Whether floating in sensory deprivation tank, having a deeply powerful meditation session, taking in the light and sound of a brainwave entrainment device, or ingesting a reality-shattering psychedelic, I’ve noticed commonalities shared between these experiences. This could include:
- Recalling long forgotten childhood memories
- Light bulb inducing insights
- Enhanced creativity
- Emotional healing
- Feelings of peace, happiness, acceptance
- Mystical experiences
I’ve always attributed these benefits to the tool itself. It was the float tank that caused me to come up with a solution to a work problem. It was ayahuasca that healed me from a traumatic event of my past. It was the mind machine that helped me recall an important conversation I had with a friend decades ago.
Yet as the years go by, these same results pop up with different tools. Perhaps things like float tanks, mind machines, or psychedelics aren’t directly causing these outcomes, but simply causing the brain to generate a certain brainwave pattern that allows these results to inevitably occur.
If you want to burn calories, practically the same body chemistry occurs whether you ride a bike or run on a treadmill. Could the same argument be used for brain-enhancing technology?
As I pulled on this thread and dove into the research, I found that the golden link between these methods are theta brain waves. Whether you’re deep in an iboga experience or in a peak meditation session, it’s the presence of theta waves that are largely making the experience so transformative.
In this article, we take a deep dive into the magic of theta brain waves. You’ll learn what they are, the life-changing benefits they could offer you, and how to reliably tap into theta waves in your own life. Doing so could help you to reprogram negative mental habits, increase creativity, heal emotional wounds and much more.
- 1 Types of Brainwaves
- 2 Theta Brain Waves Benefits
- 3 How To Access Theta Brain Waves
- 4 Conclusion
Types of Brainwaves
Before we dive in, let’s briefly go over the four categories of brain waves and the mental states they are associated with.
Beta (38hz – 12hz) – Normal waking consciousness occurs in the beta range. This category is associated with cognitive tasks such as problem-solving, decision making, verbal communication, and general mind wandering. Higher levels of beta brainwaves can be linked to stress, anxiety, and panic.
Alpha (12hz – 8hz) – Awake, but deeply relaxed. Simply closing your eyes will produce alpha brainwaves. This category is associated with daydreaming, visualization, imagination, light meditation. Brainwave expert Anna Wise called the alpha range the bridge between beta and theta.
Theta (8hz – 3hz) – Light sleep, dreaming, REM sleep, creativity, access to unconscious material, access to long-term memory, emotional healing, intuition, deep reverie, and spiritual wisdom. Hypnotists have found theta to be the range of hyper-suggestibility, where one can program or reprogram beliefs.
Delta (3hz – 0.2hz) – Deep, dreamless sleep. Intuition. Empathy. Brainwave expert Judith Pennington calls it the doorway to Universal Consciousness and “A radar that scans the environment and psychically picks up information and energy.” According to British physicist C. Maxwell Cade “There have been reports that delta waves appear at the onset of paranormal phenomena.”
In her book The High-Performance Mind, biofeedback expert Anna Wise describes Theta brain waves:
You feel a kind of niggling in the back of your mind, a persistent but indefinable nagging that tells you there is something wrong but will go no further in defining what it is. You may experience this sensation as something pushing at you from within, some of kind of knowledge that wants to get out but is locked away deep within the recesses of your psyche. Something you may even get close enough to it to feel an overwhelming sense of spiritual awakening, an inexplicable burst of creative insight, a cavernous sense of pain, or a dawning awareness of the possibilities of what might be hidden within your mind. When you experience these sensations, your theta brainwaves are trying to tell you something.1
If Beta and alpha are associated with conscious awareness, and delta is associated with the unconscious, then Theta is the bridge connecting the two. This is the reason why Theta is so special. When coupled with alpha waves (which I’ll explain later in this article), it gives you the ability to bring your conscious awareness down to the confines of your unconscious, an area of the mind you normally don’t have access to.
When you’re in this ‘twilight state’ as biofeedback expert Dr. Thomas Budzynski refers to it as, you’re able to tap into a mountain of hidden powers. In the next section, we’ll go over what each of these abilities is.
