Dr Paul Canali has been working for over two decades with the idea that consciousness, somatic awareness and the Autonomic Nervous System can be activated in such a way as to create what he calls a “super conscious state.” The super conscious state is a state of awareness induced in the nervous system that generates extraordinary breakthroughs in one’s own personal growth and development. Many major breakthroughs throughout history in the arts, sciences and overall human development can also be attributed to these brain states of high-level awareness. Dr Canali has been able to identify a measurable physiological condition in the nervous system that accompanies this state of mind and body. His approach, called Unified Therapy™, moves individuals toward that physiological expression in which these experiences of higher states of consciousness can occur. He is also able to identify the biological and pathological traits often associated with limited states of awareness and consciousness.
“We use our minds [as a screen] not to discover facts but to hide them. One of the things the screen hides most effectively is the body, our own body, by which I mean, the ins and outs of its interiors. Like a veil thrown over the skin to secure its modesty, the screen partially removes from the mind the inner states of the body, those that constitute the flow of life as it wanders in the journey of each day.”
~ Antonio Damasio,
The Feeling of What Happens, 1999
We are presently in a time of unprecedented advances in neuroscience and brain imaging technology. These advances have given us new insight on how the nervous system works, and the hows and whys of human healing and development. It has been found that working with the part of the brain that increases “somatic awareness,” or body sensory feedback (the Prefrontal Cortex), along with afferent Autonomic Nervous System stimulation, produces something extraordinary. An involuntary action, or reflex seems to take over the nervous system. Once activated, it seems to be driven by an innate (subcortical) organizing force.
“A balanced and evolving nervous system, when exposed to new stressors or old fears, expends minimal energy to produce maximal results. The nervous system is a self-regulating, self-organizing system under evolutionary control. When subjected to a stressor or life challenge, its efficiency is measured in how well it is able to adapt, recover, learn and eventually evolve into something new and more efficient. That’s what growth, healing and positive evolutionary force are all about!”
~ Dr Paul Canali
This is the organizing force, which Dr Canali refers to as the “Master System.” This Master System seems to take control of all the other bodily systems. With 4.5 billion years of evolutionary intelligence behind it, everything seems possible.
When the Master System kicks in, major systemic healing responses are activated. Systemic means the whole body gets involved, from hormones to neurotransmitters. In this grand internal mind, brain, body balancing event many diseases, including psychological and mental conditions previously resistant to treatment or growth, respond in remarkable ways. When these systemic responses are activated, people will experience themselves in a completely different way. The (extra-ordinary) senses become heightened, and the brain’s ability to process new information, or awareness, is extraordinary.
“Feeling arises in two classes of biological changes. Changes related to body state, and changes related to cognitive state. Most forms of traditional psychotherapy are focused largely on changes related to the interplay between emotions and thought. When a person is upset, the therapy attempts to grasp the meaning of what gives it such emotional power, while happenings in a patient’s life are examined for their emotional significance. Most therapies have essentially ignored changes related to bodily states: the sensory dimension of experience. Emotional states are generated by the state of the body’s chemical profile, the state of ones viscera and the contraction of the striated muscles of the face, throat, trunk, and limbs!”
~ Antonio Damasio,
The Feeling of What Happens, 1999
“It’s like observing a new evolutionary process in action! Individuals’ nervous systems begin self-regulating, organizing and the body begins physically moving in ways that were not thought possible. A person going through this state is fully conscious, and participating in what is happening to them without fear of the process itself… This is a key parameter in any significant healing, or super conscious experience. When individuals are consciously experiencing this innate process, they get the sense that this process is greater than their individual fears, beliefs and diseases. As they merge deeper in this somatic experience and feel the true ins and outs of their biology first hand, it becomes possible to surrender to this powerful process. The Autonomic Nervous System stabilizes and fear begins to evaporate. People experiencing this are no longer afraid of their own physiology. Fear is replaced by deep mindful states, the body-mind when connected in this super conscious way allows individuals to be guided and directed in new and extraordinary ways…”
~ Dr Paul Canali
“The various compartments of our minds and bodies are only semi-permeable to awareness. Awareness of certain aspects does not automatically carry over to the other aspect, especially when our fear and woundedness are deep. This is true for all of us, teachers as well as students. Thus we frequently find meditators who are deeply aware of the breath or body, but are almost totally unaware of feelings and others, who understand the mind, but have no wise relationship to the body. Mindfulness works only when we are willing to direct attention to every area of our suffering. This doesn’t mean getting caught in our personal histories, as many people fear, but learning how to address them so that we can actually free ourselves from the big and painful “blocks” of our past. Such healing work is often best done in a therapeutic relationship with another person.”
