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Healing Bodies….Empowering Lives


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The Cause of All Disease Part II – The “Mama Bear” Incident

The “Mama Bear” Incident

One day I was in the forest.  I walked along enjoying the beauty of nature around me.  Lost in the serenity of the moment, I haphazardly walked into a small opening in the woods where a mama bear was frolicking with her three cubs.   She saw me.  She was not happy to see me.  She reared up on her hind legs, flashed her sharp fangs and pointy claws in my direction, and roared  She began to run towards me.

This is a wonderful example of STRESS – a sudden change in my outer environment (an angry bear running towards me) that, if I don’t do something, will create a major change in my inner environment  (I would quickly become food for mama bear and her cubs).  In order to ensure my survival, my body and mind must express the seven attributes, or Response Abilities, of health, so that I may respond appropriately to this stress.

Step One: I just perceived a sudden change in my external environment – I see and hear the bear.  I passed the first test.

Step Two: I must adapt to this change.  There are certain conscious and unconscious changes that must occur in order for me to retain my current level of health. On an unconscious level, several things happen:  My adrenal glands start pumping adrenaline into my bloodstream giving me a sudden burst of energy.  My heartbeat begins to race and my blood pressure skyrockets increasing the supply of oxygen and other nutrients to my muscles and vital organs.  My digestive system turns off (possibly emptying in the process), for digestion takes a tremendous amount of energy, and at that moment I require the energy for other needs.  The pupils of my eyes dilate, or get bigger, so I can see more and see farther.  I start sweating and my mind starts to race and that’s where the one conscious decision comes in: Fight or Run Away!?.

I choose to run away.  The bear takes chase.  I climb quickly up a tree.  The bear shakes the tree with her mighty paws, her teeth glaring in the sunlight.  Unable to shake me loose, the mama bear soon loses interest and she and her cubs prance off into the sunset, leaving me trembling in the tree. I passed test two.  My body and mind adapted to the stress I perceived, and I survived, retaining my current state of health.

For the purpose of demonstration, let us pretend that I did not pass the next step – I do not Recover from the adaptation to the stress once the bear goes away.  Let us jump ahead twenty years into the future.  Picture me sitting at home, forty pounds overweight, sitting on the couch eating nachos and drinking a cold beer.  I am channel surfing with my eyes fixed on the television, my feet propped up on a table.  Can you picture it?  Sound familiar?  Sound like someone you know?

My adrenals are still releasing tremendous amounts of adrenaline (anxiety), for which I “treat” with valium at night and a cup of coffee in the morning.  My heart rate tends to be high, and my blood pressure is through the roof (hypertension), for which my doctor prescribed a medication to keep under control.  I wear glasses to correct my vision because since the “mama bear incident,” as it is now called, I still tend to be farsighted (myopic).  I have trouble eating heavy meals, because my digestion system has difficulty producing enough acid and enzymes to break it down (indigestion, irritable bowel, Crohn’s disease).  What happened here?  What happened was my body perceived a stress to which it appropriately adapted, but never recovered.

At this point, my body is still responding to a stress that happened twenty years ago!  My body and mind are still being chased by a bear, even though the incident is twenty years in my past. This is the cause of most disease.  (The remainder of which correspond to the loss of one or more of the other six attributes of health.)   My body lost its adequate Response Ability, therefore each stressful experience adds to my dis-ease and reduces my ability to respond appropriately to stress.  Whatever illness, disease, or condition you may “have”, if you look back at your life with honesty and open-mindedness, you will find some past physical, emotional, or chemical stress, or an accumulation of such stresses, that you have experienced, and either didn’t effectively adapt to, or you adapted to and never fully recovered from.
We will continue to explore the Cause of all Disease, the Seven Response Abilities and the “Mama Bear” incident in the next entry.

Adapted from an excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg

With Love and Appreciation,

Dr Barry

www.placeforhealing.com


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The Cause of All Disease Part I

Thou sendest to man Thy messenger, the disease, which announces the approach of danger and bids him prepare to overcome them.”

