What word best describes something that has harmed most every life, that has ruined some lives, and visits every one of us at times? It is a word we all know. It’s even a four letter word. It’s the “F” word: Fear.

Fear paralyzes, chokes, strangles, causes us to make irrational decisions, makes us avoid opportunity, and shuts down logical thinking. But it can also save us from a dangerous situation, taking over our thoughts when we don’t have time for logic. Fear is both a horrible thing and a necessary thing. It is part of our nature. And for many of us, it is active far too much, far too often.

Logical thought takes time to process, and in an emergency that time may not be available. Quick action is required. Emergencies should not last long however, and fear should do its job and subside. When fear is harmful is when it lingers.

We are meant to have certain long term fears. When we experience a dangerous situation, we learn it as a threat, so when we come across a similar situation we stay away from it. Fear ties in with memory as we recognize, either consciously or subconsciously, that the new situation is like the old. That protects us as we learn to avoid danger. This is particularly important in early age as we are learning about the world, our place in it, and what is safe.

Any emotional experience forms strong memories. In what is called “flashbulb memory”, a highly emotional experience causes a flood of neurotransmitters and a temporary hyper-learning mode, where most everything our senses are feeding our brains gets recorded, including details we normally would ignore or filter out subconsciously. Thus, we remember those highly-charged emotional experiences in vivid detail. And fear is one of the strongest emotions, for good reason.

So if you are an adult, you have lived through some fearful experiences, and you likely remember some vividly. You may not remember some from early childhood, but they are still stored beneath your conscious memory. In your first few years of life, you are naturally in hyper-learning mode anyway, and your fearful experiences would only intensify that. They have become a part of you, and are still affecting you. Of course, other memories, hopefully many happy ones, are also a part of you, but those borne of fear really stand out.

Parts of the whole
It was once thought that memory happened throughout the brain, because in cases where a part of someone’s brain was damaged, their ability to remember and to form memories, though diminished, still existed. WIth modern technology to see brain activity, we know that memories are quite complex, requiring cooperation from various portions of the brain, so even with a portion damaged, the other portions can still piece together many components of the memory. Memories are associative, meaning that sensory input (touch, taste, smell, sound, sight), emotions, thought, and even previous memories all come together to form new memories. Sometimes encountering one of those pieces, such as a smell, can trigger the rest of the memory — suddenly taking you back to a past experience.

It should not be surprising then that various portions of the brain are involved in the association of memories, or that these portions are very actively communicating with each other. In one study, published in Nature Communications, researchers at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences observed brain activity in animals using a combination of brain scanning techniques during active fear experiences. They focused on the medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), which along with the amygdala, hippocampus, and cerebellum is known to be involved in associative memory formation and retrieval. They observed specific neural activity in the dmPFC during fear responses, and they then silenced the dmPFC in the animals, resulting in a suppression of the fear response, demonstrating that this portion of the brain was directly involved in remembering that the situation was a fearful one.

So what? The experiments obviously showed that the dmPFC was a critical component in fear memory processing. What else does this portion of the brain do? Along with processing fear and anxiety (which is a form of fear), it is known to be involved in decision making, empathy, morality judgement, processing a sense of self, some motor functioning, and heart rate. The same portion of the brain that is processing fear is affecting self image, decision making, muscular control, and heart rate. Since the brain is highly integrated, portions such as the dmPFC are also influencing other portions of the brain, and the brain controls all bodily functions. In mathematics, if A = B, and B = C, then A must equal C. Fear significantly affects all bodily functions. Any guess as to what sustained fear — worry and anxiety — does to bodily functions?

One more function of the dmPFC is its role in long-term memory. Fear is remembered strongly, and for a long time. Childhood fears may have faded from your conscious memory, but they are there nonetheless, affecting your whole body. As explained in a review article published in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, “Exposure to severe stress and trauma in youth can disrupt the regulatory processes of the LHPA axis across the life span in both animals and humans.” LHPA refers to the Limbic-Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis, which ties in actions of the sympathetic nervous system to gland and organ function. They found that the stress response triggers the hypothalamus to secrete cotricotrophin releasing factor (CRF), which in turn stimulates the release of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), which then causes the release of cortisol. That activates glucocorticoid receptors throughout the brain, which regulate gene expression for metabolism and immune functioning. Not only is the immune system suppressed by cortisol, but gluconeogenesis, the formation of sugar especially by the liver, is increased — so ongoing stress is a direct trigger of diabetes and other diseases influenced by sugar levels. This research shows the link between chronic stress — which childhood fears in particular, recorded in the brain with the special emphasis that high-emotion memories get — and the onset of degenerative diseases.

Brain, nervous system, and body are all tightly coordinated — they are one. We can pick apart organs, glands, and even portions of the brain, but all work together. Since the brain is the command center for the body, what is recorded there is transmitted throughout the body. Stress is ongoing worry, doubt, and fear, and these stem mostly from the first 6 years of life. The memories aren’t forgotten — even if you forgot them consciously — but they can be modified. That’s the key — to change the direction those memories are driving your health.