Theta Brain Waves Benefits
Accessing Long Term Memory
A common report from those who’ve reached higher states of consciousness is that of vividly recounting long forgotten memories.
During my experiences with mushrooms in bali, specific events from my childhood would constantly pop up – from conversations with old friends, to vivid images of the house I grew up in as a kid, to intense traumas relieved once again. Before this time, I didn’t even remember they existed in my mind. Yet in the midst of a psychedelic experience, they effortlessly rose to the surface.
An interesting link between childhood and theta brain waves is that up until age fourteen, we are primarily in a theta state – our minds are fluid, creative, never overthinking, and ready to soak up the world around us. As we get older and our brains develop, and faster beta waves dominate the mind, making it increasingly difficult to access theta.
Michael Hutchinson writes about this inability to generate theta and the inaccessibility of childhood memories:
In recent years a large number of scientific studies have explored a phenomenon called “state bound” or “state dependent” learning, In essence, they have found that things experienced in one state (of consciousness) are far more easily remembered later when we are once again in that same state. Things learned when we’re happy are remembered best when we’re happy, what we learn when cold is remembered when when we’re cold, and so on. This provides an explanation for the appearance of childhood memories to adults who are in theta.
Children spent most of their time in the theta state. But as adults, we rarely experience a true theta state. Most of us have a few seconds of it as we fall asleep, and that’s all. During those brief moments in theta we may experience sudden flashes of memory, vivid images, odd disconnected ideas, but we’re quickly asleep. Virtually all of our memories from childhood, then, are state dependent – they’re laid down while we’re in one state, but it’s a state that we almost never experience as adults. To remember them, we have to get back to the state in why they were first created.2
Storing Long Term Memory
Neuroscience is also finding the storing of long term memory is linked to the brain’s ability to produce theta waves.
For long term memory to be stored, a process called Long Term Potentiation (LTP) must take place, which involves various chemical and electrical changes in the neurons of the brain, allowing them to make stronger connections with one another, thus storing information for long term retrieval. If your brain is not undergoing LTP at this very moment, chances are you won’t remember reading this sentence a few weeks from now.
Neuroscientists have found that LTP occurs most optimally while the brain generates theta.3 Memory researcher Dr. Gary Lynch at the University of California at Irvine who discovered this finding states “We have found the magic rhythm that makes LTP. There’s a magic rhythm, the theta rhythm— the natural, indigenous rhythm— the natural, indigenous rhythm— the natural, indigenous rhythm of the hippocampus.”4
A study by Dr. James McGaugh also from UC Irvine also found correlation between theta brain waves and memory. Rats who were subject to electroconvulsive shocks were found to forget information they had just learned. These rats also showed no signs of theta wave production during this post shock period. Moreover, McGaugh later found that the more theta waves that were found after a rat’s training session, the more memories they retained in the future.5
Accessing Unconscious Material
Theta brain waves are the doorway allowing you to enter the content of your unconscious mind. This includes your innermost fears, desires, and beliefs quietly sitting under the radar. It’s these very influences that lead the adult male who can’t recall the childhood abandonment from his mother, to unknowingly become a love addict later in life. Or the woman enmeshed by her father decades earlier, who innately avoids intimate relationships as an adult.
For better or worse, the materials of your unconscious rules your life. It governs your behaviors, your habits, the people you surround yourself with, and all the micro-choices you makes throughout your life.
Interestingly enough, your unconscious is driven by theta. By generating theta waves, you’re essentially peeling back the layers and gaining access to the control panel of your mind. Typically for most of us, the only time we’re close to this level of entry is through dreams. In fact, Carl Jung was famous for saying that dreams were the royal road to the unconscious.
In the midst of dreaming, your conscious mind goes offline, allowing the unconscious to take over, bringing with it the hidden material running your life.
The problem with dreaming is the difficulty in retaining its contents shortly after waking. We’ve all had enlightening, light-bulb inducing dreams. Yet within minutes of our alarms ringing, those golden insights slip through our fingers and we forget what just moments before was a revelatory insight. Accessing theta mind states while conscious allows us to bypass this problem.
