Our brain produces electrical impulses, patterns of electrical activity that generate brainwaves. This is the basic function of our brains and measures the relative alertness or fatigue a person may be experiencing. They can also be greatly influenced by our thoughts and emotions. Brainwaves are measured in Hertz (cycles per second) with an EEG machine (electroencephalograph) by placing electrodes on the scalp. There are five (5) different brainwaves we have detected so far: Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.
BRAINWAVE FREQUENCIES (Hertz = cycles per second):
- Delta (0.5-3 Hz) are the slowest brain waves and low frequency. Deeply penetrating, like a drumbeat, they are generated during deep meditation and dreamless sleep. Healing and regeneration occur when the brain is in this state of deep, restorative sleep.
- Theta (3-8 Hz) waves also occur in sleep and deep meditation. Theta is memory and intuition, reflective of an inner focus. As our senses withdraw from the external world our dreams can reveal vivid imagery occur in this state.
- Alpha (8-12 Hz) waves occur when you are having quiet, peaceful, flowing thoughtful, and during some meditation practices. As the resting state of the brain, Alpha waves are of mental alertness, calmness, mind-body connection, and learning.
- Beta (12-38 Hz) waves are the most common pattern when we are focused on cognitive learning tasks and what is happening in our outside world. in the normal waking state, they occur when one is alert and focused on problem solving.
- Gamma (38-42 Hz) waves are the fastest and are associated with higher levels of consciousness, a means of simultaneous processing of information from different brain areas. To access Gamma the mind must be incredibly quiet and deeply introspective.