Meditation and Alpha Brain waves

Meditation and Alpha Brain waves         Ken Zhang

You’ve probably heard how meditation can improve creativity, help with stress, and help you deal with chronic pain; but, have you wondered why and how? One recent study from Brown University and Stanford University looks at this question in terms of alpha brain waves.

The hypothesis is when we monitor our moment- to-moment experiences, we are activating the same areas of our brain that are responsible for regulating and filtering our senses. The evidence of this can be revealed in the increased level of the alpha brain rhythms in these areas of the brain. In short, our brain produces neural oscillations as a result of electric signal from the interaction between our neurons. Alpha brain waves are neural oscillations that fall between 7 and 13 hz, and have been linked to states of relaxation, creativity, and concentration.

Everyone has his or her own narrative and story of reality. When we practice meditation, we learn to experience these biases, sensations, and feelings from moment-to-moment, and realize they are just mental events. The point is not to treat these mental events as bad or good, but to be able to recognize them and not let them control you. How many of us can say that we haven’t let sadness, lack of focus, and pain stop us from doing what we want to do? By being able to monitor, moderate, and regulate these mental events, we take steps to become the masters of our own body, breath, and mind.