Dr. Nemec’s Review

Let us further break down the concept of fear. You can see this in the animal kingdom with the zebra on the plain in Africa. It goes about its daily business of eating grass, but at the same time being very alert to its surroundings. All of a sudden it senses danger. The zebra just knows something is not right — and what does it do when something’s wrong? It runs! The zebra senses the danger and starts to run, and it runs and runs until it senses no more dangerThen it does a beautiful thing: it bows its head back onto the African plain and goes back to doing what it was doing before — eating the grass. This is a very big point: distinguishing danger versus fear.

Danger vs. Fear
The zebra does not have a complex consciousness like a human being does. But what it does have is a sense of “safe” or “not safe” and if it senses, “not safe”, it’s simply runs until that sense is no longer present.

The zebra also demonstrates a beautiful principle of health and healing. When it senses danger, it shifts into sympathetic dominant mode of the autonomic nervous system and the zebra runs, but as soon as it senses the danger is gone it stops running and starts eating again. This activity of eating is a parasympathetic nervous system response; so in essence, the zebra can shift from sympathetic dominant to parasympathetic dominant in a minute.

Sympathetic vs. Parasympathetic
Your autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that automatically controls your health without thinking — that’s why it’s called autonomic or automatic. The sympathetic division of your autonomic nervous system elevates your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and gets you ready to run. The other portion of the autonomic nervous system is the parasympathetic division. This is the division that enables you to rest, digest and heal. This is most active when you’re not moving, when you’re eating, and when you’re sleeping: the parasympathetic-dominant function is very critical to health, healing, and longevity.

Take a lesson from the zebra
Because the zebra does not have higher cognitive function, it in a sense lives more in the moment, and does not think but goes more by a sense or intuition built into its system early in life. It’s just like a switch, which can be on or off. The on switch is sympathetic-dominant controlled. The off switch which is parasympathetic dominant — rest and eat. The most beautiful thing that the zebra shows us is that without higher cognitive function it has more of a mind of a child, meaning it doesn’t try to figure everything out. It’s just goes go about daily activities as usual, or if it senses danger, it runs for so many minutes and then goes about daily activities. The reason the zebra has health built into it is because it’s able to shift into parasympathetic dominant mode so quickly; whereas with a human being, with most or all disease processes is stuck in sympathetic dominant mode running away from the lion in their subconscious or conscious mind, in their stored subconscious and conscious programming.

And because the zebra doesn’t have a complex consciousness, it does not try to figure out the future at all — it lives always in the moment. If we could do this as human beings we would resolve the root cause of most of the diseases that affect mankind.

The research we’ve done for the last 40 years at Revolution New Medicine is to find the pathways between the mind, brain, and body that affect health, healing, and longevity. We’ve tracked stored stress programs in very specific areas of the brain associated with subconscious stress programs in early childhood, and conscious stress programs from childhood through adulthood. These stress programs shift all hundred trillion cells into sympathetic dominant mode, which not only raises heart rate and blood pressure, but also shuts off the part of the immune system that does internal repair and maintenance and prevents cancer cell formation. This is no problem, if it’s for five or 10 minutes a day, but when it’s a program that plays 24 hours a day 365 days a year with this type of immune suppression, it’s just a matter of time until someone receives a diagnosis of cancer, heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease, or some other major diagnosis. So one of the key aspects of our program at Revolution New Medicine is to do very specific therapy to release the subconscious and conscious stress programs, and then re-image all areas of the brain with our unique 3-D brain imaging technique protocol to confirm when the stress programs have been released — this is seen when all areas of the brain go back into a normal steady state or homeostasis.

Let us close with a further clarification of the word fear. Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, made this statement:

The fear of the Lord prolongs one’s life.

What was Solomon saying? It seems like he was saying the opposite of what happens physiologically, because when you’re in fear, you’re in sympathetic dominant mode: you’re shutting off your immune system and you’re stressing your cardiovascular system greatly, predisposing you to heart attacks and strokes, along with cancer and all other diseases. So why does one of the wisest man in the world in the history of the world make this statement that fear makes you live longer?

The answer is found in what the word fear actually means. Here is the translation from the Hebrew original text:

The reverent worshiping and trusting Him and always being in awe and wonder of who He IS (fear) of the LORD prolongs one’s life.

Now that fear is totally different than the fear we’ve been talking about. This definition of fear is reverence to God, worshiping him, trusting him, and in awe of him. Now if we use that same definition as our baseline for fear, then we can see where the problem is: let us say in this example that a person has fear that they’re going to get cancer. What does that mean by this definition? That means they reverence, worship, trust and are in awe of cancer. Well, that sounds quite ridiculous but that’s actually what the concept of fear means. So, let us give reverence, worship, trust, and be in awe to our Father in heaven, and let us briefly (10 minutes or less) stay in danger versus no danger, sympathetic versus parasympathetic nervous system as opposed to constantly replaying programs of fear which manifest in our physiology as disease.

So let our life be worshipful, giving thanks and praise, always rejoicing, always being in awe of our Father in heaven, and let us live fully in the moment — being aware of danger, but living life in a parasympathetic dominant mode. Doing this, you will have a long, fruitful, healthy life in body, mind, and spirit.

Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:

  1. Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
  2. Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
  3. Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
  4. Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.