The Visceral Reaction

Stomach pumping is a simple exercise to remove the persisting effect of a visceral reaction - the release of adrenaline, which activates your fight, or flight response to danger.

Other than the fear of dismissal from work or of serious illness, life also delivers myriad minor irritations and subtle threats. Traffic snarls, rude colleagues and delayed trips happen often.

Every day, news stories of murder and mayhem make you aware of the fragility of your existence. These repeated visceral responses to stress are all subconscious cuts inflicted on your system.

Stomach pumping can supplement your learned ability to maintain a balanced life plan and to instantly relax your body. Together, these skills reduce your vulnerability to the daily stresses of life.

  • Each visceral reaction damages your system.
  • These reactions are triggered by emotions within milliseconds, ahead of your conscious awareness.
  • Laughter is known to release tensions, but does not come easily in a tense situation.
  • Cough CPR is a disputed method for dealing with heart attacks. But, it is similar to pumping your stomach.
  • Stomach pumping is a simple mechanical response, which stills a visceral reaction and can help you cope with minor irritations in life.
  • Stomach pumping also prevents you from sinking into depression.

Can An Algorithm Be Controlling The Mind?
I am not a physician, but an engineer. Way back in 1989, I listed how the ELIMINATION approach of an AI Program could be uncovering a mystery of the mind.  How could a doctor be instantly identifying Disease X out of 8000 diseases?  How could the doctor's mind isolate a single disease/symptom (D/S link out of trillions of possible links in less than half a second? 

This list of 6 unique new premises could be explaining the enigma and revealing an exciting glimpse into the mind:

First, the total born and learned knowledge available to the doctor could only be existing as the stored/retrieved data within the 100 billion neurons in his brain.

Second, axon hillocks could be storing that knowledge as combinatorial memories. Residing at the head of the axonal output of each neuron is its axon hillock, receiving thousands of inputs from other neurons. Each hillock is known to be making the pivotal neuronal decision about received inputs within 5 milliseconds. The hillock could be opting to fire impulses, if it recalled a combination. If not, it could be opting to inhibit further impulses.  Or, it could be recording new combinations, adding to its memory store.  These choices and recordings were programming axon hillocks to logically store and respond to vast memories, making the mind intelligent.

Third, combinations are known to be providing nature with its most powerful mode of coding. Science has been reporting the neuronal memories provided by combinations for millions of smells. Each axon hillock is capable of processing more combinations than there are stars in the sky. Each new combination stored by an axon hillock could be recording a new set of relationship links remembered by the mind.  The doctor's brain could be storing all the D/S links known to him as combinations in the relevant axon hillocks of his brain.

Fourth, instant global communication is working today as a practical reality. Millions of cells of spreadsheets are instantly reflecting single inputs into cells. The doctor observes a symptom. Within the instant of his observation, the feedback and feed forward links of his brain could be informing all related D/S axon hillocks of the presence of the symptom as a combinatorial transmission.  Only the D/S link of Disease X could be recalling the combination and recognizing the symptom.

Fifth, on not recognizing the symptom, all other disease related D/S hillocks could be instantly inhibiting their impulses. But, the D/S links of Disease X could be continuing to fire. Those firing D/S link would be recalling past complaints, treatments, patients, references and signs of Disease X, thus confirming the diagnosis, in the doctor's mind.  In this manner, rational axon hillocks could be enabling the prescient speed and wisdom of the mind.

Sixth, specific regions of the brain are known to be identifying sensory inputs, recognizing objects and events, triggering emotions and providing motor responses. Axon hillocks of those regions could be rationally responding to inputs and triggering those functions. The axon hillocks of the amygdala could be storing memories of threats during life, or during prehistoric encounters. The sight of a snake could be triggering fear signals from the organ. Those signals could be triggering reflexive flight or freeze responses out of the axon hillocks of the motor regions.

