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The brain is made up of billions of neurons (brain cells), communicating to each other by way of electricity. This combination of signals (neurons) sent at the same time can produce a tremendous amount of electrical movement in the brain, detected by way of EEG medical equipment. This sensitive medical equipment is capable of measuring the levels of electricity over different areas of the scalp. This combination of all electrical activity that occurs in the brain is known as brainwave pattern, due to the cyclic, or wave-like characteristics.
In addition to the discovery of the brainwaves came that of electrical activity within the brain that changes depending on the activities a person is partaking in at any given moment.
Gamma - Registering at 27 hz, Gamma is connected to language processing, formation of ideas, memory processing, as well as different types of learning. The Gamma waves can disappear during sleep which is induced by way of anesthesia, to return as the person resumes a wakeful state.
Beta - Registering between 12 hz and 27 hz when wide awake, this is commonly the mental state that most people are in during most of their waking life. This state is usually quite uneventful, but this should not diminish its importance. Many people currently lack enough beta activity, which can cause emotional or mental disorders such as ADD, depression, and insomnia. Low SMR production of between 12 hz - 15 hz can be closely related to insomnia. By stimulating the beta activity, a person can improve their energy levels, concentration, emotional stability, and attentiveness.
Alpha - Registering between 8 hz - 12 hz when awake but in a relaxed state, the brain is not processing too much information. This natural state usually occurs just before you fall asleep or the first few minutes after you get up each morning. As soon as you close your eyes, the brain automatically will start producing alpha waves. Studies that have monitored the EEG activity of very experienced people who meditate revealed very strong increases to those alpha waves. The activity of the alpha waves has been connected to less levels of pain and discomfort, reductions in anxiety and stress, as well as the ability for someone to recall memories.
Theta - Registering 3 hz - 8 hz when extremely relaxed or in a light sleep. The theta waves are a receptive mental state proven very useful for hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis by way of recorded suggestions and affirmations.
Delta - Registering 0.2 hz - 3 hz when in a very deep and dreamless sleep. These are considered the slowest of the brainwaves, registering when the brainwave is dormant and healing itself by way of resetting internal clocks. While you are completely unconscious in this state, you do not have dreams.
The brain can be stimulated into achieving target frequencies by playing tones or beats at a specific rhythm. You can achieve high focus, relaxation, deep relaxation or sleep by simply listening to the tones. This is called brainwave entrainment.
These states have very specific frequency combinations and are among the many states that brainwave entrainment can induce:
Also, there are different brainwave imbalances which result in states like anxiety, depression, insomnia, lack of motivation, lack of focus, fatigue. For example, people who suffer from anxiety have overabundance of high Beta. People who suffer from depression lack enough Beta and have overabundance of Theta. These can be easily and permanently resolved with brainwave entrainment therapy (you can find study results information in the Research area).
Read more about brainwave entrainment and How the Brain Responds to Tones