Click the arrow to listen...
Terry Earthwind Nichols Interviewing Janet Oliver, PhD
Cellular Memory and Its Use In Science Today
Terry - Janet Oliver, PhD, has been working in the area of human development for about 25 years. She has always been interested in how people learn and WHY they do what they do. All of the psychological or psychiatric ways of dealing with things never had any interest for her or for me either. They didn’t seem to answer the question, WHY?
Janet - Thanks for that great introduction Terry. I’m honored to be with you today.
Terry - My pleasure Janet. I am so grateful for all of the knowledge you bring to this interview. Where did you interest in human development begin Janet?
Janet - I started out as a Montessori teacher and in that type of a classroom we are suppose to get the barriers out of the way of children so learning can take place.
In order to do that you need to identify the barrier. Some of the barriers I was unable to identify especially for the bright kids with behavior and learning issues so that’s what got my curiosity up.
At about the same time I got married and started a family. I ended up with four, unusually wired girls. I believe you get sent what you need in order to learn what you need to learn in this life. These children taught me a lot because they each had very different learning needs and perceptual differences.
I had my own little laboratory in my own home.
My mission was to get these children to learn and to figure out what was getting in the way of their learning. They were going to public school and that environment wasn’t working so well for me to watch my children.
This was around the time that brain scan studies started and so I began a learning curve that became very interesting. Some of the studies were around how the brain perceives the world around us. As new technologies were added to the field of brain function and human development, I became a sponge for that sort of information.
I was very excited to be a part of looking into all of that information with some of the people who started out at the beginning of that era.
What I discovered was that things that affect our brain are things that are conscious or even semi-conscious and come from our actual body needs for regulation and even metabolism.
A lot of what we are experiencing is coming from what I call the lower brain or the lower systems. From the time a baby is conceived all the way until a person passes on, there’s a great deal of development and unwinding that is going on throughout an entire life. Every part of that development has some effect in making a person who they are at any given time. Sometimes these differences are challenges and sometimes they are not.
What I was finding is that when people had experienced trauma (i.e. mental, sexual, physical) or issues in utero or during their birth experience multiplied by future trauma, their lower brain was so busy dealing with survival issues it was very difficult for their upper brain (the thinking part of the brain) to understand everything that was coming through.
The lower brain doesn’t speak to us like our upper brain. The lower brain speaks to us via dreams, impulses, and intuition. I have studied this for many years now and find that your work, Terry, with Repetitive Behavior Cellular Regression® (RBCR) and cellular memory to be very interesting because it does dove tail really well with the way I see the how the body brain system works.
The lower brain gets its information from the body, from the cells, muscles, and tissues.
Terry - I agree with you Janet, I have found that going deep with a person fully present, they are able to tap into cellular memory. They are also able to get to that deeper level and find the core event and other connected events that show up as repetitive behaviors.
A great deal of the work that my wife Linda and I along with what our CR Practitioners are doing tracks quite well with what you are saying. What we’ve been finding is that we are step one of other people’s processes or modalities.
We’ve even been told by a life-long client, with over 30 years of dealing with alcoholism and who is very active in AA, that our process comes before the 12 step program. He jokingly said that we are the first step in the 13 steps.
Why? Because we can go back and find that amnesic like event that really triggers and drives repetitive behavior. Once our clients go through The CR Process© and get further intervention, it doesn’t take years and years and years for them to recover. The positive outcomes are immediate and they stick.
We work with the conscious and subconscious synchronization for memory recall.
Alzheimer’s and Traumatic Brain Injury can affect that synchronization.
In terms or our work with RBCR we have found that there’s a blockade or filter there, that allows only one way communication in regards to a core event that happened early in childhood, usually at the pre-language stage of development. Like you Janet, we work bottom-up, from the back of the brain forward.
So what’s this all about?
We found out early on that the voluntary and involuntary muscle movements of the body were a key factor. Especially the voluntary muscles that allow us to move our toes, feet, fingers, hands, and arms consciously. We were intrigued by the involuntary muscle movements during a CR Session.
For example, when we used to do a CR Session in person we had a client who happened to have her shoes off and every time she spoke about her grandfather, her pinkie toe, on her right foot, raised up, crossed over, and rested on the toe next to it. That didn’t happen when she talked about her grandmother.
