BRAINMAPPING
BIOFEEDBACK &
ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS

An Altered state of consciousness is any state that differs significantly from baseline or normal waking consciousness. This waking consciousness is a fragmented stream while deep altered consciousness is characterized by wholeness and unity. An intense Altered State can be induced through years of meditative practice or, sometimes, by ingesting chemical substances.

All of us have experienced altered consciousness at some time in our lives. In normal life, one may slide into mild altered states while daydreaming, being absorbed in a television programmed, listening to music or, sometimes, through euphoric lovemaking.

A growing number of people are now experiencing a variety of non-ordinary states of consciousness. These include near-death experiences, past-life memories, out-of-body travel, intuitive knowledge, telepathy and clairvoyance..

Extrasensory phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, intuition and channeling are also supposed to be honed in Altered States of awareness. Today, a host of traditional and new techniques are available to induce altered states. Meditation, yoga, tantra, drumming, chanting, ecstatic dance, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, biofeedback, mind-music, electronic brain machines and chemicals among others are in use.

ECG studies show the existence of four brain wave patterns: beta, alpha, theta and delta. Beta waves appear in waking awareness, theta in dreaming and delta in deep sleep. Alpha rhythms, which register at 8-13 Hz, manifest in almost every study of altered states. Alpha’s main feature is a calm, alert and relaxed awareness. Different types of meditation produce different electrical patterns. But advanced meditation has been found to produce all the four waves and an unnamed range around 30-50 Hz. Neurologists attribute the ecstatic states and physical well-being found in mediators to the rush of neurochemicals including the body’s opiates, the endorphins and the ‘joy juices’ such as norepinephrine and dopamine. Meditation also synchronizes the logical left and the creative right hemispheres of the brain, producing experiences of timelessness, interconnectedness and bliss. Whole brain functioning facilitates access to altered states that activate the unused potential of the brain.

Now you can measure your progress ,,,,No more Guesswork

What is Biofeedback?

Chances are you have used biofeedback yourself. You've used it if you have ever taken
your temperature or stepped on a scale. The thermometer tells you whether you're
running a fever, the scale whether you've gained weight. Both devices "feed back"
information about your body's condition. Armed with this information, you can take steps you've learned to improve the condition. When you're running a fever, you go to bed and drink plenty of fluids. When you've gained weight, you resolve to eat less and sometimes we do :)

Your biofeedback device acts as a kind of sixth sense which allows you to" see" or "hear" activity inside our bodies. One commonly used type of machine, for example, picks up electrical signals in the skin. It translates these signals into a form that we can detect: It triggers a flashing light bulb, perhaps, or activates a beeper every time we grow more tense. If we want to relax tense muscles, they try to slow down the flashing or beeping.

Like a pitcher learning to throw a ball across a home plate, the biofeedback user, in an
attempt to improve a skill, monitors the performance. When a pitch is off the mark, the
ballplayer adjusts the delivery so that he performs better the next time he tries. When the
light flashes or the beeper beeps too often, the biofeedback user makes internal
adjustments which alter the signals.

Brainwaves and Brain Mapping

The Ultimate Biofeedback Tool

The brain consists of about 20 billion neurons which all generate electrical impulses. When these neurons work together in synchrony, tiny rhythmic, electrical potentials occur in the synapses which are specialised junctions between the neurons. The more neurons that work in synchrony, the larger the potential (amplitude) of the electrical oscillations measu­red in microvolts. The faster the neurons work together, the higher the frequency of the oscilla­tions measured in Hertz. These two parameters: amplitude and frequency are the primary characteristics of brain waves.

These weak electrical signals can be measured by electrodes placed on the scalp. After amplification by an EEG-amplifier, the signals are fed to a computer and analysed for amplitude and frequency. This is called Electroencephalo­graphy (EEG).

BRAINMAPPING

ALTERED STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Brainmaps give a quick overview of the functional state of the brain. The brainmap above shows five coloured ovals displaying the distribution in the brain of five types of brain waves. The oval in the upper left corner actually shows a combination of Beta2 and Gamma frequencies. Each oval shows the brain seen from above, and the little tip at the top indicates the location of the nose. Each of the five ovals only displays one type of brain wave, however, all five types of waves are measured at the same time and at the same locations on the brain. Thus, the brainmap splits up the complex brain wave activity on five different displays in order to give a better overview.

Usually activation of the brain will show up in the brainmap as decreased Theta and Alpha and increased Beta1 and Beta2 activity. On the other hand, if the subject relaxes and connects to his/her unconscious, we would tend to see an increase of Alpha and Theta activity.