Biofeedback expert Elmer Green once said the hypnagogic imagery of these mend states will eventually become the “royal road to the unconscious”, rather than dreams. One of Green’s colleagues, psychiatrist Lawrence Kubie writes:
The hypnagogic reverie might be called a dream without distortion. Its immediate instigator is the day’s “unfinished business,” but like the dream it derives from more remote “unfinished business” of an entire lifetime as well. Whatever the explanation … with [hypnagogic reverie] significant information about the past can be made readily and directly accessible without depending upon the interpretations which are requisite in the translation of dreams.
It is probable that in this partial sleep, in this no-man’s land between sleeping and waking, a form of dissociation occurs which makes it possible to bypass the more obstinate resistances which block our memories in states of full conscious awareness, and which contribute to the distortion of memory traces in dream. The patient’s free associations seem to flow with extraordinary freedom and vividness, gravitating spontaneously to early scenes and experiences with intense affects, yet without the multiple distortions that occur in the dream process.6
WARNING: For some, they may not be ready for what the unconscious presents them. If you have experienced extreme trauma or abuse in the past, seek the assistance of a medical professional before attempting to access theta. They will be able to create a safe environment to explore your unconscious and offer you the guidance, support, and integrative practices to heal after the experience.
Theta Brain Waves Healing
As I’ve discussed earlier, theta waves are linked to the accessing of long-term memory. There is a wide quality spectrum of content you could end up remembering – from the pleasant, to the odd or random, but other times memories can be extremely traumatic.
Normally the mind locks these painful events in its attics as a protection mechanism. If we manage to find them, emotional triggers fire off making it difficult to process or heal. Over time these lingering traumas affect our lives in a myriad of ways. Carl Jung once said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
Theta brain waves are special in that they allow you to relive these long forgotten traumas without the knee-jerk, emotional triggers. Biofeedback expert Elmer Green writes:
Some interesting research ideas have come from theta training. For instance, one of its values seems to be the deeply peaceful state that is achieved. When normally buried information comes to conscious while the patient is in this state, he or she seems to be buffered against limbic overreactivity. Is there a neurochemical or neurotransmitter correlate here?
The patient may be uncomfortable with what is “dredged up,” but information seems to be “metered” in a way that makes it tolerable. The unconscious seems to have an innate wisdom that may be protective when we ask for “answers from the unconsciousness.” This is not contraindicative of the yogic idea that the unconscious includes not only the reactive “subconscious” but also a wiser “superconscious.”7
Psychedelics such as MDMA (which have been proven to increase theta waves8) have shown promising results to help those struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).9 Victims such as war veterans who’ve undergone MDMA-assisted therapy have reported the ability to process traumatic events without the emotional triggers, thus allowing the memory to be stored away, linked with non-stress related neural connections.
We all have mental baggage weighing us down – whether that’s not getting the love/safety we needed from our parents/caregivers, physical/sexual abuse, physical/emotional violence, being picked on at school, or any other painful event in our past. Whatever the case may be, these events limit our lives more ways than we’re consciously aware of. By accessing theta brain waves we can finally help heal and removes its shackles over us, which leads to our next point.
Breaking Of Addiction
Renowned addiction expert Gabor Maté is famous for saying that addiction is not the problem, yet an attempt to solve a deeper emotional issue. Addiction stems from trauma. Things like drugs, sex, gambling are ways to resolve feelings of inadequacy that trauma has created. By healing from trauma, we can break free of our addictions.
One of the tools Maté advocates his patients to help in this aim is through plant medicines such as ayahuasca and ibogaine, both of which have shown to be effective.10 It’s no surprise that both of these medicines have shown to elevate levels of theta brain waves in users.11 As we’ve noted earlier, maybe it’s not the drug itself, but the theta mind state these drug put users in that contributes to the overcoming of addiction.
