Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A reader's response for "On the Imprint": "In regard to Imprinting"

"This stuff sets me on fire. I think herein lies the secrets to both imprinting and therapy. My take is probably from a little different direction that anybody else’s, but I really need to get it out where it can be seen with critical eyes.

First of all I think imprinting is an epigenetic process that involves methylation and histone modifications. This process is responsible for a variety of diseases: cancer, fragile X syndrome, mental retardation, angelman’s syndrome, and mental illness. But they don’t say what causes the process to begin with. (at least I haven’t found it) The article you sent also states that the methylation process plays a role in gene expression. So this could include hormone set points, cortisol production and the like.

I think your research has pretty well supported the fact that almost all emotional illness can be traced to the imprint, indicating that trauma can selectively initiate the methylation process. It has also demonstrated that dysregulated systems can reregulate. Also, the Phillips article states:In most cases, methylation of DNA is a fairly long-term, stable conversion, but in some cases, such as in germ cells, when silencing of imprinted genes must be reversed, demethylation can take place to allow for "epigenetic reprogramming." Perhaps germ cells are not exclusive in this. And this is where it interests me, because I think that Primal Therapy also does that.

I’ve long felt that not enough attention is given to the physiology of crying. (Even Frye’s work is meager). But this is a powerful apparatus in humans, and we’re the only animal that has it. I now think that crying is a demethylation system or something close. I use the metaphor of the water hose: Say it’s crying or a demethylation tool and your dirty car is that way from methylation wrought by trauma. You can stand out there swing that hose around all you want, but your car won’t get clean. (and that’s what happens in mock primal therapies.) You have to help clear the way for the hose to address every aspect of the car in order to wash it properly. That’s what Primal therapy does. We start with a feeling and help the patient stay with it to track it down to 1st line. I know that nothing therapeutic happens without crying. (at least for me) Even tho crying is not involved in 1st line, it is what takes us there.

For me this also explains why we must relive the entire experience. That is, activate every aspect of our system involved in the trauma. And it is only with thorough demethylation of the entire imprint that gives rise to the defense that we can have “epigenetic reprogramming” to normalize the system.

Here is also a little article I found linking adrenal fatigue and DNA methylation.

Because cortisol plays such a big role in neurosis, I thought this might trigger some worthwhile thoughts. For me it confirms the notion of the connection between methylation and stress or trauma, even tho I’m not sure of how it works."

The Link Between Adrenal Fatigue and DNA Methylation

The Link Between Adrenal Fatigue and DNA Methylation

Published: Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients - May 2005

Adrenal function is vital to life: without cortisol we die. This fact has been known since the 1930s when it was described by Banting and Best. Glucocorticords are essential for maintaining carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. They also have a permissive effect which allows for glucagon and catecholamines to work. Important glucocorticoid effects include the normal functioning of the nervous system, water metabolism, vascular reactivity, regulation of circulating lymphocytes and the immune system and resistance to stress. Complete lack ofadrenal function is a disease state known as Addison's Disease. It is an autoimmune disease usually, caused by antibodies that attack the adrenal gland. Conventional medicine only recognizes two states: you either make cortisol or you don't. Allopathic physicians are unaware of the decline in adrenal function as illness becomes chronic.

The etiology is adrenal fatigue begins with a stressor or in functional medicine terms a trigger. Triggers fall into several categories: psychosocial stress, environmental toxins (radon, mercury, mold), infectious organisms (fungal, bacterial, parasitic), food allergies (wheat, corn, sugar, milk), and other toxins (alcohol, drugs, prescription medications) to name a few. In addition, stressful events such as surgery or car accidents place a huge (usually unrecognized) load on the adrenal glands. The initial response to each of the above events is to elevate cortisol levels to help cope with the stress. However, over time, the adrenals become weakened and lose their circadian rhythm. This is due in large part to poor nutrition. All stressful events require increased amounts of several nutrients: vitamin C, pantothenic acid, B6 (pyridoxine), B12(methylcobalamin), and folate. Interestingly, if the adrenal glands are catheterized and a stressor is introduced, the first chemical to leave the adrenals is not cortisol as one would suspect, but large amounts of vitamin C. These nutrients are severely lacking in the typical American diet or are not found in high enough amounts. More often than not "orthomolecular" dosing is necessary to correct the deficits.

