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What are binaural beats, and who discovered them?

Binaural beats were identified in 1839 by H. W. Dove, a German experimenter. In the human mind, binaural beats are detected with audio tones of slightly different frequencies, one to each ear.The mind perceives the frequency differences of the sound coming into each ear, mixing the two sounds to produce a fluctuating rhythm and thereby creating a beat or difference frequency.

When tones of two different frequencies are presented separately to each ear, the superior olivary nuclei within the medulla of the brain stem synthesize the two sounds producing a sensation of a third sound (single low-frequency tone), called the binaural beat. The binaural beat pulses with the overall frequency of the difference between the two original tones. This electrical activity is then conducted to the cortex where it may be recorded by EEG electrodes and displayed as waveforms showing the electrical activity in the form of amplitude of voltage spread over time. If the difference between tones matches a particular brain-wave state ( such as the 4-6 Hz theta range, the 7-11 Hz alpha range, or the 12-24 Hz beta range) then the overall brain activity will maintain that brain-wave state.Studies indicate that the binaural signals are processed in the reticular activating system (RAS), a large net-like region in the brain stem, which plays a major role in filtering sensory input and focusing attention and awareness and is strongly involved in the cortical processing of binaural beats.Research suggests that auditory binaural beats within specific electroencephalograph frequency ranges can enhance corresponding brain-wave activity and may affect levels of cognition. The positive effect of auditory binaural beats at the neurological level corresponds to the production of specific neurochemicals in the brain, as described by Bauer: ” by sending out the proper frequency, waveform, and current … we change the configuration of the cell membrane. Cells that are at suboptimal levels are stimulated to ‘turn on’ and produce what they are supposed to produce, through DNA, which is stimulated through the cell membrane. You are charging the cells through a biochemical process that can possibly balance the acetylcholine or other neurotransmitters that need to be turned on.” Several studies in neurology suggest that a primary function of the RAS is to adjust levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and that this activity manages cortical-arousal states. Acetylcholine has also been associated with higher intelligence-test scores, which coincide with one’s ability to maintain attention.

How Hemi-Sync® works to facilitate different states of consciousness?

The unique Hemi-Sync binaural-beat wave form (=information) is accepted as a brain-wave pattern by the Reticular Activating System (RAS). This information encompasses the character, quality, and traits of the state of consciousness that the Hemi-Sync® pattern represents. If internal stimuli, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and external sensory stimuli are not in conflict with this information, the RAS will alter states of consciousness to match the Hemi-Sync® stimulus as a natural function of maintaining an internal equilibrium.The RAS controls arousal, attention, and awareness, the elements of consciousness itself. How we interpret, respond, and react to information (internal stimuli, feelings, attitudes, and beliefs as well as external sensory stimuli) is managed by the brain reticular formation stimulating the thalamus and cortex, and controlling attentiveness and level of arousal.Because of the natural brain-wave-like characteristics and persistence of the Hemi-Sync® sound field, the RAS initiates cortical replication of the Hemi-Sync stimulus, believing the Hemi-Sync® pattern to be the ongoing brain-wave state. As time passes, the RAS monitors both the internal and external environment and the state of consciousness itself to determine, from moment to moment, its suitability for dealing with existing conditions. As long as no conflicts develop, the RAS naturally continues aligning the character, quality, and traits of consciousness with the information in the brain-wave-like pattern of the Hemi-Sync® sound.The Hemi-Sync® audio-guidance process generates a focused, whole-brain state known as hemispheric synchronization (Hemi-Sync), where the left and right hemispheres are working together in a state of coherence.Hemi-Sync® can assist individuals in achieving and sustaining this highly productive, coherent, brain wave state.  For example, Hemi-Sync® sleep products incorporate predominately Delta frequencies, learning products predominantly Beta, and so forth.  Different Hemi-Sync® signals are used to facilitate deep relaxation, focused attention, stress management, meditation, sleep enhancement, pain management or other desired states. Depending on the intended goals, music, verbal guidance or subtle sound effects are combined with Hemi-Sync® to strengthen its effectiveness.

What is the role of pink noise?

“Pink noise” (sometimes described as a swishing sound). It is a combination of all the frequencies the human ear can perceive, with higher and lower frequencies adjusted to be equal in volume. Pink noise enhances the perception of the Hemi-Sync® sound patterns, and therefore plays a valuable role on certain Hemi-Sync® products. Dolby noise reduction attempts to filter out the pink noise. Therefore, it is important not to use Dolby, or other noise reduction systems, when listening to Hemi-Sync® audio products.

Is Hemi-Sync® on all the products?


What’s the difference between Human Plus®, Mind Food®, Heart-Sync® and Metamusic®

Human Plus® recordings teach you how to activate the benefit of a particular selection whenever you wish without listening at the particular moment when you desire the intended effect. For example, the Human Plus® title, Attention, exercise teaches you how to move into a highly focused state when not listening to the Attention exercise. Most Mind Food® and Heart-Sync® titles provide the experience/benefit while you are listening. For example, the Mind Food® title, Concentration, helps your brain move into a highly focused state of concentration while listening. Metamusic® selections contain music and Hemi-Sync® with no verbal guidance.

