YOU KNOW WHAT I SAID ABOUT LISTENING TO ROCK AND ROLL!
No, dad, that's the Schumann Resonance, discovered in 1952 by German physicist Winfried Otto Schumann, blaring his favorite proto-noise band "Däs Resonance" from his bedroom, his own father banging on his door telling him to "Turn down däs racket!" with teen Winfried calling back "YOU DONT UNDERSTAND ME PAPA!"
Okay, sure, fine–that's not really what happened. I may be mixing in my own memories here. The real story is that Schumann, a German physicist, predicted this natural phenomenon in 1952 with a mathematical equation. The Schumann Resonance is a series of electromagnetic frequencies that occur within the cavity (kind of personal if you ask me) between the surface of the Earth and the ionosphere.
These frequencies are generated by lightning strikes that occur all around the planet. It's happening right now, somewhere, maybe even where you are. Zap! The electromagnetic energy waves from these lightning strikes bounce between the Earth's surface and the ionosphere, creating the Schumann Resonance, reverberating around the planet as seen in the image below from NASA.
The frequency range of the Schumann Resonance is between 7.83 Hz and 33 Hz, with a fundamental frequency at 7.83 Hz and resonant harmonic frequencies occurring at around 14 Hz and 20 Hz. The Schumann Resonance is sometimes referred to as the "Earth's heartbeat".
Scientists measure these frequencies using a network of monitoring stations around the world. They gather information on the electrical field intensity and magnetic field strength at the Earth's surface. The data collected from these monitoring stations is then used to create a spectrogram, which shows the frequency and intensity of the Schumann Resonance.
I think I just felt a little tickle. With all of this electromagnetic energy bouncing around us at all times you have to wonder–does it affect us? Well that's some great wondering! Good job! You're on to something–research has shown that the Schumann Resonance can have various effects on the human body. Here are some of the most significant effects, in a handy 3-part list format:
Brain Waves: The Schumann Resonance is believed to be in sync with the brain's alpha (8-13 Hz) and theta (4-8 Hz) waves, which are associated with relaxation, creativity, and meditative states. This may be related to the phenomenon of entrainment, where one object begins to resonate or oscillate at the same frequency as another object.
Immune System: Exposure to the Schumann Resonance is thought to enhance the immune system's functioning, increasing effectiveness. This also may be related to the entrainment of the body's sympathetic nervous system and its relationship to the immune system.
Mood and Emotions: The Schumann Resonance is believed to have a positive effect on mood and emotions, promoting feelings of well-being, calmness, and inner peace. This could be related to an entrainment effect on blood pressure, and in turn, its effect on dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission in the brain.
Overall, research has shown evidence that people who are exposed to focused and controlled instances of the Schumann Resonance experience an overall increase in their general sense of well-being. Some have even reported experiencing a sort of spiritual awakening.
Researchers have even suggested that the Schumann Resonance may have played a role in the evolution of human consciousness by promoting higher states of awareness and spiritual awakening.
You can enjoy a guided healing and meditation from Andrew below, using Oetken's 36" Schumann Resonance Gong. Does it have an effect on you? Feeling enlightened? Awakened? Just a little bit calmer?
There is also increasing evidence that environmental factors are affecting the frequency and intensity of the Schumann Resonance. Human activity–such as the use of technology–can interfere with the natural electromagnetic fields that generate the Schumann Resonance.
Given this interference, why not supplement your sound baths and meditations with this amazing, phenomenal frequency? There's enough evidence pointing to the holistic benefits of exposure to the Schumann Resonance to consider integrating it into your meditation, mindfulness, and sound healing practice.
Many thanks to the sources of information who came before us! Here's some further reading if you're interested in learning more about the Schumann Resonance: