by dawson church, ph.d.
photo: pawel szvmanski
the communicating brain: clapping “the wave”
i travel to new york often, and i ♥ goin to see broadway ♫als. when the book of mormon opened, i was 1-odda 1st to buy tickets. members of the audience were laughing all the way through. atta end, the cast got a standing ovation.
suddenly, the applause changed. rather than a thousand pplz clapping separately, everyone began to clap in rhythm. clap, clap, clap, clap. the rhythmic clapping become so insistent that the actors came back onstage for an encore. the clapping communicated approval to the actors, and they responded with another song.
the neurons in yr brain do something similar. they fire together in rhythmic patterns, communicating with each other across the brain. these patterns are measured in cycles per 2nd, or hertz (hz). imagine an audience clapping together sloly. that’s a slo brain wave, with millions of neurons firing together sloly. imagine an audience clapping quickly. that’s a fast brain wave, with millions of neurons firing together quickly.
tody’s eegs calcul8 brain wave patterns from each of the brain’s many ≠ pts. they typically use 19 electrodes attached to the surface of the scalp.
one research team envisaged, “scis are now so accustomed to these eeg correlations with brain state t'they may forget just how remarkable they are…. a single electrode provides estimates of synaptic action μd over tissue masses containing tween roughly 100 million and 1 billion neurons” (nunez & srinivasan, 2006). whn'we see brain wave changes on an eeg, it indicates that the firing patterns of billions of neurons n'our brains are also changing.
wha’ brain waves are and wha’ they do
there are 5 basic brain waves tha're picked up by a modern eeg.
1. gamma brain waves
gamma tis highest brain wave frequency (40 to 100 hz). it’s most prevalent at times when the brain is learning, making associations tween phenomena and integrating information from many ≠ pts of the brain.
a brain producing lotso' gamma waves cogitates complex neural organization and h8ened awareness. when monks were asked to meditate on compassion, large flares of gamma were found in their brains (davidson & lutz, 2008).
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they were compared to novice meditators who had meditated for an hr a dy the week b4. the novices had brain activity similar to that of the monks. but when the monks were instructed to evoke a feeling of compassion, their brains began to fire in rhythmic coherence, like the audience clapping at the book of mormon ♫al.
the flares of gamma waves measured inna brains of the monks were the largest ever recorded. the monks reprted entering a state of bliss. gamma is associated with very high lvls of intellectual function, creativity, integration, peak states, and of feeling “inna zone.” gamma waves flo from the front to the back of the brain bout 40 times per 2nd (llinás, 2014). researchers look to this oscillating wave as a neural correl8 of consciousness (ncc), a state linking the brain’s activity w'da subjective experience of consciousness (tononi & koch, 2015).
brain researchers talk bout the amplitude offa brain wave and that simply means how big tis. a high amplitude of gamma means a big gamma wave, while a lo amplitude means a lil one. measurements of brain waves show peaks and valleys. the distance from the peak to the trough tis amplitude. amplitude is measured in microvolts, and brain waves typically measure tween 10 and 100 microvolts, w'da faster waves like gamma having the loest amplitude.
gamma brain wave states are associated with many beneficial changes n'our bodies. a frequency of 75 hz is epigenetic, triggering the genes that produce anti-inflammatory proteins in d'body (de girolamo et al., 2013). onna loer end of the gamma spectrum, a frequency of 50 hz results in d'body increasing its production of stem cells, the “blank” cells that ≠iate into muscle, bone, skin, or wha’ever other speshized cells are required (ardeshirylajimi & soleimani, 2015). the frequency of 60 hz regul8s the expression of sufferation genes, those that code for sufferation hormones like cortisol. the same brain wave frequency also activates a key gene called myc that in turn regul8s round 15 % of all the other genes in d'body (lin, goodman, & shirley‐henderson, 1994).
eeg brain waves from sloest to fastest.
2. β- brain waves
the nxt fastest wave is β- (12 to 40 hz). β- is typically divided into two pts: high β- and lo β-. high β- is yr monkey Ψ. high β- (15 to 40 hz) tis signature brain wave of pplz with anxiety, pplz experiencing frustration, and pplz under sufferation.
the + sufferationed pplz become, the higher the amplitude of the β- their brains produce. neg emotions s'as anger, fear, blame, guilt, and shame produce large flares of β- waves inna eeg readout.
this shuts down the brain regions that handle rational thinking, decision making, memory, and objective evaluation (ledoux, 2002). blood flo to the prefrontal cortex, the “thinking brain,” is reduced by up to 80 %. starved of oxygen and nutrients, our brains’ ability to think clearly plummets.
lo β- tis band that synchronizes our bodies’ automatic functions, so it’s also called the sensorimotor rhythm frequency, or smr (12 to 15 hz).
