It is well known that the human brain is an electrochemical organ exhibiting electrical activity emanating in very specific frequencies. Common sense tells us that everything we do, think and feel has a frequency, and these brainwaves influences our well-being.
The sleeping brain has a different dominant frequency, or amplitude, than the learning brain, the creative mind engages differently to the thinking one. Factors that influences our brainwaves include the music we listen to, light we’re exposed to. the way we breathe, the thoughts we’re thinking and the emotions we’re feeling. Subtle or hidden sounds in the background, for example, the ocean, or city noise pollution, also have an influence on our brainwave patterns. Such knowledge may help us gain greater insights into the workings of our holistic body-mind-spirit in line with the emerging trend of well-being based on a blend of science and what was once thought of as “new age”.
Understanding the vibrational nature of the universe helps us understand why doing something we love has a positive influence on our whole being, while hate, anger or resentment is destructive. The vibrations or frequencies in the brain influences our state of health – the mind, for instance, is influenced by emotions and not reason alone, and the mind influences vitality. Just think about how heavy and lethargic you feel physically when you feel down, or experience negative mental behaviour.Working in the garden, in nature, helps us be happy and healthy, but washing the dishes may feel like a chore. Playing music you like while doing chores may help improve your vibration.
A healthy balance between mind, body and spirit requires the balancing of many factors, and begins with self-awareness. The mind is not separate from the body, emotions impacts on the entire nervous system. The love we may have in our hearts will positively entrain the brain, so will resentment we may feel destroy our nervous system. Our cellular health is as much dependent on healthy food and water as it is on nurturing. The human being is not a machine without feelings, nor should we be lost in a sea of emotions. Recognise that effective learning, tasking and relationships, with oneself and others, require a balanced mind and develop a toolset to assist you. The ideal is to be connected to a bigger picture state of higher being, free from negativity, to open the heart with compassion and live with an open mind – an ideal spiritual connection with the wisdom of intuition, balanced by a rational, thinking mind.
Knowledge of the brainwave states may help enable such optimised potential. Various Being Ambient Music projects are based on brainwave research that assists therapeutic embedding of positive self-talk and states of mind beneficial to learning and therapy, including binaural beats research combined with Ambient Consciousness Music.
Research has shown though that although a brainwave state may predominate at any given time, depending on many factors, aspects of the other brain states are always present as well. With self-awareness, breathing and meditation techniques, and for instance use of specialised music, it is possible to influence and entrain brainwave patters. This means that, for instance, the meditative, insightful, calm and clear states of the alpha waves may be induced by listening to specific recordings.
There are four frequencies of beta, alpha, theta and delta, characteristic or indicative of the type of brain activity engaged.
These brainwave states are common to the human species; men, women and children of all ages experience the same characteristic brainwaves and are consistent across cultures.
Beta waves, with frequencies of low amplitude (15 to 40 cycles a second), are the fastest of the four different brainwaves. Beta waves are characteristics of a strong mental activities, i.e. when in active conversation, lecturing, debating, philosophising etc.
Alpha represents non-arousal where beta represents arousal. They are slower, and higher in amplitude (9 to 14 cycles per second). A person who sits down to rest is often in an alpha state, and so is a person in meditation and contemplation, or when taking a walk in nature.
Theta brainwaves are typically of even greater amplitude and slower frequency (5 and 8 cycles a second). The daydream state, driving on a familiar freeway, disengaging from thought and “mindless” state of mental relaxation slower than alpha often brings a flow of ideas or insights, creative or problem solving characteristic of theta waves. When tasks become so automatic that you can mentally disengage from them you generate an automatically positive state, free of boxed concepts.
Delta waves are of the greatest amplitude and slowest frequency (1.5 to 4 cycles per second). Deep dreamless sleep would take you here.
Noise, i.e. the atmosphere at a building site has a radically different ambiance to what you would experience at a candle lit dinner with romantic music. Anyone who listens objectively to different genres of music can recognize the different effects it has – it is quite obvious that the crashing cymbals and timpani of an orchestral piece or the discord of punk rock is not calm inducing, though it may give vent to anger or other strong emotions. It is also quite obvious that, considerations of taste aside, that modern rhythm and blues with it’s overt sexual words and videos arouse a more base vibration and intent than New Age music that stimulates higher states of consciousness does.
Our societies entertainment with its often dominant favouring of unbalanced materialistic ambitions, unthoughtful, crass and insensitive-to-higher purpose nurturing music clearly reflects this tendency towards mindless violence on t.v., film, computer games and in reality of course. Self-help and professional assistance using recordings of ambient music, sound therapy and affirmations can help shift into awareness of higher state to be attuned to an expanded, creative and calm frequencies. This will gradually change behaviour, forming new brain patterns, and eventually transform everyday activities.
While it is unlikely that music therapy in itself will have bring about radical life changing experiences it may make a useful contribution to other profound inner shifts and healing. The positive effect of baroque music on learning capacity is well known. Children, students and high stress executives, from professionals in the healing arts may benefit from awareness of how music (and thoughts and emotions) influences brainwaves patterns.
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