If we can get back to our essence, I think that's where we belong, that's home.
You've had all these experiences in life and yet, there's one part of you that was there the whole time.
That same essence, your same awareness, your same consciousness has been with you this whole time and it's with you now.
We're still struggling and stumbling.
Some people are dying in the process, some people are sick unnecessarily but eventually, we've gotta get there and we can change the paradigm.
We can do it.
Stress, it's a word we hear every day.
People are stressed out, work is stressful, but what do we really know about stress?
Before we can figure that out, let's take a quick travel back in time starting around 70,000 BC.
Hunter-gatherers had to be on high alert in order to survive from other predators in their environment.
Even though this seems like an extremely long time ago, we actually react to stress in the environment just like these early people.
Let's fast forward to early in the 17th century to see French philosopher Rene Descartes who famously said, "I think, therefore I am."
He is also responsible for the idea of mind-body dualism which some call the mind-body problem.
He theorized that if the mind was a thinking thing and the body was a non-thinking thing, that the mind could exist without the body but the body could not exist without the mind, which essentially declared them as separate.
This paved the way for many schools of thought addressing this mind-body split.
Several decades later, we hear the word stress used by English natural philosopher Robert Hooke in engineering terms.
He was interested in how man-made structures such as bridges could be made to withstand heavy loads without collapsing.
He created what he called the Law of Elasticity which demonstrated how something like a spring could withstand a certain amount of stress before it reached a breaking point.
This machine-like analogy proved to be fertile ground for future explanations of how humans experience stress.
His rival at the time, Sir Isaac Newton, would soon introduce his three Laws of Motion which would continue to point toward a mechanistic view of the body.
He also held a grudge against Robert Hooke and is responsible for why you've probably never heard of him.
And now to jump ahead to the mid-1800s.
French physician Claude Bernard introduced the idea that the internal environment of living organisms must remain fairly constant in response to changes in the external environment.
Based on this work, in the early 1900s, American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon coined the term Homeostasis to describe this neutral, stable state that needed to exist for the body to survive.
He also coined the term fight or flight, but we'll get back to that later.
When it comes to our current understanding of stress, the man responsible is Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye, he is known for his work studying what he called General Adaptation Syndrome.
He would later coin the term stress which is still used to explain aspects of the stress response.
This response is directly responsible for helping the body return to homeostasis.
Which brings us to today.
Most people, when they think of stress, they think it's like they're stressed out in their mind, they're worrying about things, they're obsessing about things.
The response part of the stress response is your body's response to that stress.
So most of us walking around, we don't put two and two together.
When they layperson hears something like stress response, they know that stress, they think that stress is the cause of their problem.
But we teach them that stress is actually an aggravating factor over whatever existing weakness they have.
'Cause we're all stressed all the time.
One of the things we wanna take a look at is that people have physical stress, biochemical/nutritional stress and mental/emotional stress.
People think, when they think of stress, it's whatever they're stressed out about at their job or their career or their family or whatever's going on in their life personally but stress takes many different forms.
So our goal is to make sure that they know is that all of these things are equally important, your mind and your body are the same thing.
It's not some new age-y kind of statement.
If you alter your mind, it's gonna alter your body.
If you can address a person's stress in their life, I feel like that should be number one because we know that mental stress will affect the body in a physical way.
So many American's have gastro-intestinal issues, they have stomach issues, their digestion's not great, they bloat after they eat and yeah, there's a good portion of that that's from food but we also know that so much of our stress goes right to our digestive tract.
And so I've found with many patients as I'm addressing their food but more importantly, it's also looking at what else is going on in their life.
And it's amazing how when they're able to digest more of what's going on in their life they're able to digest their food better and everything else in the whole system starts clearing up.
The person who has a heart attack today, were they healthy yesterday?
Of course not, where they healthy last week or last month?
Most likely not.
But there was something that was going on that led to that crisis, that heart attack.
The emotions work they same way, they accumulate, they accumulate and then something goes wrong.
When somebody's under a lot of stress, at least emotional stress, a whole cascade of things can be going on, from neck problems to low back problems to stomach problems to anxiety to, I've seen people go through cyclical infections to you name it.
Stress causes almost every condition out there.
And if we can just take some of that emotional pressure off their system, at least the chemistry of that emotion, their body has a better chance to heal.
When we're struck by a stressor on a day that our system is already somewhat compromised, it's just like, it's really like adding, you know, one more little, teeny, tiny hair to the pile and it just, everything just crumbles in that moment.
And we're very adaptable and we're very, you know, our nervous systems are very intelligent.
And it figures out a way to kind of cope and get through but what we often end up doing is developing coping mechanisms that don't work when we get a little bit older.
I often have patients come in and say, "Oh, I'm sabotaging myself, "I don't know why I'm doing this to myself."
And they are beating themselves up because these patterns are coming into play but what they don't realize is that these patterns saved them as children.
These patterns are survival skills that have just gone a little wonky.
Where I find stress is a really big deal for a lot of people are their own internal thoughts.
They beat themselves up.
