The Power of Binaural Beats to Entrain Brainwaves & Induce Altered States of Consciousness

The Power of Binaural Beats to Entrain Brainwaves & Induce Altered States of Consciousness

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Like all electrical impulses, brainwaves are measured in cycles per second or Hertz . Human brainwaves are measured between .5 cycles per second and range up to 40 hertz, depending on the measuring system. Quantified into regions labeled: Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta, these reflect the brainwave activity from fastest to slowest respectively. These brainwave patterns have been correlated to states of consciousness and the stages of sleep 1 thru 4.

For instance, the predominance of Beta brainwaves indicates that the person being measured is awake, while Delta tells us that the person is in stage 4 sleep. These two examples are only the extremes of the spectrum. Stages two and three have a predominance of Alpha and Theta, respectively, and are in the mid band of the spectrum.

It is in between the extremes that the brainwave / consciousness correlates get really interesting. It has been well documented that the predominance of alpha brainwaves is usually seen in someone who is involved in a sort of imaginative meditative state. In the theta brainwave region, the subjective experience of consciousness is not as easily defined. Ordinarily, the predominance of theta brainwaves indicates that the person being monitored is in the third stage of sleep. Stage 3 is a sort of null point between being aware and losing awareness. This null point is referred to as the hypnogogic state or hypnogogia, a dreamlike state which usually precedes sleep.

We often see images and sounds that are reflective of our internal world just before we lose conscious awareness and move into stage four or delta sleep. The experience is usually very brief before we lose consciousness.

However people who have spent years practicing meditation are well acquainted with exploring hypnogogia. It is in this state that they are able to sublimate their usual awareness and enjoy a more spiritual understanding of reality. The monitoring of their physiology indicates they should be asleep, yet they remain aware! It is quite an enigmatic state of consciousness. These mid range states in particular are labeled “Altered States of Consciousness”, and in these states people experience reality in a more spiritual way.

While helping people explore these spiritual states of consciousness has always been considered an ancient art form reserved to the priest and shamans, scientific understanding and advancements in the brainwaves / consciousness correlates allow altered states to more easily accessed through the concept of entraining brainwaves utilizing the phenomena of binaural beat entrainment.

The Triad Mind (TTM) makes use of over 45 years of study of the brainwave/consciousness correlates to help participants move into deep meditative states as easily as wearing headphones! TTM uses binaural beats to entrain brainwaves and induce altered states within the listener. Entrainment is a word used to describe the power of one thing to affect another through some form of energy. In this case, the thing we are entraining is the brain waves of the listener.

Let’s say we wish to entrain the subjects brainwaves to produce a theta predominance. We know the theta region falls in between 4hz and 8 hz. We also know that while the brain responds to sound stimuli, we humans cannot hear frequencies that low. So the question becomes, how can we entrain to sounds we cannot hear? The answer lies in binaural beats.

When two sounds of an exact frequency, shape and phase collide in space, they cancel each other out. It is a process called phase cancellation. Binaural beats make use of this phenomenon to achieve an exact differential that falls into the target region, in this case theta. The differential is experienced as a beat which is the product of phase cancellation. In simple terms, if one sound (say 200hz) is presented into the left ear and another (say 204 hz) is presented into the right ear, the resulting differential will be 4hz! Mathematically: 204 – 200 = 4. When the brain hears both the tones and the beat, a magical thing begins to happen. The brain begins to entrain to the beat frequency while the drone affects the psyche due to lack of change in stimulus.

The 4hz frequency falls nicely into the theta brainwave range. Remember that theta brainwaves are indicative of someone in a deep meditative state. Therefore, the experience of the listener is equivalent to someone who has mastered the art of meditation and is versed in exploring altered states of consciousness.

This explanation of brainwave entrainment is an oversimplification and has become a popular way of speaking about binaural beat technology. Rest assured, there is far more to entraining brainwaves and creating the perfect state of consciousness than is being written about here.

TTM’s founder Mark Certo (formerly of The Monroe Institute) is the world’s leading authority in the field of binaural beat recording techniques. Having personally created over one thousand binaural beat recordings for a worldwide audience, his work has been used for multiple applications in the clinical and spiritual settings. TTM is dedicated to helping people connect with the sense of inner peace through a uniquely westernized practice meditation. TTM meditation exercises are skillfully and sensitively narrated to provide a non-dogmatic means of achieving these goals. While TTM holds an inclusive and respectful view toward all religious faiths, our recorded exercises are not religious in nature. This policy is to insure that everyone can benefit from a deep meditation experience and if they so desire, include it within their current spiritual practice. Certo’s recordings are designed to bring the listener gradually through profound altered states which lead to ego transcendence and bring to valuable experiences back which are then integrated into the awareness of the individual. The goal of TTM is to empower the individual to use mind and emotional energy to great affect in the life of the practitioner.