Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Your Genetic Profile

  Here is something I could have written; actually I did, only not here:  “In a study published online in Genome Research, researchers have for the first time shown that the environment experienced in the womb defines the newborn epigenetic profile.” (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120715193843.htm). It goes on to say that there are chemical modifications to our DNA that has implications for later life.  What they mean is that traumatic experience during womb-life can modify DNA expression so as to change who we are and what we suffer from years later.

  I have written about this process, called Methylation, in my Life Before Birth.  So when we look to answers for cancer, diabetes and heart disease we had better check  out womb-life.  I already said it but it sounds more authoritative when it comes from professional researchers and professors.

  In this study they looked at twins and their DNA Methylation.  They looked at umbilicord tissue, cord blood and the placentas of newborn twins.  They found that even in identical twins there are great differences in these profiles.  And here is their important conclusion:  “This must be due to events that happened in the womb to one twin and not the other.”  So although twins share a womb, what happens to each of them can be quite  different.  That is why when they do twin studies and omit womb-life, they are missing key elements of the puzzle.  Because they differ even in the womb their later “genetic” profile may be quite different; therefore what diseases they get and how long they live can also be different.  And, no surprise, the authors believe that womb-life events may have a more profound effect than previously thought.  They claim that this discovery is a powerful tool for managing future health and modifying risk.  So as my mother used to say, “Columbus discovered America.”  Their research is critical, however, to the ongoing frame of reference for understanding why we get sick.

  The lead author believes we can modify risk through dietary intervention and other environmental approaches.  He does not say what is crucial:  how about we  intervene during womb-life and make it salubrious and salutary?  How about we make womb-life a great place to be?
We can do it through education and we can also do it by reliving those adverse womb events and changing them to non-deleterious events.

  I think we can reverse methylation, and I have written about it in my latest book. At least we can remove some of its embedded trauma.  That, in my opinion, is what reliving key traumas do, and is why we can prevent future diseases or at least modify their harm.  We can unlock the trauma from  its hiding place and liberate its energy so it does not more harm.  Remember the oath all  doctors take?  First do no harm.


  1. Primal Therapy and “Evolution in Reverse” in the world of genetics.

    Congratulations Art!

    The principals of Primal Therapy and Evolution in Reverse are parts of the new paradigm in the world of genetics.

    You if anyone should know that things take time. (Lamarck was close to the truth already 200 years ago but was turned down). Among the professional researchers and professors, above all between those in physics and biology but also between those within biology, there still exist high barriers, which must be solved to establish a common language / interpretation of the processes that continually take place in our organisms.

    The great number of scientific publications and articles which over the latest months have flooded the news market with how the world of genetics has added an “epi” to the study of genes. So I have started to understand how the genes get turned on and off in the cell. The science writer David Schenk has come up with a metaphor for the process: “Think of a giant control board inside every cell in your body. Many of those knobs and switches can be turned up/down/on/off at any time.”

    When I first read about epigenetic and methylation in your book “Life Before Birth” and in your articles, I was thrilled but confused. However, after having read the essays of Stephen Talbott in The New Atlantis (http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/getting-over-the-code-delusion) I am still confused but on a much higher level and more thrilled. My 40 years in PT are making more and more sense! I am finding soul mates on different levels
    all the time.

    I enclose a link to an article I read in NYT and answered from my personal point of view. http://epilepticjourney.blogspot.com.es/2012/09/fathers-matter-more-cognitive.html

    Jan Johnsson

  2. Do not pray to God before you know why!

    If we pray to God... because we have anxiety or are depressed that does not mean that we know why.

    What anxiety and depression contains in its symptoms… is far from what God can help us with... but that… it is a symptom of something vital… it is no doubt about.

    Whatever we pray to God for are of pain from something that is covered up in hidden motional… physiological memory in our life… and that belongs to what mom needed / need to hear!


  3. One quick question Art that you may or may not find welcome to respond to but i will ask it any way. When you talk of imprints and the need to liberate the energy from trauma is there any similarity between your concept and that of the 'engram' spoken of by scientology. I have been reading some of their stuff recently (Dianetics) and they are also very much concerned with trapped pain that culminates in mental associations with the original trauma which can then lead to anxiety, phobias etc. As I say, this may be a comparison that you feel uncomfortable with but just wanted to see if you had any thoughts on this. I know scientology gets a lot of bad press (a repressive organisation, bizarre beliefs about the origin of man etc.) but their beliefs on mental health actually make a lot of sense and have some evolutionary basis.

