Friday, October 3, 2008

Adrenaline Fetish


Is it possible that adrenaline (those butterflies in your stomach) is the source cause of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis? And if so, can we empower ourselves to reverse the effects?

Here's the deal: We are all predisposed to something; vulnerable to some disease passed on to us genetically. But ultimately it is up to us to create the environment in our bodies to bring it on. Or not. Along with family genes, we also "inherit" the family environment that breeds specific habits; mental, physical and emotional. So why do certain family members get sick and some don't? Bottom line: It's because our health is determined by how we each individually "react" to the environment; emotionally, mentally and physically. The way you are inclined to react to the environment will have specific effects on your body now and in your future.

So what does adrenaline have to do with disease or being fat? One doctor I asked said a friend of hers won't drive in traffic because the cortisol and adrenaline produced in her body by the stress will make her fat!

Adrenaline is your body's alarm system. Those butterflies in your stomach is the body's physical "fight or flight" response related to the psychology of anxiety and stress. Adrenaline is released in the body when the brain believes the physical integrity of the body is threatened. Immediately the nervous system increases the concentration of glucose (sugar) in the blood to create energy so the body has fuel to react fast. Blood pressure and the heartbeat rate increases, eyes dilate, and air passages increase to allow more oxygen to flow to increase physical performance in short bursts of time. Blood is pulled away from the stomach and sent to the muscles, so you can run! That's what causes the feeling of butterflies. Flight or fight.

Now: Imagine your fist clenched tight.

Cells cluster like this in an inflamed environment of physical, mental, or emotional stress; when you hit your elbow, someone cuts you off in traffic, or when you fight with your boss or mate! If cells are tense from stress or inflammed from disease or injury, they cluster together, like your clenched fist, and good stuff can't get in there to its job.

When cells are clustered the good food you eat or vitamins you take can not easily enter.  A lot of the money invested in supplements literally goes down the toilet.  Then people wonder why the product isn't working.

Now imagine unfurling your fingers open.
This is what cells do when you are relaxed. We have to create the environment in the body first so the healing can begin. Everything in the body and mind works better like this. Cells are optimized in this way by relaxing any resistance.  Oxygen can then enter so we can think clearly, nutrients can enter to give us energy, and blood flows better to decrease inflammation and pain. And when blood flows better, what else happens? You can throw the viagra prescription away!


Adrenaline comes in handy when your house is on fire. It is a one-time response and then the body calms down. For some, that initial clenching of the fist is a sign that an emotionally charged thought has been triggered in your mind and is the beginning of an adrenaline rush.

But what happens to the body under chronic or repeated stress? When the rush of adrenaline is frequent (every day) the body memorizes the ‘feeling’ and creates memories of surroundings and other references from the five senses and relates it to thought. Adrenaline and cortisol enhance memory processes, helping us to store and retrieve sensory cues and be alert to future danger. It creates a patterned brain circuit; a short cut to react. Like speed dial on your phone. While thinking is as spontaneous and natural as breathing, when thought is charged with emotion of the memory experienced during adrenaline rush, eventually the rush can be triggered simply by thinking about the related activity.  Let's call it the adrenaline drip.

We tend to treat behavior associated with addictions and not the source of the addiction. Addictive behaviors of the body are byproducts of emotionally charged  thoughts in the mind.  The thought triggers the physiological chemical reaction. It is the emotionally charged memorized thought charged with the rush of adrenaline that triggers the speed dialed addictive behavior. Yet the addictive effects of adrenaline aren’t found doing that activity, it is found when the adrenaline starts to build-up prior to doing that activity; in the mind.

Addicts are "hyperthinkers".  Alcohol addiction, sex addiction, work addiction are merely byproduct physical behaviors to numb or distract the mind from the compulsive "hyperthinking" connected to a negative experience that repeats like a broken record in the mind.  Any situation that triggers the patterned emotion will physically speed dial the overreaction.

When the mind compulsively speed dials the adrenaline rush, the nerve cells in the brain shrink, and we become numb. When adrenaline is overproduced in the body for extended periods of time, the person can no longer accurately measure risk effectively, leading to a further risk required next time for the same rush.

It is the initial rush of adrenaline that is addictive. The guilt or shame (that are components of any "vice") are only felt after the body comes back into balance. That moment when people say "what was I doing?".

Doing the activity to get a fix, anything from smoking to a picking a fight to risky sex, is the byproduct of the addiction, and dissipates the chemical; just like when nerves disappear as soon as a performer steps onstage or an athlete begins a competition, which are healthy alternatives to release the chemical.

When stress hormones remain high and hyperactive for many hours after the triggering event, your immune system sees these hyperactivity as the enemy. The cells in your body are working overtime to battle repeated fight or flight reactions to bring the body back into balance. This creates an internal war and communication between the cells break down. Overabundance of adrenaline creates the free radical environment in the body and is the root cause of autoimmune diseases.  So the cure for autoimmune diseases must begin with the brain.

Doctor's say autoimmune diseases cannot be cured because even if the body grows new cells (for example beta cells in type 1 diabetes) for some unknown reason the immune system has it out for particular cells and will kill them again. Still, the body always seeks to regenerate and achieve balance again. Perhaps a way to "reboot" the system to get cells to remember what it was like before the internal war.

Can this speed dialed adrenaline rush be reversed in adults? Yes. Because of the plasticity of the brain where adrenaline addiction exists, with some practice to unlearn the habit, it can "disconnect" the byproduct addictions.

Parents will recognise their kid(s) becoming hyper prior to an activity. This is the child's way of dealing with the adrenaline chemical, until the activity begins to dissipate it. Instead of telling a child to ‘calm down’ and ’sit still’ when children become "hyper", parents may instead tell the child to go run up and down the street or go bounce on the trampoline for 10 minutes. Start the practice early to give children healthy safe outlets for their emotions and feelings and much disease will be prevented.

Adrenaline energy flows from the brain down the spine and up the front of the body; backwards. When you feel the adrenaline energy start to build when an emotionally charged memory is triggered, be alert and tell yourself to stop. Visually stop the flow with your mind and move it forward from your brain down the front of your body and up your back in a forward motion like you are riding a bike. You can even use your hands to create a spinning momentum of the forward moving energy. This creates endorphins and a much better positive fix.  Take three deep conscious breaths to make space between your cells before they get a chance to cluster. 

This ceases the war, and you feel these peaceful effects immediately as the adrenaline simply dissolves before the roller coaster effect even begins. The first time you do this, you may laugh from the wonderful feeling produced by your brain and felt throughout your body. The difference? You feel BAD after an adrenaline rush and you feel GOOD after an endorphin rush.

Disease is a war inside the body caused by cells that are not communicating.  Your emotions run everything.  So let your emotions work for you. We always have the power to create the environment in our body for all healing to begin.