The science behind relaxing music


When you get a massage, visit a spa or even beauty salon, there’s usually low-toned but somehow indescribably relaxing music playing in the background. Often referred to jokingly as ‘whale music’, these pleasurable sounds have a profound effect on us. Heightening the soothing elements of a treatment, calming music has been scientifically proven to take you into a deeper state of relaxation.

What is the difference between alpha and beta brainwaves?

Our normal brainwave frequency is beta, which was great in caveman times when we needed to be hyper aware of our surroundings and learning constantly, but not ideal when we are trying to reach a state of relaxation in modern day. That’s when we need alpha waves. They offer the ideal brain space for being creative and artistic, for meditating and just generally reaching an overall zen-like mentally.


Photo credit: musicoomph 

How do you find alpha waves?

It is difficult to make alpha brainwaves with no external help, but if you want to experience them almost immediately you can induce them by listening to binaural beats or isochronic tones. The creation of binaural beats music has only been possible through technological advancement in the last 100 or so years, but this musical spiritual technique dates back centuries.

Ancient cultures were aware of how the brain could be trained through consistent, rhythmic sound which is why Tibetan monks, Native American shamans and Hindu healers to name a few, all incorporate chanting and drumming in their spiritual practices. Whilst they did not fully understand the science, they realised that they could induce specific brain states, which would in turn help to relax them and aid with healing, concentration and spiritual growth. Listening to this music helps convert your brainwaves from beta to alpha, and is exactly the exact kind of sound in the music you’ll hear at your local spa.

If you want to reach a deeper level of relaxation at home, here are some places to find free binaural beats audio files to get you started:

Deep Theta Binaural Beats

Meditation Room Binaural Beats

Free Binaural Beats

Binaural Beats Meditation


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