Medicine or Meditation?

The Hippocampi are the part of your brain that record everything that’s going on right now, 24 hours a day – they never switch off. They take in 200 bits of information per second [that’s up on the 134 figure that I usually teach]. That information gets stored in your long term memory. We then imagine a future based on fragments of memories from the past. So if we imagine ourselves outside in the snow next winter, we create that image from our past experience of snow and winter. Fascinating.

The implication is that without our past we can’t conceive of our future.

Memory and future imagining starts at about age 5 [which is when we think the Conscious mind kicks in], and is mastered by age 9 when you’re completely aware of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.

Your memory is operating at optimum capacity by age 25, yet starts to deteriorate by age 27!! Brain shrinkage actually starts at age 20, and by the time they are 85 years old 50% of people have dementia. “Memory is like a machine – it can be overworked and can wear out” we were told. Interesting belief system – I must try not to remember that!

Events in your memory cannot be deleted at will [so they said]. And about 10% of us experience something we’d rather forget [I’m surprised that the figure isn’t higher?]

The example given was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which they described as a £close encounter with death” [generalisation?]. The emotional imprint is so strong in some people that it stays fresh.

Now here’s the scary part! They discovered that a common beta blocker that has been in use for years has a curious side effect – it dulls the emotional intensity of a memory. They described this reduction in an emotion as a breakthrough!! [For those of us who know Time Line Therapy, EFT and various other interventions, this is not news!]

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The drug inhibits the formation of protein, which in turn reduces the neurological connections in the brain – thus making the memory harder to remember. [Does this sound like a good thing to you?]

A ‘recent’ finding says that just recalling a memory makes it malleable and fluid [I learned that in my NLP training in 1997]

The woman in the study who had been sexually assaulted, was asked to take the pill and then write down an account of her assault. [So dope her then fully associate her, lighting up the neurology]

After 6 weeks of doing this, when the account was read back to the poor woman, according to their measurements and charts there was a 30% reduction in intensity. And she reported that the memory came back less often.

Officials stated that “we are on the verge of an important breakthrough”, and that erasure of a memory is a bad idea as our memory of our past forms our identity and gives us continuity. “Your memory is you”. Plus, “it’s important to learn from the past so we can anticipate and avoid danger in the future” [Uh, Time Line Therapy anyone?]

So in conclusion, which would you prefer – a course of 6 weeks of beta blockers, or 15 minutes of Time Line Therapy?

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