Since the invention of the electroencephalogram (EEG) in the 1930’s, scientists have been able to measure the electrical activity of the brain. Our brain pulses and vibrates like everything else in the Universe.

Between our waking brain waves and sleeping brain waves, is a rhythmic flow known as Alpha Waves… Alpha rhythms appear most frequently when our eyes are closed and the mind is in a quiet state of relaxation.

When our brain is in alpha rhythm, we become more aware of our creativity and imagination. It happens when the critical censoring function performed by our rational mind is “half asleep.” Thus when in alpha flow, our feelings and images can more easily pass through the “gate-keeper” of our rational mind, unaffected by judgment.

Scientists have shown that highly creative people who are less identified with social expectations have different brain waves from non-creative people. In order to have a creative inspiration, the mind needs to expand consciousness and therefore able to generate an intense flow of Alpha brain waves. The minds of creative people can generate more Alpha brain waves when faced with problems to solve. Any time you have an insight or an inspiration, you know your mind just produced more Alpha waves than usual. Scientists have also shown in experiments, Buddhist monks in meditation also experience significant flow of Alpha brain waves…this has also been found true of athletes who are “in the zone”… and there are good reasons to believe it is also true in any activity when we we lose awareness of our self and time, and functioning in “autopilot” which is common to all “flow” experiences.

Alpha brain waves also occurs naturally as we are falling asleep or day dreaming, and is at its height when we first wake up. Concrete thoughts, physical activity, or light on the retina of the eye narrows consciousness and sends the brain out of alpha and into beta wave activity. Thus, the ideal time for exploring the intuitive mind in alpha flow occurs as we are falling asleep or as we are awakening.

It is said that Aristotle used to lie in bed with a ball in his hand so that when he would fall asleep the ball would drop and bang a copper plate below. The noise would wake him up, keeping him in a quasi state of sleep and consciousness. This is perhaps the time when he generated his best ideas and insights.

We can naturally enter the alpha flow when we are slowly and naturally wakening up. As we awaken, and just lie in bed and consciously allow our thoughts to free associate on topics of interest. This is particularly easy when we have no pressure to get out of bed, such as a weekend…and when we do not use an alarm clock to wake us up.

9 Responses

  1. Hello Ricardo,

    Excess alpha in the frontal cortex is associated with various symptoms. Therefore, the response to your concern would depend on where on the cortex the alpha is elevated above normal. This is information that would come from your brain map.

    If the clinician who ordered your qEEG is available to explain the particular findings of your brain map, it would be good to go back and request this. If not, please write to me, and I will provide you with some referrals to individuals highly qualified to consult and read your qEEG with detailed, useful information as to reasons to take additional steps.

    To my knowledge, there has not yet been a thoroughgoing study of the effects of neurofeedback training on the intuitions of individuals who are especially gifted in this area. There are, however, case findings and small research studies on the positive effects of neurofeedback training on the creativity and sensitivity of musicians at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

    Good wishes.

  2. Hi Hawa,

    Brain wave patterns can be monitored by an emg test given by a neuroscientist…it is possible to sense alpha brain waves when we are in a quiet relaxed state and our thoughts and feelings are flowing freely without a conscious goal…this state is easier to achieve with the eyes closed so we are not distracted by the outside world…some people prefer to watch a video of tranquil scenes and music…these can be found on U Tube.


  3. i want to understand more about the effect of one person looking some picture to their brainwaves pattern. i also want to analyse the brainwave pattern soon. can u help me to give info or suggesstion???

  4. Carol…Regardless of the status of society,we are free as individuals to choose our own lifestyle…Sid

  5. For society to keep functioning as it is? Doesn’t look so good to me.

  6. Carol,

    Alpha brain waves are most apt to occur when we are not playing a social role or preoccupied with our social identity…as a result it is often looked upon as a wasteful and foolish activity…a society to fully function may need to limit its encouragement of alpha brain wave experiences.


  7. First impulse it to say that there is a view about alpha wave that carries the same prejudice against right brained people. This prejudicial view keeps a value system that virtually ostracizes this state of mind. It is part and parcel of how art, music, and drama classes are the first thing to go when a school system operates on a shorter budget. Right brained people are an untapped resource in problem solving that society could be using if only people could recognize the value of, and would allow a place for creative rather than destructive solutions.

  8. Thank you for this information. Perhaps you can help here: several months ago I suffered a substantial concussion as I fell while running track; I was out of it for awhile but recovering. I was recently given an EEG brain mapping and told I had excess alpha…relaxed state, eyes closed, I meditate and trance easily…why is this being pathologized? I thought alpha was good? I am creative, a scientist, artist, and unusually intuitive…why would I want to do neurofeedback to suppress alpha and be ‘normal’? Maybe there are dynamics here I don’t understand but there are supposedly enlightened individuals telling me this. I assume my energy will increase with time as I recover, as will my memory etc…but why wouldn’t I want to keep my alpha….I would think this is an unusually valuable state to be in albeit a very sensitive one…but that has been true my whole life.

    Ia there a way to distinguish good vs. pathological alpha? Can alpha ever be pathological, really?….except to those who don’t have enough of this?

    Comments are welcome…open minded about this, just confused.

    Thank you!

  9. Thank you for the info i have been researching alpha waves and this is by far the most clear to me.

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