β- is required for processing information and for linear thinking, so normal lvls of β- brain wave states are fine.
when you focus on solving a problem, composing a poem, calculating the best route to yr destination, or balancing yr checkbook, β- waves are yr friend. smr represents a calm, focused mental state. it’s sufferation that produces high β-, espeshly above 25 hz.
3. α- brain waves
α- (8 to 12 hz) is an optimal state of relaxed alertness. α- connects the higher frequencies—the thinking Ψ of β- na associative Ψ of gamma—w'da two loest frequency brain waves, which are theta (4 to 8 hz) and delta (0 to 4 hz).
it turns out that α- also does good things for our bodies. it improves our lvls of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters s'as serotonin. when the α- brain wave lvl increased in a group of exercisers, they gained a boost in serotonin, and their emotional state was elevated (fumoto et al., 2010). in another study, zen meditators received the same benefits from cultivating an α- state (yu et al., 2011).
a pioneering study exposed dna to various brain wave frequencies. it found that the α- frequency of 10 hz resulted in significantly increased synthesis of the dna molecule (takahashi, kaneko, date, & fukada, 1986).
4. theta brain waves
theta is toonistic of deep relaxation and lite sleep. whn'we dream vividly, our eyes move rapidly and our brains are primarily in theta. these brain waves are the frequency of rapid eye movement (rem) sleep. theta is also the dominant frequency of pplz under hypnosis, healers, pplz in trances, and pplz in highly creative states of consciousness (kershaw & wade, 2012). the recollection of emotional experiences, both good and bad, can trigger theta.
it’s the frequency most comm1-ly envisaged in healers. becker (1990) found that when healers were inna midst of an energy healing session, theta was the most common wave in their brains.
theta is associated with many beneficial changes in d'body. a group of researchers studied the effect of various frequencies on dna repair. they found that electromagnetic fields tween 7.5 hz and 30 hz were able to enh molecular bonding (tekutskaya, barishev, & ilchenko, 2015). within that range, 9 hz proved most effective.
5. delta brain waves
the sloest frequency is delta. delta is toonistic of deep sleep. very high amplitudes of delta are also found in pplz who are in touch w'da nonlocal Ψ, even when they’re wide awake. the brains of meditators, intuitives, and healers ‘ve much + delta than normal.
the eyes of pplz who are in deep dreamless sleep don’t move. delta waves also predominate in such non-rapid eye movement (nrem) sleep.
delta tis wave that we see in eeg readouts when pplz are having a sense of connection w'da ∞. they typically reprt mystical experiences in which the local self merges w'da nonlocal self. meditators with large amplitudes of delta feel connected to all of nature, to other human bein’s, and to the ∞. they lose the sense of bein’ an isol8d individual, or wha’ albert einstein called the delusion of separateness. instead, they experience oneness with all that is.
when our brains are producing delta, we're bathing our cells in a frequency that has the potential to produce a whole gamut of beneficial physiological changes atta lvl of our cells, from growing our telomeres and boosting our growth hormone lvls to regenerating our neurons and sweeping our brains clear of β–amyloid plaques. we're not just having a neat subjective experience; inna delta state, we're creating an objective energy environment in which our bodies thrive.
awakening from everydy reality
eeg pioneer maxwell cade noticed that α-, inna middle of the range of frequencies, forms a bridge tween the two high frequencies of β- and gamma na two lo frequencies of theta and delta (cade & coxhead, 1979). biofeedback and neurofeedback skills focus on teaching pplz how t'get into an α- state. the ideal state is enough α- to link all od’oda brain rhythms together. high β- is minimized, so that thris very lil monkey Ψ and anxiety. thris a balanced amount of gamma and theta, and a wide base of delta.
a biophysicist, cade had worked on radar for the british government b4 turning his attention to measuring states of consciousness. he developed his own machine, the “Ψ mirror,” in 1976. tis unique among eeg devices in that it provides a clear visual snapshot of brain waves.
