By Anna Raab, M.A. BCN, Abundant Living Neurofeedback and Counseling
Part 1: The Brain is an Electrical Organ
In this article I am going to begin to explain the mental health technology that literally saves lives. With this tool I’ve been able to resolve suicidal depression, anxiety, ADHD and so much more. I have been able to see healing where only the word treatment or coping had been used before. I am so excited to explain what it is, how it works, and what it can help.
Most people are familiar with biofeedback, right? With biofeedback a person can learn to control heart rate, body temperature, muscle tension, and other physiological process for which we are usually unaware. Well, with Neurofeedback we can actually learn to regulate our brain wave activity. That’s right, our brain waves can be trained to normalize.
Most people aren’t even really aware of what our brain waves do, much less that they can misbehave. But the reality is that our brain is an electro-chemical universe and the patterns of electrical activity have everything to do with our human existence and experience. There is enough electricity in our brain in our waking moments to light up a small light bulb! Our brain has an estimated 100 million Neurons and 100 trillion connections. That’s a lot of traffic! We are electrical beings!
All these neuron connections are carrying impulses of electrical activity ranging from very slow to very fast electrical currents. These currents are measured in cycles per second called hertz. From slow to fast these waves are called Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma brainwaves. In the waking state all types of activity are working together to accomplish all the tasks of brain processing.
I love metaphors and because I’m a musician I love this one. Just like a chord of five notes resonates when certain notes are played, electrical patterns also seem to resonate best when in certain relationship to each other. The reason a chord of notes resonates is because those notes are an exact ratio to another and hence those sound waves resonate and sound beautiful. On the contrary, if we hit a sharp or a flat it can ruin the whole chord and we hear dissonance because a soundwave is “misbehaving” and is either too fast or too slow and creates discord with the other waves.
Something similar is true with brainwave activity. According to Neurofeedback research and databases that show normal brainwave activity in humans, brainwaves need to operate in a certain relationship to each other in order for optimal brain processing to occur. When there is too much or too little of any type of electrical activity a type of disharmony can emerge and signals do not resonate and operate the way they need to for optimal effectiveness. ADHD is a common disorder that has been shown to commonly have a theta to beta ratios that are too high, hence causing a slowing of the electrical traffic and causing symptoms.
Understanding the brain as an electrical organ is the first step in understanding true mental health. It’s not all in your head, but it is all in your brain.