Binaural beat therapy is a relatively new method of using sound waves for therapeutic purposes. It uses the fact that the brain interprets tones heard by the right and left ears as being the same, even if they are slightly different in frequency.
Proponents of this therapy style often recommend anxiety, stress, and associated problems. This sort of self-help treatment is most commonly offered as audio recordings that the patient listens to while wearing stereo headphones.
However, the therapeutic advantages of binaural beat treatment remain unclear, and its administration is not supervised by a medical professional. As a result, this form of therapy should not be used in place of more established methods of dealing with stress and anxiety.
In no medical context is a binaural beat treatment considered standard practice. To some extent, this therapy is still considered experimental by medical professionals.
How Do Binaural Beats Work?
For the brain to pick up on the binaural beat, the tones must be played at a rate of less than 1,000 hertz (Hz). The difference in frequency between sound waves entering the left and right ears causes a person to experience a binaural beat.
In this case, the binaural beat would be 10 hertz or the difference in frequency between the two tones heard by the left and right ears.
Research published in 2018 found that binaural beats can alter a person’s behavior and sleep patterns when listened to for the prescribed amount of time.
Do you wonder how to listen to binaural beats correctly?
The authors of the study define five broad types of frequency distribution:
- Binaural beats in the delta pattern have been linked to dreamless sleep and have a frequency range of 0.5 Hz to 4 Hz. An electroencephalogram (EEG) of the participants’ brains revealed that those exposed to the delta pattern frequency during sleep progressed to a more restorative stage of sleep.
2. Binaural beats are typically placed between 4 and 7 hertz (Hz) in the theta pattern. Enhancing meditative focus, imaginative output, and REM sleep are all aided by theta rhythms.
3. Binaural beats of the alpha pattern, with a frequency range of 7 to 13 hertz, have been suggested to promote calm.
4. The beta pattern utilizes binaural beats between 13 and 30-hertz frequencies. This band of frequencies has the potential to improve mental focus and wakefulness. At the end of the spectrum, though, it can have the opposite effect and make people even more anxious.
5. The gamma pattern covers the 30-50 Hz frequency band. According to the study’s authors, these tones help people stay alert.
Benefits Of Binaural Beats:
Individuals’ motivations for engaging in binaural beats treatment may vary. Not everyone needs assistance reducing anxiety, but many might benefit from sharpening their focus or going further into meditation. Many people have reported positive effects from using binaural beats, and their claims include:
- Decreased nervousness and stress
- Improved capacity for attention and drive
- Enhanced assurance
- Exposure to beta pattern frequencies improved participants’ long-term memory.
- Intensified contemplation
- improvement in both mood and motor skills
However, research conducted in 2017 utilizing EEG monitoring to evaluate the efficacy of binaural beat treatment concluded that the therapy did not affect either brain activity or emotional stimulation. Researchers also watched for increases in blood pressure and skin conductance, both indicative of physiological arousal.
The best way to find out if binaural beats treatment is suitable for you is to talk to a healthcare expert, as is the case with any self-help technique.
The available studies are of variable quality. Most studies showing the efficacy of binaural beats treatment were conducted on very small samples and relied on self-reported data from questionnaires and interviews to determine effectiveness. Recent, high-quality research on binary beat therapy’s efficacy in treating anxiety is few.
However, binary beat treatment may be done at home without special instruction. Those who find it helpful in reducing their anxiety might take it as a supplement to their current treatment.
Not enough studies have been conducted to determine the therapy’s long-term effects. People may find it helpful to ease into binaural beat therapy by starting with shorter sessions and progressively increasing exposure over time.