The Three Brains – Part 2
Original Air Date: December 17, 2019
Blog Talk Radio Link: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/livingadream/2019/12/18/the-three-brains-part-2
Complete text of episode 27 of the Living a Dream podcast series:
Episode 27 The Three Brains – Part 2
Welcome to the twenty-seventh episode of the Living a Dream: A Transformational Journey podcast. My name is Jo Calk. I am a Life Awareness Coach, Reiki Master, author, and speaker. Today’s episode is “The Three Brains – Part 2.”
First, I want to share my Life Purpose Statement:
“The purpose of my life is to be present, joyful, and compassionate, and to share my joy, make a difference, and be a role model to others that, by changing some of our internal beliefs and judgments, we can make a difference in the world.”
My Ultimate Goal is the global enlightenment and peace on our Earth, our physical reality, through our awakening, awareness, and action in transforming our beliefs about each other and the Earth.
I am not alone in having this Goal of “Peace on Earth,” but my approach is a bit different: I am enlightening the Earth from within.
During this podcast series, please be open to the possibility that your life can change and improve in ways unimaginable now.
The Three Brains – Part 2
In this podcast, I will:
- introduce the third of the three brains in the human body-suit
- detail the contributions each “brain” provides to the body-suit
- demonstrate the benefits of the “three brains” working together
- provide tools and activities to incorporate this information into your life
In the previous podcast episode, we learned there were three brains in the human body-suit: the cranial-brain, the heart-brain, and the gut-brain.
The cranial-brain has been called human’s greatest organ. I talked about two attributes associated with the cranial-brain: the “Flight-fight-or-freeze” response and the “ego,” which account for many of the problems associated with the cranial-brain. The constant production of adrenaline and cortisol, the two major stress hormones intended for short-term use only, stops the digestive process, shuts down the immune system, and halts the body-suit’s natural ability to heal and repair itself.
We discovered mirror neurons, which fire when a person acts, when a person observes an action performed by someone else, and when the person thinks about, remembers, or visualizes performing an action. The neuron “mirrors” the behavior of another person or your thoughts of yourself, as though you were actually performing the behavior. This has the potential use in retraining the cranial-brain after trauma or injury by repetitively observing or imagining the actions.
In 1991, it was discovered that the heart has 40,000 specialized sensory neurite cells that are similar to the neurons in the cranial-brain. The heart-brain and cranial-brain are in constant contact, working together as a powerful system that regulates many functions, such as: our resilience, heightened intuition, immune response, and longevity. A new hormone produced by the heart-brain, called the “balance hormone,” helps regulate the blood vessels, kidneys, adrenal glands, and many regulatory centers in the cranial-brain, and it inhibits the release of stress hormones which allows the immune system to restart. This provides hope that the heart-brain can be used to reduce the constant “flight-or-fight” response of the fearful cranial-brain.
In this episode, we now move to the gut-brain, which actually was an earlier discovery than the heart-brain.
“Never apologize for trusting your intuition – your brain can play tricks, your heart can blind, but your gut is always right.”
– Rachel Wolchin
You probably have heard about “following your heart,” “feeling with your heart,” and “heart over head.” And you probably have also heard of “gut feelings,” “trust your gut,” and “gut reactions.” Have you ever had a gut reaction to someone, but your heart overrode it? Did you finally realize – often painful years later – that the gut was actually right? As a decision-maker, the heart is easily swayed, but the gut or solar plexus is the seat of power in the ancient chakra system.
Do you get “butterflies in the stomach” or intestinal cramps when you are asked to speak on stage? Do antidepressants targeted for the cranial-brain cause you nausea or abdominal upset? The reason for these and other uncomfortable experiences, scientists say, is the important brain found in the human gut.
The gut-brain is located in sheaths of tissue lining the intestinal system: esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon. Considered a single entity, the gut-brain is a network of neurons, neurotransmitters, and proteins that send messages between neurons, support cells like those found in the cranial-brain, and a complex circuitry that enables it to act independently, learn, remember, and produce “gut feelings.” The Solar Plexus or gut-brain is composed of both gray and white brain-matter similar to that of the cranial-brain.
