Can an audio illusion help heal tinnitus?
We know that exposure to loud noises can cause tinnitus, but could a noise also be the solution to curing tinnitus? In other words cana sound therapy called binaural beats cure tinnitus?
Before we explorethis exciting area of brain science let me explain exactly what is a binaural beat? Then we can look at whether sound therapy can help tinnitus.
A binaural beat is an auditory illusion perceived when two different “pure-tone” sine waves, both having frequencies lower than 1500 Hz and both with less than a 40 Hz difference between them, are presented to a listener via the left and right ear (in other words a unique tone for each ear). When this takes place the listener will perceive an auditory illusion of a third tone. That is a third tone in addition to the two “pure-tones” which are presented in the left and right ear. It is this third tone, which is called the binaural beat.
The fascination thing is that this illusionary toneisn’t really in your ears whatsoever, but somewhere within the auditory receptors of our brain.
So is thebinaural beat simply a masking technique or can these illusionary binaural beats cure tinnitus?
First off binaural beats, if used correctly, at the right frequency is not a masking device but a very useful and powerful tool.A masking device is considered something, which simply distracts the suffering individual from the offending stimuli, such as a rainfall sound or a waterfall sound. Binaural beats are all together a very different concept.
According to recent research the human brain has the ability to replace its dominant electrical response frequency (in this case tinnitus) and mimic or copy a frequency from an external stimulus (a specific binaural beat set at the right tone)
It’s this ability of the brain, which encourages brainwave adjustment, balance and relaxation.
Using the principle of “frequency attachment,” over time the brain can reproduce the frequency it receives via auditory or visual stimulation, leading to a desired change.
This research has led some therapists toask the question “can sound therapy help tinnitus?” And if so is binaural beats as an effective cure (prefer to use the word habituation) for tinnitus?
With this being said, I’m not one to just take someone’s word for it, I needed to experience this for myself and truly see if binaural beats can cure/treat tinnitus?
I’m still a firm believer that we all react to different treatments in different ways. Some react favorably to a method, whilst others see no real benefits. This is one of the reasons why TRT has such a varied and broad treatment spectrum. We leave no stone unturned in our all-natural approach to tinnitus habituation.
So after conducting my own binaural research, both on myself and my clients, I’d have to conclude by saying that sound therapy in the form of binaural beats do work, but not solely on their own.
They are a powerful complimentary addition to natural tinnitus habituation, but on their own, they are not the answer to our tinnitus prayers.
Why is this? Well, tinnitus is a multi faceted condition one which straddles the physical and emotional realms and no “one” therapy covers the entire holistic spectrum.
One thing I can assure is that binaural therapy will not work without a firm understanding of the roots of your tinnitus suffering, in fact nothing works without truly understanding the subjective nature of tinnitus and its subsequent suffering.
Can sound therapy help tinnitus? Not without first understanding the root cause of tinnitus suffering
But binaural beat therapy certainly does compliment the tinnitus retraining process and it will for sure aid you and open the pathways, which allow for true habituation.
Here is a recent quote from a prominentresearcher after an exhaustive experiment using binaural beats on tinnitus sufferers.
“We believe this modality is very effective, it positively affects both habituation to the reaction of the offending stimuli by its relaxing effect causing a habituation to the perception. This dual effect can be achieved because the BWE auditory stimulation is very pleasant to listen to. This enables it to provide a positive daily stimulation, which in turn produces an extra relaxation effect when incorporated with other auditory cognitive relaxation techniques.”
It’s due to this promising research that we have now incorporated a sequence of 4 ascending binaural beats at 5Hz into our program.
The right frequency is required
Why 5Hz I hear you ask?
Well not all binaural beats are created equally and not all do the same thing once listened too.
Binaural beats are generally separated into four wavesit’s these waves that match the brain’s vibrational states during various points of consciousness and unconsciousness.
The waves are as follows, alpha, beta, theta and delta. Alphais generally considered relaxing, calming (not thinking) beta is our awakened state, normal, alert, conscious. Theta is the brain’s state during deep relaxation, meditation and mental imagery. And finally delta represents the waves of deep, dreamless sleep.
The waves we are interested in are those that resonate between 4-8Hz the theta waves.It’s these waves, which areclosely associated with our brain’s state when meditating or in deep relaxation. So dwelling in the theta state when treatingour tinnitus is considered the optimal state.
There are other binaural waves, such as beta, which have been known to irritate and increase tinnitus agitation. Beta waves are typically anywhere between 14-30Hz and represent the alert, hyperactive state of our brain.
Submerging ourselves in the theta state during the habituation process will reduce excessive beta wave frequencies, which we know enhances hyperactivity and awareness. When overriding our beta waves with alpha and theta waves, we not only promotetranquility and relaxation we also promote acceptance.
The use of binaural tones in therapy is a relatively new field of neurological science and thus far all the news points in a positive direction.
Binaural therapy is firmly in line with TRT’s mantra of allowing the intelligence of the body to heal its self.
If there is anything we have learnt during these years of studying tinnitus it is that the subjective nature of tinnitus does not need drugs, expensive or complicated therapies or drastic surgeries to overcome.
How so? Ask yourself one simple question this one question. Why is it the vast majority of those afflicted with tinnitus are either oblivious or not bothered by their tinnitus whatsoever? And before you say, well, my tinnitus is louder, research now tells us that it has nothing to do with an individuals tone, pitch, volume or type which they are afflicted by, but rather the way in which they perceive the noise in their heads. Tinnitus is physical, but the way in which we suffer is subjective. Tinnitus suffering is an emotional condition more than anything else, learn how to change your perception and you’ll bypass your suffering.
So can sound therapy help tinnitus? Test them out for yourself and see if you notice any reduction in irritation.