The Harmful Effects and Dangers of Using Binaural Beats
I have tried binaural beats to get into a deep relaxed state of mind during meditation and for many other purposes for which they are being promoted nowadays. It’s everywhere on the internet now and you will find a lot of such audio tracks on YouTube for free since many people have learned to create them now but are they really safe to use? Can they cause any kind of physical or psychological problem? I will try my best to answer these questions in this post.
The first time I used a brainwave entrainment audio was for lucid dreaming as I was too obsessed with my dream world back then. It worked great at first and gave me some really positive results. However, after a while, it started causing me sleepless nights, which made me cautious about using it again.
Some people have reported great success with brainwave entrainment tracks and I really don’t intend to prove them wrong. Whatever I am sharing with you here is my personal opinion formed by my own experiences. My views about these audio tracks aren’t very positive because they caused me trouble, it happened long ago and even though now a lot of programs have incorporated high-quality versions of these audios, I still am a little afraid of using them.
I don’t have an extensive list of risks associated with brainwave entrainment, as they generally aren’t very harmful to someone in good health. Nonetheless, I want to emphasize in this post the importance of being extra careful, particularly when selecting the quality of audio tracks that are meant to alter the brainwave frequency of your mind.
Commonly Known Brainwave Entrainment Dangers
It is good to consult your doctor before trying binaural beats as it is hazardous for people with heart diseases, seizures, pregnancy, epilepsy, etc.
While binaural beats and similar audio therapies are generally regarded as safe, it’s important to acknowledge that they have the potential to amplify symptoms or induce responses in individuals who already suffer from specific medical conditions, particularly those related to the brain, such as seizures. There have been reports of these audios triggering seizures in individuals who are susceptible to them.
While many people find them relaxing and beneficial for meditation or focus, those with underlying medical conditions, especially neurological or seizure disorders, should exercise caution.
Also, listening to binaural beats or similar audio therapies is generally not recommended when engaging in activities that demand high levels of attention and focus, such as driving or operating heavy machinery. This is because these auditory stimuli can alter your state of mind and potentially affect your concentration and alertness.
I want to highlight the significance of considering age when it comes to using these tracks. It’s important to note that individuals under the age of 18 may not be the best candidates for these audio-based techniques. While I understand that many young people are interested in using these audio to enhance focus and learning, I strongly recommend refraining from their use until a certain age. Instead, it’s advisable to explore natural methods like meditation to improve concentration, especially considering that the brain is still developing up to a certain point during adolescence. Although there’s no clinical evidence to say that kids cannot use these audio tracks, there’s a need for more research to fully understand their impact on developing brains.
In recent times, there has been a surge of claims suggesting that binaural beats may offer relief for ADHD, particularly among children. I must acknowledge that these claims have garnered significant attention, with many individuals passionately asserting that brainwave audio recordings have assisted them in managing their ADHD symptoms. However, it’s important to clarify that there is currently no clinical evidence supporting these claims. If you or your child find these audio tracks beneficial, I strongly recommend taking a cautious approach: consult a qualified medical practitioner, especially one with expertise in ADHD, before continuing with binaural beats or similar sound-based therapies. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.
Brainwave Entrainment Audios and Meditation
These audio tracks are primarily employed to enhance the effectiveness of meditation by inducing a state of reduced mental activity without compromising conscious alertness. The concept of “brainwaves” in the context of meditation and self-hypnosis became widely recognized due to the contributions of Jose Silva, who made people familiar with the idea of the alpha state of mind. In this state, brainwaves resonate at an ideal frequency to promote profound meditation. During the alpha level of mind, our mind is less active than in wakefulness, yet our conscious awareness is heightened, preventing us from drifting into sleep. This state closely resembles the experience of deep meditation.
Binaural beats are designed to generate a perceived third sound by combining sounds of two distinct frequencies. This resulting illusionary sound matches the frequency difference between the two original tones. It’s believed that this illusionary sound has the capacity to harmonize our brainwaves, which explains the widespread popularity of brainwave entrainment tracks today. These tracks are specifically created to lead individuals directly into the alpha state of mind, making deep meditation more attainable. Some of the makers of such tracks say that you can achieve Zen-like meditation using these audio tracks.
So, are they really that effective?
I would say that while there are many individuals who claim to have had profoundly positive experiences with binaural beats during meditation, the idea that they can reliably induce Zen-like or extremely deep meditative states may be somewhat far-fetched in my view.
However, based on my personal experiences, I can attest that such audio tracks can occasionally assist in mitigating the initial obstacles posed by our mind’s ceaseless chatter when we sit to meditate which can be a great help to reach a state of relaxation that could otherwise take a lot of time. The effectiveness of these tracks, though, depends on the quality of the audio and its compatibility with the listener.
For me it never worked in such a way that I could be positive about it, I admit that I had some sort of experience with it where my consciousness got altered, but it pales in comparison to what I have achieved with my usual meditation and creative visualization sessions.
Many websites are marketing their brainwave entrainment programs as a substitute for psychedelic substances. These audio programs are hyped and sold for their ability to modify consciousness, with some individuals using them to attain trance-like states and replicate experiences reminiscent of those brought about by substances like LSD.
I personally advocate for exploring altered states of mind through natural means, I am firmly convinced that utilizing these audio programs for such purposes may lead to adverse mental consequences.
Why Am I against Binaural Beats? – My Experience
I’ve encountered some incredible spiritual experiences in my life, and I’ve consistently practiced lucid dreaming. It’s worth noting that I didn’t rely on these audio programs to attain these states. Initially, I was quite enthusiastic about binaural beats, and they proved effective in helping me achieve profound relaxation and deep meditative states for a while. However, over time, I began to notice a shift in my experiences.
As a result of regularly using these audio programs, I noticed an increase in restlessness within my mind. Additionally, I started experiencing headaches, but what concerned me even more were the recurring nightmares that began to haunt me. I’ve come across similar accounts from others who, like me, lost their peace of mind after using binaural beats, and the nightmare phenomenon appears to be quite prevalent in these stories as well.
Different stuff works for different people, I got extremely irritated with brainwave entrainment meditation because it was working counterproductively for me. I agree that a lot of people find it very safe and effective, but the extent to which they can use it is something I am quite certain has a lot of limitations as well as downsides.
I would always recommend the natural ways to anyone, but I won’t really stop you from using them because they are not seriously harmful to anyone who does not have any prevailing medical condition that could get triggered by such stimuli.
However, it is also true that brainwave entrainment technology has evolved over time, and many programs are effectively utilizing audio tracks based on this concept, often along with brain training audios rooted in hypnotherapy and other methods.
What I’m referring to here are not the typical YouTube audios or programs that solely feature a brainwave audio track promising unnatural benefits. Instead, I’m talking about high-quality programs like John Assarf’s “Winning the Game of Money” where these audio components are just a small part of the overall system. In such programs, the integration of brainwave audios is so seamless that you may not even realize they’re a part of the experience, and I’ve personally never encountered any issues while using audio training in this manner.
To provide you with additional assistance, I’ve prepared a post outlining essential considerations when utilizing brainwave entrainment audio tracks.
I hope you found this post enjoyable. I’m eager to hear your thoughts on these audio tracks. Have they been effective for you? What are your personal experiences with brainwave entrainment tracks? Your feedback is invaluable; please share your comments in the box below. Your input not only motivates me but also contributes to the improvement of my blog’s content. If you believe this information could benefit others, please consider sharing it on your social media platforms.
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