New book on Reverse Therapy out now

I have now published the new paperback on Reverse Therapy.

This replaces the best-selling 2005 Book M.E., Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia – The Reverse Therapy approach. Contains new and up-to-date information on the Reverse Therapy approach as well as explanations for the conditions it treats. This conditions include: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, tension myositis, medically unexplained pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), eczema, psoriasis and auto-immune disease.

Further information about the book:

Reverse Therapy is a radical Bodymind healing process and is an effective treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and other medically unexplained disorders. It has helped thousands of people recover from these disorders since it was first offered to the General Public in 2003. Reverse Therapy is explained in simple terms, accessible to the general reader. The first chapter describes how the ideas for Reverse Therapy evolved, along with and underlying treatment process. Other chapters explain the nature of these illnesses and what exactly causes the symptoms. Then the book goes on to explain how and why Reverse Therapy works and what sufferers can do to get well again.

To purchase the book on Amazon click here.

A New Map of the Mind

It is now practically a cliche, and has been so ever since Howard Gardner published his work on the 7 different types of Intelligence, that we human beings possess multiple minds. Of which the ‘Rational Mind’ and ‘Emotional Mind’ are perhaps the most familiar.

I was thinking about this fact when one of my clients reminded me of the ‘Rational Mind – Emotional Mind – Wise Mind’ scheme which (I think) was first sketched by Marsha Linehan – the founder of Dialectical-Behaviour Therapy. DBT is the treatment of choice for Borderline Personality Disorder and in my view is a very powerful model indeed and I have great respect for Linehan’s work. The purpose of the model is to help people with Borderline Personality Disorder stay in ‘Wise Mind’, avoiding over-analytical thinking and ‘irrational’ emotions and retaining Mindfulness. This is a good strategy for people who are overwhelmed by anxiety, bad moods and tantrums but I think it is too negative about the Rational Mind and the Emotional Mind. It also leaves out ‘Bodymind’ – the real source of emotional intelligence.

So here is my own model:

multimind5

Explaining the Model:

Starting with the box on the bottom left we can see the negative side of the Thinking Mind, which for convenience I call ‘Junkmind’. This is the source of all our mental health disorders and the crazy thinking which creates havoc with our lives. Spending too much time there will lead to what I have called the ‘Distressed Body’ (fallaciously known as ‘Stress’) on the bottom right. And if we don’t do anything about this distress then we might develop illnesses such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Medically Unexplained Pain along with other mysterious conditions. When the Body is in distress for too long then anxiety, clinical depression, and the symptoms of chronic illness will smother the emotional messages it is also sending us. For a description of how emotions actually work see my earlier blog post here.

To be healthy we have to stay in Focused Mind (middle left) while paying attention to the intelligence of the Emotional Body (middle right).

Focused Mind isn’t just about being rational. It is also about having the right focus of attention. Attention to things we can influence, rather than those we can do nothing about. Attention to solutions rather than problems and to goals rather than wishes. Attention to the facts rather than a fantasy about how things ought to be. Focused Mind stays in Present Moment Awareness and is open to messages from the Body.

While Thoughts are the means through which we organise our efforts, Emotions are the driving force through which we are impelled to make any effort at all. It is from there that we source our passion as well as the emotions that push us towards self-expression, self-protection, solidarity with our partners, families, friends and communities and the excitement that comes with success.

When Focused Mind joins forces with the Emotional Body we come very close to the Deep Self which I associate with what Abraham Maslow used to call ‘Self Actualisation’ – the primary drive towards becoming the best we can be. Staying at this level of Mind is a veery rewarding place to be with frequent moments of flow, moments of joy and excitement, and what Maslow calls ‘peak experiences’ – on which you can read more here.

“All the evidence that we have indicates that it is reasonable to assume in practically every human being, and certainly in almost every newborn baby, that there is an active will toward health, an impulse towards growth, or towards self-actualization.”

                                                                                                     Abraham Maslow

 

 

The 5 different types of mind

minds

On October 9th I am offering a Master Class on using Multiple Intelligences with The Beyond Partnership  in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. In this article I describe the material we will be covering.

Contrary to myth conscious reasoning, like free will, plays only a small part in human functioning.

