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What Are Binaural Beats?

You may already know that your brain wave frequencies vary according to mental state. For example, when you are awake and alert, your brain waves are in the "beta" range of frequencies. When you are daydreaming or in a light meditation, your brain waves are in the "Alpha" range of frequencies. Binaural beats are pulses, sounds or beats, sometimes embedded in music, that put you in a state by "entraining your brain waves.

Long before science proved it and it became a technology, people were ware of this ability of outside sounds to influence a person's state of mind. They noticed that certain types of music affected us, for example. If you listen to music containing beats at a frequency of 10 Hz it will feel very relaxing, because your brain will begin to follow this frequency and reproduce the rhythm in the music. You will automatically generate more brain waves at a 10 Hz frequency and enter a relaxed Alpha mental state.

Once it was understood why the music affected us, it became possible to create a technology for altering our brain waves. This is what binaural beats are. It is also called brain wave entrainment. What these new products do is embed music, or the sounds of water or wind, with beats and pulses that entrain your brain waves to a specific frequency.

States of Consciousness

Here's a quick guide to the classifications of brain wave frequencies:

Beta (14 - 30 hertz) : Dominant rhythm when awake, alert or anxious, with eyes open.

Alpha (8 - 14 hertz) : Relaxed alertness; normally is induced by closing the eyes and relaxing.

Theta (4 - 8 hertz) : Drowsiness; the first stage of sleep; not common in awake adults, but common in daydreaming children.

Delta (below 5 hertz) : Deep sleep.

Meditation can stimulate these states (particularly alpha and theta), and sounds can as well. The latter is the principle behind brain wave entrainment technologies using binaural beats.

The Uses of Binaural Beats

Would you like to listen to a CD, and have it transport you easily and quickly to a meditative state? Do you like the idea of getting all the proven benefits of meditation, without the self discipline and work normally required? I do, and I've tried the new brain wave entrainment products. Guess what? They work!

This technology isn't just for the purpose of putting you into a meditative state. Embed beats of the right frequency in the music, and you can "wake up" the brain. Put your mind on a roller coaster trip up and down through the beta to theta frequencies, and you can stimulate creative thought. Where can you get them? My current recommendations are below.

(Click a title for more information - we are compensated for referrals.)

1. Binaural Beats - A cheaper source of quality brain wave entrainment CDs if you just want one at a time Their newest product is called the "Worlds First Digital Drug." Others are for various purposes (better focus, get rid of headaches, become a genius).

2. The Meditation Program - Each session also contains a unique, inspiring soundscape created by composer Michael Anasazi. I found these to be as powerful as our Holosync CDs, and you get all eight levels at once (though they have a great program and super support, Centerpointe gets a little expensive for subsequent levels).

Brainwave Entrainment Example

Here is an example of a brainwave entrainment recording. This one is supposed to help you think more like a genius. You can close your eyes and ignore the video (and hope that the proper binaural beats play in this format). The recording got mixed reviews on YouTube, but it costs nothing to give it a try.

To be honest, this particular recording made me feel a bit anxious. The ones that are designed to relax you or put you in a meditative state have a nicer effect.

For more about binaural beats and brain function...

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