    1. Will: Some of what they say makes sense but when placed in a context it becomes gibberish. And if you read his writings you will see that he goes off into space. art

    2. I've read some Dianetics and I agree with Will. I find it makes sense, therefore it doesn't read as gibberish. Interestingly enough, Dianetics has the same concept, only it came earlier (and Art has read it) therefore, there must be some data that has been transferred/used in his theories.

  4. "To my fellow bloggers:
    From now on I will only write when the mood strikes me. It is time to take myself off a rigid schedule and relax a bit. I think I have pretty much said it. Thanks for all your help and blogs; always interesting. I am not giving up, just slacking off a bit. Good luck to you all. Art Janov"

    kick back and relax my friend. thank you for helping me to understand everything.

  5. Art my dearest pal!

    If you want to cancel your incredibly important work here on the blog I have the greatest sympathy for that. The work you performed... has been said before to be, "the most important discovery man has made in any area" and it is not small words and well for its right.

    BUT now… what further need to progress is the revolutionary primal therapeutic process and it needs someone like you at the helm.

    SO what I want from you is that you appoint someone who can take on your mantle for the purpose of letting the blog progressing to be the boundless revolutionary process that it is... has been and will be rendered... something we cannot allow to be lost!We are doing everything we can and we will succeed in the end.

    Art the blog will be of an entirely different magnitude only the “cork is out of the bottle” as we say of something that later will be... and you are the author.

    I hope to once again meet you.

    Your affectionate Frank & Aida.

    1. Frank: I will have to think about this. What do you have in mind exactly? art

    2. Art!

      We are now working frantically with contacts in the psychological established field for what the psychological issues are related… and perhaps a change in the approach to psychology... that to possibly achieves success on economic issues to send patients for education at your center.

      We also have serious ideas about how to open a center here in Sweden as it can be done without the involvement of people in power and perhaps that in itself would be a success as they then would be forced to recognition when the clinical question is in theme task.

      To make this possible… we imagine you’re Center to be the source for how to proceed and then your blog will be of utmost importance... a boundless order to reach as many people as possible around the world… and not least to attract attention.

      We have great hopes for this and you will hear all about how the process is progressing. And most of all we will have to have your help. We know that this is far beyond the responsibility someone now practitioners of therapy assures.

      Frank & Aida

    3. Hi Frank & Art,

      Do all good things have to come to an end?

      Can this blog evolve into something the clinic runs? Could it be supervised by therapists from the clinic?
      Could it be supervised by Primal patients?

      It wouldn't be Janovs' Blog then though.

      Paul G.

    4. Paul: I am afraid there is no one else to do it. art

    5. Paul!

      A revolution does not stop... at least not one of the primal therapeutic dignity it is just a question of who stands at the front and "power" the issue. I believe that Art done what he can... He has really shouldered the entire world's psychological problems... what we have to do is to ensure that it reaches the needy and we have to be "smart."


    6. Frank: I agree. I did what I could. art.

  6. To My Curly Shrink

    When I first read your “statement of withdrawal”, I was hit by a stab of loss and felt sorry in a way I would never have been able to feel before your guidance, into PT, helped me experience that a brain without access to feelings is not having fitness for long-term survival. For decades, emotional experiences, if they slipped through my defense, often culminated in a seizure or in a hallucination.

    So I went to bed feeling sorry. However, I woke up this morning with a deep satisfaction emerging out of my sorrow. It is a satisfaction of having been guided by your gentle and generous advice to demystify my epilepsy and life. When I in the mid 90ies went through hell and decided to take a trip through my epilepsy = birth trauma you were with me every day and every minute. Your charisma and the primal principals reached all the way to southern Sweden 7500 miles from L.A.

    I remember when you 1985 in Bergen, Norway, said to us, something like “use my help now, because I’m getting old, and I may not be around for much longer.” Fortunately, you were wrong, and we got at least another 27 years. And what fantastic years those have been!

    Thank you Art and keep going at the pace that suits you best! I will try to spread your life-giving principles, as well as I can!

    Love Jan

    1. Jan: We had some good times, and I will miss you all too, but alas, life marches on. art

  7. “To my fellow bloggers:
    ........... Good luck to you all. Art Janov”

    Your blog is a real treasure trove of wisdom and truth Dr Janov and your therapy a precious gift for which I am so very grateful.

    Good luck and thank you! Juliex

  8. Art !
    You may believe it or not...
    I just burnt a candle for You in a catholic church...
    laughing or better "fra lacrime e risate".

