Thursday, April 14, 2016
How We Become Programmed Before Birth
You know, we are in a very different position from where we were just a few years ago. I used to write about the traumas embedded in our systems during gestation but we had few ways to prove it. Now we do. And we can show how a smoking mother adversely affects her baby for a lifetime. Actually, we did have proof but it was clinical, not the statistical kind, so it did not count. And we could never call anything “proof” because we did not abide by the rules of the game. Those rules do help us remain objective so it is not a bad thing.
But now we can measure the traces on the gene that trauma leaves. We can undo trauma and change it. We can undo neurosis and pain. The caveat that I have maintained for decades: to resolve the buried pain we must arrive deep in the brain and we must relive it exactly as it was laid down. If it were laid down with no words there must be no words during the primal reliving. We get to deep brain sites by the opposite of willfulness, by allowing the neuronal chain of pain to take over and guide us.
What we are learning is how experience is more important than genetics and weighs more heavily in determining our sicknesses and later behavior.; and how we can pinpoint the damage, where it lies and how crucial it is. In other words, our social life changes our biology and our neurology. It can change his genetic make-up.
Let me say that again; your life on this planet, your very early life, overrides genetics. A carrying mother who smokes, damages her baby, perhaps for lifetime. (Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (2016). Their research states that these babies are susceptible to serious diseases later on. It affects their immunity. It is a very bad start in life. There are precise epigenetic changes that endure, not the least of which is lung disease later on. There is no escape. I had a patient who felt suffocated all of the time. She moved to Arizona to escape, thinking she needed clean air. She did but way back when. She was trying to escape an old imprint, and there is no escape from it; it is YOU.
In current research they have found that those infants who underwent a smoking mother during gestation seem to light up the same genes as the adult who smokes. So are both are just terrible for the child and adult, unless they prefer shortening their lives. The fetus is not breathing but there is a blood-borne effect. It all passes through the placenta. What is diabolic is that the maternal effects on the fetus that embed pain can cause chronic smoking in the adult who slowly kills himself in trying to make it through life. He wants to live but without pain. Hobson’s choice. It is no choice at all. He is using the genes he used at the start to get out of pain but alas…….If your mother smoked you are on your way to smoking; all for the same goal; to get out of pain. Why? She is killing pain and the fetus’ body is learning that it kills pain too.
Hello addiction, which also begins deep down in the brain. Hey, check the blood from the umbilical cord. Smoking mothers produce a different kind of baby, and he is vulnerable. (see the PACE consortium. Also, Cell Press). Do the addiction centers know what they are dealing with? We are programmed almost from day one. Free will? Where?
Important: (American, J. of Human Genetics. March 31, 2016) smoking in the mother damages the fetal DNA. And here the newly developing genes can begin, I suggest, their voyage to later cancer. It is a stealth but sure enemy. And it has a long lifespan. One reason that voyage to disease carries on unabated, is that trauma lowers the development of natural killer cells of the immune system that can search out and destroy newly developing cancer cells. Our research with Primal Therapy showed a doubling of them (NK Cells) after one year of our therapy.
In one study (Univ. of Wisconsin. Journal of Child Development), Examined 50 young children who had been physically abused. There was a marked amount of methylation in them (the glucosteroid centers) as compared with non-abused children. Why do we fall ill from cancer later in Life? Check Primal Pain through methylation. Same for Alzheimers.
As to further underscore the point: a study in Nature, Dec. 2015, indicates how early trauma can lead to psychosis/schizophrenia. It is always the earliest that is most deleterious. And nearly always pre-natal (before birth). They found close association between methylation traces and later mental illness/psychosis. So when doctors look at childhood trauma to understand depression and anxiety, they are already far off the mark. One key problem is that the person does not know about his prenatal life, since it did not contain words, but we know because we travel back on the neuronal train that is not equipped with words. …..sensations and feelings, and that is a lot and enough. And we never ask; they tell. The body tells and we listen. Any therapy that is word dominated cannot ever get to the truth.