~ Jack Kornfield
Even the Best Meditators Have Old Wounds to Heal, 1996
Amazingly, the systemic changes that are experienced on the inside, during one of the sessions can also be documented on the outside on film and internally measured with scientific equipment as well. According to Dr Canali, “We are witnessing, documenting and capturing on film that which has never been seen before.” This phenomenon is both reproducible and independent of one’s beliefs.
Super conscious states can be used in any number of ways, including in the recovery from most illnesses and accidents, such as Post Traumatic Stress and Trauma, TMJ, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and most psychological disorders. Even more importantly, being able to enter into this state opens the door of our highest human potential.
It is essential to our progress as human beings to experience our nervous system in this way that is without fear, and in a super conscious state. This heightened state of consciousness in the brain, if continuously reproduced, can give us deep and lasting communication with our internal selves. There appears to be a rewiring of the brain that forms new neural connections. Measurable changes in fear and stress hormones like Cortisol, and DHEA are easily detected. In this heightened state of consciousness, a newfound form of internal communication arises. This is a communication that is independent of language, thought, or belief. It is pure, genuine communication born of evolutionary biology.
“As we merge deeper into self, the very door of fear, buried in the region of the subcortical or limbic brain called the Amygdala, begins to part. Amygdala fear is old, irrational and unconscious; it holds onto the past, keeping us frozen and ever vigilant. The Amygdala forms emotional memories in response to certain sensations, sounds, smells, and images that have become connected with prior painful, threatening or traumatic experiences. The Amygdala will never yield to the cognitive mind. Only the innate driven super conscious state has the power to rewire the brain (neurogenesis) and slay this dragon.
Fear and its more persistent cousin, anxiety is at the roots of almost all emotional disorders.”
~ Joseph E. LeDoux, PhD, Neuroscientist, NYU
This is true bio-feedback without the machines. Once these internal neural connections are established it removes the dependency on any external equipment. The development of these new neural pathways (neurogenesis) empowers the nervous system to move beyond one time state experiences, and catharsis, found in many alternative and new age therapies. Repetitive afferent autonomic impulses potentiate the nervous system, creating new neural connections that result in a highly reproducible form of internal communication, a flexible brain (neuroplasticity), and learning. This communication is ever evolving to create in us a more adaptable nervous system, capable of handling internal and external stressors and challenges, that would not only have previously overwhelmed us, but now can be used to drive and advance the very process of human evolutionary development.
“Awareness as opposed to avoidance of one’s internal states, allows feeling to be known, and to be used as a guide for action. Such mindfulness is necessary if one is to respond adaptively accordingly to the current requirements for managing one’s life. By being aware of one’s sensations, one introduces new options to solve problems. This allows people to not react reflexively, but to find better ways to adapt.”
~ Bessel A. van der Kolk, MD
Beyond that Talking Cure: Somatic Experience,
Subcortical Imprints, and the Treatment of Trauma, 2002
Disengagement from our established ways of perceiving and our habitual thought patterns is only part of the experience of higher states of consciousness. There are ever-changing and evolving ways of experiencing our condition which depend upon our ability to listen to, and not our ability to tune out, incoming information. When practiced, the skill of tuning in to incoming information opens up an infinite number of possibilities over which we do not need to exert control. The very experience of these ever-changing states of receptivity merges our awareness with a powerful innate force, which can heal the body, and end suffering as well as bring forth new ideas and revelations.
By Paul Canali, DC
Quayny Porter-Brown, MArch, LMT, NCTMB
Evolutionary Healing Institute
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