On the Stress response

"It is not so much that the stress response runs out, but rather, with sufficient activation, that the stress response can become more damaging than the stressor itself, especially when the stress is purely psychological. This is a critical concept, because it underlies the emergence of much stress related disease. That the stress response itself can become harmful makes certain sense when you examine the things that occur in reaction to stress. They are generally shortsighted, inefficient, and penny-wise and dollar foolish, but they are the sorts of costly things your body has to do to respond effectively in an emergency. And if you experience everyday as an emergency, you will pay the price.
If you constantly mobilize energy at the cost of energy storage, you will never store any surplus energy. You will fatigue more rapidly, and your risk of developing a form of diabetes will even increase."
from Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers?, Spolskey p, 13

Process your stress with www.somatic-in.com

Train your stress with www.livingCRT.com

For more information about my private somatic psychotherapy practice see www.scotnicholscounseling.com

Research on Breath

Mounting scientific research continues to
suggest that health, quality of life, and
even the very length of life, are all profoundly
affected by our mental and emotional states.
The emerging field of mind/body medicine
explains how our thoughts and emotions can
powerfully affect brain, endocrine (hormone),
and immune system function. This influence
is facilitated by chemical messengers called
neuropeptides, which are released with one’s
every emotion. They are rapidly picked up by
cells in the immune, endocrine, and autonomic
nervous systems, and directly affect their


Allostatic Balance


"It is used to explain how frequent activation of the body's stress response, an essential tool for managing acute threats, can in fact damage the body in the long run. Allostatic load is generally measured through a composite index of indicators of cumulative strain on several organs and tissues, but especially on the cardiovascular system."

“Allostasis refers to the process of maintaining stability in the course of responding to challenge and reflects an understanding of health as a capacity for adaptation. Allostatic load consists of the cumulative somatic and psychic burden of repeatedly responding to challenge. This includes not only the total effects of chronic stress but also the genetic, developmental, and environmental factors that condition the effectiveness of adaptive responses to challenge. A rapidly growing body of medical research now confirms the extent to which the capacity for adaptation is conditioned by the interdependence of experience mediated by the CNS, the endocrine system, and the immune system.” pg 42 from Peter Hershock

This is the precursor to PTSD. Preventing PTSD or resolving it, is dependent upon ones ability to perceive and work with Allostatic Balance and Allostatic Load.

Viktor Shauberger Quote

"The majority believes that everything hard to comprehend must be very profound. This is incorrect. What is hard to understand is what is immature, unclear and often false. The highest wisdom is simple and passes through the brain directly to the heart."
Viktor Shauberger
Living Energies pg 31 Callum Coats, 1996

Having a body is what being human is all about

"The last two decades of the twentieth century have been characterized by a frantic search for self-improvement and purification: We join programs to give up smoking, drinking, and drugs. We train our bodies in gyms. We eat carefully controlled diets to starve our bodies into submission. We buy books on how to improve our sex lives. We live hard and fast, seeking excitement, and then recover by meditating on inner peace, chasing out-of-body experiences and longing for a less corpreal world. We spend billions of dollars on diet, fitness, entertainment, and religion, and we are still not satisfied. The simple truth is this: In seeking to perfect our bodies, tire them out, or escape them alltogether, we have forgotten a fundamental point. We cant go anywhere without them, even though we try. The body matters. It's a resource, not an object to whip into shape. It is you! Having a body is what being human is all about."
from senses wide open, Johanna Putnoi, p.6 2000

Systems theory and Somatic Psychology

This link is from a series of interviews on somatics. This one is of particular intrest for me. http://www.somaticperspectives.com/index.htm

Yvonne M. Agazarian, EdD, DFAGPA. FAPA, CGP, is Clinical Professor in the Postdoctoral Program in Group Psychotherapy, Adelphi U. She treats, teaches, trains and consults in systems-centered practice. She developed the Theory of Living Human Systems; founded the Systems-centered Training and Research Institute. She has authored and co-authored seven books and many articles. In 1997 she received the Group Psychologist of the Year award from Division 49 of the American Psychological Association "For her involvement in research, publication, teaching and training. She exemplifies the finest in scholarship in the discipline of psychology. As a group psychologist, she has contributed to expanding our knowledge of the boundaries between clinical and social psychology with the investigation of living human systems and systems-centered group and individual therapy. Her considerable body of work illustrates the highest blend of creativity and learning."


embodied belonging

"And as Shakespeare says in Hamlet: To thine own self be true, then as surely as night follows day, thou canst to no man be false. The journey shows you that from this inner dedication you can reconstruct your own values and action. You develop from your own self-compassion a great compassion for others. You are no longer caught in the false game of judgment, comparison and assumption. More naked now than ever, you begin to feel truly alive. You begin to trust the music of your own soul; you have inherited treasure that no one will ever be able to take from you. At the deepest level, this adventure of growth is in fact a transfigurative conversation with your own death. And when the time comes for you to leave, the view from your death bed will show a life of growth that gladdens the heart and takes away all fear.”
-John O’Donohue-

How do we begin the life of belonging? Belonging to ourselves, our bodies, our earth, our communities, etc.? It is here that we must search, but this journey begins by using a level of experience that we have marginalized, that of the right brain. Its like our collective culture has been ignoring this side of our life for so long that it is not there any more.

"The main theme to emerge... is that there appear to be two modes of thinking, verbal and nonverbal, represented rather separately in left and right hemispheres respectively and that our education system, as well as science in general, tends to neglect the nonverbal form of intellect. What it comes down to is that modern society discriminates against the right hemisphere."

-Roger Sperry (1973) from:

How do we begin a journey when we have been mistaking the map for the territory? Thoughts? Questions?

more links:




perspectives on how consciousness creates its experiential reality

Filters and Reflections: Perspectives on Reality. Edited by Zachary Jones, Brenda Dunne, Elissa Hoeger, and Robert Jahn.

This new book is a series of essays related and responding to the PEAR laboratory publication, “ Sensors, Filters, and the Source of Reality." This anthology presents an assortment of perspectives on how consciousness creates its experiential reality through an array of subjective “filters” by which “we endeavor to infer, either intuitively or analytically, composite functional models of our world and of ourselves.” Taken together, the individual contributions serve as an array of lenses that amplify the seminal essay.