On average a cranial-brain has nearly 100 billion neurons and is called the seat of all our thinking. The gut-brain has close to 500 million nerve cells and 100 million neurons and is almost the size of a cat’s brain. Not only does the gut-brain “talk” with the cranial-brain chemically (by releasing chemicals which are then taken to the brain by blood), but also by sending electrical signals via the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is one of the longest nerves inside the body whose central purpose is to relay the information and status of internal organs like gut and heart to the cranial-brain. It starts from the head and, after going through all the organs, ends near the anus.
The autonomous nervous system of the gut-brain allows it to work independently of the cranial-brain. Recent research has revealed that there is a tremendous amount of information flowing from the gut-brain to the cranial-brain via the vagus nerve, and this flow is mostly one sided – almost all of it is from the gut-brain to the cranial-brain and not the other way around. This is how it should be since the gut-brain works continuously whether we are aware of it or not. The reverse interaction (from the cranial-brain to the gut-brain) is when we get hunger pangs and the cranial-brain tells the body-suit to get food. Sometimes these signals go haywire. For example, even if there are hunger pangs, the cranial-brain can overrule the gut-brain, which can lead to disorders like anorexia.
Recent scientific evidence also suggests that a large part of our emotions may be influenced by the chemicals and nerves in the gut. For example, 95% of the body’s serotonin is found in the gut. Serotonin, also called a “happiness hormone,” is an important neurotransmitter which is a contributor towards feelings of well-being. Similarly, researchers have found that a bacteria-free gut in early childhood leads to adults with less anxiety and general cheerfulness. Interestingly the effect of early childhood gut bacteria has the maximum impact on the developing cranial-brain and reduces by the age of 2-3 years, just when the cranial-brain expansion also starts slowing down.
There are also many instances of people experiencing extrasensory perception (ESP) or clairvoyance after colon cleansing has taken place.
The gut-brain plays a major role in human happiness and misery. Many gastrointestinal disorders like colitis and irritable bowel syndrome originate from problems within the gut-brain. A new field of medicine, called neurogastroenterology, studies this gut-brain. Nearly every substance that helps run and control the cranial-brain has also turned up in the gut-brain. Major neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, norepinephrine and nitric oxide are there. Two dozen small brain proteins, called neuropeptides, are in the gut-brain, as are major cells of the immune system. Enkephalins, one class of the body’s natural opiates, are in the gut. And in a finding that baffles researchers, the gut is a rich source of benzodiazepines — the family of psychoactive chemicals that includes such drugs as Valium and Xanax.
As the circuitry between the gut-brain and the cranial-brain are researched, we are beginning to understand why people act and feel the way they do. When the cranial-brain encounters a frightening situation, it releases stress hormones that prepare the body-suit to fight or flee. The gut-brain contains sensory nerves that are stimulated by this chemical surge – thus creating the “butterflies in the stomach” effect. When faced with fear or danger, the cranial-brain tells the gut-brain to shut down, which shuts down the entire digestive system. Fear also causes the vagus nerve to “turn up the volume” on serotonin circuits in the gut-brain. Thus overstimulated, the gut-brain goes into higher gear and diarrhea results. Similarly, people sometimes “choke” with emotion. When nerves in the esophagus are highly stimulated, people have trouble swallowing.
In cases of extreme stress, the cranial-brain seems to protect the gut-brain by sending signals to immunological mast cells in the plexus. The mast cells secrete histamine, prostaglandin and other agents that help produce inflammation. Unfortunately, the chemicals that get released also cause diarrhea and cramping. Such cross-talk also explains many drug interactions. When a drug is created to have psychic effects on the cranial-brain, the drug is very likely to have an unfortunate effect on the gut-brain. Conversely, drugs developed for the cranial-brain could have uses in the gut-brain.
