The phenomena of binaural beat meditation and brainwave entrainment can induce the same mental state associated with traditional meditation practice, but quickly.
Our brains have been called “random thought generators.”
We think thoughts to the tune of 50,000 per day and up to 70% of those are believed to be negative.
Negative thoughts cause chronic stress which in many real ways changes the form and structure of your brain.
Every thought you have changes neural pathways and the output of brain chemicals, creating a cascade of effects on health and emotional well-being.
The best way by far to limit negative thoughts and reduce stress is with meditation.
Even beginners will find meditation helpful.
Over 1,000 studies have shown that meditation can make you smarter, happier, and healthier.
Regular meditation can reduce stress, stimulate new brain cell formation, and slow down the rate of brain cell aging.
But anyone who has tried traditional meditation can tell you that quieting your mind this way is not easy.
It can take years to master.
For those who struggle with focus and concentration, meditation can be frustrating and can become an additional source of stress.
In the past 50 years, technologies have been developed that can induce the same brainwave state as meditation by simply listening to certain sounds.
One of the most popular forms of sound technology used for this purpose is known as binaural beats.
Using binaural beats technology is claimed to bring about the same state as meditation, but quickly.
Mindvalley, one of the world’s largest personal development publishers, surveyed their customers to understand “why people don’t meditate.”
Their customers were certainly aware of the benefits of meditation. So what were the obstacles to their actually practicing meditation?
According to the 400,000+ people who responded, the main reasons people don’t stick with a meditation practice are:
Do any of these reasons sound like anything you’ve experienced? Yeah, me too.
Using binaural beats meditation provides an easy shortcut.
All you have to do is put on a set of headphones or earplugs, relax, and listen.
For many people, this brings their brains into the same state as deep meditation quickly.
It’s said that we’ve learned more about the brain in the past 15 years than in all of previous history.
Our understanding of most things related to the brain, be it brain training or how to treat brain disorders, is in its infancy.
The study of how to manipulate brain waves for the enhancement of brain health and mental well-being is no different.
Unfortunately, much of the information available on brainwave entrainment and binaural beats is published by companies selling products based on these technologies.
And a lot of it is of the “woo woo” variety.
One study, A Comprehensive Review of the Psychological Effects of Brainwave Entrainment, is often cited as the gold standard on the effectiveness of brainwave sound technology.
This meta analysis of peer reviewed studies found that using these technologies, including binaural beats, was beneficial for the following:
Just one session of binaural beat meditation was claimed to be helpful for memory, attention, stress, pain, headaches, and migraines.
If you’ve never listened to a binaural beat meditation sound file before, click on the arrow below to play a sample.
Ideally, you should listen with headphones to get the full effect, but this will give you a general idea of what binaural beats sound like.
You may find, as I do, that this sound is not all that pleasant to listen to!
That’s why most binaural beats meditation MP3s or CDs are overlaid with music or environmental sounds.
The effect of binaural beats and brainwave entrainment is to bring about one of the states associated with meditation — usually alpha or theta, or sometimes the gamma state.
Other programs are available to help alleviate specific problems or achieve specific goals.
There are binaural beat meditation audio programs designed to induce sleep, reduce anxiety, and increase weight loss, concentration, or study skills.
One of the most unusual uses of binaural beats technology is to encourage lucid dreaming, a state of consciousness in which dreamers are aware that they are dreaming, to achieve various cognitive and emotional benefits.
Binaural Beats Warnings
Binaural beats could be a problem if you have epilepsy or an irregular heartbeat, especially if you wear a pacemaker.
Since brain waves and heart rhythms are electrical patterns, it is theoretically possible that they can be negatively disrupted by binaural beats.
Meditation is one of the best things you can do for your health, mental well-being, and even your longevity.
But for many people, mastering meditation is hard, frustrating, and time-consuming.
The use of binaural beats sound technology is an easy shortcut to achieve a meditative state of consciousness.
While the science surrounding this technology is still in its infancy and there is still much to be learned about it, it is widely considered safe and often very effective.
There is some scientific research and a lot of anecdotal evidence that using binaural beat meditation programs can provide the same benefits as traditional meditation.
I personally use a variety of traditional and binaural beats meditation in my daily meditation practice.