Those are then subdivided into other areas and are also linked to ANS subsystems and nervous systems external to the brain. At least in Sahaja Yoga: But don't take our word for it and check out Boston's Sway Spa's 5 star reviews on social media! Which Diseases Can be Helped by Acupuncture? Campbell , Jane B. Try meditation or a meditative-yoga class. This combines the power of Swedish and deep tissue massage and foot reflexology.
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My brain inside has scars that will never go away but I need to work around the area and walk again. The brain is so versatile but needs the direction. It is about what the client is ready and able to do.
I think I had a misconception that a patient could just take a martial arts course, or do theatre and that in itself would rewire the brain.
For instance, that moment before a person walks on-stage, they feel their heart pounding, sweaty palms, huge fright and realize those are the same feelings they had when they had to testify against their dad in court. I was terrified and I did it and it was ok. I can do that again. Then their new experience, even with the intense feelings of fear, is a success.
Perhaps there is fear of intimacy and a client, tho terrified of betrayal, trusts and opens up to their therapist, and it works. Or perhaps they argue back, although in the past, that resulted in a terrible beating. There is a moment when a client is facing a familiar and paralyzing fear within a new situation -similar to the trauma -and then they can have an experience that is a game changer. Would experiencing the terror of what happened before and contradicting that with a related but different experience, with a different outcome, be necessary?
I suppose van der Kolb was jesting about Dutch influence on American martial skills. Obviously Americans were British before they were Americans and learned their trade from the British. There is something to the fact that Washington was denied an officers position in the British army while lesser Colonials were accepted that spurred him on to a learn his craft in a most deadly manner. I simply was giving the good doctor the benefit of the doubt because he said that Americans learned their martial abilities from the Ducth.
I think it is self evident he means the colonialists and since he is obviously of Dutch origin he was being facetious stating that the Dutcht taught the colonists to fight in a military fashion. The Dutch did help us with a generous loan when Washington started to become successful only because the French joined the cause but before that they turned down John Adams when he begged them for a loan at the beginning of the revolution.
I wish everyone blessings and a non-traumatized life. I think of this with phobic patients who, when able over time to better tolerate the exposure to their fear through exposure, have a new sense of freedom.
Experiential therapy has always been my go-to therapy. Having clients do something they are slightly afraid of, very slightly at first, like running fast down a long set of stairs, builds resilience and a new experience in the body. So far I am not hearing reference to the claim of a cutting edge psycho-spiritual neurological discovery, that it is the heart that knows, full five seconds before the brain.
My understanding is that the brain is the projector, the heart the film, so to speak!!?? Like to hear your comments. I thought Bessel might mention how effective for trauma it was when returning warriors were greeted with drum playing and dancing.
Thank you very much. I have a client survivor of severe trauma who needs to do things beyond her endurance so she knows in her gut that she can still survive. She does endurance swimming and also does this at work. The swimming is therapeutic to her, while obstructionist at work is more of a reenactment of the trauma. The information in this film is very affirming of the work we are doing, while putting a clear framework around it for me!
Thanks Bessel and Ruth! For me, it depends on the client and the complexity of their trauma. In some cases, I rely on the arts—music, drama, painting. For others, a more physically demanding approach like martial arts, runnjing, gymnastics, skating works best. Still others prefer things like yoga and meditation and tai lkchi. Thank you Ruth and Bessel for your fascinating and nice short insights.
They have helped me to more or less complete a nagging jig-saw! I should explain that many years ago I discovered, as it were by chance, how to relax and ultimately cure my years of persistent lower back pain apparently untreatable without risky surgery. And worse, for those professionals, when I casually demonstrated my simple relaxation protocol to anyone who would listen, it often led on to immediate relief and apparent cure for a wide variety of so-called incurable musculoskeletal cases, as well as phobias and infertility.
I should add that I am in fact an engineer-physicist and I have gradually put together a theory comprising loss of a loved one, or a loved situation, into a mind-body-brain jig-saw — thanks to many free NICABM reports and parallels with my own observations. So, as ever, thank you dear Ruth and Bessel again. Tom Lucas, London, England.
I have a chronic pain condition due to neck vertebrae damage, and have also had lymphoma affecting my neck, thyroid and optic nerve. I have always been interested in the fact that a lot of my pain is in my neck region and wondered what the psychological root of that might be.
Of course I have also experienced my own fair share of grief and loss in life. I think you are right to see a metaphoric connection, Julia. While my healing team and I have made enormous progress, the area of pain that is still holding out is one of the spots where I was traumatized and hit most frequently as a child.
The other area is also where I was repeatedly hit for speaking up against the injustice of my existence. Thus, I am approaching it from this standpoint and working for release on multiple levels. I hope you will find relief as well! Hi Anya, My sister sounds like she has a similar story to yours. I am looking for help everywhere for her and I wondered if you might share some information about who your team has been and what has helped you. Hello, Karen, Sure, I would be willing to share what has helped me.
I am not a professional Lyme expert, so it is intended only as information, not diagnosis or anything official. Healing from Lyme is not an off-the-rack kind of thing, so it requires taking what resonates and working with that, then tweaking as you make progress. I say that because I know hearing those words spoken casually during one of the talks given by a Lyme expert gave me hope in a powerful way.
I am thinking that in this forum is probably not the best place, but I would be happy to email you if you wish to share an address. I also believe it can be healed. My email is jan jankingston. Not sure if they blank out emails like Google can sometimes do. Is your simple relaxation protocol proprietary? Or is it something available for everyone to look into? As some of the comments here have noted, using military tactics to heal trauma really does work.
Granted, not for everyone, but there have been many cases where abuse victims have pushed themselves to the limits, and have seen excellent results. These are essentially approaches without actual communication. In my practice, i utilize yoga with clients as a way to establishing healthy connections between the brain and the body through the breath. Yoga also assist clients who tend to dissociate, integrate or come back into the body.
It has proven extremely helpful for those women who adopt yoga as a daily practice. A great yoga teacher may not be pushy. But I know Feldenkrais specifically has an exploratory and self-accepting view.
