Tag Archives: PTSD

What is Vestibular Stimulation?

BLOG.MYOWNWATERPIPE.COM: What is Vestibular Stimulation?
 
 

What is Vestibular Stimulation?

         The reason for this article is shameless self-promotion, but it will not earn me notoriety unless I can demonstrate how you can benefit from it. I decided to do a splash of this self-promotion because I don’t like how few people read the blogs I write and how slow my book is selling. What I’m going to tell you is not new, but you probably have no idea what’s involved.

         What we have here is tiny organ inside your inner ear that controls the sensitivity of your nervous system, your balance or equilibrium, how you respond to your other sensory organs, your emotions, your memory, and your attention. Did I get your attention? Good. I will also show you how you can tweak your inner ear and thus tweak your nervous system, your emotions, your memory, your attention, and your sensitivity to other sensory organs. Are you with me?

         In order not to sound clinical, I will speak to you in English and leave the terminology in the citations. Those who want to read medical jargon, be my guest. Those who are normal people, listen here.

         Remember when you were a child you used to walk on the side of the curbs? Remember how flower bed separations and other dividers in the ground presented fun obstacle courses you never wanted to miss? Now, that you are older, you consider such activities childish. Ok, be honest here, when you know for sure that no one is watching, you would climb on the occasional curb or knee-high wall and walk on it like you did when you were a kid. Don’t nod your head, but am I right?

         The very young and the not-so-young, we all have this innate desire to walk on a balance beam, or anything like it. When we are bored and when we see that curb, we seize the challenge of balance walking as soon as it presents itself. When we are stressed or agitated, we also tend to balance walk on anything as soon as opportunity presents itself. When I was a little kid, I wanted to walk the tightrope, but since none was available, I walked on anything that resembled a balance beam.

         Any activity that challenges our balance can produce vestibular stimulation. Balance skills are task specific. And one task in particular is our favorite, the balance walking. Because I want to keep this short, I will not describe in details here, but when we balance walk, we force our left and right brains to equalize their activities. This is not an easy task. Each brain hemisphere has a mind of its own. There is no third party to coordinate activity level between the left and right brains. When we are too emotional, balancing can calm us. When we are too excited or agitated, balancing provides us that sense of control we seek.

         Sometimes we can’t fall asleep because thoughts are racing through our mind. This is left brain activity. When you recall something visual, right brain activity, then, and only then can you fall asleep. As you can see, from exclusively left brain activity we establish balance by focusing our attention on the right brain activity, and the equilibrium we catch allows us to fall asleep. When we are lethargic, balancing can give us energy. In short, balancing, as a physical activity, also brings equilibrium, or balance, for our emotional, intellectual, and/or perceptual state.

         Do you know that nowadays you have to search long and hard to find information that describes and advocates vestibular stimulation? In other words, you will have to dig deep to find people who will tell you what balance activities can do for you. The reason for this is pure selfishness. If they tell you that balance activities can fix many of your problems, you will do your balancing activity without them, get better, and leave them. You become NOT dependant on their services.

         Well, how can you be so self-centered? Didn’t your parents teach you to share. Your doctor has student loans to repay, bills to pay, and put money aside for the children to go to a nice college. How will your doctor pay for all this if patients stop coming?

         I am not trying to rock the boat and bankrupt the doctors and pharmaceutical companies. I just want in on the action, the action of helping people. There are plenty of people who will keep taking pills, because it’s easy; they got used to them; and because they know what to expect. There are plenty of people who believe their current doctor, no matter what he or she says. And if the doctor tells them that balance activities are best suited for the very young kids, they will believe them, and ask for a refill of their prescription.

         I just want to find a few people for whom the pills don’t work. I want to find a few people who cannot deal with the side effects from the pills. And I want to find some people who will be curious enough to ask, What is he talking about? What do we have to lose if we try?

         No, really, what can you lose if you pretend that you are balancing on a tightrope? Do you need fancy, expensive equipment? Please! If you cannot afford my water pipe stand, build your own. I don’t mind. I will even give you directions and the how-to. If you have no money, and if you don’t know any plumber who could give you a piece of steel water pipe for free, let me know. I can teach you a special stance that will give you that sensation of balancing on a tightrope, without any equipment at all. Just you, your socks, and your floor.

         Do you still feel that if I’m not selling the water pipe, I must be after something else? Do you still feel that I want nothing but your money, and that money is at the root of it all? Well, how about this, I will post the information on the Internet, free for anyone to read, print, or copy. Will you believe me that money is not everything for me? No? You still don’t trust me? Man, you have issues. Be happy and go find yourself another preacher. Good-bye.

 

 

         Is anyone still with me? Good. Vestibular stimulation through specific balance activities that simulate tightrope walking is a powerful ally to have. I wrote a book about it. I built a website, and I write articles for my blog. I want you to understand and befriend my balance activities, so you can understand and befriend vestibular stimulation. It’s not hard. It will be good for you. And you will thank me later.