For example, the gut-brain is loaded with the neurotransmitter serotonin. When pressure receptors in the gut’s lining are stimulated, serotonin is released and starts the reflexive motion of peristalsis. A quarter of the people taking Prozac or similar antidepressants have gastrointestinal problems like nausea, diarrhea and constipation. These drugs act on serotonin, preventing its uptake by target cells so that it remains more abundant in the central nervous system.
Just as the cranial-brain affects the gut-brain, the gut-brain can talk back to the cranial-brain. Most of the gut-brain sensations that enter conscious awareness are negative things like pain and bloating. Although people do not expect to feel anything good from the gut-brain, such signals are present. Thus, the intriguing question: why does the gut-brain produce benzodiazepine? The cranial-brain contains receptors for benzodiazepine, a drug that relieves anxiety, suggesting that the body-suit produces its own internal source of the drug. Several years ago, an Italian scientist discovered that patients with liver failure fall into a deep coma. The coma can be reversed, in minutes, by giving the patient a drug that blocks benzodiazepine. When the liver fails, substances usually broken down by the liver get to the cranial-brain. Some are bad, like ammonia and mercaptans, those smelly compounds skunks spray on you. But a series of compounds are also identical to benzodiazepine. When the liver fails, the gut-brain’s benzodiazepine goes straight to the cranial-brain, knocking the patient unconscious.
The gut-brain is the great power-house of physical life-energy and the seat of our emotional nature. Moreover, the close relationship of emotional feeling and the physical organs regulated and supplied with energy by the Sympathetic Nervous System, and not by the Cerebro-Spinal System, clearly indicates that the “seat of the emotions” must be looked for in the great “brain,” or nervous energy-center of the Sympathetic Nervous System. That “brain,” or great nervous center is the Solar Plexus or Abdominal Brain — the center of life and life action. Solar Plexus, gut-brain, or Abdominal Brain, is the great center and seat of the feelings and emotions; the source and origin from which all of our strong and elemental feelings and emotions arise and flow.
That our emotional nature may be regulated, controlled and directed is a fact known to all people who have escaped the bondage of elemental and instinctive feeling, and who have learned that it is possible to exercise control over their passions, emotions and feelings. Such control, in fact, is necessary in our civilized and social life.
In ordinary cases, this interchange of messages and orders, from one system to the other, is performed unconsciously and instinctively by the nervous mechanism of the individual — who is neither aware of the process, nor consciously will its performance. But the ancient occultists discovered, many centuries ago, that the individual could consciously and deliberately send messages from the Cerebrum (the thinking cranial-brain) to the Solar Plexus (the feeling and vital-process gut-brain).
The “thinking cranial-brain” exerts a strong power and influence over the “feeling gut-brain.” It is able to dominate the latter to a great extent, and the latter may be easily trained to accept its “suggestions,” its demands, and its commands.
Contacting the gut-brain involves the following processes: Tell the gut-brain (the feeling brain) just what you wish it to do for you in the matter of arousing or repressing emotional feelings. Tell it what emotional feelings you wish it to develop and encourage, and which you wish it to restrain or repress. Say to it, at the appropriate times: “I wish to feel Happy, or Cheerful; I wish to feel Courageous and Confident, etc.” Or, on the other hand, tell it: “I wish you to prevent the feeling of Fear, or of Depression, or of Excitement, or of Anger, etc.” You will find it a willing helper, and a helpful friend, once you have awakened it properly, and satisfied it of your real relationship to it.
But, first of all, you must thoroughly grasp the fundamental principle involved – (1) that the physical organs are controlled by the “instinctive mind”; (2) that the “instinctive mind” has its seat in the Solar Plexus, or gut-brain; and (3) that the “instinctive mind” may be reached and appealed to, when the gut-brain is aroused and awakened into a state of conscious attention.