– Maimonedes

 

When I ask the question, “What is the Cause of All Disease?”, I usually receive one of two answers: either “GERMS!” or “S T R E S S ! ! !”  When we look at our hectic American society, and all of its stress-related illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and arthritis, it is not difficult to understand why people would rationalize that stress was the causeand answer in this way.  When we witness the association between bacteria, viruses, and other germs, and disease and illness, it comes to reason that they are the cause…and answer in this way.

Everyday our newspapers and latest medical research studies report that stress and germs are the cause of most diseases in our world.  On a daily basis, we see countless advertisements on TV and in the paper about medications to fight germs and relieve stress.

With all this “evidence” before us, and all the research that documents it, it would appear that stress and germs are, in fact, the cause of all disease.  Yet, as we learned in chapters two and three, this is an illusion.  In truth, stress and germs are not the cause of all disease, but instead, the cause of all HealthIt is not the germ or stress that causes disease, but our body or mind’s inability to respond appropriately to it.

Placing germs within the broader concept of stress, let us define this thing called STRESS.  According to Webster, stress is a “physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental change.”     In other words, stress is any change in our outside environment that causes a change in our internal environment, whether this change be of a physical, emotional, or chemical nature.

For example,  imagine you are walking down the street.  As you step off the curb, your foot slips on a wet tile and your foot twists under your leg.  Because of how you turn your leg, and the current level of flexibility (or adaptability) of your leg, you strain a tendon in your ankle.  This is an example of a physical stress.  Now, did the stress cause the injury?  The answer is no.  Your inability to adapt appropriately to that specific movement caused the injury.  If your tendon was more flexible (or adaptable) and you were able to move more appropriately, the same slip would not have caused an injury.

Other examples of physical stress might be something traumatic like a football injury, an automobile collision, or a ski accident.  It may be something subtle like carrying your purse on the same shoulder every day or sitting in front of a computer for hours on end.

Now you may notice that all of these examples are of a somewhat “negative” nature, whereas the definition of stress makes no distinction of positive or negative.  A stress is any change in our outside environment that creates a change in our inside environment.  Therefore, other forms of physical stress might be a tickle or a hug.  It could be taking a warm bath or receiving a soothing massage.  These are also changes in the outside environment that can create profound changes on the inside.  These are all stresses.

Stresses are not always of a physical nature.  There are also chemical and emotional stresses.  Examples of chemical stress are food, water, smoke, toxins, vitamins, herbs, alcohol, sugar, medications, recreational drugs, germs, etc.  Many of these may be considered negative stresses, others as positive stresses.

Examples of emotional stress are divorce, hysterical comedy, bankruptcy, receiving a reward, family death, and getting married.  Again some may appear negative, some positive.

All these things, and anything else we may experience, are changes in the outside environment that create a change on the inside environment.  They are all stresses. There are no positive or negative stresses.  The effect these stresses have on our body and mind are not determined by the stress itself, but by our response toit.

Understanding this, do stresses and germs cause disease?  Of course not.  The cause of ALL disease is not stress, but our body and minds’ inability to perceive, adapt, or recover appropriately in response to the stress.  This is the cause of ALL disease.  Does the streptococcus bacteria cause strep throat?  No.  Our immune system’s inability to respond appropriately to the bacteria is the cause of strep throat.  If I took a strep culture of 100 individuals’ throats, all would have a positive finding of strep, yet most of them, if not all, would not have the disease.  Does smoking cause lung cancer?  No.  Our body’s inability to respond appropriately to the smoke causes lung cancer, or else all smokers would contract lung cancer.  Does stepping off a curb wrong cause a twisted ankle? No.  The body’s inability to respond appropriately to the situation is the cause of the twisted ankle.

So, what is the cause of all disease?  Not stress, but our body’s inability to respond appropriately to the stress.  In other words, a loss of our body or mind’s Response Ability.  As you may have realized, this entire book is based on this principle.  All health is the result of our body and mind’s remarkable abilities – Response Abilities – to experience the outside environment and respond to it through our personal expression.  The more efficient and effective we are at this, the healthier we are.

In the next entry, I’d like to tell a story that illustrates all seven Response Abilities, how they may be compromised, how their loss causes disease and illness and how they heal.  This story will demonstrate the presence of and the loss of the body and mind’s Response Ability.