I went from having fibromyalgia much later diagnosed as Lyme with a lot of pain and unable to use my body, to becoming a runner, on no medications for pain only thyroid and hormones and running half-marathons and a marathon. I know not everyone wants to run, and that is not necessary.
The idea is to incrementally expand your capacity at a pace that your brain wants to allow. Where people go with that is different. Nervous system benefits and flexibility of what you do with it.
And a Feldenkrais teacher could help you find ways to get to the floor without hurting your knees. Lessons can also be done in sitting.
This is so true! Many of my sexual abuse survivor clients have gone on to enter Spartan races where they are pushed to their maximum and have maintained miraculous recovery. It makes me wonder how many of the sexually acting out clients or workaholic clients are striving to master what a grueling physical competition might change….. This is how the military trains people for combat.
The problem I saw in my work with the USMC is that it is the only means of training for trauma they glorify physical. When this meets real trauma, combat is out of control, the shame of responding to something previously believed to be mastered is devastating in its shame. The work on men and shame is vital to helping our military heal. This is particularly true when they leave the military, the glue that held the belief system together.
We must find ways to reprogram these people is a way that speaks to their skills! Thank you for your work, making a huge difference. Very succinct and informative observation Gail, thank you! I wrote a comment a little before yours and I question whether idealizing Roman soldiers can in anyway be a useful example of how to heal the limbic system.
I would agree as a first step, especially for those inclined to like physical contact, physical conditioning is one source or relieving the stress of frozen trauma. On the other hand, it is a temporary release and not corrective solution. This is why I disagree with Dr. You better watch some docus on how soldiers are trained in the USA for combat.
Bootcamps for young people training them in similar ways have already been met with courtcases with accusations of serious abuse. I have used these ideas for many years now. I choreograph dance through active imagination in movement. A dance that is empowering is Flamenco. It empowered Roma to express their power against oppression. I wrote about these ideas in my book, Dance of Psyche, copyright I really like the way Bessel talks about resetting the body after trauma.
Oh, what a mess, I commiserate with you! We run up against the brutality of the system in CPS every day! They have now hired us. We work to alleviate increased trauma to bio parents and their children in foster care by creating nurturing and supportive environments for visitations.
We also designed and teach a curriculum for parent education that is based on the knowledge that most of the parents have trauma themselves, and therefore it begins with building trust through safety and relationship with them. Slowly we are learning and educating others in the system about how to treat people with trauma.
It is certainly an uphill battle, but it is working! We are seeing families reunited with healthy behaviors AND those unable to parent recognize it and are more willing to TPR, instead of fighting through the courts and their kids languishing in the system. We have learned that change takes time, is not linear and applies to people, families, and systems, too! Thank you ,as always for your succinct ,helpful tools and understanding on the brain and body knowledge and connections..
I am new to this work. I am not a therapist. I am a court specialist working to bring understanding of trauma into the operations of drug courts and mental health courts and veterans courts.
I advocate and provide consultation and training to help judges and other members of the court team understand the often profound histories of trauma of the participants in these problem-solving courts. While we try to obtain actual trauma specific treatments for our participants as part of the overall treatment plan they are engaged in, I am working to change some of the direct practices and approaches employed in the court interactions with participants.
I am wondering if changes in the experiences that our participants have with the justice system and with particular members of that system, who are persons of authority and power, can be a part of the new experiences that can rewire the brain, impact the predispositions from the limbic system.
My efforts are specifically directed at improving the retention rate of participants to the point of completion of the drug or other problem-solving court program, which in turn has a positive impact on their future offending behavior. In addition, I am working with a program called Phoenix Multisport that works with persons with substance use disorders through sober physical or other creative recreational activity, to sustain recovery.
Perhaps a means of limbic system treatment? Norma, your work is very important. I know of one young man in particular struggling with mental health issues who routinely experienced violence from police officers upon arrest as a young offender and later an adult causing a lot of confusion for him as he grew up with respect to the concept of respecting authority. He moved out of the area in which he once lived and has experienced more respectful interactions with other police services under a variety of circumstances and has developed the perspective that not all police officers view him the same way.
He has though never returned to his home city as he is terrified of the same abuse of authority and harm to his body. Van Der Kolk idealizes and romanticizes military and martial arts as a way to heal trauma and to make an individual stronger and more resilient.
I wonder how much military and martial arts trauma this man has experienced? The best way is the a warrior of the heart not a warrior of the body. I once told him personally about having a Kundlini experience that fills me with white soothing and healing energy. He basically said my cerebellum was screwed up. For a two year period I trained six out of seven days a week doing par-course. From the ages of 12 to 18 I was intensely trained by college all stars and professionals learning the fundamentals of basketball I can tell you unequivocally this is not the way to heal the limbic system because I still suffered from clinical depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
I thought this fellow was supposed to be the foremost expert on PTSD? Who are the people who suffer most from PTSD? Crises First Responder Therapist. Awareness, consciousness and allowing Flow The energy heals. Thank you for your response. I encourage clients who had child abuse to surf. I recently saw there is a program encouraging PTSD and wounded veterans to surf.
Surfing would seem an incredible way of responding to the natural forces of nature while having enough physical challenge to unknot energy knots. I would think anything requiring some physical challenge but more importantly emotional and intellectual mindfulness is the way to most efficiently encourage and to strengthen subtle energy in the body.
I still find the analogy of using a Roman soldier troubling because training to be a killer sooner or later if implemented in real life will damage the psyche. This knowledge in itself is enough to lie heavily on my mind. Thanks for your thoughtful response! That technique, taught by Drs Jason and Linds Hao in New Mexico, has been used successfully on combat veterans to reduce or eliminate symptoms, even on phantom leg pain of amputees.
Acupuncture in general reduced the nightmares substantially over a decade ago, and the scalp acupuncture helped more layers come up to be released. Triggers were reduced as well as symptoms.
As there is no possibility of my running a triathlon or becoming a ninja any time soon, I am glad these energy work methods are so powerful! For more on that, check out the TEDtalk by Dr. So, even visualizing oneself as strong and capable can lead to changes in how we see ourselves.
