Basic Guidelines and Suggestions for
Using Bilateral Stimulation Music
This music requires the use of headphones or ear buds to be effective. In general a soft volume is best. The goal is to just be able to hear it without it feeling intrusive. Sometimes you may forget you are hearing anything at all. All tracks on the Alternating Sounds, LLC website have different layers of sounds that may become evident with repeat listening. As you get more familiar with the way your brain responds to this music you may find it useful to adjust the volume or track sequences for certain purposes.
Since headphones are required this music should never be listened to while driving or doing anything else that warrants your full attention.
A Few Starting Tips For Listening to Bilateral Stimulation
Since these bilateral soundscapes travel far beyond music for relaxation or meditation, it’s best to start by listening to just one or two at a time until you become accustomed to their effect on you. However, "IMAGO: a bilateral journey of transformation" should be heard from start to finish over its 25 minute course for maximum benefit. (These specific listening suggestions for IMAGO are useful to read ahead of time.)
There are lots of ways to use this music, with few specific procedures to follow other than those you personally find most helpful. There is no need to “do” anything (beyond reading this important disclaimer). Release your expectations of what should or shouldn’t happen let your thoughts, feelings, memories, associations and sensations follow their own course. Even a few minutes can be an enlightening experience.
Remember: Always Listen to Bilateral Music With Headphones
When listening to this music you may notice yourself (a) experiencing unexpected or intense emotion, (b) remembering interesting, unusual or significant events from your past, (c) having notable bodily sensations, (d) daydreaming or having wandering thoughts or fantasies, or (e) gaining an insight you haven’t previously considered. As long as you are ok with the process just “stay with it” by continuing to be present to whatever continues to unfold in whatever way works for you.
It’s ok if whatever you notice doesn’t make immediate sense, if you experience different reactions than those listed above, or if you are unsure whether anything is actually “happening” or not. Just be open and available to whatever emerges and evolves.
You'll probably have moments when you are not even aware that you are listening to anything, followed by periods of renewed attention to some aspect of the music. It's all good! If you find your experience pleasing or interesting, simply remain open to whatever continues to happen as you listen.
Responses to Acoustic Bilateral Stimulation Can Vary
This music is capable of evoking a wide range of emotional responses. If any part of your listening experience becomes uncomfortable or unpleasant, turn the music off and engage in positive self-care. Simply turning the volume down to a lower setting can help as well.
You will notice that some Alternating Sounds, LLC "soundscapes" use repetitive musical patterns or non-musical sounds more than actual tunes. This sonic field seems particularly effective in activating deeper portions of your brain.
You will see that this site includes many suggested protocols and applications, from the most general to more advanced listening suggestions. For starters, just try this:
Think of some issue or problem that's bugging you or some goal you want to reach. You only need to do this just enough to give the music a targeted neural pathway to work with.
Put on your headphones or ear buds.
Start the music.
Do whatever you want (sit quietly, take a walk, do the dishes, etc.) and let whatever happens happen.
What you get from the experience flows from what you put into it. Depending on your purpose you may experience cumulative benefit listening to your favorite tracks a few times over the course of a 2 -3 days.
Sometimes people 'test drive' the process by listening to tracks in different settings and volumes to determine which panning speeds (measured in 'cycles per minute' or 'cpm') are best for specific functions.
Acoustic bilateral stimulation is a tool you brain can use in a lot of different ways. Our first two albums, "Written on Clouds" and "From Old Illusions to New Conclusions" provide an array of sonic textures that can be combined or sequenced to achieve specific purposes.
Take note that the effects of acoustic bilateral stimulation may occur in stages or waves for several minutes or longer after listening, depending on many factors.
Repetition Helps Bilateral Stimulation
Just like a medication may need to be taken regularly for best effect, many people find it helpful to listen to sources of auditory bilateral stimulation over a period of time in order to achieve best results. Your brain may need a little time to "figure out" how to use bilateral stimulation in the most effective way, much like a person in a gym may need time to learn "the right way" to perform certain exercises for the best outcome.
Click this link for more ideas and tips for using bilateral music to enhance your experience. And when you are ready to take acoustic bilateral stimulation to an entirely new level you can begin to learn how to incorporate eye movements into the process.