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Multitasking while Listening to Guided Imagery; Binaural Beats

27 Oct

Dear Belleruth,

Two questions: Do you use binaural beats in your background music?

And, aside from your sleeping aid recordings, can a person multi-task while listening to, say, the weight loss recordings and still gain benefit? Or, does the listening require total immersion while playing the recordings?

Thanks....

Penny

Dear Penny,

Two great questions that I'm happy to address.

To answer your first question: no, we don't use binaural beats in our music. We know from nearly 25 years of research and listener feedback that people manage to achieve a deeply relaxed, immersive, healing state without the use of this device (which is juxtaposing two slightly differently pitched tones to enter each ear, creating a pulsed beat frequency that is believed to create an added boost to relaxation and altered state immersion.)

When I checked with our fabulous sound engineer, Bruce Gigax, (he's been recording the Cleveland Orchestra for decades, so this is not his first rodeo!), he replied, " I don't see how it could be applied to our programs without interfering with Steve's (gifted composer Steven Mark Kohn) music; and two slightly out of tune pitches could drive musically sensitive people crazy!"

So for those reasons – people respond really well without it, and there could be a significant downside in quality and individual reactivity – we don't go there.

And as for your second question: yes, you can multi-task while listening (as long as you're not driving or operating heavy machinery) and still gain some benefit over time, with repeated listening. But it's not ideal, and it won't maximize all the potentially positive impact of the recording.

If what you're doing isn't some rote activity, like folding the laundry or filing your nails, but instead is something that requires you to pay attention and stay alert and focused on it, that could keep you from achieving the fully immersive, dreamy, altered state that creates the most internal change and does you the most good.

So your best bet is to let yourself enter a reverie state while listening. Sleeping works just fine too – you could even say that sleeping is the ultimate altered state.

The exception is the affirmations, which you can listen to anywhere and any time . Sooner or later they make a dent, altered state or no.

I hope this answers your questions.

All best,

Belleruth

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award.