          I will give you a little technical hint. We do not yet have the equipment that can accurately measure brain activity at the time when the person is physically active. When you go in for CAT scan of your brain, you lie down on a tray, then they gently move you in center of a big metal donut. The operator will tell you to be still and walks away from you into the protected command center, where he tells you through a microphone to breathe or not to breathe during the procedure.

         Vestibular stimulation is mostly achieved when the person is physically active. Because there is no machine that can measure what’s going on with the brain during physical activities, all the tests and treatments, from the very start, are created to measure brain activity when the person is at rest. Few scientists will admit that their studies are missing this very essential element, brain measurements during physical activities. Here, the technological limitations made people forget, discount, and NOT take into account what happens when the person is physically active.

         Tests of medications are also done when the patients are physically inactive, or at rest. What few people realize is that, unless we are sleeping, we spend our days being physically active. As plain and straightforward that is, this little factor escapes many, including professionals.

 

Here are some sources of medical jargon.

 

http://www.ctccenter.com/Pages/SensoryIntegrationInfo.html

 

http://www.letsaskalice.com/groundbreakingtools.html

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocampal_formation

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_W._Prescott

   

http://books.google.com/books?id=6pXEFJXxOksC&pg=PR20&lpg=PR20&dq=vestibular+stimulation+and+PTSD&source=bl&ots=4EmdMvUfYL&sig=c1sh2pHhA63jdiiDxUXBNlz_kIE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZUNpT5KNPO7PiALhx-XbBg&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAw – v=onepage&q=vestibular stimulation and PTh

   

http://books.google.com/books?id=LPS9iLkjSBIC&pg=PA71&lpg=PA71&dq=vestibular+stimulation+and+PTSD&source=bl&ots=lezAuwcQTz&sig=FraYfIUpM4AxJ9d88ndmTbLRgS4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZUNpT5KNPO7PiALhx-XbBg&ved=0CC0Q6AEwAA – v=onepage&q=vestibular stimulation and PTh

          Wait, you can also do your own search for, “vestibular stimulation” and  type in one or more of these terms: memory, emotions, nervous system, ADD, ADHD, PTSD, sensory integration, balance, balance beam, tightrope, athletic performance, mental performance, language (reading, understanding, pronunciation), REM sleep, stress, anxiety, stutter, fidgeting, coordination, etc. Simply search for “vestibular stimulation” and type in whatever is keeping you awake at night.

         Like I said above, you will need to go deep in your search. The good stuff will not be waiting for you on the first page of the search results. Try different search engines, and go to the library. Look at some new articles, but pay extra attention to those that were published ten, twenty, or more years ago. That’s where you find some real treasures.

         Here is the deal. If you find something that proves me wrong, post it here. If you find something that proves me right, post it here. Fair enough?

         If I made you just a little curious about vestibular stimulation, read articles in my blog, go through all the pages in my website, get my book. This will get you started on the search for incredible. Incredible is what you will learn to call this whole thing. Why? Because it will be very hard for you to get your arms around the idea that a $12.00 steel water pipe can do so much good. I already traveled that road. It IS incredible. I wouldn’t be wasting your time or my time if it weren’t incredible.

  

Sincerely,

Alexander Nestoiter, author of:

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

 

Advertisements

http://blog.myownwaterpipe.com/2012/03/15/ptsdrelated.aspx

http://blog.myownwaterpipe.com/2012/03/15/ptsdrelated.aspx

 

Hello Alexander,

 Your article, “A Different Way to Tell What PTSD Is Like”, has been accepted and published on EzineArticles.com: http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Different-Way-to-Tell-What-PTSD-Is-Like&id=7005713

 You’ve also earned Expert Author status: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alexander_Nestoiter

 

A Different Way to Tell What PTSD is Like

            The strength of your emotions during the event determine how long and how vivid you will remember things. Sharp pain, as a physical representation of negative emotions is stronger than intense pleasure, a representation of positive emotions. What I write below is irrelevant about its content, but is very relevant about the longevity and the vividness of details preserved by memory over time. Again, and again, I am not comparing this situation to PTSD. Instead, I use this example to illustrate that if positive emotions could capture the degree of vividness and preserve it over time, negative emotions are by their nature are more potent than pleasant ones. If I remember my pleasant experiences this well, a soldier or a rape victim remembers details of his or her nasty events much more lucid and much more longer.

I could, of course, write about different nasty experiences, about things that will make your hair stand, and will keep you awake at night, for many nights. Instead, I chose to share with you only pleasant memories because they will not be disturbing, intrusive, and unmanageable.

After reading my notes, I want you to understand with your brain, gut, and soul, that PTSD is polar opposite of this and many times stronger. The point is for you to, at least, somehow, experience what PTSD is like without putting you through the real, the nasty, the worst of what a man is capable of doing.

Our memories shape our lives, our actions, and our reactions to the conditions that resemble what we experienced some time in the past. From the moment of inception, we remember, consciously or subconsciously, everything we hear, smell, taste, touch, feel, and think about; we remember ideas and emotions, we remember it all, from inception to death. The reason some memories stay fresh for a month, a year, or for life, is because they were written using stronger and stronger emotions. In a way, emotions assign the tools with which the memories are recorded.

