Which Frequency Is Best for Migraines? Binaural Beats

Medically Reviewed on 6/3/2022
Which Frequency Is Best for Migraines
Learn about binaural beats and whether they can help relieve migraine headaches

Binaural beats are believed to alleviate migraine-related discomfort by relieving tension. The carrier frequency is 160 Hz and paired with a binaural beat frequency of 0.5 Hz, which is a low-delta frequency that is calming and effective for relieving headaches.

What are binaural beats for migraine pain?

Many people find that using binaural beats is helpful for migraines

Binaural beats involve using two tones at comparable but distinct frequencies in each ear. As your brain attempts to process these two tones, it generates a binaural beat, an auditory illusion. Binaural beats generate and stimulate tranquil frequency waves, which significantly reduce discomfort and release feel-good hormones.

What are different types of binaural beat frequencies?

  • Alpha waves: Binaural beats generate alpha waves, which aid in the relief of mental stress. Alpha beats are ideal for clearing bad blockages in your brain.
  • Theta waves: Theta wave binaural beats emit relaxing ambient music that aim to encourage calm and serenity.
  • Gamma waves: Gamma waves generate frequencies exceeding 30 hertz, which aid in awareness and concentration. 
  • Gamma and alpha waves: Gamma and alpha waves are triggered in your subconscious, which aids in cognition and attention.
  • Theta and delta waves: Deep relaxation is achieved by using theta and delta waves together, which can help promote quality sleep.

Do binaural beats really help with migraines?

The brain responds to binaural beats by syncing its activity in both hemispheres—a phenomenon called neural entrainment. However, there is very little evidence to show that it does anything.

There is no doubt that certain changes in an electroencephalogram have been observed during some binaural beat therapy, and there have been anecdotal accounts of pain or anxiety reduction. Since migraines are often triggered by stress, it is possible that listening to binaural beats can prevent or reduce the intensity of a migraine.

Many of the other alleged benefits, such as improved long-term memory, have yet to be demonstrated by scientific evidence. It is possible that relaxing with music alone has the same effect as binaural beats.

While there is not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of using binaural beats for migraines, experts agree that there are no harmful effects of this type of alternative therapy. Binaural beats may be beneficial if your migraines are triggered by stress.

If your headaches are severe, persistent, and difficult to control, talk to your doctor to explore your treatment options.

Does listening to music help with migraines?

Although audio therapy for migraines may not be effective for everyone, research has shown music that may ease an attack depending on the individual and the type of migraine. Listening to music has been demonstrated in several studies to reduce the severity of migraines. This is thought to occur because the vibrations of music relieve body tension.

If you have a strong migraine, you may become particularly sensitive to all external sounds, including ones that you would normally find comforting. If you have a mild or severe headache, you may find that listening to soothing music helps you relax and ease some of the discomfort.


Who suffers more frequently from migraine headaches? See Answer

What types of sounds may help with migraines?

Although there is no definitive proof that audio therapy for migraines helps alleviate an attack, some sound can help you relax and relieve the pain of a migraine or headache

  • Relaxing music: Slow, melodic music appears to be the most beneficial for headache relief.
  • Dubstep and heavy metal: Dubstep, electronic dance music, and hard metal are the polar opposites of serene, soothing sounds. However, some people claim that music with powerful bass sounds relieves their migraines due to the vibrations they produce.
  • Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR): ASMR is characterized by soft sounds such as soft tapping, scratching, crinkling, and whispering. Although you may not be sensitive to these noises or feel the desired tingling sensation, ASMR can be used in place of music to help you stay relaxed and quiet.
  • White noise: White noise apps that have sounds of crashing waves or jungle noises may help some people relax and fall asleep, which can help with migraine headaches.

Remember that music therapy for migraines works best without headphones. Sliding ear buds into your ears or over your head can cause pressure on your head and exacerbate a migraine. 

What are the best treatment options for a migraine?

Although physicians have not discovered a cure for migraine, there are several ways to reduce migraine symptoms and prevent recurrent attacks:

  • Drinking more water
  • Resting in a dark environment with no light
  • Applying an ice pack to your forehead
  • Taking medications for migraine relief

Medications that you can take to help you feel better when you are already experiencing a migraine attack include the following:

  • Triptans: Triptans are available in a variety of forms, including nasal sprays and tablets. These medications can be helpful during a migraine because they inhibit pain-related brain circuits. However, triptans should be avoided if you are prone to heart attacks.
  • Opioids: These are only used when no other migraine medication is effective. They are considered a last resort for migraine pain relief because they can be addictive.
  • Others: When you experience a migraine episode, pain relievers such as prescription pharmaceuticals or over-the-counter treatments might help you feel better. However, long-term use of pain medicines might lead to other health problems such as ulcers. Anti-nausea drugs are frequently used to treat migraine discomfort in people who have severe headaches, vomiting, and nausea

You should see your doctor about whether drugs are appropriate for you, especially if you have a history of allergies or have an underlying condition. Since prolonged usage of over-the-counter medications can worsen migraines, consult your doctor to determine what you can safely use for migraine relief.

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Medically Reviewed on 6/3/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Migraine Prevention Using Different Frequencies of Transcutaneous Occipital Nerve Stimulation: A Randomized Controlled Trial: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28428093/

Music therapy for chronic headaches. Evaluation of music therapeutic groups for patients suffering from chronic headaches: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11810342/

Music Intervention on Migraine Headaches (CHU): https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03763058

Music Medicine as a Component of Acute Migraine Attack Management in The Emergency Room: A Randomized Controlled Open-Label Trial: https://www.ahmjournal.com/music-medicine-as-a-component-of-acute-migraine-attack-management-in-the-emergency-room-a-randomized-controlled-open-label-trial/

Migraine Headaches: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/5005-migraine-headaches