Thursday, May 7, 2009

Advantages and disadvantages of gamma brainwave stimulation (40 - 100 Hz)

Gamma brainwaves are produced when masses of neurons emit electrical signals at the rate of around 40 times a second or more (100 - 40 Hertz or Hz). These patterns of brainwaves are associated with states of peak performance (both physical and mental), high focus, and concentration. They also are related to mystic and transcendental experiences such as out of body experiences and altered states. On the other hand, they have been observed in anxiety, schizophrenia and hyperactivity.

Benefits of increasing gamma brainwaves:

Boosted memory
High amounts of gamma brainwaves have been associated with a boosted memory and ability to recall past events.

Enhanced perception of reality
Gamma brainwaves can provide you with an enhanced overall perception of reality and understanding of consciousness. Because gamma brainwaves can be found in virtually every part of the brain, it allows parts of the brain to communicate. Through their communication, your reality and perception is formed.

Binding of senses
The gamma brainwave is what allows us to experience: smell, touch, vision, taste, and hearing altogether. It allows our brain to process multiple sensations at the same time and allows us to identify environmental forms of stimulation. It also improves our overall perception of our senses by enhancing our levels of focus.

Increased compassion
Advanced meditation practices and yogic traditions have associated the gamma brainwave frequency range with a pure state of compassion. Richard Davidson hooked long-time meditators up to an E.E.G. at the University of Wisconsin Madison and found that the more meditation experience a person had, a higher amount of gamma brainwave was displayed. Since most people aren’t able to cultivate a pure state of compassion like many monks, they may not ever understand or feel the wonderment of the gamma brainwave range.

High-level information processing
Gamma brainwaves are associated with high-level information processing in the brain. Basically, the brain is able to operate more efficiently at a higher level. Thoughts are easily processed and the brain is able to easily absorb and understand new information and changes in one’s environment.

Natural antidepressant
The gamma brainwave is a known natural antidepressant. Not only does it increase our level of compassion for others, it boosts our overall levels of happiness. Many people claim that listening to the gamma brainwave while meditating has proved to be extremely effective at completely eliminating their depression. The gamma brainwave decreases during stress, anxiety, and cases of depression. No wonder that increasing your gamma brainwaves will make you feel much less depressed. In people with depression, the amount of gamma brainwave tends to be much lower than average.

Advanced learning ability
Since gamma has been associated with a higher level of information processing, quicker thinking, and an enhanced perception of reality, people with high amounts of gamma brainwaves tend to have an advanced learning ability. People with learning disabilities, ADD, and those under a lot of stress, tend to have a significantly smaller amount of the gamma brainwave than others.

Intelligence (I.Q.) Increase
The gamma brainwave has been associated with higher than average levels of intelligence. People with lower I.Q.’s and learning disabilities tend to have very low amounts of gamma brainwave compared to smarter individuals. Increasing your gamma brainwave, especially 40 Hz, will probably correlate with at least a slight intelligence increase.

Positive thoughts
Are you a person that always thinks positive and one who has compassion for others? If you already think positively and are relaxed, you probably have high amounts of the gamma brainwave. In people with depression, there is relatively little amounts of the gamma brainwave that can be observed in an E.E.G. If you have depression or are a chronic negative thinker, you may want to really consider naturally increasing your gamma brainwaves.

Higher energy levels
Higher brainwave frequencies in the beta and gamma brainwave ranges correlate with increased physical and mental energy. Since the gamma brainwave range is among the highest of known brainwave frequencies, it definitely will give your energy level a jolt upwards. If you currently have low amounts of energy, consider increasing your brain’s gamma brainwaves.

High level of focus
The mind is extremely focused on just one thought while in the gamma brainwave range. It is important to cultivate a high level of focus in order to efficiently complete tasks and succeed in the world. It is very difficult when you have a learning disability or are lacking in focus to be successful. Sustaining a high level of focus can be done easily by increasing the amount of 40 Hz gamma activity in the brain.

Improved perception / consciousness
Gamma brainwaves have been linked to improved perception of reality and the ability to be aware of one’s consciousness. Gamma brainwaves are very powerful and may feel like quite an awakening to increase if you don’t have much natural gamma activity. Advanced meditators have much more gamma activity than the average person which is why it is easy for them to control and understand their state of consciousness.

Who has high amounts of gamma brainwaves?

Advanced Meditators
Advanced meditators tend to have a large amount of gamma brainwave activity compared to non-meditators. The amount of gamma brainwave and its amplitude increases as one’s ability to go deeper into meditation increases. Though most meditation practices increase the amount of slow brainwaves in the alpha and theta range, the gamma brainwave frequency increases as well. As you are able to gain more meditation experience, you’ll learn to naturally boost your gamma brainwave activity. Research has shown that the more experience you have with meditation, the more gamma brainwave activity you’ll display.

