In the simplest terms, the binaural brainwaves treatment combines massage with an immersive audio sound experience that utilizes specific musical tones designed to guide the brain into a deep state of relaxation. The treatment was developed by Markus Hawkins, an award-winning musician and composer who studied massage and therapeutic body work in Thailand. While practicing massage in the United States, he noticed that people weren’t really relaxing, so it was harder for them to go into a deeper meditative state.
“Maybe because of all the technology we’re surrounded with,” Markus speculates. “Our minds are working faster, and unable to snap out of these loops.” Drawing from his 25 years of professional background to come up with an innovative solution, he started looking at the binaural rhythm, which are tones that help control brain activity, and studying how those tones affect the body. He discovered that offsetting a single note to create different wavelengths causes the brain to go into different brain states. From there, he developed the treatment using alpha, theta and delta frequencies, which are the meditative brain waves that range from a deeper state of relaxation to changes at the subconscious level.
Indeed, the feedback Markus receives after the treatment indicates there could be subconscious effects. People have epiphanies or realizations, and some even say they see or hear better. One of the more dramatic results was a person who had creative invention brainstorms the entire treatment.
I chatted with Markus to learn more about the treatment and what inspires him.
BasilHealth: Tell us about yourself. What’s your background?
Markus Hawkins: I studied violin and have been a musician most of my life. I’ve composed music for butoh dance for the past 25 years, which has played a big role in my healing work.
BH: Can you tell us about the frequency of healing and why it’s significant?
MH: There are six frequencies that I chose for the treatment, each of which are healing a different aspect of the physical body and the spirit body. There is a frequency (432Hz) that’s known as the frequency of the healing, with which any body in a healthy state will resonate. A lot of the research on this is new and still evolving; it’s more prevalent in Eastern culture--but hopefully that’s changing!
BH: Can you tell us about the music involved in this treatment? What are the six tones?
MH: The first tone is 396Hz, which is about alleviating fear and guilt. Second is 417Hz, which is about alleviating the obstacles in one’s life that are preventing change. Then 528Hz, which soften tensions. Bioscientists are tuning lasers to 528Hz to repair strands of DNA; it’s considered the miracle pitch. We achieve harmoniousness at 696Hz, which is about relationships to all things (including the world, people and yourself). 741Hz helps with problem solving and creativity, while 852Hz is about returning to spiritual order and seeing through illusions.
BH: How did you write and compose the music?
MH: I actually commissioned Neal Stewart, a local electronic composer, who came up with an ingenious way of using six different synthesizers to make this piece work--which was necessary, because these pitches don’t exist in our standard tuning. Additionally, I worked with an amazing aromatherapist (Venita Vandrous) to round out the treatment. The treatment is focused on intent, so I had her blend the “sacred 7,” which uses different parts of a tree to represent wholeness and harmoniousness.
BH: How do you stay healthy and balanced yourself, particularly after working on people as a massage therapist?
MH: I’ve been practicing butoh and free form movement for decades now and am also a reiki master, so I’ve made my own hybrid of the two. It’s physical and energetic at the same time. I also mix in some yoga and meditation.
BH: What is the most important advice you ever received?
MH: My first music teacher told me to keep a song in my heart; this has served me well!
BH: What are you working on next?
MH: I always have a bunch of things on the burner. I’m now looking at using the 432Hz in a binaural treatment. I’m also working with someone who does breath work, so I can do a guided meditation using breath combined with the binaural brainwaves music.
As I ended my Senspa day, venturing back out into the world, into the now-dry but cool San Francisco air, my massage didn’t leave me with any startling revelations or genius ideas (sadly), but, I felt decidedly lighter and more clear-headed, and colors all seemed a bit brighter. Certainly, it took a lot less time for me to relax into the massage right off the bat, and it seemed as though the beneficial effects of the treatment lasted longer than with your average massage.
Jasmine France is a writer for basilhealth.com. Visit to experience a health journey like no other!