Someone walks into an IKEA store looking for a job. The manager invites the applicant into the office by saying, “build a chair and have a seat.”
IKEA is well known for making furniture. More precisely, they are known for selling furniture kits, where you buy a box of parts and a wordless instruction booklet in which the sequence of pictures somehow never quite seems to match what is in the box, and the parts don’t quite come together the way the pictures specify. The furniture looks great in the store, where someone else assembled it, but somehow it becomes lot more complicated to build it yourself!
Now imagine you build your car, IKEA style. You get the box of parts dumped on your driveway with a foldable sheet of instructional pictures the size of your lawn. Even better, imagine building an airplane IKEA style. Actually, some people do build single person airplane kits, so imagine building an IKEA 747 jet aircraft, with the instruction sheet covering two runways. You are starting to get an idea what happens in the womb when your very complicated body, especially your brain, is being built. No wonder mothers are so tired after childbirth! They manage to build the baby without even an instruction sheet and a few household tools.
At least with IKEA furniture, once you build it, you stop assembling and just use the furniture. Your brain, however, never stops construction. It slows it down after maturity, but never stops. Its “plasticity” means it keeps building and rebuilding itself during your entire life. Its assembly sheet is like a movie, constantly changing the instructional images as time goes on. Your brain is the producer of that movie, interpreting the instructions as it sees fit. As its parts start functioning, they engage in the ongoing building process. There are many parts to the brain, and like the IKEA furniture: each part has a special function which contributes to the whole assembly.
As your brain is developing, it has goals, particularly a goal to better handle its environment. It has a fundamental instruction to oversee development of your whole body, including itself, to be a good fit with the environment around you. In doing so, it does not give the same emphasis on certain environmental inputs as others. Inputs that represent a threat to survival are given a maximum weighting, while mundane, common inputs have a short-lived impact. How does it decide the weighting? In short: emotion. Strong emotion reinforces event memory, and it affects how you deal with new challenges.
In the classic Star Trek series, the Spock character was all logic and no emotion. Fans of the show saw that he actually had plenty of emotion, but attempted to squelch it because it interfered with sound thinking, whereas logic was his basis for all thought. He would brush aside fear, worry, and desire to make decisions and act upon hard facts and mathematics. But he marveled at the intuitive insights and illogical, yet effective, decisions of the captain, who was blatantly emotional.
Emotions are actually a very logical feature of your brain. You should be reacting to the danger of a roaring lion or of jumping off a cliff. You should be repulsed by rotten food. Emotions are meant to be protective, and you need them. But emotions and sound judgement often don’t mix well. You may be afraid to chase down and kill a spider, while someone else calmly whacks it with a fist and moves on. Emotions may get in your way. Sometimes they are irrational: you don’t know why you have a fear of a cute little mouse or small enclosed spaces — it just seems that you’re wired that way. You aren’t far off from the truth, but the “wiring” happened for a reason, probably due to something threatening in your past that was encoded strongly in your brain as dangerous. It caused your brain to build that experience into its instruction sheet for ongoing brain assembly.
It’s just emotion that’s taken me over
Emotion is involved both in memory formation and brain activity. Each portion of the brain is highly complex, and the interaction between them is also quite complicated. Memory formation requires a cooperation among the hippocampus, the cerebellum, prefrontal cortex, and the amygdala; but the amygdala is particularly involved with fear-based memory. When encountering a new experience, the brain compares sensory input with memories to categorize and interpret the experience. This process occurs over and over again throughout life. For infants, there are few memories to work with — most experiences are new — and they are forming the ground floor of memories to interpret future experiences; while adults have a major foundation of memories to use to make sense out of current experiences.
Emotion drives stronger memory formation. Published in a review study in Behavioral Neuroscience, researchers from the University Medical Center Groningen, in The Netherlands, compiled results from other studies to explain the process. Hormones play a critical role: studies show epinephrine and norepinephrine in certain areas of the brain enhance or inhibit memory formation, and that emotional experiences cause changes in these hormones and the receptivity to them. Other hormonal signals also appear to be involved. Considering that infant brains are developing rapidly — they have little memory basis upon which to evaluate new input, and emotional events form stronger memories — we can deduce that early memories are a powerful foundation for either a fearful or a calm response to later life.
PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) sufferers are extreme examples of a bad foundation: previous stress has caused their brains to lock in the memories of trauma so much that it can paralyze them in daily life. Their brains show significant disharmony in brain scans: some portions don’t communicate well, or they over communicate with other portions. Some get over active. Since instruments can detect bioelectrical brain activity, we can see this happen. Reactions that should be reserved for serious threats happening commonly. Brain dysfunction is easily measured and is a natural target of brain and mental health research.
One study published in Communications Biology by researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center considers why some people exposed to traumatic situations develop disorders such as PTSD, while others seem unaffected over the long term. They set up an experiment where participants, all of whom had been exposed to traumatic events in their lives — some with PTSD and others without known psychopathologies — were tasked with reviewing circle images, where the appearance of one specific image would be accompanied by a small, unpleasant shock. They all learned to associate that particular circle with the shock, but those without psychopatholologies were better able to differentiate between the images. This was the “trauma-resilient” group.
