At the elementary level, all our thoughts, emotions and behaviors is the communication between the neurons within our brain. Brainwaves are produced by synchronised electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other.
Brainwaves are detected using sensors placed on the forehead. They are divided into bandwidths to describe their functions, but are best thought of as a continuous spectrum of consciousness; from slow, loud and functional - to fast, subtle, and complex.
Brainwaves as much like musical notes, - the low frequency waves are like a deeply penetrating drum beat, while the higher frequency brainwaves are more like a subtle high pitched flute.
Our brainwaves change according to what we’re doing and feeling. When slower brainwaves are dominant we can feel tired, slow, sluggish, or dreamy. The higher frequencies are dominant when we feel wired, or hyper-alert.
Whenever you sense something, neurons in your brains get fired up, resulting in formation of tiny electrical signals. These signals define how your brain reacts to any situation and are called Brainwaves. Brainwave speed is measured in Hertz (cycles per second) and they are divided into bands delineating slow, moderate, and fast waves.
There are 5 types of Brain Waves:
- Delta Waves ( 0.5 to 3HZ) - Delta brainwaves are slow, loud brainwaves (low frequency and deeply penetrating, like a drum beat). They are generated in deepest meditation and dreamless sleep. Delta waves suspend external awareness and are the source of empathy. Healing and regeneration are stimulated in this state, and that is why deep restorative sleep is so essential to the healing process.
- Theta Waves (3 - 8 Hz) - Theta brainwaves occur most often in sleep but are also dominant in deep meditation. Theta is our gateway to learning, memory, and intuition. In theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within. It is that twilight state which we normally only experience fleetingly as we wake or drift off to sleep. In theta we are in a dream; vivid imagery, intuition and information beyond our normal conscious awareness. It’s where we hold our ‘stuff’, our fears, troubled history, and nightmares.
- Alpha (8-12 Hz) - Alpha brainwaves are dominant during quietly flowing thoughts, and in some meditative states. Alpha is ‘the power of now’, being here, in the present. Alpha is the resting state for the brain. Alpha waves aid overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration and learning
- Beta (12-38 Hz) - Beta brainwaves dominate our normal waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world. Beta is a ‘fast’ activity, present when we are alert, attentive, engaged in problem solving, judgment, decision making, or focused mental activity. Beta Waves are further divided into three bands:
- Lo Beta
- High Beta
- Gamma Waves (38 to 42Hz) - Gamma brainwaves are the fastest of brain waves (high frequency, like a flute), and relate to simultaneous processing of information from different brain areas. Gamma brainwaves pass information rapidly and quietly. The most subtle of the brainwave frequencies, the mind has to be quiet to access gamma.
When our brainwaves are out of balance, there will be corresponding problems in our emotional or neuro-physical health. Research has identified brainwave patterns associated with all sorts of emotional and neurological conditions.
Affect Lab brainwave headsets are used to monitor the voltage generated by the brain from the surface. Affect Lab converts this raw data into actionable business metrics that enables you to create, improve, and optimize customer experiences.