A study conducted by psychologists Eugene Pensington and Roger Kulkowsky of the University of Southern Colorado studied theta’s role in addiction recovery through biofeedback therapy. Their team tested a group of alcoholics for their levels of depression. For a ten-week period, one group of subjects received traditional therapy, while another received biofeedback training learning to generate alpha/theta waves. The alpha/theta group showed greater recovery rates than the traditional therapy group. A 13-month follow-up study showed the alpha/theta group did not relapse and continued to be free of their addiction.12
We’ve all met individuals who over a course of a few months of diving into things like meditation, yoga, floatation tank use, seem to have a certain glow about them. Maybe they became more positive, less judgmental, more compassionate to those around them. Are theta waves a contributing factor in this positive personality change? Studies are now confirming this.
The same University of Southern Colorado study which tested the effects of biofeedback on depression/alcoholism, unintentionally stumbled another exciting finding. The group that received training to generate alpha/theta waves showed significant positive changes in their personality. Aside from reduced levels of anxiety and depression, the group also showed significant increases in the following: warmth, abstract thinking, stability, conscientiousness, boldness, imaginativeness, and self-control. Again, the alpha/theta group outperformed the control group by showing positive adjustments in 13 different personality scales, as opposed to only two scales by the control group.13
Another study by the Imperial College London found that alpha/theta biofeedback training could significantly improve one’s mood. Splitting two groups into a real alpha/theta biofeedback or mock biofeedback group, they found the real biofeedback group showing significantly more energetic, composed, agreeable, elevated, and confident.14
So if you want to see become more positive, show more confidence, and generally have a warmer personality, then learning to tap into theta waves could bring you just that.
Have you ever noticed that some of your best a-ha moments come when you least expect it? Maybe you’re washing your hair in the shower, driving alone in your car, or lying in bed shortly after waking where your mind quiets down and the solutions to some of your greatest problems become clear as day. It’s in these special moments where stronger theta waves are produced, bringing with it sparks of creativity.
Anna Wise talks about this theta-driven mental state:
I found that the awakened mind pattern was produced at the moment of creative inspiration, regardless of person’s spiritual dogma, belief, or tradition. The musician composing, the choreographer creating a dance, and the artist painting all produced this combination at times of peak creativity. The mathematician solving a difficult equation and the science in the midst of an experiment also display this brainwave pattern. The CEO making a decision in the boardroom and the homemaker keeping an exquisitely appointed house both may produce this pattern.1
A study by Texas A&M professor Thomas Taylor explored the correlation between theta brain waves and creative thinking. Hooking up his students to EEG headsets to monitor their brain waves, he presented information to his students and monitored their ability in what he referred to as “synthesis thinking”, or an ability to approach difficult problems in a new and original angle. The EEG results showed at the moment where this synthesis thinking occurred, there was a spike in theta brain wave activity.2
A University of London study gave EEG neurofeedback training to first year contemporary dance conservatoire students, and found those who received the training showed an increase in cognitive creativity.3 Another study by the University of the Pacific found that alpha/theta brainwave training was found to increase flexibility in thinking, or to see a given problem from multiple perspectives.4
As I’ve mentioned earlier, up until age fourteen theta is the primary brain wave the mind produces. Could this be the reason why kids seem to be little bundles of creativity, looking at the world through fresh eyes and effortlessly thinking of new ideas? As we age, our minds become further dominated by the faster moving beta waves. This could explain why some of history’s greatest musicians, painters, poets tend to produce their greatest, most original work earlier in their careers.
If you’d like to have greater creativity – whether at the workplace, in the arts, or even at home, theta be your key to improve this special ability.
Most of us have tried to change limiting beliefs, negative attitudes and self-destructive behaviors in the past. One popular technique to achieve this is affirmations. We wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and tell ourselves that our marriages will be stronger, we’ll act more confident at work, our bodies will be healthier, or countless other aspirations. As encouraging as these affirmations can feel, they have low success rates.
