In this second part on stress, some previously-made observations shall be repeated. I will, however, seek to get at the causes, or rather the closest possible consequences, while keeping in mind that, in the words of Hanneman, “Primary causes are in the hands of God”, or, if you prefer the words of the Veda, “Diseases are born of an errant idea” (leaving aside the origin of the errant idea itself). It is clear that when bringing the transcendent back to the so-called real (since the former will brook no argument), it is in fact only of consequences that we can speak. Keep in mind, as I have already said, that we all agree on how imperfect man is. Thus he can produce only imperfection. As to why, we must refer back to inscrutable designs and stop there. Such ideas are worthy of the man on the Clapham omnibus, but then I am that man.
I shall start by looking again at the word ‘stress’ (impulse, pressure, coercion, but also significance and effort in English). Also good is adaptation, with the proviso that adaptation is expense, something biologically unwelcome in that it upsets the balance, however minor or major, however gratifying or not.
However, to state the case more simply, any event that has a negative impact on our senses (especially), any deliberate action against our spirit, presages disease. Naturally we cannot change our history, from which our misalignments arise, but we can change our reaction to and attitude towards our history. This, more or less, is our freedom of choice, or the sum of what we set in motion by the strength of our will. My patients are often irritated when I tell them that we all have the life we want, otherwise our life would be different – obviously with the exception of extreme cases. If we change, so too will the much hated neighbour with the barbecue on the balcony, since what we see as being problematic is what we consider to be such. I know people for whom hunger, even death, are not problems (they are few, admittedly, in fact very few).
There is a universal moral, that it is not a matter of opinion, but of judgement: it is the functional moral that obeys the law of tension-charge/discharge-relaxation, as Reich taught. Life, the cells and living matter, the entire Universe, pulsate in this way. Such is functionalism, and that which funtions is well-off and happy. Otherwise that which is dysfunctional. I was once asked what I meant by happiness: I came up with the example of a great river flowing into the sea when there is no wind nor contrary tide. Simply, without a gap between inside and outside. This is happiness, surrender to universal harmony, where there is not a single atom which is out of place. Easy in the extreme, you will agree.
To come down to a significantly lower level, we may attempt to schematise the course of a disease.
Progenitors of the disease (in the order of appearance):
- Who was the first unhappy (or diseased) person, and why?
- Ecosystem in the broadest sense
- Education repressing the natural spontaneity of the child and the wounds inflicted by the reality principle conflicting with the pleasure principle.
All this leads to, in order of appearance to:
- Further dysfunction
- Further messages of suffering
- Defensive armour with hypersympathicotonia
- Biological damage with emergency rafts
As Bergler says in The Basic Neurosis, neuroses end with our death. And there is no future in believing that we are exempt from this tax, as we would have an unflattering psychiatric label.
What follows is a tabulation of certain variations with end neoplasia.
While I understand the general difficulty of understanding, I will not go into explanations: they would be even more tedious and difficult. Other kinds of knowledge and sensitivity will make the difference.
First of all, I apologise for the table’s lack of precision and approximations: they are due to the need to pull together very different points of view converging in a single pathology.
I have furthermore highlighted the “divisions” and the fragmentation with which I am not in agreement (although not entirely, obviously). Nevertheless, I hope that, with the good will and ability of the reader, the synthesis will be clear in the reading.
That said, one point should be immediately obvious: cellular asphyxia, namely the lack of oxygen, is the common denominator. On this point, oxygen and its ambiguity, I have already stated my case (see ‘Redox, Dialogue Between Life and Death’). There is no question that a few minutes without oxygen causes death, nor that its ubiquitous presence in cells represents the single most indispensible factor in our biology. Human beings (and not only) are aerobic, in other words they need oxygen to function correctly, and are damaged by its absence. Cancer cells, on the other hand, thrive in anaerobiosis, in other words with a lack of oxygen. To quote from Otto Warburg, “Unlike other diseases, cancer has the widest possible range of secondary causes, but only one primary cause. To sum up: the main cause of cancer is the replacement of normal cellular breathing with an anaerobic type of breathing.”
Without going into details about the respiratory chain, I wish to stress that aerobic reactions are much slower than anaerobic ones, which should lead to indisputable conclusions about the vitality of cancer cells, which live naturally in an anaerobic environment.
The importance of exercise for the health would appear to be obvious.
Naturally, the table above refers specifically to tumours, but it does have the advantage of being applicable to any type of disease: the identification of one phase of a disease makes it possible, by following the horizontal line, to see what is happening from the other points of view. Or its likely development, if we follow the vertical line.
