Awake or asleep, our brains put out specific frequencies measured in Hertz (hz) that can be recorded as a wave pattern by an electroencephalograph (EEG). These patterns can determine how we function in our daily lives. But, can these brain waves help us to achieve our goals, whatever they may be? Can they help us to be smarter, healthier and happier? Yes, they can.
There are four kinds of brain waves, actually five, now that EEG machines are more sensitive. They are Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, and Gamma. I am sure some of you have heard about at least one of these and no, I am not talking about the local college fraternity. I am going to give you a general understanding of these brain waves, so you can better understand how you can use them to improve your life.
Let's start with Beta waves. Beta waves are associated with waking consciousness and are considered to be the normal brainwave pattern in healthy adults. Beta waves have a designated frequency of 13-38 hz. People who operate in a high state of beta brain waves are able to think faster, are more goal oriented, generate new ideas quickly, have more positive thoughts, and more energy than someone with a low state of beta brain waves.
The alpha wave state is a state of wakeful relaxation. Its frequency range is 8-13 hz. Light meditation and daydreaming are done in the alpha state. It is also in this state where the brain learns faster and at an even more deeper level than beta. The alpha state is associated with creativity and it is where most meditation and energy healing techniques, such as Reiki, utilize this brain wave for relaxation and healing. It is interesting to note that alpha waves have been associated with fibromyalgia when they appear in non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) where delta activity is expected. The alpha wave state is the ideal state for autosuggestion and for practicing creative visualization.
Theta brain waves range in the 4-7 hz frequency. They are associated with a drowsy or meditative state. This is also the state known as rapid eye movement sleep (REM) or dream sleep, which is the barely conscious state you experience just before sleeping and just after waking up. While in the theta state, we can access and influence that subconscious part of ourselves that is normally inaccessible to our waking mind. Deep and profound learning, healing, and growth can be achieved in the theta state. It is also where we experience lucid dreaming, where our minds connect to the divine, and where we can manifest changes in the material world. The theta state also consolidates certain memories such as procedural memory (our memory of how we do things) and our spatial memory (how we navigate our environment).
Delta brain waves have a frequency of less than 4 hz. It is most closely associated with non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) or slow-wave sleep where the sleeper is in a state of deep sleep or unconsciousness. Although it is said that dreams in delta slow-wave sleep are disconnected, less vivid, and less memorable than dreams occurring in REM sleep, some believe this is the state to achieve astral projection or an out of body experience. The Delta state is important for consolidating our declarative memory (explicit or long-term memory).
Gamma brain waves have a frequency of 25-100 hz, although 40 is more typical. Someone is the gamma state is said to be in a state of hyper-alertness. A good example of this state is when time seems to slow down during an accident. Those of us this has happened to, remember it well. This slow motion feeling is caused by the brain entering a high gamma state. It is interesting to note that experiments on Tibetan Monks show a correlation between transcendental mental states and gamma waves. The data showed that mediation masters have the ability to put their brains in a state which is maximally sensitive and consumes power, briefly, at a lower (or even zero) rate.
Studies have show that hypnosis, isochronic tones, binaural beats, and some meditation can help our brains reach these states. By knowing the frequencies of each brain wave, we can utilize these techniques designed to bring our brains to the desired frequency and take one more leap in achieving our life's dream.