Activity in the brain is often measured by observing and recording “brainwaves” which are rhythmic or repetitive neural activity. Brainwaves can be observed using a technology called Electroencephalography (EEG) which measures electrical brainwave activity along the scalp. Brainwaves are categorized by frequency with each category having different positive and negative effects, depending on your current and desired level of arousal or alertness.
Brainwaves indicate both the level and type of arousal in a part of the brain. When a person is awake and engaging in a task, delta, theta and alpha activity should be low, revealing beta as the dominant wave. As a person relaxes, alpha quickly increases. As a person becomes deeply relaxed and especially with eyes closed, theta will become the dominant brainwave and as a person falls asleep, delta becomes the dominant brainwave with occasional short bursts of sensori-motor rhythm (SMR) in the sensori-motor strip to prevent sleep-walking.
Therefore, brainwaves are situation specific and any brainwave can be a benefit or detriment to the activity a person is trying to engage in (sleep vs thinking for example). With a hectic lifestyle, worry and less than optimal diet, relaxing brainwaves are suppressed and with tiredness, mental performance brainwaves are suppressed. It’s easy to see that if a person’s brain is making the wrong frequency for a given situation, the result will be detrimental to his/her ability to succeed at the task at hand. The resulting conflict from achieving the task easily on one occasion and struggling on another often leaves the person feeling frustrated with him/herself, manifesting itself with anxiety and eventual depression. The brain needs to flex with the various activities that one is engaging in. The brainwave frequency chart demonstrates the positive and negative attributes of each category of brainwave frequency.
The concept of entrainment is about altering brainwave activity. Quantitative EEG (QEEG) studies have confirmed the normalization of brain activity following an AVE session. Aberrant brainwave activity in various conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADD, seasonal affective disorder, chronic fatigue, etc., may be restructured into healthier patterns.
Labels: ADHD, anxiety, Brain, brainwaves, chronic fatigue, Depression, EEG, QEEG, Seasonal Affective Disorder