The initial response to any stress is the hypersecretion of cortisol, but over time (approximately one year) there develops a negative feedback and a genuine "fatigue" causing reduced levels of DHEA-S and cortisol . The end result is an organism with reduced immunity, increased likelihood of autoimmune disease, heart attacks, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, skin disorders, carbohydrate cravings, protein wasting, fatigue and depression (to name but a few). Physicians normally view these as separate events in a given organ and do not see that the symptoms represent a disease process (inflammation) that may occur in one or more organs simultaneously. Therefore everyone with any chronic disease, not just cardiovascular disease, should be screened using DHEA-S and a homocysteine level. As DHEA-S decreases, the level of homocysteine rises, with a concomitant decrease in most B-vitamins, but especially folate and B12. The currently accepted norms for these parameters are too permissive, reminiscent of glucose control in years gone by. All of our organs are linked and nothing that happens is random. We are all the result of our genetic interaction with our environment.

With the establishment of "disease" another pivotal biochemical event happens: abnornal methyl groups nosedives as well. These patients may then present with symptoms of depression (inability to synthesize S-adenosylmethionine), joint pain (inability to make methylsulfonylmethionine), to name a few. Not only does teh abiltiy to convert to a methylated product is also compromised. For example, in chronically ill individuals the sue of B12 - as either the cyanocobalamin or the hydroxocobalamin form seems to do little to improve fatigue or mental functioning. The ideal compound to replenish B12 is methylcobalamin - the only active form. In each case, oral supplementation with the missing methyl-containing substrate ameliorates and symptoms. In each of the scenarios listed, the severity of the illness correlates with the level of the reduced or deficient DHEA-S and the concomitant elevated homocysteine level. The elevated homocysteine level is not only a marker for inflammation, but it is a marker for deficient B vitamins as well. The stage is now set for abnormal DNA methylation and the induction of cancer.

Efforts to repair adrenal fatigure include nutrients (in their most active form), glandular preparations, DHEA (and in severe cases cortisol itself), and lifestyle modifications with removal of triggers. Even with these measures, expect adrenal recovery to take 3 to 5 years.

Susan Solomon, MD


  1. Art: The first line in this blog:- "This stuff sets me on fire". It put my fire out. I can't believe anyone with less that a PhD in neurophysiology and a medical dictionary at their side to get some meaning out of it. Too complicated, too obtuse, too much jargon: telling us laymen N O T H I N G . other that you guys must be really, really, really cleaver. It may look impressive and may catch fire with the university professors in the field, BUT confuses the rest us IMO, (unless I am just plain dumb: highly possible). It goes no-where. This stuff should be kept to medical journals. To be blunt, it was to me, verbal diarrhea. What we crave IMO Is SIMPLICITY and this blog was radically lacking in just that.

    Sorry Art, if this upsets you. Jack

  2. Now take careful note, boys and girls, the excitement in this letter to Arthur. And as well there should be. All of science should be dancing in the streets and sending gifts to each other vowing to look further into this incredible development. But that is not what you see, is it? Most of science could care less. It should demand investigation at the very least. But it is nowhere to be found.

    This is not science at work, nor the intellect, since no curiosity or excitement can be found. Instead, it has every appearance of fear, dread, silence, cover-up. Traits tend to be related and similar. Certain types are found among the curious and seeking. The other polar group is not curious, seeking, or excited. They are quick to claim fraud in archaeological sciences, without supporting evidence. In fact, one can seldom find logic or reason among them and their work. Why fraud is quite common place. Much archaeological fraud is committed by academics. Fact. Tween them and antiquities dealers.

