Thursday, February 17, 2011

On the Major Diseases

Something a little personal here: I think that most diseases that we suffer from, other than the purely heredity ones, Huntington’s Chorea, etc., are due to experience not genetics. I am assuming that something goes wrong during the pregnancy, something imperceptible, and the genetic unfolding is affected.

I am reminded about this because I read a piece by a doctor who is doing Alzheimers research. And I began to think that many of diseases we see that are serious are given the label, “auto-immune disease.” So what does that mean? Part of us attacks another part because it is perceived as a stranger, an intruder. The immune system gathers its resources to fight ourselves; our selves. What self? I think that pain and attack (a mother’s drinking) become a foreign entity, an outsider that is considered a threat. And when we are close to that threat in our therapy we begin to react as if it were a virus. We run a fever, a rise in blood pressure and heart rate and the immune system goes on alert. And it is an alert against what is inside: auto immune. I really think that after all these years of evolution we should not be born with disease because that is anti-evolutionary. Those traits should have died out and maybe they did. What did not die out is the way we adapt to threat; the way we learn to fight or flee it, and how physiologic processes get deviated in the battle. And how those deviations over time lead to disease. The gap between adverse experience in the womb, and disease decades later is so large that it is hard to see the connection.

One way to verify this is through various measurements such as the stress hormone cortisol. Those who were unloved early on have higher levels, and those high levels tell us what happened to us early in our lives; a threat which set off the alarm system. The trouble is that the imprint now makes the alarm system active all of the time; hence higher levels of cortisol all/most of the time. And those higher levels endanger the body and the brain. They ultimately impact the memory system where the imprint is registered, and of course, they impact the heart and brain system making heart attacks and strokes more likely.

The Douglas Mental Health Institute published a study on mother’s love and stress. Mother’s love makes the brain less vulnerable to attack. Love is a painkilling system. Mother’s who touch and caress their babies make them less subject to stress. We already know that. Jens Preussner is doing a lot of the work in Canada. What they are finding is no surprise, the greater the maternal care the less stress in their systems later on. Conversely, the more pain that is felt from early in our lives the less stress we are under. It shows in many dimensions, including all vital signs, stress hormone levels and brain function.

The Preussner work and many others come to the same conclusion: early stress lasts a lifetime. What happens very early on gets imprinted and endures and causes all kinds of havoc and disease o say nothing of behavior problems, unstable relationships, frequent divorce, and so on. The good news is that early love also lasts a lifetime. It is the best tranquilizer and painkiller that exists; that simple parental touch, hug, loving eyes lasts all of your life. Wow! If that happens you will not get addicted to pot, cocaine, heroin or hash. Because what all those drugs do is make up for the lack of love when it should have happened, and when that should have happened is far earlier than we ever imagined. That time is the critical window. Any fulfillment after that biologic time period can only be palliative. A nice warm therapist, they say, is helpful for therapy. Nonsense. It is helpful to make up for a lack of caring you suffered early on. But there is an iron rule to getting better; to visit the critical period again and undo the damage. Anything else is damage control. You can’t fool mother nature and you cannot skip steps in the evolution of psychotherapy. We need to go far back in our own evolution to get well and in no other way.

If I am right that many of the major diseases are epigenetic and not genetic then the molecular changes we see in each disease, from Parkinsons to Alzheimers, from Muscular Dystrophy to Multiple Sclerosis, will begin to normalize after a time of reliving. This will only happen to patients who have had a great deal of therapy and whose systems are ready for deep reliving. When that happens we should begin to see re-establishment of normal cell structure and function. By that I mean better dopamine function, less amyloid plaques, better immune cell function, and so on. The building blocks of our lives which took a detour early on due to adverse experience can begin again to take the proper genetic route. This requires careful research. But is it not worth a try?


  1. Art:


    Have you contacted Massachusetts General Hospital's Eye-Ear-Nose-Throat Center and the like? Is cutting-edge stem-cell research not being done in LA? Who are the current lead researchers in the field?

    Maybe we Commenters can help you find what you're looking for.

    Have you posted somewhere/earlier your thoughts on the genesis of your own medical problems?

