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(word processor parameters: LM = 0, RM = 80, Page = 62, Tabs every 8 spaces) BCKWTH01.ASC **************************************************************** * * * This article was published in MEGABRAIN REPORT, Vol. * * I, Number 3 (Spring, 1992), pages 6-8. It is copy- * * righted material, and all rights are reserved, but * * permission is hereby given by the author for elec- * * tronic reproduction and distribution of this material * * provided that no additions or changes are made * * to the file and this notice is retained. Please * * contact the author at the address given below for * * permission to reprint, or for further information * * on the material contained herein. * * * **************************************************************** <>: <> by William J. Beckwith Synthesis Research Institute of Texas 6210 Paisley Street Houston, Texas 77096-3727 (713) 772-4353 >Copyright 1991 by W.J. Beckwith< Alcohol and chemical dependency treatment in the U.S. at present follows assumptions growing out of the Twelve Step Model of AA. This model, as put forth by John Bradshaw, Anne Wilson Schaef, Charles Whitfield and others, assumes the importance of early child- hood experiences on the later development of what has come to be called "codependency." In this model, there is no cure for codepen- dency, only perpetual "recovery." Recent research and clinical studies, however, have provided data that suggest a more inclusive model of addiction than that of codependency theory. Dr. Eugene Peniston, in his work with Dr. Paul Kulkosky at the VA Medical Center in Fort Lyon, Colorado, has demonstrated convincingly that alpha-theta brainwave training has a statistically-significant effect on recovery and sustained prevention of relapse in alcoholics.<1> Specifically, a thirteen-month follow- up study showed that their biofeedback protocol has only a 10% failure rate as compared to relapse rates of 60% or more in conventional detoxification and counseling programs. Further follow-up 36 months later shows this percentage to be stable. Peniston's work demonstrates that a substantial improvement in the treatment of major addictions is not only possible, but available. There remains a question as to how alpha-theta brainwave training achieves these results. Peniston's published work has concentrated on methodology and the statistical significance of his follow-up studies rather than proposing a mechanism for how the Peniston-Kulkosky effect works. Others have attempted to explain the effect as well as make use of it. Two very different models have been proposed by Dr. Lester Fehmi and Dr. Carl Sonder to explain this phenomenon. Fehmi's model is based on his Open Focus training program, which assumes that addicts have narrowly focussed attention and compulsively dwell on real and imagined problems. He uses brainwave training and guided imagery to break the "closed focus" habit that excludes access to other thoughts and feelings.<2> This model emphasizes controlled alpha production as a substitute for the alpha increase that occurs after ingestion of alcohol. Sonder,<3> in contrast, has based his work on the Hobson- McCarley analytical model of memory encoded by theta waves originating in the "primitive" limbic structures of the brain. Neurological studies have shown that signals originating in the brainstem acti- vate theta rhythms in the hippocampus which proceed through the cortex to the neocortex during periods of REM sleep. Hobson's original theory reported in 1977 assumed that dreaming resulted from attempts by the neocortex to "make sense" out of relatively random memory fragments passed through almost accidentally while the work of memory encoding proceeded in the limbic system. This is inconsistent with the latest research on dreaming, especially studies of lucid dreaming. Hobson has recently revised his theory to acknowledge the psychological significance of dreams and reduced the role of the brainstem to that of a "switch" controlling the onset of new dream episodes.<4> A third option is available. Another theory of memory encoding was outlined by Stanford neurosurgeon Dr. Karl Pribram in his book <><5> based on holography. It drew on the work of English physicist David Bohm who proposed that the physical universe is a gigantic hologram, connected in undivided wholeness by an "implicate order." The holographic model of memory storage fits the reality of a quantum universe. Dr. John Cowan<6> has proposed that the membranes of the axons connecting the neurons of the thalamus to the cerebral cortex are a potential source of coherent energy. Since these axons form parallel columns perpendicular to the cortical surface, synchronous excitation of these neurons could result in the formation of standing waves of various frequencies, similar to a tunable laser or maser. Experimental confirmation of this theory exists. Emission of coherent microwave radiation (i.e., maser emission) from the surface of stimu- lated axons in blue crab neurons was established by Allan Frey in 1968 and confirmed in later studies.<7> This is paralleled by the work of Dr. Glen Rein, a neuro- chemist conducting research on scalar fields at Stanford University. His theory of "crystalline transduction" proposes that electromag- netic fields can be converted into scalar fields in the liquid crystals of neuronal cell membranes. Scalar fields present fascinating possibilities. Dr. Eldon Byrd, in the first issue of Megabrain Report<8> described scalar fields in the following way: I look at scalars strictly as information. . . Could it be that we live in a sea of information? Not in the form of electromagnetic energy, not acoustic energy, but a whole other form of energy which we currently have no instruments to measure. It's a sea of information. It's just there. It doesn't take any time for it to propagate from one point in time and space to another because it has nothing to do with time and space. Scalars are just infor- mation, and they are not bound by the same laws that govern matter or energy. A hologram results from the destructive and constructive interference of two superimposed coherent electromagnetic energy wave patterns. As a field of interference, a hologram is indepen- dent of direction and velocity. It is pure information. A hologram is also independent of space and time: illuminate a small portion of the hologram, and spherically distributed information of the whole is available in the part. A hologram is a scalar field.