Sunday, December 6, 2015

Epigenetics and Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis (Part 15/20)

The Brain’s Hemispheres

A natural cure must coincide with our knowledge of the way the brain is structured. First, we know that the brain has two sides, one more feeling and the other (left side) more thinking, grosso modo. Also, we know that the right side develops earlier than the left and absorbs so much early trauma long before we can understand it and give it a name. We are driven by those right-side imprints so that by the time we are born we are allergic, nervous, restless, colicky and choleric (bad tempered), and so on. So we are taken to the doctor who is mystified. We do know that it is the right brain that is active when we retrieve old memories and when we relive those memories, and it is only through that brain that we can get to those memories, very early ones, that were registered on the right. Otherwise, no matter how much we dig down, when we leave those memories intact,they will continue to drive us.(19) But eventually we will need to dig down with the help of the deep-right, orbito-frontal brain which functions as a dredge to lift up instinct/feeling memories to the fore. And we don’t even have to do it; the brain itself, when given the chance, will perform its proper function. And if we don’t force it, the brain will find the right time to do it, and not process it prematurely. We need to take great care about dredging up traumas too early. We can get flooding and being overwhelmed, rather than connected.

To retrieve the memory we need to “live” on the level of its existence for a time, use the right brain to lift it toward conscious/awareness, and bit by small bit integrate parts of the memory into the brain and the entire system. Thus, we need to de-methylate the memory. Until we do that there can be no profound change in anyone despite all claims to the contrary. Not meditation, not cognitive therapy, not mindfulness or hundreds of other nonsense approaches that ignore neurobiology. No one can make real change when two-thirds of our brains are unacknowledged. We have the tail and the feet but we still don’t know what it is. How can we treat it?

(19)  See all of Wilder Penfield.


  1. This is good to know. I would think parents who have children that went through a birth trauma, (and those children are labeled as "just not quite right" , even though they appear and act "normal", close to be absolutely normal but "just absolutely not", I would think the parents would help the child out at some point in their lives, if they can, and spend the money (if they can afford it) on the child or the adult child to get primal therapy. It is important. They go through life acting normal, but deep down they want to be feeling normal: they want to get rid of the anxiety, the disabling allergies, the fears, the blushing shyness/nervousness around others when they have to be social, get rid of all the distractions that they cause and put upon themselves. If a parent really knew the pain that the child endures growing up, and if the child (he/she) comes from a loving parental atmosphere, they would right away want help for their child....because this type of parent would want their child to be a success: mentally, financially, socially, etc.... Some parents realize nothing can be done because they just cannot afford Primal Therapy even for their adult child and they have to just "settle" with what was handed to them: As Dr. Janov said, "We have the tail and the feet but we still don't know what it is." Nothing is absolute cure for this....they try everything, and then they settle for what works the best for them to get through life. Meanwhile, people form opinions of this traumatized child or traumatized adult that are "totally off the wall". I often wonder how the person who wasn't born with the chord wrapped around it's neck several times, I often wonder how that person feels.....most of the time I think that person must feel more carefree , less distracted, and more connected. Of course I'm thankful for many things....just to be alive. But if I had the money and could better myself, I wouldn't hesitate to get Primal Therapy. My parents did the best they could throughout my life; they never pressured me, they just said "do the best you can", "be yourself", and "don't care what people think of you if your are doing nothing wrong". They didn't know about Primal Therapy until I told them a little while ago. I honestly believe had my parents known about it 30 years ago, that they would have contributed financially to my getting Primal Therapy.

    1. beachcoast7, your comment resonates...
      parents are not therapists but they can help with the access, with their understanding. my father would give me time to prepare for the shot of antibiotics when i was a kid. we would go one more circle around health center, talking... it meant a lot to me.
      this could help us remain humans. if not less traumatized, then at least less strangers to ourselves.

    2. Vuko,
      True, yes, I agree. The times my parents spent with me, were important. If someone just doesn't come from a family that pays attention to them, it is difficult for that child. Looking back, yes, I am very thankful for the way I was treated , even "the little things" meant a great deal. I am very thankful for the parents I have. Sure a lot of parents aren't therapists, but my parents are very intelligent as to what was going on. I went to years of college part-time, took many many psychology/therapy courses because of the curriculum I was in, and I can honestly say that my parents knew a lot that I was going to school for. I just didn't know, and even now after going to school and graduating, I can't say I even know more than my parents do as far as dealing with people at times and in certain situations. I am thankful for them.

    3. Looking back, now that I'm older, I know when I was a child, and all the things that were done for me, many times, I just didn't understand what was going on....why would someone do something for me? So many situations I couldn't comprehend, but many children that are normal don't. Now I try to make it up to my parents, and I tell them, "when I was younger, growing up, I had really not much of an idea of all that you were doing for me. It's too bad, and now that I'm older, I want them to know, it wasn't because I was just "not interested" or "really didn't like what they handed me or did for me"....I just think was "too upset" with myself, too "hyper", and also I wasn't the brightest of students (sometimes I think I had ADD....but now I'm not like that at all).

    4. I know Art. I am what else can I do but remember how it was and revert to some type of structure and organization in my mind. I thought of your upbringing as I wrote that. Parental love and structure from the parents is so important me, your accomplishments are absolutely outstanding. You are very strong, not only physically but one would have to be mentally strong also to turn out the way you did....such a success. A sense of accomplishment is so important also.

    5. ahh... how to build a sense of accomplishment if the house is below tide line?

  2. "Classic clinical evidence suggests that the orbitofrontal cortex is involved in critical human functions, such as social adjustment and the control of mood, drive and responsibility, traits that are crucial in defining the ‘personality’ of an individual".

    So what we can say is that the orbitofrontal cortex are "listening" to the limbic system which carries catastrophic memories (orbitofrontal cortex... which is a buffer... a time delay?) it as long as we do not use our neocortex for its intellectuals capacity in name of listening to the limbic system... listening to the frequency suffering are broadcast. Neocortex can not do anything as long as the will... the understanding is not there to listen to the limbic system... the understanding and the will folks! So it remains isolated as long as the intellectual capacity are not used in order to hook up to the limbick system. But not to forget life-sustaining effects depending on threats to our life... it with the consequences of what the "personality of an individual" is now showing... which also represents the enormous obstacles intellectuals constitute around primal therapy.



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.