 

An excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg

With Love and Appreciation,

Dr Barry

www.placeforhealing.com

 


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Response Ability #3: Recovery

The wind blows.  The reed bends into the wind.  Yet, what happens when the wind stops blowing?  The reed returns to its original position, standing strong, pointing up towards the sun.  It recovers.  If the wind was stronger than the reed’s ability to adapt and recover appropriately, the reed may break and remain in its bent position.  In order for the reed to maintain its health, it must be able to recover from the adaptation once the wind stops blowing.

So too must we recover from any adaptation we experience due to change, once the conditions return to normal.  Many of our adaptations are temporary changes to best survive the “passing storm.”  Using the fight or flight response as an example, once the danger passes, the blood pressure, pulse rate, and adrenaline levels must return to a resting state.  The digestive system must proceed with its vital activity and our dilated pupils must once again return to normal size.  In other words, the body must recover from the event.

Other factors of the body, such as temperature, pressure, and a multitude of chemical reactions, are in a continuous, never-ending balancing act.  For example, insulin is the hormone that controls the glucose, or blood sugar, level in our blood.  Ultimately, it is glucose that provides fuel for the body, especially the brain.  When we eat something that contains sugar or starch, insulin is released by the pancreas into the blood stream to remove any excess sugar from the blood and store it for later use.   Once the sugar level is within optimum levels, the insulin level in the blood is reduced.  If there is not enough sugar in the blood, a counter-hormone called glucagon is released that draws sugar from reserves and releases it into the blood stream to provide energy for the body.  This see-saw effect of insulin and glucagon is just one example of millions of such balancing acts that occur in the body.

What would happen, however, if once the blood sugar level reached its optimum level, the pancreas continued to release insulin.   By this lack of recovery, more sugar would be removed from the blood than was necessary producing a “condition” called hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. What if after an intense physical or emotional crisis, the necessary increase in blood pressure and adrenaline never returned to states of rest?  This lack of recovery would result in anxiety and hypertension or high blood pressure.   What if during a state of repair, the mechanism that holds the normal rate of cell division and reproduction in check, failed to do its job?  This lack of recovery would result in cancer.  As you can see, many of our long-term chronic illnesses are nothing more than a normal response to change, or adaptation, that never recovered once the change had passed.

When looking at the diseases, conditions, and illness that have been diagnosed by mankind, you will find that ALL of them are caused by either a failure to perceive change in the inner or outer environment, a failure to effectively adapt to the change, or a failure to recover once the change had passed.  This may be an overnight process or it can take many years, decades or even an entire lifetime.  All the circumstances, experiences and events that effect the body, mind and nervous system, may contribute to increased dysfunction and disease, if we do not respond appropriately to the experience.  This Cause of ALL Disease will be discussed at length in the next chapter.

When looking at any disease process, rarely is it caused by one thing.  There are often many physical, emotional, and mental factors that influence the body and contribute to our health and our disease.  On this Clear Path to Healing, we address health on all levels, to assist the body and mind to regain, improve, and develop its ability to perceive, adapt, and recover to change – its Response Ability.

This process of recovery is an effective mechanism to return the body back to its previous state before the adaptation took place, once a given change is no longer present in the environment.  What happens, however, if the environmental conditions do not return to normal and the change does not go away?  What if the wind continues to blow?  What if a new environment is created in which the adaptation must become permanent in order to survive?  In that case, recovery is not necessary, but evolution is.  We will explore this response ability in the next entry.

An excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg

With Love and Appreciation,

Dr Barry

www.placeforhealing.com

 


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The Cause of All Disease and All Health

Our Three Brains

Did you know we have three brains?  Actually, we have one brain made up of three integrated parts.  The first brain is the Brain Stem or Reptile Brain.  This is the Survival Brain.  It controls all functions responsible for our survival – as an individual and as a species.  It controls such things as hunger, thirst, heart beat, breathing, digestion, immunity, and sexual drive.  It is the basic, primal part of us that is in all animals – Give Me Food…Give Me Shelter…Give Me Sex!  Most importantly in regards to this article, it initiates the Fight-or-Flight Stress Response.

