How to Meditate with Binaural Beats
Q&A with Doctor, Science Lover, and Former Olympian, Grace Hameister
In 1839, Prussian physicist and meteorologist, Henrich Wilhelm Dove, performed a bizarre experiment. A subject stood in a room. Dove placed a tuning fork on each of their ears. Then, Dove vibrated each tuning fork to a different sound frequency. Next, something funky happened. Subjects perceived a totally different sound than what was being played. It sounded like a low, buzzing hum. This sound was the difference between two frequencies — the space between the noise.
In 1973, biophysicist Dr. Gerald Oster researched Dove’s theory. He found binaural beats — even ones played so low the human ear couldn’t detect them — helped improve focus, memory, and pain. There was a possible clinical connection between binaural beats and healing.
Fast-forward to today. Many people now use binaural beats to help them reach deep states of meditation. I’m one of them. My experiences with binaural beats have been profound. I wanted to learn more. So, I chatted with an expert on binaural beats meditation, Dr. Grace Hameister, aka “Dr. Grace,” host of the Uncommon Medicine podcast, a licensed and board-certified doctor of chiropractic, a former Olympic-level rhythmic gymnast, and a world-champion water skier, about the science behind binaural beats, the frequencies around earthing, why walking on the beach cures jet lag, and how concepts of “mindfulness” are shifting amidst a pandemic.
Enough-ism: How to Meditate with Binaural Beats: Q&A with Doctor & Science Lover, Dr. Grace on…
Dr. Grace Hameister, host of the Uncommon Medicine podcast, is here to talk about the pretty fascinating science…
Hear the podcast now on iTunes.
Yugen Bond: So, what are binaural beats?
Dr. Grace: I love binaural beats. It’s been a game-changer for me — for meditation and for getting into my body better when I want to reconnect to Source and all that is through meditation.
It’s a technique that’s used while you’re meditating. It helps you get into deeper brainwave frequencies. So, you just basically put in some headphones and the music you listen to is designed specifically to make both sides of your brain work at the same time. And they can facilitate different brainwave frequencies, like alpha, gamma, and theta. So, you’re getting into those deeper meditative states.
Each frequency carries its own healing property. Because oftentimes, the binaural beats can be associated with your chakra zones. So, you can listen to music and literally amplify each one of the chakra zones and get them to speak with one another to come into a state of convergence and cohesive action. It’s a great meditation session.
Yugen Bond: What has been one of your best experiences with binaural beats? I tend to be very sensitive to them. Some really resonate with me and others just give me a really bad vibe, though they might work well for other people. I always kind of think of listening to binaural beats like my brain is in the middle of a thunderstorm.
Dr. Grace: Right. When I use them, some of them feel good. And others…you just feel like it’s fingernails on a chalkboard. But, for me, the ones using, like, Tibetan gongs and a variety of different musical instruments all around the world create very healing musical properties. And when you can combine that wisdom with the science of the musicianship, through the synthesis and the synthesizer, that’s when I think you get a more powerful experience and less of that, like, gritty sort of, “I don’t feel good with this.”
Also, you’ve got to realize, too, if you’re choosing a frequency that could be blowing out one of your chakras, that could be making you feel crappy. Because, depending on what the note is of the song and the frequency of that, those can have an impact on your body systems from your cellular level, and your DNA — which resonates through your bone, your bone matrix, and your organs.
So, if you’re listening to a particular song, that’s making you feel crappy, it could be actually just tweaking your body to go into a place that’s just not healing for you.
Yugen Bond: Yes! So, let’s talk about the technique behind binaural beats. So, when you have your headphones, you put them on… let’s say you feel like your heart chakra, for example, is a little funky today and maybe you find a binaural beats song that resonates and you put it on, what do you do next? How do you kind of help let the music and the sounds kind of guide your mind into that meditative state?
Dr. Grace: Well, breathing, obviously, is first and foremost. You have to attenuate your breaths. Deep breaths in, deep breaths out.
I learned an amazing technique from, Dr. Sue Morter. She’s got a book called The Energy Codes. She has a breathing technique that’s associated with the chiropractic profession. And I’m a chiropractor, too, so I found that this is a really useful tool because it stimulates your neurology to work better, which will get you deeper into those meditative states and connect you to Source — that’s the whole point, right?
So, one of the very first things I ever got exposed to when it came to even what the chakras are and learning about that was about anchoring into your cord.
For example, the first thing that I do — and I tell people I work with to do the same thing — I picture a long fluorescent light bulb that’s bright and glowing and just completely open white. Now picture that running from the top of your head all the way through your spine, to the bottom of your sacrum. Like it’s an open channel. It’s dynamic, it’s moving, it’s light.
Then, picture that tube expanding up and out of your head, up through the universe, up through everything that is, and up through anything your human eyes could possibly see. You’re connected to God’s Source and all that is — the quantum “everything” and to everything that is. That’s one part of it.