 

Special Memories Come with Keys, Like Charms on a Necklace

In my early twenties, I fell in love. I was young and inexperienced in handling emotions. Although many years went by filling my memory banks with other experiences, I can still recall the sensations, the emotions, and the feelings I had back then. That relationship did not work out. And even though I have not seen her for decades, I still remember. The stronger the feelings, the longer the memory will last.

I used to enjoy playing music, including five years of music school with classes at least three times a week, and tons of practice. After my graduation, I put the instrument in the closet, and when found it a year later, I could not play a single tune, even with the music sheets. So how is it that maybe 50 aggregate hours of sex during several months of relationship linger in my memory for several decades, while what I learned in over 1,500 hours of lessons over five years, vanished from the memory in less than a year?

Why is it that every time I see a redhead, I remember the redheaded girl, my childhood friend? Actually, playing with her was more trouble than fun. To this day, I have no redheaded friends.

Fear is another key—more powerful emotion than love, in terms of memorability. Although I’ve had my share of gruesome frightening memories, I would rather talk about the brain and memory by using pleasant experiences.

Her skin was soft and velvety. Her scent, lightly sweet, with a hint of vanilla, reminded me of the scent of the hair of a toddler. Her eyes were dark, big, and deep as an ocean. We were kissing, cuddling and kissing some more. Our hands caressed each other’s skin, and it felt as though we didn’t have enough hands and enough fingers to touch and caress the entire body, all at the same time. Her lips kissed every spot on my body. Hot, moist and insatiable, they wanted more, and more, and more. At times, when I had my eyes closed, it felt as though I was in her lips, between them, as though I was within them, inside and out. We had to take short breaks from giving each other pleasure. When she kissed my hand, or arm, or leg, or stomach, that part would experience such intensity of sensation, it felt as though my heart moved in there. Sometimes it felt as though my heart was in my stomach or in my throat, or in my calf. She would start kissing and caressing that part, and after some time, that part of my body would get hot. I would start feeling my heartbeat in there. Then it would start throbbing with pleasurable sensations. The pleasure would increase to the point of becoming mixed with discomfort, to dull pain, to intense pain mixed with intense pleasure. When we stopped, it was only to catch some breath. Between the periods of cuddling, caressing and kissing, we would interlock our genitals for the dance of life, with the rhythm of the blinking star. Going inside her was not a treat, it was an ever-evolving journey, sometimes boisterous, rough, relentless, merciless, like the heavy storm waves pounding the rocky cliff; every time exploding, roaring with the raucous unbridled spirit. Sometimes it was a calm voyage with slow, warm, long waves running up the fine sand of a tropical beach, breaking up in tiny white bubbles, absorbed by the thirsty sand without a whisper. Oozing from the inside out, spouting from the outside in was the nectar of love, saturating, insisting, permeating, invading, remarkable, unstoppable. We relished in its tangy presence and let our bodies drink up the elixir of life.

Sex, love making, it was not. It was beyond sexual gratification, beyond physical pleasures, beyond intimate closeness, beyond emotional fulfillment. They were voyages, not intercourse, not oral sex, not kissing. They were voyages; voyages into a different realm of existence, out of our bodies and into the unity, the boundless unity with everything. Not daily, not with any schedule, not with any kind of arrangements, these expeditions would start with a barely perceptible look in each other’s eyes, an unspoken understanding that it was time for another journey, a trip into the abyss of pleasure and mystery. Each trip had a life of its own. It would start seemingly on its own, and last for four, six, twelve hours, and one time, close to three full nights and three full days. It was only upon our arrival, that we could somehow get a grip on reality and time. During these trips, however, the notion of time seemed to disappear, and neither of us was even vaguely aware of the existence of time or the word “time” itself.

My body would feel as though it was spreading into hers, as though I was dissolving in her, and she was dissolving into me. Our spirits and our bodies would become one, like water blends with milk. I knew every sensation she had, and she knew every sensation I had. We knew each other’s thoughts and feelings. When we looked into each other’s eyes, we were able to talk to each other without uttering a single word. This way, we talked about clouds, rain, water, jumping in the puddles, how we first rode a tricycle. She would tell me about flowers and dresses, and music and fire, and I would tell her about bridges and energy, and war and the planet. We were not talking per se, but communicating without words, without gestures, without signals. Wide varieties of new knowledge would just appear before us, within our reach, not requiring any effort to understand or share. We even played with each other by trading where we were. With just a momentary look into each other’s eyes, we could swap places; I would go into her world and into her body, and she into mine. Momentarily I would feel as though I was her, feeling the weight of my body pressing on her, the fullness of her breasts, her finger nails, her long and curly hair under my back, I felt my penis in her, the way it was pushing up and up and up, with every stroke rubbing by her heart reaching her throat.

