For readers who have been following this blog, it will come as no surprise that sound frequencies can alter the brain’s experience and produce the sensation of being “high” or intoxicated. For people without this background information, experiencing a high from sound or watching someone else experience it, can be alarming — particularly if it involves their kids.
It was in 2010 that I noticed a report from Oklahoma that kids were getting high from audio files on their mp3 players. First a police officer, then a principal, stated that the files had the same effect as physical drugs. Then those statements were no longer on the media and law enforcement was warning that “i-dosing” — named for i-doser.com which was a main supplier of the audio files — could be a gateway to physical drugs.
Currently Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and other countries in that area are concerned about digital drugs and working to prevent their use. The Communications Authority, National Commission for Drug Control and the Directorate General for Drug Control are all reportedly meeting for this purpose.
Persons researching these “digital drugs” realized quickly that these audios were binaural beats frequencies that entrain the brainwaves by presenting two slightly different tones, one to each ear via headphones. The brain creates a third tone between the other two. The researchers also found that there were no lasting effects from this experience, the brain was not harmed. This fact seemed to be enough to cause some reviewers to deny that there was any effect at all. That’s when law enforcement carefully stepped around statements that the audios did cause a high and said only that they could be a gateway.
What the researchers missed — or at least the reporting media missed — was that for quite a long time, binaural beats have been entraining brains for purposes of meditation, losing phobias, and acquiring cognitive skills. Discovered in 1839 by scientist Heinrich Dove, binaural beats have found medical applications including the reduction of the amount of anesthesia required for surgery.
But these days, there is newer brainwave entrainment technology than binaural beats. Isochronic tones are short sound pulses turned on and off. They are said to create faster and more effective entrainment. And they don’t require headphones.There are isochronic audio files that include properties of drug like states. However, the websites concerned don’t cater to the culture of drug using kids. Consider the following.
Pranahigh offers audios, videos and mandalas for altered states, some of which include the energies of both medical and psychoactive drugs.They are also described as including energies of white light, harmonic of gold, of monastic setting and multidimensional awareness. Many entrain to theta and delta brainwave states. Theta is a state similar to the borderline state between sleep and waking. Delta is a sleep state that is said to be shamanic if the meditator is able to stay awake. The Pranahigh products emphasize healing and meditation.
Doc Starz (who emphasizes that this is a nickname, he is not a medical doctor) has created audios he calls “substance emulations”. These include magnesium used by some to treat Lyme disease and ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic herb considered an adaptogen that treats stress, boosts stamina and relaxes the nerves. Also included are magic mushrooms and ibogaine, an African psychoactive herb used medicinally and ritually.
Isochiral Music includes audios to release the body’s endorphins for pain relief and “feeling good” as well as human growth hormone for anti-aging and melatonin to aid in sleeping. Also included is an audio to release various tryptamines that induce euphoria.
My point here is that the digital drug “hype” caters to those already interested in drugs. Other developers have created mind altering audios for purposes of meditation, healing and relaxation without the sensationalism of so-called digital drugs.
It has been shown that the pervasive inflammation that leads to many of today’s chronic illness is due to stress. The mechanism seems to be that too much release of the stress hormone cortisol makes it ineffective at controlling inflammation. Seems to me that more time spent in meditation, healing and relaxation would remedy some of that stress and lead to better health for more people.