Becoming what we perceive.

“What we perceive becomes our reality”

As a living organism we adapt to our environment. Just as the long distance runners muscles adapt to make him or her more efficient at this particular “skill”, so the muscles of the face adapt to being tense – The more often they are “tense” – reacting to (various types of aural and visual) stimulation, the more tense they become. In the evolutionary blink of an eye we have “adopted” lifestyles that we can not cope with. Our chemistry is affected by this over stimulation – An almost constant state of fight, flight or “freeze” -With “freeze” being the one we adopt nearly all of the time, seeing as we are neither fighting or fleeing these “stresses” of every day life in the 21st century. Fighting or “flighting” (running away) would release the cortisol and adrenaline produced by these events but as we are doing neither, it has no outlet. The outlet becomes anxiety, tension, chemical imbalance.

The “messenger” here is the muscles of the face/eyes/ears etc – and tense muscles send a tense message – you perceive differently – more negatively, more anxiously than you should – than is real. And so begins the negative feedback loop.

If we “feel” differently, we perceive differently.

The mechanics of this are simple – you perceive something – see something, hear something, feel something – and you react – how you react being dependant on what it is you are reacting to and how you “feel” about what you are reacting to. How you feel being dependant largely on your chemistry. And when your chemistry is out of kilter, everything is out of kilter.

When we alter how we “feel” – about the world, our environment, others, we change our perception of things – If we change our perception, the triggers for anxiety, depression, OCD and other challenges can just disappear – This is why the Pharma approach can often be highly successful in the very short term. How we feel is largely affected by the chemicals secreted by a number of glands and the gut.  That’s why these chemicals are “synthesised” and used in the treatment of these “dis-eases”.

One of these glands (Pineal) has been shown to be atrophied at a very young age in “western” society – A combination of “poor” diet, additives, sodium flouride (water, toothpaste and other sources) and various other influences all play a part, as can not being breast fed (but not from a simply nutritional standpoint – it’s to do with jaw structure and muscular development), dental work, knocks to the head – and the list goes on – And while we can change and control some of these things, we need to focus on what we can do once these “dis-eases” have “taken hold”. If we can bring about long term, permanent change through changing the way we “feel” long term, we will see lasting results.

Certain movements of the face stimulate the secretion of certain chemicals. We know that smiling produces serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and other chemicals – We also know that the “type” of smile affects the particular “cocktail” that is secreted. We know that kissing stimulates the release of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins etc etc. But how does this happen on a mechanical level?. Simple. The movement of your muscles (some very small) stimulates the nerves to stimulate the glands to secrete these chemicals. Form a frown and see how it makes you feel. Form a smile and feel it – then imagine you are “playing” with the smile and feel the difference – think of something cheeky or genuinely funny and see what happens – You engage different muscles (small muscles of the eye, temporal lobe region etc) and you get a different sensation – This is chemistry – natures own medicine cabinet.

“Play” also helps here as if you see something as play, it changes your perception – it changes the way we activate the muscles of our face – we smile “from the eyes” and this changes the way our nervous system stimulates the limbic system and the glands of the endocrine system. It takes the “trying” out of what we are doing and in doing that, it takes the tension with it.

Many of the lifestyle related dis-eases we see in the “developed world” effectively come back to the same thing – Stress, tension, inflammation. We can complicate this by looking at symptoms and parts of what are happening, using technical language to make ourselves sound more knowledgeable or the science more profound – but it effectively comes back to tension – to stress – to dis-ease. It shows when you look at the most recent studies (and treatments) into a long lost of diseases that many of them are using the same chemicals, just in different combinations, to combat many of these illnesses. We already have access to these chemicals, we just aren’t using them in the right doses and in the “right” way – Because of the messages all this tension is sending to the “dispensers”. If we change the message, we can not only manage these conditions but eventually remove the very triggers, perceptions and tension/stress that cause them – curing them long term.

As mentioned above, these chemicals play a massive part in our overall health. Our mood (depression amongst many other “dis-eases”), behaviour (ADD, ADHD etc etc), inflammation (poor Vagus nerve health). Whether it be the direct effects of oxytocin, melatonin , serotonin, DMT etc – or the knock on effect of having healthy melatonin production/secretion on the production of other “super” chemicals such a glutathione, the importance of these chemicals is hard to over state. I’ve already mentioned the long list of “dis-eases” that many of this chemicals are now being used to treat (particularly melatonin) but the implications are huge. Depression is already treated widely with melatonin and drugs that affect serotonin re-uptake. Anxiety is also treated with drugs that affect serotonin levels/re-uptake. Autistic spectrum “disorders” are now being linked with melatonin and serotonin – it’s a long list.

This is why the Pharma approach has become so popular in modern medicine. If we can alter/affect the chemistry, we can have a profound effect on the condition being dealt with. The issue with the “Pharma” approach is that the synergies between the workings of the human body/mind (nervous/endocrine/limbic systems etc) are far too complicated – and the distribution of these chemicals in all their individual doses/cocktails/timings so complex that we can never re-create the balance that the body truly needs – hence why you see one drug prescribed, only to be followed by another to balance out an imbalance created by the first one. It’s just way too complex to ever truly “treat” this way and it always will be.