While being her, I saw bright and colorful fields of flowers; I was hopping on a cloud, and bathing nude in a pond, under the waterfall. I felt how the flow of water agreed with the curves of her body, and how her nipples hardened against the flow. While being me, she said that she was uncomfortable with my wider shoulders; that she felt like flexing the stronger arm muscles. She didn’t feel feminine with the larger feet, and my penis was sticking out and was getting in the way; she said it pulled her pubic skin and felt heavy and demanding.

We both enjoyed playing this fun game, and we laughed and laughed. We could start it in a moment, and go back to our own selves just as fast.

Sometimes we would venture out into the world of trees and rivers. We would be holding hands as we approached a big old tree, and then we’d hug it, pressing our chests and chins into the bark. A moment later we would become that tree, see its life, see how it goes to sleep in the winter, and how it wakes up in the spring. We felt the heat from forest fires, the tree’s thirst during droughts. Tapping the wisdom of the tree was unparalleled. To stand in one place, stand there no matter what, experiencing the world day after day, year after year for hundreds of years is an experience wide as the horizon, and as profound as the night sky. Nothing was puzzling; nothing was difficult. Everything had its place, except for time. We only thought about time upon our arrival to our ordinary selves. While we were traveling, the present was in the past, and the past was in the present, and the future was there, too. The present, past and future were one. It was confusing, and amusing, but only afterwards. While in there, it was pure bliss.

I remember that her breath smelled like the breath of a baby after nursing: warm, sweet and contented. My hands remember the feel of her silky hair curls.

Why several decades later, do I still remember that?

And why don’t I remember what I had for lunch yesterday?

 

The brain has its own rules for remembering. It puts most of life experiences on the back burner, while keeping selective few perpetually hot. The more emotionally charged an experience, the longer we will remember it. Emotions accompany all of our experiences. The deeper our emotions during an event, the deeper it gets carved into the memory.

The longevity of the message depends on how that message was recorded. A sand castle will stand until the next tide. “Wash me” on the hood of a dusty car will last until the first rain, or car wash. But deeply engraved in stone, “Bob was here” will last an eternity. Emotions assign value to every signal, every bit of information entering our consciousness. In a way, emotions assign the tools with which the memories are recorded.

Low emotional value, and the message will dissipate like smoke in the air. Sitting in the company kitchen yesterday, eating something homemade, is what happens when the emotionally assigned value to my lunch was low. I remember only that I ate—and ate “something” I brought from home. What I brought from home I can’t remember. Why? Because my lunch was uneventful.

Four days ago, on the weekend, I went with my son to get a burger and a cup of coffee. I like Starbucks regular coffee. A Starbucks was next to the burger place. Since I was inside the burger place, I thought, coffee is coffee is coffee, what’s the difference? After drinking the coffee I bought from that burger place, I had a headache until I went to bed. That’s the difference. I don’t remember anything about the burgers, but four days later, I remember the coffee because it was accompanied by physical discomfort, a headache.

My emotions—being upset and disappointed—were involved. Will I remember this story a year from now? I doubt it for my emotions wrote the message by using a finger on the dust.

However, that young love affair will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. At the time, the emotions were so strong the memories were recorded by chiseling them in stone.

What I wanted to convey with the above story is that we all share the same PROCESS of remembering. Rape victims, abused children, and soldiers, all suffer from PTSD. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is based on our memories. If we could find a way to select certain memories and make them less intrusive, less painful, less persistent, then people who survived the worst of what humans are capable of, then we can go on with our lives. Instead, people with PTSD are stuck, they are nailed to their memories.

As they re-tell these stories, they relive, they re-experience the emotions, the sensations, the pain again, and again, and again. Soldiers do not like to talk about their nasty memories. Do you know why? Because it is unspeakably painful to re-live through that pain again.

Read my article “Defang PTSD with Overabundance of Neutrality.” I hope, by trying different things, we can find a way to help those affected with PTSD to live a more normal life.

Thank you for your participation in reading this article. If you find it worthy, please spread the word.

Stay strong and stubborn,

Alexander Nestoiter, author of

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

http://blog.myownwaterpipe.com/2012/03/15/ptsdrelated.aspx

Posted by Incredible Ah-Ha Moments at 3/15/2012 8:00 AM
Categories: Defang PTSD
Tags: PTSD Rape Abuse Memories Persis Overabundance of Neutrality Violence

Good Sex = Good Memory

Good Sex = Good Memory

 Bad Sex = Longer Bad Memories

 How We Remember What We Remember

 

I was inspired by blog stories by Stella Marr http://secretlifeofamanhattancallgirl.wordpress.com/about/

 

            Her stories brought up a set of emotions that I thought I forgot forever. Although my stories are about different people and very different situations, they share the core elements: they are also honest to the bone, raw, gut-wrenching, real, and descriptive, to the point that you feel that foul alcohol breath straight through your computer monitor.

