Jump To:     RELEASE     BLINKING     R.E.M.   EMOTIONAL TRAUMA     MEMORY     BRAIN     ENERGY     PHYSICS

During a session of Rapid Eye, the client blinks rapidly.  The technician moves an eye-directing device in front of the client.  The client experiences a relaxed or alpha state.  This process indicates to your body that REM sleep is happening, even though you are in an aware state.  The technician directs the client to look in all directions to access different areas of the mind, i.e. memory, verbal, etc. along the neural linguistic pathways, where we have processed experiences and stored information.  Verbal cues are used to assist the client in releasing.  The techniques in Rapid Eye Technology are designed with the purpose to simulate this natural way of processing emotion and memory, therefore unlocking the stored painful memories, and releasing the emotional charge connected to them.

The eyes are the windows to the soul
— William Shakespeare

As humans, our eyes do many things.  They open and close, blink, move in different directions, and even tear up.  All of this activity is controlled in the center of the brain by the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus (LGN), which is attached to the Limbic System, the emotional part of the brain.  When you see something with your eyes, it gets processed by the emotional part of you, the Limbic System.  Then is passed to the rest of the brain for processing.  You are never really looking at what you see.  You are always looking and feeling about what you see.  Also, because your eyes are connected to this place in the limbic system, when you have an emotion about something, it shows through your eyes.  The eyes will blink more rapidly, tear up, look certain directions, or the pupil can change.  

During an RET session, the client is rapidly blinking.  This fires up the emotional part of your brain.  By doing so, we can call up memories, by giving verbal input, giving these memories a name.  This verbal input is picked up by the auditory part of the brain, which is connected to the same area in the limbic system before being processed in the rest of the brain.  We hear and feel about things at the same time.  In RET sessions, the blinking turns on the emotional parts of us, we then give those parts a name, to see and to hear, and to release.  All of which is part of our natural discharge mechanism.  And this cleansing of the emotional input of our experiences is what our brain is doing every time we are in R.E.M. sleep. (Joseph Bennette - Introduction to Rapid Eye Technology video)

 

An article in Medical News Today: Blinking Causes Brain to go Off-Line states, "New research from Japan suggests that blinking does more than stop our eyes from drying out:  it is an active process that causes the brain to go off-line, into a more reflective mode, before giving renewed attention."  The article goes on to explain that "the study appears to support the idea that temporarily shutting off sensory inputs helps the brain fine-tune the senses and control the flow of cognitive processes.  This coincides with work by other researchers, such as that of cognitive neuroscientist Daniel Smilek, of the University of Waterloo in Canada, who suggests eye blinking is a sign of mind-wandering."

Blinking causes the brain to go off-line.
— Catharine Paddock PhD

It continues to be well documented, that eye blinking is related to processing emotion.  In a sense, opening up the "files" on the neural pathways, where it is stored how our experiences have been stored as truth. 

 

The dream stage of sleep, based on its unique neurochemical composition, provides us with a form of overnight therapy, a soothing balm that removes the sharp edges from the prior day’s emotional experiences.

For people with PTSD, this overnight therapy may not be working effectively, so when a flashback is triggered by, say, a car backfiring, they relive the whole visceral experience once again because the emotion has not been properly stripped away from the memory during sleep.
— Matthew Walker, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley and senior author of the study to be published in the journal Current Biology.

The discovery of rapid eye movement (REM), in 1953 led to many studies on brain activity and consciousness.  Using an EEG machine, researchers are able to record the four main brain wave states that occur while awake and asleep.  

Beta - Happens when you are actively awake and aware.

Alpha - There is an awake part and an asleep part to the Alpha brain wave. While awake you experience this brain wave when in deep relaxation, meditation, or daydreaming.  You also experience this brain wave as you fall asleep, and as REM sleep occurs.  