We eventually to the process online. Another client’s earring on her left ear started to move like it was vibrating every time she talked about her mother. The other earring stayed perfectly still. As we correlated what we knew about profiling the body and how the energy of love and nurture represents feminine energy, left side of the body and the energy of protection represents masculine energy on the right side of the body, we were amazed at the correlations.
We also found that when stress is showing up in the body, certain parts of the body express that stress. We literally study our clients from the bottom up starting with having their computer camera on the floor so we can see their feet, especially their toes.
My CR Practitioners end up developing a foot fetish just going through their training.
That’s our company joke.
As infants, our fingers and our toes are ambidextrous, we can use them both independently and equally, like primates. You can see this if the shoes and socks are off. When a baby is crying their fingers are scrunched and their toes are curled up.
When we put socks and shoes on babies, they kind of disconnect that ability early on. They still use their fingers and toes during stress.
Eventually, in certain cases, with enough stress, the toes begin to atrophy into certain positions. Perhaps you’d like to speak more about this Janet because this basic concept of the toes, eventually not relaxing, is a piece of what you are studying Janet.
Janet - Yes, Terry, you are so right! The fingers and toes are extraordinarily important for the connection between the upper brain and the lower brain. Initially, babies don’t even know that they have fingers and toes. They don’t even know they have arms and they will hit themselves in the face with their fists. Then they go, “Oh, what was that?” with a few added cries until they understand that voluntary system.
What this boils down to is that in the beginning almost everything including smiles are involuntary. Understanding these very early motor patterns called the Primitive Reflexes comes out of the field of Reflex Integration. Your wife Linda and I have studied in that world as well as in the world of neurodevelopment.
Infant reflexes go off until the upper brain goes, STOP, I get it. However, under stress or dealing with issues from trauma or developmental issues, reflexes might not become integrated or even appear for that matter. They certainly aren’t able to be easily controlled for lack of a better word.
They are going off from what I call a semi-voluntary level of functioning. This is a place between totally reflexive and totally voluntary muscle movement.
In my research we call those semi-voluntary muscle movements. As humans, we are aware of them, yet we can’t always control them.
The feet are incredibly important in all of this. The feet and especially the toes are very much a part of giving us stability, which is the number one most important part for our brain. This is what keeps us balanced and upright so we feel safe.
It’s one thing to be safe, we must feel safe as well. Safety and stability are the same thing. Even when a baby isn’t standing yet, stability is still incredibly important. There is an infant reflex call the Head Righting Reflex where the baby starts to use its head to influence body position and balance even when laying on their tummies.
Many reflexes are set up to keep the baby from falling. When it comes to the feet: The Babinski, Grasp Reflex, and a few other known reflexes are being used to develop the foot muscles in order to keep a baby balanced and stable when it begins to walk. This seems to be more related to physical stability, however these reflexes affect our mental and emotional stability as well.
For example, the Babinski and the Foot Grasp Reflex are two reflexes that are triggered in trauma. Even if someone is sitting on a chair, their feet can show us how unstable they are feeling.
The fight, flight response of the feet actually puts us in a protective position, ready to lunge forward or run at any given moment. This is the position of the feet when one foot is positioned further forward than the other.
Lifting the toes, pressing the toes down, or grasping the earth doesn’t really help to create stability. Having a properly integrated, flexible motor system does. However, these are important signs when looking for stress or trauma.
Terry - I would agree Janet and you were popping right in with the importance of infant reflexes and even how we learn things.
We also learn from the behavioral patterns of our parents.
Pavlov studied animals and how to change their behaviors. He noticed that as he studied the phenomenon of how whatever a baby bird sees first, it considers it its mother. As you know Janet, this is called imprinting.
Janet - Pavlov was also able to get dogs to salivate just by looking at a photo of food because he had conditioned them. Conditioning happens a little bit on the conscious, semi-conscious, and unconscious levels of the brain all at the same time.
Conditioned Response happens through our body sense, our body mapping, which lets us know where we are in space so we can feel safe and grounded.
Body Mapping is extraordinarily important in finding out who we are and who others are as well. Other people help us develop who we are through Mirror Neurons, which when we watch other people we take on the pattern that we see.
Autism is about having weak or non-existent Mirror Neurons.
When people are enjoying a great conversation, their bodies will be mirroring each other. They are getting attuned with each other, which can be a conscious or semiconscious attunement. Our brains are actually designed spatially to pickup on the movements of others. Therefore we do lots of in-training all of our lives and breaking into that training or intervening is very difficult.