    But here we have genuine excitement about these amazing discoveries. The only thing truly amazing is that there has not been a stampede of interest in this amazing field of PT. Always think and question authority and the status quo. Its just the safe thing to do. It has been said by another, by their fruits you will know them.

    I also recall this quote, too. An illustration. A man had died and asked Abraham if he might not go back and tell his brothers about his unfortunate circumstance and not to make his mistake themselves. But Abraham said to him, they have Moses and the Prophets. Let them listen to these!
    But he replied, no, if someone from the dead returns, they will listen to him. Abraham replies, if they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they listen to someone from the dead.

    PT has been around since 1970 and the evidence was stunning and exciting from the beginning. Yet, still little progress among the mainstream. Most peculiar. The new discoveries are also remarkable yet I can say with certainty, neither will they listen to these. But the little people will listen. Share this stuff with your friends or on other forums, etc.

  3. Now I see the importance of PP in this way. Feelings are a powerful way of modification or memory. Feelings leave a big impact. Sometimes really big. These are important to remember and use throughout our lifetimes. That is why they are retained, so that they might be later brought up and integrated for use.

    Upon bring them into memory and integrating them, they lose their continual power to harass, you might say, but the memory of what came up and was integrated will stay with us, minus its negative effects. So our holistic minds (all 3 levels) are like a big tape recorder that records everything that ever happened that is serious and has impact, so that it might be brought up at a better time.

    A better time might be when we have developed our intellect better so as to be able to understand or make sense of what we felt. If we had time to build our minds before being assaulted by pain, then we might be able to take many of our experiences without too much damage. But in a young undeveloped and vulnerable state, these things become great pain. If we had the proper defenses, they might bounce off us like bullets do off Superman.

    So the retaining of pain till a time when it can be processed, after the intellect has developed and one eventually finds safety and security (he11 hasn’t frozen over yet, has it?), then they can bring up the pain for process and integration.

    Now these are just my ideas. They deserve to be reviewed carefully but may help as a springboard to more ideas. Anyway, I am delighted that more understanding is coming along. Learning and advancement are always exciting to those who like life and exploration. Only cowards and liars like to run and hide and hate to grow and progress. As it has been said, the fruit don’t fall far from the tree ;-) So be sure to look at what tree you are standing beside once in a while. It could make a difference.

  4. To the author of the post: Your letter provoked so much in me. You are obviously some kind of professional or you ought to be. I am now thinking of how many so-called auto-immune diseases are of the epigenetic type and instead of thinking that it is all genetic and therefore untreatable, we need to see it as maybe treatable. We do not have the money nor the personnel to do the research but here is what need to be done. Some of you out there can help. We need to see what kind of gestational and birth trauma there is in Alzheimers patients as opposed to normal who are the controls.
    Already a researcher who used my questionnaire about this said his results were astonishing but he did not go on with it. We need a broad range study of Alzheimers and things like Muscular Dystrophy and others using my questionnaire. I am in contact with a doctor who works with Telomeres. Since we lower cortisol and since cortisol works in opposite fashion to telomeres we can measure longevity by seeing if after a year of this therapy we have longer telomeres. My questionnaire will be the appendix for my new book. We need medical doctors to use the questionnaire on their patients. It will not take more than 4 minutes and the information would be invaluable. art janov

