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When the brain is working, electrical activity is happening and this electrical activity actually comes up with what is known as brain wave frequencies. Brain wave patterns are measured in cycles per second, or hertz. Brainwaves come in a variety of different categories. These categories of brainwaves range from least activity to the most activity and they include delta, theta, alpha, beta and now gamma waves are considered in meditation by some. Here is a closer look at these brain wave frequencies and how they affect the body.
Delta Brain Waves
The Delta brain wave frequencies are those that have the lowest amount of activity. Usually they show that you are >in a very deep sleep when exhibiting a high amplitude of only 1 – 4 hertz.. These waves are the slowest and have the highest amplitude. Usually these waves occur when you are deeply sleeping, although these are the dominant waves that infants experience in their first year of life. Within this range, some frequencies are being shown to actually help trigger growth and healing by the body. Although these brainwaves often indicate stage 3 or 4 of sleep, they can occur when you are hyper relaxed or meditating deeply.
Theta Brain Waves
Next you have the Theta brain wave frequencies generally at 6-10 cycles per second, which is not quite as slow as the Delta waves. Usually these brainwaves indicate that you are daydreaming, feeling sleepy, or that you are in the first stages of sleep. Unless adults are meditating, usually they are not in this realm while awake. However, children often show this state under the age of 13. When the body gets into this state, the heart rate and breathing are reduced.
Alpha Brain Waves
The Alpha brainwaves are those that are not quite as fast as the Beta waves, but they are still aster than the Theta and Delta waves. Alpha waves are in the frequency range of 8-12 Hz. Usually these brainwaves show that your mind is relaxed although still aware. When you relax and close your eyes these brainwaves are increased. These brainwaves work to move you towards imagination, thinking that is intuitive, and deep relaxation. They can help you to meditate, relax, and recovery from stress or emotional distress.
Beta Brain Waves
Beta brain wave frequencies occur when the mind is focused and alert. Beta wave oscillate at the frequency range of brain activity from twelve to thirty cycles per second. This is the fast activity of the brain that dominates the brain when you are awake. Usually the frontal lobes of the brain is where these brainwaves are detected and they are seen on both sides of the brain as well. These types of brainwaves are seen when you are teaching, solving problems, assessing situations, having conversations, or doing other processing activities.
Gamma Brain Waves
Brain wave research and many neuro-scientist thoughts do not agree as of yet or have a consensus opinion on gamma brainwaves and there exact measurement. A correlation between these gamma rays which can vary between 40 to 10 hertz and transcendental mental states is claimed by Tibetan Monks for example. Even though this meditative effect is not clear, its role of intense focus while being weak and transient in normal brain activity is agreed on. The details of the mechanisms are beyond the scope of this article.
Meditation Brain Waves
Deep Meditation will exhibit brainwaves through different states with the most common being alpha. However there is increased activity in Gamma with extreme benefits showing in the left prefrontal cortex of the brain. What some refer as a persons Third Eye is – awakened-through meditation in the Theta state. This deep state of relaxation can sometimes be experienced by people undergoing a repetitive yet simple activity as painting or even cutting the lawn. Deep sleep again will allow everyone to experience delta brainwave frequency but there are professionals in the neurosciences who can access your level of unconscious through this state if induced by a brain wave generator in therapy.
Now that you understand a bit more about the various types of brain waves frequency that occur within the brain, you also need to realize that your brain doesn’t just show only one range at once. You brain has all of these frequencies going at one time, but usually one is dominating at the time. Depending on the engagement of your mind, the brainwaves that dominate can vary. Delta brainwaves dominate during deep sleep, while it is the Beta brainwaves that are dominating when your brain is highly engaged.
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