Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology – CIM14. Berlin, Germany 2014 BINAURAL AUDIO RELAXATION TECHNIQUES FOR PEOPLE WITH ANXIETY AND STRESS Geraldine Molina, Emilia Sainz, Levi Serrano, Santiago Rentería, Diana Urquiza Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Santa Fe Correspondence should be addressed to: rosas_ger@hotmail.com, dianauf@itesm.mx Abstract: Since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been a great development in different studies related to encephalography and the psychological consequences of binaural audio. The objective of this paper is to analyze the effects of binaural audio as a relaxation method for people that suffer anxiety and stress. The study took place at ITESM, Santa Fe Campus, where twenty participants around 21 years old took part of the study. They were divided into two groups, Experimental and Control. The first one listened to the Theta binaural stimuli and the second one listened to a stimulus with nature sounds (birds and wind). The results show that the experimental group got to conscious relaxation. The control group had an unconscious relaxation (sleep), but when the stimuli stopped they recovered their stress level, for some participants it increased. 1. BACKGROUND At the end of the 19th century, Pierre Janet, a French psychologist, discovered that his patients relaxed when they were exposed to rhythmic light patterns. Hans Berger showed in 1924 that brainwaves could be read and studied through an encephalogram [2]. The first studies were done using visual stimuli, while later studies were done using sounds [3]. Brainwaves are caused by changes in the electric tension between two points in the brain cortex. The electroencephalogram has been used to analyze neurophysiological relations that exist between mental states and brainwave frequencies. When somebody’s mental state changes from alert to somnolence, low amplitude and high frequency brain waves turn into high amplitude and low frequency [4]. 2. BINAURAL AUDIO Giuseppe Tartini discovered combination tones. These occur when two tones are heard at the same time and the listener perceives a third tone. The frequency of the third tone is calculated by the difference between the first two tones, as shown in equation 1. (∆   ) [8] (1) The superior olivary complex integrates the phase differences, which makes possible the perception of the third tone. For example, if the left ear hears a 400Hz tone and the right ear a 410Hz tone, the listener will perceive a 10Hz tone [9]. This third tone is also known as binaural frequency. The binaural frequency is directed from the superior olivary complex to the reticular formation and the brain cortex, where the electroencephalogram can read its effect. The Frequency Following Response (FFR) phenomenon happens when the frequency read by the encephalogram is equal to the combination tone frequency. When this happens, the frequency resonates in the brain stimulating the reticular formation inducing different psychological states. Brainwave bands and psychological consequences are shown in Table 1 [16]. Table 1: Brainwave Frequencies and Psychological Consequences Brainwaves Frequency (Hz) Amplitude (μV) Mental StateDelta 0.1 - 3 20-200 Consciousness is lost, sleep without dreams Theta 4 - 7 20-100 REM Sleep, meditation, and Creativity Alpha 8 - 12 20-60 Conscious Relaxation Beta 13 - 40 2-20 Concentration, Alert, and cognition (High levels are associated with anxiety) It has been proved that delta sound waves in binaural audio therapy have anxiolytic effects on patients with pre-surgery anxiety [7]. Theta binaural sound waves are also helpful with relaxation and anxiety reduction [11]. According to the results presented by the company Regus, in Mexico, 75% of employed people suffer from stress and anxiety. These cause social, health, and economic problems at the same time that productivity decreases [5]. According to the Mexican National Labor Organization, stress means that the GDP decreases from 0.5 to 3.5%. Stress leads to anxiety, irritability, fear, depression, suicidal thoughts, and lack of concentration. Some other symptoms are headaches, nausea, dizziness, muscular tension, insomnia, and tachycardia [6]. There are different techniques to induce relaxation like meditation. New relaxation techniques with binaural audio have been developed through Neurosciences. 3. OBJECTIVES • Evaluate and analyze binaural audio therapy effects (Theta frequencies) on people that suffer anxiety and stress (Students at ITESM), in order to induce relaxation and reduce anxiety. • Determine if the binaural therapy induced relaxation in the experimental group and compare the results to those from the control group. • Through the STAI test and the electroencephalogram results, determine which stimulus is more efficient. 4. HYPOTHESIS Hi: Frequency Following Response phenomenon will take place, as Delta and Theta bands will share frequencies with the combination tones. Hi: Beta brainwaves will show up when the stimulus begins, as they are related to concentration and alertness. 5. EXPERIMENT Twenty participants were randomly divided into two groups, control and experimental. The first group listened to sounds of

However, black cohosh does come with some warnings. It should not be taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Women with estrogen-induced breast cancer or the risk of breast cancer, and those with liver issues, should not take black cohosh, as it has been found in some, but not all studies to exacerbate problems with breast cancer and liver disease.
Not only do certain brain wave rhythms get strengthened as a result of entrainment, but a dominant frequency band results in a different state of awareness. Those that have used a quality brainwave entrainment product can vouch for the fact that their perception is altered by their brain waves. Not only could this be due to brainwave changes, but it may be a result of increased interhemispheric communication.