<9> The production of synchronized, coherent electromagnetic energy by the human brain at a given frequency leads to a "laser- like" condition increasing the amplitude and strength of the brain- waves. It also generates a scalar field containing the total "information" of that individual. Additive increase of alpha and theta brainwave amplitudes does appear clinically as brainwave training sessions progress, requiring constantly higher EEG thresholds to be set in order to provide an optimal amount of client feedback. Several researchers working with the Peniston protocol have noted that as clients learn to increase their alpha amplitude and produce theta waves without losing consciousness, a critical point is reached when theta amplitude begins to exceed alpha amplitude. Cross-lateral brainwave synchronization also increases, creating a more coherent system. At this point, there are profound alterations in client mood and behavior. This is consistent with the research of Peniston and Kulkosky, and was an important factor suggesting that the holographic model be applied to the data.<10> The critical point referred to above is commonly accompanied by spontaneous surfacing of previously inaccessible memories, often from early childhood. Other clinical indications are the seemingly miraculous resolution of complex psychological problems---often not directly related to the presenting condition of substance abuse. There is a sudden re-ordering of the entire personality in ways that cannot readily be explained by other models. More information is available to the individual. Two clincial examples illustrate this phenomenon. The first client was referred for brainwave training by a psychiatrist who had prescribed a regimen including Prozac and Activan.<11> At the beginning of the program, pre-testing with standard psychometric instruments indicated a probable schizophrenic disorder, or an anxiety disorder in a paranoid personality. Hypo- chondrical features were also disclosed. Presenting symptoms included severe anxiety attacks, depression, sleeplessness, low energy levels, and cognitive impairment. Academic performance had returned to normal, depression and anxiety symptoms had vanished, chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms were in remission and there was a marked positive change in interactions with family and friends. Perhaps most telling, the attending psychiatrist discontinued all medication. The second client came into therapy with a family history of alcoholism stretching at least three generations. Pre-testing revealed a possible schizophrenic disorder, a severe clinical depression syndrome, an obsessive-compulsive disorder and a border- line personality disorder.<12> Previous cognitive therapies and AA attendance had not resolved the presenting emotional problems or eliminated the craving for alcohol. In the first week of treatment, after autogenics instruction and temperature biofeedback training, persistent migraine headaches ceased. In the third week of brainwave training, the long-standing depression lifted and did not return. Craving for alcohol vanished as well, as did the previous anxiety attacks. Imagery arose spontaneously during later EEG sessions concerning childhood sexual abuse, and was recognized by the client as a major source of current dysfunctional behavior. An untargeted side-effect of the program was the apparent moderation of an eating disorder; the craving for binges on junk food diminished and eating habits normalized. There was a significant shift toward "normal" ranges in clinical post tests. "Traditional" psychotherapy cannot explain these kinds of sudden cures. Even the concept of brief psychotherapy does not apply, since outcomes were achieved that were not anticipated nor sought. The "Inner Child" was not only healed, but healed by a protocol involving only relaxation training, positive imagery and entry into an alpha-theta state at least four times a week. Three other facts are notable. First, the dominant waking brain wave frequency of children under the age of six is in the four to eight hertz range associated with theta in adults.<13> The pattern of these waves, however, more closely resembles that of adult alpha waves. These lower frequency theta waves in adults are usually associated with reverie, dreaming, fugue states and hypnagogic imagery. They usually occur only in the transition from wakefulness to sleep.<14> As Dr. Thomas Budzynski and others have shown in recent years, however, theta brainwave production in adults is a vital component of learning and memory encoding. Clinical results at several centers has indicated that EEG brainwave training can provide reliable access to the alpha-theta consciousness state of early childhood, with results extending beyond the treatment of substance abuse. Clients with other addictive behaviors, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders and chronic pain all experienced measurable shifts toward "normality" as shown in pre- and post-test standard psychometric evaluations. This suggests a physical basis for the "inner child" metaphor of codependency. The surfacing of memories from early childhood during theta training also fits Charles Tart's observations of "state- dependent memory," i.e., that information learned while in an altered state of consciousness is more difficult to access when in another state of consciousness. The natural shift in dominant brainwave frequencies during maturation could result in dysfunctional childhood learnings being preserved in the unconscious.<15> Second, the greatest shifts in client mood and behavior occur when brainwave frequencies occur near the interface of adult alpha and theta rhythms. Specifically, this means brainwave activity in the seven to eight hertz range. Insufficient data is currently available due to equipment limitations, but I suspect that the crucial "window frequency" will turn out to be 7.8 hertz. This is the so- called "Schumann frequency": the natural resonant frequency of the earth's electromagnetic field. Third, the observed brainwave amplitude fluctuations and reversals result in precisely the condition that can produce a "Prigoginian reordering" of the "chaos" of an "abnormal" client personality into a "higher order," or what we would term a "healthier" personality pattern.