Thank you for sharing this useful re-understandingof trauma and our perception of the world, events we experience, our place in it, and how to act to survive.
So helpful with the clients who have alcohol and drug addictions that the PTSD client has often used to escape those traumas. At this point we are going to take a quick look at the origins of anxiety-based disorders. The reason we are doing this is two-fold: Once we view anxiety in the most appropriate setting we have an handy reference point to enhance our understanding over the whole confusing issue, and what better setting to employ than the setting that will visually explain all the seemingly negative sensations in the situation that they were most prominent, most obvious and most clear.
Of course the real origin of anxiety is rooted so much further back in the evolutionary timeline The modern human brain comprises remnants of previous species within our lineage. It is by no means a new development.
I place my analogy with the cave man scenario because we can easily identify with him without it being too great a leap of imagination. If you are not already aware, Bushcraft is the art of wilderness survival.
To give a little background, Ray Mears is a very popular figure on British Television, renowned for his astounding knowledge of not only surviving but thriving in all environments. In my opinion he is one of the most natural and gifted presenters I have ever seen on television, his relaxed presentation style is derived from his passion and confidence in his own knowledge on the subject matter of which he loves so much. As you can tell, I'm a bit of a fan. Don't worry you won't have know your Amanita Pantherina from your Amanita Phalloides in order to implement the techniques in this letter.
It is about the application of sound scientific principles. Bushcraft is not about conquering nature. It is about living in sympathy with nature. It is about motivation and flexibility.
It is about being creative. It is about being adaptable. It is about not panicking. Ultimately it is about survival. It also provides the setting for the origins of modern-day anxiety-based disorders.
It goes with saying that the past was an intensely dangerous time; our distant ancestors evolved a strong, efficient protection system which kept them alive in times of extreme threat. Whenever the long since departed peoples of this world were faced with mortal danger, and with all other factors being equal the 'fittest' remained. By 'fittest' I simply mean those whose mental and physical characteristics best fitted the environment thanks Darwin-Wallace. These survivors of both huge cataclysms and frequent local dangers were our direct ancestors.
They had the best brains, the best bodies, the best survival instincts, the quickest and strongest protection mechanisms, the most elaborate social structures, the best flexibility and the without a doubt the most luck. We are indeed very fortunate beneficiaries, it is an amazing inheritance. Time for another question: This the common denominator 'trigger'.
Back to the cave for context: You are in the entrance to your cave cooking your mammoth steaks, and in slinks a tiger. This 'dangerous' sensory information is rapidly processed by our protection mechanism our anxiety. More accurately, this sensory input is processed by two small parts of the brain called the amygdale located as part of the 'Limbic System'. The amygdale then 'set' the required protection level.
As you can imagine the sensory information which represents the tiger causes a setting of 'extremely high' to be used. To cut a long biochemical-electrical story short the amygdale in the brain sends signals to the adrenal glands located just on top of the kidneys.
The adrenal glands pump the hormone adrenaline into our blood stream and the endocrine system which forces the body to undergo some frankly amazing changes. There are countless more beneficial changes involved. The changes described here are the physical or 'common' symptoms of anxiety-based disorders.
These changes use lots of energy, the main reason why we crave sugar after high anxiety is to replenish lost stores.
These changes are designed to seem overwhelming. These changes are designed not to be ignored. These changes are designed to keep us safe.
These changes have kept our ancestors alive in the past and will keep our descendants alive in the future. This whole sequence is what physiologists are talking about to when they refer to the Sympathetic Nervous System SNS being called into operation. We either run for our lives or fight for our lives. As the body is in balance with itself, this whole sequence is replaced with another sequence when the danger passes. This new sequence calms us down to normal relaxation levels.
This is what physiologists are talking about to when they refer to the Parasympathetic Nervous System PNS being called into operation. The borrowed wisdom originates from a conversation about friction-fire making methods rubbing sticks together that Ray once had with a local tribeswoman from the South Pacific on one of his many wonderful adventures.
The philosophy is stunning: Once you know how to make fire, you carry fire around with you always in your mind and in your muscles. The reason this wisdom resides close to my heart is that I have been a keen friction-fire maker myself and its philosophy is the same as the anxiety understanding removal. From personal experience there is rarely a sensation as wonderful, fulfilling and to me as profound as making fire yourself for the first time; you can spend weeks if not months fine tuning your technique and apparatus, finding the right wood combination, collecting the right tinder in the right quantities.
It can be physically exhausting and fraught with failure after failure, more smoke each time but still no fire. With each ignition failure comes a little bit more knowledge. Until one time you happen upon the exactly the right strategy, technique, method, apparatus, attitude and timing.
You are patient, optimistic, and observant. You gently massage your tinder into the ember. You blow gently at first and then gradually with greater and greater intensity. You watch as the billowing smoke changes colour from white to a yellow-green.
Suddenly something amazing happens You feel from this day forward connected to the history of your species and it really does feel completely wonderful. Your fire and more importantly your confidence has been lit. You instantly want to try again and again, sometimes the climate is not quite right, sometimes the air is too damp, sometimes the wind too strong for your virgin understanding to overcome, but the more you try the more you succeed in harsher and harsher weathers.
OK, I'm getting a bit melodramatic here, please forgive me. The understanding of and implementation of fire making is very similar to the learning processes we go through when we eliminate inappropriate anxiety. The lighting of the fire is the simple analogy for us stopping the Sympathetic Nervous System in its tracks by accepting it as normal physiology. Just like lighting fire, accepting the fight flight response takes a little practice, but the more we achieve it, the better we get at it.
I am lucky to have achieved so much more success with accepting the fight flight response as I have with fire making. I now carry the understanding around with me always in my mind. It is so simple. You wont have to go through the arduous task of working out the right high anxiety removal strategy, this is what this letter is all about. All you have to do is read and then choose to become anxiety free by performing your most beneficial course of action.
The definitions of Anxiety and Panic describe the processes our ancestors experienced while responding to chemical messengers produced in order to escape from or fight against the dangers within their environment. The definition of Disorder describes the process of us responding inappropriately to the same chemical messengers produced by modern day stress factors when no actual danger exists.
