When one gains knowledge about the scientific facts behind brain wave function, they gain a doorway into “the zone” of optimal focus and performance. There is good reason that corporations of all kinds now include meditation techniques into their training sessions more frequently. This is not just a recreational activity. It has proven itself as effective and is based in scientific fact. Using meditation techniques with sound and music shift brain wave frequencies.
Meditations with Sound and Shifts in Brain Wave Activity
Meditation is closely tied to intuition as it is a way of training your brain to perceive without reasoning. Sound is intricately linked to inducing meditative states and transforming brain waves. Simply paying attention to the rhythm of your own breath, the sound of a Tibetan singing bowl, a drumbeat, or chanting mantras can be effective vehicles to change your state of brain waves.
Alpha waves, for example, have been studied and proven to be directly associated with learning and analyzing complex things effortlessly, and optimum performance in athletic competition. Meditation is among the best techniques to induce alpha waves in the brain. Sound is one of the most effective mediums for bringing about a focused and meditative state.
When we learn to adjust our behaviors and environment to accommodate the increase or decrease of certain kinds of brain waves, we will assist our brains in producing the chemicals needed to feel motivated and focused for optimal achievement in our personal and work lives.
How are Brain Waves Perceived?
The brain is composed of an enormous number of cells called neurons. They produce electrical activity within the brain as billions of them send messages among themselves, often at the same time. This can be scientifically measured by using electro- encephalography (EEG) which uses flat metal discs (electrodes) that measure various levels of electricity over different areas of the scalp. This results in a readout that shows the recording of various wavy lines. These lines appear in a graph form and indicate brainwave patterns. While your EEG will display all 5 types of brain waves at the same time, one particular brain wave will be dominant depending on the state of consciousness that you are in at any given time.
Brain Waves: An Overview
There are 5 types of brain waves: gamma, beta, alpha, theta, and delta. Each brain wave has it’s own role and purpose in contributing to overall levels of brain function. A high functioning brain is a flexible one. It’s waves and it’s frequency patterns are well balanced in the sense that one wave gives way to another in a flexible kind of agreement appropriate to the circumstance. If one type of wave isn’t produced too much or not enough, we often have problems such as lack of concentration and focus, poor sleep, and high levels of stress.
Gamma waves possess the highest frequency of all the brain waves. They often arise during mental and physical peak performances. Too much of these ways create stress and too little create things like depression and learning disabilities. Increased frequency of these waves occurs during meditative states and during periods of high concentration. They are responsible for synchronizing the activity of senses, cognition, perception, REM sleep, and learning. Their frequency range is 40 to 100 hertz (Hz, unit of frequency).
During waking moments and periods of conscious and critical thinking, beta waves are in abundance. They have a stimulating affect on our activities such as reading, writing, and socializing, and allow us to complete tasks easily. Our thinking is clear and alert when they are present. Too many beta waves may result in anxiety, while too few can result in an unfocused and dreaming kind of nature. Their frequency range is about 12 to 40 Hz.
Alpha Waves often come when one is in a state of creative visualization. They promote deep relaxation. Alpha waves often arise as we try to connect our conscious and subconscious states of mind, a kind of bridge function from higher (task oriented) to lower frequencies (meditative states) of brain activity. Too little of them can create insomnia. Too many creates an inability to focus. Their frequency range is typically about 8 to 12 Hz.
Theta waves are deeply tied to one’s deeper emotional state. They are also seen during REM sleep and during episodes of heightened creative visualization. Theta waves require alpha waves to help the brain retain the content produced during high theta wave periods. When a less than necessary amount of theta waves are produced, an overly passive and depressed personality may result. Theta waves are specifically tied to intuitive states. It’s frequency range is 4 to 8 Hz.
The slowest of all the brain waves are in Delta form. They are associated with the deepest levels of relaxation and the deep sleep states required for healing. They also help regulate natural body functions such as the rhythm of the heart beat. Those lacking in sufficient delta waves at the right times feel worn down and unable to process learning activities. They have been seen to study in people during intuitive times of having hunches or getting feelings about people in their environment. Their frequency range is 0 to 4 Hz.
Techniques in Changing Your Brain Wave Frequency
Brainwave entrainment are methods that guide brainwave frequencies into a certain frequency. As the brain changes its dominant EEG frequency in parallel to an external stimulus such as music or sound, there will be a shift in consciousness as both conscious and subconscious (intuitive) brain functioning is greatly improved. Our next article will explore various ways to use sound and work with your own brain waves toreduce stress, improve workplace performance, and enhance creativity and intuition.