Using sound for self-help and health
Using sounds as a calming method is a common practice in day-to-day life. For decades parents have been putting their children to bed by singing lullabies and making soothing noises, and now you can find calming audio on YouTube to put yourself to sleep.
While relaxation is an important benefit of (certain) sounds, there are actually much more benefits you can get from sound therapy. This doesn’t come as a surprise since science has long established that sounds have a great impact on the human brain. There are many types of sounds that are specifically engineered to solve specific issues, especially in relation to cognitive ability, stress management, and pain alleviation.
Popular sound therapies
If you are a fan of self-help and manifestation, you might have heard of several types of therapies using sounds. Some of the most popular ones that we’re gonna discuss in this article are:
- Binaural beat stimulation
- Solfeggio frequencies
- Soundwave therapy
These sounds are known to have a myriad of benefits, from reducing anxiety to relieving pain. They are also popular because they’re relatively easy to use.
Binaural pulses are sounds with different frequencies that arrive separately but simultaneously through each ear, causing changes in the brain’s wave frequencies. Upon listening to these binaural pulses, a binaural beat is created in the brain with the frequency of the difference between the two binaural pulses.
For instance, if there are two separate sound waves, one of 340 Hz and the other of 344 Hz, arriving in each of your ears, the difference between the two sounds is 4 Hz. Therefore, your brain is perceiving a binaural beat of 4 Hz.
The Benefits of Binaural Beat Stimulation
If you search for binaural beats on YouTube, you’ll find many results of binaural beats audio for concentrating, memory, and other learning-related needs. Scientists are still looking for evidence of a strong connection between these parameters, but there are several past studies that show positive results.
When tested on children and adolescents with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), it was found that binaural beat stimulation had positive effects on their school life, especially in relation to homework problems due to inattention. The audio used was binaural auditory beats; they listened to it thrice a week for 3 weeks.
Another cognitive ability that’s said to be improved by binaural beat stimulation is memorizing abilities. A simple memory test was done where participants had to recall a list of words. The results showed that after being given a stimulation of beats in the 5 Hz range, there was a significant increase in how many words the participants were able to memorize.
Binaural beats have also been found to increase performance in divergent thinking tasks, which includes creative thinking. The binaural beats that the participants were listening to were 10 Hz and 40 Hz frequencies, and the researchers found no difference between the two frequencies’ effects on creative thinking ability.
Aside from cognition ability, one of the most known uses of binaural beat stimulation is to alleviate chronic pain – or to be more precise, change the perception of pain. One study showed that listening to Theta Binaural Beats at 6 Hz for 14 consecutive days has proven to reduce perceived pain severity by as much as 77%.
First of all, there are two types of anxiety: state anxiety and trait anxiety. State anxiety is a temporary increase of anxiety due to a situation. On the other hand, trait anxiety is an overall continually heightened level of anxiety. There are studies that attest to auditory beat stimulation being effective in reducing both state and trait anxiety.
In a study done by the Association of Anaesthetists, researchers played beat stimuli via a compact disk player for patients experiencing pre-operative anxiety. The patients were told to listen to binaural beat recordings within a delta frequency range, and the results showed a 26.3% decline in anxiety scores.
Another study was done on patients at a psychiatry clinic with mild anxiety and the results show that listening to binaural beat tapes reduced anxiety scores significantly. The patients were asked to listen to music tapes that contain binaural beats in the electroencephalogram delta/theta frequency range at least 5 times a week for 4 weeks straight.
Aside from reducing anxiety, binaural beats are also said to improve general mood. One study using theta frequency binaural beats at 7 Hz showed a decrease in overall mood disturbance. The mood that was assessed includes Tension-Anxiety, Depression-Dejection, Fatigue-Inertia, Anger-Hostility, Vigor-Activity, and Confusion-Bewilderment.
Last but not least, binaural beats of 3 Hz have been proven to improve sleep quality nu modulating neural activity. It helps induce deep sleep, and also limits sleep disturbance and sleep fragmentation.
The link between binaural beats and our bodily function goes way deep into our brain chemistry. The brain works using chemical and electrical energy in the form of waves. Brain wave frequencies are usually divided into 5 categories depending on their functions. These are 5 basic brain frequencies:
- Delta waves: 1 – 4 Hz
The low number of delta wave frequencies corresponds with our body’s state of ultimate rest: deep sleep. Higher percentages of delta waves are directly related to how deep the sleep is.
- Theta waves: 4 – 8 Hz
Theta waves correspond with the state of low consciousness, such as during REM sleep, dreams, and hypnotic states. It is also related to creativity, emotions, sensations, and short-term memory when you’re storing information – but Theta waves are not the only frequency range related to memory, we will get back to this later in the Gamma waves section.
- Alpha waves: 8 – 13 Hz
Alpha waves correspond with meditation and the state of mindfulness. It’s also related to the process of recalling a memory or information, for example when trying to memorize a series of words. Imaginative quality, creativity, and the state of relaxedness is also highly associated with alpha waves.
- Beta waves: 13 – 30 Hz
Beta waves have a frequency range highly associated with wakefulness. It’s also related to extreme emotions including anger, fear, concentration, and alertness.
