What are Brainwaves?
The brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons, which use electricity to communicate with each other. The combination of millions of neurons sending signals at once produces an enormous amount of electrical activity in the brain, which can be detected using sensitive medical equipment (such as an EEG), measuring electricity levels over areas of the scalp.
The combination of electrical activity of the brain is commonly called a BrainWave pattern, because of its cyclic, “wave-like” nature.
With the discovery of brainwaves came the discovery that electrical activity in the brain will change depending on what the person is doing. For instance, the brainwaves of a sleeping person are vastly different that the brainwaves of someone wide awake. Over the years, more sensitive equipment has brought us closer to figuring out exactly what brainwaves represent and with that, what they mean about a person’s health and state of mind.
You can learn a lot about a person simply by observing their brainwave patterns. For example, anxious people tend to produce an overabundance of high Beta waves while people with ADD/ADHD tend to produce an overabundance of slower Alpha/Theta brainwaves.
Researchers have found that not only are brainwaves representative of a mental state, but they can be stimulated to change a person’s mental state, and this in turn can help with a variety of mental issues.
Our brains have the plasticity to change in relation to its environment.
What is Brainwave Entrainment?
Brainwave Entrainment refers to the brain’s electrical response to rhythmic sensory stimulation, such as pulses of sound or light.
When the brain is given a stimulus, through the ears, eyes or senses, it emits an electrical charge in response, called a Cortical Evoked Response. These electrical responses travel throughout the brain to become what you “see and hear.” This activity can be measured using sensitive electrodes attached to the scalp.
Then the brain is presented with the rhythmic stimulus, such as a drum beat for example, the rhythm is reproduced in the brain in the form of these electrical impulses. If the rhythm becomes fast and consistent enough, it can start to resemble the natural internal rhythms of the brain, called brainwaves. When this happens, the brain responds by synchronizing its own electrical cycles to the same rhythm. This is commonly called the Frequency Following Response (or FFR).
What is Entrainment?
Entrainment is a principle of physics. It is defined as the synchronization of two or more rhythmic cycles. The principles of entrainment appear in chemistry, neurology, biology, pharmacology, medicine, astronomy and more.
Gamma brainwaves are the fastest documented brainwave frequency range. They have the smallest amplitude on an E.E.G. in comparison to the other four basic types of brainwave frequencies. They naturally occur when awakening and during REM sleep. According to a popular theory, gamma waves may be implicated in creating the unity of conscious perception and associated with precognition, processing high levels of information, and a greater perception of reality and consciousness.
Wide awake. This is generally the mental state most people are in during the day and most of their waking lives. Usually, this state in itself is uneventful, but don’t underestimate its importance. Many people lack sufficient Beta activity, which can cause mental or emotional disorders such as depression, ADD and insomnia. Stimulating Beta activity can improve emotional stability, energy levels, attentiveness and concentration.
Awake but relaxed and not processing much information. When you get up in the morning and just before sleep, you are naturally in this state. When you close your eyes your brain automatically starts producing more Alpha waves.
Alpha is usually the goal of experienced meditators, but to enter it using hypnosis is incredibly easy. Since Alpha is a very receptive, absorbent mental state, you can also use it for effective self-hypnosis, mental re-programming and more.
Light sleep or extreme relaxation.
Theta can also be used for hypnosis and self-programming using pre-recorded suggestions.
Deep, dreamlike sleep. Delta is the slowest band of brainwaves. When your dominant brainwave is Delta, your body is healing itself and “resetting” its internal clocks. You do not dream in this state and are completely unconscious.