Theta - The next level of sleep, where brain waves are slower in frequency. (non-REM)

Delta - The deepest level of sleep, where brain waves are the slowest in frequency. (non-REM)

At night we cycle through all three brain waves again and again.  Each cycle lasts approximately 90 minutes.  In which we go deeper and deeper into sleep, into the Delta brain wave, and then back up to Alpha where we experience about 20 minutes of REM sleep.  And then the cycle repeats until we wake up.

REM Sleep is notably found to have increased brain activity, breathing becomes rapid, and the eyes move back and forth in all directions.  This is the stage of sleep where dreams seem to occur.  

In studies where people and animals have been purposely deprived of REM sleep (allowed to go into non-REM sleep, but woken up just before the REM sleep stage), it has shown to cause many physical and psychological issues, and if deprived long enough, in animal studies, eventually death.  

REM Sleep is notably found to have increased brain activity, breathing becomes rapid, and the eyes move back and forth in all directions.  This is the stage of sleep where dreams seem to occur.  "UC Berkeley researchers have found that during the dream phase of sleep, also known as REM sleep, our stress chemistry shuts down and the brain processes emotional experiences and takes the edge off difficult memories." - news.berkley.edu

"This study, which shows that rapid-eye movement sleep can decrease emotional intensity in reaction to past events, is the first to systematically test how sleep affects reactivity to previous emotional experiences at both a brain and behavioral level." - dailycal.org

In studies where people and animals have been purposely deprived of REM sleep (allowed to go into non-REM sleep, but woken up just before the REM sleep stage), it has shown to cause many physical and psychological issues, and if deprived long enough, in animal studies, eventually death.  

We believe this unique brain state helps to put these emotional experiences ‘in perspective’ by integrating them with previous memories while ‘stripping away’ the emotional tone associated with them.
— Els van der Helm, UC Berkeley psychology doctoral student
 
Our nervous systems were biologically wired to keep fully alive the memory circuits of learned threat and danger for the duration of our lives, guaranteeing that we won’t ignore cues to potentially perilous situations that could threaten our survival.
— Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic, Laurel Hulley / Psychotherapy Networker

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is defined by the National Institute of Mental Health as "A disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event."  People will continue to experience strong reactions to the event even after it has long past.  People who develop PTSD often have trouble sleeping, have flashbacks, and tend to avoid places and situations that would have any related stimuli.  The body reacts to the perceived stress of the original event, and they feel as though they are reliving the trauma again and again. 

Emotional trauma is not limited to the extreme cases of diagnosed PTSD.  Verbal abuse, embarrassment, even being criticized at a vulnerable time, can feel traumatizing and the brain processes that information accordingly.  

"Even highly competent, mature people who are rational in most areas of life can be suddenly undone when a current circumstance—often perfectly innocuous in itself—triggers an ultradurable emotional learning from the past that’s still tightly enmeshed in their neural wiring. Once the implicit memory is triggered, they’re seized by an emotional state that has a life all its own, with no cognitive awareness of why such a reaction is happening. It could be self-criticism or volcanic rage, numbness or raw panic, underachieving or inconsolable sorrow. Regardless, one’s calm, cognitively evolved state of mind is no match for such a flare-up from the emotional implicit memory system." Says an Alternet Article called Advances in psychology offer hope, By Bruce EckerRobin TicicLaurel Hulley / Psychotherapy Networker

The limbic system is one of the oldest parts of the human brain.  Our emotional processing, and ability to create cues to react to situations in order to survive, is part of what makes us human.  Even if the danger is no longer there, we are set up to anticipate the danger that we learned about before.  In this sense, our human brain is functioning quite well!  However, not everything that feels scary is something we need to avoid.  

For example:  "Consider perfectionism as an example of an emotional learning that therapists frequently encounter. Some clients describe clear memories of original experiences in which being imperfect on their part incurred intense shaming or rejection, but they have no awareness of the resulting implicit learning that has since ruled their responses in life—that it’s urgent to be perfect to avoid such suffering. In contrast, other clients are aware of their learned expectation that imperfection is too dangerous to risk, but even when that expectation is triggered, they have no memory of the original life experiences in which that learning formed." -Alternet Article called Advances in psychology offer hope, By Bruce EckerRobin TicicLaurel Hulley / 

 

The original, concrete experiences and the learning formed from those experiences are the stuff of two different and separate kinds of memory.
— Alternet Article called "Advances in psychology offer hope".