  5. I have taken another look at your letter and I would like to comment cause you get it. I am glad it sets you in fire because it does it to me too. Imprinting is exactly that: an epigenetic process that accounts for why it can even seem hereditary. When there is methylation and hence the imprint, when the methyl group is added to a gene there is either an increase or decrease in the expression of that gene. And that may be can lead to cancer. I think so but we need the research on it. And when you add the methyl group you can get different set-points for hormones, neurotransmitters, etc. Those subtle changes may not lead to serious disease until after decades, but it will happen. It just wears the organ, including brain structures, away. And so we finally get dementia when dopamine has been off the track, or we get Alzheimers from gestational trauma; of that I am convinced. What methylation does, it makes the body act as if those new setpoints were biologic from the start; inherited, if you will. And the body adjusts to these deviations. And so finally we may get homosexuality which the owner thinks is genetic, but no, at all. It is epigenetic. And you may get this sexual deviation much earlier than Alzheimers, but the process may be the same. Or you may get high levels of cortisol for a life-time that leads to serious memory and cognitive loss. The body reacts as if the imprint were still part of our physiology which it is. And yes, I think Primal Therapy can and does re-regulate a lot of this. Certainly, in our research we lower cortisol levels and I would surmise and guess that we lengthen telomeres, which indeed, may lengthen our lives. Since cortisol works in see-saw fashion with telomeres. Less cortisol, longer telomeres and therefore longer lives. That is precisely why we get wisdom teeth in patients who are over forty; the genetic destination has been finally achieved.

    I agree that crying will demethylate. Crying is restoring a natural function which we too often leave behind in childhood.
    I take it you are not susan solomon, so who are you? art janov

  6. An email comment:
    "Careful here, Art. Epigenetics may indeed influence sexual preference, but it's not clear that trauma is the underlying cause.

    Twin studies on males show that one twin can be homosexual while the other is straight. The epigenome of the gay twin may prevent sufficient absorption of testosterone which shapes the brain toward preference for females.

    But if womb trauma were the underlying cause, why aren't both twins gay? My point is that it is more complex.

  7. Jack: You should read it again. It is brilliant and clarifies so much. art

  8. Jack I am a bland lay person too but -in full respect! -this article makes perfectly sense to me (perhaps because of my interest in medicine .. Your emanuel

  9. The details of this articles are also out of reach for me but maybe I can continue with my ideas about stemm cell therapy.
    What I find a very good article is the ´dialectic unity of healing and suffering´ from Michael Holden,but that is from about 1977,maybe it is no longer valid?
    He claims that all trauma has to do with damaged cell tissue and that the healing process stops because of the inability of reacting properly to the trauma.
    Is it not a shortcut when this healing can happen with the use of stemm cells?
    At least some of the damage might be restored this way.

    (I is a pity that cell therapy might be taboo in religious USA)

  10. Paul NL: It is a pity because I could use it badly. Holden was right for the time. Whatever is new that can in the interim help people's suffering is good. AJ

  11. Hey Jack. There is room for everyone. We need the specialists and the bright educated ones plus those who just suffer. We are all in it together. Art Janov

  12. An email comment:
    "Art, so this latest blog talking about methylation appears to show us what
    happens on the level of actual atoms in our bodies when pain is visited upon us.
    Is any of this in the forth coming book? Fascinating stuff and it makes sense
    that we could eventually trace the pain bio-chemically to atoms...whether the
    methylation angle is it precisely or not. Keep it coming!"

  13. Another email comment:

    I saw this story on the BBC News iPhone App and thought you should see it.
    I think in some ways this confirms some of your ideas

    ** Hormone 'interferes with empathy' **
    Giving women a small dose of the male sex hormone testosterone makes them less able to empathise with others, say researchers.
    < >"

  14. i feel your pain, Jack; this stuff is pretty dense; i'm trying, though; take more vitamins, build those adrenals; that much i get...

  15. Yeah okay, after a few re-reads I kind of get it, although I tend to side with Jack on this one: surely it doesn’t have to be put in such a wordy and complex manner?

    At any rate, it’s all academic from the point of view of PT, unless we can get ongoing publishable results from the therapy. Art, can you publish the data you collect from patients (core body temperature etc.) on an ongoing basis? Also, a simple patient questionnaire filled out after 3 months, 6 months etc. about things like quality of sleep etc, would be good, if people could be got to do this. What are the blockers here, money, volunteers?


  16. Frank: I’m not better off than you. My knowledge of biology, biochemistry, genetics is very rudimentary. But in order to understand part I of this post, we only need basic information about three technical terms: “histone”, (DNA-) methylation, (DNA-)demethylation. (As for part II – the Susan-Solomon-article - you really need a medical dictionary.)