    Finally, I'm still grieving over Alice Miller's death. I loved her work and looked forward to reading her responses to readers' letters. I suppose she was the mother I never had. Now I similarly latch onto your blog. I/we need you around for another 40-50 years.

    Or more. :>)

  2. Hi Art, I wonder ,whether my "resience" against the danger to fall into the throes of psychosis(?)
    was the fact that my mother had the strength to express her love in the first (very) few years before she s h e had to endure the agonies of her life ( she lost her mother with 4 years ....and had to leave the bed of crestfallen fallen father to a stepfather.

    And decades later she had to endure this same "procedure" because of my father`constant infidelity.
    Whether till now ... I have no epiginetics induced diseases is due to those "golden years"
    I am not quite sure of ,but very grateful !Yours emanuel

  3. This is part 1 of a 3 part response:

    How the outside world keeps rewriting the inside world.

    I truly believe I was diagnosed as a type 1, insulin dependent diabetic at age 10 because my brain/body experienced a crime (as the victim) where the criminal was treated like a saint.

    Months before I turned 10, my white blood cells started attacking my insulin producing cells (islet cells) on my pancreas. Because my family treaded the uncle who sexually abused me like he was a kind and caring saint, when in fact he was a devil, my brain reacted to this outrageous injustice by attacking something specific in my body that was good, as if it was a threat. Bad meant good, and good meant bad.

    Here's an important note about my white blood cells and it's new found target. Once, after I was sexually abused by this uncle, he bribed me with a powdered lemon cookie (I had no idea what a lemon cookie was at that time). "Larry, here's a sweet cookie, take it, it tastes really good, it will make you feel better..."

    I was abused by him several times (from 2 through 4 years old) and magically my parents never knew. This specific time I was sitting in a tiny chair in his kitchen silently staring at the floor (I was maybe 3). My parents, uncle, and aunt were trying to cheer me up. Nothing was working. Then after a while the uncle had this idea. "Ohhhhhhhh Laaarrrrryyyyyyy. loooook what I have. I have a yummy tasty lemon cookie. I think you'll like it." I wouldn't take. I wouldn't take it, I wouldn't take... Then because of the guilt and all the prodding in the room, I meekly took it. At that moment, sugar and sweets were related to my sexual abused.

    So --- after that, I didn't eat a lot of sweet things as a kid (that made my mother very proud -- like she was a good mother).

    That uncle (my mother's brother) stopped sexually abusing me when I turned 5. I assume this to be accurate because once when his wife had cleaned me up after being abused, I was in their bedroom wondering where my parents were, the (my) aunt said to the uncle, "eddie, you have to stop doing this; what if he remembers?" he said, "he won't remember anything before he's 5 years old."

  4. Part 2

    4 1/2 years after the abuse ended, I was 9 1/2 years old. It was May, 1974, 6 months before I was diagnosed as a diabetic, I was visiting my step grandfather in Florida (he married my grandmother before I was born). There I spent most of my time catching lizards (my family and I were there for 2 weeks visiting from NJ). One day my younger sister caught a lizard and the tail broke off (on a side note, I spent 6 to 8 hours a day catching and releasing them because I was fascinated by them... I simply loved them). The tails usually grow back, so she put him down, and I hoped he would be okay. Later that day we came across him again, and he was dying. I was crushed by this. He died and we buried him (made him a little grave) and I couldn't stop sobbing. Then we got ready for church (yuck) and I fought back the tears. I was doing my best to hold back the sobs in church (sitting as far from my mother as I could), but my mother heard me and shamed me like there was something wrong with me, "Shhh Stop That!" she whispered is an angry voice and making an ugly face (sobbing in so powerful and I was doing all I could to suppress it -- very sad).

    Long story short --- I didn't know it at the time, but I saw myself as the hurt lizard who died. It was so young (I thought) and had his whole life ahead of him. Then he was accidentally killed, and no one cared but me. I was unknowingly sobbing for my own death. I was crushed because no one cared. The sobs dried up before the next morning and I buried the pain.