This co-operation between the cranial-brain and the gut-brain is valuable in stimulating and increasing the feeling of courage; to repress and restrain that of fear; to restrain and restrict the feeling of gloom, depression, and discouragement; and to increase the feeling of confidence.
THE SOLAR PLEXUS OR ABDOMINAL BRAIN
By THERON Q. DUMONT
A big question remains. Can the gut-brain learn? Does it “think” for itself? The human gut has long been seen as a repository of good and bad feelings. Perhaps emotional states from the cranial-brain are mirrored in the gut-brain, where they are felt by those who pay attention to them.
By SANDRA BLAKESLEEJAN. 23, 1996
Think Twice: How the Gut’s “Second Brain” Influences Mood and Well-Being
The emerging and surprising view of how the enteric nervous system in our bellies goes far beyond just processing the food we eat.
The little gut-brain, in connection with the big one in our heads, partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body-suit.
Cutting-edge research is currently investigating how the gut-brain mediates the body’s immune response; after all, at least 70 percent of our immune system is aimed at the gut to expel and kill foreign invaders.
Work is being conducted on how the trillions of bacteria in the gut-brain “communicate” with enteric nervous system cells (which they greatly outnumber), which will, in coming years, lead psychiatry to expand to treat the gut-brain, in addition to the cranial-brain.
Now, let’s see how all three brains work together.
Coordinating the Three Brains
“In the small matters, trust the mind.
In the large ones, trust the heart.”
“The three minds of the body – Brain, heart and gut”
Anil K. Rajvanshi
Both the gut-brain and the heart-brain help the cranial-brain in the general thought process.
Besides the electrical signaling, the heart-brain is also an endocrine gland releasing peptides which help in blood pressure modulation and improving the functioning of the kidneys. These peptides also stimulate the pituitary gland, thereby helping it to release hormones like oxytocin, which helps in increasing the feeling of well-being of a person.
Yoga and meditation breathing exercises can stimulate the vagus nerve and this could have a very beneficial effect on all three brains. Similarly, the chanting of mantras or deep throat singing as practiced by Buddhist Lamas also stimulates the vagus nerve. It has been shown that this stimulation helps in reducing blood pressure and improves the rhythm patterns of the heart. The neural information from both these activities facilitates the cortical function and the effect is heightened mental clarity, improved decision making, and increased creativity.
Recently scientists have also discovered that the heart-brain is involved in the processing and decoding of “intuitive information.” Tests showed that the heart-brain appeared to receive the intuitive information before the cranial-brain.
This cranial-brain/heart-brain interaction was also known to the ancients, as a way of acquiring the complete knowledge and contents of the mind.
Thus, in order to produce deep meditative thought, which helps in improving the well-being of a person, it is necessary that the gut-brain and the heart-brain work together with the cranial-brain. When all three brains cooperate harmoniously, it leads to a healthy body and a powerful mind.
One method for coordinating the functioning of the cranial-brain, the heart-brain, and the gut-brain is through “mindfulness,” which involves focusing your thoughts only on the present moment – being fully present in this moment, not thinking about the past or the future. “Mindfulness” activities focus on your breathing, your thoughts, your feelings, and your body’s “talk.” All three brains are included when focusing on the present and becoming fully aware of, and absorbed in, the details and nuances of life that are often missed when the brains are focused on tasks, processes, the past, and/or the future. Take a few minutes to actually see, hear, feel, smell, taste, and touch the present moment, unfragmented by worries and regrets of the past or fears and stresses of the future. Just be aware of “now,” which is a gift to be savored before returning to the tasks and “doingness” of daily life.
By Adam Hadhazy on February 12, 2010
When the cranial-brain won’t stop talking and spinning; the ego has taken control of the cranial-brain. We can employ the heart-brain and the gut-brain to gain centered mindful thought, reduced self-talk, increased focus, calm rational thought, and listening within.
