Brainwaves and Beyond
The brain is a fascinating, complex organ which controls every aspect of our daily life. It is responsible for every thought and action, from the deepest philosophical musing, to remembering a grocery list, or maybe learning a new skill, down to coordinating the motor skills necessary to brush your teeth.
Scientists are discovering new and fascinating information about how the brain works every day. The brain communicates using electronic signals transferred using neurons, also called brain waves. Brain waves can be measured using a technology called Electroencephalography (EEG), which picks up the electric signals from the brain using sensors in the form of metal electrodes placed on different locations on the head. Brain waves can be divided into different speeds (fast, medium or slow) and correspond to different types of thought patterns. They are often compared to musical notes, since each type of brain wave has its own “sound” which is distinct from others. When the brain is working well, it is like a symphony in harmony, with the different brain waves occurring in predictable patterns and using fluid jumps between mental states. However, in certain individuals, the brain wave patterns can be irregular and one type of brain wave can dominate too frequently or at the wrong time.
Beta - Beta waves are fast brain waves which occur during active thinking activities, such as problem solving, focusing on tasks, and when we are alert and engaged with our environment. They are further broken down into the following three categories:
Hi-Beta (20.5-28 Hz) - Hi-Beta waves are seen during highly complex, rapid thought including states of excitement and high anxiety.
Beta (16.5-20 Hz) - Beta waves are the intense, focused brain activity when we are working on solving a problem or actively engaging with our environment.
Lo-Beta (12-16 Hz) - Also known as sensorimotor rhythm (or SMR), the Lo-Beta waves have been shown to be very beneficial in reducing anxiety, increasing focus and overall wellbeing and health.
Alpha (8-12 Hz) - Alpha waves are slower and higher in amplitude than Beta waves and represent a calm, relaxed state. It is the resting state of the brain and occurs during some meditative and mindful activities. Most people can increase their Alpha waves by closing their eyes and taking a few deep breaths.
Theta (4-7 Hz) - Theta waves are very slow, and relate to dreamy, free-flowing, detached unconscious thought, which occurs while doing automatic tasks and sometimes in deep meditative states. It often occurs during dreaming sleep.
Delta (1 - 3 Hz) - Delta waves are low brain waves which occur during dreamless sleep and in deepest meditative states.
The average person experiences all of these types of brain waves at different times over the course of a day. For instance, when solving a difficult crossword, their Beta waves would be most active, while sitting during a relaxing coffee break they may have more Alpha waves, and in bed thinking over the events of the day right before drifting off to sleep their Theta waves would be dominant.
There are many methods of changing our states of consciousness, which in turn impacts our brain waves. For instance, meditation has been used since ancient times to change thought patterns in various cultures around the world. Neurofeedback is a technique which uses modern technology and scientific knowledge to control and train brain waves.
Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback, is a non-drug treatment, and belongs to a group of therapies called biofeedback. Biofeedback works on the principle that if a person can see his or her bodily functions in real time, they can learn to control them. The goal of neurofeedback is to train the brain to regulate itself, and to help the person training to understand when their brain is in the desired state. Eventually, the patient can control these processes without being monitored. The feedback is given based on sensors which are placed on the head using Electroencephalography (EEG) readings of brain wave activity in the form of games or videos. For instance, someone with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) may not be aware of when their brain is in a focused state or recognize when their mind is wandering. During the neurofeedback training, they can see exactly when their mind is wandering in real time and learn how to return their focus to the activity at hand.
Neurofeedback is a form of therapy, not a medication, and therefore is non-invasive and has little to no negative side effects. The electrodes simply monitor brain waves using EEG, and the client receives feedback instantly based on the EEG readings. Like every form of exercise, neurofeedback requires regular training. Most studies have found that patients start seeing improvements after 5-10 sessions, and a full course of treatment is usually between 30 and 40 sessions. Studies have shown that after completing a complete neurofeedback program, patients experienced improvements which lasted years.
If you have a child with ADD, ADHD, any of the spectrum conditions, behavioural issues, maybe they are a fussy eater or they battle with anxiety, or, you just want to educate yourself on more techniques and strategies to raise a happier and healthier Monkee, head over to the Mindful Monkeez Australia closed FB group and ask to join, I'll approve you and then you can join in the conversation.
HERE'S THE LINK TO THE GROUP - https://www.facebook.com/groups/MindfulMonkeez/
If you want to find out a little more about the program click the link below to learn more.
HERE'S THE LINK TO MORE INFO - https://mailchi.mp/f8fb2722493c/v3r0fg0n2e
As a special bonus for the release, I'm offering a FREE 30 MINUTE EXPLORATION APPOINTMENT. In this appointment you can come play with the neurofeedback technology yourself and chat about your Monkee and see how we can help.
Mindful Monkeez - Helping you to raise happier, healthier Monkeez