The process you created and together with Linda further developed is a fantastic shortcut. You and your CR Practitioners really do get in the back door of the brain so to speak. Rather than going from the front of the brain back, you move from the back of the brain forward. It’s a bottom up approach. By understanding this body mapping I was able to quickly see why The CR Process is so highly effective and that is why I wanted to go through the process as one of your clients.
Terry- Yes, Janet it was so much fun having you as a client. I remember that you bought your CR Session as a Christmas gift for yourself.
Now let’s talk about the 5 senses.
I took a psychology class in high school because there was nothing left to take. I had no motivation to take that class. Now I know why I took that class. Those basic things that I studied like how the number one driver for recall of memory is the sense of smell.
If somebody has smelled something unpleasant in their life and a similar smell shows up in their environment, boom, they are in that unpleasant memory again.
That’s a great example of what is going on with Post-Traumatic Stress or what some call PTSD. There is a lot of triggering going on from things seen, smelled, tasted, touched, heard, or even imagined.
This is one of the reasons why Linda and I got into using the 5 senses in order to disconnect our clients triggering system. We are able to keep our clients fully present and out of emotions. They are in a healthy place of detachment.
Rather than having a client tell us the story of a memory we have them inventory a memory using their 5 senses, in a specific sequence. Because we know how to keep our clients out of emotion (eyes closed and out of story) and that is why our clients do not trigger.
This is what makes RBCR so safe and why it doesn’t take a psych degree to become a CR Practitioner.
In fact, psychologists, counselors, and social workers struggle to become CR Practitioners because they are so used to asking questions about a person’s story and working them through that story, bringing up all kinds of emotions.
Coaches, teachers, triage nurses, first responders, psych nurses, and emergency room doctors make great CR Practitioners.
Coaches struggle a little bit at first until the can really see the difference between what we call The Active Block and a blindspot.
A blindspot as Mark Twain describes it:
“What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so.” ~Mark Twain
The Active Block is not a blindspot!
The Active Block, as Terry Earthwind Nichols describes it:
“It’s not what we know, it’s what we don’t know that gets us.” ~Terry Earthwind Nichols
A coach can get you through a blindspot, and not The Active Block unless they have been trained in RBCR, Repetitive Behavior Cellular Regression®
Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE’s can be known or unknown. Through our research we have found that there is a foundational ACE that has been walled off and is now in an ‘amnesic like’ state.
Psychologists attempt to get to what we call The Active Block by going in from the front of the brain.
Modalities NLP, EMDR, EFT, to name a few, attempt to go in from the side of the brain. They get down a few levels, but not to The Active Block because it has such a powerful deflection system.
As I mentioned before, we go in from the back of the brain and move forward. It is a Bottom Up Approach.
We know how to disconnect our clients from the story telling of each memory they inventory with us until we get to the core memory, the foundational event that was walled off out of protection and through The CR Process just becomes another page in their history book.
A place of calm, a place of healthy detachment, where they can no longer be triggered.
We assist our clients to find a new neural pathway back to a lost memory or what we call an ‘amnesic like’ memory.
The deflection system of The Active Block is like a furnace or air conditioning filter. This filter only works with the air passing through it in a certain direction. The energy from the ‘amnesic like’ event goes out to distract, deflect, and divert anyone looking to break open that memory.
That’s the worst part about this deflection system.
The best part is that your mind is not broken
You are not suffering from a disorder.
Your mind is working exactly as it is supposed to, out of protection.
Finding the on off switch is all that is needed.
Playing a known memory over and over is part of the deflection system. PTSD doesn’t just come out of war, losing a baby at birth or other traumatic events trigger the deflection system that is hiding an unknown event from your past. Sometimes people think trauma has to be a life and death experience. Things that one person would call trauma for them can seem like no big deal to another person.
Janet - Yes Terry I agree, and restressing a sensory system over and over again can cause a trauma, in its own right. I call that type of trauma, ‘strauma’ because it’s a stress trauma. If you have a sensitive neural system and it’s being triggered/activated over and over again in a way that is painful or hurtful to you, you will develop the kind of traumatic response as seen in PTSD that you were just talking about Terry.