Through quantitative EEG brainmapping techniques it is possible to map and compare different states of consciousness. The below brainmaps displays one normal and five altered states of consciousness

QEEG data and brainmaps from four different studies of altered states of consciousness will be presented. A comparison will be made of QEEG changes during Feeling Release, Kriya Yoga Meditation, Ayahuasca-induced Trance States and Sexual Orgasm. In all four studies eight channels of EEG were recorded (Fp1, Fp2, T3, T4, T5, T6, O1, O2) and analysed for theta (4-8Hz), alpha (8-13Hz) and beta (13-20Hz) frequencies using portable, computer­ized equipment. Graphs and coloured brainmaps will be presen­ted demonstrating similarities and differences between these four states.

Paper presented by Erik Hoffmann at the Winter Brain Conference on Neurofeedback, Miami Beach, February 7-11, 2001

In a study of intense Feeling Release in 20 patients at the Primal Center in Los Angeles large and statistically signi­ficant increases of both alpha and theta activity were found following release therapy. The increase of alpha following therapy was usually higher in the right than in the left hemisphere and higher in the back than in the front part of the brain.

Real-time brainmaps showed high alpha/theta/delta amplitudes shooting up in various parts of the brain at the exact moment the patient regressed in therapy and dropped into an old feeling. This pattern was usually repeated many times during a session and the correlation between EEG changes and behaviour was consis­tently high.

When you go into deep meditation you get better access to your unconscious. Sometimes you may even re-experience old painful traumas. We have the opportunity to measure this process of confronting old painful memories using EEG brainmapping methods

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Your sessions can now be recorderd on your hardrive and played back after you or your clients meditation session or therapy session

The brainmap to the far left in the above picture shows the subject's baseline activity with closed eyes just before she confronted the deep pain. At this point she told us that she was holding back the pain and we see how large amounts of Beta1 and Beta2 activity is shooting up in her left frontal and temporal areas. Apparently high Beta activity in these areas can block access to the unconscious pain. One minute later she descends down into the pain voluntarily, the Beta activity disappears and is substituted by widespread Alpha and Theta activity. Four minutes later, when the pain is at maximum, there is an expansion of consciousness and Alpha and Theta waves reach very high amplitudes. We suggest that our subject now has full access to her unconscious. In that state of high Alpha and Theta waves she is apparently holding the painful experience in a conscious space observing it passively.

Mapping the brains activity after Kriya Yoga
The wanted to study the effects of Kriya Meditation on the brain’s activity (EEG). In the scientific litterature there are often reports of an increase in alpha and theta waves during and after various forms of meditation. The ancient Tantric Kriya Yoga is a powerful method for awakening and expanding consciousness, as well as for strengthening the vital and psychic energy. We therefore anticipated that the EEG measurements before and after a single Kriya Yoga session would show significant changes. Furthermore, we wanted to map the brain’s activity on coloured brainmaps before and after one session of Kriya Yoga Meditation. Source

Real-time brainmaps showed high alpha/theta/delta amplitudes shooting up in various parts of the brain at the exact moment the patient regressed in therapy and dropped into an old feeling. This pattern was usually repeated many times during a session and the correlation between EEG changes and behaviour was consis­tently high.

The Complete Monroe Catalog

In another study* this author found that patients in release therapy also showed large increases of Alpha and Theta activity when they were reliving personal, painful traumas from their childhood. Thus, both brain mapping studies point to the fact that when you access the unconscious in order to relive and heal old traumas, consciousness will expand with increasing Alpha and Theta levels thus confronting, containing and eventually integrating the pain. If the above assumptions are correct, we may have begun to disclose the mechanism of repression. See Primal Therapy.
*Unpublished data, The Primal Center, Los Angeles 1995

Effects of a Psychedelic, Tropical Tea, on the EEG Activity of the Human Brain during a Shamanistic Ritual - MAPS Magazine, Spring 2001

By Erik Hoffmann, Jan M. Keppel Hesselink, Yatra-W.M. da Silveira Barbosa

EEG asymmetry and heart rate during experience of hypnotic analgesia in high and low hypnotizables.

EEG spectral analysis during hypnotic induction, hypnotic dream and age regression.

How is Biofeedback Used Clinicaly Today?

Clinical biofeedback techniques that grew out of the early laboratory procedures are now
widely used to treat an ever-lengthening list of conditions. These include:
· Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and many other types of pain
· Disorders of the digestive system
· High blood pressure and its opposite, low blood pressure
· Cardiac arrhythmias (abnormalities, sometimes dangerous, in the rhythm of the heartbeat)
· Raynaud's disease (a circulatory disorder that causes uncomfortably cold hands)
· Epilepsy
· Paralysis and other movement disorders

From quantum physics to telepathy, psycho kinesis and dream states, Mind Tools are finally expanding its horizons to match the evolving consciousness. The question is, will the seeds of this integration fructify into awareness?