Notice what happens to your body-suit when you are stressed:
- your cranial-brain is hyperalert for whatever apparent danger signaled the production of more adrenaline and cortisol
- your heart-brain is alerted that there is danger somewhere, so it speeds up the heartrate in anticipation that swift action will be required
- the gut-brain is “shut up” and “shut down,” resulting in clenching and cramping the abdomen and shutting down the digestive system
The fear-stress cycle continues until the cranial-brain finally realizes that there is no danger and to reduce the stress hormone production. The gut-brain can alert the cranial-brain, but only when unclenched, when allowed to function normally.
Conscious Stress Reduction
Meditation is one form of conscious stress reduction. The frantic, fearful cranial-brain is calmed by noticing that you are safe now. The calm cranial-brain stops the “red alert,” and the body-suit calms down and returns to normal functioning. All systems of the body-suit are connected, calm, and perform harmoniously. Balance is restored and health is improved by the release of immune cells in the body-suit.
Let’s look at this week’s tools, activities, and summary:
- Be open to the possibility that your life can change and improve in ways unimaginable now.
- You always have options.
- The three brains are: cranial-brain, heart-brain, and gut-brain. – You can consciously encourage all three brains to work together to reduce stress and balance the body-suit
- We Are All ONE as Source – we are all Pure Energy wearing a body-suit for our adventure in physicality on Playground Earth.
- Replace fear with love, knowing that we are all safe as Source.
- By changing within, we become the change in the world.
- We are all part of The Global Shift in Consciousness that is occurring now.
- Notice when your three brains are out of synch: for example, your gut-brain decides to take one course of action, but the heart-brain is swayed by a different action, and the cranial-brain is fearful of both approaches. The cranial-brain releases more adrenaline and cortisol, which speeds up the heartrate and shuts down the digestive system – effectively cutting off the two other brains.
- Envision the Earth as a giant Playground in which we all play as Pure Energy Beings having a physical experience. Imagine working together with others for the well-being of all – including the Earth.
- Imagine no longer living in fear. Imagine seeing everyone AS US. Imagine being calm, knowing we are Source Energy in a body-suit of our own creation, in a Playground Earth of our own creation, within the multiple Universes of Source’s creation.
- Think about what changes a love-based world provides. What do you love doing, that brings you joy and is of service to others? How does the world appear now that everything and everyone is viewed from love, instead of fear?
- Notice the myriad of options you face each day. Become aware of when you “choose by default” by allowing someone else to choose for you, notice when you believe you only have two choices, and notice when you create a third choice.
- We are awakening from the dream that we are victims of this world. We created this world from love and joy; we are returning this world to love and joy now that we remember we are all ONE as Source.
- Encourage the three brains to work together for the benefit of your body-suit.
- To change the world, we change our beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, actions, and reactions from within ourselves, as Pure Source Energy surrounding a body-suit.
- We replace fear with love in every situation.
- The Global Shift to Peace on Earth is occurring; we have chosen to take part in the Transformation.
You are welcome to visit my website at www.Jo-Calk.com. Under the “Podcaster” menu item click on the “Living a Dream: A Transformational Journey” link, I have added a bibliography of books that have inspired me and that resonate with my beliefs; I have also added new pages containing the text of the previous podcasts and will add the text of this podcast for you to review as you wish. In addition, Blog Talk Radio has recorded, saved, and makes available all the episodes of this Living a Dream: A Transformational Journey podcast series, so you can replay an episode whenever you choose. Please visit, https://www.blogtalkradio.com/livingadream/ to see the list of episodes and listen to those that have been recorded or listen to a new podcast as it is being broadcast.
If you have a question or comment, please contact me at: Jo@Jo-Calk.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
The next podcast is “Breathing the Joy of Life.” You will be introduced to several major ways to breathe in the human body-suit, and the benefits of each.
I hope you will join me here next Tuesday, at 4:00 p.m. (Pacific US Time) / 7:00 p.m. (Eastern US Time).
This is Jo Calk signing off:
Blessings to all of us Dreamers on our Transformational Journey.
ALL TEXT COPYRIGHT (c) 2019 by Jo Calk