"Ah yes. Strange title. In fact, Hilary, you have altered it somewhat...." That I have. This stunner of an article in the Herald from Reuters had me shaking my head. We shouldn't be talking about mice: lets talk about mothers!
The article says: "Mice forced to swim endlessly until they surrendered and just floated, waiting to drown, could be conditioned to regain their will to live when a tone they associated with safety was played." This is an accurate picture of what some members of the medical profession have done to mothers (and all other people), to the point where people run around in circles becoming paranoid about everything that will/might/could/ kill them.. unless they.....do what??!!!!!
Take for instance, the woman who contacted me some time back, because her midwife didn't think her titres for cytomegalovirus (CMV) were high enough, and that exposure to CMV in her third trimester would absolutely result in a drastically deformed baby so she should have an abortion. Insert emoticon of rolling eyes here. She found a new midwife, and her son was born just perfect.
Back to the article, which also says that the team used classical conditioning to train the mice: "To make a mouse depressed they used a method favored by drug companies called learned helplessness...."You put an animal into a pool of water and it can't get out. It gives up and it stops swimming and it just floats," Kandel said.
Well, isn't that what happens to parents as well? "You must have regular ultrasounds because if you don't... you must do X, because if you don't,... " Repeat ad nauseum. When people accept the conditioning that says that the worst case scenario is always the norm, don't they just stop swimming and have all the so-called "solutions" because it's the easiest thing to do? Where is the thinking involved?
I've lost count of the numbers of mothers who phone me in a total panic, because some doctor has informed them that the graze on the knee of their unvaccinated child will kill him/her from tetanus. Never mind the stats and medical history which shows that that is highly unlikely! Women... ( forget about the mice! ) ... people ... have been classically conditioned by the medical profession, in a manner favoured by drug companies, in order to make them panic to the point where they just lie there, and float, waiting for the doctor to "rescue" them.
But here's the good news. This team decided to reverse the study and de-condition the mice by reversing the learned helplessness. Not only did the mice regain their own initiative to act for themselves, but the deconditioning resulted in the increased formation of new brain cells which also occurs in psychotherapy. In other words, "permission to think, and believe that there is a solution YOU can use" is very important for brain function, and learning how to take control of your own life. "Learning involves alterations in the brain and gene expression," Kandel said. This is a crucial statement. Why?
Anyone who knows anything about epigenetics will know just what a profound statement the phrase "gene expression" implies. As the title of the article on epigenetics says: "Epigenetics" Means What We Eat, How We Live and Love, Alters How Our Genes Behave. Years ago, when reading Dr JR Paul's book called "The History of Poliomyelitis", I was struck by the fact that the media hype surrounding what was quite a rare disease, created psychosocial hysteria, with the result that hospitals were inundated with people who thought they had polio; who thought they couldn't move, but who simply needed a smack around the face (standard treatment in those days for hysteria) to break them out of their mind set. Sometimes, a smack didn't work. But a vitamin pill did, with the doctor prescribing a month's worth of placebo vitamins, in order to convince the person who did NOT have polio, that they had some other "legitimate" disorder. Oshinky's book "Polio: An American Story" finally admitted that media paranoia was vastly overplayed. You can admit something, when it's a moot point after about 50 years!
What this mouse study is talking about, is exactly that. Epigenetics. The effect on the brain and ability to think by "conditioned learning". The statement here: "Learning involves alterations in the brain and gene expression," is the crucial part. "Gene expression" is the result of belief. What we believe, changes our thinking, and how our genes operate. "Learned helplessness" not only changes how your genes operate, but learned helplessness also floods the body with adrenaline, noradrenaline, and drastically suppresses the immune system tearing down the natural defences which protect people from serious infectious diseases.
The mouse study was a form of mouse psychotherapy and changed the mouse belief patterns, AND gene expression. Why? As the article says, "Psychotherapy is only a form of learning." Just maybe, mothers and people who realise that, can decondition themselves? Maybe we can do better than mice, and grow new brain cells, think for ourselves, and retake back control of our personal and family health. When it comes to the decades of institutionalised conditioning used by the medical profession, deconditioning isn't going to happen from psychotherapists. The "subtext" there is that psychotherapists, while reasonably successful at deconditioning in non-drug treatable areas, are often part of the same "drug" system as doctors. They too have to make a living. You can't be made better too fast, otherwise who would pay the psychotherapist's bills? Psychotherapists also bought into the drug paradigm years ago. The fact is, they had to. Their survival depended on it. and they will defend the drug industry.