    So what will I do? I’ll take this dusty biology book from my shelf and refresh my “knowledge” of molecular biology and than I’ll see what info Wikipedia can offer about epigenetics/methylation.

    For a long time epigenetics simply was confusing me. Pure biochemical witchcraft. Today it doesn’t confuse me any longer since the basic mechanisms seem to be comprehensible, also for laypeople. It doesn’t set me on fire but at least I find it interesting. Epigenetics is one basic element if we want to understand thoroughly, how early experience/trauma can and does affect the developing human system. One reason why I read these posts and the comments is because I want to learn something new from time to time. So I cannot agree with you that we “crave for simplicity” here. Sometimes the difficult stuff will force us to gather basic information in a “unknown” field of science. And that is a good thing.

  17. Art,

    If all forms of “experiences” in one or another way are imprinted memories genetically… my by genetic… "epigenetic" changes… sounds very interesting as it would explain how memories of feelings are kept in form of signals on an genetic level… which are let through... or not depending on “vital” reasons… as we now by science know how other genetics changes occur… making itself known in physical sicknesses and physiological reactions… depression etc… (now explained by being psychological) when these signals will be blocked or not… depression embedded memories as well as other memories of love and cherished inculcated for the basis of changes ... changes that have occurred in the name of evolution by genetic "epigenetic" changes. Wow… for “god” haven sake you can’t lose this Art… it’s just fantastic.
    Excuse my English but I find no one to help me right now.


  18. An email comment:
    "I so rejoice in this article! This morning (06:00....10 hours ahead of you) I felt like run over by two trains. Aches and pains all over my body. I have been crying since yesterday morning non-stop! My mother died in 1995 after a long suffering from cancer and she died with unfinished business between her and me. We never bonded.

    I started to listen to Angela Gheorghiu's Mysterium album and it was particularly "Mille Cherubini in Coro" that triggered all the tears.....something in that song that tears me apart every time I play it. All I am aware of is my mother, her suffering and the devastation of our disconnectedness......after 16 YEARS!! The grief is unbearable! Maybe Angela's exquisite voice has also something to do with it.....a voice I never heard from my mother. It's like I am drawn to this music to listen to it over and over and over....delighting in all the tears.

    Could it be that this was first-line experience?

    I'm still in AWE!


  19. Erron: two blockers, money and people. I will have to dig out the questionnaire we used to use for patients.

  20. Erron: What part did you not understand? maybe I can help. It is awfully important. It lays out so much and explains the imprint and so much later disease. art

  21. Frank, Please get help with your english, I know you want to express yourself but no one else can understand. art

  22. Epigenetics is getting lots of attention on many fronts. But I definitely recommend Hulda Clark's Cure for All Diseases. She says muscular dystrophy is curable and not genetic but epigenetic. She says a lot of things are curable that medicine says are not.

    Life Extension Foundation also points out studies whereby many nutrients can switch epigenes on and off. There is little that is carved in stone.

    Clark often does for medicine what PT does for psychology. Be sure to look into her. Try as well. rejuvenation may well be within our grasp, or at least partially so. PT may hold the other portion of it. Time will tell.

  23. Hi Art, I found several clinics here in Germany ,where there this stem cell stuff is beeing offered..but are there no seems to be quite dangerous 1 yours emanuel
    P.S.In China (....!) they are prospering in this !

  24. “Cobbler stick to your last”

    Your Reflections of our human conditions are turning into esoteric essays (Please note, broadening my understanding) looking for potential scientific connections between your baby, “the imprint of pain during our womb life” and a number of diseases like, for example, different classes of cancer and Alsheimer, etc .. So far, The Janov Principle has not become a new psychoterapeutic paradigm, but it might have a potential to cause a modern Heureka when we understand all human sufferings.

    “Any pain, wholly or partially immersed in a cell, is buoyed up by a repression equal to the pain displaced by the repression”.