Whilst within the stress response, the body and mind can go through some amazing changes to keep us from harm.
During this time we are able to process the environment using all senses at astonishing speeds, we are able to filter out all that is unnecessary for survival all the fun bits and execute the safety plan. We check the external environment for danger, and when we ascertain no danger we begin to check internally.
We analyze all the sensations and symptoms that are produced during the stress response and become alarmed at their power. These conclusions then affect our subsequent safety seeking actions which in turn feed back into our Sympathetic Nervous System, the brain responds by producing more chemical messengers that further increase the sensations.
There is no attack, there never has been and there never will be. There is no assailant; there is no assault, no damage will occur, and no harm will ever ensue. There are two schools of thought regarding the best approach to this nomenclature issue. We remain with the phrase Panic Attack and through time, desensitize ourselves to the powerful nature of the words themselves.
The words are the accepted common language and labels for such experiences and therefore it is helps to have this word desensitization approach. We change the description to provide a better grounding for recovery. The incorrectly named panic attack could be more accurately called an energy-surge. We are not the victim, we never have been and we never will be. We are simply the recipient of a high energy state as a result of cause and effect.
Once we realize that we are not under attack we gain further insight into our current experience. You are yet to gain the personal reassurance and confidence from within. When we self-check we immediately manufacture anxiety sensations through our own magnificent creativity to see if they are still there!
The cure is not something you will find through only anxiety scrutiny and analysis, the only thing you will find there is factual reinforcement of your potential strategic success through worked examples and factual neurophysiology interplay.
If you constantly search for the exit or some deep seated meaning during the operation of the fight flight response 'the cure' will elude you. By 'the cure', what do I mean? The cure is when our fight flight response is switched off because we have demonstrated that there is no actual danger.
Fears stay with us as long as we succumb to our compulsion rituals. Compulsion is not just continuously washing your hands or disinfecting doorknobs. In a nutshell, anything that we continuously do to provide temporal anxiety relief is a compulsion. A compulsion is the feeling we get when we want to hide from the fear by performing an avoidance action. Compulsions are actions we perform because we don't understand the rules of the game.
Although these actions have the effect of providing temporal relief they are in essence the major artifacts that are responsible for holding back recovery. If we stop trying to hold back the anxiety and instead accept the anxiety then the anxiety will shrink and the disorder be removed in due course.
A compulsion could be escaping outside for a cigarette, I could be reaching for the wine, It could be searching the Internet for that magic phrase, it could be holding tightly onto the armrest of the chair it can be running upstairs to bed, it can be jumping out of bed and running round the house, it could be.. Well whatever you do to try and remove anxiety without actually facing your fight flight response. To aid your memory and simplify this little solution then we must remember to board the Arc see below.
If we eliminate the rituals from the anxiety condition then we achieve the removal of the disorder. Now we have stared to understand the reasons why we prolong the overuse of the fight flight response then it seems natural to look at some reading material that is most beneficial.
What type of reading material should you use if you want to get better quicker? Ok, it's best to understand the mechanics of anxiety first via these anxiety guides, but once we know the facts, we need to change our focus, we need to change our reactions. So choose your guide wisely and remember it needn't be expensive. As for my recomendations There is no magic secret within anxiety removal, there is no occult knowledge only available to those willing to spend above the odds.
There is knowledge, widely available knowledge amongst all the Internet anxiety clutter that makes accepting the fight flight response a lot easier than you thought. For that reason this correspondance is written. My gift from me to you. You can trust them, they really know their stuff.
With knowledge in our minds we then need the goal. What is the first goal? Because anxiety only learns when it is switched on. What then happens then is we can self check as much as we like, manufacture as many sensations as our creative limits can muster still and achieve our goal instantly.
During this period we are actually curing ourselves. We make our own decisions from now on. Anxiety is not 'a thing', it's not even an 'it' anxiety is us fighting with all our might against nothing but normal body function. Imagine yourself in full battledress thrashing and screaming away at nothing whatsoever for days, weeks, months or even years on end.
During anxiety you are shielded with a impressive collection of defensive based weaponry, during anxiety you could not be safer. Anxiety is not a danger. Don't worry, your fear and symptoms will be completely removed in due course. At this point you feel completely normal again, you can think clearly, you smile, you laugh you engage once again with the beauty of life, the clarity of nature and the warmth of confidence.
It is much more beneficial to view each experience in relation to discovery than failure. Failures are merely discoveries of a strategy with a non-beneficial outcome that can be eliminated in future.
I am by trade a Test Engineer, and I consider myself damn good at my job. Yes the granularity varies but that's about it. What am I saying here? Hey at least I'm honest, most people go through life with nothing but buzzwords, and they think people genuinely swallow it. My boss seriously used the management phase "ducks-in-a-row" last year whilst on the phone to one of our Seattle customers.
I generally refrain from using the terminology within result b whilst authoring my System Test Reports but as I currently haven't got a Quality Assurance Representative breathing up my ass I will exercise my freedom as I so wish. Here are the reactions and results: We get seriously spooked by these grand feelings and feel compelled to escape or freeze in terror.
These feelings are individually designed to scare the wits out of us. Everyone reacts like this initially. When we react like this there is an increase in our adrenaline stress chemicals. The presence of these chemicals in our system further produces additional energy which escalates our fears.
Detrimentally it still demonstrates to the Limbic System that the energy surge is viewed as a powerful adversary. It serves the purpose of proving that we can indeed alter our reactions to the same stimuli. It is best to view this response purely as a tool demonstration that we can change our responses. Ridicule This point is where we have proved to ourselves that by implementation of the previous options that the energy surges are harmless.
We still get the surges because the cerebral pathways have not yet been overwritten but we know that the fear is a con so we feel able to tempt it, prod it, poke it, laugh at it, and generally ridicule it. Negatively, ridicule still indicates the impression of a contest. This philosophy is derived from the late great Dr. Just imagine yourself on top of the waves of panic let yourself be taken on the journey to wherever fear wishes to take you and for as long as the waves last.