    Ironically, if my step grandfather, a truly wonderful loving man (he was the only person on both sides of my family that touched and hugged in a caring manner), saw me crying that day, he would have hugged me and I would have cried in his arms for the lizard, and unknowingly for the little boy who had to endure being sexually abused.

    ... on a side note: my step grandfather made a surprise visit to NJ when I was 11 1/2, and when I saw his car and then him sitting on our living room couch, I did cry in his arms (briefly, because my mother said something to the effect, "that's enough"). While hugging him I kept saying, I can't believe you're here, I can't believe you're here...

    I was never touched by my parents in a loving way (I avoided touching people as if their touch could kill me) yet, every part of my body knew he was safe. I still love him dearly (I cry so infrequently -- recalling that made me cry)

    My honest belief is, if I could have released that pain with my grandpa, my body wouldn't have had to betray itself.

    Here's a new thought: If I was allowed to cry with my grandfather, and I didn't get diabetes when I turned 10, I believe I would have been diagnosed with it when I was 13 1/2 (14 years old). That was the time my parents shocked me by getting rid of my dog Midnight. He was the only thing I could love and he would love me back. I had him for 3 years -- got him as a puppy. But he was brought to the pound when I was over a friends house. I was destroyed when I found out I would never see him or touch him again. I cried for hours alone in my room and no one acknowledged my pain.

  5. Part 3

    To sum all this up: I'm convinced the brain has to mimic the outside world. My uncle was evil yet he was treated like a saint. My insulin producing cells are vital to staying alive. In order to mimic the bad uncle, my white blood cells attacked the part of my body that controls glucose levels. Because I associated that sugary lemon cookie with being sexually abused, my brain saw sugar as a threat to my system. Once sugar was associated with the uncle and the sexual abuse, sugar became a threat that had to be dealt with.

    (The mechanism that controls and regulates all sugars in the body, are the islet cells of the pancreas. All foods are turned into glucose, aka sugar, to fuel the body)

    Because sugar was turned into a life threatening substance at 3 years old, my brain had no choice but to start attacking what it believed to be it's new enemy --- once the buried feelings resurfaced in front of a hostile mother, and were put down again at 9 1/2 years old.

    How the outside world keeps rewriting the inside world.

    Arthur, another great article! This one hits home. Any thoughts on my post would be greatly appreciated.

    My abuse issues have kept me poor. My wife works, but I'm still unable to work. She did help me while she was going to school to do your therapy in Los Angeles, at the end of 2001. As much as I would like to cure my diabetes on the Primal Therapy clock, I can't as this time. If I can get my head and thoughts together, and finally write a book, maybe things can click in the near future so I can finally go back out there and feel my pain and normalize my whole body. I putting this down because I believe I can make it happen. I just don't know when it will happen. I haven't given up yet.

    Shit!! if you need to delete this paragraph in order to post my comments, please do. On an impulse... If you could somehow make it possible for me to do your therapy with you (I'm asking for a lot here -- but it doesn't hurt to ask), and help me cure my diabetes, I would write a book with you, if you would like -- or you could use our sessions or anything you could think of, to help promote Primal Therapy.

    I'm 46 and I still have some time left in diabetic years to push your therapy with all I have learned in the last 20 years. Because of my age I feel my time is running out. I probably haven't written enough to you to show you I have promise as a writer. Maybe this comment will at least peak your interest.

    With all that said, I realize I'm asking you for a lot. If you can't find a way to make this happen, I understand. I'm a fan and a follower for life because your time and effort have produced facts. The facts in my childhood are the same ones you have been producing and proving since I was born.

    Larry Jankowski

  6. Art: I totally agree that most of those auto-immune diseases of old age, Alzheimer, Parkinson's et al are due to the repression of feelings going back to way-back-when and that resolving them is only possible by reliving those feelings. I know all this from my own experience in Primal Therapy. What I find has been overlooked by the medical profession are those pharmacological medications that kill pain could be used to cure many of these diseases by a reversal of Primal Theory. If these diseases are acting-in (defenses) as opposed to acting-out against that original pain, then the use of the better pain-killers (Heroine, for example) might be tried for say cancer, Alzheimer, Parkinson, etc. My notion might seem crazy, but some of the medical procedures we use against these diseases seem worse than the cure. It's, at least, worth a thought .. if not a try.