They don't think they're good enough.
They feel like they have to be perfect.
And every time they fail at something, they stress themselves out.
And those are the stressors which oftentimes people don't think they're stressed about.
So ask yourself this, if every time you do something wrong, do you beat yourself up?
If you do that, you're stressing yourself out.
So what we try and do is we help people recognize those things so that they can deal with them a little bit more effectively so that they don't actually stress themselves out internally.
Some people understand that there's something called a fight or flight syndrome.
And in the fight or flight syndrome, that's looking at a part of the nervous system called the autonomic nervous system.
The autonomic nervous system is a science-y way of talking about the part of the nervous system that isn't the central nervous system.
So the central nervous system is the brain and the nerves that connect down.
The autonomic nervous system has two major branches, so to speak, sympathetic which we call fight or flight and the parasympathetic which we could call relaxation and restoration.
When we're in that latter mode, the relaxation/restoration mode of our nervous system, that's when healing occurs, that's when the body rejuvenates itself.
When we're in the fight or flight mode, we're actually getting ready to ward off something threatening so we need that but we can't be in it all the time or it has negative health effects.
You might be driving in traffic and someone cuts in front of you, your life's not in danger but your body gives the same response.
And that ties back into the stress response because when you go into that fight or flight state of being, your parasympathetic calming nervous system is turned off, that also turns off all your healing and resting and digesting portion of your body.
And if we don't find ways of breaking that fight or flight response then the symptoms you see of too much stress, poor digestion, can't sleep at night, make sense because you have this activated sympathetic nervous system that, that's what it's all about.
So it's kinda like, you know, if you have a Ferrari and you're going 140 miles per hour, I mean, that's what it's built for.
But if it goes 140 miles per hour all day long, 24/7 and you never stop and you never get a chance for it to be garaged and parked for it to rest, that can be damaging to the car.
So that's much like our body as well if it's constantly in fight or flight and stress mode all the time then it can lead to early breakdown.
We need to remember that stress is not up here.
It's whole body.
And that stress is a physiological phenomenon.
And I often will use, with patients, the example of, okay, you know, stress is a physiological phenomenon that is not necessarily in your control.
It's not about the rational response.
So it's kind of like when you're driving down the road, okay, I look at my speedometer, my rational brain is in front of me and it says, "Okay, I'm going 55."
And then all of the sudden you see sirens in your rear-view mirror.
And what happens?
Patients always know, they say, "Oh, well, yeah, "I grip the steering wheel, my heart starts to pound.
"Sometimes I sweat, my tummy gets butterflies."
And with that it's like exactly.
That is the physiology of stress because your rational brain looks at your speedometer and says, "Oh, I'm going 55."
But you still see those sirens and think I'm in trouble, it's a threat.
And it's a perceived threat, it's not necessarily real, it's the emotional reality.
And then the police car goes right by you and you go okay.
But you still feel the physiological effects of stress.
The other part of that is that people are so used to that nowadays that it's normal.
Neuroscientist and pharmacologist, Dr. Candace Pert made a breakthrough discovery in 1972 when she discovered the opiate receptor.
It was thought for any drug to work in your system, it had to first bind to receptors in your cells.
But what made this discovery so exciting was that it meant that the receptor must be used for something created by the body, not just for external things like drugs.
This led to the discovery of endorphins, our body's very own morphine.
These discoveries led to what she called the molecules of emotion.
That when you have an emotion, it is the result of physical molecules known as neuropeptides being released into your body and attaching themselves to receptors in every cell of your body, which means that emotions are actually a physiological phenomenon, not a mental construct as we had thought.
Candace Pert, the famous researcher actually found that there were neuro-transmitter receptors in our gut.
In fact, there's more neuro-transmitter receptors in our gut than there are in our brain.
She taught us that the mind is not just above the neck, it's throughout the whole body.
And that's true, there's intelligence in every cell of the body.
Emotions, really, as it turns out, are physiological phenomenon not necessarily psychological phenomenon.
So kind of how we say it is that we use these words to explain how we feel, that we're stressed, that is going on in my life, to try and communicate to our conscious mind what we're experiencing.
The reality is is that we all have these what we would call conditioned responses.
The concept of conditioning came from the observations of Ivan Pavlov, he was a Russian Physiologist who conducted the famous dog studies in the late 1800s.
While they weren't the most ethical of experiments, at least we were able to learn from them.
Every time he would feed the dog, he would ring a bell.
After doing this several times, he simply rang the bell without feeding the dog.
Even though there wasn't any food, the dog still salivated as if food was coming.
This unconscious, physiological response is the result of conditioning.
Humans, we drool our whole life away, right?
We have these different metaphors that people use like he really pushed my buttons, she really knows how to pull my strings, they did it to me, all of this kind of stuff to really explain our experience of what's going on.
But it's really just a conditioned response, you know?
And what we like to leave everybody with knowing is that how it works is what you don't express in life you'll repress until it expresses as disease or dysfunction.
It's kinda like Woody Allen used to say, "I never get angry, I just grow a tumor."
