of Mind-Body Healing
Psychobiology is the study of the
mind-body connection and how mind, as our thoughts, beliefs, and
emotions, can affect the body. Examples are how mind interacts with and
influences our immune system (psychoneuroimmunology), our
neuropeptides, neurohormones, hormones, and the sympathetic and
parasympathetic nervous systems. Over the last several years there has
been an explosion
in our understanding of psychobiology, brought on in large part through
research from the Human Genome Project and in the area of
Professional Mind-Body HealersThis
section of the website is in large part directed toward professional
mind-body healers, but also for readers interested in the topics.
"Professionals" here include members of the medical profession, touch
therapists, Rikki, and mental health counselors.
General Readers, Parents, etc.To
my general readers, in many cases the topics covered can also be
utilized by you, your family, or teen/adolescent. These topics will
also help you better understand the above. I have tried to give enough
background for the non-professional to assist in reading some of the
more difficult topics.
It now appears that "healing" brought on by psychotherapy, as well
as many complimentary modalities (e.g. touch, massage, and energy
therapies), may be operating through the same general mechanisms, which
result in what is called neurogenesis. Neurogenesis in its broadest
sense refers to brain cell (neurons) growth. While now know that there
is some increase and decrease in the number of brain cells, the real
growth of healing involves growth and changes in the interconnections
between brain cells. These interconnections are called synapses. In
this section we go into this process and what stimulates neurogenesis
and subsequently, healing.
is presented a short "course" on the brain and the nervous system.
This is to help orient us and familiarize us to some of the structures
and systems that will come up in these pages. It gives us a common
In this section we will discuss how the teen brain develops. Yes, it is
still developing in the teenage years. The teen's brain is
reorganizing. New findings shed light on why teens can make such
bone-headed decisions, especially under stress. This has to do with the
prefrontal cortex and something called executive functioning and
cognitive processing. These are
discussed in this section and have broad implications for such
disorders as Autism Spectrum Disorders, including Asperger's Syndrome,
Attention Deficit /Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), non-verbal
disorder (NLD), and others.
the heart of NLD and Aspergers are the Mirror Neurons, recent
discoveries that explain empathy, emotional awareness, body language,
and perhaps language itself. Here we discuss these important set of
neurons and the roles they play.
Learning, memory, and healing all involve something called gene expression.
This is the correct sequences of batteries of genes being turned off or
on. Imagine a water facet as a analogy of a gene...
The most primitive
and basic of human responses, the flight-or-fight response is Mother
Nature's way of getting us out of life threatening situations. Or, at
least, that was the way it originally was designed.
The Triune Brain
you ever seen a happy lizard? This section discusses the reptilian
brain, the mammalian brain, and the neo-mammalian brain as they pertain
to the emotional brain and higher brain functions.
Addiction and the Brain
important to addiction in adults, this is especially important in its
affects on the teen brain. In this section we discuss how addiction
triggers important changes in the brain.
are basic rest-activity cycles of about 120 minutes duration in adults.
There is an activity phase of 60-90 minutes, followed by a resting
phase of about 20 minutes. These go on all through the day and night,
even during our dreams. In teens the length of the activity cycle
appears to be abbreviated, only lasting from 45-60. In ADHD children,
this cycle may be even shorter. It is vitally important that they get
that 20 minute resting phase throughout their day. Learn why...
State-Dependent Memory, Learning, and Behaviors
here we are at the heart of the damage caused by sexual abuse, physical
abuse, and other life traumas. These memories remain "hidden", that is
in the unconscious (or subconscious) until a similar "state" is
re-experienced, then they jump out and do their mischievous. In
therapy, we are very often trying to get at these special types of
the basic emotions and why are emotions important? We discuss the
evolution of emotions, the molecules of emotions, the genes of
emotions, and more...
page presents a conceptual/graphic model for mapping our n-dimensional
emotional hyperspace and using it to track our comfort zone...Discusses
underlying psychobiology of anxiety including parts of the brain
involved, the limbic system, genes for anxiety, and why we have genetic
differences (alleles) for this trait.
Based on the pioneering work of Ernest Rossi's 2002 book, The
Psychobiology of Gene Expression, psychosocial
genomics explores the exciting interface between our genetic system in
toto, behavior, and social systems...
Basic Genetics SeriesThese
pages are met as updates or reviews for contemporary genetic concepts
and our understanding of genes, genomes, and genetics.For those who are a little rusty on their basic genetic concepts, this is a quick review or primer...genetics lite!
Chromosomes are not just a bunch of genes linked together on a
chromosome. This page describes a little of what we know about how
genes are organized on the chromosome.
Most, if not all of genes, are actually split into pieces. There will
be a segment of the gene that contains sequences that code for the
protein or RNA flanked by non-coding sequences. These non-coding,
intervening sequences have to be spliced out or removed before an
actual protein or functional RNA can be made from them.
Genes are not just sitting there being transcribed and translated
(a.k.a expressed). They are highly regulated. Think of a water facet as
analogy, with the facet being the gene and the water coming out, the
protein (or RNA). The facet can be turned all the way off, all the way
on, or somewhere in between. Genes operate more like this
facet analogy.One of the important findings from the Human Genome Project is that there is much more DNA in our cells than needed to
code for the 30,000 or so genes we have. What is all this extra DNA
doing? Much of it is called repetitive DNA. Repetitive DNA is short
sequences of DNA that are repeated over and over again from a few
thousands to millions of time. Again, what is this DNA doing. It is too
metabolically expensive to maintain all this "junk" DNA if it is not
doing something. Natural selection would have weeded it out long ago.
is well recognized by mental health clinicians that beyond the age of
twelve years or before, effectively treating attachment issues are very
difficult, if not impossible. Find out why this is so...
Nature and Mind
In a broader sense, the “biology” of psychobiology also refers to our
interactions with nature and environment. Note next time how you feel
after taking a walk out in nature. There are some very real
psychobiological reasons getting out in nature can be healthy and
healing--an area known as eco-psychology.
In this section we discuss the importance of Schumann waves and
something known as Energy Medicine.
Finally, Clinical Psychobiology is the therapeutic application of
psychobiological principles for healing and health. These applications
- learning to listen and utilize more
effectively your body's natural signals and messages
- utilizing your natural biorhythms for
healing, health, and creativity, including creative problem solving
- reducing stress
- activating the parasympathetic nervous
system so that healing can better take place
- more fully utilizing your brain--both
left and right cerebral hemispheres
- facilitating neurogenesis
- enhancing immune function
- pain management
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