This might seem surprising at first but our bodies and minds are not only able to pick up a wide range of sound frequencies, they are also affected considerably when exposed to it for prolonged periods. No wonder why many cultures promote listening or uttering certain chants and reverberating mantras as it is believed that they enhance mental and physical well being in the long run.
For instance, in many Eastern spiritual practices, the repetitive chanting of the primordial sound ‘AUM’ is believed to harmonize the mind, body, and soul. Although researchers are still studying its benefits, there seems to be a consensus that not only does it lower stress levels and slow down the heart rate, but it also ushers in a sense of community when chanted with other people. Ancient Egyptians too, believed that uttering vowel sounds encourages the body to heal faster.
Sound therapy is increasingly becoming popular wherein different sound frequencies are played to tune our own energy frequencies that might not be in order. Here, all the individual is supposed to do is lie down, clear off obtrusive thoughts, and pay attention to pure sounds. The reason it is receiving so much attention is because we seem to have enhanced our understanding of the workings of the brain and how it perceives sound.
Sound Frequencies and Brain Waves
No talk about sound frequencies can be complete without discussing their impact on our brain waves. To understand how particular sound frequencies might boost your mental and physical well being whilst promoting healing and happiness, we need to center this blog around brain waves.
When neurons communicate in the brain via small electrical currents, they are known to emit electrical pulses, which have been visualized as waves. These are what we now know as brain waves.
Brain waves can be compartmentalized into 5 bandwidths depending on how fast or slow they are. The slowest ones are delta waves, that usually arise when we are in deep sleep. The fastest waves are gamma waves that are connected to expanded consciousness. This is usually possible when the other parts of the brain are quiet and it has also been associated with states of altruism and universal love. Alpha waves occur when in daydream or meditation mode while beta waves dominate our waking conscious state.
Some theories (such as the ones that promote binaural beats) put forth that feeding different sound frequencies to each ear will alter the electrical pulses i.e. brain waves produced in the brain. This is interesting because some brain waves have specific advantages.
For instance, recent research points out that alpha brain waves might have a vital role to play in serotonin production, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, social behavior, digestion, memory, and sleep, among a number of other things.
Listening to different sound frequencies through each ear at the same time i.e trying out binaural beats has been extremely beneficial for some people. From alleviating symptoms of anxiety, helping to boost mood, increasing focus, to making them feel more energized and physically healthy, it has encouraged people to take their meditation a level higher. So, try it out!