Defang PTSD

Defang PTSD

Defang PTSD with Overabundance of Neutrality

            Recently I posted on Twitter inviting people with PTSD to volunteer for testing of some of my ideas. Even though I got not a single volunteer, people read that particular blog on PTSD in record numbers. I figured the topic must be important, but people were skeptical. Now, I can simply sit and wait until someone gets so desperate he or she will volunteer, looking for any sliver of hope. This may take a month, a year, or a decade, but during this time, most people with PTSD will be suffering from their persistent symptoms.

            I chose to go a different path. I will disclose my ideas publically, thus making them available for anyone to test.

            The “meat and potatoes” of my suggestions will be discussed shortly. For now, I want to discuss those elements that still tug at my consciousness for not addressing them better. Disclosing my ideas would also involve opening myself to either something big and nice or something big and very unpleasant. Why? Because I am putting forward something I have not yet tested. It may prove to be good, or it may prove to be bad. Without enough people testing it, nobody knows for sure.

            At this time, proper testing is simply not feasible without the resources needed to pull it off. If I could foretell the future, things would be different. But since I have no such magic powers, I make decisions based on today’s reality.

            What I offer doesn’t hurt, doesn’t cost much to do, and doesn’t require any one with expertise to help. It is simple and easy to do. My ideas are so basic you learned most of them when you started walking, when your parents taught you to put one foot in front of another.

           In my book and blogs, I suggest building a simple contraption where a 4-foot-long, ¾” galvanized steel water pipe that gets attached on top of two wooded blocks, about 3” above the floor. I would use three per side of 2-hole pipestrap ceiling support (see picture of the clamp.)  (Instructions on how to build the water pipe stand are at end of the blog.)

            This simple and inexpensive balancing pipe is all you need. It will work for many years.

 

Here is what you do:

  • At first, hold onto the wall or the back of a chair, as you stand on the water pipe.
  • Be sure to wear thick cotton socks
  • Raise your arms to your shoulder level, to the sides, and parallel to the floor. At first, you will be able to hold balance for 1-2 seconds at a time.
  • After about a week, gradually learn to stand without any support. Pretend that you are walking on a tightrope, and you need to keep balance.
  • Making steps across the pipe just so you would get on the other side is fun, but unnecessary. It is much harder to stand in one place and hold your balance
  • Then you will step off with one foot on the floor. This is normal.

IMPORTANT: Holding your balance for 3-4 seconds at a time takes a lot of practice. Don’t be discouraged. The seconds on the pipe, while you are holding your balance, are not as important as your WILL to get back on the pipe after you lost your balance.

            When soldiers are in training, they get exhausted from various physical exercises, but maintain that it is even harder mentally. It is the ability to maintain your cool, collected composure, not to respond to fear in the ordinary way. It is giving the training all you’ve got, without hold anything back, reaching deep down to find the strength to carry on.

 

Balancing

            The same is true about balancing on the water pipe. It looks fun, it is fun, yet it is built specifically to be challenging. And if you master the pipe, when something challenges you emotionally or memories of the nasty surface, kick off your shoes and climb on that water pipe. The more emotionally I get upset, the harder my willpower has to fight to put me on the pipe. Emotions are like a wild fire, they can go in all directions, with incredible speed and power.

            Holding your balance on the water pipe puts a chocker hold on your emotional wild fire. On the water pipe, you demand your emotions to submit to your will, to settle down. Emotions will fight back and keep you away from the pipe. Your willpower must be stronger than your negative or worrisome emotions in order to get back on the pipe, if only for a fraction of a second at a time. The more often you get on the pipe, the more calming it is for you and your emotions.

 

Bad Memories

            When it comes to helping you to take the edge off the nasty, there is there is a new approach. I come up with it and I call it “Overabundance of Neutrality.”  You dull your bad memories by sheer volume of neutrally charged moments.

            Those seconds when you stand on the pipe, they put your brain hemispheres in a temporary neutral state. Your physical demand for balance prevents one brain hemisphere to overpower another. Maintaining your physical body in balance MAKES the two halves of the brain work in equilibrium, in balance, with each other.

            If you, for example, spend one hour practicing with the water pipe, at first, you will probably spend only 10 minutes on top of the pipe, holding your balance. With additional practice, these 10 minutes will grow to 20 minutes, for every hour of practice. In a week, that’s 140 minutes your brain hemispheres worked in harmony with each other. Do this at least twice a day, like 30 and 30 minutes, plus during the episodes, if any.  Do this religiously, like clockwork, every day, over six months. No questions, not breaks, no excuses.

