In this article we will talk about the characteristics of the brainwaves normally produced by the brain, and of their associated states of consciousness and effects they cause in our lives. It is important that you read our previous article that explains what brainwaves and binaural beats are in order to make the most of the following information and beats. We will provide a binaural beat for each range of frequencies.
The normal range of brainwave frequency activity in the cortex neurons has traditionally been from 0.5 Hz Delta to 40.0 Hz Beta. We will explain these core frequencies further and learn about some frequencies outside of this range that correspond to some more rare and unusual states of consciousness.
Beta waves – 12 to 40 Hz
Beta brainwaves dominate our normal waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world. Beta is a ‘fast’ activity, present when we are alert, attentive, engaged in problem solving, judgment, decision making, and engaged in focused mental activity. These are the most common and prevalent in the brain. If you are alert and wide awake, you are in Beta now.
Beta brainwaves are further divided into three bands:
Low Beta (12-15 Hz) also known as Sensory Motor Rhythm (SMR) – vigilance, reduced mobility, shallow breathing, less blinking, fixed attention and eye focus, enhancing through neuro-feedback reduces epileptic symptoms and has a calming effect (ADHD sufferers). Can be thought of as a fast idle, or musing. Click here to listen to a 13 Hz beat session.
Beta (15-22 Hz) as high engagement and alert behaviour. Useful in depression cases. 17 Hz session.
High Beta (22-40 Hz) Wide awake, alert, focused, analyses and assimilates new information rapidly, complex mental processing, peak physical and mental performance, cannot be sustained indefinitely otherwise exhaustion, anxiety, and tension result. 25 Hz session.
Alpha waves – 7.5 to 12 Hz
Alpha brainwaves are present during quietly flowing thoughts, relaxation or light meditation. Alpha is ‘the power of now’, being here, in the present. Alpha is the resting state for the brain. Alpha waves aid overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration and learning. Deep breathing and closed eyes can amplify alpha wave production. Peaks around 10Hz.
It is the gateway to your subconscious mind and lies at the base of your conscious awareness. The voice of Alpha is your intuition, which becomes clearer and more profound the closer you get to 7.5Hz.
Having a healthy amount of alpha brain waves is very important! There needs to be a balance between beta and alpha brain waves, otherwise, the individual will encounter different mental and physical problems.
By inducing an alpha brainwaves state of mind, one feels more relaxed and the emotional well-being is supported. Also, the heart rate slows down, which is healthy for the heart and the body is able to “recover” itself more easily than in a stressed-out beta state.
Theta waves – 4 to 7.5 Hz
Theta brainwaves occur most often in sleep but are also dominant in the deep meditation. It acts as our gateway to learning and memory. In theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within. It is that twilight state which we normally only experience fleetingly as we wake or drift off to sleep. In theta we are in a dream; vivid imagery, intuition and information beyond our normal conscious awareness. It’s where we hold our ‘stuff’, our fears, troubled history, and nightmares.
Theta waves do not normally occur in a waking state. Musicians, painters and other people who do a creative work tend to have more theta waves and produce even more theta brain waves when they are, for example, playing on the piano or painting.
It is said that a sense of deep spiritual connection and unity with the universe can be experienced at Theta. Your mind’s most deep-seated programs are at Theta and it is where you experience vivid visualizations, great inspiration, profound creativity and exceptional insight. Unlike your other brain waves, the elusive voice of Theta is a silent voice.
Theta brainwaves are also divided into bands:
Alpha-Theta (7.83 Hz) Schumann frequency. Stimulates retrieval of memories from the subconscious. This is the natural vibrational frequency of the ionosphere in the earth’s atmosphere. Schumann resonance session.
Frontal Midline Theta (6.2 – 6.7 Hz) Cognitive activity, sustained attention, low anxiety. 6.5 Hz session.
Low Theta (4.5 Hz) Associated with many altered consciousness states. Shamanic trances, Tibetan mantras and Buddhist chants use this frequency to access trance states. 4.5 Hz session (I love this one)
Delta waves – 0.5 to 4 Hz
Delta brainwaves are the slowest but loudest brainwaves (low frequency and deeply penetrating, like a drum beat). They are generated in deepest meditation and dreamless sleep, and never occur in a waking state. Delta waves suspend external awareness and are the source of empathy. Healing and regeneration are stimulated in this state, and that is why deep restorative sleep is so essential to the healing process.