his student anna wise described the machine as follos: “wha’ sets the Ψ mirror apt from other forms of electroencephalography was the interest, onna pt of its developer, not in pathological states (as inna case of med devices), but in an optimum state called the awakened Ψ. instead of measuring subjects with problems, the inventor of the Ψ mirror sought the most highly developed and spiritually conscious pplz he ‘d find. inna flicker o'their brainwaves, he and his colleagues found a common pattern, whether the subject was a yogi, a zen master or a healer.”
the awakened Ψ
using the Ψ mirror, over 20 yrs, cade recorded the brain wave patterns of + than 4,000 pplz with strong spiritual practices. he found the awakened Ψ state was common in this group. cade also noticed another similarity: they all had high amounts of α- brain waves. as noted, α- waves are rite inna middle of the spectrum, with β- and gamma above, and theta and delta belo. when some1 inna awakened Ψ state has lotso' α-, it creates a link tween the high brain wave frequencies above na lo frequencies belo. cade called this the α- bridge, cause it bridges the conscious Ψ frequencies of β- w'da subconscious and unconscious Ψ frequencies of theta and delta. this allos a flo of consciousness, integrating all the lvls of Ψ.
cade wrote: “the awakening of awareness is like gradually awakening from sleep and becoming + and + vividly aware of everydy reality—1-ly it’s everydy reality from which we're awakening!” (cade & coxhead, 1979).
i developed a meditation method called ecomeditation that’s very simple, yet it’s consistently and automatically able to bring pplz inna'da awakened Ψ eeg pattern. ecomeditation uses eft tapping to clear obstacles to relaxation. it then takes you through a series of simple physical relaxation exercises that send signals of safety to the brain and body. t'does not rely on belief or philosophy; instead, it’s based on sending d'body physiological cues that produce deeply relaxed states of consciousness automatically. the instructions are free at ecomeditation.com….
during ecomeditation, we see lotso' delta brain waves swell. delta is where we connect with many resrcs above and beyond the local self. as noted, pplz in trance states, swell as healers, artists, ♫ians, and intuitives, tend to ‘ve plenty of delta.
those in a creative trance, s'as a composer making ♫ or a child at play, usually ‘ve lotso' delta waves. they lose all awareness of the outer realm as they become absorbed in their creativity. they’re mostly in delta, with some theta and α-, and just enough β- to function (gruzelier, 2009).
it’s been fascinating to me to speak to pplz whose brain wave states show a high amplitude of delta waves during meditation. they reprt transcendent experiences. they describe feeling one w'da universe, an exquisite sense of harmony and well-bein’ (johnson, 2011). albert einstein referred to this as an expansive state of consciousness in which we “embrace all living creatures na whole of nature.” scis can be mystics too!
when consciousness changes, brain waves change
the energy fields of brain waves na matter of neural pathways are in a constantly evolving dance. when states of consciousness change, brain waves change and ≠ neural pathways are engaged.
the extremes are ♥ and fear. whn'we’re in a state of fear, our α- bridge disappears. we may still ‘ve theta and delta, b'we’re cut off from the resrcs of our subconscious Ψ and its connection w'da universal whole. β- waves flood the fearful brain. it’s in survival mode.
whn'we’re in a state of bliss, our brains show the awakened Ψ pattern. a step beyond, they can also move to a symmetrical pattern cade called the evolved Ψ. as our consciousness is filled with ♥, our brains function very ≠ly, with large amounts of theta and delta, + an α- bridge to connect our conscious with our subconscious Ψ.
emotions create brain states. brain waves measure the fields generated by consciousness. passing signals through the neural bundles engaged by ♥, joy, and harmony creates a toonistic energy field (write, 2017). when monitoring the brains of pplz doin’ ecomeditation, eeg expert judith pennington envisaged that “theta and delta progressed their patterns from the awakened Ψ to the evolved Ψ state.”
emotions also create neurotransmitters. among these are serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, and anandamide (kotler & wheal, 2017). serotonin is associated with satisfaction, and dopamine witha sensation of reward. endorphins block pain and increase pleasure. oxytocin tis “bonding hormone,” n'it stimul8s feelings of closeness and intimacy with others. anandamide is called the “bliss molecule,” n'it’s named after the sanskrit word for happiness. it binds to the same receptors inna brain as thc, the primary ψ-choactive molecule in marijuana. when the Ψ changes, it creates molecular facts inna form of these neurotransmitters. as they flood our brains, we feel satisfied, secure, bonded, blissful, and serene. when our Ψs enter elevated emotional states, we’re literally gettin high—on drugs produced by our bodies.