Then the next part, picture that tube. It’s still glowing. It’s flexible. It’s moving. And it goes through your body and then anchors down into the earth. Now you’re anchored into the earth and solid. And you’re also anchored into Source and all that is. So your breath will now come from the earth, through that cord, and up and out.
And then you gather from all that is, up to your cord, and you connect to it — like iron filings to a magnet. Every bit of anything that could potentially happen — the quantum potential of the universe — and then bring that to that cord and bring it down through your head, through your body, and back into the earth.
It should be a flow that goes up and through. So if you feel any blocks anywhere in your body — or, like you were saying — if you’re concentrating on your heart chakra and maybe you’re heartbroken, maybe you just broke up with someone, or lost your pup. Or, you know, you’re sad or really happy. Or there’s just a lot going on in your heart area. Then you would breathe in from the earth and then with a deep breath out — up and out — to all that is. And just become part of everything. Allow that flow to come up and out, in and down.
That’s what I use in concurrence with the binaural beats. So, you’re getting two different mechanisms to get your brain both involved and out of the way at the same time.
Yugen Bond: Yes. And it sounds very structured. And I would imagine that once you kind of start going into that zone, it’s kind of like a muscle. When you’re exercising it, you just kind of go from A to B to C until you start to fall into a trance of some sort.
Dr. Grace: Exactly. And then that’s when visions come, the “aha” moments come, and the sensation, of truly being connected.
I feel I’m connected with a net or a web that’s dynamic and moves. I can feel on my skin sometimes when I’m in deep meditation that I’m part of everything. I can feel those little particles of the quantum. It’s in me, it’s of me, it’s through me. And I can literally feel it on my body, reminding me that everything I say do and think is relevant and can affect not only my life but all those I touched. It’s a powerful thing when you understand and honor the connectivity we all have.
It makes sense. I mean, even the earth has a frequency covering it — called the Schumann frequency. That’s a healing frequency. It’s 7.83. You stand outside, feet on the ground, and you take in that healing frequency. It helps decrease cortisol in your body and reconnects you with your circadian rhythms.
Say I go to Brazil right now. I’d want to go straight to the beach first because if you get your feet on the sand and by the water on the earth there, it helps stop jet lag.
Frequency is a huge aspect of healing and connectivity, and of really being able to stay grounded in your soul and yourself so that you can be more available for others.
Yugen Bond: Yes. And many civilizations…take rain dances, for example — some people think of them as primitive. They’re pretty advanced. And it’s about connecting yourself to the earth.
Dr. Grace: Absolutely.
Yugen Bond: So, just as the energy kind of goes through your head when you’re meditating, you’re picturing that, and you’re also picturing yourself being rooted and that energy going back into the earth. Let’s talk about the art of just staying rooted, staying grounded, and how we connect ourselves and our auras to the earth and Mother Nature.
Dr. Grace: Well, it’s super important to do this. I’m a huge advocate of talking about this as much as I can. I actually came in contact with a quantum physicist throughout my career as a doctor. And I didn’t realize the power of the science behind the connection of our bodies with the earth. So, this is a thing — it’s called grounding or thing. There’s the meditative aspect, but then there’s also being physically grounded. Like you’re actually touching the ground — that’s what I mean. Like, you have no socks or shoes on and your feet are on the earth.
And if you think about it, like even going back to Chinese medicine, every single acupuncture, meridian runs through the soles of your feet. So, you’re amplifying every single system of your body when you get your feet on the ground and you’re taking in that Schumann frequency.
When you have a day at the beach or you’re in your garden and standing in the earth, it’s so essential, because not only does it help with your biochemistry, but it also helps to decrease and eliminate electromagnetic wave frequencies — the EMS — that are everywhere.
So, the quantum physicist, I was talking about, Dr. James Oshman, wrote this book called Energy Medicine and created a company, with a colleague called Earthing (earthing.com). It’s a product that helps eliminate electromagnetic wave frequencies. It’s a sheet that goes across your bed. And your feet are on it. Part of your back is on it. And it helps you heal while you’re sleeping and also in taking away the electromagnetic wave frequencies and, and getting your, circadian rhythms back in check.
It allows people who live in big complexes, or in the city where it’s harder for you to get your feet on the ground, or who live in really cold zones in the world where you’re not going to be able to stand on the frozen earth, to get the same effect. So, it just takes the grounding source of the electricity and the electrical outlet and amplifies this grounding source.
So that goes into this material that goes on your bed. And it helps wounds heal faster, it helps with repairing the brain, it helps to keep cortisol lower — which as we know, increases tremendously because of stress. And we’re all really super stressed out right now because of the pandemic and everything else.
So, the whole concept of earthing and being on the earth and combining that with meditation is just so powerful for so many reasons — scientifically, spiritually, and metabolically. I mean, it’s a one, two punch that just should be done every day, honestly.
