Self Hypnotic and Meditation Techniques:
Brain Waves and Binaural Beats
the Gates of Heaven lie on our divine minds and nature
What I intend to do here, is to give a brief and as simple as possible description of the brain waves, just to understand their nature and the use of them as for spirituality’s reasons, as well as to explain in simple words the way binaural beats work, their benefits and their dangers.
Nature of our Body & electromagnetism: The whole body works by means of electricity, and because it produces alternating current, it also produces a magnetic field, and therefore it produces electromagnetic waves. And the same applies for the brain. The frequency of the electromagnetic waves of the brain (or brain waves) depends on the state of it in a way that if we produce a certain state of mind certain brain waves occur, but also if we “force” the brain to produce certain brain waves, a certain state of mind will be also produced.
And that is the use of binaural beats. What is binaural beats? Well they are, of course, beats. Simple sound beats that have a particular frequency between the beats. The volume and the note (the frequency of the sound itself) are not important, only the frequency that the beats occur. For example if we have 10 beats per second (thus the frequency that the beats occur is 10Hz) of the note la of the pentagram (A4, and the frequency of the sound is 440Hz) it is the same as if we have 10 beats per second (10Hz for the beats) of the note do (C4, 261,63Hz for the sound). Now, when we listen to a track of binaural beats, the ear listens to the sound, but the mind comprehends the beats, and the brain tents to follow the frequency of these beats. So, using sound tracks with binaural beats, one can encourage the brain to obtain the desirable frequency of brain waves, and as explained before, the desirable state of mind.
The most well known brain waves are Beta (from the Greek letter Β), Alpha (from the Greek Letter A), Theta (from the Greek letter Θ), Delta (from the Greek Letter Δ), and Gamma (from the Greek letter Γ).
Beta brain waves are waves between 12Hz and 30Hz (some suppose that they can reach even greatest frequencies). These are the brain waves a usual adult has during almost all the time he is awake and active. As greater the frequency is so greater the stress of the mind is. When somebody feels fear or anger, the frequencies are near the 30Hz, while when one is quite calm the frequency drops at about 12Hz. The mechanism that produces these (or any) brain waves is not of my interest. Just their use in hypnosis and meditation, and if the mind is working in the rage of Beta waves, then it is not in any kind of hypnotic state.
If we relax the mind a little more, the frequency will drop under 12Hz in the area of Alpha waves. And this is a hypnotic state. If you just sit, close your eyes and take two or three deep breaths, your brain waves will drop at about 11.5Hz, which is Alpha frequency and therefore, in fact you have achieved a light hypnotic state of mind. (As I have explained in previous articles, the hypnotic and meditative state of mind is the same).
So, Alpha waves’ frequencies range from 8-12Hz. A good self hypnotic state is at about 10Hz, and if the frequency drops under this, an inexperienced mind will lose its focus and will tend to fall asleep. The more experienced is the mind, the more capable is to use lower frequencies for self induced hypnosis or meditation. But if a hypnotist guides the experience the hypnosis will be effective even at the high Theta waves.
Alpha waves are present during wakefulness for some fractions of second every minute, and this period of time becomes larger when we are tired and lack of sleep. Alpha waves are considered the healthiest brain waves. They reduce stress and its effects on the body and mind, they are capable of effective visualisations and for suggestions. The mind is much more capable of learning, and intuition is stronger while the brain works on Alpha frequencies.
In fact a child’s main brain waves are Alpha waves. Beta as a “normal” frequency of brain waves starts to manifest at about the age of 12. That is the reason, most hypnotists believe, that children learn new things easier than adults. Also, during normal sleep, alpha waves appear during the dream state, and during this state hypnopaedia works. I’ll come again to this subject when we will talk about Delta waves. Also, the frequencies the brain works while we pass from wakefulness to sleep and from sleep to wakefulness are Alpha frequencies.
A trained adult mind can work without problem all day long in Alpha, and as far as I know, there are no disadvantages for this. Keep in mind though that while you are in this state, all suggestions, vocal, optical or of whatever kind, are stronger, as you are in fact in a hypnotic state.
TIP! Use this state of mind to visualise and to give to yourself beneficial suggestions.
According to my experience, alpha waves are the most therapeutic waves, at least concerning the mind and soul.
