Technologies of Transformation
And Personal Mastery!
We live in an age where state-of-the art computer based technology enables us to measure and monitor the moment to moment micro-changes of our physiology and to feed this information back to ourselves. This feedback loop creates a most intimate access to observing the subtle and profound workings of the “mindbody interphase” in order to deepen our insight into how our states of mind, emotions, attitudes, intentions, and quality of attention are continually manifesting themselves in and through our bodies.
Just as psychosomatic illness is a reality – so too is psychosomatic health! David Chethlahe Paladin, one of our Navajo teachers, once reminded us that “worrying is just praying backwards!” When we understand that we are capable of “worrying ourselves to death” then we can also appreciate that we have the capacity to organize our attention, intention, and creative imagination in order to realize truly extra-ordinary states of health, vitality, performance and aliveness – even in the midst of the extremely challenging circumstances of our lives.
Here’s a video that Joel wrote and narrated for the Muse neurofeedback training system:
We’ve been fortunate to be pioneers in mind-science research and have worked extensively with biofeedback, neurofeedback, and cyberphysiology for over 45 years. We have directed clinical programs for Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound (an HMO in the Seattle area that serves over 1.5 million people) and at Children’s Hospital, and have taught students and faculty from dozens of leading nursing and medical schools, and medical centers. We also designed and facilitated intensive biofeedback training for the U.S. Army Green Berets’ once secret Jedi Warrior training program – a 6 month full-time training program which included an extensive biofeedback and cyberphysiology training center and a month-long silent mindfulness meditation retreat. The results of this intensive mindbody training – described by senior leaders at West Point Military Academy who reviewed the program as, “The most exquisite orchestration of human technology that we have ever seen,” were profoundly inspiring. The soldiers we trained were able to accomplish missions that no other Special Forces troops had ever been able to perform – and one team was selected as the most outstanding team in the NATO games that year.
“The greatest thing, then, in all education, is to make the nervous system our ally, instead of our enemy.”
“Each of us possesses everything that is necessary to explore our deepest nature . . . No one else in all humankind can do it for us. The responsibility and opportunity for becoming aware of all that we most truly are and sharing it with others is ultimately our own.”
Roger Walsh and Deane Shapiro
“Every change in the physiological state is accompanied by an appropriate change in the mental-emotional state, conscious or unconscious; and conversely, every change in the mental-emotional state, conscious or unconscious, is accompanied by an appropriate change in the physiological state.”
Alyce and Elmer Green
“I have no doubt whatever that most people live, whether physically, intellectually, or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness . . . much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger . . . We all have reservoirs of life to draw upon, of which we do not dream.”
Definition of Terminology
Cyberphysiology is a term used to designate the whole domain of training and research that integrates sophisticated biofeedback technology and a host of adjunctive techniques for optimizing human health and performance.
Biofeedback training utilizes sensitive instrumentation to monitor and feed back information about one’s own biology. By creating a feedback loop, learning occurs that enables the user to optimize the interplay of mindbody processes that relate to the system being measured.
Neurofeedback is a specific type of biofeedback which focuses on measuring and feeding back information on the EEG – “brainwaves” – of the subject.
The “Value Proposition” in Cyberphysiological Disciplines
By gaining greater awareness of and sensitivity to mindbody processes, one gains access to a greater range of options, and is able to make wiser choices and employ techniques learned to optimize health, vitality, and performance. Classically, cyberphysiological research and training has been applied to three domains:
• Clinical applications: The efficacy of cyberphysiology training is well documented in the clinical treatment of hypertension; gastrointestinal distress; circulatory disorders; anxiety; tension and vascular/migraine headaches; phobias; eating disorders; autonomic nervous system disorders; attention enhancement and treatment of attention disorders; incontinence; neuromuscular reeducation and stroke and injury rehabilitation, etc. Over the past 25 years we have worked with thousands of clinical patients and have documented inspiring improvements.
• Peak Performance Applications: Methods of cyberphysiology training have been extensively employed to develop the awareness and performance of athletes in Olympic and world class settings and peak performers in many other arenas of daily life. We have personally worked with dozens of peak performers including: an Olympic Gold Medallist; two world class record holders; and many CEOs and leaders in business.
• Shifting the Locus of Control: In psychological terms, one of the most profound impacts of cyberphysiological research & training is that it often results in a significant shift in the ‘locus of control.’ This shift is from an “outer locus of control” –where individuals feel powerless or victimized by outer circumstances in their lives—toward a more “internal locus of control”. Individuals with an internalized locus of control live with a greater sense of personal confidence, and an enhanced sense of personal choice and control. They see themselves as accountable, powerful influencers of their lives rather than as mere powerless victims of circumstance. Research indicates that individuals who have made this shift tend to be more creative and resilient in the face of stress, make wiser behavioral choices, are less vulnerable to stress related problems, and are generally more optimistic and self-empowered in meeting the inevitable changes, challenges, and opportunities of their lives.