Peak performers
Peak performers tend to have large amounts of gamma brainwave activity compared to others. Though alpha bursts in the left hemisphere has been scientifically proven to be linked to peak performance, gamma brainwave activity is suggested to be essential to performing at an optimal level. If you are interested in manipulating your brainwave patterns to help create a state of peak performance, you may want to try alpha and gamma and be the judge as to which one works better. I’ve heard of several brainwave training regimens that claim it is best to use 10 Hz alpha for visualization several hours before your sporting event, then the gamma brainwave around 30 min. - 1 hour before your event. The combination of alpha, followed by gamma, is supposed to create a state of peak mental preparation and performance.

Problems associated with too many gamma brainwaves:

Some anxiety
Though gamma brainwaves are usually not correlated with stress and anxiety, they can be. When a person mostly displays high amounts of beta brainwaves in combination with gamma on an E.E.G., the individual probably has very high levels of anxiety. Though gamma brainwaves usually decrease when we are under stress, the dopamine released from gamma brainwaves can actually cause us to feel overanxious, nervous, or tense. It is best not to increase both gamma andbeta brainwaves at the same time. Depending on your current brainwave state, it is important to recognized that though you are usually safe with increasing gamma, overdoing training time or frequency of training may make you feel unpleasantly anxious.

Clear, conscious perception of reality
Some people are not prepared for the mental awakening that is associated with gamma brainwaves. If you are currently living a fairly unfocused life and happen to begin entraining the gamma brainwave, it may feel like a huge jolt to your consciousness. If I was extremely unfocused, I’d definitely work on entraining the gamma brainwave, but I’d do it slowly and in moderation. Too much gamma entrainment will actually give you a headache! It is important to not become disturbed by your brains initial reactions to an increased gamma brainwave and perception of reality.

Healthy ways to increase gamma brainwaves:

Brainwave entrainment
As I mention a lot, brainwave entrainment is great for fine tuning your state of consciousness and awareness. If you want to easily and naturally experience gamma brainwaves, I highly recommend trying any of the programs in my “recommended products” section. Brainwave entrainment is an easy process that involves simply listening to a tone (stimulus) and your brainwaves will automatically, naturally shift in order to match the desired frequency associated with the acoustic tone. If you have Neuro-Programmer 2 or Mind Stereo, I recommend creating a customized gamma brainwave session at 40 Hz.Why 40 Hz? 40 Hz is the brainwave of choice and has been linked to the most powerful, positive effects which are currently associated with the gamma brainwave.

Getting a good night’s sleep
Gamma brainwave activity is present in Rapid-Eye Movement (R.E.M.) Sleep and is sometimes associated with dreaming. Getting a good night’s sleep is important for staying healthy, keeping a healthy, powerful brain. Gamma brainwaves also increase the moment we awaken. Though we are in the theta brainwave for most R.E.M. sleep, the gamma brainwave is present along with the theta. Most non-dream, deep sleep is linked to an increase in delta brainwave activity, whereas dream-sleep is mostly linked to gamma and theta brainwaveactivity.

The goal of most types of meditation is to lower the brainwaves into the alpha-theta brainwave range. With that said, as you learn to become more aware and increase awareness of your brainwave state, your gamma brainwave activity will naturally increase. A very safe, healthy way to attempt to increase your gamma brainwaves is to make the act of meditation a daily habit or start up a meditation routine. If you are already meditating, great - you’ll naturally increase your awareness. As you increase your awareness, your gamma brainwave will increase.

Hypnosis / Self-hypnosis
The goal of all hypnosis and self-hypnosis programs is to target the lower brainwave ranges (i.e. alpha and theta) and implant new beliefs. Though you are slowing your brainwaves, your concentration levels are skyrocketing as well. Only having large amounts of alpha and theta without gamma would make self-hypnosis very difficult and an ineffective practice. The more often you participate in self-hypnosis, the more your gamma brainwave amplitude will increase.

Like meditation, yoga is yet another activity that promotes relaxation and wellbeing by shifting your brainwaves and increasing your perception of reality. Brainwaves of yogis have shown that they are able to increase their gamma brainwaves to higher than average amounts. Though there are many different types of yoga, if they are practiced correctly, they can be utilized to increase awareness and gain valuable insight from within.

Listen the example of Gamma session:

Extracted from:

Understanding the gamma brainwave