Brain Wave States
Frequencies/rhythms of brainwaves when dominant in the brain correlate with a specific state of consciousness. These are designated in 4 groupings for simplicity, although each grouping includes a range of frequencies.
Studies have shown that vibrations from rhythmic sounds have a profound effect on brain activity. In Shamanic traditions, drums are used in periodic rhythm to transport the shaman into other realms of reality. The vibrations from this constant rhythm affects the brain in a very specific manner, allowing the shaman to achieve an altered state of mind and journey out of the body. A shaman and drummer can focus a group in this way for a collective experience, sometimes using a mind expanding substance to enhance or direct the process.
Brain pattern studies conducted into the Shamanic State of Consciousness found that the steady rhythmic beat of the drum struck four and one half times per second was the key to transporting a shaman into the deepest part of his trancelike state. It is no coincidence that 4.5 beats or cycles per second corresponds to the Theta brain wave activity. In direct correlation, we see similar effects brought on by the constant rhythmic drone of Tibetan Buddhist chants, which transport the monks and even other listeners into blissful meditation.
The gentle pulsating rhythms (binaural beat) of light and sound tools and brain synchronization tapes act in a similar fashion, yet because the frequencies are electronically generated, they are precise, consistent and can be targeted to induce highly specific and desired brain states. Much like tuning a radio, brain synchronizations tapes can induce a variety of brain states. Effecting alertness, concentration, focus, and cognition relaxation, visualization and creativity, intuition, memory, meditation, vivid visual imagery, deep sleep, detached awareness. Research is ongoing into this field.
- Beta waves range between 13-40 HZ. The beta state is associated with peak concentration, heightened alertness and visual acuity. Nobel Prize winner, Sir Francis Crick and other scientists believe that the 40HZ beta frequency in combination with light and sound may be a key to the act of cognition.
- Alpha waves range between 7-12 HZ. This is a place of deep relaxation, but not quite meditation. In Alpha, we begin to access the wealth of creativity that lies just below our conscious awareness. It is a gateway, the entry point that leads into deeper states of consciousness. Alpha is also the home of the window frequency known as the Schuman Resonance, which is the resonant frequency of the Earth's electromagnetic field.
- Theta waves range between 4-7 HZ. Theta is one of the more elusive and extraordinary realms we can explore. It is also known as the twilight state which we normally only experience fleetingly as we rise up out of the depths of delta upon waking, or drifting off to sleep. In Theta we are in a waking dream, vivid imagery flashes before the mind's eye and we are receptive to information beyond our normal conscious awareness. During the Theta state many find they are capable of comprehending advanced concepts and relationships that become incomprehensible when returning to Alpha or Beta states. Theta has also been identified as the gateway to learning and memory. Theta meditation increases creativity, enhances learning, reduces stress and awakens intuition and other extrasensory perception skills. When the brain is in Theta it appears to balance sodium/potassium ratios which are responsible for the transport of chemicals through brain cell membranes. This appears to play a role in rejuvenating the fatigued brain.
- Delta waves range between 0-4 HZ Delta is associated with deep sleep. In addition, certain frequencies in the delta range trigger the release of growth hormones beneficial for healing and regeneration. This is why sleep, deep restorative sleep, is so essential to the healing process.
Many devices on the market have been used to assist personal control of brain wave activity for health. Early biofeedback machines developed in the 1950's, through the 1970's with electrode sensors placed either around the head like a head band or the index finger, then connected to a meter which reflected the frequency of rhythms in the brain. As this converted the energy expressed into a visual representation, the individual could work to modify activity and reduce frequencies to attain a restful and healing state by monitoring the fluctuations of the dial.
This is a process of seeing what the person is feeling during different types of mental occupation. During entrainment, the subject becomes more aware of the kinds of thoughts and activities which bring about stressful conditions in the body. By practicing with biofeedback equipment, one can train the brain to become more attuned to healthier states of mind. A variety of aids such as relaxing music and soft lighting have a beneficial effect in calming and balancing brain activity, which in turn regulates bio-chemicals released throughout the body. Beneficial chemical processes translate to the healthy regeneration of cells.
Encephalograms are maps of the brain and are used to record brainwave activity while the subject is at rest or involved in specific tasks. These machines are frequently used to detect malfunctions or pathologies. However, there is an increasing interest in brain activity generated during altered states of consciousness including meditation.
This research shows which parts of the brain are active and what frequency levels or state the mind is in. Research in this field has determined changes in location and frequencies or rhythms in the brain functions during heightened awareness.
Any activity which involves intuition, clairvoyance, telepathy, dowsing or hands on healing shows a broad band of interaction between mind states which does not occur during normal tasks. Also, certain areas of the brain which become active during these extended perception occupations become highlighted as activity is focused on specific tasks. The areas which seem to be most activated are not usually dominant, while areas of the brain used in regular living processes show reduced activity during these tests.
From Metempyrion archives.