Finally, common sense can calm such reflexive responses through routines for self awareness, as suggested in these pages. Sound judgement
can be toughening the mind by making it patient and by controlling its temper. Grief or guilt will not be shattering experiences; reason can be the tool for conquering fear; for escaping from the well of sudden disappointment; avoiding dissatisfaction with life; avoiding despair over the lack of meaning in life. These urged routines, which provide effective mind control, are now benefiting thousands of people.

orldwide interest in this website is acknowledging its rationale. Not metaphysical theories, but pattern recognition and infinite axon hillock memories could be explaining the astonishing speed of human intuition. Several years after 1989, a Nobel Prize began acknowledging combinatorial olfactory codes. Over three decades, this website has been assembling evidence of how neural pattern recognition is powering emotional and physical behaviors. It has been receiving over 2 million page views from over 150 countries.

Visceral Reaction
How Does Each Visceral Reaction Affect Your System?
While the threats may be small, each visceral reaction harms your system. Adrenalin increases to prepare your body for a fight or flight response. Your heart beats increase to improve blood supply. Blood pressure rises and breathing changes. Acidity increases in the stomach. Your excretory system prepares to clear toxin. Your endocrine system produces the adrenal hormone cortisol.

Excess production of cortisol leads to blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems. Excess cortisol also causes damage to your immune system, arteries, and brain cells, and cause premature aging. Evidently, a simple exercise which can mitigate the impact of a visceral response can be immensely useful.

Visceral Reaction
How Quickly Does An Emotion Strike?
A visceral reaction occurs quickly, before you become aware of it. Paul Ekman, the famous emotions scientist, reported "We become aware a quarter, or half second after the emotion begins. I do not choose to have an emotion, to become afraid, or to become angry. I am suddenly angry. I can usually figure out later what someone did that caused the emotion." The nervous system processes all the available information and drives you to anger, or despair, within just half a second. Each visceral response occurs before you know it. Nature also provided laughter to counter this response.

Visceral Reaction
What Is The Effect Of Laughter?
Laughter is often triggered by a sudden release of tension. It works to subdue the visceral reaction. The door opens slowly in a dark room. As you wait with baited breath, a kitten walks in. You laugh. The system relaxes. During the middle ages, it was the court jester, who tried to lift the monarch out of an angry or melancholic mood. There is much recent evidence that laughter aids emotional well being and health. A belly laugh is said to result in muscle relaxation. The process is aerobic, providing a workout for the diaphragm, which reduces the effects of the visceral reaction.

Visceral Reaction
Is Laughter In The Face Of Stress Feasible?
Unfortunately, a belly laugh is not the normal reaction to a stressful situation. Laughter is not easy, when a visceral reaction causes you to seethe in anger, or sweat in fear. But, if you practice self awareness, you can become aware that an emotion has taken over. This requires some practice. In Buddhist meditation, a person observes his/her thoughts. When you watch your thoughts, you will become familiar with your outbursts of anger, or moods of despair. Awareness is the first step to quell the effects of the visceral reaction.

Visceral Reaction
What Is “Cough CPR?”
At a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, Dr. Tadeusz Petelenz advocated a procedure to save the lives of people having a type of heart attack brought on by rapid and erratic heart beat. He suggested coughing vigorously until an ambulance arrived. The technique, called cough CPR, forced blood to the brain, while the heart was beginning to fail, keeping patients conscious long enough to call for help. Other experts said the concept was provocative, but unproven and doubted whether it had much practical value. Coughing, while having a heart attack, does sound risky. But, the muscle movements can be more gently replicated, without the strain of a vigorous cough, to quiet the effects of a visceral reaction.

Visceral Reaction
Can A Physical Exercise Dissipate Adrenaline?
The muscle movements involved in coughing also dissipates adrenaline. At the first sign of an uneasy emotion, you can pump your stomach. Stomach pumping requires a deep diaphragmatic breathing—with a long, slow exhale. Stomach pumping helps spread the adrenaline in the system and subdue that tension. It is a practice with endless benefits. When you pump your stomach, the muscles that do not participate in the process, relax. After you finish pumping, those muscles involved also begin to relax. So, the action takes place in two stages. Both beneficial.

