Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by BruceMC, Jan 31, 2013.
Wow. That's a great clip. She explains her position really well.
Yes, Forest, that Candace Pert is a "smart cookie". However, I keep looking for a place where she explains how neuropeptides transmit pain messages from the limbic area of the brain to pain receptors in the central nervous system. I know Dr Sarno uses her argument to explain how you can feel TMS pain without it originating in tissue issues. I guess I'll just have to keep looking! Dr Pert sure does demolish Rene Descartes spirit-body dualism, doesn't she?
I see it as follows: to create the distraction, the brain releases an endocrine (i.e. traveling through the blood) peptide that causes the blood vessels in a specific part of the body to constrict. Constricted blood vessels -> less blood supply -> less oxygen for working muscles and nerves -> pain. (Heart attack pain is another example of how not having enough oxygen can be extremely painful.) I haven't read Pert's book, but I wonder if she's terribly specific. I've read that she spends a great deal of time talking about her own life story and much less explaining the actual science. Pert's book is also a bit old at this point, when compared to the incredible progress that we've seen in mind/brain/body medicine recently. I wonder if more detail might be available in a more recent book. The book about the biology of emotions that I'd love to read is The Archaeology of Mind, Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions, by Jaak Panksepp. The foreward is written by Daniel Siegel, and I've heard great things about him from the TMS Therapists. Plus Panksepp has a great reputation of his own. He has a 30 page chapter on "The Ancestral Roots of RAGE" that I'm sure would be very illuminating about TMS.
How about reading Jaak Panksepp next then Forest? I know I'd like to learn about the exact chain of biochemical events leading up to an attack of TMS; being able to see the process diagrammed out by a neuroscientist would be really enlightening. How is Howard Schubiner doing with his grant to study the biochemistry of TMS? Any hard data yet?
I would love that! I don't know how deep Panksepp gets into the specific biochemical pathways below the neck, but I bet he covers what happens in the emotional centers of the brain very well. I personally find reading stuff like that very helpful because it helps me recognize what is going on in my brain as I'm feeling an emotion. In some sense, therefore, it helps me become more mindful of my own emotions, thereby slightly increasing my emotional intelligence (as a computer guy by nature, I feel that I've made a lot of progress in this area in the last year). Sapolsky's book, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress Related Diseases, and Coping had a significant update in it's 2004 3rd Edition and covers many of the exact biochemical pathways that make the mind and body an inseparable whole. I'm currently watching his "Stress and Your Body" lectures published by The Great Courses. They were published in 2010 and I'm enjoying them very much. They track the outline of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers very closely, though, and I think that the book might be a better source for our group because it is a little more in depth than the videos and the specific topics that he's covering haven't been changing much recently. Many of them date back to Hans Selye's pioneering work on Stress in the 1930s.
Two other books I'd love to read are The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live--and How You Can Change Them by Richard Davidson and Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. The Emotional Life of Your Brain came out earlier this year and was written by a leading Affective Neuroscientist who runs his own lab at the University of Wisconsin. I've greatly enjoyed the book, MatthewNJ is tremendously excited about it and I think that frequent forum poster Dr. James Alexander cites it approvingly in his book as well. Emotional Intelligence was cited positively by a member of our Drop-In Chat and looks very practical in that if it is important to develop more awareness of and a better relationship with one's emotions, this groundbreaking book was one of the first to really explore how to do that.
... that being said, the book I'm most excited about reading is one that was just released a couple of days ago by two of Dr. Sarno's most trusted psychologists Frances Sommer Anderson, Ph.D., SEP, and Eric Sherman, Psy.D. It is full of in-depth case histories like we love from Gabor Mate's work, but it is specifically about TMS and written by two of the foremost authorities in the world. Further, I've been in touch with the authors recently, and they've agreed to do a webinar with us, as part of our discussion group series. The details are very far from being worked out at this point, so I can't make any promised, but I'm terribly excited about it and feel like it's an opportunity we couldn't really pass up. I'll post the official announcement within the hour.
So many great books to read! Thanks, as always, for your help in all of this. It's the community that makes it all worthwhile.
I just watched two of the other videos that you posted:
Many thanks for posting them, by the way. All four videos that you posted look very interesting and I'm very grateful to both you and Jilly for the videos you've added.
The two videos I just watched reminded me of this thread, in particular when you wrote
I finally found the quote where Dr. Sarno talks about this. I think he puts it extraordinarily well when he wrote at the end of chapter 2 of the Mindbody Prescription,
It's still interesting to me to learn what we can, though. I find that learning about the science helps me better understand myself.
The reason that I brought up the Pert clips in the other threads is that while Dr. Dr. Pert seems to be more comfortable than many scientists with speculation, she also seems to be wise enough to know that there is a big "black box" regarding the precise mechanism. She said, "The next thing you know in ways that we don't understand ... there can be a massive release of chemicals that can change what is happening in the bone marrow, in the spleen and suddenly there is a bunch of natural killer cells, or suddenly they're all activated."
I wondered if she was being a little less careful when she spoke of the Columbus legend...no one ever seems to cite any genuine historical sources to back that story up. I found a very interesting thread about it on another message board:
We've already talked about this elsewhere, but for anyone else reading, I thought I'd mention that Dr. Schubiner's multimillion dollar NIH grant (with co-investigators), unfortunately will be more on the clinical side, using a Randomized, Controlled Trial to validate that the TMS/PPD approach actually works.
Well, I think there is an aphorism popularized by the French existential philosophers that runs:
"Ontology repeats epistemology."
IOWs: As Dr Sarno suggests, in order to understand how the 'Black Box' really works is going to involve some new ways of knowing and seeing that we haven't formulated or accepted yet. But I think this mind-body stuff is getting us closer. Boy, that Dr Sarno sure is on top of things for being an old codger; I mean 'Black Box'/'White Box' diagnostic network test theory is a pretty advanced concept in artificial intelligence!
I do know anecdotally from a report I heard from one of my neighbors who had been stationed with the US occupation forces in Japan after WWII that he remembers the Japanese girls chasing him everywhere and trying to touch his skin because it was white. They were obsessed with the color of his skin, I suppose, because he was one of those Americans who had defeated the might of Imperial Japan, something they must have felt was impossible given their cultural heritage and war-time propaganda, of course. However, they quite definitely could see him!
I have heard that one reason the Aztecs were so amazed with Cortez and the Conquistadors was because they were mounted on horses, something they had never seen before. Gunpowder filled them with awe too. That's one of the reasons they let Cortez and his men into their stronghold to meet their ruler: They figured they must be gods! But not seeing them because they overstretched the Aztec conceptual base? Don't think so.
Thanks for posting that Dr Z webinar. Missed it because I was probably engaged up in the Sierra that weekend. That's exactly what I noticed when I observed all the people in PT with me in 2002: Each patient there with back pain or CTS was also at what Dr Z would call an existential crisis point in their lives: Death of mom, Death of dad, divorce, loss of job; in a word, something that made them face the music, reevaluate the meaning of their lives, and change. They were all afraid of something that made them make uncomfortable decisions.
I notice too that in those Prof. Robert Sapolsky videos I posted that he does talk quite a bit about the biochemical processes in the brain involved with the creation of self-imposed stress. Relates quite nicely to what Peter Levin says about PTSD and developmental trauma too. I live near Stanford and know some people at the Hoover Institute. Wonder if I could ask Prof. Sapolsky about how his theories relate to TMS? I remember seeing him down there when I used to boulder on the Stanford sandstone buildings, so I don't think Stanford U. holds me in much regard! Defacing their buildings with chalk!
One more hour: Go 49ers!
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