            I recently published my first book where I share my perspective about those things that influence people to do what we do. Our memories shape our lives, our actions, and our reactions to the conditions that resemble what we experienced some time in the past. From the moment of inception, we remember, consciously or subconsciously, everything we hear, smell, taste, touch, feel, and think about; we remember ideas and emotions, we remember it all, from birth to death. The reason some memories stay fresh for a month, a year, or for life, is because they were written using stronger and stronger emotions.

 

The following I copied from my book.

 

            In a way, emotions assign the tools with which the memories are recorded.

 

Special Memories Come with Keys, Like Charms on a Necklace

            In my early twenties, I fell in love. I was young and inexperienced in handling emotions. Although many years went by filling my memory banks with other experiences, I can still recall the sensations, the emotions, and the feelings I had back then. That relationship did not work out. And even though I have not seen her for decades, I still remember. The stronger the feelings, the longer the memory will last.

            I used to enjoy playing music, including five years of music school with classes at least three times a week, and tons of practice. After my graduation, I put the instrument in the closet, and when found it a year later, I could not play a single tune, even with the music sheets. So how is it that maybe 50 aggregate hours of sex during several months of relationship linger in my memory for several decades, while what I learned in over 1,500 hours of lessons over five years, vanished from the memory in less than a year?

            Why is it that every time I see a redhead, I remember the redheaded girl, my childhood friend? Actually, playing with her was more trouble than fun. To this day, I have no redheaded friends.

            Fear is another key—more powerful emotion than love, in terms of memorability. Although I’ve had my share of gruesome frightening memories, I would rather talk about the brain and memory by using pleasant experiences.

            Her skin was soft and velvety. Her scent, lightly sweet, with a hint of vanilla, reminded me of the scent of the hair of a toddler. Her eyes were dark, big, and deep as an ocean. We were kissing, cuddling and kissing some more. Our hands caressed each other’s skin, and it felt as though we didn’t have enough hands and enough fingers to touch and caress the entire body, all at the same time. Her lips kissed every spot on my body. Hot, moist and insatiable, they wanted more, and more, and more. At times, when I had my eyes closed, it felt as though I was in her lips, between them, as though I was within them, inside and out. We had to take short breaks from giving each other pleasure. When she kissed my hand, or arm, or leg, or stomach, that part would experience such intensity of sensation, it felt as though my heart moved in there. Sometimes it felt as though my heart was in my stomach or in my throat, or in my calf. She would start kissing and caressing that part, and after some time, that part of my body would get hot. I would start feeling my heartbeat in there. Then it would start throbbing with pleasurable sensations. The pleasure would increase to the point of becoming mixed with discomfort, to dull pain, to intense pain mixed with intense pleasure. When we stopped, it was only to catch some breath. Between the periods of cuddling, caressing and kissing, we would interlock our genitals for the dance of life, with the rhythm of the blinking star. Going inside her was not a treat, it was an ever-evolving journey, sometimes boisterous, rough, relentless, merciless, like the heavy storm waves pounding the rocky cliff; every time exploding, roaring with the raucous unbridled spirit. Sometimes it was a calm voyage with slow, warm, long waves running up the fine sand of a tropical beach, breaking up in tiny white bubbles, absorbed by the thirsty sand without a whisper. Oozing from the inside out, spouting from the outside in was the nectar of love, saturating, insisting, permeating, invading, remarkable, unstoppable. We relished in its tangy presence and let our bodies drink up the elixir of life.

            Sex, love making, it was not. It was beyond sexual gratification, beyond physical pleasures, beyond intimate closeness, beyond emotional fulfillment. They were voyages, not intercourse, not oral sex, not kissing. They were voyages; voyages into a different realm of existence, out of our bodies and into the unity, the boundless unity with everything. Not daily, not with any schedule, not with any kind of arrangements, these expeditions would start with a barely perceptible look in each other’s eyes, an unspoken understanding that it was time for another journey, a trip into the abyss of pleasure and mystery. Each trip had a life of its own. It would start seemingly on its own, and last for four, six, twelve hours, and one time, close to three full nights and three full days. It was only upon our arrival, that we could somehow get a grip on reality and time. During these trips, however, the notion of time seemed to disappear, and neither of us was even vaguely aware of the existence of time or the word “time” itself.

            My body would feel as though it was spreading into hers, as though I was dissolving in her, and she was dissolving into me. Our spirits and our bodies would become one, like water blends with milk. I knew every sensation she had, and she knew every sensation I had. We knew each other’s thoughts and feelings. When we looked into each other’s eyes, we were able to talk to each other without uttering a single word. This way, we talked about clouds, rain, water, jumping in the puddles, how we first rode a tricycle. She would tell me about flowers and dresses, and music and fire, and I would tell her about bridges and energy, and war and the planet. We were not talking per se, but communicating without words, without gestures, without signals. Wide varieties of new knowledge would just appear before us, within our reach, not requiring any effort to understand or share. We even played with each other by trading where we were. With just a momentary look into each other’s eyes, we could swap places; I would go into her world and into her body, and she into mine. Momentarily I would feel as though I was her, feeling the weight of my body pressing on her, the fullness of her breasts, her finger nails, her long and curly hair under my back, I felt my penis in her, the way it was pushing up and up and up, with every stroke rubbing by her heart reaching her throat.

