Our brain is an electro-chemical organ. We can measure the electrical output of our brain using EEG (also called a brain map or QEEG). Certain highs and lows are associated with certain neurobehavioral symptoms. EEG has been used for many years to determine seizure activity and proof of life. We use it to determine quality of life and function in the patients that come in to see us.
Here are brief descriptions of each wave:
Delta (1-4 hertz): Often referred to as the sleep wave. High delta waves are not a bad thing when we are asleep. High delta waves in a wakeful state can be very problematic. Brain fog is associated with high levels of delta. Brain fog in adults can be: losing your keys, not remembering where you parked, asking others where you left off mid sentence. Brain fog in children is usually seen when they zone out and have a hard time staying on task.
Theta (4-7 hertz): Referred to as the focus and attention wave. Also called the meditative wave. High delta waves have been associated with attention deficit disorder for many years. We often see high delta with autism cases, ADHD cases and people in their 40s and 50s who can longer focus well.
Alpha (8-12 hertz): We refer to alpha waves as the emotional waves. People who make high alpha tend to have difficulty controlling their emotions. Many have short fuses. High alpha can also make it difficult for us to filter our environment. People who make low alpha waves tend to deal with more depressive states and/or low motivation.
Beta (13-30 hertz): Deals with executive functions. These include learning, communication, understanding, organization and dealing with new situations. Unbalanced beta waves are associated to many different issues, including forms of ADHD and Autism Spectrum. High beta can also be seen in anxiety, OCD/addiction, fatigue, memory problems, chronic pain and insomnia. Low beta is often seen in low function brains and people who are experiencing burnout.
We can use a tool called neurofeedback to balance these brain waves. Neurofeedback is the retraining of brain waves using a computerized monitoring and reward system. A patient sits and watches a movie while photic (light) stimulation suggests to the brain to speed up or slow down, depending on the case. When the brain does what we want, the patient is rewarded with a movie. When the brain goes back to the old, negative pattern, the movie fades out. By doing this, a feedback loop is created. This allows the patient’s brain to learn how to regulate the brain waves by itself. The process often takes between 20-40 sessions to complete. The results can last for many years, barring any head trauma or major psychological trauma.
One of the most important factors in any case if knowing what you are dealing with. Analyzing the brain waves helps us determine if there is a neurological cause to the symptoms a person is dealing with. Balancing a person’s brain waves can be very helpful. We have used it for many years and had great success in ADHD, Autism Spectrum, post concussion, chronic pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia cases. For more information about brain maps or neurofeedback, feel free to contact us at The Martin Clinic (770)237-3970 or check us out at TheMartinClinic.com.