    My sorrow as one of the “sufferers” in this, is that such a crystal clear principal cannot be of more practical help to others in pain. My thankfulness of having been helped by your invention is immense. It is a tremendous happiness to finally both understand why I am unhappy and to feel OK!!!

    Jan Johnsson

  25. Hi,

    I have an "O" level in chemistry, physics, biology and maths.

    I have "A" levels in Crying. All of this makes perfect sense to me.

    More-over there is a particular pitch or intensity to crying which I can only liken to vomiting. . . I am sure that when the neo-cortex has the right information (not necessarily presented in the form or this document; information about real events and processes; the whole three brain organism (mine or yours) can enter into a state of catharsis which is more pure than less.
    Therefore (from self observation),I feel that there are degrees of catharsis ranging from the 'ab-reaction' to the full and complete ejection of the defence. I know this is happening in me. It comes in waves.

    I can sense my body ridding itself of inballanced chemistry (with a correllation of symbolically styled symptoms). For sure most of it can only be temporary until the imprint is reached. From self observation it is becoming obvious I am well and sane as long as I can expell the feeling and connect it to the events. Epigenetics is what old wizards and witches called alchemy.
    Look, there's magical thinking, then there's true science based on the self observing itself catharting. The science knowledge really helps me.

    There's a certain pitch, it's like throwing up.


  26. Hello Art,

    Okay, what I do (or think I do) and don’t understand:


    Adrenal glands produce (among other things) Cortisol, essential to normal functioning of the immune system. When stress levels are elevated, Cortisol production increases to help deal with this additional stress. Induced stress also depletes nutritional elements like vitamin c in the adrenal gland. Artificial supplementation of these nutrients has limited effect; what is needed are the pre-cursors of the vitamins etc. After extended duress, there develops a process of actual depletion of Cortisol and other immune system boosting substances (like an overheating engine seizing up?). This results in and presents as a variety of symptoms that are almost invariably diagnosed as separate diseases with unknown, separate causes. Failure to arrest and reverse this process may lead to onset of serious disease such as cancer.

    Don’t understand:

    The above is okay, and I can see how stress leads to disease in an individual. However, the author of the wordy post at the beginning seems to think disease itself is inheritable (epigenetics). Have I got that right? So is he/are you saying that a parent’s neuroses can be passed down by semi-genetic means? Or is the generational heredity (re: epigenetics) I have been reading about elsewhere limited to an individual’s cells, as they die and are replaced?


  27. Emanuel: It's not dangerous if done right and with y our own cells. art. Send me their names please.

  28. I will look into it. I have been writing for a long time now that most of those serious so-called genetic diseases are really epigenetic including maybe muscular dystrophy. art

  29. An email comment:
    "Please tell Art that Sonny Boy--my real self---is returning beyond anything I could have imagined. One incredibly wonderful experience that, without expectation, is constantly being repeated is that I have found a Mate Tea Bar in Bend that is THE place to go where one can meet people with exceptionally open minds. Since Mate is the only beverage sold, even thirteen year old teenagers come and participate in the exchange of paths that are joyously shared. I have joyously shared my primal path with these young people and with people well up into their 80s. I have either given away or sold at least ten of my books. I have been so well accepted that on March 22nd and 24th, during spring break, from 1pm to 5pm I will lead a seminar entitled "Discovering your primal self with Vic." Art, again, I am grateful to you beyond anything words can convey for Primal Therapy. It has done, and continues to do in the present, what it promised to do, and that is the restoration of my real self. I am a new creation. WHOOPEE!!! Thanks and thanks again. "

  30. Even with stem cells from lams it is not dangerous.That is what the mainstream science are constantly are saying that animal cells will be rejected by the human body.
    Funny thing,in practice most of the time it never happens and when it happens a certified doctor has a protocol for that.You have to stay at least for one hour after you have had the injections at the clinic.When there is rejection they can do something about it.
    All the troubles come from people who offer this treatment without being certified.There has been deaths in Germany = uncertified people offering cell therapy.But off course mainstream science are shouting,you see it is very dangerous,animal cells are rejected by the body,those people are criminals who offer this therapy.