            While being her, I saw bright and colorful fields of flowers; I was hopping on a cloud, and bathing nude in a pond, under the waterfall. I felt how the flow of water agreed with the curves of her body, and how her nipples hardened against the flow. While being me, she said that she was uncomfortable with my wider shoulders; that she felt like flexing the stronger arm muscles. She didn’t feel feminine with the larger feet, and my penis was sticking out and was getting in the way; she said it pulled her pubic skin and felt heavy and demanding.

            We both enjoyed playing this fun game, and we laughed and laughed. We could start it in a moment, and go back to our own selves just as fast.

            Sometimes we would venture out into the world of trees and rivers. We would be holding hands as we approached a big old tree, and then we’d hug it, pressing our chests and chins into the bark. A moment later we would become that tree, see its life, see how it goes to sleep in the winter, and how it wakes up in the spring. We felt the heat from forest fires, the tree’s thirst during droughts. Tapping the wisdom of the tree was unparalleled. To stand in one place, stand there no matter what, experiencing the world day after day, year after year for hundreds of years is an experience wide as the horizon, and as profound as the night sky. Nothing was puzzling; nothing was difficult. Everything had its place, except for time. We only thought about time upon our arrival to our ordinary selves. While we were traveling, the present was in the past, and the past was in the present, and the future was there, too. The present, past and future were one. It was confusing, and amusing, but only afterwards. While in there, it was pure bliss.

            I remember that her breath smelled like the breath of a baby after nursing: warm, sweet and contented. My hands remember the feel of her silky hair curls.

 

 

Why several decades later, do I still remember?

And why don’t I remember what I had for lunch yesterday?

 

 

            The brain has its own rules for remembering. It puts most of life experiences on the back burner, while keeping selective few perpetually hot. The more emotionally charged an experience, the longer we will remember it. Emotions accompany all of our experiences. The deeper our emotions during an event, the deeper it gets carved into the memory.

            The longevity of the message depends on how that message was recorded. A sand castle will stand until the next tide. “Wash me” on the hood of a dusty car will last until the first rain, or car wash. But deeply engraved in stone, “Bob was here” will last an eternity. Emotions assign value to every signal, every bit of information entering our consciousness. In a way, emotions assign the tools with which the memories are recorded.

            Low emotional value, and the message will dissipate like smoke in the air. Sitting in the company kitchen yesterday, eating something homemade, is what happens when the emotionally assigned value to my lunch was low. I remember only that I ate—and ate “something” I brought from home. What I brought from home I can’t remember. Why? Because my lunch was uneventful.

            Four days ago, on the weekend, I went with my son to get a burger and a cup of coffee. I like Starbucks regular coffee. A Starbucks was next to the burger place. Since I was inside the burger place, I thought, coffee is coffee is coffee, what’s the difference? After drinking the coffee I bought from that burger place, I had a headache until I went to bed. That’s the difference. I don’t remember anything about the burgers, but four days later, I remember the coffee because it was accompanied by physical discomfort, a headache.

            My emotions—being upset and disappointed—were involved. Will I remember this story a year from now? I doubt it for my emotions wrote the message by using a finger on the dust.

            However, that young love affair will probably stay with me for the rest of my life. At the time, the emotions were so strong the memories were recorded by chiseling them in stone.

 

This is the end of the excerpt from my book.

 

            As you can see, I’m not comparing my notes with Stella. She has her memories, I have mine, and you have yours. What I wanted to convey is that we all share the process of remembering. Rape victims, abused children, and soldiers suffer from PTSD. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is based on our memories. If we could find a way to select certain memories and make them less intrusive, less painful, less persistent, then people who survived the worst of what humans are capable of, then we can go on with our lives. Instead, people with PTSD are stuck, they are nailed to their memories.

            As they retell these stories, they relive, they re-experience the emotions, the sensations, the pain again, and again, and again. Soldiers do not like to talk about their nasty memories. Do you know why? Because it is unspeakably painful to re-live through that again.

            What Stella is doing is what soldiers with PTSD don’t want to do. She shares her memories and by doing so, she re-lives, re-experiences those events again, and again, and again. Do you think she’s become immune to the pain? No. She fights her pain so others may live.

 

Stella, our hats off to you.

 

Stay strong and stubborn,

 

Your friend, Alexander Nestoiter

PTSD

PTSD

Question 10

Let’s talk about memory, more specifically about painful and persistent memories. Some memories, like PTSD, simply refuse to go away, and even with passing of time, they manage to haunt people. These memories remain vivid and fresh as though the events took place yesterday.

Do you happen to have a suggestion how to help people with such painful and persistent memory problems?

A.N.

            Yes, unfortunately, some people go through terrible life events and memories of these events remain fresh even with passing of time.  Some events people remember vividly no matter what they do.  Some people may experience the same physical and emotional pains in the present, like they did during the original event that may have taken place decades ago.  Severe emotional, mental, or physical trauma, like the trauma after battle, or the trauma after a violent incident, tend to stay fresh in the memory, no matter how much time has passed. Understandably, people are looking for ways to remember, but remember less vividly, so they can move on with their lives.