Going down, between 4Hz and 8Hz, we have Theta waves. Theta waves supposed to be the normal brain waves of young children, as old as about 3-5 years old, depending on the individual. It seems that this is not the case. In fact, children that young still use Alpha waves but the frequency of these, let say immature, alpha waves is in the rage of Theta. To understand how this can happen, you should understand the way these two different types of waves are being produced by the brain. I am not going to explain this. I am just going to say that Alpha waves and Theta waves are different “types” of brain waves, so if the Alpha “type” is in Theta frequency, it still is an Alpha wave.
During wakefulness, Theta waves also occur for very small fractions of seconds, and they seem to appear when the will to perform a movement takes place. During sleep, Theta waves also appear during the dream state.
An untrained mind cannot have a self hypnotic (or meditative) experience in the Theta frequencies, as the conscious mind will lose control and the individual will fall asleep, but by training and experience, one can learn to control this state.
Theta state seems to be more effective than alpha in treating problems of the physical body. This is maybe because Theta waves control the mechanism of the body reactions, and possible that is why they appear when we decide to move.
Other than that, it is possible that hypnotic suggestions are more effective in these frequencies than in Alpha, but there is some argument as about if visualisation is more effective or less. Theta frequencies are supposed to be better for causing astral projection. I have no sufficient data though to be for or against this idea.
For many reasons Theta brain waves are not the healthiest state of brain function. Less than normal Theta waves during sleep or more than normal Theta waves during wakefulness have been connected with many brain, neurological and psychological disorders. Parkinson is one such example. If you have any such problem do not use Theta binaural beats to force your mind in producing Theta waves. Also even if you are complete healthy, extended time in Theta frequency can cause malfunction in the body’s mechanisms of bone and muscle maintenance, or sugar management.
On the other hand, Theta waves seem to have an anti-aging effect, while aging itself seems to reduce the amount and health of Theta waves.
If the frequencies of the brain waves drop under 4Hz then we have Delta waves. Theoretically Delta waves can be between 0Hz and 4Hz, although, as much as I know, 0Hz brain waves have never been encountered. Practically 0Hz should mean that the brain does not work during this period.
Delta brain waves occur during deep and dreamless sleep. In this state the mind seems incapable of producing any thoughts or pictures. During a healthy sleep there are circles of about 90 minutes, when for 80 minutes the brain works on Delta waves and for 10 minutes the brain works on Alpha waves. During the Delta period no suggestions can work and hypnopaedia also stops working.
Because of this and for the benefits of hypnopaedia some machines were made that the tape with whatever was to be learned was playing only when the machine indicated that the brain works in Alpha waves and stopped playing when the brain dropped in Delta waves. I suppose that there are machines like those using CDs or mp3s but I am not sure about that.
So, while the brain is in the rage of Delta frequencies, it is not in meditative state as it cannot control itself and it would not pay any attention conscious or subconscious to any hypnotist. Interestingly enough an opposite idea has started to rise.
In theory, if one can empty his or her mind from every thought and every image, then a great divine enlightenment can take place. In praxis, what we can do is to reduce the amount of thoughts and their rapidness so that we can receive the divine inspiration. But, because of this teaching, it is suggested that if one can remain conscious while his or her brain works in Delta waves, therefore without thoughts and pictures, this supreme enlightenment can occur. If this is true or not, or even if this is possible, it is for you to find out. I, personally, don’t believe that Delta waves have anything to offer in (self)hypnosis and meditation.
Keep in mind that the use of binaural beats in achieving Delta waves can be tricky and even dangerous. It is not only the brain that has the ability to imitate the frequency that is given to it by a steady source, but the heart can do that also if the frequency is close enough to the rhythm of the heart beat for the heart to try to imitate. And Delta waves are very close to the rate of the heart beat.
A normal heart beat ranges between 65 to 80 beats per minute for a relaxed heart, depending on the age and some other physiological reasons. This is 1,01-1,33Hz. So, if the binaural beat has a beat of 1Hz, the heart is possible to try to drop its own beat to 60 beats per minute, and if the binaural beat is at 0,5Hz, it may encourage the heart to drop its beat to 30 beats per minute, and this would cause death. It is true that your self-preservation instinct will most possible protect you from this but, it still is possible to happen.
