Brainwaves and You
Brainwaves are very important in our daily lives and functioning.
What are brainwaves? Your brain has billions of brain cells called neurons, which use electricity to communicate back and forth with each other. The combination of these neurons all sending signals at once produces an enormous amount of electrical activity in your brain. This activity can be detected and monitored using sensitive medical equipment (such as an EEG) to measure the electricity levels over areas of the scalp.
The main types of brainwaves include: Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta. Let’s talk about what each type of wave can do for us and what happens when they are irregular.
Delta waves (.5 to3Hz)
Delta brain waves are slow and loud brain waves that have a low frequency and are deeply penetrating, like a drumbeat. They are generated in deepest meditation, dreamless sleep, and healing and regeneration is stimulated in this state. This is why deep restorative sleep is important to the healing process.
Too much delta waves can be a cause of brain injuries, cause learning disabilities, difficulties thinking, and cause of severe ADHD.
Not enough delta waves cause issues rejuvenating the body, inability to revitalize the brain, and sleeping difficulties.
Optimal brain waves help the immune system, allow for natural healing and restoration, and allow for deep sleep.
Theta waves (3 to8Hz)
Theta brainwaves occur most often in sleep but are also dominant in deep meditation. It acts as our gate way to learning and memory. In theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and are focused on signals originating from within. It is the twilight state that is normally experience wake up or drift off to sleep. In theta, we are in a dream; vivid imagery, intuition, and information beyond our normal conscious awareness. Theta waves are where we hold our fears, troubles, history, and even nightmares.
Too much theta waves leads to ADHD, depression, hyperactivity, impulsion problems, and attention difficulties.
Not enough can lead to anxiety, low emotional awareness, and even stress.
Optimal waves allow us to be creative, emotionally connected, intuitive, and relaxed.
Alpha waves (8 to12Hz)
Alpha brainwaves are dominant during quit flowing thoughts and during some meditative states. Alpha waves are the power of being here and now, the present. Alpha waves are the resting state for the brain. Alpha waves aid overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration and learning.
Too much alpha waves cause too much daydreaming, difficulty focusing, and being too relaxed when needing to be alert.
Not enough causes anxiety, high stress levels, insomnia, and led to obsessive compulsive disorders
Optimal allow us to be relaxed at the appropriate times.
Beta waves (12to38 Hz)
Beta brain waves dominate our normal waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world. Beta is the “fast” activity going on when we are alert, attentive, engaged in problem solving, focused on mental activity, and making decisions.
Beta brain waves are further divided in to three bands; Lo-Beta can be though to fast idle. Beta is high engagement or actively figuring things out. Hi-Beta is highly complex thought, integrating new experiences, high anxiety, high stress, and even excitement. Remaining in the Hi-Beta is not efficient as it ‘running’ the brain and takes an incredible amount of energy.
Too much beta waves can lead to high anxiety, high arousal, and high stress levels
Not enough can lead to depression, poor cognition, too much daydreaming, and attention difficulties
Optimal performance helps with conscious focus, memory, problems solving, amongst other additional benefits
What do brain waves mean to you?
Our brain wave profile and our daily experience of the world are inseparable. When our brain waves are out of balance, there will be corresponding problems in our emotional or neuro-physical health. Research has identified brain wave patterns associated with all sorts of emotional and neurological conditions.
Over-arousal in certain brain areas is linked with anxiety disorders, sleep problems, nightmares, hyper-vigilance, impulsive behavior, anger/aggression, agitated depression, chronic nerve pain and spasticity. Under-arousal in certain brain areas leads to some types of depression, attention deficit, chronic pain and insomnia. A combination of under-arousal and over-arousal is seen in cases of anxiety, depression, insomnia, concussions, PTSD, memory, focus, ADHD and more.
Instabilities in brain rhythms correlate with tics, obsessive-compulsive disorder, aggressive behavior, rage, bruxism, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, migraines, narcolepsy, epilepsy, sleep apnea, vertigo, tinnitus, anorexia/bulimia, PMT, diabetes, hypoglycemia and explosive behavior.
Altering your brain waves
By rule of thumb, any process that changes your perception changes your brainwaves. Brain wave training through Neurofeedback is our method of choice. Over the long term, traditional eastern methods (such as meditation and yoga) train your brain waves into balance. Of the newer methods, brain wave entrainment is an easy, low-cost method to temporarily alter your brain wave state. If you are trying to solve a particular difficulty or fine-tune your brain wave function, state-of-the-art brain training methods like Neurofeedback deliver targeted, quick, and lasting results.
If you’re interested in taking a look inside your mind, give us a call to set up your FREE 1hr demonstration!
Amanda Bergeron, BA