When delta waves are present, our awareness of the external world decreases and shuts off. People with ADD have problems with delta waves occurring when they are trying to focus, and focus and attention become increasingly impossible with stronger delta waves. Studies show a reduction of anxiety, improvements in insomnia, and elimination of headaches when people engage in sessions of delta brainwave entrainment.
Isochronic tones work just the same in delta as they do in alpha, theta and beta and they are widely used in the brainwave entrainment community to help people sleep. Like you, I’ve also seen some websites saying they don’t work in delta, but it’s a bit like the game of Chinese Whispers, where someone makes a comment and then after it gets passed around and shared a lot the message gets distorted and appears to be a fact. I don’t know of any scientific reason why they wouldn’t work in delta. I remember some people talking about this on a brainwave entrainment forum many years ago. They were saying they found isochronic tones a bit too abrupt for using to help them sleep and they preferred binaural beats, as they thought they were a more soothing sound. That was just a personal preference shared by a couple of prominent forum members at the time and some people then took that as a fact for everyone. That’s where I think that belief originated from.
Sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) is one final type of brainwave that has been studied. SMR, also known as low beta, is a type of brainwave, which occurs in the sensorimotor cortex, in the 12 to 15 hertz range when that area of the sensorimotor cortex is idle and immobile. The purpose of SMR brainwaves is not well understood, but some neurofeedback practitioners report training to increase SMR brainwaves can be beneficial for people with autism, epilepsy, ADD, insomnia, drug addiction, and as an aide to better manage stress.
·         THETA waves exist between 4 and 7 Hz. This is commonly referred to as the dream or “twilight” state. Theta is associated with learning, memory, REM sleep and dreaming. Memory development is enhanced while in this state. When in a theta brainwave state, memory is improved (especially long term memory), and access to unconscious material, reveries, free association, insights and creative ideas is increased.
I would like to share with you my experience after using EquiSync for three weeks. First of all, I am so amazed how fast I can put myself in a meditation state. During meditation, I feel some kind of a sensation I could not explain. I feel the rain dropping on my face and sometimes my legs. I feel the breeze of a tropical weather as if I was in the forest. I always sleep for a very short time at night and I have a very high sense of smell all my life. Using equisync I still sleep less, but am more relaxed when I wake up. During meditation, I can also smell the forest as if I am in the forest.
You might not realize it, but when you’re stressed, every muscle in your body tenses up. Taking a moment to recognize this and actively relaxing each part of your body can help. According to Whitaker, common stress-storing places are the jaw, neck, shoulders, back, and stomach. “The Instant Relaxation Technique is a deliberate tightening of the entire body, starting from the toes to the head region, and letting it go instantly,” Joshi says. “This is an effective way to become self-aware of our muscles and letting go of stress very quickly.” While you do this, picture all the negative emotion and tension leaving your body. Look out for these 8 silent signs stress is actually making you sick.

You may not always be in the mood for meditation when your thoughts are racing, though it is a powerhouse of a stress reliever; you may sometimes face relationship stress that isn't as well-managed by breathing exercises (another highly effective stress reliever) as it might be by learning communication techniques. Guided imagery is fantastic for before bedtime while games are an optimal stress reliever to share with friends.


This is a brainwave meditation MP3 that will stimulate the Theta state of mind, allowing you to relax DEEPLY. On the surface you will hear a gentle rain and deep string sounds… underneath the MP3 uses a complex protocol which alternates stimulation between the left and right ears, and uses several ramps to reach the target brainwave frequency. It is useful for hyperactive people who have problems relaxing or entering trance like states.
An invigorating, brain-sharpening session, this audio starts at 14Hz, a beta feel-good frequency and SR harmonic. It then steps up in six-minute harmonic increments, gradually up to gamma 39Hz, leaving you feeling mentally stimulated and full of energy. A binaural beat track supports the main frequencies for those wearing headphones. Uplifting background music with embedded amplitude modulation provides a further layer of entrainment. Excellent for use as a morning alarm clock, ahead of a big night out, or to inspire those tired trips to the gym.
×