Terry - Spot on Janet and it was from noticing my own repetitive behaviors that got me started on investigating all of this. Going back as an adult I was like, really? You reacted to that? But that kid, at that time in his life, with the stress of home and all of the things he was going through, yes, it was very traumatic and caused repetitive behaviors.
Those events were not The Active Block. This block is not from a known memory. It’s amnesic in its makeup. The mind knows how to create a blockade around the core foundational event that happened in early childhood. This is usually an event that took place during the pre-language level of development. Without the ability to process the event with someone you can’t go on without the block being firmly in place.
RBCR is about going straight to that sensory channel, identifying it and staying with it, which feels scary to people and yet in reality, it opens a door and not a door to pandora’s box.
One of my clients by the name of Patricia Alston Harris does the best job of explaining what happens if you don’t go through The CR Process. “Pandora’s box is going to one day explode all over the place and you won’t have a clue where to put everything. Nothing will make sense. With RBCR, everything is in its place and one’s entire life makes sense for the very first time in a long time.”
Now let’s talk about feet!
Terry - Correlating the feet with a person’s level of stress, gives us an idea where we are going to end up at the end of the CR Session.
We teach our CR Practitioners to read the nuances of body movements because they tell us more than the obvious movements like crossing one’s legs or arms.
We especially look for slight head movements on one side of the body or another. After looking for the stressors on the feet, the rest of a CR Session is done with the client’s camera showing the upper torso of the body, from just above their knees and including their head.
We are looking for slight psychological movements similar to a nervous tick. These are repetitive movements that occur as the client is being taken through an inventory of their 5 senses while in a memory that they have freeze framed and held as a picture in their mind so that there is no motion. We have found that no motion = no emotion.
As soon as the client arrives in a memory we ask them to freeze frame the memory and stop all motion or story around the memory. As I mentioned earlier, we have them see the memory as a picture. In other words, we have them stop the movie player. Our process keeps the client from triggering. When people are triggered, they can’t stop the movie player.
Janet - Yes, I love that about your work Terry. Also, when the upper torso is stressed we hunch our shoulders forward which puts pressure on our heart. If we are leaning back in surprise we are not stable and we don’t have a sense of control.
When our bodies are in a collapsed position we are looking down and are actually becoming depressed. Ask anyone who has experienced depression how hard it is to be able to look up. When neural energy is low in the body, a person can be looking straight ahead and yet you will still see the whites of their eyes under their pupils. This is called Sanpaku Eyes Below and is a translation from Japanese San meaning 3 and paku meaning whites. Sanpaku refers to the eyes. If you look at people who are depressed they tend to have San Paku eyes below. If you go to the post office in America you will see pictures of criminals and some of them will have San Paku eyes above because of their mental illness, including some sociopathic behavior.
Sanpaku eyes below would be associated with low neuro energy. Sanpaku eyes above would be too much neuro energy (manic, psychotic).
Neuro energy placement is very interesting to study and a great deal of this work has been done in the area of Autism by Judith Bluestone.
Surgery in general can cause trauma and even create tension on one side of the body. The other side of the body must compensate, causing even more problems.
Terry - Yes, good point Janet. The unconscious use of the body gives our CR Practitioners clues that allow them to get the client to The Active Block.
Janet - What we are really talking about here Terry is resiliency and the ability to come back from a perceived trauma. For some people the trauma is causing repetitive memories and for others its not knowing how to deal with certain emotions that get triggered. It’s a feeling of not feeling connected or for that matter even broken.
Terry - Yes, and like Michele Rosenthal says in her book Your Life After Trauma: Powerful Practices to Reclaim Your Identity, “Trauma interrupts, even hijacks your identify. To cope, you may rely on mechanisms to keep your emotions, triggers, and responses in check, but these very habits can often prevent the true restoration of safety, stability, and interconnection. How can you rediscover your sense of self so that you honor who you were before the trauma (even if that trauma began at birth), understand who you are at this very moment, and determine who you want to be going forward?
Michele struggled with the effects of medically induced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for over 25 years before reaching a full recovery. Today she is 100% free of symptoms of PTSD.
In 1981, as a 13-year-old child, Michele was given a routine-antibiotic for a routine infection and suffered anything but a routine reaction. An undiscovered allergy to the medication turned her into a full-body burn victim almost overnight. By the time she was released from the hospital, she had lost 100% of her epidermis. Even more importantly, she had completely lost herself.
Michele is grateful for the work that Linda and I do and asked me to write an article for her blog.