The visualization of being on top signifies that you are not overwhelmed or submerged but merely a willing thrill seeker. The nomenclature floating is describing the lack of effort involved, we are no struggling against the tide, we are not employing a complicated swimming technique, we are just letting it all happen.
You demonstrate to your protection mechanism that it is not needed and it is subsequently removed. As anxiety only learns when it is activated this is a brilliant and long lasting technique. This option is an unnecessary expansion on acceptance and enters the phase of forced non-judgmental analysis, and serves to prove that the previously identified adversary is completely benign; you may want this exploration philosophy to prove to yourself that every aspect of panic is safe.
Rest assured is it safe to examine and analyze your energy surges. You can employ this technique prior, during or after an energy surge. If you are between energy surges then you can request another one to test out your new techniques.
If you are currently within an energy surge then you can invite additional energy to further your exploration. If you have just experienced an energy surge then you have the option of requesting another one to further try out your new approaches. There may be some emotions of trepidation, but this is normal. You are initiating peace-talks after months of not years of strife.
This is the emotional wanting of the energy surge to be present. You want the energy; you want to test out further theories and practices.
The more you want one, the less you get one. It's very tricky because ultimately we are still wanting the panic in order to remove it. Doing Nothing about it.
Initially it seems like we are pretending everything is ok. Pretending is a concept that even young children can understand. How and why does pretending work? It gets its signals to do this from your senses, what you see, what you hear, what you say, what you taste etc.
All you have to do is fool it and you can you can fool it, anyone can fool it. In fact you have been fooling it all along, fooling it into calculating that there is something wrong. It's time to show it the truth, that there is nothing medically wrong with you. Of course there is nothing wrong with asking for help or balanced research, but you will find that you will need assistance less and less as time advances.
Just wean yourself off in your own time. If you pretend that all is well and for example, slowly doing the dishes, cooking a meal, watching a movie, calming walking etc. It does not know when you are pretending; it never has and never will. The more you do this … the calmer you get and you will enter into a positive feedback relaxation mindset.
The brain then slowly starts deleting the energy surge pathways and writing new calm pathways. The Limbic System is constantly using the data from your senses to make a judgment on what the anxiety setting should be used to ensure your safety.
In short it is emotionless. The picture on the screen is what you see; the sound through the TV speakers is what you hear. It relies purely on this data to decide the anxiety level setting. A decision to go to the cinema and not endure but enjoy the entire film; to step outside the front door; to drive that motorway; to ride that train; to step onto that plane; to read that book; to ask that girl out; to sit down for the entire evening and watch comedy; to apply for that job; to do all the things you should be doing if inappropriate anxiety was absent; and ultimately a decision to start right now.
Let's say it takes for example 15 exposures to attain confidence and comfort that means the more energy surges you get per day the quicker you recover. Obviously the length of time this takes depends upon how many pathways within the brain need to be rewritten.
The results can be rather fast, because the brain is so well adaptively designed. Well it's going to be fast if we do it correctly, the Nothing technique is us finally removing our finger from the anxiety ON switch. If we do this then the body has no option other than to switch the anxiety OFF. In my opinion relief is a bio-electro-chemical inevitability. This option can be better described as Floating with a focus that is not anxiety themed.
Conclusion, when your fight flight response is switched on, accept it then go out and have fun, when it is switched off, accept it and then get out and have fun. These options are not purely linear you may find yourself jumping through different options in different energy surges or indeed during the same energy surge.
Anxiety case studies are examples of individual anxiety disorder sufferers, a description of their symptom set and the solutions they used to overcome their problems. Case studies can be very helpful in many respects, but unhelpful in others. When we read a series of case studies we search for the one that closest resembles us to provide guidance, reassurance, strategy and implementation techniques … all good stuff so far!
The problem with case studies in relation to anxiety is that no two people are exactly the same. There are as many types of anxiety as there are people. Whilst we should always rejoice in our individuality, it become difficult to rejoice when we believe we have a unique issue that we feel desperately needs solving by someone who ultimately knows nothing about us.
So don't get too hung up on case studies, if you do want to do your own case study analysis then separate the wheat from the chaff, use what is beneficial within and move onwards, outwards upwards. The main thing case studies tell is is this: My Symptom Set consisted of about sensations and mental manifestations, around 10 of which were from the traditional set and the remainder from the best my creative juices could muster.
Why do we each get different combinations of symptoms? Because we are each scared of different things. Here follows an example: Why did I not get these symptoms? Because I wanted them, I never noticed them. Imagine asking a friend without an anxiety disorder what they do with their time.
They would cacophonise a myriad of interesting and outward looking hobbies and interests. Now ask them what they do in relation to anxiety. They would rightly answer "Nothing". Logically it stands to reason that if the disorder is a fallacy then it has no cure.
It is the action of inaction that causes the removal of anxiety. So what do you do? You would do anything that inappropriate anxiety has stopped you doing in the past. You would talk about the weather, the film, the game, the concert, the girl next door, the news … and so on.
Remember, if you really feel the need to chat about anxiety, go for it. No, of course not! No, unless they were purely for personal enjoyment, a spiritual journey etcetera. They are however great as a lifestyle choice.
I'm not saying stay away from the forums, but just keep it in healthy moderation. Obviously there are billions of examples but I will concentrate on a few powerful instances.
As usual my thoughts will come as no great frontier expanding 'wow' moments, rather and as per usual from the normal basic and logical standpoint. If we remove the clutter we can extrapolate the clarity and the common sense. Let's go back into the Neolithic cave for just a moment. The tiger is present and unfortunately so are we. We are in this scenario "in deep shit". The boar steaks are still sizzling on the fire, but any hope we had of resting and digesting this tasty bounty has long since evaporated.
Now in this actual survival scenario we would fight, flee or hide. What we do to hasten the recovery is the following: We mentally take ourselves back to the cave and imagine the sort of things that would not be beneficial in that actual danger scenario: All these things are the antithesis of what you would do if you wanted to survive the actual historical danger in the cave scenario.
