People have got some crazy notions around binaural music.
Read some of the stuff about binaural music on the internet today and it sounds like some kind of magical, mystical hocus-pocus miracle mechanism.
It sounds like the kind of thing you might see on a Saturday morning infomercial: "Simply download our amazing binaural beats program, strap on a pair of headphones, and suddenly you can lose 16 pounds, meditate like a 73-year old Buddhist monk, perform athletically like an Olympian, be the proud owner of a set of brighter, whiter teeth and - of course - find true love.
Operators are standing.
" Well, binaural beats do work - and they're great for helping to put our minds in resourceful states of mind.
But they are not "mystical-schmystical.
" In fact, they are anything but.
Now I'm sure you've all heard the story of physicist Christian Huygens who invented the pendulum clock.
Not surprisingly, he had several such clocks operating in his studio.
One day he noticed that all of the pendulums were swinging together.
As an experiment, Huygens restarted all the clocks so that the pendulums were all swinging independently of each other.
After a while, the pendulums adjusted their speeds until they were swinging in unison once again.
He named this phenomenon of periodic or vibrating bodies synchronizing themselves to each other entrainment.
Now, some will use this example of the independent pendulum clocks to prove that everything in the universe is connected to each other or to demonstrate mental telepathy or as "proof" that all our brains are hooked together in a collective unconsciousness.
They will make this whole entrainment process sound like some kind of paranormal, metaphysical, supernatural phenomenon.
And, because it uses a similar entrainment process, they may also imply that binaural music is therefore also some sort of magical mystical and all-powerful universal force.
Now who am I to say these theories aren't true? But still, I find them very hard to believe.
I believe in science.
Hang a pendulum clock on the wall.
Then press your ear against the wall.
Do you hear the clock? Of course you do.
You hear the clock because the sound waves are travelling through the wall.
The clock is vibrating the wall.
If you hang a second clock on the wall, they will eventually synchronize because they are both trying to vibrate the wall (and each other).
The two clocks and the wall form a system.
The clocks will eventually sync up because it takes less energy to move the wall together than against each other.
It's simple science.
Physics - not metaphysics.
The same with binaural music.
We present sounds to the ears.
The vibrating diaphragms in the earphones vibrate our eardrums at the same frequency (entrainment).
The inner ear mechanisms create electrical impulses at those same frequencies.
Cochlear nerves carry these impulses to the brain.
And our brainwaves gradually sync up to those frequencies (entrainment again).
So binaural music is not just ordinary music.
It is functional music.
It creates frequencies within our brain.
And, through the process of entrainment, our brain waves lock onto the frequency presented to it.
And when the brain waves follow, our state of mind adjusts itself.
So, like the clocks on the wall; the earphones, our ears and our brain form a system.
And eventually all function at the same frequency.
So we can use specific binaural beats programs to energize us, calm us down, focus our, mind, meditate, relax or put us into a "super-learning" state of mind.
It's not magic.
It's just good science.