Life today, is all about conditioning. We wouldn't have advertising if it didn't successfully condition people. Education can be said to be another form of conditioning, depending on whether students have a chance to check out whether the teaching is simply dogma, or studied enquiry and analysis of "facts". We are conditioned to think that the experts know what they are doing. History proves, as with economic collapses, that "experts" often cause the problems in the first place.
There is a wonderful article in Pulse from Dr Malcolm Kendrick (who suffers his own form of conditioning) in which he talks about what happens when you take most elderly people off drugs and let them live a decent life:
An amazing average of 2.8 drugs per patient were stopped – with no significant adverse effects. The overall rate of drug discontinuation failure – where patients had to return to the drug – was 18% of all patients and 10% of all drugs. The one-year mortality rate was 45% in the control group but only 21% in the study group. The patients’ annual referral rate to acute care facilities was 30% in the control group, but only 11.8% in the study group.
In short, stop the drugs and improve both quality of life and life expectancy.
It is especially ironic that the elderly are likely to be the ones who are most exposed to multiple drug interventions by the QOF, when hardly any of the studies on which it is based have been done on the elderly. (fulltext here)
The drug companies won't like that one little bit. They want everyone conditioned to assume that the maximum use of drugs will result in the maximum health benefits. When it just ain't so.
We have to decondition ourselves, and each other, because no-one else will. We have to learn to listen accurately to what a doctor is saying, and read any invisible sub-text, if pressure or coercion is being applied, particularly if the problem is not urgent. Doctors are unlikely to teach you what their subtext is, because for one thing, most of them have no idea that there is a subtext.
Medical school is far less about "education" than it is about rote learning a huge amount in a short period of time. The poor trainee doctor is constantly exhausted, doesn't have time to think through what they are doing, and before they know it, five years has passed, and then they are in residency working 70 hours a week. Then of course, there is the question as to whether what they were taught remains true. Listen to what Dr Robert Good had to say about that:
In a personal way, I realized the impact of scholarly endeavour on the body of knowledge from my own attempt to encompass the body of knowledge in medicine when I was a medical student. I sat in the front row of every class. I took down everything the professor said, complemented this body of knowledge with the information I learned form my instructors in the laboratory, from relevant information I could glean from reading and digesting the best textbooks on each subject, and even from extracting the substance of the most relevant articles in contemporary scientific journals.
All this, I included in my notes for study in beautiful Morocco-bound notebooks. The scheme seemed to work, because it gave me very high grades in school, top scores in state and national board examinations and my choice of training spots and fellowships. I closed my notebooks however, for 10 years.
When I opened them again, and studied them 10 years after so carefully completing them, I was astonished to find that they were almost entirely filled with lies. Except for a few descriptions such as well-established anatomy, everything that seemed so orderly and beautiful with the rather comprehensive treatment I had given it for one moment in history, had changed, grown, and been reordered by the scholarship of the intervening ten years. **
After graduation, the doctor's exhaustion continues. I've even heard some doctors say that they are little more than a technician carrying out prescribed policy. Most doctors have not had time to see that they have also been conditioned, and when they see it, it comes as a shock to them. Most believe they are impervious to either the influence of drug companies or brainwashing. Doctors think they have been educated, and in part, they have. But the training of a doctor is the methods used in classical mental conditioning, whether special forces in the army, medicine, or the moonies. The principles are the same....; exhaustion; relentless learning; not enough time to relax, think and analyse; and the "knowledge" just keeps on pouring in... . Medical students, in order to keep up, stop swimming, and float just like the mice. It's called survival in med school!
Once you "see" the medical profession and the drug companies tactics for what they are, you will no longer be human mice and "swim endlessly (in fear) and then surrendering" to their ways and means....You will see when the tactics being used are coercive or emotional blackmail, and if the doctor cannot provide written statistics to back up... you treat the comments with caution they require, and go away to research your options.
Might the very act of deconditioning yourself, result in corrected gene expression, and a burst of new brain cells? Might we achieve a properly functioning immune system, and a much better "life"?.
There is no doubt in my mind as to what the answer is.
P.S. I couldn't help smiling at the last two lines in the Reuter's article:
"...it could help in the design of new drugs, Kandel said.
"This opens up new pathways that may profitable," he said.
They just don't "get it", do they, these "psychotherapists"... the drug model dictates that the end point must always be a pill, potion, or something very expensive, so that lots of people in the "financial downstream" make lots of money..... !!
** Good, R.A.: Impressions, summary and questions raised by the IgA Symposium. International Symposium on the Immunoglobulin A System, Birmingham, Alabama, 1973. In: The Immunoglobulin a system: Proceedings (J. Mestecky and A.R. Lawton, eds.), New York, Plenum, 1974, pp. 45:513-531 (Adv. Exp. Med. Biol., Vol. 45).