Also, a binaural beat of 2Hz will encourage your heart to a rate of 120 beats per minute, while a 3Hz one will encourage 180 beats per minute. The last is rather impossible that your heart will try to imitate starting from a relaxed state, but 120 beats per minute is quite a quick heart beat for a relaxed person. So, you may find yourself awake in a stressed condition. It is not as bad as wake up in the otherworld but still it is not a very good state. So, if you intend to experiment with binaural beats of Delta frequencies, use frequencies of about 1,17Hz or 70 beats per minute. Also do not do such experiments if you have any heart condition. In fact, it would be wise to ask your physician before using binaural beats of any frequency if you have any heart condition.
Finally there are these peculiar Gamma waves. These waves have frequencies between 25Hz and 100Hz. Yes, they start under the top frequency of Beta waves, but they are distinct. Most usually Gamma waves occur in non healthy conditions of the brain, such an epileptic seizure.
When the brain works in Gamma waves it experience whatever it experience too intensively. And this is generally a state very stressed if not anything worse.
Paradoxically enough, very healthy and intense Gamma waves can occur during meditation or self hypnosis, when the person experiences a very vivid feeling. In fact there have been experiments using experienced Buddhist monks, who, being totally relaxed and healthy, created extreme Gamma waves (that normally a human would create only during a seizure) when they were instructed, while meditating, to produce an intense loving feeling.
Also, experiments that have been made with semi-novices in meditation, a few Gamma waves also appeared under the same instruction, and furthermore, when these same novices trained for some period in meditation, they produced greater Gamma waves. So the mind can learn to produce Gamma waves through practice in a absolutely healthy and beneficial way.
I have come across guided meditations that use Gamma binaural beats. I would advise against this. Although theoretically the Gamma waves would give you a more intense, therefore a strongest experience, the untrained mind would try to imitate the Gamma waves by producing high frequency Beta waves, therefore taking you out of the hypnotic state. Also, even if you have quite a trained mind, and even if your brain does not produce Beta waves, Gamma waves are not the main brain waves of the hypnotic state, and your experience, although can be very intense, it would not be balanced. So, have patience, and do not try sort cuts.
I have heard that the Dalai Lama himself said that he would use such a technique. I don’t know if this is true or not, but even if it is so, he is training daily for many hours in meditation for too many years, so maybe he can have only beneficial results. Are you as experienced in meditation as he is?
So these are the most common brain waves. One can find or make a sound track of binaural beats of any frequency quite easily. But should one use such means?
First of all, if you are epileptic, or you have any heart or brain condition, do not use such beats. If you believe your condition is not that severe, ask your physician.
Beta binaural sounds are useless, so do not bother with them. You produce enough Beta waves all day long, and if they are not sufficient, and you are healthy, then the problem is in your sleep, and not in your wakefulness.
Alpha brain waves, and therefore Alpha binaural sounds, can be used quite freely. If you want to learn to achieve a better hypnotic state you can train yourself using a track of binaural beat of 10Hz (or lower, depending on your experience) every time you meditate. When you would be comfortable with the particular depth you can stop using the sound. Give time to your mind to learn how to achieve it easily and then teach it to achieve the state without external help, so that you will not depend on the sound track to achieve a good hypnotic state.
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If you want to go even deeper do it slowly, allowing yourself to experience each frequency for at least three weeks before going deeper.
If you do not want to learn how to achieve such a state, and you just want to achieve a good hypnotic state for a specific reason, or to perform a certain hypnotherapy, then you can use a track that starts with a beat of 12Hz, going slowly down to 10Hz (or even 8Hz) and then remain there. How slow, the “slowly” should be, depends on your ability. Generally, 5 – 10 minutes should be enough for the most.
A track of 30 minutes steady 10Hz binaural beat from us that you can freely download can be found in this link.
Almost the same goes for Theta binaural beats, but do not overdo with them, and do not start practicing with them without previously mastering the Alpha state. For certain therapies though you can use Theta waves if you want. But remember not to use Theta waves if you have any brain, neurological, or heart condition. And try to exercise a little more if you are using enough Theta waves.
I would advise against using binaural sounds of Delta and Gamma waves. If you do so, do it in your own risk and with extreme cautious.
So, have nice meditations, and remember that nothing can overcome experience!
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