    If we think about it, it is politicians that have made these addictive drugs illegal because of some neurotic notion that they are somehow protecting us from the dread of addiction. The Medial profession seems to be in lock-step with them over these drugs. Interestingly, it was the medical profession that extracted the effective ingredients from Opium and came up with heroine.

    Had the medical profession looked at Primal Theory, instead of an out-right dismissal (as seems to me) someone might have come up with this very simple notion earlier. Sure, being addicted to heroine is not a full living experience, but it is better, by my reckoning, than living with these debilitating auto-immune diseases; which kill in the end anyway. If this worked, it would be so simple and potentially so effective. I would be interested on your take Art. Jack

  7. I absolutely agree with your assertions. Pain is behind nearly all pathology, both psychological and physical, including diseases, etc. But one factor missing is that our environment is polluted and seeded with toxins, which only makes the whole situation worse.

    Here is what I was wondering. Traumas accumulated in adulthood, say like the miners in Chile, when the mind is capable of understanding it all, should be relatively easy to release into consciousness, shouldn’t they? They may be connected and related to early traumas, but they themselves can be eradicated. We know they are there and it should be no big deal to let them come out.

    What can you tell us, Arthur? Are recent or adult traumas easier to get at and get out? Undo? How easy is torture to undo? I grant that early traumas might make later traumas more difficult to process. But what can you say about this?

  8. Hi,

    Somewhere in earlier entries Art makes reference to a stage one can get to in therapy where certain symptoms become "cured". Such as drug adiction, but according to Art this may not be the completed return journey to the imprint.

    So, there are stages of cure, if one could anticipate these stages then body chemistry could be analysed at these points to test the epigenetic theory.

    I havn't yet had time to find out what methylation of the genes is but it seems to me (with any whole system) that things go in three stages. First the pre-requisite conditions needed for the chemical change followed by the actual triggering and chemistry changes then lastly the changed chemistry and it's resultant new affects.

    Probably I am in kindergaten still with this but surely past patients may have something to offer an analysis of their symtoms in reprieve to cure in stages?

    The waves of catharsis I am experiencing do seem to have three stages but I can't always get through clearly. First stage, I notice an uncomfortable disturbance in my body (anxiety); secondly, I am triggered by my memory (sometimes by an intentional search, not always successful), this feels like an opened sluice gate and all the anxiety turns to a kinetic release. Thirdly I experience deep peace and bliss. Though (now for me obviously) because I have not arrived at the imprint this bliss state is temporary.

    I wonder if there is an elasticity to the gene chemistry that allows the to and fro of this wave. I wonder if certain cell systems have different elastic limits which may aid or obstruct the way the catharsis travels through the body.

    There is a delay in the stored charge of a car starting battery, there is some elasticity there also, these "accumulators" sometimes get rigid and appear to be permanently dis-charged, or, over charged. With prodigious re-charging and dis-charging the elasticity of the accumulator can return. I wonder if there is a similar thing going on with the genes in repression and catharsis? Certainly we all know that the sooner a trauma is re-lived the more likely full recovery is to be made because the problem has not had time to concretise (or lose its' elasticity).

    Paul G.

  9. Art,

    I have spoken to Jan Zedenius he works at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm…he is specifically working with thyroid gland. He didn’t know anyone who did stem cell research… He asked what was wrong… is there anything you can tell us about? I have also been in touch with Lund university… they told me they didn’t know of any research with stem cell therapy.