Are the Hemi-Sync® frequencies the same on each title?

No. The Hemi-Sync® process has evolved into a sophisticated multi-layering of Hemi-Sync® signals – “designer mixes” of sound frequencies, fashioned to be optimally effective for a given application. Naturally, Hemi-Sync® sleep products incorporate predominately delta frequencies; learning products predominately beta and so forth. However these designer mixes are supplemented with special sound frequencies, which enable the desired result. This is the “key” to the effectiveness of Hemi-Sync®.

Are Hemi-Sync® products subliminal?

No. Subliminal recordings have the intention of embedding a particular thought in the mind of the listener by recording words at sub audible levels, often at high speeds. Hemi-Sync® sound patterns, although recorded at a sub audible level, are not verbal messages and are not recorded at high speed. The purpose of Hemi-Sync® sound patterns is to assist you in obtaining the focused brain state you desire.

I hear a hissing noise on some of the products. Is that a defect?

No, what you are hearing is “pink sound” (sometimes described as a swishing sound). It is a combination of all the frequencies the human ear can perceive, with higher and lower frequencies adjusted to be equal in volume. Pink sound enhances the perception of the Hemi-Sync® sound patterns, and therefore plays a valuable role on certain Hemi-Sync® products. Dolby® noise reduction attempts to filter out the pink sound. Therefore, it is important not to use Dolby®, or other noise reduction systems, when listening to Hemi-Sync® audio products on tape.

Is Hemi-Sync® beneficial for experienced meditators?

Yes. Many long-term meditators report that Hemi-Sync® helps them move more quickly and reliably into a meditative state. Experienced meditators also report that they seem to “go deeper,” and sustain the meditative state longer when using Hemi-Sync.

What if I don’t feel awake and alert after listening to Hemi-Sync®?

Certain Hemi-Sync® products are designed to leave you in a sleep state. However, if a non-sleep recording leaves you feeling a little “spacey”, here are some grounding techniques to try: slowly count down from 10 to 1; drink cold water; splash cool water on your face and neck; run cold water on your wrists; weather permitting, walk barefoot outdoors while you breathe deeply.

How many times should I listen to an exercise to get the effect or benefit?

Generally, you will feel the influence of Hemi-Sync® the first time you listen. However, some products are designed as a training series. These products typically work best when you listen multiple times to reinforce and anchor the intended benefit. All Human Plus selections and the Gateway Experience series fall into this category. Specific listening instructions are included with your purchase of these items.

How do I know if I’m getting the intended effect?

Everyone is unique. Your Hemi-Sync® experience may differ from the experience of others. In fact, your experience may be different each time you listen to a particular exercise. Just relax and trust that your experience is right for you at the time.

Does Hemi-Sync® work on MP3?

It works properly, If we use “Apple Lossless” conversion from CDs or other “lossless” formats like Flac or Wav.
“Lossy” MP3 compression rates do not provide for optimum listening experiences.

Use of Hemi-Sync® on speakers or with headphones.

Both.When earphones are used, the listener experiences binaural beating.When speakers are used the listener experiences very little binaural beating. The primary beat stimulus becomes monaural beating, the sounds from the two speakers being mixed together in the open air before being perceived by the listener.Unlike monaural beating with speakers, listening to binaural beats with stereo earphones produces the illusion that the sounds are located somewhere within the head. When binaural beats are very low frequency, less that 3 Hz, they seem to move back and forth in the head.If listen through speakers,it is recommended to position one’s-self between the speakers, to enhance the separation between the sounds. The greater the separation between the sounds introduced into each ear, the stronger the Hemi-Sync® effect.

Can someone with hearing loss benefit from Hemi-Sync®?

Yes. Doctors and individuals with impaired hearing tell us that the frequencies are effectively carried to the brain by the bones in the ear canal.

Is Hemi-Sync® recommended for children?

All nonverbal recordings are fine for children. With verbally guided titles, we recommend you listen first and then decide based on your child’s level of maturity.

Why am I not supposed to listen to Hemi-Sync® in my car?

When driving, you should pay attention to the road. It’s not advisable to move into other states of consciousness.

Cautions and Disclaimer

While many of our audio products contribute to wellness, they are not intended to replace medical diagnosis and treatment. DO NOT listen to Hemi-Sync® while driving or operating heavy equipment, or with other devices that may influence brain wave activity. If you have a tendency towards seizures, auditory disorders, or other adverse mental condition(s) DO NOT listen to Hemi-Sync® without first consulting your physician. In the unlikely event that you experience any unusual physical or mental discomfort, immediately discontinue use. ALL WARRANTIES WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE DISCLAIMED.

