Brainwaves are the rhythm of the brain. They are electrical signals or patterns generated by brain cells (neurons) and other brain structures. You can imagine them as waves moving through your brain – very rapidly – in cycles per second.
Measurement and study of the electrical activity of the brain — called electroencephalography — began over 150 years ago. Richard Caton developed a technique to detect electrical brain responses to stimuli in rabbits and monkeys. He presented his findings to the British Medical Association in 1875. In 1924, Hans Berger developed and applied similar techniques to humans in Germany.
When a large number of neurons beat together in synchrony, they create a strong rhythm – pattern – signal – wave that can be detected on the scalp surface by electrical monitoring equipment (electroencephalograph – EEG). This equipment measures the vibrations in cycles per second (cps) called hertz (Hz) and graphically charts them – EEG brain mapping.
Research is expanding rapidly in the area of brain waves, and monitoring equipment is increasingly sensitive and sophisticated. For instance, we can monitor different areas of the brain at the same time and determine which part of the brain is generating which level of brainwaves in response to an activity or thought or emotion.
Obviously, current discussions of brainwaves are based on what we know and believe today. Research in the 1950’s and 1960’s discovered alpha brainwaves were different during meditation. This led to the belief that increased alpha waves would produce the benefits of Zen and Yoga meditation. Two decades of research later, it appears this assumption was simplistic and perhaps inaccurate. Meditation may have a personal quality that cannot be reduced to a brainwave category.
Brainwaves have been charted and studied for the stages of human development from conception to death.
During fetal development, the earliest signs of Hz are detectable at around 23 weeks in utero. These occur as brief bursts every second — 1 cps or 1 Hz. At about 28 weeks in utero, the right and left brain hemispheres are synchronized and have the same rhythm. At about 32 weeks in utero, sleep states are organized.
At birth, the primary waking brainwave state is theta, and that brainwave state is synchronized between the hemispheres. During the early childhood years, this waking brainwave state slowly speeds up until the primary waking brainwave state is beta. In the elderly, the brainwave state again slows to the alpha and theta rhythm. Though waking brainwave states change in direct correlation with aging, sleep brainwave rhythms remain the same from gestation to death.
It is interesting to note that organized sleep patterns represent an advance to a higher level of neuronal organization and functioning when they first appear in utero. This suggests the SuperSleep® state is an easy way to access / create a higher level of neuronal functioning.
You’ve probably heard the greatest inventions are accidental. SuperSleep® is like that. I “discovered” it when I accidentally fell asleep listening to a Suggestopedia audio tape I had made to improve my time management, delegation, and goal setting skills. I tried listening for 3 days and fell asleep every day.
Thinking it couldn’t work because I never “heard” it, I threw the tape away. Ten days later, I realized I had accomplished everything on that tape — I had written goals, implemented a time management system, and delegated projects. Continue reading
Currently, brain wave states are generally categorized as follows:
This is a newer area of research. Some states are related to higher states of functioning.
High Beta which ranges from 28 to 32 Hz:
*anxiety, tension stress, distracted thought, lack of focus
You are in this state when you are “up tight” and worrying. fearful, feeling threatened, and anxious.
Beta which ranges from 14 to 28 Hz:
*normal waking consciousness — logical thought, analysis, concentration, alertness, problem solving, and action.
You are in beta most of your waking hours when you are talking, speaking, and doing. As you read this information In beta, you analyze, interpret, discern, compare, judge, and criticize. Continue reading
I get asked a lot: What Can I Expect?
You can expect changes! The form and timeframe for those changes are unpredictable, however. There are as many change profiles as there are individuals.
After working with hundreds of people and observing their responses, I have developed some general guidelines for what you can expect. But it is more important to know your personal response pattern, which I call “processing style.”
To learn your own processing style, keep a journal while listening to a SuperSleep® recording. Be as brief or as detailed as you like.
This is a possible journal while listening to Loving Communication:
Day 1 felt fine, no change
Day 2 felt OK and a little irritable
Day 3 awoke tired and achy, angry in the afternoon, to bed early
Day 4 flu symptoms
Day 5 feel clear and light
Day 6 told my partner what was bothering me last week
Day 7 feel really good about how I communicate
Day 8 same
Day 9 same
Day 10 same
This person “clears” on day 5-7. For future recordings, s/he could plan to have easy days 2-4. If s/he works a five day week, s/he could start the recording on day 4 of the workweek, so the clearing days would be days off work.
