Binaural beats were discovered by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove in 1839. Since that time they have been associated with studies covering subjects ranging from biological with how animals locate objects in a 3D space to medical with ways to detect Parkinson’s disease to spiritual with binaural beats as a pathway to the spiritual world. Do binaural beats work in the ways that the multitudes of studies claim? Yes and no. Below are some of the more common claims regarding the uses of binaural beats and the facts about them.
Binaural Beats Detect Estrogen Levels
Possibly. There is a difference between the range of binaural beats that men and women can perceive. The range that women can hear changes over the month, peaking about twice in a month. This is potentially due to the relative changes of estrogen in the blood due to women’s menstrual cycle. Men have demonstrated no such changes. Further study in this area could lead to binaural beat being used for family planning and to monitor relative changes during hormone treatments.
Binaural Beats Can Detect Parkinson’s Disease
Yes. This claim has been studied by various people since it was published in an article by Gerald Oster in the Scientific American in 1973. He observed that many of the patients who couldn’t perceive binaural beats were suffering from Parkinson’s disease, but after undergoing treatments many of them could. Everyone’s ability to detect binaural beats varies due to many individual factors. This is why binaural beats are mainly used for patients undergoing Parkinson’s treatments as one way to check on their progress.
Binaural Beats Heal Cancer, High Blood Pressure, Alzheimer’s Disease, and so on
No. All studies that indicate that binaural beats can do any of these things are often unable to be replicated, have very small subject pools, don’t use proper controls, and have results that can be solely attributed to the placebo effect. These claims continue to perpetuate in society due to the same reasons most fictitious claims do, because people want them to be true.
Binaural Beats Induce a Meditative State
Yes. Binaural beats have been shown to effectively help people achieve a state of deep meditation that can take years of practice to achieve separately. It is important to note that any repeating sound can assist in deep meditation and there have been few studies that compare the effectiveness of the two.
Binaural Beats Open the Door to Another Dimension
No. While some individuals will swear that they are mentally transported into another dimension when they listen to binaural beats, there is not enough consistency between accounts to give the claim much merit.
Binaural Beats Can Alter Your Mindset
Yes, to a degree. Similar to the way binaural beats assist with meditation, they can also help adjust your mindset slightly to make it more relaxed or more focused. It is through a process called frequency following response, which is where our brainwaves try and match the predominant frequency. This process doesn’t work with everyone due to individual variation in the ability to perceive binaural beat. The frequency following response has also been shown to occur with other repetitive sounds, but binaural beats are viewed as the most effective due to their internal nature.
Binaural beat research is always progressing and bringing deeper understanding about process of perceiving binaural beats and their potential societal applications. Through this research the question of do binaural beats really work will be able to be answered more thoroughly.