Have you ever heard of binaural beats? They are particular frequencies of sounds and music that stimulate listening and that affect our mind, promoting concentration, relaxation and learning. Binaural beats were discovered in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, physician and director of the Prussian Institute of Meteorology. Today the method is used to counteract anxiety and to increase attention levels during work or study. But let’s shed some light on this topic.
Binaural beats: how do they work
Proponents of the binaural beats technique say they should be listened to with headphones or earphones on. In this way, in fact, it is possible to stimulate the brain with different pulsations. You must know that binaural beats are “pulsed” at different frequencies: when we listen to two sounds characterized by a different frequency, the human brain tries to compensate for this difference by changing the brain frequency. This frequency is different depending on the activities we carry out and is characterized by the electrical activity that neurons produce in the brain. Therefore, binaural beats can serve as a stimulus to promote relaxation or concentration, but, on their own, they are neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition.
Binaural beats and their impact
Do you want to increase your sense of well-being? Are you looking for a way to hone your learning skills? Do you want to dedicate yourself to meditation? For all these purposes and more, binaural beats by themselves, of course, cannot suffice. However, they can be a further stimulus to achieve a goal you have set for yourself. A study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience has shown that the stimulation through binaural beats represents a non-invasive approach that affects the electrical activity of brain cells, although much remains to be understood on the subject.
Binaural beats for meditation
Take a look on YouTube. You will see that there are available, for free, many binaural beats, isolated or combined into real melodies available in the form of audio files. Those that feature a mix of binaural beats and background symphony constitute a type of binaural music often used for relaxation and meditation sessions. The advice remains the same: use a pair of headphones or earphones as a different frequency will resonate in each ear. Does it work? It is certainly pleasant music to listen to and can be useful in facilitating the transition from one state of mind to another.
Musical frequencies: what they correspond to
Do you know the difference between sounds and frequencies? A sound – as in the case of binaural beats – is an acoustic sensation given by the vibration of an oscillating object, which propagates in the air or in an elastic medium. Frequency is the number of cycles per second of the sound wave and is measured in Hertz (Hz). The frequency of a sound increases with the number of cycles per second. States of consciousness and emotions are related to the various binaural frequencies. For example, Delta waves, with a frequency between 0.5 and 4 Hz, are associated with very deep psychophysical relaxation, while Theta waves, between 4 and 8 Hz, are a characteristic of the mind when you are engaged in an activity which requires creativity and imagination.
Beneficial waves, frequencies and benefits
In essence, binaural beats provide acoustic stimuli that can affect brain activity. The brain, in fact, varies the frequency and amplitude of the brain waves it continuously generates which can be recorded by devices such as the electroencephalogram. Therefore, by the same principle, beneficial waves such as binaural beats end up producing different rhythms depending on the type of result, we want to obtain. If you need to be focused, the right rhythm is that of Beta waves, at high frequency and low amplitude. Are you doing meditation? Theta waves are those waves that allow a very deep relaxation state.
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