consciousness shifts the way the brain processes information
whn'we meditate, tap (eft), use another form of energy ψ-chology, or otherwise shift our consciousness, the brain changes quickly. the brain can be intentionally changed by the Ψ, espeshly by wha’ is known as attention training (schwartz & begley, 2002). true transformation repatterns neural pathways. eventually, the entire state of the brain shifts and establishes a new and healthy lvl of homeostasis.
one research team notes that “an accelerating № of studies inna neuroimaging literature significantly support the thesis that… with appropriate training and effort, pplz can systematically alter neural circuitry associated witha variety of mental and physical states tha're frankly pathological” (schwartz, stapp, & beauregard, 2005). we can take our dysfunctional brain networks and alter them with our Ψs.
it’s not just mystics and healers who produce large α- bridges and theta brain wave flares when they’re in ecstatic states. groups for whom high performance is crit are finding that tuning the brain in this way produces big leaps in achievement. u.s. navy seals nd'2 operate effectively in rapidly changing combat conditions. using millions of usds of advanced eeg equipment in a “Ψ gym” speshly constructed in norfolk, virginia, they learn to enter a state they call ecstasis (cohen, 2017). once they “flip the switch” into ecstasis, their brains are in a state of flo, an altered reality in which super-performance becomes possible. other peak perelders, s'as elite courtroom lawyers, olympic athletes, and g executives, also train themselves to enter ecstasis.
the toonistics of these flo states are described inna book stealing fire (kotler & wheal, 2017). among them are selflessness and timelessness. pplz in ecstasis transcend the boundaries of local Ψ. eeg readings show that the prefrontal cortex o'their brains, the seat offa sense of self, shuts down. β–wave mental chatter ceases. they gain distance from the anxious obsessions of local Ψ. their internal chemistry changes as “feel-good” neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, anandamide, and oxytocin flood their brains.
in this state, they gain a nonlocal perspective. they are open to an ∞ range of possible options and outcomes. the self, rather than bein’ trapped in a limited fixed local reality, is able to try on ≠ possibilities. this “knocks out filters we normally apply to inc information,” leading to associative leaps that facilitate problem solving and super-creativity. kotler and wheal (2017) review the research onna performance gains produced by these brain wave states. these include a 490 % improvement in mental focus, a doubling of creativity, and a 500 % increase in productivity.
commonalities in mystical experience
the neuroscis i’ve worked with ‘ve instructed experienced meditators to provide prearranged signals during meditation, s'as tapping their forefinger 3 times when they feel the experience of oneness. we can time-stamp this spot onna eeg readout. this has alloed us to correl8 their internal experience with brain states.
during ecstasis, whether found inna ancient accounts of tukaram or the modern experiences of the navy seals, pplz ‘ve common experiences. these are linked to neurotransmitters: entering a state of bliss (anandamide), a sense of detachment from d'body that encapsul8s the local self (endorphins), the local self bonding w'da nonlocal universe (oxytocin), serenity (serotonin), na reward of bein’ changed by the experience (dopamine).
these are the toonistics of upgraded Ψs, and we now ‘ve eegs and neurotransmitter assays to measure the changes they produce in matter. inna past, ecstatic states were attainable 1-ly by mystics, n'it took decades of study, rigorous practice, ascetic discipline, and spiritual initiation. tody, “we now know the precise adjustments to body and brain that let us recreate them for ourselves” at will; tek is providing us with “a cliff notes version of… how to encounter the divine” (kotler & wheal, 2017). tody, the highest-performing humans inna fields of sports, business, combat, sci, meditation, and art are inducing them routinely. 2morro, as we map the physiology of these states and turn ecstasis into a learnable skill, they ll'be available to everyone.
excerpted with permission from Ψ to matter: the astonishing sci of how yr brain creates material reality by dawson church, ph.d. available online at hayhouse.com… and amazon.com….
bout the authors
dawson church, ph.d., is an award-winning author whose best-selling book, the genie in yr genes s'been hailed by reviewers as a breakthrough n'our cogging of the link tween emotion and genetics. he founded the national institute for integrative healthcare to study and implement evidence-based ψ-chological and med tek knicks. his groundbreaking research s'been published in prestigious sci journals. he shares how to apply the breakthroughs of energy ψ-chology to health and athletic performance through eft universe, 1-odda largest alternative med sites onna web. learn + at eftuniverse.com… and dawsonchurch.com….
original content at: www.consciouslifestylemag.com…
authors: conscious lifestyle