N.B. Note that the table represents a highly approximate synthesis of the main applications I have put into practice over the past thirty years. My viewpoint is thus completely misrepresented in terms of its being understood by those who do not possess full knowledge of these topics.
To go back to our need for oxygen, and the consequences of its lack, we can look at two of the causes of asphyxia: 1) the lack of oxygen in the air we breathe; 2) the inability to use it. I will pass over the countless environmental factors that contribute to the first point, but the second point is worthy of consideration.
Contracted cells are practically impermeable to oxygen (not only naturally), and this explains also the individual diversity of response to therapy. The cause of cellular contraction would appear to be clear: the sympathetic nervous system, in opposition to the relaxation and opening regulated by the parasympathetic nervous system. But we know that the sympathetic nervous system is activated by situations of alarm, ultimately by stress (note: it is worth remembering that hormones used under stress become free radicals). There should be no need to reiterate what has already been mentioned several times: the play of sympathetic and parasympathetic is an essential part of our bipolarism. We may add that in our so-called “civilisation” there is a predominance of phenomena related to the sympathetic nervous system, with all that that entails. It is also true that to some extent we could do away with our sympathetic nervous system, as demonstrated by the fact that ganglionectomy was used to treat arteriopathy of the legs, which excluded the sympathetic system from the neurovegetative system with a view to obtaining some benefit from the expansion of the contracted arteries. Regardless of whether or not it was beneficial (given the vascular sclerosis and arteriosclerotic plaques), the underlying concept was that it was possible profitably and with impunity to eliminate the sympathetic system.
The prevalence of the defensive contraction regulated by the sympathetic system is linked in my view to the left hemisphere of the brain, which controls the right side of the body owing to crossed motor connections. I must have said elsewhere that we almost never observe cases of hemiparesis resulting from more or less serious cerebral ischaemia affecting the left side of the body; it is almost always the right side, with evident lesions to the left side of the brain, which is consequently the one that is overloaded. From this we can make some observations. The left side of the brain is where there is the “primacy of reason”, not of feeling. Its task should be simply to regulate and provide logic to thoughts and ideas, which are in fact born in the right, analogical, side of the brain. It is not my intention to deny the importance of reason and the left hemisphere, that recent acquisition of the human race; but the human race appears to have coped perfectly well (otherwise we would not be here) for millions of years without it.
What follows is a summary of actions that belong to the neurovegetative system:
|SYMPATHETIC SYSTEM||PARASYMPATHETIC SYSTEM|
|Pupil dilation||Pupil contraction|
|Reduced salivation||Increased salivation|
|Reduced mucus||Increased mucus|
|Increased heart rate||Reduced heart rate|
|Bronchial dilation||Bronchial constriction|
|Stomach with reduced motility||Stomach with increased motility|
|Small intestine with reduced peristalsis||Increased digestive processes in the small intestine|
|Reduced colonic peristalsis||Increased secretion and motility in colon|
|Increased glycogenolysis in liver||——————–|
|Kidney with reduced diuresis||Increased diuresis in kidney|
|Adrenal medulla with increased adrenalin and noradrenalin secretion||——————–|
|Relaxation of the bladder||Contraction of the bladder|
Mention must also be made of the enteric neurovegetative system, which may be compared to an “abdominal brain” owing to its position. It governs a variety of digestive activities with inhibitory or exciting effects.
We can now go on to make an approximate list of types of behaviour associated with each of the two cerebral hemispheres.
|LEFT HEMISPHERE||RIGHT HEMISPHERE|
|Speaking, writing, abstract thought, rich and varied vocabulary||Non verbal memory, emotions, concrete thought|
|Loves discussions||Less capacity for speaking|
|Answers questions in detail and provides more extensive answers||Has difficulty rememberig the names of things, however commonly used and even when they are recognised|
|Become excessively loquacious||Uses short and simple sentences|
|Becomes more receptive to what others say||Does not speak much|
|Does not feel the emotion behind sounds||Uses mimicry and gestures more than words|
|Lacks imagination and perception||Difficulty in conversation|
|Preserves long-term memory||Selective improvement of perception|
|Reduced short-term memory||Loss of theoretical knowledge|
|Has a good personality, is sociable, cheerful and optimisitic||Perceives non-verbal sounds|
|Handles forms and figures with ease|
|Lacks sense of spatial orientation|
|Lacks sense of temporal orientation|
|Is standoffish and pessimistic|
Observations concerning stress and the tables I leave to the readers.
Given the risks inherent in building too many “bridges” between ill-defined banks, it is a good idea to end, since: “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are” (Anais Nin).