Binaural Brainwave Entrainment

by audrec on August 26, 2011

It is no secret that sounds influence our moods tremendously.  That’s because audio influences our state of mind.  We can directly influence what state of mind we wish to enter using specific kinds of audio called brainwave entrainment or “binaural beats.”

If you want to change your state of mind in less than 10 minutes, all you need is a pair of headphones! Did you know that just by playing two different (as in not the same note) steady tones, one in each ear, you can change the rhythms of your own brainwaves? “And why would I want to do that?” you may ask. Well let me finish;). Did you know that certain brainwave rhythms, or frequencies, are associated with certain states-of-mind? Ahhh, now I see a spark of understanding starting to flicker in your eyes. YES! Wouldn’t it be wonderful…almost magical…if we could change our states-of-mind in less than 10 minutes by putting headphones on and picking a mood? Why, it sounds almost “Matrix”-like. Welcome to the reality of binaural brainwave entrainment! I know, the term doesn’t exactly trip lightly off the tongue, but it was coined by the neuro-scientists who discovered it. It’s a fancy way of saying “syncing your brain to a beat.”

It doesn’t work if you just pound on your skull with your fist, or listen to rap music, though. The beats needed for this to work have to be set up between your ears. Stay with me for just a bit longer and let me try to explain. If there is a musical note steadily sounding, and then someone starts playing a SECOND note that is just slightly different in tune, you’ll hear a sort of rhythmic “thrumming” sound. Guitar players know this “thrumming,” beating sound very well. It’s one way they can tune their guitar strings. You pluck two neighboring simultaneously, one of them pressed down on, say, the 5th fret. If they are “in tune,” they will sound the same note, and a nice steady tone of both strings ringing will be heard. However, if the open string is slightly out of tune (a little higher or lower in pitch) with the fretted one, you will hear beats. Even if the two notes are only slightly different. That’s how a guitar player knows the strings are out of tune. He then slowly tunes one of the strings until the beats get slower…slower…and eventually go away completely, which is what happens when the two notes are the same.

The interesting thing about this is that the beats are kind of an illusion. If the rhythm of these beats is, say, 10 beats per second, it isn’t because either one of the notes have a rhythm of 10 beats per second! Huh? I know! Freaky-deaky isn’t it? It’s the combination of these two notes that causes our brains to sense thrumming instead of a steady tone. If you ever took wave-mechanics in school, THAT is what we’re talking about. Sound is made of waves in the air. Two slightly different waves in the air will crash into each other, messing with both waves, until the result is something totally different from either original wave. The resulting rhythmic thrumming is known as “binaural beats.”

So like I said, not just any rhythm will work for the mind-altering (ooo THAT sounds fun:)) mojo that IS brainwave entrainment. It’s got to come from binaural beats, which your brain will best “hear” if the two tones needed are played in headphones, one in each ear.

So where in the world do you get such tones? Well, you could make them yourself on your computer (there are some great audio recording sites and tutorials out there to help you brew your own audio). But there are also content providers out there who do this sort of thing for a living.

Here are the tailored types of programs, using brainwave beats, that you can find on an awesome site called Binaural Mind:

- Binaural Zen

- Binaural Sleep

- Binaural Chakras

Who knew you could use audio…just SOUND…to make you feel better and improve your life?

Jake Weston

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