BRAIN WAVES -What do they do?
By Diane Vanas on September 8th, 2008(viewed 2778 times).



EEG devices we can measure the brain waves as our brain produces them.  Brain waves are the electrical fluctuations in the brain associated with various states of cortical arousal (thinking, learning, relaxing, recuperating etc.). Brain waves are all oscillating electrical voltages in the brain, but they are very tiny voltages, just a few millionths of a volt. Brain waves are measured in terms of Hertz (Hz). Research has demonstrated that the brain has the quality of neural-plasticity, (able to change and learn new pathways) therefore our brain can be trained to produce certain brainwaves at certain parts of the brain thus enabling us to move from one state of cortical arousal to another depending on our goals.  Brain entrainment uses sound and rhythm to allow you to enter certain states and then move out of them once the entrainment has stopped.  Neuro-Biofeedback teaches the brain to hardwire itself into a more harmonious function.

Not all brainwaves are present at all times, for example during deep sleep Delta and Theta are the most predominate waves.  Obviously you would have insomnia if you were unable to enter into a delta or Theta brain wave. It is thought that a true genius is someone who can turn on particular brain waves at the appropriate times at the appropriate locations in the brain.


DELTA 0.5- 3 Hz

Known Functions

Neuro-biofeedback Training For:


It is thought that Delta is the first primal or core frequency that is produced in the RAS. The care frequency of Delta is then altered by various brain structures to produce all the other waves

  • Present during deep sleep
  • Large & slow waves
  • Human Growth Hormone Release
  • Beneficial for healing & Regeneration
  • High Delta Ratio whilst awake can indicate depression & exhaustion
  • Access to collective unconscious
  • Intuition, ESP
  • Detached awareness


  • Reduction of Anxiety


THETA 4 - 7 Hz

Known Functions

Neuro-biofeedback Training For:


Theta is also known as the twilight state which we normally only experience fleetingly as we rise up out of the depths of delta upon waking, or drifting off to sleep. In Theta, we are in a waking dream, vivid imagery flashes before the mind's eye and we are receptive to information beyond our normal conscious awareness. Theta has also been identified as the gateway to learning and memory.

In Theta state, brain cells are able to restore their sodium and potassium levels, which is essential for proper brain functioning. The sodium & potassium levels are involved in osmosis, which is the chemical process that transports chemicals into and out of your brain cells. After an extended period in the Beta state the ratio between potassium and sodium is out of balance. This is the main cause of what is known as "mental fatigue". A brief period in Theta (about 5 - 15min) can restore the ratio to normal resulting in mental refreshment


  • Super learning (children tend to activate Theta whilst learning)
  • Theta can activate stored painful memories
  • ADD/ADHD individual usually produce too much Theta in relation to Beta
  • feelings of silence and being one with the universe; revelation
  • moving beyond knowledge into knowing
  • Heightened receptivity
  • Reprogramming the Mind
  • Insomnia control
  • Increase in Creativity
  • Stuttering

ALPHA 8-12 Hz

Known Functions

Neuro-biofeedback Training For:


The brain waves called "Alpha" were the first to be discovered (around 1908, by an Austrian Psychiatrist named Hans Berger).

Alpha brainwaves originate in the occipital lobe and move up towards the frontal lobes.  When individual's do not produce sufficient alpha or alpha of insufficient power, then it never reaches the frontal lobes and they tend to operate in Beta which generates varying levels of anxiety and stress.

This range (between 7– 8 Hz) encompasses the resonant frequency of the earth and ionosphere, and is known to aid in migraine/headache alleviation with visualization techniques. The Alpha and theta border also helps to boost the body's immune functions. Neuro- chemical levels of norepinephrine, serotonin and Beta-endorphins are increased.


  • Peak performance
  • less anxiety and, correspondingly, stronger immune systems
  • associated with light relaxation
  • super learning/enhanced learning mode
  • positive thinking
  • mind/body integration
  • intuition
  • extra sensory perception
  • day dreaming
  • self reflection
  • bridge between conscious & unconscious
  • emotional balance & mood elevation
  • inner awareness
  • Associated with earth's magnetic field
  • Enhances serotonin release
  • Facilitates nicotine withdrawal
  • Deficient in Alcoholics
  • Excess can cause spaceness
  • expanded awareness
  • sense of peace & wellbeing


  • Relief from pain
  • Drug, Alcohol, Cigarette Addiction
  • Hypertension
  • Obtaining the state of Zen
  • Clearing of past trauma
  • Increased physical performance
  • Increased creativity


SMR 12- 15 Hz

Known Functions

Neuro-biofeedback Training For:

SMR stands for Sensory Motor Rhythm, it is this brainwave that we use for passive intellectual activities.  Ideally we should use SMR for everyday function and reserve Beta for more intense situation, However, for many Beta is the brainwave habitually used.

  • Training SMR can help ameliate Epilepsy
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Strengthen basic physiological functions
  • Strengthen the Mind and conscious Ego in a positive way
  • Calm intellectual processing



  • Anxiety Reduction
  • Fearfulness
  • lack of body awareness
  • migraines
  • stomach aches with stress
  • Aspergers
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Panic attacks
  • Premenstrual Syndrome
  • Improve math conceptualization
  • Nightmares
  • Improved spatial skills
  • Reduction of Type A personality traits


BETA 14- 37 Hz

Known Functions

Neuro-biofeedback Training For:


From an evolutionary point of view beta allows us to assess and learn new information quickly, Beta activates all systems, it main function was for survival.  However, Beta demands and uses large amounts of physical resources and when Beta goes into overdrive it eventually results in physical exhaustion.  Think of constantly running through a jungle and not knowing were the next tiger is going to spring from!


  • highly abstract, complex mental functioning
  • Strengthens basic physiological functions
  • Strengthens the Mind and Ego in a positive way
  • Excess - hypertension, anxiety, muscular tension, exhaustion
  • alertness, concentration


  • Anxiety
  • Increase sequential processing
  • Improved articulation/Language
  • Chronic Pain
  • Addictions
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Difficulty staying asleep
  • Dyslexia
  • Fatigue
  • Tension headaches
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular Menstrual Cycle
  • Improved sense of wellbeing
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Panic attacks
  • Improved maths & language skills
  • sugar cravings
  • inattentive
  • learning difficulties
  • social anxiety
  • spacey

GAMMA 38- 90 Hz

Known Functions

Neuro-biofeedback Training For:

Gamma is a 'newer' brainwave only because it is difficult to get instrumentation to accurately measure it.  It is thought the Gamma is the harmonizing frequency - for example when you are observing an object, its color, size, texture etc are all perceived and processed by different parts of the brain, it is thought that Gamma allows for unification of all the different information.

  • Harmonizing & Healing
  • High level information processing
  • Disappear with general anaesthesia

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