Our second brain is the Limbic System or Mammal Brain.  It is in all mammals and is composed of such interestingly named parts such as the amygdala, hippocampus and thalamus.  This is our Emotional Brain.  It controls all functions related to emotional aspects of survival.  It controls such things as memory, behavior, pleasure and pain responses, and experience of all emotions.  Most importantly in regards to this article, it maintains the Fight-or-Flight Stress Response and initiates the Defense Posture.

The third brain is the Cerebral Cortex or Human Brain.  It is in “most” humans and is evident in other mammals, especially apes, dolphins and whales.  This is the convoluted part we see in monster movies sitting in a jar.  It is our Thinking Brain.  It controls all functions related to higher thought.  It controls such things as decision making, attention, awareness, language, judgment, reading, writing, etc.  It is the center of higher thought.   Most importantly in regards to this article, it is impaired by the Fight-or-Flight Stress Response and Defense Posture.

 The Fight-or-Flight Stress Response

Every moment, our brain is assessing the world around us and asking one question: “Am I Safe?”  This question is asked on all three levels:  Intellectually, Emotionally and Survival.  If at any moment the brain determines you are in danger on any of these three levels, it sends out an alert to the body and the Fight-or-Flight Stress Response occurs.  Mechanisms of survival are activated by the Brain Stem to prepare you to face the situation or run away.  This occurs whether we are being chased by a lion, taking a final exam, seeing flashing lights in our rear view mirror, or touched in an inappropriate way by clergy.  It occurs any time the brain determines, “Danger!”

Here is the Stress Response in a Nutshell:

  • Adrenalin is Released (Provides More Energy)
  • Blood Sugar Elevates (Provides More Energy)
  • Blood Pressure Rises (Provides More Oxygen to Muscles)
  • Pulse Increases (Provides More Oxygen to Muscles)
  • Muscles Tense (Provides Readiness for Action)
  • Pupils Dilate (See More In Less Light)
  • Immunity turns off (These three functions use a lot
  • Digestion turns off of energy and are not necessary
  • Sexual Function turns off for our immediate survival.)

This quote from Kurt Vonnegut’s “Breakfast of Champions” described the process well:

“My mind sent a message to my hypothalamus, told it to release the hormone CRFinto the short vessels connecting my hypothalamus and my pituitary gland. The CRF inspired my pituitary gland to dump the hormone ACTH into my bloodstream. My pituitary had been making and storing ACTH for just such an occasion. And nearer and nearer the zeppelin came.

And some of the ACTH in my bloodstream reached the outer shell of my adrenal gland, which had been making and storing glucocorticoids for emergencies. My adrenal gland added the glucocorticoids to my bloodstream. They went all over my body changing glycogen into glucose. Glucose was muscle food. It would help me fight like a wild cat or run like a deer. And nearer and nearer the zeppelin came.

My adrenal gland gave me a shot of adrenaline, too. I turned purple as my blood pressure skyrocketed. The adrenaline made my heart go like a burglar alarm. It also stood my hair on end. It also caused coagulants to pour into my bloodstream, so, in case I was wounded, my vital juices wouldn’t drain away. Everything my body had done so far fell within normal operating procedures for a human machine.

But my body took one defensive measure which I am told was without precedent in medical history. It may have happened because some wire short-circuited or some gasket blew. At any rate, I also retracted my testicles into my abdominal cavity pulled them into my fuselage like the landing gear of an airplane. And now they tell me that only surgery will bring them down again.”

 

These are all appropriate responses to survive an attack from a lion or any other danger.  However, once the danger is gone and the stress is over, these body functions should return to a state of balance and the body should move into a state of safety.

This paragraph is the most important in this article…so pay attention:  If during these stressful events, the Emotional Brain or Limbic System is involved (we feel fear, anger, resentment, etc.), it then sends a message to the Brain Stem to maintain the Stress Response to keep us safe, just in case such a situation ever happens again.  Over time, this develops into  what is called Defense Posture.

According to the Center for Disease Control, this is the cause of 95% of all disease and is directly what Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) addresses.  NSA helps people move from Stress Physiology and Defense Posture to a state of Safety and Growth.

 The Cause of 95% of Disease?
How Come?

