New scientific studies confirms that the human brain can be elevated to higher “extraordinary” states of consciousness by elevating brainwaves to the Gamma state (and beyond), in which it produces Gamma brainwaves (which can work out the whole brain and for greater brain fitness)
In the Gamma state, which has a frequency of about 40 Hz and above, we can experience extreme focus, bursts of insight, clarity, energy, ecstasy, and “higher levels of brain organization ‘binding’ information from all the senses together for a higher-level awareness of unity of the objects of our perception.”
Erik Hoffman, Ph. D. brain researcher and author of “New Brain, New World,” tells us about brainwaves:
“The human brain consists of about 20 billion neurons, which all generate electrical impulses. When these neurons work together in synchrony, tiny rhythmic, electrical potentials occur in the synapses which are specialized junctions between the neurons. The more neurons that work in synchrony, the larger the potential (amplitude) of the electrical oscillations measured in microvolts. The faster the neurons work together, the higher the frequency of the oscillations measured in Hertz. These two parameters: amplitude and frequency are the primary characteristics of brainwaves…Finally, recent research points to Gamma waves as the brain’s signature of higher states of consciousness.”
These brainwaves can be measuring with electroencephalography (EEG) devices, and range roughly from 0.5 Hz Delta waves to 200 Hz Lambda waves. In the image below, you can see from Delta (.5-3 Hz) to Gamma (31-120 Hz) waves.
Note that cycles per second (cps) equal Hertz (Hz).
The good news is, doing a few key things can help elevate your brain to these higher states!
1. Joyful Laughter = A Brain Workout
According to a new Study from Loma Linda University Health, joyful or mirthful laughter produces brain wave frequencies similar to those seen among people who reach what is considered the desired “true state of meditation.”
“What we have found in our study is that Humor Associated with Mirthful Laughter sustains high-amplitude gamma-band oscillations. Gamma is the only frequency found in every part of the brain. What this means is that humor actually engages the entire brain — it is a whole brain experience with the gamma wave band frequency and humor, similar to meditation, holds it there; we call this being, ‘in the zone’,” said Lee Berk, DrPH, MPH, principal investigator of the study and associate professor School of Allied Health Professions and associate research professor, pathology and human anatomy, School of Medicine, at Loma Linda University.
“When there is mirthful laughter, it’s as if the brain gets a workout because the gamma wave band is in synch with multiple other areas that are in the same 30-40 hertz frequency. This allows for the subjective feeling states of being able to think more clearly and have more integrative thoughts. This is of great value to individuals who need or want to revisit, reorganize, or rearrange various aspects of their lives or experiences, to make them feel whole or more focused,” Berk said.
Subjects who engage in joyful laughter produce substantial brain gamma wave band frequencies (30 to 40 Hz), which, according to other published research, are now known to be similar to those experienced by people who meditate and reach a state of contentment and happiness, the study said.
The brain wave measurements showed that when watching humorous videos, the brain produced significant levels of gamma waves.
2. Meditation and Brain States
A 2004 study done at the University of Wisconsin found that long-term meditators can self-induce high-amplitude Gamma synchrony during mental practice.
Other experiments on Tibetan Buddhist monks have shown a correlation between transcendental mental states and Gamma waves.
Such evidence may explain the heightened sense of consciousness, intellectual acuity, and bliss commonly experienced after meditation. Meditation is also known to have a number of health benefits beyond brain fitness, including: mood elevation, stress reduction, increased life expectancy of the mind and cognitive faculties.
3. Brain Nutrition and Supplementation
We know from studies that nutrients from plants can modulate and speed up brainwaves. Nutrients play an important role in the creation and repair of all cells in the body, including brain cells (neurons).
Neuroscientist James Joseph notes that damage to neurons can inhibit brain cell communication, which can cause a decline in brain function and reduced brain activity. The damage to the neurons may be caused by nutritional deficiencies, especially an antioxidant deficiency.
So, what specific nutrients and foods can speed up brain waves and improve brain fitness?
Antioxidants. Antioxidants terminate free-radical chain reactions—which can damage and kill cells—by removing free radical intermediates. Antioxidants are found abundantly in green tea, acai berries, cacao, and blueberries. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that is widely available in supplements and foods.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega-3s are vital to optimal brain function, especially cell communication. They are found in chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and fish oil.
Neurotransmitter Precursors. Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter for sensory perception, memory, learning, muscle movement and control, brain cell communication, and many other mental processes. To produce acetylcholine, your brain needs choline, an acetyl molecule, and pantothenic acid. In my experience, the best form of choline is Alpha-GPC, the best dietary acetyl is Acetyl L-Carnitine, and the best pantothenic acid is Vitamin B5.
Blueberries. In addition to containing antioxidants, blueberries are shown in studies to be effective in blocking chemical reactions contributing to plaque build-up prevalent in Alzheimer’s!
Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are a healthy type of fat that the brain can use as a high-quality and sustained fuel source. Keep in mind that the human brain can use as much energy as a 25-watt light bulb!
Each of these nutritional benefits can speed up brain waves by giving your brain the structural and energetic support it needs to protect its cells, create new cells, and fuel its processes.
In my experience, a lifestyle of eating all of these foods and nutrients in abundance; meditating; laughing hysterically as much as possible; and sharing love with people, animals, and nature has produced profoundly high states of consciousness.
A sustained higher level of mental functioning is possible in which “quantum moments” of profound insight and clarity occur. In this state, I feel connection, love, gratitude, and bliss that is ineffably awesome.
To your empowerment,
Sam, a Brain Health Entrepreneur, is the CEO and developer of BrainJuice, a food-derived brain supplement (www.NaturalBrainJuice.com). He is a regular contributing author for TodaysFitnessTrainer.com. Stay tuned for more enlightening information in the upcoming months!
- O’Nuallain, Sean. “Zero Power and Selflessness: What Meditation and Conscious Perception Have in Common”. Journal: Cognitive Sciences 4(2).
- Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice – http://www.pnas.org/content/101/46/16369.long
- Brainwaves and Brain Mapping, “New Brain, New World.” – http://www.newbrainnewworld.com/?Brainwaves_and_Brain_Mapping
- Humor Associate Laughter Produces Brain Waves Similar to Those Who Achieve a ‘True State of Meditation,’ Says Loma Linda University Health Study – http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11782387.htm
- Epsilon, Gamma, HyperGamma, Lambda Brainwave Activity and Ecstatic States of Consciousness – http://www.neuroacoustic.com/epsilon.html
- Meet Your Brain Waves — Introducing Alpha, Beta, Theta, Delta, And Gamma – http://www.finerminds.com/mind-power/brain-waves/
- Are There Certain Foods That Speed Up Your Brain Waves? – http://www.livestrong.com/article/488302-top-foods-that-speed-up-your-brain-waves/