Meditative states associated with the increased presence of delta waves seem to occur mostly in very experienced practitioners, possibly because entering a delta state and maintaining consciousness at the same time is tremendously difficult.
Delta is the realm of your unconscious mind, and the gateway to the universal mind and the collective unconscious, where information received is otherwise unavailable at the conscious level.
These waves are associated with deep sleep, human growth hormone release, low blood pressure, low respiration, low body temperature, and no muscle movement.
Epsilon Waves (<0.5 Hz)
Studies at the Center for Neuroacoustic Research have shown clear and repeated evidence, in patients, of brainwave frequency patterns below the traditionally accepted lowest Delta rhythms of 0.5 Hz. Indications of ultra-slow frequencies are evident on the EEG (Electroencephalography) traces of certain patients experiencing extraordinary states of consciousness. These states seem to be associated with very high states of meditation, ecstatic states of consciousness, high-level inspiration states, spiritual insight and out-of-body experiences. Some of the higher Yogic states of suspended animation associated with deepest Delta brain states actually continue deeper into these below-Delta brainwave states, which we are calling the Epsilon State (Epsilon, since it is the next Greek letter of the alphabet after Delta). Epsilon session.
Gamma Waves (40-90 Hz)
There have also been reports in the EEG literature from other researchers, that there is evidence of extraordinary states of consciousness associated with higher-than-Beta brainwave activity. These brainwave patterns go from 40 Hz and above – in some cases, as high as 100 Hz or more. The 40 Hz higher-than-Beta activity is now an accepted brainwave state in EEG nomenclature being referred to as “Gamma” brainwaves. These frequencies are associated with higher levels of brain organization “binding” information from all the senses together for a higher-level awareness of unity of the objects of our perception. Gamma rhythms also seem to be associated exclusively with higher mental activity, including perception and consciousness. Gamma activity disappears with general anesthesia. Gamma 42.31 Hz session.
Hyper Gamma (~100 Hz) and Lambda (~200 Hz)
We are calling brainwave frequency patterns significantly higher than 40 Hz “Hyper-Gamma” brainwave states. More recently, there have been reports by EEG researchers of ecstatic states of consciousness associated with brainwave frequencies of 200 Hz, we are calling these frequencies “Lambda” brainwave states. Lambda binaural beat.
The states of consciousness that appear to be associated with HyperGamma brainwave activity (at 100 Hz) and Lambda brainwave activity (at 200 Hz) seem to be described in exactly the same terms as we have been describing our discovery of Epsilon (below 0.5 Hz) over the years. It has seemed extraordinary that different groups of EEG researchers, independent of one another, should find the same states of consciousness associated with such divergent brainwave activity – below 0.5 Hz Delta to above 100 Hz HyperGamma to 200 Hz Lambda.
There seems to be a circular link between these two extremes of brainwave activity and the states of consciousness which they represent. They appear to be associated with the type of extraordinary states of consciousness we find in the highest states of meditation, deepest levels of insight, personal original creative problem solving and high degrees of Self-awareness. We have surmised that these extremely slow Epsilon brainwave patterns might have extremely fast HyperGamma/Lambda brainwave patterns modulating within them – just as the Hyper-Gamma/Lambda brainwave patterns are “riding” on a super slow Epsilon modulation.
There is a lot of information on the net about brainwaves, and a wide variety of binaural beats intended to induce different states of consciousness. Some of them work, some might not work for you, and it will always be easier to tune into the frequency if you have some experience with meditation. We encourage you to start meditating if you haven’t done so yet. To learn more, click here. Binaural beats cannot substitute meditation, because as you know the tuning can only happen from within, but they can be a good complement. For optimum results wear headphones, focus on the beat, and use a high quality sound.
We want to thank the website Free Binaural Beats for providing a great amount of binaural beats. You can find a lot of frequencies and mixes to induce many states of consciousness on this site, as well as on Youtube.
Artwork: Intangible by Arthurblue