Albert Einstein is regarded as one of the most brilliant mathematicians of all time, but he is not so well known as a philosopher. Yet he made some profound and totally non-mathematical statements. Here is one: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
His philosophy is as impactful as his theory of relativity. If we live cynically, if we consider ourselves just a product of chance, if we think life just happens to us and the next thing around the corner will probably be bad, then we don’t have very high expectations of life. If we think life is at best mundane, and at worst drudgery, we are just victims of whatever chance throws at us. But if our eyes and imaginations are constantly seeing beauty and novelty, with new opportunities every day, we see that life, even with its heartaches, is worthwhile.
Life is also worth protecting, and that is why pursuing health is so important: not to eke out more days from our short stay on earth, which will seem all too short no matter how long it is, but to be enabled to enjoy each day we have fully and be able to participate in the wonder and beauty that surrounds us. And perhaps we prolong our stay in the process. This is the opposite of how many of us live, where nothing is a miracle and we trudge our way through life.
Get Smart — Control vs. Chaos
If there is one thing we humans universally hate, it is lack of control. This isn’t just a matter of wanting to be masters of our universe — it is a primal reaction. Feeling trapped is feeling powerless. You may feel quite comfortable in a room, but if you suddenly find yourself locked in that room, your perspective changes instantly and you will forget about anything except escaping. Many say they “feel trapped” in everyday life —this low level of chronic stress is debilitating, not because it is a panic, but it is a constant feeling of being out of control in life. Either way — sudden inescapable trauma or a feeling of being out of control of life in general — causes mental stress that can impact overall health.
Of course, this is perfect fodder for psychiatry to research. In one study, published in Molecular Psychiatry, researchers at the University of Colorado ran an animal experiment to look at what the brain is doing during traumatic events where escape was easy, and when the event could not be avoided. They saw that those who could not escape stressors would change their overall reaction to life: they became less social and showed exaggerated fear and anxiety, compared with those exposed to controllable stressors — they were normal the next day. In further examination they found an area of the brain, the ventral tegmental area or VTA, which is normally the reward center for the brain, was producing glutamate in those that had no control over the stressors.
Get excited about neurotransmitters
You probably have heard about MSG (monosodium glutamate) — it’s been considered for a long time to be potentially harmful, yet many restaurants still use it because it is a very effective flavor enhancer in foods. Hidden in the improved food flavor is this sodium salt form of glutamate which shuttles lots of glutamate into the body. It is a neurotransmitter; moreover, it is an excitatory neurotransmitter, meaning that it causes brain neurons receiving it to become more active. If the excitation is too intense or continues too long, it can push the neurons into cell death. Therefore you don’t want too much glutamate, and may want to limit food sources where it is found in high amounts. Plenty of standard food additives contain much glutamate: hydrolyzed vegetable protein, many yeast and soy extracts, and protein isolate are examples. Cheeses, fish sauces, processed meats, and some seafood are quite high in glutamates.
The research, however, was not looking at excess dietary glutamate, as harmful as that can be. It examined the production and release of this neurotransmitter during stress. What made the stress cause the VTA to release the glutamate and cause high excitation was the perception of trauma, because the stress was unavoidable. For animals, the trauma had to be clearly inescapable to cause this reaction, because the natural response of animals is to avoid a stressor and not worry about it any further: they return to normal life once the threat has passed. But we humans perceive many everyday stresses as inescapable, so we react like the animals that could not escape trauma. We see our jobs, financial pressures, troubled relationships, or life in general as inescapable stress. It’s not usually sudden trauma, but just a grinding, long-lasting feeling that we are victims of circumstance. Glutamate overloading our neurons is just one reaction to our perception of life that is out of control.
Another study, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, where researchers from Northeastern University, Boston, MA review studies of stress reactions in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the portion of the brain dealing with higher-level cognitive thought, explains what happens in the brain under stress. Dopamine and norepinephrine, two major neurotransmitters, are released to the PFC from the VTA and the locus coeruleus (LC). Stress causes a flood of such neurotransmitters throughout the brain, but has a particularly strong effect on the PFC. Essentially, you can’t think as rationally or clearly under stress. Also they note that the adrenal cortex releases glucocorticoids during stress, which enhance long term memories associated with the stressor, but glucocorticoids in the PFC impair working memory. So not only can you not think as clearly, but you also can’t remember well from one moment to the next. How many times have you been in a stressful situation, and then forget very basic things that happened during that episode? Now imagine what is happening to your brain with chronic stress.
