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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Sheer WillPower - Brain Science 2015


Change the Brain and Boost Willpower

Is it possible for the brain to grow new neurons?  Yes!  

Irene Lyon says:
I work with “brain science” everyday in my Somatic Experiencing and Feldenkrais practice.
However, the exercise that Kelly gives us, for the bulks of my clients, they’d go into greater stress responses of high arousal with this.
Many have early developmental trauma, and severe PTSD, and this kind of focusing, while it sounds nice and lovely in speaking about it, can actually be next to impossible when taught from this perspective – meaning to just focus on breath. I know for many this works to de-stress, but we need to be more refined in this information/suggestions — allow for contraindications to be suggested. (on a side note: I’ve worked with many who do such meditations and they “think” they are more calm and centered, but they have in fact disconnected and become more frozen in their body sensations…. so less stress and anxiety is felt, but the scale has been tipped in the wrong direction “spiritual by-bass” some would call it.)
Many of my clients think that are “broken” even more when they try to do these guided meditations that people suggest, and then they end up in anxiety attacks, or having other signs and symptoms pop up that are debilitating —
when we start to work together, the approach must take into account ALL human experiences, not just mindfulness. The tracking of sensation is essential, as is re-orienting to the body in a tactile way.
Thought I’d bring this up as I see this more and more as time goes on and as mindfulness becomes more “en vogue”
  • Diana Raphael, RN, MS; Massachusetts says:
    Irene, I agree with you as a a nurse with 40 years of chronic pain from a work injury: the 5 minute ‘sitting quiet cure’ (or the 20 minute one) has not worked for me. Even audio from the beloved JKZ, (Jon Kabat-Zinn) did not get me hooked. Learning breathing practices through a decade of yoga and a year-long yoga teacher training helped build more automaticity into my awareness–movement and breathing. Yet I find yoga has so many inexperienced and/or ego-driven teachers and risky practices–I have moved on to Qigong/Tai Chi for the same type of experience–to build body-mind awareness through breath. Lee Holden has great DVDS–not a sub for a good teacher, but a start. Also Feldenkrais, ‘Awareness Through Movement’ type practices seem to get the same results.
    I am not as deep in the science as many of you, but my hunch is that sitting practices may work better for left-brain types who can already line up their ducks easily. Right brain types less so. Similarly, I think those with trauma, anxiety, ADD issues are ‘bullied’ into trying to pull off sitting still practices and fail–even though they desperately need them. It’s like yelling at the hearing impaired! Better to try a different strategy.
    Starting with yoga nidra (Jennifer Reis) or many other guided meditations, or using ‘brain entrainment’ like Holosync seem more likely to help people with pain, trauma, anxiety, ADD to get the benefits of regular practice before they quit with another ‘failure’ on their list. A comforting, ‘no-fail’ practice will invite regularity–then the body and brain can take over building new patterns.
    Also I see NOTHING in these excellent nicabm offerings about the third leg of the stool. What are you eating? The new science on the relationship of toxic food consumption to chronic brain inflammation (and all other organs) can not be ignored. The microbiome rules the body-mind! Eating crap and meditating all day will never get you anywhere.
    David Perlmutter, board certified neurologist and nutritionist will open your doors to the changes needed in nutrition and other daily toxic exposures. There are thousands of highly qualified practitioners who are leading the way in this area just like you are tying to integrate mindfulness and psychotherapy with all the new science. May we all collaborate to help ourselves, our children, and our communities!
  • Delma says:
    I work with traumatized clients as well and find that focusing on actual lived experience reduces the tendency to zone out and dissociate. My go-to practice is Milton Ericson “5,4,3,2,1” “Five things that I see. ..” which is total sensory focus. I’m guessing you can find this exercise spelled out on the Internet. somewhere. Just a thought.
    • Laurie, massage practitioner, Washington says:
      I”m appreciating this thread. What you’re describing is similar, though less extreme, among Type A, hyped-up, anxiety-prone clients. One thing that seems to work for them is to learn to just enjoy the inner conversation. These are the folks who talk for the first half of their massage, then crash. And yes, Milton Erickson’ five things is my favorite way to deal with my own infrequent anxiety times–along with reminding myself that what I’m experiencing is just adrenalin.

Book:The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

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