Neuro Emotional Technique Stress

Exploring Emotional Stress and the Impact of NET

A recollection of what you will discover during the movie “Stressed”, with some information brought forward by Dr. Marcelle.

The Evolution of Stress

Understanding the evolution of stress will help you realize why you perceive stress the way you do now. One of the most interesting things is that the way we physiologically respond to stress has not changed much throughout the years.

Hunters and gatherers in 70,000 BC had to survive from predators.  This created a tremendous amount of stress from their environment.  In today’s world, we react to stress from our environment in a very similar way. We will sense stress as a big enemy, like an animal coming to attack us. So much so that stress makes it very difficult for us to concentrate on anything else.

“I think, therefore, I am.”

During the 17th Century in the year 1637, French philosopher, scientist and mathematician, Rene Descartes,  stated, “I think, therefore, I am.”  In 1641, he created the idea around Mind-Body dualism.  This concept declared that if the mind is a thinking thing and the body was a non-thinking thing, that the mind could exist without the body.  However, the body could not exist without the mind.  This declared the mind and body as separate. This thinking then opened up the ideas about the mind-body split.

Have you ever heard anyone say, “it is all in your mind”? It is not that long ago that we were thinking that emotional stress was all in our mind let alone thinking our guts could cause our mind to think differently. Lately, research has exploded in this area so much so that we now know that emotional stress, or any stress for that matter, is a whole-body reaction.

Hooke vs. Newton

Several decades later, in 1677, we hear the word STRESS used by English natural philosopher Robert Hooke in engineering terms. He was interested in how man-made structures such as bridges could be made to withstand heavy loads without collapsing. He created what he called the Law of Elasticity which demonstrated that something like a spring could withstand a certain amount of stress before it reached a breaking point. This machine-like analogy proved to be fertile ground for future explanations of how humans experience stress. His rival at the time was Sir Isaac Newton, who, in 1687, would introduce his 3 laws of Motion . These laws would continue to point toward a mechanistic view of the body.

There are two different ways of looking at how stress influences our physiology and therefore our behaviors. Hooke gives us the concept of a tipping point. This is the point when things become too much and we break down just like the bridges. Newton brought us more of a mechanistic approach to understanding stress. An approach like we are going on in life, everything is smooth, and then there is a force out of the ordinary that is applied, which is the stress. It could be physical, emotional, or chemical. Our adaptation is the force that we applied back. Both of these concepts brought a deeper understanding about stress, although not complete.

The Origin of Homeostatis and “Fight or Flight”

In 1854, French physician, Claude Bernard, introduced the idea that the internal environment of living organisms must remain fairly constant, now known as homeostasis,  in response to changes in the external environment. Based on Claude Bernard’s work, American physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon coined the term ‘homeostasis’ to describe this neutral stable state that needed to exist for the body to survive. He also was responsible for coining the term ‘fight or flight’.

When it comes to our current understanding of stress, the man responsible is Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye. Hans Selye is known for his work studying what he called General Adaptation Syndrome. He later coined the term stress which is still used to explain aspects of the stress response. This stress response is directly responsible for helping the body return to homeostasis.  

When a layperson hears the term ‘stress response’, they think that stress is the cause of their problem. However, some teach that stress is actually an aggravating factor over whatever existing weakness they have. However, we believe that an out-of-control stress response can cause the start of pathology. Stress can take many different forms. Your mind and your body are one unit. When you alter your mind, it will alter your body. And when you alter your body, it will alter your mind.

Address Stress

Addressing stress should be your first priority. This is also supported by our genes. If our body is not functioning properly due to stress, it can cause all of our other genes to malfunction even the ones we think are healthy. Advances in stress research have yielded insights into how stress exposure, in combination with genetics, can contribute to poor health outcomes. 

According to Dr. Daniel Monti, MD Director, Marcus Institute of Integrative Health, and contributor to Stressed – A Documentary Film, the autonomic nervous system is made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The parasympathetic nervous system is all about healing through relaxation and restoration. The sympathetic nervous system, also known as fight or flight, is always ready to ward off threats, problems, and challenges. We do not want our sympathetic nervous system activated at all times as the body will remain in a heightened state of fight or flight, which will eventually cause impact to the body and mind.

Emotions are physiological phenomenon, not necessarily psychological phenomenon.

Neuroscientist, Pharmacologist and author of Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine, Dr. Candace Pert, made a breakthrough discovery in 1972 when she discovered the opiate receptor.  It was previously believed that for any drug to work in your system, it had to first bind to receptors in your cells. What made Dr. Pert’s discovery so exciting, was that the receptor must be used for something created by the body not just for external things like drugs. This led to the discovery of endorphins, our body’s very own morphine.

