Tag Archives: vestibular

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

 

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.