Making Mental Waves. The four types of brain waves linked to mood disorders–beta, SMR (sensorimotor rhythm), alpha, and theta–correspond to different problems and conditions.
Beta waves (15-18 Hz) occur when fully awake, with eyes open and our concentration fixed on something. Considered a measure of arousal, higher frequencies (21-30 Hz) indicate anxiety and obsessions. Therapists often reward beta-wave activity to relieve depression or to improve concentration in individuals with ADHD.
SMR waves (12-15 Hz) indicate calm attention with physical inactivity. Hyperactive children learn to calm down by increasing their ability to generate SMR waves.
Alpha waves (8-12 Hz), when recorded with eyes closed, are an indicator of relaxed wakefulness and meditative states. Excessive alpha activity on the left side of the brain may indicate depression. Treatment focuses on reducing left frontal alpha wave activity while increasing left frontal beta wave activity.
Theta waves (4-7 Hz) are associated with light, healthy sleep. Although the normal adult produces no theta rhythm while awake, these frequencies are important in infancy, childhood, and young adults, and they indicate pleasure. Children with concentration problems often have excessive theta activity in the front of their brains. They appear awake in class, trying to concentrate, but their brain is literally half-asleep. Neurofeedback corrects this by teaching the child how to reduce theta waves.
Emotional Transformation Therapy (ETT) is a new accelerated form of psychotherapy developed by Steven Vazquez, PhD, a practicing therapist for 25 years. It combines the use of colored lights, eye movement and stimulation, and brain-wave entrainment with psychotherapy for rapid relief of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and physical pain. Relatively new, the best source of information on ETT is lightworkassociates.com.
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