How do you feel when you go to a night club, what kind of music is played there, and what effect does it have on your mind? Doesn’t the experience in a night club differ from theatre? And what about relaxing, meditative music? One thing is apparent, that music does some magic on the human brain; that is why it is used to create the ambiance at specific places. The principle of using sound to change an emotional condition is one of the bases of sound therapy including using binaural beats to treat addiction.
What is Binaural Beats?
Binaural beats are different from usual beats, and that is why they have such a powerful effect on the mental state. It is a specific way to create a wave of a particular frequency in the brain. Such types of sound waves cannot be created by just putting some beats on a music system.
Binaural means related to the two ears. These beats are created by stereo recording two beats of slightly different frequency. When these two different beats are emitted through headphones, they create a third beat, of entirely different frequency in the brain. This technology allows creating sound waves not possible to record using simple technology. Thus it may make it possible to develop very low-frequency waves in the brain.
When someone listens to such beats for long enough, it starts affecting the brain waves. Thus, changing the way the brain function in its emotional state.
Brain waves and mental health
Human brains create a wavy pattern on electrical recording through a gadget called electroencephalogram (EEG), something that was discovered in the early 20th century. Soon researchers understood the relationship between these waves and mental state. These wave patterns change according to emotions, and level of consciousness. Thus, the recording of brain waves can be used to diagnose some disease conditions.
There are five types of brain waves according to frequency, found in different mind states:
- Delta – waves are generated in deep and dreamless sleep or meditation.
- Theta– waves occur during light sleep or periods of immense relaxation; they also happen in a dreamy state.
- Alpha– waves are seen in a relaxed state when the brain is resting.
- Beta – waves are seen during the waking state when a person is alert.
- Gamma – waves characterize the higher level of consciousness.
Some pathological mental states like addiction, state of delusion, and so on, are characterized by unstable brain waves. It seems that external sounds can affect the brain waves, help change their levels. Some sound waves are specifically created to treat medical conditions – forming the basis of sound therapy.
Understanding binaural beats
There are different kinds of binaural beats; some are used to help a person relax, others to sleep better, while some may help people stay mentally alert for longer. The kind of effect created by binaural waves will depend on the final frequency of waves they create in the brain.
Since the therapy uses only sound waves, it does not cause much side effects. However, such therapy should still be done under medical supervision, as it may still cause some unwanted effects.
This kind of therapy may sound unusual but it has been subject to numerous clinical trials, and studies on humans show that it does work.
Nowadays, binaural beats are being sold for various purposes. Some call them brain entertainment, while others are calling them a digital narcotic.
Binaural Beats to treat addiction
This source of auditory illusion can work wonders in some cases, though the results will differ, as not all brains are created equally. These beats can help overcome negative thoughts, irritation, anxiety, and may help with depression.
It works even better when mixed with other techniques of mindfulness. Thus, it is a good idea to listen to them while meditating. While listening to them, just relax, and be gentle to yourself.
Binaural beats can help in many ways:
- They provide deep relaxation without taking any medications, with minimal or no chances of side effects.
- They help reduce stress, thus help counter the triggers that cause the desire to use drugs.
- They can help improve sleep quality, which may have a beneficial effect on various health parameters.
- These beats can help improve the quality of meditation; help achieve specific spiritual experiences. They can also help get into the stage of deep meditation faster.
- When combined with “self-suggestion” they may help consolidate positive thoughts.
- Some people claim that listening to binaural beats help them with lucid dreaming, thus helping improve mental capacity, self-control, and thus assisting in overcoming obsessions and addictions.
- Some people may also see improvement in their creativity after a few sessions with binaural beats therapy.
- If a person is spiritual in nature, these beats may assist in achieving a higher spiritual path.
- Some people have even claimed to have out of body experiences, something that may help overcome addiction to drugs or substances.
- Binaural beats may help not only overcome addiction but may improve diet, help stop smoking, and much more.
- Binaural beats may help learn new things.
- They are also useful in countering withdrawal syndrome in case of drug addiction. Moreover, one can continue using the therapy for years without any health risk.
That may sound too good, but some clinical studies show promise. However, results will vary as all brains are different. In some individuals, they work better than others. However, it is essential to understand that binaural beats must be chosen carefully, and even better in consultation with specialists. Those combating drug addiction may cause harm by listening to binaural beats that stimulate the effects of recreational drugs.
It is worth understanding that binaural beats are not a pseudo-science, and these beats have been tested in many clinical trials with demonstrated benefits. In one of the studies, 15 drug addicts were given the treatment for drug addiction along with binaural beats. Researchers tested EEG, urine dopamine, gave mood questionnaires, and other tests. They found that binaural beats may help improve the treatment process, accelerate and consolidate the treatment for drug addiction.