Meaning, if I don't get my stuff out, it stays in until it comes out as something ugly, either a behavior or a health condition.
Symptoms can show up in the form of like anxiety or depression and in modern days I think people are quick to try to take a pill.
And maybe the drug helps, it's not to say that medication isn't good once in a while, but often it's just masking or covering up a symptom.
And maybe it helps a person through a crisis, so it can be good, but if we can get to what is the underlying cause that keeps getting re-triggered, lives can change.
In Philadelphia, exciting new research is being done at the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at Jefferson University, one of the leaders in this field.
One of the critical pieces of what we were doing with our initial imaging study is to expose people to the various traumas and stressors that have really created a problem for the person.
So they actually listen to an audio file of these very traumatic moments in their life and in particular we were looking at cancer patients who have struggled with cancer and usually have very traumatic part of either the diagnosis or the treatment that they just can't get rid of.
All of these people physiologically reacted to thinking about that stressful event.
Heart rate went up or galvanic skin response changed.
And so what we had were people who were physiologically reactive and subjectively distressed by this event and it's been going on for a long time.
So what exactly was this study?
Dr. Monti and his team created it as a randomized controlled trial.
All of the participants had a distressing cancer-related memory that was associated with symptoms of traumatic stress.
These symptoms had been intruding in their lives for at least six months, and for many of the participants, it had been years.
Each one of them made a script explaining the traumatic events in their own words.
That script was then read back to them while they were given a functional MRI to measure the levels of distress they were experiencing.
Since this was a randomized controlled trial, the participants had been split up into two groups, one group received Neuro Emotional Technique, or NET, and the others were assigned to the Waitlist Control Condition.
The results of those who received NET were dramatic, to say the least.
But before we can go any further, we have to head over to Encinitas, California to meet Dr. Scott Walker.
Some of my patients weren't getting well.
Some of 'em get well over time, some of 'em wouldn't get well.
The people that didn't get results had a look of tension in their eyes.
This is just something, I came from a town of 500 people and I'm so happy I came from a a small town because I can see people in different ways.
And the people that seemed to be burdened, I think, were emotionally burdened.
And they were the ones that had less results.
And so I made up in my mind that maybe they were having emotional trouble, that's not a new thought, people have been thinking that people, emotional stress has effected the body for some time.
But I didn't know how to solve it.
But as it turned out, Dr. Walker went to a seminar where he met a chiropractor by the name of Dr. Jennifer Lamonica.
He learned that she would give certain people an adjustment and soon after, when they would think about work, that their spine would be out of place before they even left the office.
Hearing this reaffirmed his suspicion that there had to be something else going on.
The first patient on the next day that I was home, she had gone to work and gotten in an automobile accident.
Now I'm still, my mind is not in my compassionate heart, my mind is in my mind and I'm thinking, maybe she had fear in this accident.
This is a chance I can work this hypothesis.
And I said, "Oh, you were in an accident."
I said, "Did you fear when you were in the accident?"
And she said, "Yes."
I said, "Oh!"
I'm sure I didn't do that but that's the way I was thinking.
One of Dr. Scott's mentors, Dr. George Goodheart, correlated the primary muscles of the body with the major meridians used in traditional Chinese medicine.
So you have these meridians, they're kinda like channels or what I like to describe them as like freeways systems.
So they run from different areas of the body, from your head to your toe, to your toes back to your trunk, to your trunk to the face.
So they all travel across the body and they go even through the deeper layers of the organs.
You know, the philosophy is that if there is a traffic jam or a blockage in any of those meridians, there's a disruption of the vital force of the body which is the chi, or the blood.
Even though traditional Chinese medicine has been using meridians for thousands of years, a recent discovery by Auburn University Professor Vitaly Vodyanoy is bringing more scientific attention to this system.
I didn't know all the meridians and all the emotions, but I knew fear and I knew kidneys.
I said, "What I want you to do is I want you to think about
"the fear that you had when you were in that accident."
And she said, "Oh, okay."
And so she did and I adjusted the sequences for the kidney, which is T1, T5 and T8.
And then I said to her, I said, "How does that feel?"
I wanted to see if I could get rid of fear.
And she thought I meant how does her neck feel?
Well, of course, you know.
And she says, "Oh, how do I feel?"
"Yeah, that feels better."
And then I was ashamed because I wasn't thinking about her poor neck, I was thinking about this idea that I had and maybe I could get rid of the fear.
And so I said, "Oh, oh, okay."
"And how does the fear feel now?"
She says, "Yeah, I don't feel any fear about it at all now."
I said, "Yes."
Any symptom that we have, really, could have a stress component.
And I think that's how we came to develop NET, Dr. Scott figured out that, as a chiropractor, he would help certain problems and help spinal conditions or painful situations but there were those certain cases that didn't resolve all the way, so it could be a knee or a shoulder, a TMJ or a backache or a stomachache or anything and, what, 80% would get fixed but what about those 20 that didn't?
It's really a brilliant intervention.
