What is an Alpha Wave and Why is it Optimal for Meditation?
Guest Post by Sarah Petruno, Shamana
Prior to being a shamana by profession, I was a neuroscientist, by profession.
For 10 years, I was trained in the fields of biology, psychology and neuroscience. In that training, comes a lot of specialization in the unique functioning and structure of the human brain and the animal brain.
Across many mammalian and non-mammalian species alike, several similarities between brain structure and functioning have been uncovered. And one of those similarities, is the presence of electrically produced waveforms across the sleep-wake cycles of humans and other animals.
In majorly simplified context, the brain produces electrical signals through brain cell firings. These electrical signals can be detected by human created equipment, the EEG (Electroencephalography) for example, which is a method through which electrical activity of the brain is recorded. Electrodes can be attached to the scalp on one end and on the other end, a read out of electrical activity is produced. This recording can be produced digitally, with computer software, or with analog type pen and paper equipment.
In either case, the electrical activity of the brain produces waves and spike patterns on a read out. And you can monitor the pattern of electrical activity of the brain at any given moment.
Across the sleep-wake cycle, the daily rhythm of humans and many other species, 4 primary patterns of brain activity have been identified:
Both Beta and Alpha waves are associated with the waking cycle. Beta is this brain’s state of wave formation for active awake, and Alpha is the brain pattern when we are in a more relaxed awake state. Theta and Delta are associated with Light and Deep sleep, respectively.
Alpha waves are produced on a chart when the brain of the individual being studied is in a relaxed state. This is the electrical signal of the brain when the someone is relaxed. Behaviorally, this is often the point in time right before someone falls asleep, the twilight state of mega relaxation just before you fall asleep. These brain waves are also often produced within us during meditation.
Alpha waves are the waves produced by the electrical brain when we are completely relaxed.
Reaching the Alpha wave brain state when you meditate can create the optimal meditative experience.
Biologically, endorphins are often released during Alpha wave state to allow us to feel more naturally relaxed without the use of synthetic aids.
Spiritually, reaching a state of complete brain-verified relaxation during meditation is most desirable, because then we are then mentally most receptive to opening up to the psychic and spiritual realms. In Alpha state is when we are most able to release our worries and listen to the guidance of our inner self and of those in the Divine.
Reaching a state of mental relaxation, indicative of the production of Alpha waves in the brain, is ideal to all Spiritual practice. Here, our ego and logical mind take a back seat, allowing our intuitive self to step forward.
The time right before sleep and right upon waking is said to be the optimal time for Spiritual practice, and this is in part, due to the inherent electrical status of the brain, in a state of Alpha wave production.
Complete relaxation allows for complete Spiritual Connection.
And this is why, you’ll see that many guided meditations are created to match the Alpha wave frequency of the brain.
When we listen to a frequency of sound, in order to create concordance and harmony, our brain attempts to match this frequency.
When you listen to sounds, meditations, or recordings, designed to match Alpha waves, such as many binaural tone recordings, it is much easier for your brain and body, to align itself with this being in relaxation state. It is much easier for you to reach the meditative state required for optimal spiritual connection.
Hearing alpha waves externally, allows your brain the opportunity to internally match this pattern, giving you the ability to reach meditation state more readily, just as being in the presence of happiness or laughter, allows you to feel joy more quickly.
The more you listen, the more you attempt to reach a state of complete relaxation, the more readily your brain can reach this state. This is often why, those who meditate more often, feel more relaxation and as such, produce more alpha waves, more readily, that those who don’t. Their brain is trained to reach this state more quickly, simply through the process of learning, also known as entrainment.
Those who meditate more often, produce more alpha waves, feel more relaxed, and have more successful instances of spiritual connection.
All just through that first initiation of alpha wave production outside of a pre-sleep cycle. Alpha waves are the optimal waves of meditation and spiritual connection, because they are produced only at a time when your mind is relaxed and your ego has taken a back seat.
You can learn to produce more alpha waves too, in order to feel more relaxed more often, or to increase your instances of spiritual connection or both.
The easiest way to do this is to practice meditating. To familiarize your brain with the state of relaxation. If you need an extra boost, find guided meditations trained at alpha wave frequency.
With love on your meditation journey,
Sarah Petruno is Amanda’s twin sister, a Shamana with a scientific background. She works within Energetic and Spiritual Realms to assist her clients in healing their mind, body, and spirit. Sarah enjoys teaching and empowering others to take charge of their energetic and spiritual well being. Visit Sarah's website to learn more about what offers, here.