Intelligence is distributed across the body in the neural networks of the brain, the nervous system, the glands, the heart and in the cell networks. These systems are continually in communication to and from the thinking centres located at the front of the brain. However most of the ‘decisions’ we take relating to life issues are taken outside consciousness mostly via the limbic system and the thoughts we have about those decisions are largely a matter of justification after the fact.

Continue reading

How the body ‘thinks’

 

Skeleton Since the Greeks started writing about it intelligence has generally been assumed to be in the head. But one of the great advances last century – thanks to MRI scanners which enable us to look inside the Brain, as well as the neuro-endocrine systems, we have a much more informed picture. Which tells us that intelligence is distributed over the whole body. In fact we are now able to identify several ‘brains’ throughout the body:

1 The solar plexus (often called the ‘second brain’) controls the Autonomic nervous system. Which, in turn, governs, heart rate, digestion, muscular function, as well as creating the physical sensations that form the basis of emotion.

2 The endocrine system – which includes the pituitary, pineal, thyroid, pancreas, thymus, adrenal and sexual glands – is controlled by the Hypothalamus. Since each of the glands use hormones to control such diverse functions as energy transfer, metabolism, sleep, growth, protection against infection, and temperature control, we can see that the Hypothalamus is a brain inside the Brain

3 The Immune system itself is another centre of intelligence. There are approximately 2 trillion immune cells in the body. Some of these track invading cells and ‘remember’ what they look like. Others hunt them down, while others kill them. Meanwhile other cells keep a watchful eye on rogue cells which split away from the rest and become cancerous. Still more cells float up and down to the brain and provide updates on the current state of play.

4. Candace Pert – one of our best writers on this subject – tells us that each and every cell in the body is not only intelligent, but conscious too, in the sense that it can independently make decisions on the communications it sends to other cells. There are approximately 10 trillion cells in the body. Yet each of those cells signals, on average, to at least 10,000 other cells every day. Which means that your body created 10,000,000,000 messages today (that’s one hundred thousand trillion pieces of information).

So what does the main brain actually do if most of the ‘thinking’ is going on either elsewhere in the body or in response to decisions taken by the cells. Mostly it is Headmind stuff. Making up stories about what happened to you after Bodymind took the decision for you. Or analyzing, checking, worrying, doing guilt while living as if Bodymind didn’t exist!

Meanwhile, Bodymind goes on ‘thinking’ without much reference to you.

Here are some examples of the way in which Bodymind thinking works in practice:

• The body can ‘read’ other people and simulate an emotion that person is having so that you or I can empathize with them. In that way a mother can quickly tell what mood her child is in. This is also the basis for the human quality of compassion for others, even animals. Our intuitions about other people work in a similar way. Using sensory information, the brain picks up signals from the other person’s body language and – using a process that works in less than a tenth of a second – pattern-matches those signals against information stored from past experiences. That is why we can have a gut feeling that someone is not trustworthy within two minutes of meeting her without knowing why. The body is using coded signals to alert us to a potential problem.

• In collaboration with the thinking centers the brain can decide what is important or not important. If something is important to us we might get an adrenalin rush. If it is not we will feel nothing at all. Research into people with damage to the frontal areas of the brain (which decode emotion) show that they are unable to make decisions because they don’t have a good or bad feeling that tells them the right decision to make. Knowing what is important also helps Bodymind conserve energy. We can go without sleep if we are trying to achieve something really important. Conversely, if there is little for us to do, Bodymind can send us to sleep early. Or it could turn on the emotion of boredom to signal that it’s time to do something more interesting.

• The body can strengthen a relationship by releasing hormones – such as oxytocin – connected to love. Sometimes this is automatic, as when a a child is born. Sometimes it comes with time as we learn more about the other person. The emotions of love are, as almost all of us know, powerful and sometimes overwhelming.

• The brain uses sleep time to organize memories from the day just gone. It stores what is important and deletes the rest. It also creates dreaming states in order to work through the emotions that come with different experiences. This is one reason why insomniacs have poor concentration – they are overloaded with undigested experiences.