All basic stuff so far, and as always it needn't get any more complicated than that. Let's look at Example 2 for a second and translate that to the modern age. Not staying quiet, well I can think of no better example that to sing, and sing loud and proud sing on your own or along to one of your favourite songs. As soon as you get home, put the radio on, put the mp3s on and sing whilst you busy yourself with normal pursuits. Why is this perceived as a pretence? Simply because we don't 'feel' like performing an activity such as singing, it goes against the 'advice' of the fight flight response i.
We are consciously speaking the language of the Limbic System directly. It's a language we all know how to speak, it's just we never previously thought about it this way. When we think back to the origins of our personal anxiety stories we see how we reacted to our initial stress driven anxiety episodes.
Talking of food, let's look at Example 4 Not relinquishing your meal , in the cave-predator scenario we would to survive do one of two things: Both options in the cave increase our chances of seeing tomorrow. You may have noticed that you have been doing this on a more regular basis whilst experiencing modern day anxiety. As stated we are always speaking the language of the Limbic System, the trick is simply to know that we are.
As I stated previously, you are in control now, you were in control then and you will be in control in future. Time to get sensible again, we don't simply 'eat' our way out of an anxiety disorder, but a decent meal regime what non anxiety folk do all the time is massively beneficial.
So, we are doing what we would be doing had we not been anxious, technically we are doing nothing about it. As we don't want to pile on the pounds then we simply eat good foods: However if you really want a Pepperami, a Lager and a packet of Twiglets then fuck it, go for it, it's your choice, I know I did.
We still need the food so we pretend we are hungry and eat normally. Yet again, not rocket science. A five year old could have told us that. Question to a five year old Answer of a five year old Stop rushing around and eat something?
Within the anxiety culture, we are bombarded by complications in terminology and methodology, but as you can see, once we dis-robe the system, the clarity emerges. Firstly examples of this type of thing are: Let's look at a method often 'prescribed' for anxiety Now use your minds eye to picture any of your basic yoga positions.
These positions are the opposite of those body positions we would adopt if we were: This is why yoga is championed as a method of anxiety removal.
A brilliant relaxation therapist called Karen once told me that it was possible to provide an decent appraisal of a persons mental relaxation state purely by watching their posture, walk , and speed of movement execution. Adopting a Yogic position simply tells the Limbic system in its own language Of course you don't have to perform yoga to remove anxiety, subtle changes to the way we walk the way we stand and the speed at which we do these everyday things converse directly with the Limbic System to directly and powerfully effect how we feel.
But also if you want to go all yogic then feel free, it is a great method to practice exploring the depth of the rest digest response. I personally never bothered but that's just me. But many people rightly swear by it. Although this is not best performed within the confines of the modern office if you are banking on that promotion next March. There's a time and a place for everything.
Look at the posture, stance, and gait of a 'relaxed and confident' person let's call him Toby , copy Toby and you become your own version of that 'relaxed and confident' person in a very short time.
In a very short time, we can become whatever we desire ourselves to be. Again, we are doing what we would be doing had we not been anxious, technically we are doing nothing. So this letter is not here to guide you through the arduous task of learning a whole new Limbic language, it is merely here to tell you that you can speak that language already! With this simple piece of knowledge you realise that you have always been the driver of your own destiny. For additional ideas and distractions take a look at the interesting things page where I have linked some truly wonderful pages.
This question is so rarely addressed in the vast majority of anxiety literature. Well the answer is very-very interesting indeed. You actually become calmer than everyone else It is a problem of learned behaviour. How can it possibly learn if it does not turn up for class?! Anxiety and panic is like being at the bottom of a lake wearing a very buoyant lifejacket.
We are clinging on for dear life to the rocks, plants, indeed anything we can grab a hold of. We feel tremendous forces on our body and the more forces we feel, the tighter we hold on. One plant we grab on to might represent reeking reassurance by visiting anxiety websites for help. Another rock we cling to will represent researching our condition. We are keeping ourselves at the bottom of the lake. Imagine what would happen if we just let go. It is the fear of fear that keeps the fires burning.
Sometimes Panic Attacks simply burn themselves out and recovery is released, by a chance positive reaction. Sometimes it requires intervention yoga, meditation, exercise, medication etc.
But GAD can be more difficult to overcome. It is constant unease with no particular focus for your uneasiness. Where the options of invitation and empowerment work well for Panic Attacks, they work less well in my experience for GAD for they only serve to fuel fear obsession.
All the little things make the difference. Doing 'Nothing' overrides the fear of fear loop. In fact being scared makes it work. Being scared means we are learning. This region is called the Limbic System, it is further subdivided into smaller regions. Different regions perform different functions.
One such region is called the Amygdala. We each have two of these, so the name becomes pleural On a point of little interest save for those who delight in the classics, the Greek root of the word Amygdala means almond. Because the shape of each Amygdala cluster looks like an almond. You see even in confusing world of neurophysiology, the pioneers are still subject to the same rules governing the 's game show "Catchphrase", that rule of course being "Say what you see".
Oh yes the Amygdale. They are in constant 'conversation' with many other parts of the brain in order to perform this simple function. With regards to sensory input, the Amygdale use much of the information relayed to it from the visual cortex both cognition and recognition.
Yes of course other sensory inputs factor such as: What exactly am I saying here? Not much, as it happens. I'm just showing you how mechanically amazing you are. We have all seen the documentary in the injured animal-sanctuary when the goose, swan, duck or crocodile has a tea-towel placed over its eyes to decrease the level of the animal's stress. Am I saying wrap a tea-towel round your head? That would be daft. I'm just giving you real world examples to highlight the sensory visual bias of the Amygdale.
The recent memories of emotion is derived from data exchanges or 'conversations' with the neighbouring regions for example the hippocampus. The hippocampus region is also seated within the limbic system. We have two each. Yet again for the classics enthusiast the root "Hippo" is Greek for horse, and guess what The irony being, as you will soon find out, is that an activity such as watching a re-run of Catchphrase will do far more to remove your anxiety-based disorder than many traditional methods of relief.
