You’re driving, and you come to an intersection. Do you turn left, right, or continue ahead? If you know your destination, the decision usually isn’t hard, but sometimes you get new information, like a roadblock up ahead, or a strong storm coming at you from the left, and you change the path you take.
Each decision you make changes the course of your life in some way. Perhaps you take an unusual route and see a new store that you want to visit, and when you do, you strike up a conversation with someone who becomes a best friend. Or you decided to brave the storm and had to miss an appointment because the storm delayed you.
Your mind is constantly driving your body, and decision points, like intersections on a road trip, are reached constantly. You aren’t aware of most of them, however. Those decisions change the course of your body’s development day by day and hour by hour. Some result in very tiny adjustments in your body chemistry, but even tiny adjustments can accumulate and result in major changes over time. The key to getting the results you want appears to not be as much intent or desire, but belief.
The awesome power of belief
Your mind is in strong control of your body. Yet you do not always get the response you want from your body, because the whole mind, especially subconscious thoughts, are guiding the response. The “placebo effect” has been shown over and over again to be effective in changing outcomes by changing beliefs and expectations. A placebo usually refers to a fake medicine which has no effective ingredient, yet the patient is told it is a real drug. If the patient believes the drug is real, often the patient will see real results.
In one study of the placebo effect published in Psychological Science(1), researchers at Harvard University worked with 84 room attendants at 7 different hotels and told some of them that their work was actually very effective exercise, meeting the Surgeon General’s recommendations for an “active lifestyle” and giving them further evidence that the room cleaning efforts that they did daily was effective exercise. Compared with the control group which was not given any such information, those who now saw benefit in their daily work generally showed a decrease in blood pressure and body fat, and improved body mass index (BMI) after only 4 weeks. They did not change their jobs or add extra workout routines, but simply believed they were gaining exercise from their work. Their work was actually giving them regular exercise, but those who believed it saw greater benefit.
In another study published in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology(2), researchers from the University of Witten-Herdecke in Germany and the University of Melbourne in Australia gave two groups of people the same test questions. One group was first shown “the answer” flashed briefly on a screen, too quickly for it to possibly be perceived consciously, before being asked each question. The other group also received a flash, but they were told that it simply signaled the next question was going to appear. Both actually received the same flash, which contained only random characters and was flashed so quickly that it could not be interpreted consciously. The group that was told those flashes contained the answer to the next question scored better on the test overall.
There are many other studies that show similar results. Some used real drugs initially to aid in a certain medical condition, and then switched secretly to a placebo, only to find that the medical improvements continued without the real drug. They keyed on the participant’s belief in the power of the placebo.
Artificial intelligence is the use of computing to mimic thinking and decision-making. Many of the programming techniques that are used are copying techniques used by the brain. But the most elusive technique has been the “rewiring” ability of the brain. Computer circuits are generally “hard wired”, meaning that they are built in and unchangeable. They can be turned on and off with software, but they can’t rewire to make totally new circuits. That is no longer totally true nowadays, because nanobots can make some changes in live circuitry. But the brain is still much more adaptable and able to re-circuit itself than artificial circuitry.
Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s remarkable rewiring adaptivity. The brain can literally create new circuits as needed; in fact, its design is made to do that all the time. Not only can it produce new neurons, but also can build new connections (synapses), strengthen or weaken existing synapses, or completely drop connections.
When young, the brain is developing and forming, and new neurons are rapidly growing and forming connections. As we age, the rate slows down so that the adult brain is more “stable” — we aren’t meant to be teenagers for our entire lives! But never does neuroplasticity end, even at extreme old age. And it can be encouraged at any age, so that even aged people can learn new languages or skills. But if we are alive, thinking, and experiencing, neuroplasticity is occurring all the time. If we are building or reinforcing bad habits, absorbing negative media, or deciding that we can’t improve our lives, we are also encouraging neuroplasticity — in a non-constructive way.
The adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” simply isn’t true. It may be harder to teach the tricks, both because the dog is going to “unlearn” less readily and because new connections will form more slowly, but they can definitely still learn. And we have an advantage over animals: we can choose to learn!
Since much of our thinking is subconscious, so too is our neuroplasticity guided largely by our subconscious. That started at the beginning of our lives, and continues throughout. We are largely unaware of the thoughts that took us to our current state, or those that continue to shape us.
