Want a Better Brain? Balance Your Alphas and Betas
Jan 30, 2012 09:43AM
● By Kim Childs
Beta brain waves are the ones that people use while going about daily activities such as planning, speaking and problem solving. During meditation and relaxation, there’s a natural shift from beta to alpha brain waves in most people, which benefits their physical, mental and emotional well-being. But Diana White, owner and master technologist at Boston Brain Works, in Peabody, says this shift can be difficult difficult for many of her clients.
“EEG (electroencephalography) readings show that even though the clients are resting comfortably with their eyes closed and report feeling relaxed, their beta waves are still firing away,” White says. “It’s like they are stuck in high gear, and this manifests as hyper-vigilance, excess worry and a range of sleeping issues.”
White advises people with overactive minds to try sitting or guided meditation, or a gentle yoga practice, to relax and induce the alpha state. If that’s too difficult, White recommends Brain Wave Optimization (BWO) to balance the brain and amplify the alpha waves. “The alpha state opens the door to the subconscious and helps you tap in to your innate wisdom,” she says. “Alpha waves are a reservoir of energy for your brain and they can be a buffer against emotional reactivity.”
The more alpha waves are amplified, the easier it becomes for the brain to return to that state, White adds. “This helps people become more resilient and responsive and less reactive in life,” she says, noting that green tea, which contains the amino acid L-theanine, also stimulates the production of alpha brain waves.
BWO assessments are conducted with EEG readings to give technicians a map of the brain that reveals wave amplitudes and frequencies in each lobe. “From there the technician can see the imbalances and ask clients if they are having certain issues that correlate to the imbalances,” says White. “For instance, low frequencies in the frontal brain lobes will cause a foggy approach to thinking.”
To balance and harmonize brain waves, technicians place sensors on the client’s head to monitor frequencies. A computer then mirrors those frequencies, converting them to tones that allow the brain to see its own imbalances and correct them. Each session runs about 90 minutes, during which clients perform exercises such as visualizations. The treatment can require ten initial sessions, after which clients abstain from drugs and alcohol, drink extra water and eat extra protein for several weeks while new neural pathways are growing.
White says that people with brain injuries and disorders may need to repeat the process. Others come in to resolve sleep issues, anxiety and memory problems. White herself experienced the latter before trying BWO. “I was a computer programmer having problems with my memory before I found this method,” she recalls. “Afterward, my memory came back, my mind got quieter and I became a happier and calmer person.”
Boston Brain Works is located at 194 Newbury St., in Peabody. For more information, call 978-854-5214 or visit BostonBrainWorks.com.
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, tops the list for copyeditor/proofreader Randy Kambic. “It’s such a vivid look at the ‘Lost Generation’ of the 1920s,” he says. “I think it set the stage for the Great Depression that followed.” Kambic also loves Lincoln, by Gore Vidal. “Vidal captures Abraham Lincoln’s private thoughts and words throughout his presidency, taking the reader behind the scenes to show the humor, sadness, political cunning, and determination that made up Lincoln’s complex nature.”
Writer and editor Kim Childs says her life was changed by The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron. “It’s for anyone who wants to live more authentically and creatively, and it led me to my current career of guiding others in this powerful work,” says Childs. “On the fiction side, I adore Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson,” she adds. “It’s a sweet and surprising story about risking everything for love.”