I don't know how Dr. Walker put it together, given that there was nothing like it at the time and he just somehow put together these different concepts.
It makes sense in hindsight how he put them together but it really required a special brain to do that.
I knew I was onto something, I knew, this is good.
There is the placebo effect, you've gotta watch that.
I do not want to encourage the placebo effect, I want to discourage the placebo effect.
So I made a pact with myself.
No more Mr. Nice Guy.
And I had this patient come in one day, she said, "You did that emotional thing about this miscarried baby
"that I had, I feel so relieved, "it was such a cloud over my head that I lost this baby."
And I said,
"Well," I was trying to write my notes and she reached over and I don't know what kind of shirt I had on but she grabbed me.
And she put her face in mine, "I said you helped me!"
And there I was, I couldn't write, I was nose-to-nose with her.
And she said very forcefully, she said, "I said you helped me!"
And I thought, my God, what have I become?
That I can't celebrate my patient's win?
That I can't celebrate her joy with her?
What's happened to me?
I said, I'm gonna leave the research for the researchers, that's it.
Later, with the help of fellow practitioners, Dr. Scott created The ONE Research Foundation, they have privately funded over 30 research studies to date which brings us back to the present.
Meet one of the participants in this study, Dr. Jim Buckley.
And in 2014, I got a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma.
And it really took me by surprise, I was shocked that I had come down with something like this.
I mean, I'm a healthcare practitioner, I'm not supposed to get sick.
But I did and...
I think I was spending so much time taking care of everybody else that I kinda let myself fall by the wayside.
Conventional cancer therapy was not anything that I ever thought I would use just because I had strong feelings that that was not the way to go in terms of getting healthy again.
But as it turned out, the tumor that I had in my abdomen was about as big as a football and it was pushing on my kidney and my intestines and it was really starting to cause me an awful lot of trouble so I ended up doing what I said I would never do and getting chemotherapy.
And during the process of that I found out that The ONE Foundation was doing a research project on the emotional effect of hearing that you have cancer and I was in that boat now.
First they kinda questioned me about what was the biggest impact of hearing that you had cancer?
How did that impact your life and what was the hardest thing about it?
And I had to go down and list what was the most difficult for me.
What came up was the hardest to leave my wife and daughters, feeling like I hadn't finished the work that I was here to do and felt as though I was leaving them in the lurch and felt a lot of responsibility in terms of how I kinda had fallen down on my self care and was, as a result, you know, potentially could lose my life and closeness with them.
One of the things that I heard over and over again from participants in the study was that these distressing memories and experiences would intrude or impact on positive experiences in the present day when they least expected it.
So they might be chopping lettuce in their kitchen and be suddenly reminded or flooded with feelings of how stressful it was to be sick or what it was like to be retching over the garbage can in their kitchen all those years ago.
So just being in the kitchen again reminded them of that earlier stress.
The passage of time wasn't making it go away.
By the way, that's kind of an old conception that we found is incorrect, you know, time really doesn't heal all wounds because emotional wounds are in the part of the brain where there is no sense of time.
Sometimes things happen early in life where we are in a dangerous situation or something is perceived to be awful happening.
And the body is unable to extinguish that response on an unconscious level.
Years later, we find out that that buried stress, those buried feelings that have never gone away are still being triggered in any situation that looks the same, sounds the same, smells the same, feels the same can trigger that on an unconscious level and bring the feelings back even though it's a different situation.
So whatever happened to you at seven, your subconscious still thinks it's happening right now.
And even as a practitioner, once I learned that, it took me a long time to wrap my mind around that but it's the truth.
It's not gee, now it feels like I was then, it is then.
There is no linear time in that place so it is exactly that moment that they're feeling and it's replicated just as if it's happening right now.
What we were able to observe in the brain is where the distress was being registered in the brain when they listened to a script of the traumatic event.
And that script has been going on for a long time.
Again, I emphasize that because it isn't a matter of time healing this particular wound, the time has been going by and going by and going by and the period of time of the study was quite short.
All of the participants in the study who received NET were given treatment over several weeks and some of them had their sessions all in one day.
The findings were then published in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship.
The main finding that we really had was that these areas of the limbic system, particularly the, what's called the parahippocampus, which is very involved in our sort of traumatic memories and emotional, our negative emotional responses, this was an area that was far more active initially and then after undergoing the NET program, suddenly didn't really react very much.
It just wasn't there anymore for most of those patients.
In fact, everybody had some response where there was far less to no activation of those areas in the limbic brain, particularly the parahippocampal area which is where distressing memories sit.
The activation was virtually gone.
So there was a 50% increase in the neuron density between the amygdala and the frontal lobe.
Now the frontal lobe is the front part of the brain and that's responsible for long-term planning, thinking, complex reasoning.
That's the part of the brain that says, "Everything's gonna be okay, I shouldn't be stressed
"about this, this is nothing to worry about."
And my clients in and the participants in the study will say all the time, "I say all the right things to myself
"but it just doesn't matter."
And that's exactly true because the message isn't getting through to the emotional brain.