  10. Hi Art some days ago I sent the adress and phone numbers of some German clinics offering stemcell therapy...Did it n o t reach You
    Their not booga booga ... Yours emanuel

  11. Hi Nenad

    You said you hope I am doing well in my therapy. I am not in therapy yet. I did the intake interview and was accepted as a patient, but I realised I still don't have enough money yet. I don't want to begin therapy, which will get my feelings on the rise, and then have no choice but to fly back to New Zealand at the worst possible time. I want to have enough money (or a job opportunity) so that I can get therapy continuously for a year. I heard a story about a primal patient who had rising feelings while she was travelling back to her country, and she didn't have a proper outlet for her feelings. She really struggled. I want to avoid a situation like that.
    I hope Art will still be alive when I finally get to the Primal Center, but I trust the primal therapist I spoke to in the interview. I hope they will carry on without Art. They are getting old too.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Trevor: forty or fifty years? Not in the cards but I will hang in there til you grow up and don't need me. I will look into your suggestions. I had several surgeries on the right part of the throat, the pharynx and they botched it and damaged the tissue. art janov

  14. Larry: Is he right that he would never have gotten the disease? You know what, Larry, if my future stem cell therapy works I will treat you but we will have to wait and see. art

  15. Emanuel: Yes and I thanked you a lot for them, and I am contacting some of them now. thanks!!!!! art janov

  16. Frank: Many years ago I had many cauteries and surgery for a throat infection that would go away. They botched it and destroyed a lot of the cells; for that reason I think I may need stem cells. art janov

  17. Apollo:There are traumas that are the equal of the first line, gestation and birth traumas but they are few and far between; the death of the parents early on, war, rape, etc. but generally first line events are the most catastrophic and life endangering. art

  18. An answer to Paul:
    "Dear Paul,

    Art asked me to respond to your post. I'm a science and medical writer who sends him a lot of research supporting primal theory.

    Methylation of the genes occurs when a fetus or infant is exposed to stress, be it a toxic womb, lack of nutrients, or lack of loving care by the mother after birth. This pattern of gene methylation is called the epigenome. Take a look at this site and learn all about it:

    Researchers have discovered a "window of opportunity" in which the epigenome can be changed back to a healther profile. That comes relatively soon after the baby rats have experienced the stress. If you miss the window of opportunity, the unhealthy methylation patterns appear to be permanent. Using your terminology, it becomes less elastic.

    Your three-stage hypothesis of cure is fascinating. Indeed, the prerequisites for the chemical change come first (early trauma), followed by the chemical change (gene methylation), followed by changed chemistry for life (the neurotic imprint). That's simplified, but essentially true. Art says that primal therapy is neurosis in reverse. You go from the neurotic imprint to the trigger (feeling the trauma), to changing the chemistry (lower cortisol, normalized blood pressure, etc.) You could even say that the new chemistry is more elastic because you are more resilient to present day stress.

    Art and I are discussing a future study that looks at epigenetic changes in primal patients. If reversal of neurosis occurs in the body and mind, then perhaps it occurs at the gene level. In other words, primal therapy may open up the window of opportunity again by reproducing the physiology that occurred at the time of the trauma. Feeling the pain -- in full -- may change the methylation pattern back to "normal." It's only a hypothesis at this point, but if it were true, it would explain how the body normalizes during primal therapy. I love your image of elasticity - it's only a metaphor for what may be going on at the genetic level, but it's one that fits.

    Bruce Wilson "

  19. Erron: THANKS SO MUCH. I sent what was wrong with me today to my blog so you can read it. If it is not there let me know. art janov

  20. Did you see the national geographic documentary, which download-link I send you by mail?

  21. Even if a warm caring therapist can't get into deeper material,as Janov says, I still think that being able to communicate pent-up here-and-now emotions off one's chest to a person who REALLY listens is very helpful. And I am seeing one who is doing that for me and it is very helpful. Moreover, she is a Bioenergetic therapist and they can ALSO get into deeper maerial apparently. Lowen's case materials in his books are almost definitive proof. So , Dr Janov, don't dismiss the here and now emotions, even if you are an expert on the effects of traumas of the past.

    Second, it is almost criminal that PT is not being used to experiment whether all those diseases listed in the last paragraph of the blog article could be helped by PT.Simply criminal. Think of how much sufferring could be releived.