            I know that the current psychotherapy takes a long time and is often more bothersome than helpful. People go to shrinks who invite them to relive the memory episodes again and again in the hope that one day they will become immune to them.  First of all, people are reluctant to go to a shrink knowing full well what that session will entail.  Second, people are terrified and deeply bothered by their memories. Why anyone would voluntarily go through that experience again and again without a sliver of hope that their repeated suffering will subside?

            That’s just pure madness and torture. That’s the way I see it. Look, would you go to a doctor who will put your foot in a vise until bones start poking through the skin, in the hopes that one day this procedure will be less painful?  People are already suffering, why add more to that pain?

            Psychiatry makes a person overall less sensitive. I don’t know of any pills that would alter the response to the specific memory. You can turn the entire person numb, even indifferent, in order to suppress selected memories. But this will turn a person into a walking numb zombie, incapable of living full and productive life.

            Although this specific subject is not covered in this book, I am getting close to polishing my recommendations on what to do to make some memories less invasive, less stifling, less traumatic in life. If you someone is interested in this subject, let me know. This way, they will be the first to know when something becomes available.

            I don’t want people to have false hope, but at this point, I can tell you with some level of certainty, that the task is doable.  It takes a little time, perhaps several months.  And you may have guessed, it will require the use of the water pipe, or some similar equipment, as the main tool, and a set of techniques that are, for now, my “secret ingredients.”

            I’m looking for volunteers to take what I’ve created for a test drive. Remember, no pills, no therapy talking, no journals, no schedules.  About $20.00 for supplies and several hours for our first meeting. After that, we meet as needed, but mostly the person will learn to deal with his PTSD on his own, at home, or outside, or in his or her office. In a few months, I hope and pray, he or she will move on and have a full and productive life. And should the ugly surface again, the person will know what to do and will have the equipment to do it with, no mater where he or she is.

Posted by Incredible Ah-Ha Moments at 2/2/2012 10:26 AM | View Comments (1) | Add Comment
 
 

Power of Balance

Balance Training

         Human balance system resides in the inner ear. Although small in size, the organ has profound influence on our physical, emotional, and mental state. In addition to the functions of balance, the inner ear also functions as the center hub for all sensory input. Moreover, the inner ear is pre-processing center for the nervous system.

         As you know the nervous system plays an important role all areas of our physical and emotional lives. Positive changes can be established with exercising/training the different systems of the inner ear to work better. Balance training is one of such activities.

         Balance training is very task-specific. Having good balance in one task does not mean you also become the master of another balance task. For example, knowing how to ride a bicycle does not make one ready to ice skate, or roller blade, or walk the tightrope.

         Tightrope walking is a very intense and difficult balance activity to master mainly because it physically places left side of our body on the left side of the rope and our right side of the body on the right of the rope. The diameter of the rope, its width, is that tiny area where balance can be established.

         Balance training that simulate tightrope walking also does another thing that under normal conditions cannot be accomplished. It MAKES the left and right brain hemispheres communicate with each other without overpowering one another. As you know the left brain is in control of the right side of the body, while the right brain controls the left side of the body. One reason we have two halves of one brain is because of sheer incompatibility of traits. Just because the two brain halves live in one head, does not mean they want the same thing, or that they coordinate their desires through a third party. There is no third party. The two brain halves do not see eye to eye and often compete for dominance. That’s why balance on a tightrope is so hard to maintain.

         But what can this balance do for us? For example, we all know people who are very artistic, free-going, free-flowing, free spirits. They probably are good at various arts, playing musical instruments, singing, dancing, or painting, etc. This set of skills shows pronounced dominance of the right brain.

         People with pronounced left brain dominance, like control, structure, discipline, rules, and logic. They probably read many books, like things spelled out to them, figuratively and literally. They get upset when something is out of order, when someone doesn’t do what they should do. They want the world to be made of nice, even, entirely symmetrical squares that can easily be manipulated, but only to a certain degree.

         If you give them a different shape, they will not know what to do with it. But they are masters of their own shape. They are probably not emotionally savvy, because emotions reside in the right brain, while logic, language, and thoughts, reside in the left brain.

         Balancing that simulates tightrope, takes that hemisphere incompatibility and the desire to be dominant and puts them on a short leash. Using our physical body, we place specific demands on the brain, and the brain learns. Slowly, but it learns. When you train with the system that simulates tightrope, you teach the two halves of the brain to collaborate. You train them not to compete for dominance.

         You make the more powerful side a little less dominant, while you make the less powerful side a bit more powerful. All this is accomplished through specific demands that you place on your body, like trying to maintain balance while one foot is in front of another on a very narrow, oval, walking surface.

