How often have you said a phrase and wondered what it meant?
I guess I’m a bit of a late learner with the term bucket list because a couple of years ago I found out it means that you are creating a list of things you want to accomplish before you “kick the bucket,” or to put it nicely, achieve in a lifetime. I had just a slightly different perspective, but I wasn’t too far off. I laugh to think how we can barely get through our daily to do list let alone a lifetime! But…we must continue to set intentions to achieve our goals
At the moment your travel bucket list has been halted, and it might have messed with your psyche a bit, so this is a perfect time to think Acupuncture!
Yep! You read it right! Acupuncture topped the list on what Americans wanted to try in 2019 according to a Mind-Body Wellness Index. The results showed that acupuncture is the most popular integrative therapy for all age groups and genders with the exception of 18–25-year-old women, where it came in second behind massage.
Acupuncture is noted for many ailments, but I‘d like to discuss how it shifts our brain wave state and influences our emotions, sleep, behavior and how we learn.
During a session, acupuncture stimulates the release of endogenous opioids, serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, nitric oxide, GAMA, and noradrenaline to name a few. These chemicals are naturally produced during different brain waves. After a treatment, most people will experience a relaxed, lighter euphoric feeling with reduced pain.
Brain waves are produced by synchronized electrical impulses from masses of neurons communicating in our brain. Each brain wave has different amplitudes, frequencies and are responsible for different activities. It is important to note that our brain waves change throughout the day depending on what we are doing, thinking, and feeling.
Beta in when we are in alert mental awareness. It controls our conscious thinking and cognitive tasks such as decision-making. It is our “Go Go Go, Do Do Do…Never enough time” mentality. If you are in fear, worrying, and festering over past experiences, you are in beta, and this stimulates the sympathetic nervous system which is the fight-or-flight response aka our survival mode. When not living in balance, it is most responsible for stress, anxiety, disease, and death.
Consider the animal kingdom; when an animal is hunting for their prey or if they are the prey running to save their life, both are in their survival mode. Once the prey is caught, the hunter returns “home” to feed the family, relax and go into an alpha state.
Sorry, but the prey doesn’t have a happy ending.
Alpha is achieved in a mindfulness, meditative state. When Alpha predominates, there is a sense of calm. Daydreaming and creativity peaks as it is the bridge between the conscious to the subconscious. During the alpha brain wave, the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated which reduces anxiety and stress.
Theta is a deeper phase as an individual goes from the conscious to the subconscious world. It is beneficial for memory, intuition, and learning. This brain wave occurs during light sleep. It is also the phase where we can most easily recall our dreams upon first waking in the morning.
Delta waves are associated with non-REM sleep and trance. It’s the gateway to the collective unconscious whereby information received is otherwise unavailable at the conscious level. It is also the source of empathy.
Gamma is another brain wave in which research is vague. It is currently of limited clinical value and it cannot be effectively measured using current EEG technology.
All too often a patient arrives stressed either due to their day, their health concern, or both. However, during a session, without any other meditative technique, acupuncture allows a patient to drop into the healing alpha, theta, or delta brain wave state.
Acupuncture provides multiple health benefits physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- You can increase alpha by closing your eyes or deep breathing
- Doing Visualization &/or Meditation increases your alpha brain waves.
- Listen to Binaural beats with headphones. Google to find the one of your choice
- Practice Mindfulness, Gratefulness, and Forgiveness
- Wear Blue Light Glasses to block blue light which stresses the body and interferes with proper sleep
Try Tuning Fork Therapy, which has the same beneficial results. Sound alters brain wave states while balancing both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The vibrations of tuning forks along the meridians and chakras allow the body to rest and restore mentally and physically. I am both an instructor and practitioner for this therapy. If this sounds like a therapy that you would like to experience, call me! I’m here to answer your curious questions. I also offer workshops with the sounds of Quartz Crystal Bowls and other meditative sounds accompanied with Guided Imagery. All of these offerings allow you to enter a healthy brain wave state and journey into bliss.
Think positive, take deep breaths, and stay well!