Andrew Jaffe, of the Lieber Institute for Brain Development (Baltimore. Md.), found crucial information: Methylation was “most pronounced” between pre and post-natal periods, meaning again, early, early trauma is the most devastating and enduring of what happens to us. Something I have found in my clinical work for 50 years. And because I saw it and measured it, it should count. But now we have confirming science at work to tell us again that very early trauma is the most embedded and the most harmful. It is the most lasting and the hardest to shake; and we can only shake it by traveling back on the neuronal train to where it lives and is engraved. There is no other way. We lock into feelings in the present, “I saw a father at the part hugging his son and the son kissed him back, and I start to cry.” We burrow into that feeling and then let go; he is on the feeling track that will take him back slowly and safely for months to where the primal imprint is located, with its load of pain. It has to be lived because it was never fully lived at the start; far too painful for a fetus. We let biology and feelings be our guide and never interfere with its trajectory. It is our precise history being run off and it must travel all of the way toward completion. That is when we get better and eventually, cure. If not, we get what we got originally, partial completion and a residue of pain to be acted out for a life-time. Neurosis really means we are partial beings, not fully developed. And that means we must mature slowly, reliving early life until we are whole, until we get back all of ourselves. We need to get our childhood back with our needs and feelings. They disappeared long ago and we don’t even know they re done. A tragedy. The depressive often feels, something is missing. But what? Him.
There is more evidence that the hurt begins early; methylation shows itself soon after birth. Jaffe emphasizes prenatal life is critical what I called the CRITICAL PERIOD. And it is. And there is a discussion by them of in utero life, as well which they find important for the development of schizophrenia. Another group(Mills), studied the brains of deceased fetuses and found early widespread methylation changes in their brains.
Ayayay. Is anyone out there? Are you listening?
There is study after study who say pretty much the same thing: Genes and epigenes shape how we develop and mature. (Tel Aviv University. March 28, 2016.) They found that parents who underwent stress can have lasting effects on new generations. And “Memories of traumatic events often last a lifetime because they are so difficult to treat.” Really? Oh yes, they said through behavioral methods alone. Now they are talking. Why can’t they take the next easy step and say, Primal Therapy. They adhere too closely to “facts.” And need to extrapolate to the solution. Sadly, it is a giant emotional leap!! To do that, they need an intellect heavily propelled by feelings. Ayayay. Where are those feelings? Buried under mountains of intellect that forces them away from the leap. They stick close to facts.
Now look at this: “Drugs that weaken traumatic memories hold promise for PTSD treatment.” (Science Daily). Wha???? That will kill off all their chances of cure.
We want and need the memory; it is the key to liberation. But they somehow know we need access to feelings. I say “Imprint,” while they say “memory”. A big difference. It is not just cerebral. It is neurobiologic. It is everywhere and yet nowhere. There is not on spot we can focus on. It is in the hormones, muscles, and brain. That is why we have to focus on the central nervous system that orchestrates the whole mess. Not just the blood supply to the heart or brain. Not just the tension in the muscles. …….. EVERYWHERE. I call it the imprint because it is exactly that: an imprint deep in the system and ramifies to the whole system. In fact, what we can remember it is usually what we don’t want. We are after unconscious memories; they do the most damage and are the hardest to access.
They lost their infancy and the facts it contains. It would have told them so much. Don’t hug those facts too closely. You need to rely on feelings too. Yes, facts do help keep us away from feelings but do not think they are the only objective truth. You are not a better scientist because you stick to facts; you may be an unfeeling scientist that will help you avoid truths. So do not accept facts in lieu of truths. It has happened for decades; “scientists’” pleading for Behavior and Cognitive therapy despite the truth that there is a deeper world we must deal with. All this because facts has had a bad name, since Freud they were considered beneath us smart people, who “knew” that they were dangerous and unhealthy. OH. He is so emotional. If parents knock the feelings out of us we can become unfeeling objective scientists who can state fact after fact in their papers and never draw the logical conclusions from them. That means that they have to apply facts to human life and human interaction. Did I already say, ayayay?
Using facts to obscure truths. Ayayay.
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.