  22. Paul NL: I cannot download it. Can you send the first 2 pages? thanks art janov

  23. Hi Art thanks for your thanks ! I did n o t for them but I am indebted to You and Your wife ...
    so I am hoping to help you ...and that`s my point
    running the risk to drown the therapeutic fish...
    please do not try the one-pointed approach to your problem1 The body reacts as an ensemble to many ! procedures (colon hydro therapy.Dr.Greg Tefft and his nutrional presision healing ,Aloe vera ....etc.pp.
    I hope You dot mind my hints -it´s because of trying to help1 Yours emanuel P:S. I could run amuck when I read "cauterized because of an infection Oh (therapeutic Lord)

  24. Marco, I don't know much about Reich or Bioenergetic Therapy. It seems to me like they are trying to take a shortcut. They seem to think they can just correct your thoughts, correct your muscle tension, correct your breathing, and then each repressed memory will surface, one at a time, and each one will be resolved without a hitch. It sounds clumsy to me. Have they developed a science to help the therapists understand when they are interfering with the patient's natural flow of consciousness? Are they sure they are not pushing the patient before he is ready? Do they recognise/feel the signs of a patient who is abreacting?

    Another thing to think about: what seem to be here-and-now feelings are actually just a bit of spray coming from the tidal wave in your unconscious. Your here-and-now problems are triggering that tidal wave, but you are only feeling the spray. I guess your therapist will probably agree with that, and she might want you to go deeper at some stage.

    I suggest you ask a lot of questions before doing all that muscle/breathing stuff with them.

  25. Richard: I have had biogenetic therapists on my staff. They all agree that their approach is random and not body-mind together. They do not see the mind has the control. art I wrote a lot about this is Grand Delusions. I will dig it out and post it. art janov

  26. An email comment:
    "Dear Dr. Janov,

    I can fully support the findings expressed in your Human Condition articles from personal experience. I started reliving old feelings in 1974 after reading an original copy of the 'Primal Scream' and came to North Almont Drive that year for an interview. Despite being accepted I decided to continue on my own and take up the offer of therapy if I got stuck or in trouble. That was 37 years ago and what a journey it has been.

    I was born in 1943 in London in a freezing hospital during a German bombing raid in the second world war. A twelve hour labour was followed by being abandoned by the nurses while they fussed over my Mother. They gave her gas to assist with the pains of giving birth. After that it got worse as I was given away to my Aunt at six weeks old. My father did not return home until I was three years old. My early life was characterised by poor pain suppression, leaking gates, fear and paranoia. Reliving pains (even with the suffering that preceded many feelings) was the ultimate healing experience. The changes have been remarkable and I still work as a consultant in safety today - absolutely no surprise there after an early life of feeling distinctly unsafe.

    Many of your correspondants are on the brink of therapy or have just completed a couple of years. For me they have not even scratched the surface of their pain and may have unrealistic expectations. This is a high risk period because if they get stuck they are likely to blame Primal Therapy rather than the small amount of time they have been in it. There is more pain in most of us than anyone (except perhaps you and your wife) can imagine.

    I have read all your publications and still have a full set of the 'Journals of Primal Therapy' gathering dust. In the 1990's I lived in Brighton, UK for 10 years and met Richard and Maggie Theed. Nice people but it was a disappointment in primal terms as they had become heavily involved in a fringe religious group after a local Therapy Centre they tried to set up failed.

    If I ever find myself in Southern California or you are in Europe it would be good to meet. Your therapy transformed my life and is still transforming it at nearly 68 years old although people who don't know that think I am around 50.

    Best Regards"

  27. And my response:
    You will love what I wrote about wartime in my coming book. It will explain so much for you. art janov