These two memory-processing brain functions are distinctly different from one another, though they work together.  The emotional memory stores and processes the unconscious information of what has happened to us and how we felt about it.  Fear conditioning and other emotional learning from our experiences is unconsciously processed here, and then it sends the relevant information to the declarative memory to be recorded as truth.  

We don't always have direct access to the emotional memories, but they strongly influence our conscious declarative memory.  We have responses to the emotional memory, physically and behaviorally. This response information is compared to current declared facts, creating new declarative memories.  The declarative memory records what is real.  This is the memory we are consciously accessing.  There might be emotional information stored here, but it is recognized as fact.  This processing between two memory systems is happening throughout REM Sleep, deciding which emotional memories need to be learned from and recorded as truth.  

"For example, if a person is injured in an auto accident, in which the horn gets stuck, he or she may later react when hearing the blare of car horns.  The person may remember the details of the accident, such as where and when it occurred and who was involved.  These are declarative memories that are dependent on the hippo-campus.  The individual may also become tense, anxious and depressed as the emotional memory is reactivated."  Says Joseph E. LeDoux, the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science at the New York University.  

Credit-Emotion, Memory, and the Brain by Joseph E. LeDoux COPYRIGHT 2002 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, INC. Updated from the June 1994 issue

Emotional and declarative memories are stored and retrieved in parallel, and their activities are joined seamlessly in our conscious experience.
— Joseph E. LeDoux in Emotion, Memory and the Brain
 
The brain does come equipped with a key to those locked synapses—and we have the resilience to become radically free of our early emotional learnings.”

”Remarkably, what the brain requires to unlock and erase a particular learning follows the same three-step process in all those species: reactivating the emotional response, unlocking the synapses maintaining it, and then creating new learning that unlearns, rewrites, and replaces the unlocked target learning.
— Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic, Laurel Hulley / Psychotherapy Networker

There is growing evidence of brain plasticity.  Described by Dr. Pascale Michelon, Neuroplasticity or brain plasticity refers to the brain's ability to CHANGE throughout life.  The human brain has the amazing ability to reorganize itself by forming new connections between brain cells (neurons). 

In the article Can You Rewire Your Brain to Change Bad Habits, Thoughts and Feelings?, they explain, "This key became evident in 1997, when several labs began publishing reports of a brain process that hadn’t been recognized before. This process turns off a learned emotional response at its roots, not by merely suppressing it—as in a behavioral-extinction procedure—but by actually unlocking the neural connections holding it in place and then erasing it within the nervous system. Brain researchers named this process memory reconsolidation, and went on to demonstrate how it works in nematodes, snails, sea slugs, fish, crabs, honeybees, chicks, mice, rats, and humans."

credit- Bruce Ecker, Robin Ticic, Laurel Hulley / Psychotherapy Networker

 
Some scholars believe that a feeling of anger, for example, triggers changes in our body’s responses and that when we become aware of these changes, that awareness actually helps us to construct conscious representations of a feeling.
— Dr. Lauri Nummenmaa, assistant professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Aalto University School of Science in Finland.

Different emotions are associated with discernible patterns of bodily sensations.

Image courtesy of Aalto University

Image courtesy of Aalto University

From Science Daily: "Researchers found that the most common emotions trigger strong bodily sensations, and the bodily maps of these sensations were topographically different for different emotions. The sensation patterns were, however, consistent across different West European and East Asian cultures, highlighting that emotions and their corresponding bodily sensation patterns have a biological basis".  The research was funded by European Research Council (ERC), The Academy of Finland and the Aalto University (aivoAALTO project)  The results were published on 31 December, 2013 in the scientific journal Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Antonio Damasio, director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, and an expert in consciousness, said the study provided compelling evidence to support his and his colleagues claims "that the content of emotion is largely based on the perception of body states." -Science Daily

New discoveries validate the idea that the mind, emotions and body are affecting each other.  Candace Pert pioneered research on how chemicals in our bodies form a dynamic information network, linking mind and body, in her book Molecules of Emotion.  Her work explains in detail how emotions get recorded in our cells.  