As mentioned above, one of the important glands in all of this is the pineal gland. In studies performed in “western” society, the pineal gland is shown to have seriously atrophied in most subjects by our late teens and early twenties. For something so important in our overall health this is not good. This premature atrophying is now known to be connected to alzheimers, dementia and other neuro-degenerative disorders as well as being directly connected to the ageing process. This atrophying has long been considered “normal” and yet studies done in “less developed” societies show pineal gland health to be good into the 50’s and 60’s. Something not quite right there.

Because of our “modern lifestyles” and the huge amount of stimulation (mostly “negative”/harmful) we are bombarded with daily – Particularly aurally and visually, we spend much of our time with our tongues (and facial muscles)”tight” – ready to respond to something – Always “thinking”. Like a “lite” version of the fight/flight/freeze response – but with no actual “event” that utilises the chemicals being released. This constant “tension” results in an almost constant over release of chemicals (cortisol for example) that are useful when you need to fight or flee – but not so good when you have them constantly being drip fed into your system that doesn’t need them – or have a “healthy” outlet for them – the outlet ends up being being anxiety, OCD, inflammation etc etc. These are a primal responses to deal with real problems (such as escaping death by large animal) and don’t do any favours to our health when produced and secreted in this way. The muscles stay tight, ready for action, telling our brain that we need these chemicals – even if what we “see” does not justify it, the message that is being sent by tense muscles is that we are “stressed” or in danger of some kind – that we need these chemicals – “what we perceive becomes our reality”. Imagine what would happen if you kept your bicep contracted for a number of days, as often as possible – it would eventually stay “tight”. That’s what is happening to our faces/jaws/tongues – and that has a very powerful effect on our chemistry/health.

This also impacts on the psoas at the other “end” of the nervous system. When we have a “freeze” response, no matter how small, it’s the psoas, the fight or flight muscle, that gets tense. I will be doing another piece dedicated to the psoas so i won’t go into that anymore here – let’s just say that it’s importance in our overall health would be hard to overstate. When the psoas is tense, exhausted, over stimulated in one way, it can cause havoc with the bodies systems, being a major factor in bowel and gut issues/dis-ease, back pain, adrenal issues/fatigue, migraines, hamstring issues etc etc – It’s so integral that it can affect any number of areas and cause a long list of dis-eases. And when we have tension in our faces/jaws/tongues, it creates tension in our psoas.

This chemically harmful drip, drip, drip continues unless we somehow step into the feedback loop and do something about it. This is why “chronic” anxiety and depression don’t appear overnight. This is not to say that conditions can’t appear early in life as pre-natal conditions also affect tension “held” in the body (tense parent – tense child, position prior to birth etc) and we know about the process of birth and the effect it can have on cranial bone position and muscular tension – My wife and i have experienced this ourselves with our daughter in particular.

Spending time in nature, breathing “well”/diaphragmatically, doing a colouring book instead of watching (certain types of) TV, exercise, CBT – all useful tools in coping with these conditions but often not enough to reverse the loop as the facial tension remains and the constant negative stimulation wins the battle. An hour of exercise vs 24 hours of negative stimulation via tight facial muscles – a hard battle to win for the exercise. Especially as that exercise is often doing more harm than good due to loading on top of poor posture – and “poor” breathing patterns (thoracic breathing, over breathing). This muscular tension also affects the position/alignment of the bones of the head, creating “blockages” and imbalances in cerebro-spinal fluid and this is why cranio sacral work can be so effective for many people (Simkovich and Autism for example). These “misalignments” can also directly impinge on the performance of other glands, especially the pineal, which, unlike the rest of the mammalian brain, is not separated by the blood brain barrier system and has profuse blood flow, second only to the kidney. Cerebro-spinal fluid also removes metabolic waste from the brain so it’s unhindered flow is very important.

So, we effectively need to make the most of our own chemistry and try to release the existing muscular/myofascial tension to allow us to move forward. We need a way to stimulate these systems to release these chemicals in the “right”/”helpful”combinations and the “right” doses – and at the same time “reset” and release the tension that was causing the “imbalanced” stimulation in the first place? We need to change what we perceive through changing how we “feel” – so that we become someone that isn’t stressed or tense, overly anxious or depressed. If we could feel differently, we’d perceive differently.

What if we had a method that did all of the above? – and also helped improve our posture by utilising the relationship between the jaw muscles and neck muscles, helping to align the hyoid bone and atlas vertebrae, our bodies “spirit level” – that when adjusted in the smallest of ways, can affect posture profoundly, as well as improving the performance/efficiency of both the circulatory system and nervous system/s.

We do. There is a way of doing all of this. To effect long term change, creating a positive feedback loop – and it’s all done using the bodies own methods, with no external stimulation or medicine required. It involves kissing, smiling and breathing – and repeating those three things.

I have found that the most effective way to communicate how to do this is face to face and i want you to get the most out of this, as quickly as possible. As much as i love to talk to people about this, i am interested in helping you get back to a fully functional, fun life as soon as is possible. Ideally we won’t need to talk more than a couple of times, unless it’s to catch up and see hope well you are doing – which would be great. If you are interested in knowing more, please feel free to contact me and we can arrange a free 30 minute (or so) face to face conversation to see if its right for you.