Visceral Reaction
How Do You Slide Into A Depression?
Stomach pumping activates your vagus nerve, which plays a major role in your equanimity. It uses neurotransmitters like acetylcholine and GABA to lower heart rate and blood pressure. It manages the inner calm of the "rest and digest" parasympathetic nervous system. It exerts inhibitory strength over the "danger ahead - fight or flight" controls of the sympathetic system, while keeping you calm and energetic. The vagus nerve is deactivated by the lateral habenula LHb, a small nucleus in your brain, which responds to each minor setback in your life. 

Science largely holds the LHb responsible for depression. It adjusts your goals by keeping track of your information-prediction and reward-prediction errors. If you did not expect that criticism from your boss, you made an information prediction error. If your boss did not congratulate you on your brilliant report, you made a reward prediction error. Since you failed to predict such mishaps, LHb assumes that you have false expectations from life. LHb weighs your setbacks (without measuring your blessings) to conclude that your activities will lead relentlessly into disaster. LHb discourages you.

he impulses from LHb
deactivate the vagus nerve and create a bias in your mind by triggering neuro transmitters, which subdue forebrain activity and cause a loss of energy in the system. Subdued forebrain activity escalates your vague fears into dismal emotions. You expect trouble. You feel scared even without a real threat. Your guilt emotion overcomes your common sense and punishes you with self criticism. Subdued forebrain activity blinds your view of your opportunities. Losses appear more probable. Unable to see the opportunities in your life, you are filled with gloom.

Visceral Reaction
Is Stomach Pumping Effective?
Laughter is not easy. Stomach pumping requires a deep diaphragmatic breathing—with a long, slow exhale. With habit, such breathing can be a simple, built in response to the visceral reaction. It is aerobic, providing a workout for the diaphragm. The workout reduces the hormones associated with the stress response. The process stimulates the vagus nerve and has the same physical effect as laughter. 

A higher vagal tone index is linked to physical and psychological well-being. Well conditioned athletes have higher vagal tone. Healthy cardiac function is directly linked to stimulating the vagus nerve. Deep diaphragmatic breathing—with a long, slow exhale—is the key to stimulating the vagus nerve and slowing heart rate and blood pressure. You can consciously tap the power of your vagus nerve simply by taking a few deep breaths with long exhales. Use self awareness and such breathing to reduce the impact of the daily setbacks you face in life.

Visceral Reaction
What Is The After Effect Of Stomach Pumping?

Stomach pumping
is a practice with endless benefits. With habit, it can be a simple, built in response to minor stress. All that is needed is an awareness of minor turmoil, which can be followed by this simple mechanical response. With stomach pumping, tensions disappear moments after a visceral reaction. With subdued visceral responses, memories of the original stress stimulus disappear. A delayed flight fails to spoil the day. The story of the dismissal of a colleague, or of a traffic accident has less impact. Such habitual dissipation slowly erases the usual knee-jerk anxieties and their corrosive effects. Deeper stillness follows.

The only price demanded for such peace is an independent awareness of your barely perceptible anxieties. Do not allow those visceral reactions to color your viewpoints. Even if you may not laugh in the face of minor irritations, stomach pumping will make you more calm and ready to face them.

This page was last updated on 28-Dec-2015.

Jordan Peterson - Happiness
Can Artificial Intelligence Replace Humans?

JUST THINK...   What happens when you are beginning to talk? Your nervous system is picking an emotion, articulating an idea around it, choosing apt words from a vocabulary of thousands of words, arranging them in lexical and grammatical order and adjusting the pitch of your voice. Before you speak you are having no consciousness of the words you will use. Who is actually taking charge?  This question leads to the question "What is consciousness itself?" Is consciousness a spirit living in a human body?  Is it a life form that emerges from the nervous system?  This is the living hard problem of consciousness.