- Gamma waves: 30 – 70 Hz
Finally, gamma waves have the highest frequencies. They correspond with visual, auditory, and tactile processing. The rate at which someone is able to memorize things highly depends on gamma waves. For example, when you’re able to recall something you haven’t thought about in a while, your brain chemistry is experiencing high levels of gamma waves. It also corresponds highly with increased mental activity, such as flashes of brightness and intuition.
That being said, binaural frequencies in each of those ranges can help with the bodily functions that correspond with that wave frequency.
To sum it up, here are the binaural beats frequencies you want for each of your problems.
|Goal||Binaural frequencies needed|
|– Improve sleep quality- Reduce anxiety- Pain relief||Delta (1 – 4 Hz)|
|– Reduce anxiety – Pain relief – Relax and focus||Theta (4 – 8 Hz)|
|– Reduce stress – Creativity||Alpha (8 – 13 Hz)|
|– Focus – Energy, better mood||Beta (13 – 30 Hz)|
|– Overall cognitive enhancement – Increase creativity – Improve memory||Gamma (30 – 70 Hz)|
Note that more and more studies being conducted to improve the knowledge on binaural beats therapy, and there are still conflicting studies, especially regarding which frequency is perfect to target each problem. There are studies that claim theta frequencies work better to reduce anxiety, and studies that claim delta frequencies are better.
You can buy binaural beats audio online or even look for free ones. Find beats that target your problem.
Because binaural beats are used to improve brain function – which is related to literally every single part of our body, both physically and mentally –, they can aid in manifestation and the law of attraction. Listening to binaural beats regularly will help in reducing anxiety and destroy negativity.
The recommended frequency range for manifesting is the theta frequencies because it corresponds with slow activity such as emotions and sensations. Listening to theta binaural frequencies while meditating can also help you stay relaxed and focused.
Coined by physician Dr Joseph Puleo in the 1970s, Solfeggio frequencies are six specific tones that enhance body and mind health. And this finding wasn’t baseless, Dr. Puleo found these six tones using mathematical Pythagorean numeral reduction. These Solfeggio frequencies are also the set of six tones used in Gregorian chants and Indian Sanskrit chants. Here is a list of the 9 Solfeggio frequencies and each of their functions for mind and body health.
|174 Hz||Pain reduction, Stress alleviation|
|285 Hz||Healing injuries|
|396 Hz||Removes negativity, especially fear, guilt, and grief|
|417 Hz||Removes negativity especially trauma and negativity from an environment|
|528 Hz||Known as the love frequency, Associated with blessings|
|639 Hz||Better interpersonal relationships, Clearer communication|
|741 Hz||Removes toxins|
|852 Hz||Redirects the mind from overthinking and intrusive thoughts, Reduces depression and anxiety|
|963 Hz||Higher spiritual development|
As with binaural beats, Solfeggio frequencies are often used to aid in manifestation and meditation. Refer to the table above to find the optimal Solfeggio frequency for manifesting positive things and good energy that best suits the problem you’re facing.
The most popular Solfeggio frequency is the 528 Hz frequency. It’s known as the “love frequency” and has been used in relation to blessings for decades. On top of that, this study found that 528 Hz frequency music reduces stress even if you only listen to it for a short time.
Soundwave therapy is the transmission of acoustic waves with low intensity but high energy into the body, usually to repair some damaged tissues. Unlike binaural beats stimulation which is still ongoing research, soundwave therapy – more commonly called shockwave therapy – is commonly used in the medical community. Shockwave therapy is most often used for:
- Removing gallstones
- Treating Erectile Dysfunction
- Scar tissue therapy (removing scars)
- Cell growth
- Maintaining a youthful look (collagen therapy)
- Pain relief
- Restoring mobility
You can also get soundwave therapy for at-home use as a self-help tool. We don’t recommend doing soundwave therapy yourself to remove gallstones, because that’s something you should leave to the doctors instead. However, using at-home soundwave therapy might help you reduce pain and promote healing. This is especially popular amongst athletes and old people who want help to heal their sports-induced pain and arthritis.
Shockwaves are non-linear pressure waves with a short rise time, usually only about 10 μs. The shockwaves affect the interfaces between tissues and their densities, triggering the tissues to quicken their healing ability.
Many papers have been written on the effectiveness of soundwave therapy. Overall, it is found to be an innovative treatment method to help with pain. It’s safe, non-invasive, painless, doesn’t have any adverse effects, and is cost-effective.
However, it should be kept in mind that soundwave therapy should be accompanied by other therapies and a healthy lifestyle to promote overall body and mind health. This way, you’ll see a significant reduction of pain (can be either muscular or bone pain).
Using an at-home soundwave therapy machine is very simple. All you have to do is:
- Set up the therapy machine.
- Apply soundwave therapy gel onto the problem area. This can be the shoulders, knees, hips, legs, etc that are experiencing pain.
- Point the probe to the problem area, right on the skin.
Those are some of the most popular sound therapies used for self-help, pain relief, and manifestation. Binaural beats and Solfeggio frequencies sounds can be found easily on the internet while soundwave therapy has to be done with machinery. Attract positivity and start your journey to a more wholesome life by using at-home sound therapies.