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Alpha Waves


The Alpha-Stim® has been shown in clinical studies to increase the brain's production of serotonin, betaAlpha Waves endorphins, and alpha wave activity.  Alpha waves are the brain waves one feels when they are alert yet relaxed. Decreased alpha wave activity is shown in a variety of psychological disorders.  The brain produces five main types of brain waves as shown below:

The five generally accepted brain wave groups:
 

1.  Delta Waves: 0 - 4 Hz  Delta waves are the slowest range of brain waves. They are seen in in deep sleep typically during stage 3 and stage 4 sleep. 

 

2.  Theta Waves:  4 - 8 Hz The sleepy brain waves.  We see these brain waves when we are falling asleep or just waking up and during the early stages of sleep..

 

3.  Alpha Waves:  8 - 12 Hz.  Alpha waves are seen when we are both alert and relaxed.  These waves decrease with concentrated or busy activity.

 

4.  Beta Waves:  12 - 26 Hz.  Beta waves are associated with high stress, high concentration, busy or anxious thinking.
 

5.  Gamma Waves:  26 - 80 Hz.  These waves are thought to be associated with higher level thinking, problem solving, and consciousness.

 

Your brain can produce a variety of these types of wave forms at any given time.  By analyzing brain waves of some people with psychological disorders, there can be obvious flaws.  Some have irregular brain wave patterns while others are dominant in certain frequencies or deficient in others.  High beta wave/low alpha wave activity has been shown in people with depression, stress, anxiety, epilepsy, and even schizophrenia.  Conversely, children with ADHD typically have slower brain waves than most (delta and theta brain wave activity) and decreased power in the alpha bands.  For this reason many are prescribed stimulants in order to speed up their brain wave activity.


Increased alpha wave activity, while not a cure-all,  has shown to help with a variety of mental health issues.  Increasing your alpha waves can also be a means of just managing stress.  Zen Buddhists, biofeedback therapists, and even NASA scientists have all sought ways to increase beneficial alpha wave activity over the years.  As psychotherapy research progresses, alpha wave enhancement may become an important tool in fighting mental illness.


References

1.  Terelak J.  Alpha index and personality traits of pilots. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1976 Feb;47(2):133-6.

2.  Barry RJ, Clarke AR, McCarthy R, Selikowitz M. EEG Coherence Development in Normal and ADHD Children Clinical EEG & Neuroscience Journal (Presented at Annual Meeting 2004).

3.  Becker K, Holtmann M. Role of electroencephalography in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Expert Rev Neurother. 2006 May;6(5):731-9.

4.  Diego MA, Field T, Hernandez-Reif M. CES-D depression scores are correlated with frontal EEG alpha asymmetry. Depression and Anxiety. 2001;13(1):32-7

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