One of the reasons this is true is the various mental filters our minds have in place preventing these beliefs from sticking. It’s only during the drowsy, theta mind state where these filters go offline and we become hyper-suggestible. Michael Hutchinson speaks of this phenomena:
One of the characteristics of the theta or twilight state that we have discussed is hypersuggestibility. (In other words, suggestions or statements enter directly into your brain or unconscious mind, and are accepted as being true, bypassing the mental filters and critical defense mechanisms by which we usually judge such statements). In theta, as Thomas Budzynski points out, our minds uncritically accept verbal material or almost any material they can process. Our subjective experience of theta, however, is one of a drowsy, largely unconscious state. As soon as we become conscious, or begin actively paying attention to something, we pop out of theta and are not longer hyper suggestible, since our critical screening defenses are operating once again.5
Various studies have confirmed these findings. A 1965 study by Felipe of Yale University tested the effects of attitude-change around interracial dating. The participants were played a tape recording of affirmations during waking, drowsy, and deep sleep mental states. It was only during the theta-dominated drowsy state where significant changes in attitude were found.6
Another study in 1998 by De Pascalis Vilfredo of Sapienza University of Rome found that high suggestible subjects produced higher theta activity (6.25–8 Hz) compared to low suggestible subjects.7
Famed neuroscientist, psychonaut, and pioneer of the sensory deprivation tank, John Lily describes the mind as an operating system a computer would house. This OS contains a host of beliefs, traumas, habits, fears, and desires which we download from the environment we grow in. Just like any other software program, we have the ability to rewrite the bugs it contains that does not serve us. Perhaps theta waves become the anti-virus program we load into this OS, allowing us to scan and reprogram the faulty lines of code holding the system back.
Biofeedback expert Judith Pennington writes how theta can be a bridge towards spiritual wisdom:
The early Greeks inscribed on the temple of Apollo this famous injunction: “Know thyself and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the gods and the universe.” The ancients knew that the key to personal evolution lies in the subconscious, which opens the doors of perception in the unconscious to the knowledge, wisdom, and love flowing in Universal Mind.
You will find a pure and perfect aspect of yourself in theta— and the answers to all of your questions. Theta is a wonderful place to inhabit. It is a non-judgmental realm of peace, wisdom, and light where you can heal and transform any unwanted programming that obstructs your progress in life.8
Religions and cultures throughout history had an intuitive understanding of what science is now learning. In fact, various studies throughout the past several decades have all found elevated theta activity, regardless of the participant’s religious background.
A 1961 study at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences of New Delhi studied Hindu Yoga masters during a peak mystical state called samadhi, finding elevated theta waves.9
A 1966 study by Akira Kasamatsu and Tomio Hirai of The University of Tokyo examined Japanese Zen priests, found significant theta activity while the participants were deep in meditation.10
A 2008 study by Mario Beauregard and Vincent Paquette of The University of Montreal examined the Carmelite Catholic nuns and mystical experiences. Based on the nuns stating that God could be summoned at will, the experimenters placed the nuns in a dark, soundproof rooms and asked them to remember and relive the most intense state of union with either a.) God or b.) another human. EEG patterns found elevated theta power when the nuns were in the former scenario.
British scientist and zen master C Maxwell Cade spent decades studying the EEG patterns of those with high degree of control over their mind. He spent a great deal of time with those who claimed to be healers. While observing the healer and patient in session, he found an increase of alpha/theta activity in the healer, and subsequently in the patient.11
From Zen monks, to Catholic nuns, to energy healers, their experiences in the mystical world all have one trait in common: theta brain waves. If you want to have contact with the mystical dimensions of reality and feel a sense of unity with a higher power, then learning to increase theta is a proven method to accomplish this.
How To Access Theta Brain Waves
As you’ve read, learning to harness theta brain waves has the power to improve your life in a myriad of ways. But the question now becomes how can you tap into this peak mind state for yourself?
From all the research I’ve done on theta, by and large, experts have all stated that it is difficult to produce. Most people unintentionally catch glimpses of while awake but aren’t able to enter this mental state consciously.
Yet researchers have also found that with conscious practice, practically anyone can learn to produce theta at will. Most of the biofeedback-based studies which trained subjects to produce alpha/theta had a protocol of at least 8 weeks of regular training sessions. I’d approach this with the same expectation.
In the next section, I’ll share some of the best tips I’ve come across that will help you speed up this process.
1. Reduce Beta Brain Waves
The first step in accessing theta is to quiet the chattering mind. In neuroscience talk, this means reducing beta waves. Fast oscillating beta waves are associated with conscious mental activity, which includes problem-solving, planning, analyzing, future projections, remembering past events, or any other type of active thinking.