And we also know from this study that every time a really distressing event gets reactivated or there's a reminder of it, that your nervous system reacts.
So when we looked at the biofeedback, we know that the autonomic nervous system gets involved.
And when the autonomic nervous systems gets hyper activated, that has a negative effect on health outcomes, quality of life across the board, creates too much inflammation in the system and so on.
We talk about sort of the brain normalizing itself and in many ways that is reflected in what these scans looked at, that instead of having this overreaction in these limbic areas of the brain, the brain basically said, "Okay, you know, "it's just one of my memories now and it's not
"a traumatic memory, I don't have these
"horrible feelings that come up."
And it's reflected in what the brain looked like.
I was even surprised that base-line mood, base-line anxiety, all of those things changed.
Like when you think about it, the person's overall quality of life was changed.
From three to five sessions of an intervention.
That's pretty dramatic.
I can tell you that I felt physically different after
receiving the treatment.
I had had a bunch of different treatments during my attempts to treat the disease but I really felt as though after that treatment, I really took a turn towards healing and it was physically evident.
That's just an example of how...
All the work that I'd been doing for all those years...
To help other people could actually help me too.
It just, it reached me in another way that
it had never reached me before.
Like how impactful and how important this work is.
I know in my heart that this treatment really helped to shift how I healed.
It just felt like I can heal this now where before I didn't, I may have thought that, but I didn't feel that in my body.
You can have all the positive affirmations you want and intend for different things to happen and that's all cognitive, that's all your brain talking.
But this was distinctly different in that it was in my gut that I felt different, it wasn't just a thought, it was I feel like I can heal this.
There is an emotional component that happens from being sick for long periods of time or struggling with physical illness.
Or watching someone you love face a physical illness.
We're not floating heads, there is a combination that happens where the mind and the body work together and so when you have a physical illness, there is emotional component.
And when you're facing emotional stress like depression or anxiety, there's a physical component to it and that both of those need to be treated.
Sometimes people don't know and they need that tool of NET that utilizes not just what's in the conscious brain but what physiology is doing that actually helps us to get at what's a little bit less than conscious.
But because NET uses several unique components, first being the muscle testing which allows the body to become its own biofeedback instrument.
The body then guides the treatment by using the muscle testing, it precisely and correctly identifies what these periods of distress are.
And what we're really doing with the muscle test is we're posing a concept and then seeing if their body, the patient's body, has a physiological response.
We're not measuring true and false, we're only measuring the person's personal reaction to it.
So it's kind of like, I over-simplified, would be the amoeba moving toward a bit of food or away from a bit of poison that's in the Petri dish.
And that's what we're measuring with the muscle test.
The experience of NET is far different than what somebody observing it can know.
We're run so much by our subconscious, at least 80%, probably 99.9%, we're run by our subconscious minds.
And therefore we're kind of victim to those subconscious minds.
Because our subconscious mind is running so much of the show, it can be difficult to break out of our conditioning.
Dr. Scott explains that a Neuro Emotional Complex, or NEC, is when an emotion gets stuck in the body.
In the NEC, we're shedding the old perceptions, we're shedding the feelings that went with them.
And usually the NEC, of course, has something that is perceived by us to be non-survival oriented, it's counter survival, that's the way we perceive it.
And so we're shedding that.
So most of the time what happens is when people come into my office, they've had this issue for so long that they start to mistake the problem that they're having as it actually being them.
So instead of them having anxiety, they feel anxious and then they start to attribute that to them just being an anxious person, it becomes part of their identity.
It's that feeling of hopelessness that's so corrosive, I think.
And the idea for people, the idea that there's some hope out there that they could actually get to the heart of why this is actually happening over and over again in their life and even return to the place where it becomes something, a condition that they have rather than who they are, that's a great start, okay?
And then move on from there.
People often ask me, "Well, that event doesn't seem
"like it was so traumatic or anything like that, "so why did that come up?"
But I think that we are just so bombarded with processed foods and sugar and, you know, lack of sleep and the news and everything that we're exposed to that our brain gets overloaded, our nervous system gets overloaded with the emotions it's trying to process so something that seems somewhat insignificant may have hit us on a day that our system was weak and it just didn't know what to do with it.
When one person, years and years later, is still suffering from the death of a parent.
And then another person, years and years later, is suffering because they didn't get ice cream at a birthday party, it doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter.
The person who lost a parent might've actually adapted better than the kid who didn't get ice cream at a birthday party.
Emotions have no logic, they're just emotions.
If they were logical, we'd all figure our stuff out and no one would ever have a health issue or need to see a doctor or therapist for any reason
'cause we would just think about it, go huh, and then we'd be fine.
Doesn't really work like that.
The memory stores things, often inaccurately as to what really happened, 'cause it's not about that.
And what it can do is it can put associated memories together so that when you recount something or retell a story, you had pieces that really didn't even happen just by the way our memory stores stuff.
And it doesn't matter that it's logically correct or that they're overly emotional or underly emotional.
