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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Neuroscience, Deep Brain Stimulation, Comas, and EFT

Brain. Photo Credit
Today's post has come together because of an email I received yesterday from Gary Craig, the founder of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), an energy-based tool many professionals (including physicians and psychologists) use in work with clients and patients, and of which I am also a practitioner, and an article I read today in The Philadelphia Enquirer, thanks to another email I received early this morning from American Scientist (in both instances, it was a newsletter email).


Here's the thing: in For brain-injured man, new life after years of darkness, staff writer Tom Avril at the Philadelphia Enquirer (The American Scientist newsletter pointed me to the article) recounts the sudden and unexpected reversal of circumstances for a brain-injured man who lived in a minimally conscious state for years, and who thanks to DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) techniques, is now able to function in ways no one could have foreseen, least of all the doctors who told his mother years ago, that at best he would live as a vegetable for the rest of his life.

This man who had been mugged six years ago, and left for dead with a crushed skull, has now, thanks to the DBS technique whereby electrodes were implanted deep in his brain, regained a number of functions, including the ability to talk, chew, and swallow.

In the process of brain stimulation during the 10-hour operation, the thalamus was probed in order to find the exact parts of it which would allow the man to regain function, and once found, minute electrodes were inserted.

Thanks to advances in neuroscience something of this magnitude is possible, allowing not only this man and his family, but a potential host of other brain-injured patients to regain some functions and hence to be able to relate again.
The article states: The work took the scientists into a realm that was once exclusively the province of philosophers; they now have a better idea of the neuronal hardware involved in regulating consciousness - the very essence of being.


And here's the other thing: EFT founder Gary Craig has just announced that in his next workshop in Boston he is offering an extra day: Watch Live EFT Sessions and See How Brain Waves Change, because he will spend a day doing live sessions with subjects on stage while they are hooked up to a brain wave monitoring device. This will allow everyone to see on a large screen how brain waves improve WHILE WE ARE DOING EFT.

EFT essentially involves tapping on major meridians located in the face and hands while verbally or mentally repeating some aspect of whatever it is that is the problem. Whether it is anxiety, phobia, stress, in some instances physical pain and other symptoms, the energetic blockage that causes the problem is frequently alleviated or eliminated altogether with this process.

There is already a great deal of documentation available about this (see the EFT website, among many others for further information), and the purpose of my post today is not to explain or defend the technique, but to comment on the similarities of the two items described here today.

Cutting-edge neuroscience is now capable of achieving such an incredible effect in the brain. Energy work is also able to have an effect on the brain. With one, sophisticated equipment, knowledge, and expertise are necessary in order for it to work, with the other, although some knowledge is also essential, basically anyone can do it at home in order to achieve results.

Don't misunderstand me, I don't pretend to say that the former can be imitated by the latter. Certainly not...they are totally different areas of expertise used for entirely different reasons. All I want to point out here is that science and energy are on the same side of the table, something that appears to happen more and more frequently of late.
See also a loosely related article: Your Brain and Morality (from which the above picture of the brain was taken), which addresses the issue of our morality, and how it appears to change depending on the state of our pre-frontal cortex.

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