These discoveries led to what Dr. Pert called the molecules of emotion. When you have an emotion, it is the result of physical molecules, known as neuropeptides being released into your body and attaching themselves to receptors in every cell of your body. This means that emotions are actually a physiological phenomenon, not a mental construct as had been previously thought. She found that there are neuro-transmitter receptors in our gut. There are more neuro-transmitter receptors in our gut than there are in our brain. Dr. Pert taught us that the mind is not just above our neck, but its presence is throughout the whole body. Emotions are physiological phenomenon, not necessarily psychological phenomenon.

Humans learn through classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is the process in which an automatic, conditioned response is paired with specific stimuli. Dog studies conducted by Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist born in the mid-1800s, revealed classical conditioning. We are conditioned to respond to certain circumstances, people, and situations. But what we don’t express in life, we repress. And this can manifest in different ways, sometimes into disease, illness, anger, anxiety, depression and more. However, if we can get to the underlying cause that keeps getting re-triggered, life can change.

Dr. Scott Walker uncovers NET

Scott Walker, D.C. uncovered the Neuro Emotional Technique. As he worked with his chiropractic patients, he noticed that some would get well, and others would not. The patients that were struggling appeared to be emotionally burdened. Dr. Walker met a chiropractor by the name of Jennifer Lamonica. Dr. Lamonica revealed that she would give certain patients a chiropractic adjustment. However, when they would think about work, their spine would be out of place before they even left her office. Based on hearing this and his own experiences, Dr. Walker suspected that emotions were impacting these patients and altering the treatment. Any symptom we have could have a stress component. Dr. Walker began to test his theory on patients with extraordinary results.

Dr. Walker states that we are run by our subconscious minds which makes it challenging to break out of our conditioning. A Neuro Emotional Complex (NEC) is when an emotion gets stuck in the body. So if a patient is experiencing anxiety, they view themselves as being an anxious person. During NET, we are shedding that NEC. We get the body’s feedback and use that to help the body heal. Logic and reason are usually not involved. NET is focused on identifying where the body is stuck.

Jefferson University NET Research Study

A research study was conducted at Jefferson University by Dr. Daniel Monti MD and Dr. Andrew Newberg, MD. This study took cancer patients who were experiencing traumatic stress symptoms from their cancer experience. These patients were interviewed about the emotional affect of their feelings when they found out they had cancer. At first, the participants received an MRI during auditory presentation of both a neutral stimulus and the description of a traumatic event (hearing about the cancer diagnosis). While hearing the description of a traumatic event, there was an increase in activity in the parahippocampus and brainstem showing stress. Then the participants received the NET intervention. After the NET intervention, the MRI was done again while hearing about a traumatic event. The results from the MRI demonstrated that the reactivity in the parahippocampus, brainstem, anterior cingulate and insula was significantly decreased and was associated with improvements of symptoms.

Does Time Heal All Wounds?

The phrase ‘time heals all wounds’ was not true for these patients. Time had not helped to heal these patients from the traumatic stress of learning about their diagnoses. The impact of the Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) on their brain physiology was the focus of this study. The results of the patients who received NET were dramatic.

The mind and the body work together. When you have a physical illness there is an emotional component. And when we have emotional stress like depression, there is a physical component to it. Both the physical and emotional need to be treated. NET uses several unique components. The first is the muscle testing which allows the body to become its own biofeedback instrument. The body then guides the treatment. By using the muscle testing, it identifies what the periods of distress are. The practitioner poses a concept and observes whether the patient’s body has a physiological response to it and whether they have a reaction to it.

Critical Finding of NET Treatment

Another critical finding from the research identified changes in the cerebellum as a result of NET. The cerebellum is normally involved in the coordination of motor function. From these studies, the researchers uncovered that the cerebellum may also be involved in the coordination of emotional function. And after receiving NET, the cerebellum was able to support the patient’s emotional function.

After a few NET treatments, the research patients were no longer suffering with the trauma from their cancer diagnoses and treatments. They felt a sense of relief, lack of anxiety, and a focus on the future vs. anxiety over the past. NET helped to create a sense of normalcy for these patients and helped them out of dark places.

To achieve optimal results with patients, NET practitioners must separate their ego and preconceived notions about their patients. They cannot allow their ‘stuff’ to get in the way of the therapeutic relationship.

Emotions Impact our Ability to Truly Heal

What you think, can affect how you heal. What you eat can affect how you heal. How you exercise can affect how you heal. Meditation and yoga can affect how you heal. NET can help unlock all the stuff that is stuck inside and allow the food, exercise and all the other techniques to have an even greater impact.

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