If the body's having a physiological reaction, we can help connect the different piece parts and let the body come to closure with that thing.
When we do muscle testing we get the body's feedback and we use that to help the body heal.
So logic and reason oftentimes are not involved when we're doing NET, we're just finding out where the body is stuck.
And sometimes there's no way that we would logically ever figure it out unless we use muscle testing.
Upon further analysis of the data, the team at Jefferson noticed some very interesting changes regarding the cerebellum.
This led to the publishing of their second paper in 2017.
It's kind of traditionally been taught that the cerebellum is primarily involved in the coordination of our motor activity so when it comes to emotions, it's not that relevant, it's not really helping us with anything.
It's really just helping us to move our hands and to move our legs and to do that in a coordinated fashion but a growing number of research studies, as we came to find as we started to look at it, we started to see well, gee, there's some interesting studies that show that when the cerebellum is activated that has something to do with the laying down of traumatic memories.
According to a scientific paper published in 2015 titled "The Emotional Cerebellum", imaging experts revealed, "The cerebellum is activated during mental recall
"of emotional personal episodes
"and during the learning of a conditioned
"or unconditioned association involving emotions."
Even though the cerebellum is relatively small, it's just kind of these little balls in the back of the brain, it has five times the number of neurons as the rest of the brain combined.
And then we started to realize, well, you know, this is all starting to make some sense.
If this part of the brain normally is involved in the coordination of motor function, maybe it's also involved in the coordination of emotional function.
And if that's the case, then perhaps what we're seeing is that as a result of going through the Neuro Emotional Technique and the various elements that are involved in it, that we are having a direct impact on how that cerebellum is able to regulate the emotional, or help in the regulation of these emotional centers of the brain.
This is one of the reasons to get up and go to work as a medical researcher because you don't get to see these kinds of results every day.
But it also opens up the door even more in terms of the field of cognitive neuroscience and emotions and psychiatry and psychology because it helps us to understand that the cerebellum may be a very critical area of our brain that is very much related to our emotional selves and not just how our body moves but how our body is moved emotionally.
Even the people on my team who knew nothing about NET, they're just analyzing, you know, doing the quantitative analysis of the MRIs pre and post are like, "What is this?
"What was this intervention, what's going on here?"
Everybody was just really thrilled and so happy for the patients.
And of course, that's what it's really about.
Even though the study was focused on people with traumatic stress from cancer, the traumatic stress of going to war is an equally important issue.
On his third deployment to Afghanistan, United States Marine Corps Corporal Rory Hamill sustained serious injuries.
It was February 13th, 2011, it's almost seven years now.
Took the minesweeper off my point man's back after he received some information that there was an improvised explosive device on a compound by our location.
And we got about three quarters of the compound swept and as I was nearing the end of my search, I stepped on a little metallic pressure plate which detonated homemade explosives five feet behind me to the right and the explosion and the blast force came from my right side, sheared my right leg off instantly, clipped the back of my left leg.
Flew 10 feet in the air, hit the ground on the back of my head.
My Marines saved my life, they instantly rushed right in.
There could have been a secondary IED in there but they didn't care.
They dragged me out of the blast zone, worked on me, stopped the bleeding, stabilized me.
Unfortunately, on the helicopter to the shock trauma unit, I flat lined for two minutes and I was resuscitated, worked on and began the long journey home.
Took about a week for me to get home
'cause they need to keep you stable when they put you on a plane and I wasn't quite stable enough but eventually I made it back to Washington, D.C. where I began my rehab.
It's very common with amputees, we get phantom limb pain.
That's where your body is firing of synapses and trying to remap, you know, where the nerves are and it realized that there was a huge chunk of nerves missing.
But that can translate into phantom pain, phantom sensation.
And one of the things that we worked on at the office was we tried using a mirror, it helped out a lot.
In a sense, it kind of tricked my brain.
I'm looking at this, I have my left leg and I'm looking at it and in my brain it made sense and it helped, you know, with a combination of the actual treatment it helped get a lot of that stress away from my body.
And the phantom pains and sensations became, you know, very less frequent.
Obviously I still have challenges every single day.
It's very, very hard and over the past almost seven years I have a gotten a lot mentally and physically stronger but NET has been an integral part of that.
What I feel, what I've seen with NET is it's, it really is a mind/body type of therapy.
And I can personally attest to normally, you know, if you have a physical thing, go to a physical doctor.
You have a mental thing, you go to a mental doctor.
With NET, it hits both of those at the same time.
And I really, really feel that's why there was such a huge, you know, wave of emotion released initially and all the subsequent appointments afterwards.
The doctor didn't tell me that I was going to be cured of my ailments or anything like that, it wasn't, but he did tell me that it would help stabilize my body and help me get back to a sense of normalcy in my everyday life, which it did, hands down, immediately.
And it only got better with the next few sessions and, you know, subsequently after.
It helped me a lot.
It helped me out of a dark place.
You know, that with the help of family and friends as well, it's just, it was an amazing supplement to, to my regimen, to everything that I needed.