With the monkey mind unchained to run about, it inhibits your mind’s ability to produce theta. Therefore we need to cage the monkey to free up theta. Increasing your alpha waves will naturally reduce beta, and the next step outlines how to do just that.
2. Increase Alpha Brain Waves
Alpha brain waves are associated with a relaxed mind and body state. As you let go of the thought streams running through your mind and turn inward, your brain naturally relaxes and enters an alpha state. There are a number of apps that have excellent guided meditation sessions to help you with this. I can personally vouch for headspace, calm, and buddhify.
Outside of these apps, here are some additional tips to tap into alpha.
Closing your eyes are physiologically linked to the production of alpha waves. If you’re hooked up to an EEG device, you’ll see a spike around 10hz (which is in the frequency range of alpha) the moment you close your eyes.
Getting in touch with the physical senses is a sure-fire way to get out of your head and activate alpha waves. Pay attention to all the subtle sounds around you. Do a body scan starting from the top of your head, making your way down to your toes. Watch the colors of all the objects in the room. Are there any smells around you that stand out?
One of the most tried and true methods meditators have used for thousands of years is to simply follow the breath. You can either pay attention to the rising and falling of your stomach/chest or feel the air moving in and out of your nose.
Another great tip I’ve heard from biofeedback expert Judith Pennington is to relax the tongue. This is a mind hack that long-term meditators have been using for centuries. It’s counter-intuitive, but by relaxing your tongue, I’ve noticed the mind follows suit and begin to slow down.
The Alpha Bridge
Most adults only enter a theta state before dosing off to sleep, and while in REM sleep. As we’ve discussed, it’s very difficult to retain the content your mind produces during these moments. This is because alpha waves are not present.
Alpha waves are the bridge that connects subconscious content to conscious awareness. Alpha helps both transmit conscious thoughts down to the subconscious and allows material from the subconscious make its way to your conscious mind for you to process.
Anna Wise writes:
The theta provides the depth of meditation – the subconscious inner space from which the creativity springs, or the spiritual connection is made, or the self-healing is programmed in the body. Theta gives you the experience of profundity in your meditation. Alpha provides the link, or bridge, to the conscious mind so that you can actually remember the contents of theta. If you meditate without alpha, producing theta alone, you will not remember your meditation! Remember, theta is the subconscious, and theta waves generally occur below conscious awareness. So anything that takes place below that line will remain subconscious unless the brainwaves that bridge the subconscious to the conscious are active. When acting as a bridge, alpha waves provide a clearer, sharper form of imagery through which the contents of the theta can be filtered.1
3. Access Theta Brain Waves
As you begin to generate greater alpha waves, theta will eventually break through the surface. How long will this take?
I’ve interviewed a number of brainwave entrainment experts on Warrior Radio who use pulses of sound and light to entrain the brain into alpha/theta mental states. Most of these experts have told me it typically takes 30 minutes or so diving into alpha, where their clients can finally see theta increasing. Keep this in mind during your theta training sessions.
Technology To Access Theta
There are also a number of methods that have been proven to increase theta waves, listed below.
Theta Brain Wave Meditation: The House of Doors
One of the most widely used ways biofeedback experts I’ve researched have used to access theta is through a particular visualization. This involves visualizing yourself traveling downwards. This could be walking down a set of stairs in a castle, or traveling down a tunnel, or sinking deeper down an ocean. Anna Wise writes:
The key to accessing theta is to find a way to go deeply into yourself – into your own subconscious. The type of images that best access theta brain waves are those that take you on long journeys. The actual image itself doesn’t matter; it is the effect the image has on your brainwaves that is important. Images that take you down, through, and in help to access theta brain waves.
The more changes you make, the deeper you tend to go. Remember the experience in the House of Doors meditation above. After stimulating alpha waves with the sensual imagery in the outdoor environment, you went in through the front door, passing through an entrance hallways, into and through a room of mirrors, down a long hallway, and into a room. Then the process deepened your brainwaves even more by repeating it on the opposite side of the hall.
