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Dr Elmer Green – The root of psychosomatic disease lies in unconscious and involuntary domains



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Beyond Biofeedback – Drs Elmer and Alyce Green

….. the binary neurological machinery of the body follows command visualizations. We need not program each nerve directly, even though that may be possible, as single-motor-unit research has demonstrated.

Instead, we visualize what we want to have happen globally and the body converts the command visualization into the individual neural process for execution. The body seems to know what to do if the person knows what is desired.

In an example mentioned previously, a medical student, in order to warm his hands, visualized going outdoors on a cold day so that his body would compensate for the imagined cold weather by increasing the peripheral blood flow. His body knew what he wanted, and that visualization worked for him.

For the average person, however, as we have mentioned before, the usual visualization is one of warmth, such as lying on a warm beach with the sun shining on one's hand, or holding something warm in the hand.

The body does not seem to care about the scientific accuracy of the command, or about the results per se. It simply carries out commands. Negative, destructive commands are followed, it seems, with as much success as positive commands. It is this very fact that gives rise to the peculiar physiological behaviours called psychosomatic diseases. Patients' visualizations of success or failure, sickness or health, and ideas about their body and mind together determine to an important extent what happens to them.

The root of psychosomatic disease lies in unconscious and involuntary domains.

It is the unconscious that gets the message from oneself and from other people and the environment. If we accept the external commands, we tend toward being field-dependent. It is our task with biofeedback training to become field-independent. That is what we mean when we tell patients that it is not life that kills us, but rather our reaction to life.

The source of the experience

Green, Dr Elmer and Alyce

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