06 Jul Dive into Mind-Boosting Theta Brainwaves
Brain Wave Basics
Exposed to a lot of medical science through my bachelors and postgraduate degrees, I can certainly remember studying in one way or another about wavelengths, frequencies, the brain, the body and how it all works together. But even with the many courses I attended, I do not recall studying in depth about the types of brainwaves. This lead me to research what they are; in particular, the mood-boosting theta wave. Here is what my research found.
The brain, being an electrically-impulsed organ, harbors frequencies or bands/bandwidths measured in cycles per second (Hz) by sensors (EEG/electroencephalogram). Throughout the day, your brain fluctuates frequently between states; mainly between beta (physically active state) and alpha (daydreaming/ideas).
It turns out that there are a few other types of waves that the brain reaches (5 kinds altogether); each with its own frequency and purpose. The waves are categorized as conscious mind waves and subconscious mind waves:
Conscious Waves: Beta and Gamma
Beta: The single conscious waves are the beta waves at 14-20 Hz and these are the ones you are experiencing at this very moment as you read this. They are used in our alert, wide-awake state while focusing on learning or a goal-oriented task.
Gamma: As the fastest of the brainwaves due to their high frequency, they pass information simultaneously from different parts of the brain. Though it is a rapid-acting wave at 40+ Hz, it is the most subtle making it not easy to detect. At times categorized under Beta, they are a recent discovery in neuroscience so much is not known about them. Interestingly, researchers do not know how this wave is generated, but it was noticed to be highly active when we are in states of “higher virtues”, love, high concentration, focus and peak physical and mental performance.
Subconscious Waves: Alpha, Delta, and Theta.
Alpha: an alert, but a relaxed state which leads to visualization. As a wakeful state, it harbors creativity and with 7-15Hz it is usually used in self-healing meditation techniques. It is referred to as “being in the now”.
Delta: these waves at 0-4Hz are experienced in restorative, but non-dreaming sleep. These are slow, but loud brainwaves. At this state, healing and regeneration occur. Higher levels are more commonly found in young children. Though thet are categorized as subconscious brainwaves, they are better defined as unconscious waves.
In between alpha and delta waves, the theta waves reside at 4-7Hz. Also referred to as theta rhythm or “day dreamer’s brainwave”, it is the first stage of the dreaming phase. As the “twilight sleep waves”, theta occurs mostly in REM sleep but is also found in deep meditation thus allowing for hypnosis susceptibility due to its trance-like characteristics. The theta wave harbors all kinds of memories and emotions including those forgotten or repressed so you can rewire your brain to change perceptions, habits, addiction also helps greatly with learning and intuition. Since receptivity is heightened at this state, you are able to reach into your subconscious to find answers that normally your conscious mind could not get. This state is where creativity is at it’s finest producing many “Ah-ha!” moments and ideas.
Benefits of Theta Waves:
- Outlook on life (negative to positive)
- Learning ability
- Stress and anxiety
- Bad Habits
- Emotional swings
Meditating with Theta Waves
Believed to be at the same frequency as the earth and ocean, based on the Schumman Resonances, theta waves fall in between that gentle balance of the conscious and the subconscious. This takes real skill through practice since many fall asleep while attempting to meditate at this frequency. Luckily, there are plenty of resources for practicing your meditating with the theta waves. It is recommended though to access alpha waves for about 30 mins prior to attempting to reach theta. Since theta is not easy to access, many people have to practice daily to get to that point.
Meditative music, or brainwave entrainment audio, which you can readily find on the web; (many free of charge)is the primary and fastest way to reach theta. Lots of these tracks incorporate binaural beats and/or positive affirmations that will help reach the subconscious. Many programs are also available, but always research to ensure these programs are recommended and legit.
Visualization or creative visualization is also an effective way to benefit from theta. Usually, a grounding exercise is a great way to start your visual meditation then proceeding to imagine a relaxing scene which you are a part of (i.e. enjoying a day by the ocean, walking in a beautiful place, etc).
The development of sound and floating spas have also come onto the scene and slowly increasing in popularity. Both types of spas (sometimes combined) help reach theta waves. In a floating spa, you are swimming in a pod with, at times,magnesium-rich or pure Epsom salt water which are known as natural calming minerals. As you float relaxed and suspended in a dense water solution, your body floats effortlessly as you reach a near-zero gravity effect. It’s users report feeling very relaxed afterward.
Sleep is the more common and routine way to access theta- as long as it’s restful sleep. A lot of healing takes place while asleep which leads to better focus, improved memory, and overall rejuvenation.
The Wave of the Future
Brainwaves are essential to balancing our brain activity; each working to process daily information. We surely have plenty more to learn about each one and with more and more people wanting to benefit from them I’m pretty certain this is just the beginning of the mainstream’s interest to treatments and healing through brainwave use; especially with theta.