The researchers studied the activity of major portions of their brains and how those areas were communicating with each other. A major difference between the brain reactions of the two groups was found in the “executive control network”, which consists primarily of the prefrontal cortex, frontopolar cortex, anterior cingulate cortex and posterior parietal cortex — these areas are responsible for critical thinking. The trauma-resilient group was able to engage their logical thinking brain regions, put aside their emotions and complete the task, whereas the PTSD group was hindered and were fearful of shocks even when other, safe images were being shown. Their brains were expecting threat even when there was none. Other areas of their brains showed reduced communication. For the traumatized, emotions short circuited their higher thought and spread fear into their everyday world.
Hopefully you are not a victim of PTSD. But how many of us have zero psychopathologies? Were we perfectly balanced throughout our lives, now able to address any challenge rationally and calmly? Not many of us can claim that.
Live long and prosper
You might think that this all means we should be like the Spock Star Trek character, looking at everything rationally and without emotion. But emotions are a huge part of the human experience. Like it or not, we all are influenced deeply by emotional experiences throughout our lives, especially during early life. If we are feeling unsafe in childhood, it is particularly hard to feel safe as an adult, because our brains have wired themselves to incorporate the trauma into their daily function. Love and safety are the antidotes, as they realize repeatedly that life isn’t threatening, and their brains adjust to the new paradigm.
Your mental health is, to a large extent, your overall health, as your brain is the primary driver of your body. You are unaware of most of your brain’s functioning, as it is largely subconscious, but the effects of previous memories, especially emotional ones, are affecting you daily as the basis for interpreting what is happening around you now. The more you are able to deal with the negative past experiences and are able to embrace love, gratitude, and a sense of “all is well with my world”, the healthier you will be and the greater longevity you are likely to enjoy.
You are a very complex person, and your brain is way beyond an IKEA project. It is way beyond the best computer that technology has to offer, not in raw computational power or logical thinking, but because of emotion. Recognizing the design built into you, and working with the Designer’s plan, is the best way to live. He came that we might have life, and that more abundantly.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
Two important concepts to clarify:
- 90% of your physiology is driven by subconscious programming, developed age 0 to 6, before you had consciousness fully developed. This means the majority of your body at the cellular level is controlled by subconscious stress programs that you don’t even remember, just like the person who is deathly afraid of spiders and doesn’t know why.
- Emotions can better be broken down by the term “energy in motion”. There is a difference between an emotional response from an out of balance stress program and an energy that moves us meaningfully forward in life from a pure heart and spirit. Both require a lot of energy: one is energy of stress; the other is energy of peace. Emotions are part of this world but throw us out of balance, whereas “energy in motion” from the heart or spirit bring us into total balance.
- Trauma can be seen with highly specialized 3D brain imaging. Very specific areas of the brain can be targeted with specialized therapy and then 3D brain imaging redone to evaluate if the stress programming has been released.
Most of the emotions we experience in this life are temporal, meaning you can be happy one moment and sad the next, depending on the environment and subconscious programming. This is very different than the energy in motion that comes from the heart, from the spirit. This energy is displayed in people as the “peace that transcends all understanding,” “joy unspeakable and full of glory,” and love that is unconditional, not subject to the environment. These energies that do move us are not based on the environment, but go much deeper. They are at the root core of our being: they emanate from our spirit which flows from our heart, then into our brain, and finally into our cells.
Let’s use an example:
Life is going your way. Your energy is good, you’re on top of your world. You think you have everything figured out, you think in your mind that life is good. Then you go to the doctor for your routine annual check up, he does the standard blood test and he sees some abnormal findings, so he sends you out for scanning. The scanning comes back as possible cancer so he recommends a biopsy. This comes back as stage four metastatic cancer in three different areas of your body. The doctor meets with you and says, “this is very aggressive cancer: I want to start an aggressive treatment program of high-dose, intense chemotherapy and daily radiation therapy and we will begin tomorrow.”
This is when you see how temporal emotions driven by the perceptions, belief systems, attitudes, and most importantly, subconscious and conscious programming are. A week ago you felt so good, so on top of your world, and in a matter of one week you’re happy life turned to sadness, your good life turned to hell, and you struggle to understand the meaning of all of this — how can you feel so good yet have such an advanced disease in your body? You simply do not understand, which leads to more frustration, anxiety, and most definitely the emotion of fear.
This is the example of the emotional driven brain working off subconscious stress programs and preconceived thoughts and beliefs acquired in life.
Now an example of an “energy in motion” that is not driven by the subconscious mind programming into the brain, but instead from a spirit and heart ruling over the environment, over the conscious and subconscious mind programming of the brain. This energy in motion is totally independent of the environment because it comes from another place. The person operating from a balanced heart from the spirit that receives the same information from the doctor, but instead of letting subconscious and conscious programming of the mind, written on the brain, command cellular function, it has a higher energy that comes from the heart and spirit that supersedes the mind programming. The response of the person living from their heart and spirit instead of their mind is an undeniable and unexplainable “calm in the storm.” This person lives each moment fully from the heart, already establishing the heart supremacy to the mind programming of the brain.
This is the key to life. To live from the heart, from the spirit-commanding brain function which controls the hundred trillion cells in the body, instead of living from the subconscious and conscious mind programming of the brain to dictate cellular responses.
This has been the basis of our treatment and teaching program for 40 years at Revolution New Medicine. When you release the subconscious and conscious stress programs and you reprogram from the heart, you have transformation for the rest of your life. Very simple, very powerful.
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.