Modern stressors — standard operating procedure
We are unique on this planet with our sole ability to hear discussion and see videos of events far away, with people we do not know and likely never will, of plans, schemes, and drama which often does not come to pass in reality, of information which we cannot verify, with more opinion than fact, which seeks to create the highest emotional response from the viewers and listeners of this information — and take it all in as a personal, inescapable threat. Your cat or dog sees the news and takes a nap, while you fret about what you just heard and can’t enjoy a peaceful dinner. News media cherry picks information that it can use to get you upset, because in doing so, they addict you to continue to consume more of it! This is like MSG pulling you into eating more food at a restaurant. Added to that, social media is an echo chamber of this “news’, where emotions are sent through a centrifuge to concentrate the fear, hate, and disgust of others for your consumption. If that’s not enough, then popular music and movies stoke your emotions even further.
We all need some information, but most media these days is very biased and polarizing, and not helpful in getting useful information. According to the Pew Research Center, polarization in America is at an all-time high, where those on one side or the other of the political spectrum “inhabit different worlds.” They find that the information streams of most people on one side are quite different from those on the other. If you want proof that your favorite news channel is quite biased in its reporting, switch over to a channel on the opposite side of the political spectrum — there you will hear many important facts that the other side conveniently ignored, information that will completely shift your opinion and amaze you that you never heard this before. What you find is that most news is shrouded in opinion and emotion with only the data and video that helps make their case. So-called news “fact checkers” are the most skilled at taking information out of context to “prove” their point. Talk with someone with an opposing viewpoint, and you will find that you can’t even agree on the basic facts. This is what the media is doing to you: hyping you up and stoking your emotions and stress levels to a fever pitch, often with things that have no bearing on your life.
What you see and hear through media may be causing your neurotransmitters to work overtime, and for what? The term “misinformation” is being thrown about by all news media, always aimed at opposing media, and you are caught in the crossfire, thinking you are part of the informed crowd. More likely you are just becoming further stressed for no reason. Our brains do not just receive information. They wrap information with emotion, beliefs, and prior memories to form a composite which then is stored in our brains. Media capitalizes on this, which is why it can be downright dangerous to your health.
Modern life is driving stress
In a review article published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center studied data that indicates depression has been increasing significantly over the last century, especially in most recent decades. They note that material wealth and overall standard of living has increased over that time, yet young people in particular are showing higher risk of depression than in the past. They cite numerous factors: growing waistlines in relation to poor diet and physical inactivity, endocrine dysfunction from insufficient sunlight exposure and sleep, and a toxic social environment (i.e. social media, news media, polarization, and entrainment from other depressed friends and relationships). In the midst of greater connection than ever before due to cell phones and computers, they note increasing loneliness. And they see increases in use of drugs and alcohol, which exacerbates the problem. Basically, our lifestyle is somehow making many of us worse off, despite rapidly expanding modern conveniences.
Some of us may need to disconnect from the toxic modern environment just as much as we need to avoid the physical toxic environment of modern food and inactivity. But there is a greater antidote: since information comes in to our minds through perception, our belief systems, attitudes, and world-views are the key.
Is everything in your life miraculous, or is nothing? How do you go through life? As an old popular song states:
You got to stop, and smell the roses
You’ve got to count your many blessings everyday
You’re gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don’t stop and smell the roses along the way.
Or perhaps you would take advice from the great philosopher, Albert Einstein: “I think the most important question facing humanity is, ‘Is the universe a friendly place? This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves.” Is your world an unfriendly place, full of random events where no one is in control? Are you a victim of chance, circumstance, or the unfairness of life? Is your future bleak, or bright? Is this life all there is, so you must grasp it with all your might? Is that a life at all? Perception is your filter, so how do you perceive your life?