Clearing and Processing
Clearing and processing are terms I use to name what experience while your mind/brain/body works through the statements on the recording — transforming your core level thoughts, feelings and patterns.
Processing can be intense: it is normal and usually over in a few days.
Mentally, you may have long forgotten memories surface. You may be cotton-headed, foggy, confused, or unclear for a short time. For instance, if you have issues with overspending and are listening to recordings about money, you may think of the times you spent foolishly or extravagantly. You may think nothing in your financial life is working, especially the way you spend money.
Emotionally, you may feel grief, anger, sadness, irritation, remorse – or any unexpressed or unhealed emotion around the issues you are addressing. For instance, if you have trouble saying no and you listening to Speak Up for Yourself, you may feel fear of speaking up for yourself. You may re-experience your anger about being ignored, denied, or ridiculed when you spoke up in the past.
Physically, you may become tired, experience flu-like symptoms, or have discomfort in certain areas of your body. For instance, if you had chronic stomach aches during childhood, and you are listening to Heal Your Childhood, you may experience a stomach ache.
When the clearing process is complete, you will have neutral or no feelings about the issues on your recording. They will no longer control you, and you will be free to create your future without their influence or effect. Your processing experiences, while significant, will be minor in comparison with your new freedom from the past, comfort with the present and faith in the future.
Processing by Past Experiences
It seems logical that your processing is in direct proportion to the significance of the issues you are clearing and neutralizing. If you were raised in a wonderful, loving, stable, open environment and had a peaceful, harmonious life, your processing will be minimal.
To the degree your life experiences are different than that, you may 1. have resistance to releasing and/or forgiving some people or incidents in your life and 2. have some form of mental, emotional, and physical release during your clearing process.
If you have abuse or abandonment in your past, you may have a few intense days! But once you complete the clearing process, that issue is behind you. It is worth a few days of discomfort to move beyond the negative experiences that can control us for a lifetime!
Processing by Emotional Style
Your emotional style of processing SuperSleep® recordings will follow your emotional response norm, whatever that is.
Mary, a 30 year old office manager, had coped with difficult situations in her teen years by running away. She did a personal script on Clearing and Success. On day three listening to her tape, she impulsively walked out of her office, got in her car and drove more than 200 miles.
She called me long-distance from a pay phone to report her actions. Laughing, she said she saw her patterns clearly now. As an abused teen, she had run away from home, and she had been running away from bad situations ever since. As she drove the 200 miles back home, the whole issue and her need to escape were dissolved. She has not run away from a situation since.
People who have ignored or denied their emotions for a long time often experience a release of those emotions. They get angry (if they have ignored or denied their anger) or grief-stricken (if they have ignored or denied their grief).
Bob, a Southern gentleman stock broker / manager listened to Achieving Success. On day four, he called a meeting of his staff and climbed on the conference table. He said he knew what the staff had been doing for six months and he wasn’t going to let them get away with it anymore. Everyone was surprised with his outburst, including him. When he recovered from his embarrassment, he reported he was glad he did it. He reestablished his leadership, and his staff got back in line.
Grace had a kidney disease and recorded a personalized Healing script. She became exhausted and sad and cried for three days. Upon review, she told me her husband had died a year before. She had not accepted his death and had never grieved. The healing tape for her kidney disease triggered that buried grieving for her husband. She experienced seven tumultuous grief filled days and then moved on with her life in peace.
You may say things while you are clearing and processing that you would not normally say. These are things you have been thinking/feeling and not saying. I often become brutally blunt when I am clearing and processing, so I avoid teaching/training and meeting with clients during those times.
For instance, while I was processing an intense personal script, I took a phone call from one of my management consulting clients. I had been doing team building for one of her groups for two years and had just completed a no holds barred session to bring the dysfunctional group back into productivity. The manager calling me was most of the team’s problem, as she was always stirring the pot and keeping everyone off center to maintain control. That day, in response to her drama, I unloaded. I told her she reminded me of a child playing in a sand pile, hoarding the shovel and pail, and she was the problem. I lost that consulting contract. Needless to say, I no longer take business calls while I am processing!
One of the most wonderful things I have observed is the appropriate way in which even violent people process their anger while listening to a SuperSleep® recording.