To help deepen theta waves, you can also use images that you under, over, around, and up. You can create your own theta-accessing meditation by developing imagery using these directional movements.
Write About Your Experience Afterwards
Once your theta meditation session has completed, draw or write about the experience. It’s far too easy to forget about the contents of your meditation. This is especially true if you weren’t generating strong alpha waves, which act as the bridge to transport unconscious material to conscious awareness. Anna Wise writes:
If you were producing a true meditation pattern of theta and alpha, you will have already created the bridge that allows you to be aware of the content of the experience while it was happening. If you alpha is low in frequency, however, the material will travel only halfway along the bridge. Because nothing is drawing it strongly enough toward consciousness it will literally turn around and slide back down into the subconsciousness, and it even feels as if it is there on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t quite get it to emerge from the subconscious.
Writing down key insights immediately after the experience will help solidify content in your mind.
Alternatively, you can draw. During my holotropic breathwork retreat, (a method known to produce strong theta waves), participants are encouraged to express what they went through by drawing inside a mandala circle. Here’s a picture I drew that represented the intense energy flowing through me during the breathwork session:
Numerous myths throughout history have spoken of the untapped power buried within all of us. Everyone has the potential to tap into things like deep insight, healing abilities, boundless creativity, the capacity to reprogram the mind, and mystical experiences.
Theta is the ‘royal road’ you travel to access these higher levels of power. Through long-term practice, you can learn to quiet the mind, and strengthen theta waves, giving you the power to walk this royal road at will.
Cover Photo by Seam Less
Do you have experience with theta brain waves? Let us know in the comments below.
- Wise, Anna. The high-performance mind: mastering brainwaves for insight, healing, and creativity. New York: Penguin, 2004. Print.
- Taylor, Thomas E. “Learning Studies for Higher Cognitive Levels in a Short-Term Sensory Isolation Environment.” Paper delivered at first International Conference on REST and Self-Regulation, Denver, Colo., March 17, 1983.
- Gruzelier, J. H., et al. “Application of Alpha/theta neurofeedback and heart rate variability resonance training to young contemporary dancers: State anxiety, creativity and personality.” Int J Psychophysiol, SAN special issue, Applied Neuroscience: Development & Pathology (2013).
- Boynton, Tracy. “Applied research using alpha/theta training for enhancing creativity and well-being.” Journal of Neurotherapy 5.1-2 (2001): 5-18.
- Mega Brain Power: Transform Your Life With Mind Machines and Brain Nutrients (p. 94). Mega Brain World.
- Budzynski, Thomas H. “Biofeedback and the twilight states of consciousness.” Consciousness and self-regulation. Springer US, 1976. 361-385.
- De Pascalis, Vilfredo, et al. “EEG activity and heart rate during recall of emotional events in hypnosis: relationships with hypnotizability and suggestibility.” International Journal of Psychophysiology 29.3 (1998): 255-275. APA
- Pennington, Judith. Your psychic soul: embracing your sixth sense. Virginia Beach, VA: 4th Dimension Press, 2012. Print.
- B. K. Anand, G. S. Chhina, & B. Singh, Some Aspects of Electroencephalographic Studies in Yogis, Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology 13 (1961), pp. 452-456.
- Kasamatsu, Akira, and Tomio Hirai. “An electroencephalographic study on the Zen meditation (Zazen).” Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 20.4 (1966): 315-336.
- Cade, Cecil Maxwell, and Nona Coxhead. The awakened mind: biofeedback and the development of higher states of awareness. Shaftesbury: Element, 1991. Print.
- Peniston, Eugene G., and Paul J. Kulkosky. “α‐θ Brainwave Training and β‐Endorphin Levels in Alcoholics.” Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 13.2 (1989): 271-279.
- Peniston, E. G., & Kulkosky, P. J. (1990). Alcoholic personality and alpha-theta brainwave training. Medical Psychotherapy, 2, 37–55.
- Raymond, Joshua, et al. “The effects of alpha/theta neurofeedback on personality and mood.” Cognitive brain research 23.2 (2005): 287-292.