If you look at the list of responses in Stress Physiology, it is immediately apparent that long term these are our most common chronic ailments:

  • Adrenalin is Released              (Anxiety/Depression)
  • Blood Sugar Elevates              (Diabetes)
  • Blood Pressure Rises               (Hypertension)
  • Pulse Increases                         (Cardiac Arrhythmia)
  • Muscles Tense                            (Fibromyalgia, Neck and Back Pain, etc.)
  • Pupils Dilate                                (Far-vision)
  • Immunity turns off                   (All immune related diseases)
  • Digestion turns off                     (Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Indigestion, etc.)
  • Sexual Function turns off         (Impotency, Infertility)

When the body and brain are locked in stress physiology and defense posture, we react as if the stress that caused it is still occurring, even though it may be decades in our past.  In this state, health and healing are impossible, and our quality of life and degree of wellness greatly diminishes.

Not only does this effect us physically, it effects us emotionally and mentally as well.

A Brain is a Terrible Thing to Waste

When our brain and body are locked in Defense, blood supply to the Cerebral Cortex is diminished.  Our ability to experience higher thought, make decisions and place our attention on those things that are important to us is impaired.

When our Limbic System is locked in Defense, we are more apt to experience fear, anger and sadness than we are to feel joy, peace and love.  We experience a higher degree of separation from ourselves and those around us.  We become numb to what we are feeling in our bodies and our hearts.

Since we are still reacting to stresses and events from the past, we lose our ability to respond and adapt appropriately to changes in the present.  We feel stressed out all the time and we get sick often and easily.  We may feel locked in a job, relationship or other circumstance that we can not change.  As Thoreau wrote so eloquently, we begin living lives of “quiet desperation.”

The Solution

Help the brain and body develop new strategies to self-assess and regulate its own tension, move from defense into safety, and more effectively adapt to stresses and change so as to cause growth  instead of defense.

Enter the Spinal Gateway

If you’re working on my spine, why do you always look at my feet and feel my ankles?  Why do you always want me to turn my head left and right?  Why do you ask me to tuck my chin? All of these actions are part of Network Spinal Analysis to find a very special point on your spine called the Spinal Gateway.

Hey…do you mind if I talk a little R-rated with you for a moment. Have you ever been in a room with someone you were sexually attracted to, when suddenly they touch you on a special place on your body, or Errogenous Zone, that made all the days worries disappear.  Your mind suddenly blanks and your body begins to melt into a big pile of mush?

The Spinal Gateway is a “Heal-ogenous” Zone and has a similar effect on your brain, spine and nervous system.  In a body that is stuck in the Stress Response and Defense Posture, NSA helps us to find the one or two tiny spots (Spinal Gateways) amidst the tension on the spine that are free, in safety, and most important, possess energy available for healing and growth.

When an area of the spine is locked in defense, we feel tense and tight in this area.  The energy is locked up and not available.  It is invested in defending us from DANGER!

So…how does such a gentle touch make such a giant change in our health and wellness?  By placing a gentle force exactly at the Spinal Gateway, for just a moment, the Higher Brain (Cerebral Cortex) is alerted to a place in the body that has been forgotten, but safe, and has a lot of free energy to share.  As we gently touch the Spinal Gateway (like the Errogenous Zone), the body drops its defenses and realizes we are safe.  The areas in defense actually learn from the Spinal Gateway.  Suddenly, we may take a deep breath or feel tension release from our shoulders or low back.  We may feel tingly or electrical sensations.  We may feel a desire to move or take a bi-i-i-i-g stretch.

Over time, with guidance from the NSA practitioner through the Three Levels of Care, your brain and body develop strategies of breath and movement to self-assess and regulate its own tension, move from defense into safety, and adapt more effectively to stresses and change, causing growth instead of defense.

 The Research

Everything that I have shared with you in this article, is documented by a team of researchers at the University of California Medical School in Irvine.  Headed by Dr. Robert Blank, they have found that Network Spinal Analysis Care…

  • Doubles our Experience of Wellness.
  • Triples our ability to make healthier choices.
  • Helps our Brain and Nervous System self-organize to higher levels of Complexity with each Level of Care…in other words, EVOLVE.