NeuroPaths

Phone 512-377-1341

  Modalities for Relaxation & Peak Performance

Have you ever heard, “the problem/pain is all in your head?”

 

When someone tells you that your pain is all in your head, they actually are correct… well, sort of. The correct part is that pain is interpreted by the brain and the brain is in the head. The missing part is the fact that the “mentally generated pain” is very real, especially to the person experiencing it. 

 

The brain doesn’t always correctly differentiate between what is real or not so that everything can become real, and be acted upon as reality. Events, and sensory inputs become signals that are analyzed by the brain and how the brain interprets the information is influenced by earlier interpretations and stored events. This helps the mind predict what action(s) may be appropriate based on a similar stimulus or signal. For example, say some drops a pencil and a sudden unexpected sound is generated.  This sudden sound may cause a victim of a violent crime, or a war veteran with PTSD to “duck and cover” because the last time a sudden sound occurred he/she was shot. So the sound gets misinterpreted in a radical way because the PTSD victim is always on high alert, especially for, in this case, sudden sounds. Any sudden sound can cause an over-reaction because of the way the brain is actively engaged. To the brain the important thing is to send information quickly for a faster body response...so this time so you don’t get shot ...again. This learned response is designed to keep the person safe but what has actually happened is the mind’s response network has become dysfunctional but in a perfect sense.  The event or trauma creating the original memory my have occurred a long time ago, even years, but the body keeps responding as if the danger is still present. It’s as if the mind is “stuck”.  The brain is geared to take a memory, store it and use it to predict what is the best response to similar future events; whether the body should ready itself to fight, flight, rest, or digest in the simplest terms. The brain has developed a “don’t get burned twice” attitude. Depending on its neural interpretation the mind/body connection may continually remain on “high alert” in a sympathetic (fight or flight) mode rather than slowing down toward a more parasympathetic (rest and digest) state. Stress hormones are such as cortisol are released when we are in the sympathetic “high alert” state. These stress hormones cascade throughout the body, shifts blood supply to the body’s core, stop digestion and readies us for combat. Remove the “sound triggers”, provide relaxation, and the person gets better as their hyper-vigilance is reduced. The brain reorganizes/ rewires to adjust to more normal interpretations of sudden sounds, stress is lowered and so is the release of stress chemicals which will over time damage the body.

 

One new model suggests that this continuous release of  stress hormones begins to set up a cycle where the body sends out Mast Cells (as an allergic response). These hormones and cells eventually break down to form new compounds like Interleukin 4. It is thought that possibly these chemicals can strip off epithelia cells that surround nerve cells making the nerves even more sensitive. Swelling may occur.  Even slight swelling may be detected and send signals up to the cortex to cause the release of more cortisol because swelling is, a physiological response to danger, is present. An over-reaction cycle can eventually set up and perpetuate itself making the nervous system more and more sensitive. Because stress chemicals are released and maintained at higher levels in the body, even when we try to relax, we find ourselves in a higher state of stress than previously. We never return to our former relaxed state.   New relaxed states begin to include a much higher level of stress. As a result of anxiety, concern,, worry, hyper-vigilance, etc, we inch up toward higher and higher in stress levels instead of experiencing dramatic drops in stress as we move toward relaxation/rest levels. We find that we can’t sleep like we used to, we’re more tired, can’t focus on tasks as well and we’re always on high alert because it takes a lot of effort to operate in this condition.  The result is that  more stress chemicals cascade through the body.  We become well situated to enter a “vicious stress cycle” and soon mysterious illnesses may begin to surface such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, RSD, CRPS, or we become more susceptible to colds, upset stomachs, flu.  In short; is it possible that constant anxiety and stress leads us to develop “dis-eases”?   What is known is that people with healthy outlooks do better post surgery than patients with negative and/or highly stressed outlooks.

 

 All of this thinking leads us and many others to a natural conclusion,  that anything that could help reduce stress could therefore possibly have a beneficial effect on dislodging the “stuck state” of constantly releasing stress hormones and allow the body to rebalance toward a healthier more functional homeodynamic state. 

 

Many times when no outward signs are visible people are told there is no reason for their pain and that it is imagined. “Imagined pain” and “real pain” are the same, the brain does not differentiate between the two and both are equally real. So what do we do about it? How can we help the mind reduce pain, become “unstuck”  and/or “fix” dysfunctions the brain?  There are several methods available to us that encourage the brain to get it “unstuck”, become more “plastic”, relax, and build new better functioning neural networks.  NeuroPaths focuses on relaxation techniques that help to reintroduce plasticity to the brain, either physically as with craniosacral therapy or by resonance fields such as with the LENS or NeuroField, or by up regulating information using SCENARs.   Any method that will allow a person to relax should let them drift further into the parasympathetic state which favors rest, digestion and bodily repair.  When the body rests, it has the time and energy to repair itself and move toward a healthier state.

 

Here are a few slides based upon various studies to help explain these thought a bit further….

 Pain, PTSD and the Brain

  NeuroPaths

Phone 512-377-1341

  Modalities for Relaxation & Peak Performance

Home

About Us

Contact Us

Pain, PTSD and the Brain

Phototherapy

SCENAR/Cosmodic

LENS

Craniosacral Therapy

Educational Page

NEUROFIELD

Energy Blanket

Modalities & Services