Alpha waves are electromagnetic oscillations in the frequency range of 8-12 Hz arising from synchronous and coherent electrical activity of thalamic (midline paired symmetrical structure within the brains of vertebrates, including humans) pacemaker cells in humans. They are also called Berger’s wave in memory of the founder of Eletroencephalography (EEG). Alpha waves are on type of brain waves detected either by EEG or Magnetoencephalography (MEG) and predominantly originate from the occipital lobe (visual processing center of mammalian brain) during wakeful relaxation with closed eyes. The Alpha is generally thought of as the normal brain wave that is dominant in people who are relaxed, creative and have a clear mind. Alpha is considered the ‘normal’ brain wave pattern and is dominant when people close their eyes. Children tend to have much higher levels of alpha waves than adults. Alpha brain waves are considered as the healthiest brain wave range and also the “safest” brain wave range to entrain-especially at 10 Hz (e.g., 10 cycles per second).
What is the History of Alpha wave?
Alpha waves were first discovered by an Austrian Psychiatrist named Hanes Berger, around 1908. Berger took a cue from eastern European physiologist Pravdich-Neminski, who used a string galvanometer to create a photograph of the electrical activity of a dog’s brain. Using similar techniques, Berger confirmed the existence of electrical activity in the human brain. Alpha wavesgained recognition in the early 1960s and 1970s with the creation of a biofeedback theory relating to the brain waves. Such biofeedback, referred to as a kind of neuro-feedback relating to alpha waves is the conscious generation of alpha brainwaves by a subject.
What are the other types of basic Brain waves?
There are 4 basic brain waves. They are as follows.
Alpha waves: In the alpha state one becomes aware of the “inner bodily sensations”. This wave is also compared to the resonant frequency of the earth’s electromagnetic field. This range between 8-12 Hz
Beta waves: The beta waves range between 13-40 Hz. This wave is associated with heightened mental activity, peak concentration and visual activity. Beta activity is “fast” activity and can often be associated with states of anxiety. Stimulating music has been found to produce beta waves, which prepares for quick response to external events.
Theta waves: This range between 4-7 Hz. Theta waves can accompany feelings of emotional stress, but they can also be a sign of deep meditation. Theta waves are furthermore produced in periods of REM dream sleep.
Delta Waves: These waves range between 0-4 Hz. Delta waves only occur during periods of deep sleep.
What are the Benefits of Alpha brain waves?
Relaxed body and mind: Boosting the alpha brain wave is a great way to enjoy the feeling of relaxation and a great way to let go of all worries and tension.
Higher levels of creativity: The alpha brain waverhythm is generally associated with above average levels of creativity. Alpha waves levels are found to be much higher in artists, musicians, and creative thinkers.
Improved ability to problem solve: Increasing alpha waveswill most likely help to improve the problem solving ability to a greater extent.
Boosted immune system: Enhancing alpha waves can lead to self-healing and prevention of illness. This is because of alpha waves ability to reduce stress and increase relaxation.
Positive thinking: There has been some research that has found that alpha waves, especially the 10 Hz frequency, are associated with the positive state of mind which gives positive mood and thoughts.
Excellent learning ability: The alpha brain waves mostly improves one’s natural ability to passively absorb large amounts of information and able to remember them with less overall effort.
What are the Healthy ways to increase the Alpha waves?
The healthy ways to increase the Alpha brain waves are meditation, yoga, deep breathing, self-hypnosis, saunas and hot tubs and watching TV.