Brain, Mind, and Neuroplasticity...
Updated: Sep 16, 2019
This morning, a client wrote to me, inspired by reading a book on yogic philosophy, that we have the power to change our awareness and alter longstanding beliefs and mind loops. She wanted to know if I could recommend additional books.
I sure can!
To her credit, she utilized neuroplasticity to come to see me. Based on a friend's recommendation, she decided to try something different to help herself heal and once her body and brain received the CHI Brain and Lymphatic treatments I offer, she began to recover rapidly. By opening her mind, believing in a new possibility, taking action, following my instructions, and showing up for her treatments, SHE healed her body and her brain, giving herself the opportunity to go from foggy brain to an inspired brain ready to learn more.
I would suggest anyone interested in studying yogic or buddhist philosophy, also learn about neuroplasticity...how the brain functions and changes. The Yogis and Buddhists developed philosophies that literally transformed the brain and the body. Today, science offers explanations for how the brain functions, learns, and heals, and modern neuroplasticity protocols recreate these feelings and sensations that deep states of meditation are able to achieve. This is precisely why meditation in the ancient world was ALWAYS taught to students by a well trained guide, yogi, rimpoche (teacher), traditional medicine man or woman. When the brain is awakened at its highest potential there are powerful states of "non-ordinary" consciousness that must be experienced and integrated well to know the real depth of the teachings of "wisdom and skillful means." Some people derail mentally, becoming unhinged, in these states because it so drastically alters their rigid perception of Being and what they thought was "reality."
Reality is, well, relative, and once you feel and see reality shift before your eyes, and you realize you control a great deal of that process, sometimes even all of it, then, the mind has some reorganizing to do and this reorganization of perspective and thought changes the brain. Spend time in any yogic or buddhist retreat and you will have chores to do so you "chop wood, carry water" using the physical body to integrate the potent energy, literally the change in neurochemistry in your brain, coursing through your body. You must ground and center the experiences of changing this chemistry, opening the mind, and expanding the brain's ability to function. You do become a new person--the person you came here to be when unfettered by debilitating, limiting, mental thoughts and neurochemistry. You are able to engage your highest human potential. What once sounded very "New Age-y" a few decades ago is now not considered "woo-woo" but solid brain neuroplasticity at work.
Pretty cool stuff, indeed!
Using BOTH, the meditation practices and neuroplasticity protocols is remarkably potent.
This beautiful brain we were bestowed is a remarkable organ. Controlling every function in our body through a complex association with thought and feeling, the brain regulates our entire body based on where we place our mind. Long, repeated, observation of this is how the ancients were able to develop their practices. The deeper you experience the distinction between mind and brain, you realize mind is not in the brain, the brain follows mind and will go on autopilot in whatever direction you use the mind to program the brain.
It's all in the head--and the mind.
In early childhood development, there is a biological "automatic" evolutionary relationship that develops the brain and body as our biology evolved to do, assuming no significant genetic mutation that would disrupt the process. "Mind" isn't so developed at that point to choose as our physical function is biologically regulated in the developing brain, yet watch a baby cry from hunger and early on the signaling in the brain begins to establish a neurological pattern of hunger-alert-fed-satiated or hunger-alert-unfed-starvation. Being fed when hungry programs safety, eventually trust, while going unfed programs a fight or flight survival experience and a trauma cycle begins if repeated and the child goes regularly unfed. We now know, via brain research, early childhood experiences of stress and trauma upregulate the nervous system and fight or flight patterns of coping begin wiring in the brain.
Resilience is the brain's ability to recover from stress. Over stressed early on in life, or over short condensed periods of time throughout life, diminishes our resilience. Resilience can be recovered, but we have to work at it daily to rewire the brain.
Now science isn't yet at the point where it says definitively that the mind is outside the brain, it has actually said the opposite, because frankly, it hasn't been "proven" but that is a bit like saying water isn't wet. If you spend any time in water and get to know it you know it is wet.
You might be interested in the Mind & Life Institute that gives talks and teaching all the time online on many of these topics. I also enjoy the research from the Noetic Institute. They each have excellent websites and Facebook pages full of science based information.
There is no lack of information.
I will suggest some good books here, three in particular, in the reading order preferred. In future posts, I will be offering meditations and exercises to help you experience the potential of the mind and brain working together for change.
1. Annie Hopper's book, Wired for Healing, is a real boots-on-the-ground, layperson's, explanation of how our limbic system works, how it gets out of wack, what happens next--illness, and how to recover. Hopper is the creator of the DNRS--Dynamic Neural Retraining System, a protocol to heal and rewire the brain to regain health. I like all of my clients to read this book since it is a great neuroplasticity tool without being too complicated. You can recover and you don't have to be a neuroscientist to do it. I have attended a live training session myself to recover from severe chemical sensitivities that debilitated me for six years (which I accomplished in NINE DAYS) and I can tell you the client testimonials on her website are real. Her protocol works IF you DO it as directed. (see her DVD program or live seminar sessions). FIRST, purchase and read the book on the website here:
2. Norman Doidge a PhD, psychiatrist, brilliantly launched the public into the world of the brain research lab with his books,The Brain That Changes Itself, and
3. The Brain's Way Of Healing.
Your local library probably has many copies of Doidge's books in various formats. You will probably want your own copy after getting into the information. Additionally, Doidge has many videos available on YouTube.
Basically, these books cover the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd base in the brain ballgame: function, injury, recovery. To hit a home run, you use neuroplasticity to heal your brain from limbic injury or confining belief systems contributing to the mental defense mechanisms of survival that can put us into overdrive, upregulating the nervous system, creating detrimental neurochemical patterns and disease, literally robbing us of our joy.
The Chikly Health Institute (CHI) brain and lymphatic therapy treatments I offer downregulate the sympathetic, fight or flight, nervous system, and reactivate the rest and relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system, and they can assist someone keen on healing and learning, to advance rapidly, just as my client's experience after a few sessions with me.
I'll end here, just with the book recommendations, because what is emerging is a meditation practice to compliment your reading and learning. Look for that in the future along with fascinating anatomy and physiology about your beautiful brain and lymphatic system. If you want to come to Poulsbo, WA, for a session, see my contact information on the website, www.bodhisattvahealingarts.com
To your highest human potential!
--Anahata Little BS LMT
You get one brain, one body. Treat them well.™