Alpha wave

From ArticleWorld

The human brain is an electrochemical organ which gives off electrical activity in the form of brain waves. The alpha wave measures from 9 to 14 waves per second, or Hertz, and as such is the second strongest of the four types. It was designated alpha as it was the first wave to be recorded. It originates from the occipital lobe which is found in the rear of the brain and is the smallest of the four lobes. It is the visual processing centre and emits alpha waves during periods of relaxation when the eyes are closed but not asleep.

Hans Berger, a German physiologist, was the first to measure brain electrical activity in man in 1924. He was the first to describe the different waves present in the normal and abnormal brain and the first to discover the alpha wave.

Four frequencies

The strongest brain wave is the Beta wave which emits frequencies from 15 to 40 Hz and is associated with an active, busy mind. The second is the alpha at 9 to 14 HZ present when person is relaxed but not asleep. The third is the Theta wave emitting waves of 4 to 8 HZ and occurs during a state of daydreaming and the fourth is the Delta wave of up to 4HZ, associated with deep dreamless sleep.

Alpha biofeedback

A process called Alpha Biofeedback was very popular in the 70’s then declined in popularity due to unprofessional practices, only to enjoy a resurgence today. Due to our modern lifestyles, we often jump from delta situations of deep sleep to beta situations of busy activity without leaving time for our bodies to produce the alpha wave of relaxation and the theta of daydreaming. This results in stress and anxiety with negative consequences for our immune systems.

It was found that if people were given immediate feedback when alpha waves were produced, they could go on to produce more alpha waves, leading to a state of relaxation. In other words, people could be taught to consciously produce beneficial alpha waves.