  31. Art, did you get my answer to your invite to ask a question above?


  32. Erron: Yes they seem to be passed down via epigenetics and it can evolve affecting the grandchildren. Is that what you are asking? art I explain fully in my Life Before Birth coming out June 1. AJ.

  33. Art: thanks, looking forward to the book. What can I say? That is the most mind blowing concept I've read since the Scream was published.



Review of "Beyond Belief"

This thought-provoking and important book shows how people are drawn toward dangerous beliefs.
“Belief can manifest itself in world-changing ways—and did, in some of history’s ugliest moments, from the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Jonestown mass suicide in 1979. Arthur Janov, a renowned psychologist who penned The Primal Scream, fearlessly tackles the subject of why and how strong believers willingly embrace even the most deranged leaders.
Beyond Belief begins with a lucid explanation of belief systems that, writes Janov, “are maps, something to help us navigate through life more effectively.” While belief systems are not presented as inherently bad, the author concentrates not just on why people adopt belief systems, but why “alienated individuals” in particular seek out “belief systems on the fringes.” The result is a book that is both illuminating and sobering. It explores, for example, how a strongly-held belief can lead radical Islamist jihadists to murder others in suicide acts. Janov writes, “I believe if people had more love in this life, they would not be so anxious to end it in favor of some imaginary existence.”
One of the most compelling aspects of Beyond Belief is the author’s liberal use of case studies, most of which are related in the first person by individuals whose lives were dramatically affected by their involvement in cults. These stories offer an exceptional perspective on the manner in which belief systems can take hold and shape one’s experiences. Joan’s tale, for instance, both engaging and disturbing, describes what it was like to join the Hare Krishnas. Even though she left the sect, observing that participants “are stunted in spiritual awareness,” Joan considers returning someday because “there’s a certain protection there.”
Janov’s great insight into cultish leaders is particularly interesting; he believes such people have had childhoods in which they were “rejected and unloved,” because “only unloved people want to become the wise man or woman (although it is usually male) imparting words of wisdom to others.” This is just one reason why Beyond Belief is such a thought-provoking, important book.”
Barry Silverstein, Freelance Writer

Quotes for "Life Before Birth"

“Life Before Birth is a thrilling journey of discovery, a real joy to read. Janov writes like no one else on the human mind—engaging, brilliant, passionate, and honest.
He is the best writer today on what makes us human—he shows us how the mind works, how it goes wrong, and how to put it right . . . He presents a brand-new approach to dealing with depression, emotional pain, anxiety, and addiction.”
Paul Thompson, PhD, Professor of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine

Art Janov, one of the pioneers of fetal and early infant experiences and future mental health issues, offers a robust vision of how the earliest traumas of life can percolate through the brains, minds and lives of individuals. He focuses on both the shifting tides of brain emotional systems and the life-long consequences that can result, as well as the novel interventions, and clinical understanding, that need to be implemented in order to bring about the brain-mind changes that can restore affective equanimity. The transitions from feelings of persistent affective turmoil to psychological wholeness, requires both an understanding of the brain changes and a therapist that can work with the affective mind at primary-process levels. Life Before Birth, is a manifesto that provides a robust argument for increasing attention to the neuro-mental lives of fetuses and infants, and the widespread ramifications on mental health if we do not. Without an accurate developmental history of troubled minds, coordinated with a recognition of the primal emotional powers of the lowest ancestral regions of the human brain, therapists will be lost in their attempt to restore psychological balance.
Jaak Panksepp, Ph.D.
Bailey Endowed Chair of Animal Well Being Science
Washington State University

