We don’t just have one brain


Recently I was talking to a client who had been through a redundancy challenge.

Our client (let’s call him Jim) sought the advice of a professional through his impending redundancy to help him remain calm, balanced and confident through the process. The professional he met with asked Jim to take deep breaths and as he was doing so said ‘the business you work for sees no value in what you do, and they are casting you aside; like throwing you into the gutter’. This was not his perception of what had taken place – in his mind it was simply a restructure.

As the professional support person imposed his own interpretation of Jim’s circumstances on him, Jim recalled to me that his whole being rejected the words he was hearing. He couldn’t breathe. While Jim found that profoundly interesting, at that time he didn’t understand why and what was going on with his body.

I talked to Jim about an amazing field of practice called “Multiple Brain Integration Techniques” (mBIT) – which is the latest scientific research showing that we have complex, adaptive and fully functional neural networks or ‘brains’ in your heart, your gut and your head. Yay – 3 Brains!

It was then that I put the pieces together for Jim and helped him understand why he couldn’t breathe. Quite literally Jim’s gut brain refused to accept the professional support person’s words. It instinctively recognised that this was not part of Jim’s identity and went into protection mode – it restricted his breathing to alert Jim that something was wrong.

Let me introduce you to the lead researchers of this wonderful information: Grant Soosalu (M.App.Sc., B.Sc.(Hons), Grad. Dip. Psych, INLPTA Master Practitioner) and Marvin Oka (INLPTA Board of Director and INLPTA Master Trainer). Their book is titled ‘mBraining – Using your multiple brains to do cool work’.  While it breaks new ground it wonderfully complements many other self-development practices. I thought it would be great to share with you the following excerpts from an article written by Grant and Marvin, published in the July 2012 INLPTA Journal 20th Anniversary Special Edition, for you to hear about this amazing research first hand.

‘Over the last decade or so, Neuroscience researchers have uncovered a set of astounding facts … we have complex and functional neural networks in both our heart and our gut. Called the cardiac and enteric nervous systems respectively, they have been shown to exhibit all the hallmarks of a ‘brain’. These complex neural networks display amazing levels of functional ‘intelligence’ and there is a growing array of evidence that these ‘brains’ are deeply involved in the control and processing of numerous functions and core behavioral competencies.

A bit more on the gut brain
Dr Michael Gershon is one of the leaders in the newly emerging field of neurogastroenterology, and has published a ground-breaking book entitled, ‘The Second Brain: Your Gut Has a Mind of Its Own’. Dr. Gershon’s book is being hailed as “a quantum leap in medical knowledge” and that it provides “radical new understandings about a wide range of gastrointestinal problems.” The gut brain contains over 500 million neurons and has the equivalent size and complexity of something like a cat’s brain. It sends and receives nerve signals throughout the chest and torso and innervates organs as diverse as the pancreas, lungs, diaphragm and liver. The gut brain is a vast chemical and neuro-hormonal warehouse and utilizes every class of neurotransmitter found in the head brain. In fact 70 percent of your immune system is in the gut.
Given we have multiple brains and not just a single brain in our head, it was obvious to us that the control and processing of complex emotions and behaviors is unlikely to only be performed in the head brain. And this is exactly what we have found. Each of the three brains is optimized and involved in mediating specific core functions with specific core competencies.

I don’t know about you, but for me this research blew my mind in the post positive of ways, it quite literally expanded my consciousness and since then it has transformed me and the conversations I have with our clients.


About Author

Jean Schoultz

NLP Master Practitioner, mBIT Coach and Trainer, Everest Group Ltd. Everest Group Creating Exceptional Workplaces, www.everestgroup.co.nz

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