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Brain wave Synchronization –
Bringing the 2 Sides of Your Brain Together
If you’ve read the earlier article on Brain Lateralization, you’ll know that your brain is divided into two sides or hemispheres which are slightly different from each other.
So, when you measure the brain waves generated by both sides of your brain, you’ll find that they’re slightly out-of-sync or out-of-phase from each other.
But don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with you, most people’s brainwaves are slightly out-of-phase during normal waking consciousness. The process of bringing the brain waves of both sides of your brain together is called Brainwave Synchronization.
What’s Brainwave Synchronization All About?
In the 1970s and early '80s, a series of studies and brain wave experiments showed that successful people, regardless of their areas of expertise, such as businessmen, musicians, artists, sportsmen, martial arts experts, advanced meditators, yogis, spiritual teachers, etc., all had a high degree of brainwave synchronization.
In other words, both hemispheres of their brains were working in harmony with each other, resulting in one synchronized brain wave pattern in phase (or almost in phase)with each half of the brain.
During moments of deep thought or creativity, their brain waves would slow down from beta to alpha and even theta. Both sides of their brains – ordinarily out of phase – would start working together in a balanced, synchronized manner.
When hooked up to an EEG as they went about their normal everyday work, the brain waves of these people all showed a remarkable degree of brainwave synchronization, especially during peak performance or when they experienced "ah-ha" moments.
The experiments and studies showed that successful people use both sides of their brains more often than the average person.
In addition, the researchers also concluded that meditation was able to balance both sides of the brain and achieve "brainwave synchronization" or "whole-brain functioning".
The scientific researchers also noticed that spiritual teachers and advanced meditators were able to achieve a balanced state of brain synchronization and whole brain functioning quite quickly through meditation.
It’s like training for a race. The longer you train, the fitter you become. Same thing here, except that you’re training the mind to meditate.
Slower Brain waves, Higher Brainwave Synchronization
When the brain is highly lateralized (one side of the brain is significantly more dominant than the other), the frequency of the brain waves also increases.
In other words, the more lateralized and out-of-phase the brain waves are, the faster the frequency of the brain waves.
During normal waking consciousness, when both sides of the brain are out-of-phase, the brain waves are usually in Beta brain wave patterns.
However, at higher Beta brain wave frequencies, you’ll feel uneasy, tense & uncomfortable, stressed-out and out-of-sync (literally).
Not surprisingly, this is also when your brain is highly lateralized and the brain waves are out-of-phase with each other.
As brain wave synchronization increases, the two sides of your brain communicate more with each other. Your brain waves begin to slow down from Beta to Alpha brainwaves as the dissonance or difference between the phases start to narrow. You’ll start feeling relaxed, peaceful yet alert at the same time.
If your brain waves slowdown enough, you'll eventually enter Theta (a bridge to the subconscious and that "ah-ha" moment of insight & creativity) and maybe even Delta brainwaves (a deep dreamless state or extremely deep meditation).
Further brainwave synchronization beyond this point will lead to both sides of your brain being so balanced that your brainwaves will merge into a single coherent brain wave pattern.
Some people believe that at this point, the normal conscious mind is bypassed and you finally achieve the "it", the "oneness" or enlightenment that people seek from meditation. It’s a state of mind that some people call the awakened mind.
Remember that the Interesting Fact in the Brain Lateralization article? The one where it talks about how your brain goes through 90-minute cycles where one hemisphere dominates and then the other.
Well, did you know that these same cycles continue even when you sleep? During sleep, the brain goes through a similar 90-minute cycle with varying levels of brain activity.
EEG measurements show that the frequency of your brain waves go through a 90-minute cycle (approximately) cycling through Alpha, Theta and Delta brain waves. Researchers have also noticed that dreams or REM always occur during the same part of the cycle.
For a normal 7-8 hours sleep, our mind goes through about 5 cycles. Whether we feel refreshed and energized or grumpy and tired when we wake up depends on which part of the sleep cycle that we’re in when we wake up.
That’s why it’s better to wake up after about 15-20 minutes of sleep instead of a longer period, as our brain waves are in Alpha state at that time.
How to Increase Brainwave Synchronization or Whole-Brain Functioning
One tried and tested way to increase brainwave synchronization is through meditation. As the meditator becomes more advanced, it becomes easier and quicker to increase the degree of brainwave synchronization.
In my next article, Types of Brainwave Entrainment, I'll discuss various techniques for brainwave entrainment and synchronization. One technique teaches you to naturally slow down your brainwaves, anytime & anywhere. You'll find out about a faster way to synchronize your brainwaves. The last technique is quite possibly the most powerful mind-power technique I've come across...
You can read all about these amazing self-help techniques here...