About Binaural Beats
Music as Medicine
Binaural beats are used by people all over the world to relieve stress, improve focus, aid sleep, relieve pain, and more. Here we look at how they are created and utilized with crystal singing bowls and what they can do for you, which is nothing short of astounding. Once you experience this sound sensation, you understand why its so powerful!
What are Binaural Beats?
Binaural beats are created when two pitches that are close to one another (within 0.1-40 Hz) are played together, one pitch into each ear through headphones. A physiological response in the brain then creates the perception of a third tone, which is based on the mathematical difference between the original two tones. It is this third tone that our brainwaves entrain to when we listen. So pitches at 200 Hz and 205 Hz will create a perception of the tone of 5 Hz. The brainwave state we experience is determined by this third note. The deepest states (of rest or relaxation) are created with the smallest differentiation number, meaning the least distance between the two original pitches that are sounding together.
Binaurals with Bowls
Certain combinations of singing bowls create this effect, and we hear it as an unusual and distinct “wah-wah-wah” sound. It also may seem “out of tune,” as the notes are close enough to sound like the same pitch but they don’t quite line up. While binaural beats can be created with up to 40 Hz between pitches, we usually choose bowl combinations with 12 or fewer Hz between them, because this is the range that helps us access the deeper brainwave states.
Making Cents of Hertz
The exact pitch of a Crystal Tones bowl is indicated with a note name (letter) plus a number. The number refers to “cents,” a linear unit of measurement that divides every semi-tone (our smallest interval on the piano) into 100 equal parts. Thus the number on a Crystal Tones bowl ranges from 5 to 50 or -5 to -50, indicating how far above or below a “true tone” pitch the bowl sounds. Octaves (the distance from one note to the next note of the same name, i.e ‘A’ to ‘A’ or ‘B’ to ‘B’) are comprised of 12 semi-tones of 100 cents each, totaling 1200 cents.
It’s important to note that cents and Hz do not correlate, as Hz are what we pay attention to for creating binaural beats. Unlike cents, Hz are not a linear measurement, but an exponential one (geometric, to be exact), as every octave doubles the frequency of the previous one. Thus A440 becomes A880 an octave up, followed by A1760, A3520, etc. An octave on the low end of the piano may span 65HZ while one at the top may span over 2000! And since each of these octaves are divided into 1200 cents, you can see that not all cents are created equal, in terms of Hz! The upshot is that we will use a smaller differentiation of cents in bowls at a higher pitch than we will with lower ones to create the exact same Hz difference.
All You Really Need to Know
Confused yet? Rest easy. There really isn’t much you need to know in creating binaural beats with singing bowls except that the closer the pitches are to one another, the lower (think deeper or more restful) the brainwave state that is generated, and the higher the bowls sound, the smaller the pitch differential we choose to create those beats.
The Powerful Difference of Hearing the Bowls in One Space
So what happens when you hear binaural beats mixed together in a space (like a sound bath or recording) rather than hearing the pitches separated through headphones? This is where it gets really interesting.
It turns out that as the two pitches mix in one space into a singular sonic experience, we perceive a monaural beat that then has the same properties and capacities as the binaural, but much stronger. A study published in Oxford Academic shows that binaural beats played without separating the pitches into each ear are 5 times more effective at creating deep brainwave state entrainment than classic binaurals!
The Benefits of Deep Brainwave States
I have had clients tell me that in listening to the bowls, their mind was finally quiet for the first time in their lives. That alone is gold. A quiet mind and sense of relaxation are common effects. But that’s just the beginning. Recent research shows that the deeper states of Delta and Theta stimulate stem cell generation and also encourage cellular regeneration. In other words, when your brain entrains into these states, the body does what it naturally knows how to do, which is heal.
Transcendent States of Oneness
People often experience a deep sense of well-being, connection, and harmony when listening. With binaural and monaural beats, the activity in your parietal lobes drops to almost nothing. This is the area of the brain is responsible for sensory awareness. In other words, your attention moves out of the 3D world (which includes your thoughts) and into something deeper, what many call oneness or pure awareness. It turns out that all of the sound waves of crystal singing bowls usher us into Alpha, Delta, and Theta brainwaves. Binaural beats are simply particularly powerful in doing so.
Best of All? It’s Easy
All of this happens without you practicing, trying, or efforting. You simply receive and let the sound do what it does, and allow your body, mind, and spirit to do what it knows how to do in that state! You are already a master at this. It’s what you’re built for, and this is just one more way to reveal the power and harmony of you to you.
– Christine Laria
Interested in Experiencing It?
Join us for an event in person or online. The March 2019 Worldwide Virtual Sound Bath featured a number of binaural sets and can be found on my YouTube Channel, along with many other sound transmissions.