When the doctor's ego is there, it reduces the capacity for healing in the patient.
Too often we get an idea, a preconceived idea about what's going on with the patient.
And how could we possibly do that?
Because we've only lived our own life.
We haven't lived that person's life.
We don't know what's going on with them at all.
And so, well known by the psychologist is people project, people project their loves and their hatreds.
As a practitioner, you can't allow your stuff to interfere and as humans, it's very easy for that to happen.
We even have seminars that they're designed to address the practitioner's needs so that we don't have those needs getting in the way of the therapeutic relationship.
There are numerous seminars every year allowing practitioners to learn and improve their technique.
As of 2018, there are more than 10,000 practitioners in over 30 countries.
Whether they're small distressing events that just aren't resolving themselves well or the big, big ones, they all affect us.
And they affect our quality of life, they affect how we're functioning, how we're feeling and whether or not we're thriving in the world the way we want to be.
And where, 30 years ago, it was different thinking, I think the whole face of healthcare is changing and people are more open now that what you think could affect how you heal.
What you eat, how you exercise, meditation, yoga, all that kind of stuff.
And NET's just a tool but I think it's a perfect time for it because I think the consciousness of people in general is real open that maybe I have something to do with my health condition.
And if we can help unlock what was stuck in there then all those other things they're doing as well work better too.
It pays it forward in so many different ways because if one person can be less stressed when they go home to their family, when they, you know, go into work, when they are on the phone as a customer service representative, then all of the sudden we have a better world cascading, cascading, cascading.
This is a really good time in history to be there.
It was so wonderful in the very beginning because we didn't know where we were going or what we were doing or if it was gonna work or if it wasn't gonna work but right now we feel very confident that every single research study that we done, every single condition that we've thrown this as has been improved.
We haven't found anything that it hasn't improved.
We don't know where the limits are.
It would be nice if it was a mechanistic world and we just tightened a bolt here and there and then it worked but that's not, we're way more than a piece of machinery and I don't think we've begun to touch on the energy of what runs the body or even, dare I say, the spiritual piece.
I never wanted it to go into a spiritual direction but really, I don't know how you can stop it when you start analyzing what's going on in this world.
I think the other interesting piece about this is healing, healing is so interesting to me in that we put on these layers and layers and layers of protection of things that happened to us.
And then a person will come in with a problem and we'll start peeling off the layers but what's totally interesting to me is the issue won't come up until the body's ready to deal with it.
And I know, personally, I lost my mother when I was six years old.
And, I'm sure, you know, I've had issues and over the years we've done a bunch of NET and would often go back to me being a six year old, of course, which is when my mother died and we would check the concept of my mother dying, committing suicide, and it wasn't there, for almost five years, it would be something else.
It'd be that I had to go stay with my aunt or that it was my father was so upset or this or that.
And then, interestingly, five years into it, on a Mother's Day, believe it or not, I had an issue come up, goes back to age six and this time I was ready to deal with the death and suicide of my mother.
So I think that is so wonderful and it gives a level of safety to realize an issue's not gonna come up until you're ready to deal with it.
Probably the most interesting thing that happens, that has happened for me as a practitioner is that, person comes in, maybe for migraines and you start doing NET on them for the migraines and then they start to tell you the other things that are getting better in their life, their relationships are better, they're happier, they're sleeping better.
And you didn't even take care of those things.
Which, again, just illustrates the amazing healing power of the body if you give it a chance.
If you take some of these stress factors, you reduce that load that the body is carrying, the sky is the limit as to what it can heal.
The one thing that we really are hoping people become is to become more comfortable in their own skin because if we're comfortable in our own skin, things are a little bit less stressful in life.
We're able to handle things better, we love ourself more.
And with that, there's nothing that money or anything else can buy except that peace of mind with yourself.
Imagine how the world could be if we could actually become more aware of our stress and its impact on not only our own body and ourselves but those around us.
And be able to hold a space of acceptance and allow each of us to reach our full potential and be true, authentic selves.
I wish that more people were aware of this work.
Because the miracles that we as practitioners get to see every day...
Are amazing and people don't even realize, there's so many people out there in this world that don't even realize it's a possibility.
As a result, as a side effect, a wonderful side effect from doing NET, I started to practice yoga and meditation understanding and teaching this idea that your mind is very powerful and it can help you or harm you and it's always your choice.
I mean, I would probably be, I would probably be an emotional wreck.
If I never had NET, I would probably be a mess, honestly.
And I used to be, I used to be like, my emotions would just go up and down and a lot of that stuff also correlates with your diet.
So just learning about that stuff was a game changer for me.
But it's helped so much in every way.
Comments through your life are stored up in your body and it's bringing that emotion out and to attack that emotion, almost, and release it and diffuse it from your body is, it's the biggest freedom.
We want people to prosper, we want them to be better, we want them to be healed and we can change the paradigm.
We can do it.
I thought, just 20 years ago, I thought that those of us that believed in the power that made the body, that's in the body can heal the body, and that the body was natural healing and that's what works and nobody was listening to us, again, you know, what's new?
