Over the years, the idea of how the emotions work has evolved. The current idea is the whole brain and the body are both necessary in the full experience of emotions. The brain includes the thinking part, the memory, and the limbic system: the deep connecting and integrating parts. The nerve and hormone messages from the body to the brain are also necessary. In an article published in The American Journal of Cardiology, (Vol.76, 1995), Dr. McCraty and others detailed how bringing attention to the heart and feeling positive emotions, such as appreciation, tends to bring about smooth, healthy heart rhythms and a much healthier nervous system. Some of the measurable benefits are: "reduced depression and improved functional capacity in elderly patients with congestive heart failure; the restoration of normal blood pressure levels in hypertensive individuals and improved glycemic control and quality of life in patients with diabetes". The researchers believe the basis for the action is the nerve impulses going back up to the brain. These afferent signals come from the viscera, [ the internal organs ] and the extremities. Scientists now believe experiencing emotion requires perception of external stimuli, brain processing, memory, and the signals from the body, all working together.
How can a person send a message into the brain at just the right place? Science has found a direct line into the brain: the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the tenth of twelve cranial nerves. This pair of nerves comes right out of the brain and goes down each side of the neck into the chest and abdomen, connecting to the organs. These are large nerves, as big as your little finger, and can carry messages each way, both to the body and back to the brain. Even though the vagus is not part of the voluntary nervous system, researchers have found they could communicate right inside the brain by using the vagus nerve. These messages returning to the brain go right into the so-called "limbic system" deep inside the brain where they are processed in the emotional centers and then connected to the thinking part of the brain, the cortex. Are there other ways to use this pathway, maybe Chi Nei Tsang [internal organ massage used to clear stored emotions, CNT]? Science is finding emotional memories exist in the viscera as well as the brain, and CNT brings them out. A new treatment for depression is based on the idea of using these messages sent from the body back to the brain. Scientists found a small electrical stimulation to the vagus nerve helped prevent seizures in epileptics. [ The stimulation is in the range of 0.25 mA to 3.0 mA, 20 Hz to 30 Hz frequency, 250 msec to 500 msec pulse width, with 30 second stimulation intervals every three to five minutes]. A small device is surgically implanted with wires going to the left vagus nerve in the neck. [ The right vagus has a strong connection to the heart, so they don't use it.] The scientists noticed the epileptic patients not only reduced their seizures, they also started having a better mood. Studies showed changes in the activity of various brain structures were similar to the changes found when using antidepressive drugs. The scientists also reasoned that since the vagus was connected to the heart, a "top down" approach, and depressive patients showed heart rate variability, maybe a "bottom up" approach would work. It was tried on severely depressed patients who had tried many other treatments with very little success. It showed 40% of the patients reduced their "depression scale" scores by 50%. Half of them had results in 3 weeks and of the total, 17% were said to have completely responded! This is very significant and other trials are now taking place around the country. Since the vagus nerve connects to the organs and sends messages to the brain, and since studies have shown attention and positive feelings to the heart cause very positive physical changes; What happens when we use movement, breathing, and ALL of the organs and ALL of the virtues: Love, Joy and Happiness; Openness and Fairness; Gentleness and Wisdom; Kindness and Generosity; and Courage and Righteousness? This is just the first part of the Qigong. This shows how the wisdom of the ages goes far beyond science, but it is good to see science catching up. What a wonderful System of Learning we have been given. I have great hope and faith that more and more people will find and use these tools of Qigong. I am excited to imagine millions of people becoming truly mature and evolved: physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically. Many will achieve higher levels of mastery than ever before in the world and we will have the privilege of seeing "full fledged" humans, showing the true capabilities that people can achieve. May we truly appreciate this and receive the strength and guidance to bring these powerful tools to a thirsty world! Come and enjoy learning the art of internal energy development. Get powerful tools to help you achieve emotional harmony and radiant health.