How Does Biofeedback Work?

Scientists cannot yet explain how biofeedback works. Most Users who benefit from
biofeedback are trained to relax and modify their behavior. Most scientists believe that
relaxation is a key component in biofeedback treatment of many disorders, particularly
those brought on or made worse by stress.
Their reasoning is based on what is known about the effects of stress on the body. In brief, the argument goes like this: Stressful events produce strong emotions, which arouse
certain physical responses. Many of these responses are controlled by the sympathetic
nervous system, the network of nerve tissues that helps prepare the body to meet
emergencies by "flight or fight."

The typical pattern of response to emergencies probably emerged during the time when all humans faced mostly physical threats. Although the "threats" we now live with are
seldom physical, the body reacts as if they were: The pupils dilate to let in more light. Sweat pours out, reducing the chance of skin cuts. Blood vessels near the skin contract to reduce bleeding, while those in the brain and muscles dilate to increase the oxygen supply. The gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach and intestines, slows down to reduce the energy expensed in digestion. The heart beats faster, and blood pressure rises.
Normally, people calm down when a stressful event is over especially if they have done
something to cope with it. For instance, imagine your own reactions if you're walking
down a dark street and hear someone running toward you. You get scared. Your body
prepared you to ward off an attacker or run fast enough to get away. When you do escape, you gradually relax.

We exist in a predominantly "fear based" world and are surrounded by those that "perceive" the physical events, conditions and circumstances that unfold in our immediate physical environment to be "real."

Seriously...think about it. The predominant mainstream media is consistently inundating us with what's "wrong" in the world, growing up we're conditioned and programmed with information that's intended to keep us "free from harm" rather than teaching us how to live and thrive. Our school systems are created to check off and tell us what we did "wrong" on our tests and papers and even our religions tell us how unworthy we are. Combine all these factors with the fact that everybody and his brother in our individual circles of influence are consistently talking about "how bad" the current conditions in the world are, completely oblivious and unaware that they have the ability to do anything about it.

Sure we could run away and go hide in a cave somewhere, separate ourselves from all the "junk" information that surrounds us and become a monk or a hermit or we could choose another alternative that effectively deals with these issues at a neurological level regardless of what we're consistently exposed to.

This alternative is called neurological reconditioning.

And these are the Major Tools

If you get angry at your boss, it's a different matter. Your body may prepare to fight. But since you want to keep your job, you try to ignore the angry feelings. Similarly, if on the way home you get stalled in traffic, there's nothing you can do to get away. These situations can literally may you sick. Your body has prepared for action, but you cannot act. Individuals differ in the way they respond to stress. In some, one function, such as blood pressure, becomes more active while others remain normal. Many experts believe that these individual physical responses to stress can become habitual. When the body is repeatedly aroused, one or more functions may become permanently overactive. Actual damage to bodily tissues may eventually result.

Biofeedback is often aimed at changing
habitual reactions that can cause pain or disease.

Hemispheric synchronization

Hemispheric synchronization is a technical term that has a simple meaning.

Hemisphere means half of a sphere. In this case it is referring to half of your brain. Synchronization means that two systems are working in unison.

The Complete Monroe Catalog

The two halves of your brain - left and right - are connected by the corpus callosum. The right side of your brain is responsible for emotions and creative work. The left side of your brain deals with logic, reason, and language.

The Gateway Experience

Both sides of the brain are equally active but one side may do more than the other at certain times or perhaps predominantly more as in the case of depression where the right side is busier than the left.

Two Halves

When both sides of the brain are working at similar levels the person is generally successful, happy, healthy, and optimistic. People who pray, meditate, or who are very content with their lives have both halves of their brains working in harmony. They have brain synchronization.

Through the use of EEG's scientists have discovered that emotionally unstable people and those with Different health issues usually have un-synchronized brains. That is one half of the brain is working more than the other.

When both sides of the brain are working at similar levels the person is generally successful, happy, healthy, and optimistic. People who pray, meditate, or who are very content with their lives have both halves of their brains working in harmony. They have brain synchronization.

Since the discovery of hemispheric synchronization and what it means to health, it has become something highly valued and looked for.

The left or analytical hemisphere of the mind rejects supernatural sources of information. The intuitive right hemisphere senses a higher power behind creation. Hemispheric balancing precipitates a "breaking free" if you will of the physical neurological beliefs created within the neuro pathways of the brain, initiating and creating a balance in the right and left brain creating what is often referred to as a whole brain existence.

In essence it assists those who are predominantly left brain in nature (logical and analytical) in developing a harmony and balance balance with the right hemisphere (spiritual) resulting in achieving more of the desired tangible results in the various aspects of life.