take your brain frequencies to natural states that you access every time you relax, nap or sleep. There's no danger and it's very rare for people to have adverse side effects (i.e. I've heard of a couple of cases of people who got a mild headache, but this is the exception to the rule) Instead, expect a deeply relaxing and unusual experience.
Please do your own research here though, I'm not a Doctor ;)
Is there any Proof they Work?
Yes again, and more than you'd think. In clinical trials, Binaural Beats have been proven to increase relaxation, decrease anxiety, improve sleep and learning abilities, and much more.
Feel free to read more about all the Binaural Beats Research that has been carried out now.
Are they Crazily Expensive?
Some are, but you can also get awesome MP3 downloads from around $10-15, which provide incredible value for money and will get you awesome benefits and results.
If you get into Binaural Beats "big time" expect to want a top level system, costing around $150-350. Otherwise, stick to a few of the MP3s - they're almost as good, and if you're a beginner they will be more than strong enough.
You can read my detailed recommendations and reviews in my Top Brain Wave Toys, or for the best value binaural beats, head straight over to Unexplainable Store now.
That's it for "What Are Binaural Beats?"
I'm glad you're researching into this technology. I started this site because I couldn't find any satisfactory answers to 'what are binaural beats' when I was looking into this confusing market, so I genuinely hope I've helped.
Choosing to buy some Binaural Beats could honestly be one of the best decisions you make, so if I've helped you, I've done my job!
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