To this point in your floating practice you may, or may not, have heard of – or perhaps already experienced – binaural beats and their effective use of being a unique option/tool to listen to while in (or out of) the tank. But what exactly are binaural beats, how do they work and why choose to listen to them? All good questions, so here we go:
What are Binaural Beats?
In simplest form, they are an audio technology which are used for (safe) brainwave entrainment. Our subconscious mind operates, throughout the day and night, in various brainwave state frequencies, measured in cycles per second (Hz) These frequencies range from the slowest (Delta) frequencies experienced in deep, dreamless sleep and in deep meditation where your conscious-awareness is fully detached, to the fastest (Gamma) frequencies associated to stimulating flow states, high-level thinking and information processing. There are actually 5 known brainwave state frequencies each having their own set of unique characteristics:
1) Delta (0.5 – 4Hz) – the deep sleep wave (helps in healing and regeneration while asleep in this brainwave state.)
2) Theta (4 – 7.5Hz) – the light meditation and sleeping wave (where you can experience vivid visualizations, inspiration, creativity and insight.)
3) Alpha (7.5 – 14Hz) – the deep relaxation wave (optimal frequency to train your mind with positive, successful thoughts as it also heightens your imagination, visualization, memory, learning and concentration.)
4) Beta (14 – 40Hz) – the waking consciousness and reasoning wave (associated with normal, every-day effective functioning and a heightened state of alertness, logic and critical reasoning.)
5) Gamma (above 40Hz) – the flow-state and insight wave (associated to being “in the flow” allowing for heightened focus, concentration and bursts of insight.)
How do they work?
Basically, one frequency of sound plays through one speaker/headphone and a different sound frequency plays in the other speaker/headphone. With these two different frequencies playing in each ear separately, but at the same time, your brain automatically tries to make up the difference in this frequency range and therefore is gently brought into a new, desired brainwave state as described above. An example of this effect would be a 100Hz frequency playing in your left ear and a 105Hz frequency playing in your right ear. Your brain, over several minutes, distinguishes the slight difference in frequencies and automatically adjusts its brainwave state to match this difference – being 5Hz in this example and therefore putting your brainwave into a Theta state. Pretty cool huh?!
Why listen to them (in and/or out of the float tank)?
They are a useful and effective tool that allow you a structured means in which to entrain your brain into a desired, new brainwave state using an intended set frequency range of the audio track. Frequency ranges for desired sleep, recovery and deep meditation states to different/higher frequency ranges for performance “flow-states” and high-level focus and calculation.
I personally have been experimenting with binaural beats – both in and out of the float tank – for the past year or so and they have quickly and easily become one of my favourite go-to “hacks” for helping me achieve a desired state of being. From listening to a specific track right before going to sleep which helps put my mind and body in a state of relaxation and recovery to, on the flip-side, listening to a track that helps prime my brain-state for creativity and focus right before I sit down to do some work – like writing this blog! They are also an enjoyable and effective asset to try out and experiment with while in the float tank. For the reasons mentioned above, as well as the sound frequencies can resonate a subtle but noticeable vibration in the tank, water and your body making for quite the unique floating experience!
There are many sources of binaural beats on the internet and YouTube to check-out and experiment with yourself – I recommend using headphones for optimal effectiveness. However, like most things, not all binaural beats are created equally (especially if they are free on the internet) and therefore not as effective or enjoyable to listen to. This is why I HIGHLY recommend the binaural beats created by master audio technician, music producer and meditation teacher, Cory Allen – which can be found here:
I must also add: if you enjoy listening to podcasts that discuss the nature of being and the magic of reality in a fresh, far-out and fun way like I do, please also check-out Cory’s incredibly awesome podcast, The Astral Hustle:
I hope binaural beats can be a fun, useful and effective tool for you in your “toolbox of life” to utilize and draw from whenever you need – both inside and outside of the float tank. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences using binaural beats in the Comments section below.
You can also sample any of clear float spa offered binaural beat selection on their music page.
In Service & Gratitude,
Jason Fahlman – Holistic Lifestyle Practitioner/Educator (Natural Movement Coach & Qigong Instructor) & clear float spa Theta Member. If you have any questions for Jason and would like to get in touch please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to connect you.