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Articles    H4'ed 12/2/09

Neurofeedback and Ayahuasca: A More Effective Program for Personal Growth

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The program we are proposing is strenuous and it carries the prerequisites of good mental and physical health. Neurofeedback and psychotropics are being proposed to remediate a variety of disorders, but we are not proposing to "treat" people. We would screen against and exclude people in ill health.

The reward that comes from working on ourselves is some form of enlightenment, a new point of balance from which other solutions can be constructed. Ceremony, meditation, and therapy can alter our memory of the past and our reactions to the future. Neurofeedback tinkers with our basic aptitudes, the foundations on which our personalities rest.

11 - Safety

Is Ayahuasca safe? Adverse reactions are rare, but it is a strong hallucinogen, and one death was peripherally associated with its use in modern times. [][7] On the other hand, I know people who drank as much of the brew as they could, and the physical result was not been much different from those who drank less. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a healthy person cannot dangerously overdose on Ayahuasca.

Can we find lasting benefit from psychotropics? After psychedelics exploded onto the scene in the 1960's there followed extraordinary claims, indulgence, and abuse. Shortly thereafter they became illegal and research into their potential ceased.

Times are finally changing. New research and quality scientific work concerning psychotropics is again being published. [8] It is not surprising to those of us who have been working in this area that the results are positive. [9]

Ayahuasca is different from "designer pharmaceuticals" synthesized in the West, and which have been explored by trial and error. The Ayahuasca ceremony has been practiced for hundreds of years and has found a central place in many cultures. Like the Peyote used by the Native American Church, Ayahuasca has a recognized and legal role in certain contexts. While these cultures are different from our own, many feel that programs of this kind are essential for personal and social development in Western culture. [10]

12 - The Tools of Dr. Morbius

In the 1956 movie Forbidden Planet, Dr. Morbius and his daughter, the sole survivors on Altair-4, are menaced by a hideous monster that roams the planet. At the end of the movie we learn that the monster is Morbius's Id, an expression of his emotional dissonance powered by his mental super powers. He developed these powers using mind-enhancing technology that he unearthed on the planet, and which were originally developed by a now extinct super-race. Is neurofeedback this technology?

"Guilty! Guilty! My evil self is at that door, and I have no power to stop it!"
- Dr. Edward Morbius, in Forbidden Planet

So far, all indications are that Neurofeedback can be used safely. By its nature feedback provides the person experiencing it with the power to control its affect. However it does have its dangers, and this is partly because the experience of remodulating our internal systems can be so unfamiliar that the person experiencing it, the person who is ostensibly "in control," will not know what they're doing.

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Lincoln Stoller Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

My interest is in advancing health, insight, and function on personal and community levels. My training is in clinical neurofeedback with a Ph.D. in theoretical physics and experience with computers, shamanism, education, and indigenous cultures. (more...)
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