Your brain is very complex, so hopefully this is written simply enough for everyone to understand. One very important point to remember is, in previous years it was believed your brain to be stagnant/unchangeable but more recent research has shown that is not the case, indeed now it is known to be plastic.
What does this mean? Neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity, is the ability of neural networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganization. It is when the brain is rewired to function in some way that differs from how a healthy brain normally functions. The best example of this was given to me when I heard someone say it is like construction on a road. As you know, often there is a feeder road built beside the road so traffic can bypass the construction. After a time, many find they prefer the feeder road and desire to continue using it. In the book, The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge he talks about someone who had a stroke and recovered from it and went on to work in their profession. Years later when they died from a heart attack while mountain climbing, and an autopsy was done, and all the damage done by the stroke was still there… but there was a “feeder road” bypassing this damage which had allowed him to function.
This is good news for anyone with an autoimmune disease because our brains are usually affected with the disease.
We have three parts to our brain:
The front of the brain (cerebrum) includes gray matter (the cerebral cortex) and white matter at its center. This is the largest part of the brain, and it initiates and coordinates movement and regulates temperature. Other parts of the cerebrum empower learning, training, and communication. Lastly, it also performs functions relating to vision, hearing, touch, and other senses. This is the youngest part of the brain.
The middle of the brain is the brainstem, and it connects the cerebrum with the spinal cord. The brainstem also has three parts to it and includes the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla.
- Midbrain. The midbrain is a very complex structure with a range of different neural pathways and other structures. These parts facilitate various functions, from hearing and movement to calculating responses and environmental changes. Of note, for anyone suffering with Parkinson’s disease the midbrain also contains the substantia nigra, that is rich in dopamine neurons and part of the basal ganglia, which enables movement and coordination.
- Pons. Named for the Latin word for “bridge,” the pons is the connection between the midbrain and the medulla. It is the origin for four of the 12 cranial nerves, which enable a range of activities such as tear production, chewing, blinking, focusing vision, balance, hearing and facial expression.
- Medulla. Finally at the bottom of the brainstem, the medulla connects the brain to the spinal cord. The medulla regulates many bodily activities, including heart rhythm, breathing, blood flow, and oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. It also produces essential reflexive happenings such as sneezing, vomiting, coughing, and swallowing. This makes it very essential for survival.
The spinal cord extends from the bottom of the medulla and through a large opening in the bottom of the skull. Supported by the vertebrae, the spinal cord carries messages to and from the brain and the rest of the body.
What is known as the “little brain” the cerebellum is a fist-sized piece of the brain located at the back of the head. It sits below the temporal and occipital lobes and above the brainstem. Like the cerebral cortex, it has two hemispheres. The outer portion contains neurons, and the inner area communicates with the cerebral cortex. Its function is to coordinate voluntary muscle movements and to maintain posture, balance, and equilibrium. Current research is studying the cerebellum’s roles in thought, emotions, and social behavior. These studies are also considering its possible involvement in such diseases as addiction, autism, and schizophrenia.
All we have learned about the brain in the primitive brain and brain stem, communication is not possible. Try talking to a reptile.
Communication is also not possible in the cerebellum. When you look into the eyes of your pet, there is an emotion, which does mean a strong emotional bond can be built. But giving directions to a dog or cat through communication is limited.
Communication skills are in the cerebrum so therefore only in your frontal lobe*/front part of your brain, communication is possible. As noted earlier, as well as training, understanding and social skills.
This brings up the question: “Where is the survival system with – is it with the Hippocampus and Amygdala?
- Small, almond-shaped structures, an amygdala is located under each half (hemisphere) of the brain. Contained in the limbic system, the amygdalae regulate emotion and memory. It is also associated with the brain’s reward system, stress, and the “fight or flight” response when someone perceives a threat.
- The hippocampus is a curved seahorse-shaped organ on the underside of each temporal lobe. It is part of a larger structure called the hippocampal formation. It supports memory, learning, navigation, and perception of space. It receives information from the cerebral cortex and may play a role in Alzheimer’s disease.
The answer to the question – it’s in the primitive part of your brain. Consequently, try verbally to tell yourself that you don’t have to panic, or tell yourself not to worry. The truth is, that simply does not work – it’s humanly impossible to communicate and tell yourself not to be afraid.
The only way to reach that area of your brain is through touch. What you have previously learned about EFT, where do you think this is going? That’s right… by tapping on acupuncture points on your body, you can “tell” the primitive brain and brain stem to relax and that you are not in danger.
The reality is you are not in mortal danger – despite your mind telling you, you are in your thoughts, beliefs, and sensations. You can then “pass on” that essential information to that part of the brain. It does NOT sound the alarm! As a result, your amygdala does not get a stimulus and your sympathetic system does not turn on.
Also, remember where your communication and training system is located, in your frontal lobe. The front part of your brain will come to your rescue as you query why you are feeling the way you are. Why you are anxious, sad, or angry in a certain situation. Your brain will unveil the answer to why you do feel this way… and with the answer you can use what you want to do with this information.
In doing so, you can get a grip on yourself, control over your thoughts and your emotions. You can change or throw away old beliefs and put new ones in their place. The power of EFT rises again.
*The frontal lobe of the brain is essential to our consciousness, as well as functions that appear distinctively human, such as spoken language.