Beliefs can change
Until you have finished a road trip, there are still intersections remaining to be crossed, and decisions to be made. Those still have impact on your trip. If you are well seasoned with many years, you still have more road ahead in your life. Make wise decisions! Those influence your course as you go forward. If you are young, know that decisions you make now will have a big impact as they influence the rest of your many years to come. But because of neuroplasticity, you can change at any age, and you can have an impact on your health at any age.
What is possible?
The limits of what changes the mind can produce in the body are still a mystery. We’ve all heard stories about someone’s “will to live” bringing her through a medical crisis, or how someone determined to walk after a stroke was able to eventually do so after doctors said he would never be able to walk again. We don’t really know the limits, and surprise stories happen all the time. Those stories usually involve great desire and belief, and the results are considered miraculous because they defy standard medical explanation.
But science is also showing that more is possible than we thought. Studies of the most regenerative creature in the world, the Mexican salamander, have shown that signals sent to tissue can cause regeneration of new tissue, or scarring. Published in Developmental Mechanics(3), researchers at the MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine were able to switch the mode of tissue repair after injury between regeneration or scar formation by controlling the levels of macrophages (specific white blood cells) in the salamanders: their macrophages were signaling new replacement tissue formation, and when they were depleted, scar tissue formed instead. In humans, some tissues regenerate: liver tissue and fingertips, for instance, while most areas of the body, when injured, form scar tissue. Scar tissue, once formed, blocks regeneration from occurring. The mode of healing — regeneration or scarring — can be controlled by cellular signaling.
The blueprint for regeneration apparently resides in humans, and happens in liver tissue. Could it happen elsewhere? Signaling is responsible for the switch from regeneration to scar formation, and the mind is the supreme source of signals. Theoretically, regeneration signals could be sent in the human body for any tissue. We aren’t there yet, but scientists are exploring the potential to “activate” regeneration in the body.
Outright organ regeneration may be outside of our ability to trigger by thoughts alone, although some have claimed that they have healed major wounds through visualization and meditation, but “regenerative thoughts” are certainly possible. We all can think positively about our ability to overcome disease, or simply develop better health as the hotel room attendants did.
When you realize that your mind signals your body in many, many ways; that signals drive cell functions through complex mechanisms, the details of which science is still trying to unravel; that cells have capabilities we are still learning about — you realize that possibilities are virtually unlimited. Thoughts are the key, and many of our thoughts are subconscious, but belief impacts both conscious and subconscious thinking. How does belief come? First by learning, and then incorporating or dwelling on what you’ve learned, making it personal. Now those beliefs have power in your life.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
Cell signaling controls cell function. Cell signaling is produced in response to the environment. What is the most important environment that triggers cell signaling? Your mind: first your subconscious mind because that runs 95% of your physiology, and next your conscious thinking mind — but that is not the big contributor, coming in at a mere 5%. So where is the true power of the mind coming from? Is it really in visualizing the outcome consciously? The answer lies in the power of the subconscious mind, and these programs were formed predominantly between the age of 0-6. This means most of our signaling in our cells is coming from programs we were programed with before our conscious mind developed by age 6. So what beliefs are driving our cell metabolism? Subconscious stress programs of fear, doubt, need, lack, not good enough, and not being loved that we picked up in those formative years. The big issue with these is: because they are subconscious you do not know what they are, you just know that your system always reacts a certain way.
We had a patient come in with breast cancer, and she asked how she could have developed this cancer because she eats well, exercises, takes supplements, has a great spouse, great kids, no financial stress and enjoys her life. My response was “subconscious stress programs”. Sure enough, when we did the 3D Brain Imaging it showed major blockages in key emotional memory areas. Once she went through our accelerated treatment and teaching program we reimaged the same area and it was normal, no blockage. But before we did the follow-up imaging her response was “I feel so light, I have never felt like this in my life before”. So when we did the treatments to release the stored subconscious stress programs, her cell signaling completely changed and her follow scans with her oncologist showed that both her tumors were shrinking. The reason this is so important is because consciously she was wonderful in her eyes, that is why she was shocked by the diagnosis. This just proves the conscious mind is a minor signaler at the cell level and the subconscious mind is the king of the kingdom, and the kingdom is made of all the cells in your body.
Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.