Roy made a tape and called me on mornings one, two and three to say he hadn’t heard his tape yet. We decided he had so much resistance he was sabotaging putting it on at night, though the recorder was right beside his bed. On the fourth morning, he reported he had still not heard his tape — at least as far as he knew. But he wanted me to know that he found his tape recorder in pieces on the floor across the room from his bed that morning, where it had apparently been smashed against the wall. He had lived a violent life — as an abuser, a soldier, and a former CIA agent.
An interesting side note about Roy: he had worked extensively with hypnosis. His intellectual understanding of the brain and how to program it did not change the need for clearing or the intensity of his emotional processing.
Processing by Hemispheric Dominance
The left brain processors (logical, sequential thinkers; verbal expressers) usually process verbally. They talk about the issues as they come up for clearing. In most cases, that verbal release completes the clearing process.
A left brained couple, Mark and Mary, did personalized clearing recording at the same time. At dinner on the fifth night, they talked for hours about the issues on their tapes. Then they looked at each other and said, “Why are we talking about this? Who cares about this old stuff?” They had completed their processing and were clear and neutral about their issues.
The right brain processors (visual, emotive, creative) usually process in images. They see pictures float up from the past, flash back to old scenes, or dream about the people and issues involved. In most cases, that visualization completes their clearing process.
The more extreme right-brainers (about 5% of the people I have observed) process in nightmares.
Jane was clearing incest issues with three male family members. For three nights, she had nightmares. In each nightmare, she killed an offender — one per night. The nightmares disturbed her logical waking mind, but she kept listening until she felt neutral and complete. At the next family gathering, she saw all three of the abusers and was comfortable in their presence — not intimidated or frightened or shamed as she had been in the past. Jane is confident and self determined now, and rebuilding her personal and professional life in healthy ways.
Processing by Gender
There appears to be gender based processing patterns as well. About half of the men I have observed go into denial about the program working, though they have made the changes they wanted to make.
John did nothing but “veg out.” He was receiving workers compensation which just paid for his subsistence lifestyle. Supposedly, John worked as a real estate agent, but he admitted he really spent his days going from the TV to the refrigerator and back. He had no direction, no motivation, and no joy. We wrote a script for him.
On Day 10 listening to his recording, he told me it wasn’t working. He was very angry about wasting money on a program that didn’t work because he needed the money for his house payment. I asked him how much TV he was watching each day, and he exploded, “Watch TV! Why would I watch TV? There’s nothing worth watching on TV. I’ve got too much to do to watch TV.”
John recorded one personalized script every ten days, and by the third recording, he was expressing impatience that he didn’t have everything in place yet — he had so many plans.
About 10% of the men I’ve observed deny ever hearing the recording, much less having it work.
Joseph called me every day to report he was not able to sleep. He was angry, and according to him, he was exhausted after being up all night every night. After three weeks, I suggested he simply abandon the program, as it obviously wasn’t working for him.
The following day, Joseph’s wife called me. We had never met, but she told me they were good Christians (Joseph was a minister), and she could not listen to her husband telling me untruths any longer. She said she was the one not sleeping, as her husband’s deep and loud snoring was keeping her awake. She wanted me to know he really was sleeping. I don’t know if one, both, or neither of them was sleeping, but … they both made the desired life changes.
I learn from my own processing – knowing what “comes up” is what was significant in my theta closet. I look forward to deep and intense processing, because it means I am making deep and intense change!
Certain ranges of brainwave frequencies occur naturally when you are in certain states of mind, performing certain activities, having certain kinds of thoughts, etc. Many researchers are linking the production of certain neurochemicals with specific brainwave patterns. For instance, increases in alpha, theta, and delta brainwaves increase the production of DHEA and melatonin, anti-stress and anti-aging hormones. More specifically, a 10 Hz signal (alpha) boosts the production of serotonin which increases relaxation and eases pain. A 4 Hz (theta) signal boosts catecholamines which are vital for memory and learning. And in delta, the brain is triggered to release quantities of healing growth hormone. This suggests the brain’s internal communication system is based on frequency. Your brain may talk to itself in brainwave-ese.
An interesting side note is the effect of nicotine on brainwave patterns. EEG stimulation provided by nicotine is variable. The evidence indicates smokers generally use nicotine to moderate or normalize their states — to arouse themselves from boredom or calm themselves from over-stimulation. In other words, people get high on uppers, low on downers, and medium on nicotine. Continue reading