Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Beat Goes On: Achieve Inner Peace with Binaural Beats

(NaturalNews) A new rock band? The latest root veggie? A faddish way of life that combines a hippie and intellectual lifestyle? Binaural beats are none of the above, but are a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, non-allopathic means to achieve more inner peace, improve alertness and memory, or even change personality.

If you've wanted to deal with problems in life and/or your perception of them, you might have considered taking sedatives, working out, psychotherapy, music, a new hobby, or going to an alternative practitioner that utilizes hypnosis and other relatively new venues to inner peace. One of these is the use of binaural beats for brainwave entrainment. Somewhat like hypnosis, this technique bypasses the conscious to work on the subconscious part of the mind by altering electrical activity with rhythmic sounds.

Binaural beats were accidentally discovered in 1839 by Professor Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. However it wasn't until 1973 that Dr. Gerald Oster first published research from extensive studies about binaural beats in Scientific American. He was thus given the recognition for this breakthrough because he is the one who discovered the potential for healing with the use of the binaural beat technology.

This technology is based on the wavelengths of the beats and the varying of frequencies. Frequencies below 1000 Hz curve around objects instead of being blocked, as radio frequency waves are. So the wave hits one ear then curves around the head and hits the other ear milliseconds later. Because this is a different part of the wave, there is a bi- naural aspect of two sounds from one vibration.

If different frequencies are presented, one to each ear, the brain detects phase differences between these signals. When speakers or stereo headphones are used with the two different tones, the brain processes this inconsistent information differently. The brain's right and left hemispheres synchronize the sounds, so an integration of the two signals is perceived, which produces the sensation of a third "beat" frequency. The two different input frequencies mesh in and out of phase, constantly increasing and decreasing, such that the signal differences create an amplitude-modulated standing wave - the binaural beat - which is heard.

Without getting too much into the physics of the beats, it can be simplified that varying the frequencies of the beats causes different reactions in the brain and the person's consciousness. For example, in the lower Hz ranges, the perceived effect is one of relaxation, meditative or creative, while the higher ranges elicit states of increased concentration, alertness and improved memory. In more technical terms, consciousness states on the continuum from relaxed to alert range from delta (1 to 4 Hz), to theta (4 to 8 Hz), to alpha (8 to 13 Hz) to beta (13 to 40 Hz).

To add to the mix and bring about enhanced brain function or an increase in an altered state, one can include white noise in the background. Music, verbal suggestion, guided imagery and relaxation exercises are examples of such white noise. If the subject is resistant to changes in the conscious state, humming, toning, breathing exercises, autogenic training and/or biofeedback have been supplemented to interrupt the homeostasis.

Once any resistance is overcome, the practitioner can vary the stimulation to bring forth a varied list of outcomes. These range from relaxation, meditation, stress reduction, pain management, improved sleep quality, decrease in sleep needs, super learning and enhanced creativity and intuition, to remote viewing, telepathy, and out-of-body experience and lucid dreaming.

Self-improvement can be enhanced by using different meditation techniques, positive affirmations and/or visualization in embedding audio with binaural beat technology. The therapy has been effective in treating stress and anxiety, stimulant and illegal drug addiction, headaches, and lessening arthritis and muscle pains. Some practitioners have stated that it can free a person from past traumas, bad memories, emotional issues and negative beliefs, aid behavioral changes and sow aging.

The operative process which apparently brings about the brain enhancement is the synchronization. During this phase, both the right and left hemispheres are involved in the synchronization and cross communicate; this provides a much greater pool of information to be utilized and can improve intellectual functions.

Regardless of whether or not we understand the physics behind binaural beating, it is good to keep in mind the mind-body relationship controversies surrounding the new brain science. Though commonly accepted, scientists have not conclusively proven that the higher levels of consciousness, such as thought, creativity and reasoning, are actually located in the brain tissue.

Meditative, trance, altered, hypnotic, and twilight-learning are different descriptions of the state of the brain which remains conscious even when cortical arousal is reduced. Some people actually seem to have a "gift" in the ability to experience awareness when the usual level of arousal is lessened. That this condition does happen gives some link and insight into the phenomenon of remote viewing as well.

If you are considering taking advantage of this new therapeutic technology, please be aware of the potential for damage inherent in the use of binaural beats. Though many people have experienced binaural beat therapy with no apparent side effects, since the technique involves no physical interference with the brain and is totally non-addictive, there ARE some people for whom the technology is not safe.

The danger has to do with the eliciting of seizures, so those prone to having them are not good candidates. Children, more sensitive and more likely to experience seizures, are also discouraged. Those with pacemakers should undertake the therapy only with an experienced health practitioner, as the beats can change the heart's rhythm.

Though one can purchase recordings of the beats, download them off the internet for a fee, and even create them at home, doing it yourself is not recommended because of the negative effects some have experienced. It is safer to undergo the therapy under a practitioner's supervision. The restructuring of the brain's neural network, as old buried uncomfortable memories are triggered before the connecting emotional response is wiped away, can be painful. But in the end, the memory of the event remains while the emotional attachment to it disappears.

Positive memories are NOT affected! The changes may be due to the natural state of the mind and body, for this system of mind/body is always seeking equilibrium and harmony, which tends to lead to feelings of joy and happiness.

Current research is looking into the possibility that binaural beat technology could actually change DNA. If so, the uses for this new non-invasive technology will be revolutionary and endless.

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