What are the 4 brain wave patterns?
Beta-awake and thinking level. At this level we are physically in control of our senses. This is present moment awareness. Beta brainwaves occur between 14 – 30 Hz but during intense mental activity can reach 50 Hz.
Alpha-this is when we reach the very relaxed state-Dreams usually take place at this level and it is the most impressionable for creative work and visualization. Alpha brainwaves occur between 8 – 13 Hz and are normally found when a person is awake in a quiet resting state. These brain waves totally disappear during sleep.
Theta-we are never at this level in our conscious state-this is deep sleep. Theta brainwaves occur between 4 – 7 Hz and are mostly found in children, but can be found in adults in times of emotional stress, and specifically when disappointed or frustrated.
Delta-Delta brainwaves occur below 3.5 Hz and we see these patterns in normal deep sleep, during infancy and in serious brain disease and they occur only within the cortex. Babies in the womb are at Delta level of consciousness. Adults can also reach this level in deep sleep or under anesthesia.
Can Aromatherapy affect our brain wave patterns?
John Steele, Ph.D., of Sherman Oaks, California, and Robert Tisserand, of London, England, leading researchers in the field of aromatherapy have studied the effects on brain wave patterns when essential oils are inhaled or smelled. Their findings show that oils such as orange, jasmine and rose have a tranquilizing effect and work by altering the brain waves into a rhythm that produces calmness and a sense of well-being. In the same way, the so-called ‘stimulating’ oils – basil, black pepper, rosemary and cardamom – work by producing a heightened energy response.
The brain wave most useful for influencing the mind and therefore the emotions is the alpha rhythm.
Sedative oils like Roman chamomile, bitter orange, bergamot, lavender and Melissa can help induce the brain to drop into alpha and more easily accept positive thoughts and make imagery and visualization effortless.
What oils can evoke Beta-predominant patterns associated with aroused attention and alertness? Basil, rosemary, black pepper and cardamom.
What oils can evoke Alpha or even Theta and Delta-a quieting of mental chatter and the mind going into reverie? Orange blossom (neroli), jasmine and rose.
Want to know more about essential oils and how they can help us stay healthy? Consider becoming a certified clinical aromatherapist. The Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy teaches classes throughout the United States on aromatherapy and energy healing.