Hypnosis is a fascinating subject. As we become more and more technologically advanced, we are actually now able to scientifically verify the frequencies and characteristics of brainwaves. This means that it is possible to assess how deeply hypnotized a person is, and determine the extent to which their subconscious brain is open to receive positive suggestions.
Thankfully, the process used to measure brainwaves during hypnosis is simple and non-invasive. New, mobile, EEG machines are available nowadays that are easy to use and comfortable for the client. It is very exciting to have access to technology that allows the hypnotherapist to work alongside the client’s own natural state of relaxed attentiveness.
Gamma waves have a frequency of between 30 – 70Hz, and are generally present when a person is awake and focused on a particular stimulus (sound, taste, touch, etc.) However, although gamma waves play an important role in the brain, they do not operate alone. Gamma waves work alongside other brainwaves – supporting brain activity and helping us to organize the information we extract from our environment.
Beta waves have a frequency of between 13 – 30 Hz, and are associated with focused attention and activities that require concentration such as solving math problems. Beta waves are the most plentiful type of brainwaves, and occur when a person is alert and fully awake. Beta waves have also been detected when a person is anxious or fearful.
Alpha waves have a frequency of between 7 – 13 Hz, and are linked to creative thought and free association. Alpha waves occur when a person is in a state of relaxed wakefulness – such as just before falling asleep, or during light meditation. Alpha waves are also associated with calm, tranquil feelings, and a sensation of floating or drifting away.
Theta waves have a frequency of between 4 – 7 Hz, and are related to deep meditation, dreaming, and hypnosis. Theta waves are present during periods of reduced consciousness, although the person will still be relatively easy to wake up. Theta waves are also associated with a semi awake, semi asleep state, in which a person may feel that they are in a twilight zone.
Delta waves have the lowest frequency, of between 1 – 4 Hz, and are linked to deep dreamless sleep. Very experienced hypnotherapists are able to guide a person into deep hypnosis, in which delta waves predominate.
All five types of brainwaves are present in the brain. However, the dominant frequency measured via an EEG machine, will determine which type of brainwaves are in the majority, and whether the brain is in an alpha, beta, theta, etc. mode.