Deborah Rozman, a key spokesperson on heart intelligence and role of the heart in stress management, performance and wellness, states, "Until the 1990s, scientists assumed and most of us were taught that it was only the brain that sent information and issued commands to the heart, but now we know that it works both ways. In fact, the heart’s complex intrinsic nervous system, the heart brain, is an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells, like those found in the brain proper. Research has shown that the heart communicates to the brain in several major ways and acts independently of the cranial brain."

 

 

Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.
— Richard Conn Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at John Hopkins University
If you want to know the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.
— Nikola Tesla

In a Collective Evolution article called: Nothing is Solid and Everything is Energy- scientists explain the world of quantum physics, Arjun Walia explains, "Quantum physicists discovered that physical atoms are made up of vortices of energy that are constantly spinning and vibrating, each one radiating its own unique energy signature. Therefore, if we really want to observe ourselves and find out what we are, we are really beings of energy and vibration, radiating our own unique energy signature -this is fact and is what quantum physics has shown us time and time again. We are much more than what we perceive ourselves to be, and it’s time we begin to see ourselves in that light. If you observed the composition of an atom with a microscope you would see a small, invisible tornado-like vortex, with a number of infinitely small energy vortices called quarks and photons. These are what make up the structure of the atom. As you focused in closer and closer on the structure of the atom, you would see nothing, you would observe a physical void. The atom has no physical structure, we have no physical structure, physical things really don’t have any physical structure! Atoms are made out of invisible energy, not tangible matter."

 

The brain-body system resonates with wavelengths of external light sources. Ecological Psychology holds that ones external environment and internal experiences exist as a single unit with interactive feedback loops among inner and out activity (Barker, 1968). These feedback loops occur between the brain and the visual environment as if a continuum exists. When the position of the visual target is precisely located while the person’s mental focus is on relevant psychological affact/imagery, the brain can change profoundly. The visual, neural pathways in the brain make it possible for an external visual focus to access precise neural networks (Gibson, 1986). Through this and other mechanisms vibratory energy such as light can be converted into biochemical processes that ultimately lead to changes in brain functioning.
— Emotional Transformation Therapy: An Interactive Ecological Psychotherapy By Steven R. Vazquez

Additional Credits:

Bruce Ecker, M.A., L.M.F.T., is codirector of the Coherence Psychology Institute and coauthor with Laurel Hulley, M.A., of Depth Oriented Brief Therapy: How To Be Brief When You Were Trained To Be Deep, and Vice Versa. Ecker and Hulley are the originators of Coherence Therapy and coauthors with Robin Ticic ofUnlocking the Emotional Brain: Eliminating Symptoms at their Roots Using Memory Reconsolidation. Contact:bruce.ecker@coherenceinstitute.org.

Robin Ticic, B.A., H.P. Psychotherapy (Germany), is the Coherence Psychology Institute’s director of training, a trauma therapist associated with the University of Cologne, and author of How to Connect with Your Child. Contact: robin.ticic@coherenceinstitute.org.

Laurel Hulley, M.A., is the Coherence Psychology Institute’s director of paradigm development, cofounder of the Julia Morgan Middle School for Girls in Oakland, California, and coauthor with Bruce Ecker of the Coherence Therapy Practice Manual & Training Guide.

The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life. Joseph E. LeDoux. Simon & Schuster, 1998. 

Candace Pert Phd., Molecules of Emotion

Caroline Myss Phd., Anatomy of the Spirit

Banner photo courtesy of C.R. O'Dell (Rice University), and NASA