Gut-Brain – New Research

neuron closeup and head brain illustration
The head-brain/gut-brain duo

Jim, an astute online friend of mine recently sent me this article. It’s about the work of Elaine Hsiao a scientist at Cal Tech. He saw the words “gut-brain” were in the title and he thought I might be interested in it.

He was right too.

First, some quick background.

In 1996 I became aware of a new article written by a New York Times science writer. It was about new research that had re-discovered a long forgotten second brain in humans.  This brain was not at all like the one we’re all familiar with. This brain was found in the linings of the digestive tract and it was such an important find that it sparked renewed interest in an obscure branch of scientific inquiry called ‘neurogastroenterology’. They also gave this brain a name: “The enteric nervous system”.

To me the real kicker was between the lines. This second brain is a doer not a thinker. It can act on it’s own and it feels… everything! Gut feelings are real things. This is contrasted by the brain in the head that thinks wonderfully but doesn’t feel much at all because there are no pain receptors in the   From that I could visualize an elegant reciprocal dual-brain system no one has ever thought of before. It takes the shape of a mobius. One brain that thinks but doesn’t feel, and another brain that feels but doesn’t think. The head brain is a conceptualizer the gut brain is an action taker. Two acting as one – beautiful.

But here’s my main point. I’m kind of a self-help heretic. I’m working to help people who are in the ‘self-help’ category yet I’ve been a fierce critic of the main methods of the industry for a long time. What bothers me the most is it’s way too head-brain centric. Not surprisingly of course, there was only one brain to deal with.

I’ve read leading self-help practitioners say things sort of like this: “The brain thinks mostly negative stuff and that impacts a person’s success so, let’s teach them to switch-out negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.”

That’s been the cutting edge of most self-help for the last 80 years or so. But wait; hang on a second. We now know there is a second brain that’s been found. But have we seen any training developed for the gut brain? TM maybe?

Nope.

TM requires a deep concentration of thought. Strictly head-brained stuff since you need a thinking brain for that. I was frustrated by all that same old same old, so instead I made this tool.

(End of background.)

The first thing I noticed when I read the article is that the words ‘gut brain’ are never actually used in the text. I did a [control + F] but nothing came up. Ms. Hsiao did talk a lot about digestion though and in the text it did mention the word “brain” twice but it was always in reference to the one in the head. So, I’m not entirely sure that she’s recognizing the fact that there’s actually a second brain located in the gut or not. The word ‘gut’ is found fourteen times since intestinal microbes are what her work is focusing on.

While the initial research carried out by Dr. Michael Gershon and published back in 1996 did show that the brain in the gut operates the various aspects of the digestion function on its own. Ms. Hsiao’s research added a new twist to it. She looked deeper into the workings of the microbiology of the ‘bugs’ in the gut and found connections to some of the pathology of autism in children. She and her team from Cal Tech have gone ahead and actually sequenced the entire DNA of these microbes and are now saying that, in all humans, there is another non-human genome – the “microbiome”.

Personally, I love the duality reference in all of that. I’m glad science has found something new here that helps people – in this case kids with autism. It’s been almost twenty years since Dr. Gershon ‘rediscovered’ the gut brain and I was wondering when new research would produce some more interesting results. The fact that we now have a dual-genomeinality (if that’s a word) is of particular interest to me. I’m always looking to make more sense of the duality of, and in, humans. This new finding helps me to better make the case for my theory of dual immunity – one physical and one ethereal. One that looks after the body (physical) and one that looks after the thinking (ethereal).

It’s basically this: If you as an individual can have two separate sets of brains and two vastly different genomes, then why not two unseen yet potentially active immune systems?

As you can probably tell my particular interest in the gut brain is in an area where scientists can’t ever go. Hobbled by the requirements of hard data and physical evidence science needs to ‘see’ real things. If they can’t it’s either not science or they tend to call it dark like “dark energy” or “dark’ matter”. Although those two terms are more for physicists not physicians.

What all this means is that investigating the unseen invisible ethereal properties of the gut-brain – the areas where the most potential exists – won’t ever be discovered by the experts in white coats.

But I’m not a scientist. So I’m not bound by such constructs. But I don’t see myself as a philosopher either so I’m not going to offer up just some flowery interpretations of what others have found. I’m going to investigate what’s going on down inside those rabbit holes that have driven better men than me totally nuts.

