Although the creation of binaural beats has only been possible through advancements in technology, the knowledge behind them has been known throughout history. Ancient cultures have been aware of the power and benefits of binaural beats centuries before modern science has recognized them.
Now of course these cultures throughout history did not call them binaural beats nor did they know what they were. What they did know was that consistent rhythmic sound created extremely powerful healing and spiritual benefits. Scientist Melinda Maxfield, PhD, conducted research on the drumbeats used in the rituals of these various cultures and found that they beat at a steady rate of 4.5 beats per second. This consistent beat induces a trance-like state to its listeners. This is a result of the brain shifting into a 4.5-beats-per-second brainwave frequency, which is a a low Theta brainwave state.
In almost every culture throughout history, binaural beats have played an important role in the healing and spiritual development of man. With the use of repetitive beats and chanting, the Tibetan monks, Native American shamans, Hindu healers, and mastered Yogis have been able to induce ranges of brainwave states for transcending consciousness, healing and spiritual growth.
It wasn’t until 1839, when Heinrich Wilhelm Dove discovered binaural beats, that science had finally caught up. And even though scientific researched still continued, binaural beats still remained a sort of mystery for the next 134 years. In 1973, Gerald Oster put together the scattered binaural beat research since Dove and wrote “Auditory Beats in the Brain”. In this research paper Oster offered tremendous fresh insight and new laboratory findings to research on binaural beats.
Oster saw binaural beats as a great tool for cognitive and neurological research. He believed they could answer questions such as how animals could locate sounds in their three-dimensional environment and the remarkable ability of animals to pick out and focus on specific sounds in sea of noise. He also believed binaural beats were a great tool for diagnosing medical problems. Not just auditory impairments but also for more general neurological conditions.
A few years later Robert Monroe, with the help of Thomas Campbell and Dennis Mennerich, began researching the effects of binaural beats on consciousness. Robert sought to reproduce a subjective impression of 4Hz oscillation that they associated with out-of-body experiences. What they found was that binaural beats were an amazing tool for reaching altered states of consciousness. On the strength of their findings, Monroe created the binaural beat self-development industry and formed The Monroe Institute, which is now a non-profit binaural beat research and education organization.
Since this time there has been extensive studies and research done on binaural beats and brainwave frequencies. As technology advances and we are able to learn more about how each frequency effects the body and human consciousness, we are able to create more advanced and useful binaural beats.