There are 4 known types of waves that the human brain transmits: Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta waves which are detectable with the use of the EEG or the electroencephalogram. The EEG is a medical apparatus that measures brainwave activity. These 4 brain waves move around transmitting neuro-electric voltages in the brain. These are mere iota – super small voltages, maybe only a fraction of a millionth of a volt. Alpha waves in particular move around approximately 10 times per second, with a cycle of 8-13 per second. These Alpha brain waves were discovered, ahead of the other 3, somewhere in 1908 by Hans Berger, a Psychiatrist from Austria, hence the name Alpha, referring to the first letter in the Greek alphabet which scientists of old, even up to the present, invoke for names of discoveries.
Hordes of scientists have devoted their time in researching about the brain waves captured on the EEG, basically there lots of material on what Alpha waves are, what triggers them to surface and recede in our brains. They are not always around; they really do come and go. Alpha brain waves are non-existent in deep sleep. If one is also very agitated like when he is scared or irate, Alpha brain waves are again nowhere to be found. Another kind, the Delta brain waves appear only when one is in the deepest of slumbers which is classified under stages 3 and 4. Theta waves, on the other hand, come to fore during the onset of or periods of light sleep, otherwise classified under sleep stages 1 and 2. Alpha waves make their encore every time one is awake but in a calm and non-stressful mien. Brain waves of the Beta frequency take the stage in highly tense circumstances, when the brain can not concentrate and it is difficult to control ones emotion.
Among all the brain waves, Delta waves are the most sluggish, moving only on a very weak speed of 0 to 4 cycles/second. Theta waves go a notch faster, from 4 to 7 cycles/ second. Alpha waves, still a bit faster than both, oscillating 8 to13 times every second. Beta move the fastest, at 13 to 40 rounds/second). All sorts of activity transpire in the human brain, specifically those bursts of reaction the brain registers in response to sensory stimuli, eg., a musical tone, a sound clip, a fleeting touch, or simply a streak of light. The ones emitted by the four basic brain waves; Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta waves are considered the standard in EEG brain transmissions.
How do Alpha Brain Waves work?
What has been mentioned above points to the individual roles of the 4 types of brain waves in the human state of mind or level of consciousness. Each type of brain wave, whether Alpha, Beta, Theta or Delta, is associated with a different level. When and if one of them does not work, or we cannot summon it to work, we meet some problems or disorder, say if we can not coax the Theta waves or even the Delta wave to surface, we are bound to suffer from insomnia. If, fortunately, a person can turn either of them on, he is deemed lucky or even mentally gifted.
Lets translate the roles of the 4 brain waves to those of the essential gears of a car. Delta, which is the slowest, can be compared to first gear. Second gear would be the Theta waves, which is the second slowest moving of the four. Alpha waves on the other hand, would be third gear. The fastest waves brain waves being Beta are the fourth gear. One cannot successfully drive the car from one point to another on just one gear you would need to shift as the need arises. One faulty gear and you are in deep trouble. If you are one gas guzzler of a driver, you start off on first gear and accelerate to fourth without going through second and third. This would cost you much in gas and maintenance. This is how it works in our brains, too. It is sad how people can misuse their brain mechanism. They start off on Delta and shift to Beta without transposing through Theta and Alpha brain waves. This must be the reason why hundreds of people suffer from a low mental output or even worse, need costly medical attention very often.
Lets give an example of how this happens in daily life. In the morning, the ringing of an alarm clock rouses us from deep sleep which is dominated by the Delta brain waves. Once on our feet, we are overtaken by anxiety (which is harbored by Beta waves) over being tardy. We are already stressed out this early in the day. Not only that, we infuse caffeine into our system after a sleepless night to raise our alertness level (Beta wave action). The caffeine boost renders the Theta and Alpha waves inutile, to promote waves of the Beta level. We work under pressure the whole day, absorb more stress and chase after precious time (more Beta exposure). This scenario lasts until evening, until we drop dead-tired onto bed and fall out of sheer exhaustion into deep sleep (straight to Delta wave activation). There barely is enough time to cool down, release negative energy, feel comfortable and enjoy a drowsy lull, then drift off to sleep. This proper transition of events would employ reasonable and needed amounts of Theta and Alpha waves. Sad, but we jump prematurely from Delta to Beta in the morning, stay under Beta the whole day and go back (prematurely again) to Delta at night. And this happens every single day of our lives!
Generation of Alpha brain waves is a natural ability of the human brain, but the hustle and bustle of daily strife preoccupy our minds that we dispense of the process altogether. This lays us prone to anxiety and stress which are thresholds of emotional and psychological disorders, posing risks on our immune system. A sufficient supply of Alpha brain waves spares us from anxiety. This means generating more Alpha waves can dispense of such a negative feeling and help in developing healthier immune systems. More Alpha brain waves at work means better health and well-being for everyone.
Enhancing ones creativity is another area where Alpha brain waves can work positively. It has been proven that the brainwaves of very creative people are different from those with mediocre and average individuals. Creativity calls for an ample and continuous supply of Alpha brain waves, primarily from the left side of ones brain, especially when presented with a challenge to overcome. This is an inherent ability of creative people; a tall order for the ordinary.
Another area where Alpha brain waves come in handy is in excelling in whatever endeavor you choose. Sports analysts and scientists have recorded that peak performance is always preceded by an influx of Alpha brain waves, and as in creative people, also in the left side of the brain. This is highly pronounced in professional athletes, as compared to newcomers. Right before crucial moments in their game, seasoned athletes summon a surge in Alpha waves on the left side of their brain. Upcoming athletes do not exhibit this pattern of Alpha brain waves. There are cases, however, where trainees showed remarkable improvement and with it came the increased ability to produce Alpha waves on the left side of the brain.
In this day and age where nothing is free and the whole world clamors for your time, being able to increase your output of Alpha brain waves would certainly be very helpful. Left brain Alpha waves help counter stress, thereby strengthening your immune system. Furthermore, todays cut-throat competition calls for creativity to succeed. This can also be addressed if you can influence Alpha brain waves to flood your brain. For the budding sports medalists, being able to influence production of Alpha brain waves also enhances ones game. Staying healthy, cool, creative and physically strong should be the common goal of everyone. If you are not, try something subliminal.