I know from experience that my work does bring forward real usable results in people who have used my tools. Massive beneficial behavioral changes in those whom I have worked with have attested to it. Things like a greater self confidence, a truer sense of their own life purpose, and the ability to set aside fear and worry and to power ahead with a reasonable amount of renewed vigor that seems to never peter-out.

And the beautiful part? I can now prove it to anyone as long as it’s done one-on-one. (Ready to try it? Let’s talk.)

By the way. This is not your mother’s personal development we’re talking about here so don’t even go there. This is different. I like to call it “Human Potential 2.0” because it’s a resetting of the old head-based paradigm to something that includes, in a big way, the gut brain as well.

Of course, it is my sincere hope that Ms. Hsiao, and other scientists like her, continue to uncover more of the mystery of our brain in the gut but first I’d really like them to clearly acknowledge that the gut-brain, which I see as one of the greatest biological discoveries of the last quarter-century, truly does exist.

I know it does, but surprisingly most everyone else hasn’t even heard of it yet. I guess I have my work cut out for me.

More power to you.

David's signature in what looks-like handwriting. Sort of.

 

 

PS: I’m currently working on a new book “The Gut Brain Balm – Use the soothing power of your second brain to reduce over-worry and quiet the relentless chattering of your first”.  If you’d like to see a sample chapter or two just leave a comment below and I’ll whisk it off to you as soon as it’s ready.

PPS: Need something more? Leave a comment in the box below or get in touch with me personally by email: [cryptex]davidp@mobiusman.com[/cryptex] or find me on Skype “DavidTheMobiusman” but be sure to mention this page so I can recognize where you’re coming from. Otherwise I can’t respond..

Too big to believe

Mobius Monday Minute – June 27 , 2011

Mobius Monday Minute logo
Sports figures, entrepreneurs, politicians, and you and I. This is only a partial list of those who succeeded because of just one thing: they had just enough belief to try.

I’m talking about self-belief of course. That’s the kind of belief that infuses the confidence of our mindset and opens a portal to our potential that allows it to flood into our every attempt to succeed at something new.

But there is a problem with this. Two problems actually.

The first is the worrisome fear that our self-belief might be groundless and superficial. That it was applied, like a thin coat of cheap paint, from the time when we read something inspirational in a book or listened to a motivational talk from a skilled presenter.

The second problem is that our potential, if we even think we have any, cannot be seen. Its invisibility becomes a burden even though we’re told by others, who are trying their best to encourage us, that we have lots of it. So we stubbornly use that as reinforcement to our argument for why we can’t do something. If we can’t see it, we reason, then how do we know it’s really there?

There is one main reason why these two problems exist. It’s the lack of actual proof. The problem of your potential’s invisibility is do to the fact that you are human. You can’t see your own potential because it’s simply too darned big a pattern to fit into your human brain.

Yes, the fact is that you can’t possibly comprehend something who’s boarders you can’t see. For example, imagine that you’ve been shipwrecked and found yourself alone in the middle of the vastness of the ocean. You look around but all that you can see is open water in every direction. How could you not feel completely lost?

That ocean is like your potential. It’s a pattern and the pattern is huge. It may have an edge somewhere but since you can’t see it you’re unable to have a frame of reference between you and it. Without that frame of reference there can be no understanding of the pattern you’re looking at.

If you need some kind of proof you need to have it in a form that is solidly understandable. A huge ocean like this is a great metaphor for the size of your own personal potential but to get your head around it you need a something smaller. You need a sample. You need a cup.

A cup of that ocean’s water is an amazing game changer. Small enough so that its boarders can easily be comprehended yet chock full of truth because its contents are exactly the same as the water that’s in that ocean.

There is a word for this type of sample. It’s called a “fractal”.

Fractal images are usually rendered by computer and were first developed and named by the mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot in the 1970’s. They are more closely related to geometry, rather than samplings of personal belief patterns, but they fit my purpose beautifully so I use them.

My point is this: If you had just two types of fractals
• a set sequence of true-life examples of your individual past accomplishments
• a set sequence of the exact same gut exhilaration you experienced when you first performed each of the successful activities you had examined above

I have discovered that if those two things are brought together in a tight time-frame of a few short hours then an interesting reaction happens inside anyone who does it. An authentic body feeling will present itself as irrefutable proof that you have had success in the past, and therefore, have enormous potential for attaining it in the future.

To overcome the problem of believing in something that is far too large to comprehend has been my life’s work up to this point. I now have turned the theory into reality and only need a few of you to test it.

Please leave a comment below if you’re willing to give it a try.

More power to you.

David is the developer of the H.E.R.O. eMachine