Roy Walker would be proud. OK, I like Catchphrase, it was a wonderful television game show. To give a little background Catchphrase arrived on our screens at the time when animated computer graphics started to become a prominent force in our world.
The premise was simple, two friendly contestants would be pitted against each other in an attempt to decipher the phrase or saying that the computer animation was attempting to represent. The host was the ever smiling Roy Walker. The show's mascot "Mr Chips", a golden robot would feature prominently in the animations.
For example, the words "The Wild Side" would be written on the bottom of the screen and an animated "Mr. Chips" would be taking a walk on top of the words. Yep, you guessed it, "Take a walk on the wild side" Of course there were many wonderful moments during the show's various incarnations.
The finest and most peerless of all being "Snake Charmer". The gradual catchphrase reveal depicted an inescapable suggestion of Mr. Chips delightedly and furiously masturbating for all we was worth whilst treating us to a comedic doffing of his top hat, the slow reveal gifted the viewer many unforgettable and precious minutes of elated air time.
Most definitely one of the 'golden moments' in television history. Let's imagine for one moment we have an anxiety-based disorder and start to feel a bit jittery, we can either: What happens when we implement No. We teach ourselves classical conditioning that we have to cope with an anxiety-ridden life What happens when we implement No. Why for example is "Catchphrase" so good.
Fill your day to fill your mind. So, while we are still on the subject of masturbation, if it's a choice between attending an control your anxiety support group workshop or working your way though Dr.
Bobby's method is the epitome of wisdom. Whereas the wise and pre-eminent Dr. It's all about focus, It's all about choice.
Now I'm not saying the cure to anxiety is to have a quick fiddle, but the humorous connotations of this one single example will certainly aid your memory of this method.
I believe it was Dr. Claire Weekes who said something like: I'm not sure of her actual wording as I have never directly read any of her books, sorry Claire! I was in a previous incarnation in the habit of monitoring the anxiety culture as manifested in internet chat-rooms for many an hour for many a year.
Chat-rooms where her thoughts are often mentioned and applauded by so many of those she has affected directly and positively. Some if not all of the good advice on this page will be attributed to the amazing Dr Weekes herself you be the judge of that and others like her, if that is the case then excellent, that's fine, I'm not claiming any new discovery, this is not a competition and I am certainly not a genius.
I'm no messianic innovator with a brand new way, saying "follow me! I've told you before I'm a normal guy in a normal town, who had the most extreme of anxiety disorders and removed it with nothing more than the putting into practice of the logical and plausible analysis of mostly information.
I still visit the odd chat room now and again, if only to say thank you to someone who posts a reference to this letter. You probably have far more in common with Claire Weekes than I do. I'm more of a 'Bill Hicks' kind of guy It's just a ride. Drop me a line if you wish to correct me on the actual terminology, I would look it up myself but I am lazy, I simply cannot be arsed. What do you expect for free?
Not me my friend, I'm no Richard Parks. Back to this letter, and how this philosophy fits in here. Well we treat the contents of this correspondance as a training course.
Here, we are informed that: Here's a harsh but i believe fair paragraph: Reading this letter over and over again will not ultimately rid you of your inappropriate anxiety, all that does is tell you exactly how to do it. Just like a learning to drive, you can read as much as you can, but a some point you will choose to get in the car start actually driving, head straight for the rest-digest roads and wonder what the hell you were ever worried about.
Pick up the keys. Reading this letter over and over ultimately represents just another coping mechanism, a compulsion ritual, an addict's crutch. Let's take a quick look at the reason: Time for another example, take this sentence: Whenever we experience Panic, Anxiety, Negative Thoughts, Bad Feelings we must accept that there is nothing wrong with us and get on with our lives, only then can we tell ourselves in the first language of the Limbic System that it is time to switch off the Fight-Flight response.
Once we do that we will be well once more" That's a fine paragraph and an important concept to understand. What happens if we read stuff like this every day in an attempt to recover without actually facing our fears? In all benefit, we are changing the meaning of the outcome, we are redefining anxiety which is essentially the bedrock of anxiety based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy , and mapping out a path of recovery.
This does has some benefit, but not enough. In all detriment, repeatedly re-reading such advice results in us constantly reminding ourselves of the high anxiety condition. Whenever we experience Panic , Anxiety , Negative Thoughts , Bad Feelings we must accept that there is nothing wrong with us and get on with our lives, only then can we tell ourselves in the first language of the Limbic System that it is time to switch off the Fight-Flight response.
Now look at this: Doctor Bobby has a hobby, He takes it all in hand, Round and round and up and down, Gets Bobby feeling grand. OK, apologies, at best this is a crudely written doggerel about masterbation, but on the plus side it does not contain any anxiety reminders.
Can a doggerel be intentionally written? In all honesty, I'm glad I overthought it. Over-thinking is not always bad, its only bad when we choose to direct all our attention towards an entity incorrectly labelled as negative.
If we did this, then the anxiety would naturally vanish and we would no longer feel the compulsion to solve something that is no longer an issue. So, which is the best choice material to read to escape the clutches of anxiety once we understand anxiety? Yes, Doctor Bobby's poetic bio, every time. You are a strange yet emphatically wise man, I would warmly shake you by the hand, but can we first use the Dettol wipes?
We need the information that these constructs provide but once we have the information we need to break free. You choose your time frame in which to do this. Get further assistance if you feel you need to, we are not robots.
The reason for this is that curative knowledge of anxiety is relatively new and we still inherit the heritage of insufficient nomenclature. All that matters is that you are able to differentiate between good information and for want of a better term 'arse-talk'. Bobby and a computerized masturbating Mr. The more we try, the harder we try, the more often we try. The quicker we recover. As ever, your choice. The truth is that it is perfectly normal, and indicative of a healthy mind.
The trick is to not be scared of these feelings. How do we remove fear? By understanding what is happening. Unreality is merely the perceptual result of the correct response to anxiety.
It's all part and parcel of the fight-flight response. The brain is scanning at high speed all the surroundings, it is working at such a speed that not all the sensory information is 'used', only the information pertinent for survival is processed.
