The Short Story

  • Plug your earphones into your device
  • Choose the brain state you would like to achieve
  • Choose the duration (3 min., 15 min.)
  • Close your eyes (or look at the screen with a soft focus)
  • Choose the length of each inhalation and exhalation
  • Begin breathing through your nose for calming states, and through your mouth for more energetic states. (If you are stuffed up, do all breathing through your mouth)

Gamma waves are associated with heightened mental function. Improves reasoning and problem solving.

Beta waves are associated with high activity- business. Great for clarity and focus.

Alpha waves are experienced when one is relaxed but still awake.

Theta waves are associated with deep states of meditation as well as sleep outside of the REM phase.

Delta waves occur when one enters deep, dreamless sleep. In this state one is unaware of ones body.

The Sound of Freedom

(I didn’t know why, but it worked)

Can Auditory Beat Stimulation (ABS) positively affect cognition and mood states? According to an extensive examination of the evidence by Leila Chaieb, Elke Caroline Wilpert, and Juergen Fell, and published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, the answer would appear to be yes.

After combing through the evidence presented in more than 920 studies of ABS(also known as brain entrainment) that predominantly used binaural and monaural beats, the results, though mixed, are generally positive. The most pronounced positive outcomes were observed in people with anxiety.

Binaural beat stimuli in the delta/theta range significantly reduced anxiety in subjects with State anxiety (event related) and Trait anxiety (continually elevated anxiety as a personal characteristic). The Padmanabhan study showed anxiety score decreases of up to 26.3% using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STA-I) assessment questionnaire.

That’s great, but what are binaural and monaural beats?

Binaural and monaural beats are tonesthat are generated when two tones of similar frequency are delivered to both ears simultaneously (monaural beats) or to each ear separately (binaural beats).  For example, when two frequencies, say 400 Hz and 432 Hz, are played into both ears simultaneously, a monaural beat is subjectively heard. That beat is the difference between the two frequencies, in this case 32 Hz. Binaural beats occur when one frequency, say 400 Hz is played in the left ear and the other, 432 Hz is played in the right. The resultant tone of 32 Hz seems to be heard and located inside the head.

Now that we have that out of the way let’s discuss why we should care.

For more than 150 years scientist have observed that moods and states of being correspond with certain observable brain frequencies. Naturally, they were curious to see if the brain could be trained to mimic the frequencies associated with calm, with focus, with sleep, and with general wellbeing. The results of the many attempts have been mixed and often contradictory. These findings may owe to the fact that no standard methodology was practiced and much of the resulting data was compiled from subjects who self-reported.

As stereo headphones are a relatively new technology (John Koss invented stereo headphones in 1958. They were not in common use until the 1970’s), self-experimentation with monaural and binaural technologies is still in the toddler phase. But as more and more people gain access to high quality sound equipment and information about technologies is accessible at the speed of light via the internet, there has been an explosion of self-experimentation in addition to scientific experimentation.

All of this was enough to pique my curiosity as I had been caught up in the snare of alcoholism as well as anxiety and depression. To this day I don’t know if the conditions were co-occurring or co-related. Nevertheless, I sought out relief as if my life depended on it- which I believe it did.

I studied many “therapies” both natural and pharmacological and found varying and inconsistent relief but was unable to determine which therapy, or combination of therapies, was responsible for the changes.

When I began experimenting with binaural beats, something discernable changed. Not only did I feel more calm and focused, but I was completing tasks more quickly and accurately. I began to think that the Sunday crossword puzzles and the questions on Jeopardy were becoming easier. I also noticed that when I played Binaural beats in the alpha frequency range, my cravings for alcohol seemed to vanish. My use of binaural and monaural beats began to increase as I discovered new benefits. When I played delta frequencies, my insomnia, and the anxiety it produced, diminished in fewer than 30 days. If I had never read a single study confirming these findings I would have continued based solely on experience.

I have curated a series of binaural beats for your use and I sincerely hope that you begin to see similar results. We’ve added the deep breathing application as it enhances the results exponentially.

We urge you to plug in your headset for a few minutes when stressed at work to reboot your nervous system. If you begin to use these tools consistently we are confident that you will need no urging to continue. If you find, as I did, that these simple tools give you more control of your moods and emotions, please share your findingson your feed, or in a blog post.

Happy Listening,

Thom Deem

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