 

That which we do in abundance

Will determine the shape of our life

 

You need to drown your bad memories in the Overabundance of Neutrality. With time, your negative memories will lose their preeminent status. You will defang them with Overabundance of Neutrality. Their power will dissipate little by little, every time your feet are on top of that water pipe. Practice on schedule, by the clock, day after day, month after month, and you will see that your episodes will become less frequent, less traumatic, less out-of-control. In time you will overwhelm their power with the power of Overabundance of Neutrality.

            Now, what if you are not home and don’t have your water pipe around? I come up with a way to simulate the experience without the pipe. First find a spot where you can be alone. Imagine or draw a straight line on the floor. If your room is carpeted, draw a chair in a straight line on that carpet and the legs will leave four straight lines.

            With or without shoes, put your HEELS on that line and increase the distance between your feet. Imagine that you have either a fat magic marker or a highlighter. Now stay on your heels and raise your feet. You want to be able to pass that marker on the floor under the soles of your feet all the way until you reach your heels. (If this is difficult to do with the back foot, turn the foot out at 45 degrees, but keep the toes and the foot up, not touching the floor.)

            This posture makes it very difficult to hold your balance, because we take away the righting functions of the feet. Also, you are standing on only two sharp points, your heels. Your heels have to be on a centerline that separates your left and right sides of your body.

            Just like with the water pipe, at first, hold on to something. After a while, learn to maintain your balance for one, two, or three seconds at a time. I know this is challenging, but it does the job. Force your willpower to continue with this training, if only for 10 minutes. Away from home, it will be the most productive, the most calming 10 minutes.

            Try to do it in a secluded place, so you don’t have to deal with the stares and questions from other people. You have enough going on in your head as is.

 

            This is it, my friend. I’ve told you all I know. I’ve dealt with balance for about fifteen years. It is a mighty source for your body to heal itself. It is now time for you to put all this to the test. Please, oh please, don’t expect fast results. You have to overcome difficulties not with your strength, but with your perseverance and attention to the clock and the schedule. Can you find enough willpower in you to do this over several months?

            If you have one, continue with your treatment, and do this practice, without question, without fail, without excuses, for six months. Then, let the world know if this was a bunch of hooey or if this was success for Overabundance in Neutrality.

            I will take whatever response you provide, as long as it’s honest.

 

How to build your own water pipe 

1.     Clean the entire water pipe with rubbing alcohol a few times, as it is dirty when you get it from the store.

2.     Wrap a medium-heavy jute twine over the entire length of the pipe. Leave about 1-2 finger empty space between the loops. When wrapping keep, the string tight. As you reach the end, return the way you came in and lay another layer of loops on tope of the ones you just made. This will create diamond-shaped patterns in the wrapping.

3.     Secure the ends with hockey tape. (It is a cloth-based tape used to wrap the handles of hockey sticks and baseball bats. If you have a choice, get it white color.)

4.     Next step is messy. Make sure you cover your work area. Take traditional wood glue, like the Titebond or Elmer’s glue, and with a cheap paintbrush, brush the glue all over the pipe and the twine. Apply a thin coat or it will drip a lot and will take longer to dry. The glue will prevent the twine from shifting and also will make the twine a bit coarser to touch.

5.     Dry overnight.

6.     Wrap everything with hockey tape.

7.     Try to step on the pipe with your socks. Depending on the hockey tape you got, it may stick a little to the socks. In this case, with a dry paintbrush lightly spread some cornstarch over the pipe. This should reduce stickiness.

8.     If you contraption is used on top of new and thick carpet or rug, the wooden blocks may wobble side to side. So either build then like the inverted letter U (see pictures on my website of the one I have), or install four protruding legs (about ½” high) on the bottom of the blocks. The legs will reach the stable area under the carpet and keep the entire contraption from wobbling. See picture.

 

Now, while you were reading this article, did you catch yourself going through the isles of your hardware store? If you nod your had, I’m glad. 

This is a sign for you. Follow it

Godspeed to you!

Stay strong and stubborn.

Sincerely,

Alexander Nestoiter, author of:

Incredible Ah-ha Moments: Ideas you won’t stop talking about

 

Posted by Incredible Ah-Ha Moments at 2/15/2012 9:22 AM | Add Comment
 
 
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