Are there any  research projects regarding Hemi-Sync® for learning?
  • Edrington (1984) used Hemi-Sync® “cognitive learning enhancement tapes” with college students taking an Introductory Psychology course (Tacoma Community College, spring 1981). There were two sections taking the same course. One listened to Hemi-Sync® during class, the other did not. Six tests were administered during the semester. In all but the first test, the students listening to the Hemi-Sync® tapes scored, on the average, approximately ten points higher on each of the tests. The likelihood that these differences were the result of chance factors was no more than two times in a hundred.
  • Morris (1991) reported that when Hemi-Sync® relaxation music was added to an ongoing program of remediation therapy with twenty developmentally disabled children suffering from feeding and pre-speech problems, fifteen of them showed positive changes in the problematic behaviors, including improvements in focus of attention, overall sensory organization, and motor coordination. Physical relaxation increased and there was a corresponding reduction in fearfulness and tactile defensiveness. According to Morris, All of the children exhibited a greater openness and enthusiasm for learning.
  • Robert Sornson, executive director of special education for Northville Public Schools, Northville, Michigan, and fellow Monroe Institute Professional Members have investigated the use of Hemi-Sync® with people suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADD). Sornson (Bullard 1995) noted that people with ADD exhibit lower levels of glucose metabolism in their brains. Generally they use less oxygen across the cerebral cortex, produce brain waves that are somewhat slower than normal, and have difficulty maintaining the high levels of arousal associated with sustained alertness and focused attention. The Hemi-Sync® Remembrance tape that was employed was designed to foster quantum learning and peak performance. Although no formal investigation was carried out, reports from teachers and parents administering the Attention side of the Remembrance tape to children diagnosed with ADD indicate that the faster beta frequencies embedded in the music have resulted in improvements in the children’s focus of attention.
Is there any research involving Hemi-Sync® for pain control?

A controlled medical study involving the use of Hemi-Sync® during surgery. These results were published in Anaethesia, August 1999, 54, pages 769-773 in an article entitled “Hemispheric-synchronization during anaethesia: a double-blind randomized trial using audio tapes for intra-operative nociception control,” copyright 1999, Blackwell Science Ltd.The study investigated the possible benefits for patients listening to Hemi-Sync® audio tapes while undergoing surgery under general anaesthesia at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, UK.The results revealed, that “..patients exposed to a Hemi-Sync® audio tape whilst undergoing surgery under ‘light’ general anesthesia required significantly less analgesia with fentanyl when compared with patients listening to a blank tape or to classical music… Patients in the blank tape and classical music groups required on average 4.5 times as much fentanyl as the patients in the Hemi-Sync® group. This difference remained significant when regression analysis was used to control for the effects of age and sex… On the basis of the preliminary findings of this pilot study, we believe that larger randomized studies are now required which utilize all the tapes in the Surgical Support Series.”

  • The Department of Surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital uses Hemi-Sync® tapes in conjunction with other therapies to help patients heal more quickly and with less anxiety and pain. They recommend the Surgical Support tapes for use prior to and during a medical procedure and while in recovery.
  • The control of pain has been found to be related to alpha production in meditators (Pelletier & Peper, 1977) and alpha-biofeedback strategies have been found to facilitate control of chronic pain in conjunction with hypnotic suggestion (Melzack & Perry, 1975).
What is the relationship of the Out-of-body experience with Hemi-Sync®?

History:According to his own account, while experimenting with sleep learning in 1958 Monroe experienced an unusual phenomenon, which he described as sensations of paralysis and vibration accompanied by a bright light that appeared to be shining on him from a shallow angle. Monroe goes on to say that this occurred another nine times over the next six weeks, culminating in his first out of body experience.In 1975, Monroe registered a patent for an audio-visual device designed to stimulate brain functions until the left and right hemispheres became synchronized. Monroe held that this state, dubbed Hemi-Sync® (hemispherical synchronization), could be used to promote mental well being or to trigger an altered state of consciousness i.e. out of body. Monroe’s concept was based on an earlier hypothesis known as binaural beats and has since been expanded on a commercial basis by the self help industry.OBE with Hemi-Sync®:An OBE cannot be guaranteed. The ability to experience an OBE depends on many factors unique to every individual, like personal beliefs, possible fear barriers, etc. If somebody is interested in an OBE, the Gateway Experience is recommend . One may or may not experience an OBE. However, the Gateway Experience is designed to gently lead into profound states of expanded awareness (through Focus levels) and contribute to the development of the human potential on many levels.Also, Hemi-Sync® audio-guidance provides an in-home training series, the Support for Journeys Out of the Body, designed to those who desire to achieve this state. With practice, one can be brought up to the borderland sleep state, and through it, to experience the out-of-body state with full conscious awareness.

Note: Hemi-Sync® is a registered trademark of Interstate Industries Inc., dba Monroe Products