         All this is nice to know, but how does this knowledge benefit me? Is that what you’re thinking? The dominance of one brain hemisphere over another leads to a life that is very rich in one area, but is also very poor in the other. A person with a dominant left brain, will probably be an intellectual, who reads a lot, who follows rules and schedules. But chances are this person is bankrupt when it comes to matters of emotions, compassion, artistic skills, ability to relax or dream.

         On the other hand, a person with the dominant right brain will probably be very artistic, emotionally savvy and in touch with his or her emotions, can help others with emotional problems. This person can probably dance, or sing, or play a musical instrument, but don’t expect much when it comes to keeping commitments, schedules, maintaining logic and coherence in what they do or say things.

         I don’t have scientific proof for this, and I don’t know if current technology can offer such proof, but here is something I’d like you to consider and use your own common sense. We all know that ADD and ADHD are due to the brain not working fast enough. For this, people take medication, artificial stimulants. My question to you is, if there are a lot of very talented, even gifted individuals with ADD, how is it that their brain is not working fast enough?

         I think the better question is which hemisphere is not working fast enough? When a person, young or not, cannot read for more than five minutes, when they cannot keep their focus on the teacher during class, when they want to leave the class before the bell rings or are frequently late to classes. What brain hemisphere is slacking off? Do you see my point? And they get pills that stimulate the entire brain, both the left and the right hemispheres just so only the left hemisphere would pick up the speed.

         The medication stimulates both hemispheres and makes the overactive side even more hyper. So, how do you expect a person to keep the schedule, pay attention to the teacher, do homework for two, three hours straight when they are overfilled with emotions like joy, or sadness, or envy, or longing? How can they follow rules and be obedient when they hear music and drums and guitars in their heads that are playing so loud they feel like they are at a concert? I don’t know of any pill that can stimulate only a particular area in the brain. Pills stimulate the entire brain.

         Here is where tightrope style training is going to actually address the problem: calm down the overactive part of the brain, and stimulate the underactive part. Falling down on the ground is one of the biggest fears for humans. That’s why balancing on a tightrope style devise creates a boost of energy and processing speed from the brain to help it deal with the threat of falling down. Since we physically force our body to remain balanced on top of that tightrope, we MAKE the two brain hemispheres communicate with each other without overpowering one another. The extra energy and brain speed given to deal with the threat of losing balance and falling makes the two hemispheres work faster, but not just faster, equally faster.

         Such balance training is needed for those who suffer from PTSD and related problems, like rape. Those who have faced the ugliest of what a man can do, are overwhelmed with emotions and memories that wouldn’t go away. Persistent memories are hunting and haunting these people day and night.

         They take antidepressant drugs and medication for anxiety, and something for psychosis. The purpose of the medication is to stop the scary episodes, but what else are they also stopping? Everything else that is normal and good, that’s what else they are stopping. In order to reduce or remove the episodes, the flashbacks, the nightmares, the hallucinations, they turn a person into a living soulless zombie who cannot appreciate the blue sky, and the family around them. On medication they cannot feel as they used, they cannot have emotions as they used, they cannot interact with others as they used. They feel less, they care less, they enjoy less; they are less alive. They become indifferent to things, to people, to family, to life itself.

         Did their medication help? Yes, it stopped or reduced the scary episodes, but it also reduced these people into soulless creatures.

         Well that’s a side effect of the drugs, their doctors would say. Do you know why doctors keep treating these symptoms with medication that fixes one problem, but creates two new ones? Because it’s profitable. You have problems, you make a visit. They prescribe something. You try, then you go back to them because it doesn’t work. Now they prescribe something else. And again, you go back to them either for refills or because it doesn’t work. But you still go back to them. And each time you visit your doctor, the doctor gets paid for that visit.

         If the doctors would prescribe balance treatment, then physical therapy offices would get the business, not them. And when you realize that all you really need in that physical therapy office is a piece of two by four or a piece of steel water pipe, then you do your therapy at home and don’t even let the physical therapy office make any money off your problem.

         Of course, things could get worse, like four or six months of training will cure you of your nightmares, and of your hallucinations, and other scary episodes. Who is going to make money off of your problem know, the hardware store?

         When something isn’t being used, ask yourself to follow the money. Where will the money flow? Who will benefit from a cured you? Is that you? Your family? The economy? Yes.

         Will the doctor, with his $100,000 student loan benefit? Will his family? Doctors are not paid based on end result. You know that. They are paid for the services rendered. The more services they render, the more money they make. The successful resolution from those services does not give them a bonus. It gives them nothing.

         That’s why they will be telling you not to listen to this crap called balance training. How can they charge for balance training when patients can do it at home, without any supervision, without any monitoring, without any help from them? They can’t charge for that. So they will not prescribe it or endorse it. Count my words, you will not see doctors or hospitals, or pharmaceutical companies endorsing this idea. But that’s ok, I don’t answer to them. I answer to a higher authority.

         For now, this is all I have to say on the matter. I’ve given you the truth to the best of my knowledge and abilities. It is up to you now. Decide. May God help you with your decision.

 

Sincerely,

 

Alexander Nestoiter, author of:

 

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