You are standing in your kitchen in front of a big freshly baked cake, your perception takes in the lovely smell, the warmth that the fresh cake is generating, the rumbles from your belly in anticipation of eating such a home made masterpiece. You stand in front of the same cake, you brain is analyzing for danger, the lovely smell of the cake is unnecessary, the anticipatory rumble of your belly is unnecessary, ie, you filter out all the nice bits.
It feels bad because it's designed to be and you start looking for an exit. Let's look at it as a simple equation: Look at this from ancestral perspective. It would be detrimental if you were still preoccupied with the smell of the mammoth steaks when you need to be looking for a quick exit. In anxiety 'disorder' you have to do the following, realize that all the nice bits are still there, they always have been, you just need to look for them. When this level is lowered the unreality will begin to dissipate.
Once you have done it once it will give you the confidence to invite and accept the unreality as a new opportunity to accept it and ignore it. After a few 'setbacks' and subsequent 'recoveries' you will be bubbling with confidence which will bring you back to relaxation. Another way of looking at it is this: This is certainly a strange feeling, but a just a harmless and completely beneficial feeling nonetheless.
I'll say that again It is a VERY good thing. The ability to pretend comes from one cerebral fact. You are so much bigger than your anxiety. The wonderful world in which we live is so much bigger than anxiety.
It contains numerous techniques and philosophies. It demonstrates the initial wrong assumptions we manifest and the initial wrong turns we take.
It also describes how we eventually attain our freedom. A Quick Refresher You now know that stressful situations initially cause anxiety sensations, and these anxiety sensations spook us. The simple midbrain then remembers that we were spooked and puts us into a state of high alert; this state of high alert then produces additional feelings and sensations which spook us even further and we enter the cycle. The fear of fear keeps this whole situation ticking over. The midbrain then believing it is doing us a favour by staying on alert keeps checking for sensations.
It manufactures these feelings and symptoms and in turn keeps us on high alert when we react negatively to them. What a perfect defense mechanism!! How do we escape from Alcatraz? Firstly it is not at all necessary to escape; many people live out wholesome fulfilling lives without ever leaving, they are wonderful friends, wonderful parents, wonderful children … wonderful people.
But if we do want to escape: What is responsible for determining the anxiety setting? YOU are keeping yourself anxious by feeding back 'anxiety stuff' through your senses. Anxiety etc is not an assailant, it is protection, protection you don't need. The Limbic system does not know the difference between a real and pretend threat. The Solution The Limbic system does not know the difference between a real and pretend response.
It's hardwired in all of us. Let go to Alcatraz This Alcatraz Analogy was written to enable you to easily visualize each aspect of your anxiety-based disorder.
It of course includes the permanent escape solution. The simple Limbic 'brain' notices that we were spooked and puts us into a state of high alert; this state of high alert then produces additional feelings and sensations which spook us even further and we enter the cycle. The limbic brain then believing it is doing us a favour by staying on alert keeps checking for sensations.
What a perfect defense mechanism! When I was experiencing my own anxiety based disorder, it helped me tremendously to visualize the whole construct in this inescapable scenario. I like a challenge. I gave each element of the anxiety disorder a strong characterization within the story based upon the rules and limitations which constrain that element. You will notice that the only character that does not have to operate under any limitations is you.
Your anxiety operates under system of strict rules and unchangeable limitations, you have no such limitations, nor will you ever have. This analogy also demonstrates that what we first imagine to be impossible escape becomes very possible, very achievable and very logical. Firstly it is not at all necessary to escape; many people live out wholesome fulfilling lives without ever leaving.
They are wonderful friends; wonderful parents; wonderful children; wonderful colleagues; wonderful people. The more we fail the more practice we get. The more practice we get the less we fail. Let me introduce the cast: The Island Prison with its bars and walls are the limitations you incorrectly assign for yourself simply based upon fear of what might happen should you try.
You hate being in Alcatraz but at least for most of the time you are safe in your cell. The placement of you within the Island Prison is your anxiety-based disorder. Limbic is the Autonomic Nervous System.
His job description inside the prison is simple, to keep you safe. He can move fast, his reaction speed far exceeds yours, every time anyone has run for an exit, he has easily stopped them. He is just doing his job, and boy-o-boy he is the ultimate professional. You are rarely disobedient always call him 'Sir'. Sonny keeps insisting that not only is escape impossible, but very harmful; he constantly reminds you what Mr.
Limbic might do if you don't comply with all the prison rules. Sonny 'Whatif' Smith is an exceptionally fast thinker and this frustrates you greatly, he never stops chatting, and this annoys you hugely.
In any situation his advice arrives well before you have had time to even consider your options. He simply wants you to survive your time in prison. He is predictable because of the following truth: Sonny and 'Limbic' are your ticket out of here. In order to return to the mainland you must convince Sonny he is wrong by demonstrating to Mr Limbic that the Island Prison cannot harm you.
To do this we are going to have to put on a brave face for a few days. The letter details the rumour that some people have escaped from Alcatraz before.
Every time you ask the mailman how they escaped you receive the following answer "Shhh, it's a secret" and big secrets round here cost big money.
Money you don't have. Your earning power has diminished considerably since your arrival. If only someone would just tell you. If you escaped you would certainly let your fellow inmates know how it was done.
Questions pour though your mind: Did the escapees get hurt when escaping? How long did they take to escape? Is there a secret tunnel? Did they get help from the outside? Did the Guards help them? Is it all a con? Did it actually happen? No one seems to know, and those who do, don't seem to want to tell. These letters make you feel even more desperate. They only serve to remind you that you are still imprisoned.
They are amazing people, the bravest of the brave. The City Residents are the people you 'view' as normal, conventional, healthy, having an easy life. No one is better or worse than anyone else, both on the island and on the mainland.
Every prison has one. He is your Doctor. Your medication is his supply of prison hooch. He can provide you with a map of the entire prison complex if you ask him. He will help you plan your own escape. He may help you escape the Island Prison completely, or he will simply point you in the right direction.