And I just thought, yeah, I'll just be one of the dinosaurs, I'm gonna die off, but what I'm gonna do while I'm alive, I'm gonna keep this principle that natural healthcare works.
So much of our cultural narrative revolves around the stresses of life and it can make us feel powerless.
Struggles with anxiety, depression and chronic health problems are becoming more and more common.
Every one of us has been through traumatic events in our life and it's something that should bring us together more instead of disconnecting us.
There are little to no treatment options for people suffering from traumatic stress.
If you're not diagnosed with PTSD or any other major traumatic condition, it can seem confusing on how to get help.
These findings are about more than NET, it's about helping our society to become more aware of our emotions and how much they actually affect our life and the people around us.
The mind and the body are intimately connected and the more we can embrace that, the more we can take control of our health and ultimately take control of our lives.
Part of why brain imaging is so valuable is that it shows the physiological basis of things and we always sort of joke about how, you know, you could parade 100 people in front of a group of scientists and they all say, "This made me feel a lot better."
But if you throw up one brain scan picture and you say, well, this is what their brain looked like initially and this is what their brain looked like afterwards, they say, "Oh, okay, something happened.
"I get it, I understand it."
Because the subjective experiences that people describe, you never really know and, of course, in a very cynical world, every advertisement, every group is trying to make their product, their approach, their ideas sound great so of course there's a million testimonials and every testimonial always says this was great, it changed my life, I feel fabulous.
So that's one thing but to have actual data and to be able to do in a controlled trial, a randomized controlled trial, and to be able to sort of see what's happening and then more specifically to show the physiological effect, that shows that there's something else that's going on.
I mean, a person could say to me, "I'm not having a response to it."
But you don't know exactly what they're feeling on the inside and I'm not in the scanner with them so they could still be in tears and just fighting it back better and saying, "No, I feel fine."
But they wouldn't be able to change the brain that way.
Even though it's obvious that, you know, mind and body are one.
We used to talk about a mind/body connection like, I don't know, maybe there was a rope or a chain connecting them or something.
And, you know, there was even a debate about whether or not there was a connection prior to that.
We now know that they're the flip side of the same coin, that there is a physiology and a biology to things that we experience mentally and emotionally and this study elucidates that, you know, beautifully between both papers and the effects that a distressing event has on the brain and the rest of physiology including the autonomic nervous system as well as subjective ways that people feel.
And that when that distressing event gets neutralized to a large extent, that all of those things change.
That the brain changes, that the rest of physiology changes, that subjective feelings of stress and distress all change, quality of life change.
So it's, mind and body in that regard are one.
I think that this data is very important in providing more knowledge about the mechanism of action of the Neuro Emotional Technique.
It helps us to understand better what it's doing, how it has an impact on different parts of the brain and how it helps the person to regulate their emotional responses.
Now, you know, there could be some other very interesting aspects because the cerebellum is involved in our body's movement and our motor function.
It appears that it also helps to regulate our autonomic nervous system which was another part of this study that showed that not only do we change the way a person's brain is reacting to the emotional trauma but we change the way the body reacts as well.
And the cerebellum, apparently, is able to regulate the autonomic nervous system in terms of regulating heart rate and blood pressure which were also measures that we were looking at in this study.
And, again, what we were showing was was that after the Neuro Emotional Technique, people's heart rate responses to the traumatic stimuli were much more normalized, they didn't have that kind of over reactivity that we had seen before going through the Neuro Emotional Technique.
So I think that this really opens up an ability to understand more and more what the mechanism of action is of the Neuro Emotional Technique.
It tells us a lot about what we may be able to learn in terms of just traumatic memories and strong negative emotions, how they play out in the brain, what areas of the brain seem to be involved in them and provides us a target for future studies.
Initially I do not like the term alternative healthcare.
Bugs me, because this is not alternative healthcare, in fact, this is almost more traditional than any other type of healthcare that we have.
Because really, it's saying, okay, you've got what it takes to heal, let's unleash, let's unlock, let's help your body to heal.
If we start looking at the body as mind as well, it's not just the mind that's in your head, it's also the mind that's down here in your gut that is just as much at play in terms of creating your health as the brain in your head.
We look at the body as perfect the way it is and if there is a symptom that's expressing, it's because the body needs something, it needs attention in that area.
And emotions definitely are not logical, they're not rational, emotions are non rational, they're not irrational but they're non rational, they just are what they are.
Most of the universe is non rational, most of the universe is not working on a rational plane.
Most of the universe is just what it is.
Human beings, apparently, have been given reason and we can work with our reason to make life better for ourselves.
But we can't rely 100% on reason, we have to understand that we're more than reason.
The body heals itself.
And NET kinda facilitates that and kind of makes it easier to do.
And it's just a process.
Through virtue of this process, it allows that which heals to come forth and get the healing done.
You know, they say, "Oh, you helped me so much."
And yeah, I tried to help you all right but your body healed itself.
I just want to remind you of that.
So that we can get that consciousness going out there and start making that part of the conversation.