Dr. Janov’s essential insight—that our earliest experiences strongly influence later well being—is no longer in doubt. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, immunology, and epigenetics, we can now see some of the mechanisms of action at the heart of these developmental processes. His long-held belief that the brain, human development, and psychological well being need to studied in the context of evolution—from the brainstem up—now lies at the heart of the integration of neuroscience and psychotherapy.
Grounded in these two principles, Dr. Janov continues to explore the lifelong impact of prenatal, birth, and early experiences on our brains and minds. Simultaneously “old school” and revolutionary, he synthesizes traditional psychodynamic theories with cutting-edge science while consistently highlighting the limitations of a strict, “top-down” talking cure. Whether or not you agree with his philosophical assumptions, therapeutic practices, or theoretical conclusions, I promise you an interesting and thought-provoking journey.
Lou Cozolino, PsyD, Professor of Psychology, Pepperdine University

In Life Before Birth Dr. Arthur Janov illuminates the sources of much that happens during life after birth. Lucidly, the pioneer of primal therapy provides the scientific rationale for treatments that take us through our original, non-verbal memories—to essential depths of experience that the superficial cognitive-behavioral modalities currently in fashion cannot possibly touch, let alone transform.
Gabor Maté MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

An expansive analysis! This book attempts to explain the impact of critical developmental windows in the past, implores us to improve the lives of pregnant women in the present, and has implications for understanding our children, ourselves, and our collective future. I’m not sure whether primal therapy works or not, but it certainly deserves systematic testing in well-designed, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled clinical trials.
K.J.S. Anand, MBBS, D. Phil, FAACP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Excellence in Faith and Health, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System

A baby's brain grows more while in the womb than at any time in a child's life. Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script That Rules Our Lives is a valuable guide to creating healthier babies and offers insight into healing our early primal wounds. Dr. Janov integrates the most recent scientific research about prenatal development with the psychobiological reality that these early experiences do cast a long shadow over our entire lifespan. With a wealth of experience and a history of successful psychotherapeutic treatment, Dr. Janov is well positioned to speak with clarity and precision on a topic that remains critically important.
Paula Thomson, PsyD, Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge & Professor Emeritus, York University

"I am enthralled.
Dr. Janov has crafted a compelling and prophetic opus that could rightly dictate
PhD thesis topics for decades to come. Devoid of any "New Age" pseudoscience,
this work never strays from scientific orthodoxy and yet is perfectly accessible and
downright fascinating to any lay person interested in the mysteries of the human psyche."
Dr. Bernard Park, MD, MPH

His new book “Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” shows that primal therapy, the lower-brain therapeutic method popularized in the 1970’s international bestseller “Primal Scream” and his early work with John Lennon, may help alleviate depression and anxiety disorders, normalize blood pressure and serotonin levels, and improve the functioning of the immune system.
One of the book’s most intriguing theories is that fetal imprinting, an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, establishes a permanent set-point in a child's physiology. Baby's born to mothers highly anxious during pregnancy, whether from war, natural disasters, failed marriages, or other stressful life conditions, may thus be prone to mental illness and brain dysfunction later in life. Early traumatic events such as low oxygen at birth, painkillers and antidepressants administered to the mother during pregnancy, poor maternal nutrition, and a lack of parental affection in the first years of life may compound the effect.
In making the case for a brand-new, unified field theory of psychotherapy, Dr. Janov weaves together the evolutionary theories of Jean Baptiste Larmarck, the fetal development studies of Vivette Glover and K.J.S. Anand, and fascinating new research by the psychiatrist Elissa Epel suggesting that telomeres—a region of repetitive DNA critical in predicting life expectancy—may be significantly altered during pregnancy.
After explaining how hormonal and neurologic processes in the womb provide a blueprint for later mental illness and disease, Dr. Janov charts a revolutionary new course for psychotherapy. He provides a sharp critique of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, and other popular “talk therapy” models for treating addiction and mental illness, which he argues do not reach the limbic system and brainstem, where the effects of early trauma are registered in the nervous system.
“Life Before Birth: The Hidden Script that Rules Our Lives” is scheduled to be published by NTI Upstream in October 2011, and has tremendous implications for the future of modern psychology, pediatrics, pregnancy, and women’s health.