Ask the Pharmaceutical Products Expert – Ajit Johal
Brain wave therapy has gained significant popularity in recent years. Although the mechanisms of how it works are still a bit of a mystery, it has been used successfully to facilitate higher level thinking.
Brain Waves 101
The human brain is composed of billions of cells called neurons which use electrical signals to communicate with one another. “Brain waves” are the sum activity of these the electrical signals which are generated by millions of brain cells. Your brain cycles in and out of various “brain wave states” very quickly throughout the day. There are four types of brain wave states; each one is classified by the type of wave that is generated. The fastest brain wave, beta, generates the most wave cycles per second. We are in the “beta” phase when we are consciously alert, tense, and afraid. The slowest brain wave, delta, generates the least wave cycles per second. We are in the “delta phase” when we are unconscious or in a deep sleep. Between the two extremes of beta and delta, lie the alpha and theta brain wave patterns. When our brain is in these wave states, that is when we are mentally relaxed and capable of more creative thinking.
The Beauty of Broadcasting in Theta
Electrophysiological studies have demonstrated that synaptic plasticity and increased hippocampal activity are dependent on theta rhythm function. Synaptic plasticity is a phenomenon where the neurons in the brain change both their shape and signals; making new connections to other neurons. By making new synaptic connections between neuronal groups is how our brain “learns” new behaviors. The hippocampus is a structure in the brain which is responsible for creating and storing long-term information. Theta brain waves allow the brain to absorb and retain information that gets stored in long-term memory.
So…….How does listening to music get me into this theta state?
By listening to theta waves your brain synchronizes with the sound. The music emits very specific frequencies which guide the brain into producing theta waves, and thus entering the theta state. These precision engineered frequencies work by playing a different sound frequency in each ear. The brain will then create its own sound, a theta rhythm, which is a combination of the two frequencies. As mentioned earlier, there has been documented evidence of theta waves improving learning and memory. However, the verdict on whether external frequencies can stimulate theta frequencies in the brain is still out. At the very least, these external brain wave frequencies allow the body and mind to relax. When the body and mind is relaxed, the distractions dissolve and allow us to easily focus on the task.
How you can use “Brain Wave therapy” at home
All you need is a pair of stereo headphones (ear buds are less effective), an Mp3 player, and brain wave audio files. There are numerous types of brain-wave tracks that can be downloaded. I prefer the Brain-sync series by Kelly Howell, but there are lots of different ones out there. Start by listening to brain wave audio fifteen minutes per day in a quiet place void of distractions. You can also listen while studying, reading, or writing, in order to enhance your creativity and learning abilities. Be sure to use a good pair of head phones, to ensure your brain is receiving the specially crafted frequencies of brain wave therapy.