<16> A possible mechanism for this reordering is the interaction of the individual scalar fields of the client with the electromagnetic and scalar fields of the earth's Schumann frequency through cyclotron resonance coupling. This coupling interaction could result in a holographic transfer of information from the larger scalar field, or other scalars in resonance with it, to the client.<17> It could also explain the rapid shifts in client mood and behavior mentioned above. (This type of resonant field transfer phenomenon also provides a psycho- physical model for Carl Jung's metaphor of the "collective unconscious.") In utilizing the Peniston treatment protocol, there is a profound alteration in the state of consciousness of the client. We are training adults to produce a brainwave pattern that they have "outgrown." We are facilitating access to the consciousness state of early childhood, where rapid learning was easy---and possibly increasing access to the unitive consciousness state described by mystics of all religions. Alpha-theta brainwave training is not the only way to accomplish this shift in consciousness, but it is certainly one of the most reliable and demonstrable. If there is indeed a psychophysical reality to this "Inner Child" whose traumas and obsolete behaviors are said to produce dysfunctional behavior in up to 90% of all people, then better methods need to be used to "heal" it than those current in the field of psychology. We have the clinical evidence. We have the technology. Perhaps it is time for a "New Psychology" based on transpersonal reality and the models of the "New Physics". ENDNOTES <1> Described in , Volume 1, Number 1, pp. 27-28. For complete information on the study, see Peniston, Eugene G. and Paul J. Kulkosky. "Alpha-Theta Brainwave Training and Beta-Endorphin Levels in Alcoholics," Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 1989, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 271-79. <2> Fehmi, director of the Princeton Biofeedback Research Institute, is associated with Dr. John Cowan in a commercial venture utilizing the Peniston-Kulkosky effect with Fehmi's Brainwave Biofeedback Synchronizer for alcohol and drug abuse treatment. Dr. Cowan trained with Dr. Peniston in the methodology, and was also a research collaborator with Dr. Joe Kamiya at U.C.S.F. in his early work with biofeedback. <3> Sonder, who has worked with Dr. Jay Segal of Temple University and Tom Kenyon of ABR in testing Acoustic Brain Research tapes in clinical use, was formerly associated with Adam Crane in another commercial venture using the Peniston protocol for treatment of alcoholic and chemical abuse patients. <4> Sonder, in his clinical work, has continued to focus on the neurophysiology of the limbic system. <5> Karl Pribram, . (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1971). <6> Jonathan D. Cowan, Ph.D., "Mind as the Projection and Reception of Electroholomorphic Fields by the Brain: A Proposed Mechanism," , February, 1990. <7> See A. Fraser and A.H. Frey, "Electromagnetic Emission at Micron Wavelengths from Active Nerves." , Vol. 8, 1968, pp. 731-34. Also, A. Frey, "Evolution and Results of Biological Research with Low-Intensity Nonionizing Radiation." In A.A. Marino (Ed.), . (New York: Marcel Dekker, 1988, pp. 785-837. I am indebted to John Cowan for making me aware of this research. <8> Michael Hutchison, "High Voltage: The Bioelectric Interviews," , Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 29. <9> For an excellent discussion of quantum physics, holograms, and the holographic brain, see Fred Alan Wolf's book <>. (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., 1984.), pp. 154-65. <10> In fact, Fehmi's model and methodology is also consistent with the holographic paradigm. Open Focus is based on his long familiarity with Zen meditation methods and a worldview similar to that of quantum physics. <11> This client was also taking the antibiotic Bactrim for symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. <12> A "borderline" personality as a clinical diagnosis does not simply indicate someone who is on the border between "normal" and "abnormal." Borderline personalities are extremely resistant to conventional therapies, and generally fall into the category of the "perpetual patient." <13> Adult alpha waves are, by common consensus, in the eight to thirteen hertz range. <14> An excellent discussion of brainwaves, biofeedback and the development of higher states of consciousness can be found in Cade, C. Maxwell and Nona Coxhead, (Great Britain: Wildwood House Limited, 1979, republished by Element Books, Ltd. in 1987). <15> In Jungian terms, this "bundle or outdated learnings" would be a complex dissociated from the ego. Individuation, or growth toward wholeness, would require that information in the inner child complex be recovered and reintegrated into adult consciousness. <16> Ilya Prigogine, author with Isabelle Stengers of <>, (New York: Bantam, 1984), won the Nobel prize for his theoretical work with what he termed "dissipative structures" that transform chaotic conditions into order in ways that seemingly violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Although originally devised in terms of chemical reactions, the theory has been suggested as one explanation of altered states of human consciousness and seems particularly applicable here. <17> The holographic model is also compatible with Rupert Sheldrake's "morphogenetic field" theory. THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN MEGABRAIN REPORT, A QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF RESEARCH THAT FOCUSES ON TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS. IT INCLUDES ARTICLES BY LEADING EDGE RESEARCHERS SUCH AS GLEN REIN, ELDON BYRD, TOM BEARDEN AND MANY OTHERS. FURTHER INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE FROM THE EDITOR, MICHAEL HUTCHISON, AT P.O. BOX 2744, SAUSALITO, CA 94966.


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