Einstein also wrote: “Only a life lived for others is worth living.” His equation for living does more for your life than E=MC squared. Life is a miracle, and your life is a unique miracle.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
What you do to the brain you do to the body; how you treat the brain is how the body is treated, and vice versa — that which you do to the body affects the brain, and that once again affects the body. This is a cycle of life and health. What you do the one part you do to all the parts: you do it to the whole.
As this research showed, the brain secretes stress neurotransmitters and hormones when the environment is perceived as being trapped, with no way out. But remember: 95% of your health and your life is based on how you perceive it, not how it actually is — so if you perceive it as trapped, then it is trapped to you; whereas if you see it as not being a trap, then it would not be to you. This is a personal decision that is made each moment, but unfortunately, it’s made from a preconceived environment that produced a history that was attained from incorrect information.
So let’s look at it this way: if you do not put energy into the system, then you’re going to receive what is already programmed into the system with incorrect information and false perception.
It’s very interesting in the study that the VTA area of the brain produces excessive glutamate, which over excites the neurons, eventually to death. This only happens when the perception is one of being trapped in an inescapable situation. The problem is a catch 22 situation. How you perceive the situation will cause a reaction that’s either harmful long-term or beneficial long term, but this is all based on your perception.
When did perceptions begin? In the utero and then the first six years of life — this is when most all perceptions, beliefs systems, attitudes and personalities are developed. This is the most crucial and critical time of our lives, and yet we have no control over it because in these formative years we are a sponge to the environment around us, taking in information at an accelerated rate to form our perceptions, belief systems, attitudes, and personalities. And what is the biggest information we’re taking in?
We are a product of the environment. This means whatever environment we grow up in, we mirror that environment whether we like it or not, because we are programming a nervous system and brain in these early days and years. This is probably one of the most important concepts to understand in all of health, healing, and life itself.
You did not get a disease because of one thing: it was many things culminating, but the biggest of all was the environment — the mental and emotional environment that established your perceptions, beliefs, systems, attitudes, and personality at a very early time in life.
This means, whether we like it or not, we are a product of our environment, but this does not mean it is our permanent destiny. Let me give you an example: at Revolution New Medicine when we do our mind, brain, emotion, body protocol, including our 3-D brain imaging, we always see certain patterns in certain areas of the brain that correspond with certain mental and emotional patterns and also correlate with specific weaknesses and dysfunctions at each particular organ, gland, and tissue areas.
So the subconscious and the conscious stress programs, pre-programmed into the brain at this very early time in life, set the stage for your life, but you can still change the outcome. You can still release the old program and write a new one, but this cannot be done randomly: this has to be done scientifically with testing, followed by treatment, followed by retesting, followed by retreatment until all the areas of the brain are clear of imbalances affecting the emotions, the mind, and all the functions of the body. With this unique protocol we have helped thousands of people from around the world balance neurotransmitter function, stress hormone function, and even rewrite the programs to change perceptions, beliefs, systems, attitudes, and even personalities, which are the basis of all disease.
No one gets cancer because they ate wrong food only, or built up toxins, or was exposed to a bacteria or a virus — no, absolutely not. What drives 95% of your physiology is your subconscious mind and how its programs are wired for stress or for not being stressed, or as we will say, being trapped or not being trapped. It is all how you perceive it and that perception can be radically transformed, which will transform your health and your life. This is what we do every day with patients we see at Revolution New Medicine.
Let us close with these thoughts:
- You can rewrite subconscious and conscious programs, which will change your destiny and your body mind and emotions.
- You may be a product of your environment, but you are absolutely not a victim of your environment and you have the ability to change that program when you’re ready to invest the energy and desire to do so.
- If you are not constantly working and investing energy to improve your mental, emotional and physical environment, you are planning on failing 100%. As the phrase goes in muscle physiology: if you don’t use it, you surely lose it.
- There is no free lunch. Everything in this life requires energy because the world is chaotic, meaning energy of chaos continually breaks down and destroys. The only way to live life to the full in a chaotic world is to invest a lot of energy and time to make sure your environment in your world is not chaotic. That you do not fall apart and break down, but are built and rebuilt better and better each moment.
- Most importantly, understanding that God is Good and only Good. Anything else is a misperception, a false reality, or belief system that you have taken in from your environment.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.