What is Binaural Beats Therapy and Can it Really Reduce Stress?
Looking for a new way to fend off stress, without opening the medicine chest? A solution may be as simple as reaching for your headphones.
Research has shown that listening to binaural beats — a type of sound wave therapy — has been gaining recognition for its positive effects on the brain and mood. As well as reducing stress and anxiety, it is credited for improving concentration and motivation, supporting sleep, and achieving a calm, meditative state.
The claims are it can boost stamina, improve joint health, boost the brain, provide a surge of youthful energy and put the glow back in your skin. But is there truth to these claims or is astaxanthin just the latest health fad?
What is Binaural Beats Therapy?
Headphones are needed for listening to binaural beats. This is because the beats occur as a result of two different tones, one played in the right ear and one in the left ear, each of which are a slightly different frequency. The brain perceives the two tones as one — the beat you’ll actually hear is at a frequency equal to the difference between the frequencies of the two actual tones. This may sound complicated, but you won’t notice anything unusual while you’re listening.
Some programs enable you to play the binaural beats track in conjunction with other music or sound tracks, such as nature sounds or calming music.
Researchers Find Binaural Beats Can Improve Mental Health
Binaural beats have been the focus of recent research. In a study led by Vincent Giampapa, MD, 19 users listened to binaural beats for fours per day over three days. By the end of the study, researchers observed positive alterations in the production of three hormones in the participants:
- 68% showed raised levels of DHEA, which is the basis for all other hormones produced and acts as a buffer against stress and disease.
- 68% dropped their level of cortisol, the stress hormone.
- 73% increased their levels of melatonin, which supports restful sleep.
In another study, eight healthy adults listened binaural beats daily for 60 days, and self-reported positive effects, including a decrease in anxiety and an increase in quality of life. The study indicated the need for further research on a larger, randomized and controlled trial.
Try Binaural Beats Therapy at Home Today
To try binaural beats therapy yourself, obtain an audio track from a reputable source like iTunes or Amazon. Find a comfortable place to sit or lay down, in a quiet location where you won’t be disturbed. For best results, experts recommend listening for 25-45 minutes per day for 30 days. Never listen while driving or operating machinery.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your sleep or mental state, try listening to binaural beats.
Looking for a comfortable pair of easy-to-use headphones? Check out the recommended options below.
Debbie Swanson is a freelance writer, published in numerous national and local outlets. An avid vegetarian, animal lover and reader, she loves learning about healthy eating and finding natural cures for everyday ailments.