  28. Another email comment:
    "Art, even though I'm finito with Primaling simply reading this makes me want to jump right back in....the allure of your writing is strong... then again my time now is better spent Making Love with the women I am enthralled with etc rather than "slobbering" together in a group of three as you described in an eariler blog. Ahhhhh....feelings of nostaliga wash through me. And the book I would right would be called "Authethic Love" or "Consumate Love"...sub-titled "The Cure for Death." I remember in an eariler book you wrote you were espousing how adults don't need love...while infants do. Perhaps you were a bit hasty in that one. Sometimes I walk around my place and actully get so worked up at some of the stuff you write that I speak to you outloud expaining what is actually going on...and it all clicks...much of what I say is material I learned from you.,.but in a more concrete Paradigm. There are things in your blog that one might be certain is content influenced by your lovely wife France and her culture from France, the country. It is clear. Then live with her. Your comments about Jews using food for comfort is acually repugnent...the entire county of the USA has a 70% rate of obesity...check the stats..while Jews make up less than 1% of the population. How come you focus on Jews? Because of your wife...the anti-semitism that is rampant in French culture. And what about the sub-human thing...and perhaps if the entire planet is populated by repressed people (which is absurd) and that they are born that way as you assert then the Catholic Church has a good basis to argue for Origional Sin...which is absurd. You are correct regarding the life defending and life sustaining aspects of our functioning...the existance of two aspects of functioning with a para-sypathetic and autnomic CNS, and one hell of a lot more..,of which I hesitate to regurgitate...There are cultures that were ( I say were...prior to the inpinging of Western Civilization) that by every account were not living in life defending mode. The Tahitian Civilization is a fine example...and the difference beteen the two civilizations was well noted. The Dutch exemplified the quest for Achivement...while the Tahitians were functioning via simple Sustainment...and were thoughly open, highly sexual and feeling people. They of course were wiped out in 100 years. They didn't even have a word for Love and screwed openly in the street. Please do yourself a favor...actually I want to buy and send you the book...and read "Lost Paradise" by Ian Cameron. It's out of print and only cost about two bucks in the after market. A HUDGELY beautiful book. I'm tired of writing. My best to you etc. regardless of the occasional inannities you lay down. Keep writing. Barry"

  29. On what “Barry” wrote. Barry had some good points and some I don’t quite get. I do think the world is populated by repressed people. I would not say all are repressed at the same level and in a lucky few, maybe less prepressed than many. But it does seem much like that original sin concept. Once pain was hatched, it spread like gangrene or cancer. But no big deal.

    On the other hand, I recall the comment about food for comfort among Jews and thought nothing more of it. I was not aware (and still don’t see) it had any negative connotations. I could make some other associations with various races, who as races, do seem to have personality traits or tendencies even as individuals do. If I use food, sex, drugs, or whatever for comfort or relief, then is it wrong to say that? So if it can be said of individuals with no offense, why collective groups or races? To me, racism is blind irrational hate. Hate for no reason. Or perhaps throwing the blanket over all members of a group or race when the innocent should not be taken along with the guilty.

    It also seemed like Tahitians were “justified” by what they had done commonly before encountering others. I do not say they were morally flawed but they still may have been driven by primal needs. No crime there, but since I believe all humans are driven by primal needs, it is difficult, even impossible to imagine that someone, anyone, could escape being at least mildly damaged by PP.

    Arthur is certainly not perfect and I have some minor little variances of thought with his, and maybe Barry was trying to point this out. No man is perfect or infallible. But at the same time, I thought some of the criticism was perhaps a little unfair. But perhaps I just have some sensitivities, too. That is ,a thin skin at times. There were many good points in Barry’s comments that perhaps are well to at least keep in the back of our minds.

    But I dare say there was just a touch of unfairness or just going a little too far in insinuations. It was almost as if one might have been looking to make trouble where none was warranted. But I will say this, it is healthy to disagree and express it and the more thoughts and ideas on any subject are bound to be healthy and helpful. Some call it brain storming.

  30. A facebook comment:
    ""I have come to the conclusion that the only way to understand the truth in this, is to experience. Thank you Dr. Janov for all your work. I am a die hard fan!"

  31. An email comment:
    "Hi Art,

    regarding stem cell therapy - which I know little of - there seems to be a lot of research being done here in Australia. If you could be more specific about your condition and the treatment you seek, and it's okay by you, I can do a little digging in respect to actual therapy for your condition here. I did find this site which is impressive, and has a downloadable file on the state of things here. You probably know most of this anyway, but in case you don't:

    Wishing you the best with it. My right ear is going deaf from Meniere's disease, and I am wondering if SCT might help me in the future..."


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.