Different Brainwaves & Meditation

Our brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons, which use impulses to communicate with each other. The combination of billions of neurons, all sending signals at once, produces an enormous amount of activity in the brain, which is commonly called a Brainwave Pattern.

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Oct 01, 2014
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Our brain regulates its activities by emitting tiny electrochemical impulses of varied frequencies. These frequencies can be measured by a clinical device called Electroencephalogram or EEG.

The EEG is typically described in terms of (1) rhythmic activity and (2) transients.

The rhythmic activity is divided into bands by frequency. To some degree, these frequency bands are a matter of nomenclature (i.e., any rhythmic activity between 6–12 Hz can be described as “alpha”), but these designations arose, because rhythmic activity within a certain frequency range was noted to have a certain distribution over the scalp or a certain biological significance. Most of the cerebral signal observed in the scalp EEG falls in the range of 1– 20 Hz.

There are five main brainwaves called, beta, alpha, theta, delta and gamma.

·Beta waves have low amplitude, but are the fastest of the four main brain waves. We emit beta waves when the brain is aroused and engaged in mental activities. For example, when we are in conversation with another person, we would be in a beta state. If we were teaching, speaking, or are engaged with our work, these would all be beta states. Typically beta waves will range in frequency from 13 to 30 cycles a second.

·Alpha waves are next in order of frequency. They are much slower than the beta waves and have higher amplitude. Alpha waves represent non-arousal and calmness. When someone takes time out to rest or relax, they are typically in an alpha state. It is when we calm our mind and feel peaceful. Alpha waves can range in frequency from 8 to 13 cycles a second.

·Theta waves are even slower than alpha waves and have higher amplitude. Theta waves can be difficult to accomplish, because they require a complete break from our conscious reality. Most of us have experienced times when we simply blank out from the world, where we are daydreaming or perhaps driving and suddenly realize we can’t remember the last ten minutes of the drive. Theta waves are often induced by things of a repetitious nature, for example when our actions become so automatic that our mind disengages. The frequency range of theta waves is typically between 4 and 7 cycles per second.

·Delta waves occur when we are in deep dreamless sleep. Our brain frequency in this state is very slow and of the greatest amplitude. The frequency range is usually somewhere between 1.5 to 4 cycles per second, which it is about as slow as one can get without causing damage to our brains.

·Gamma waves are often not distinguished as a unique class of brain wave by some researchers. It’s worth noting that until recently, gamma waves were not researched to the same extent as the other four brain waves. Today they have gained more popularity and are known to be associated with perception and consciousness. Gamma waves can be between 30 and 100 Hz per second but most often correspond to frequencies of 40 Hz or higher. It has been shown that gamma waves are typically present during the process of awakening, as well as during active rapid eye movement in (REM) sleep, as well as in a state of deep meditation.

Scientific research demonstrates that long-term meditation practice, not only enables us to evolve within and experience different states of consciousness, but also has a positive, and lasting, impact on our health and wellbeing.

Long-term meditation is the tool to continuously evolve our own brain and to develop more compassion and relatedness towards ourselves, as well as to others.

Scientists have identified three types of meditation practice.

Deep Relaxation Techniques: These take us into the alpha state in which we enhance our learning abilities, store data and gain mental clarity and a sense of calm.

Object Meditation/Focused Attention Meditation: This is the focus on the breath, a mantra or an image. During object meditation changes in the networks of the brain were seen that are known to improve attention. Object meditation takes us into the theta state which impacts on our self-healing properties and draws us into a deeper state of meditation.

Objectless Meditation/Open Monitor Meditation: This mediation type doesn’t focus on a specific object, but rather cultivates a state of being. This advanced state of meditation produces sustained high frequency gamma activity in the left cortex of the frontal lobe, which ultimately leads to permanent changes of brain function in long- term meditators.

Alexander Filmer-Lorch

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Go to the profile of Alexander Filmer-Lorch

Alexander Filmer-Lorch

Author Lecturer Therapist, Inside Meditation

Alexander Filmer-Lorch guides and facilitates both teachers and students at an international level. His work is a synthesis of 30 years of experience in movement, yogic disciplines & meditation, applied philosophy & eastern psychology, bringing the body, mind and spirit to a natural state of meditative synthesis. He has established an international reputation for innovation in developing yoga, meditation and movement-based teaching inspired by the latest scientific research on the body and self-development, meeting the requirements of our times. Alexander began his career at age 17 as a state-approved professional dancer at the John Cranko Ballet Academy in Stuttgart, from where he went on to dance with the German Opera House in Düsseldorf and Düsburg. He reached a turning point in his life after a back injury, when his quest to understand the moving body took him on extensive travels to India and Europe to study yoga, Eastern psychology and philosophy and the Fourth Way teachings. Alexander learnt the teachings of yogic disciplines and meditation in the traditional one-to-one practice of teacher and student, throughout more than a decade of his life. His areas of expertise include creating Yoga/Meditation/Movement teacher training modules and curriculums, developing performance of individuals and teams in a teaching environment and facilitating graduates and entrepreneurs to establish a successful yoga/meditation teaching career and business. In 2012, Alexander published his first book ‘Inside Meditation: In Search of the Unchanging Nature Within’ which is a comprehensive exploration and contemporary analysis of the process, practice and science of meditation. As an advisor to the board of Directors of the Yoga Alliance UK, Alexander drafted and helped finalise the meditation standards recently established by the Yoga Alliance UK, who’s main objective is to honour, sustain and maintain the timeless nature and endless value of the ancient teachings throughout, despite the contemporary demands of this new millennium. Alexander is Founder and Director of ‘Inside Meditation’ a modern school of neutral thought based in London, offering regular workshops, CPD’s and one to one sessions. His school also offers a comprehensive Yoga Alliance UK accredited 200-hour Meditation Teacher Training. Today, Alexander works as a qualified Senior Yoga / Meditation / Movement Teacher, an advanced CranioSacral and SomatoEmotional Release® therapist, a published author, as well as a lecturer in Eastern philosophy and psychology. His main focus is to inspire people to practise meditation and work on consciousness and experience its positive impact on their lives.

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