Yugen Bond: Yes. That’s good to know because I used to live in a high rise. And when I would meditate, I would try to visualize the energy going all the way down through people’s homes to the earth. Then it would start to stress me out because I’m thinking, “Oh, now it’s going through everyone’s houses and all kinds of energies. I was overthinking it.”
Dr. Grace: [laughs] Yeah, you shouldn’t get stressed out while you’re meditating. That’s kind of the opposite of the whole point.
Yugen Bond: No, definitely not. You want to end up feeling zen when you’re done, right? But that’s such a powerful thing — to try to reconnect your energy back to where you are and back down to the earth.
Dr. Grace: Yeah. You know, science is real. And we’re finding more and more now that meditation and how it can change, literally, your brain and your body, down to your DNA –that’s real. This stuff is not just “woo-woo-crystals- long-haired-hippie” kind of stuff. [laughs] This is the real deal. And it’s been in practice for eons. And there’s no reason to not investigate it.
I mean, if there’s anything that you can do, that’s so simple and innocuous is just doing breathwork. I mean, come on. What, what can you lose with that, right?
Yugen Bond: Yeah, exactly. Everyone can inhale and exhale — if you do it intentionally, you know, even just 5, 10 minutes a day. Like, my favorite time to meditate is usually in the morning. even if I’m just lying in bed. It’s quiet. I haven’t quite started my day yet. You’re kind of leaving that dream state — which is very powerful.
Dr. Grace: And reentering the dream state in a different way. Because now you’re intentional and now you’re actually connecting instead of just letting your subconscious run amok.
Yugen Bond: Yeah, you don’t want to do that. You want to have some kind of control of your subconscious if you can.
Yugen Bond: So, one thing that I try to challenge here on the Enough-ism Podcast is modern perceptions of “meditation.” Many people, when they think of things like “new age” or “self-care,” think of bubble baths, facials, candles, flowers, and all that. You mentioned before about the scientific aspect to all of this stuff and that it is becoming a little bit more accepted. People are willing to better understand what they can’t quite grasp in a tangible sense. Do you think the meditation movement and the industry and all of that is moving in that direction, especially as the science-based community just becomes more advanced, and that connection is being made more often?
Dr. Grace: Oh, absolutely. I think there’s a huge paradigm shift that’s been going on for the last 20 years, honestly. And now that we have been forced to re-direct our lives from this pandemic and less personal, one-on-one, hands-on socialization.
But instead, like, I would never have ever been able to know you, Yugen, when I was just in my normal way of life before the pandemic happened.
But now with technology changing, the world is so much smaller. We realize how much smaller it is. People are starting to recognize that they had to be completely just shot out of — like exploded out of — their norm to the point of change that it can be very scary for a lot of people, personally, when you see lots of change happening.
I love that, because you’re seeing then that the work you’re asking for and looking for is given a space to enter. So, when we’re dealing with a massive collective shift of consciousness, that creates an energetic change for the planet and all of us.
And it’s an awesome time to be living now, you know? I mean, it’s so weird. There’s so much weirdness to it. Humanity is being given an extra dose of reality check, and how we can be more cohesive with ourselves and the planet.
When you look back at what happened, when everybody was on shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, you can’t un-see what happened. You can’t, un-see the fact that our air quality repaired itself in 30 days. 30 days! That’s all it took. And it was better. You can’t un-see that, you know?
So anyone who’s trying to debunk the fact that the carbon footprint isn’t a thing, what is really one of the blessings out of all of this is: Yeah, it is. And now even more so by being shocked out of our normal rhythms of work and stress, now we’re in this whole different area.
And I think that that’s been a huge shift that’s helpful on being able to connect better and the collective consciousness of all this. So, the scientific community has been discussing this for a while.
But I think socially it’s the energy and time for changes is that much more relevant now, too, because of how we’re having to live our lives and how the shifts that have occurred have come from directly from nature saying, “Oh, guess what guys. You need to sit down and just shut up for a while. Go back to your room and relax and let me be back in charge.” (And then when I say “me,” I’m talking about Mother Nature talking to all of us right now.) Because we’re just bacteria on her back. Honestly, all she needs to do is just shake it really hard. And then the whole human race could be gone.
And that’s the thing. If we’re so hell-bent on controlling and manipulating nature — rather than learning and respecting it — there are going to be even more pandemics and more changes like this. It’s time that we start focusing our attention on becoming one. With each other and the planet rather than trying to control and manipulate anything.
Yugen Bond: Yes, I completely agree. And the average person now is forced to question their purpose, what they want, who they are, and who they think they are. One thing about mindfulness is no matter who you are or your journey, it’s never done. We’re all in this together.
Dr. Grace: That’s why it’s called a journey. Constantly in motion and constantly going to the next level. Absolutely.
Listen to this podcast conversation on YouTube.
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About the author: Yugen Bond, B.Msc., is a metaphysics writer, podcast host, and reiki master who once despised meditation, had both too much and nothing to wear, and didn’t know how to slow down her thoughts. What a journey it’s been. Time to share it with the world, especially with you.
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