• Bodymind grounds us to life. It does this firstly through our moods. At any given moment the body is monitoring where we are, who we are with and what we are doing, and providing us with a running commentary on our relationship with the environment. Moods aren’t emotions but they are feeling states which work closely with our thoughts. The most well-known mood is the depressed state, which goes with discouragement and sadness. But others include exhilaration, calm, determination, discontent and the feeling of being ‘under pressure’. Most often, moods are hardly noticeable and form a kind of background hum which is constantly shifting as we go through the flow of the day.

Bodymind uses symptoms of various kinds to warn, guide and protect us from harm. This point is more clearly explained by Reverse Therapy.

• Another way the body grounds us to life is through the sense of awe: we are connected to nature, to the divine, and to life itself by the unspeakable sense that we are serving a purpose higher than ourselves. In that way Bodymind intelligently motivates us to make the best we can of our abilities and to serve others. It fosters your Personal Genius.

 

Does your body really need you?

Noheadposter_2 Understanding Bodymind is the most important thing to do if you want to understand Reverse Therapy.

I confess that I don't fully understand it myself. Hence the frequent articles on the subject while I try to get to grips with your body….

Lately, I have been wondering whether conscious thinking is simply irrelevant to life. Whether its only purpose is to come up with stories about 'why' we did whatever we just did.

Meanwhile, Bodymind calmly gets on with doing it with no conscious input from us at all. We are merely the ghostly spectators at a tragedy.

Here is a list of things your Body (Brain) can do without any assistance from you provided you don't damage it with stupid Headmind ideas:

  • Store and retrieve memories
    Reject and kill wandering bacteria
    Use emotions to guide you towards correct decisions
    Renew cellular tissue
    Change optical focus and recognise distant objects
    Use awe, wonder and ecstatic states to connect you to God
    Keep you on your feet and maintain your balance
    Synthesise protein
    Deliver energy to the muscles
    Catch a ball
    Initiate and complete the sexual act
    Keep your temperature stable
    Digest food
    Excrete waste products
    Use moods to tell you the state you're in
    Cue you to eat
    Trigger thought processes in the brain
    Detect poisonous substances
    Bond you to other people through hormone release
    Wake you up
    Send you to sleep
    Alert you to danger
    Conceive and give birth to a child
    Send you intuitions about other people's motives
    Control your blood sugar level
    Create passion, drive, the will-to-power

What's left for you to do except provide the commentary, the delusions, the explanations, the complaints, the appreciation and the whingeing?

Your body knows best

Shiva1
This is the third in the series on Bodymind wisdom – or Emotional Intelligence, if you prefer that description.

In this article I want to teach you how you can use cellular memories to make emotionally intelligent decisions for yourself.

In my last article on Cellular memories I wrote that the brain stores emotionally-charged information on every significant event that has ever happened to you. Each and every one of those experiences comes with an emotional tag so that – if a similar experience comes around again –  Bodymind can signal to you what kind of experience it might turn out to be. Your Body also sends you one of these signals when you are making a decision about whether to go for it or not. Using its database of experiences from the past it might flag up:

  1. That it will most likely be a boring, frustrating waste of time.
  2. That it could be worthwhile, but also scary, as you are plunging into the unknown
  3. That it will be an exciting opportunity.

Each emotional tag flags up an action you should follow next.

For example:

  1. Find something better to do
  2. Do it – but get advice from experienced people before you start
  3. Get going – now!

Generally, you are either going to get a Go-Ahead signal (situation No 3), a No-Go signal (situation 1), or a mixed signal (2).

  • Go-Ahead signals are, as a rule, pleasant, arousing, and exciting.
  • No-Go signals are uncomfortable, flat, and discouraging.
  • Mixed signals are a combination of the two.

You can use these signals to make decisions.

Like this:

1. Attune to your body
2. Imagine yourself going ahead and doing what you plan to do. Be sure to imagine being in your body with the new experience happening all around you.
3. Check whether you get the Go-Ahead signal or some other signal.
4. Now imagine that you have chosen NOT to do it and are doing something else (e.g. staying in same job, same relationship, same home, etc). Once again, be sure to imagine that you are in your body.
5. Check the signal again.

Notes:

  1. You may get mixed signals (e.g. scary-exciting) that say ‘Go Ahead’ but exercise caution
  2. You may get no signal at all. This tells you either that you don’t yet have enough information to make a decision or that, deep down, you know the opportunity is never going to  happen.

Good hunting!

Image by Leonard Low