    Since I know as an unbeliever that is not enough...I
    would recommend a look to the site of Dr.Greg Tefft-
    and perhaps would be some Aloe,Ginseng ,american! and other
    adaptogens...as they call it to help Your vitality...!
    Yours emanuel

    1. Emmanuel: Well thank you. Can you tell me what that is supposed to mean? art

    2. Emanuel!

      You should have turned on the light in a room for yourself... for yourself in a farewell to Art... then you would connect your thoughts to your feelings about why you want to light up the candel. That together with a good friend who knows what silence means to a good frend who needs to feel. That is the beginning of a thin thread to love in its true meaning.

      Yours Frank

  9. This is why I won't put chemicals in my brain until it is absolutely necessary.....
    apparently we have pills that increase serotonin, pills that decrease serotonin, and placebo pills, and according to recent studies, all of them are equally effective at treating depression. huh? when you take SSRI's, your brain will fight the effects of the drug by naturally boosting the serotonin receptors so that they can remove the 'excess' serotonin caused by the drug. and then, when you stop taking the drug, your boosted receptors will cause a huge shortage of serotonin. but wait, tianeptine causes a shortage of serotonin and that is supposed to be a good thing. read on....

    Tianeptine is an antidepressant drug that works just as well as Prozac, but is relatively unheard of in the United States. Why is this and how does it work?

    Everyone has seen that Zoloft commercial featuring the bouncing, white bubble. It's a cartoon parable about escaping depression to reclaim a formerly emotionally disrupted life. With its multiple parodies and wide-recognition, the Zoloft cartoon permeated the cultural zeitgeist and brought a mainstream awareness to antidepressant drugs. It famously referred to depression as a “chemical imbalance.”

    Introduced by Pfizer in 1991, Zoloft (sertraline) became the next major Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) after Prozac (fluoxetine) and heralded a new age of pharmacotherapy in the treatment of major depressive disorder. With these new drugs came a revamped model for depression treatment, which revolved around the neurotransmitter that has almost become synonymous with happiness: serotonin.

    Serotonin is a complicated chemical with a variety of somatic functions. It has receptors in several different bodily systems and the exact mechanism for creating happiness is unknown. What is known about SSRIs is that by inhibiting reuptake or reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, they increase the levels of serotonin.

    But there is a class of drugs, also considered antidepressants, which have the opposite mechanism as SSRIs. They are a class titled “selective serotonin reuptake enhancers” or SSREs. Of these drugs that reduce serotonin rather than increase it, there is exactly one that has been manufactured and marketed. It’s available in Europe and it’s called tianeptine.

    Clinical Research and Findings:

    Tianeptine has been found to be just as effective for depression as top-selling SSRIs, but has less detrimental side effects and a high compliancy rate. It also has lower risks of liver toxicity and failure.

    Tianeptine protects brain cells from damage caused by the body’s stress response and through this mechanism protects learning capabilities. The theory here is that by reducing anxiety responses, tianeptine reduces stress-induced atrophy of neuronal dendrites. This is in contrast to other antidepressant drugs that can increase anxiety and thereby negatively affect memory and learning.

    blah blah blah

  10. Yes, preventive medicine, I'm all for it

    I covered this &more in a grad Developmental Health unit, I loved it. I excelled and have been invited for PhD which could be a great opportunity for Primal (theory) to be combined, but right now I just wanna live :)

    I also live next door to a Geneticist

    And.. my identical twin brothers are a case in point. At 31 still very physically similar, but have always been almost opposite in all other ways. As well as the different inutero experiences (and in turn, effect of these) we must also consider the greatly different birth experience one twin invariably has from the other; at the very least one will always come out first.
    With my brothers, the first was held back (physically, by the paramedic) then came out in a rush, ten minutes later the other was dragged out by his feet. Even w/that you can imagine their dispositions, their problems as well as their differences from each other..
    A twin study from a Primal perspective would be fascinating. Perhaps a great way to engage people w/Primal theory, Art?

    See you soon! (Sorry, can't stop saying it, so excited) Jacquie x

  11. Art, congratulations on receiving the Huffer (I think it is!) book of the year award for your new book, 'Life Before Birth.' At last, your work is gaining the serious appraisal which it deserves!

  12. Dear Art

    Just to say thank you so much for your books which were of such help and inspiration to me. Came up with this little number the other day. Not exactly "Working Class Hero" but sums the whole thing up I think.

    There was a genius called Art
    Who ripped psychology apart.
    His therapy dealt with pain;
    So the rest of us could gain,
    From the love we could let into our hearts.

    Enjoy you're slacking. You've earned it.


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.