Technology Serving Consciousness

The Nervous System: Electrical and Chemical

Electricity and Chemistry

Two tremendous bodies of evidence have been built in support of two different systems for measuring activity in the brain. Both systems appear valid in their separate findings concerning brain function. They become even more validated when one holds the information from one school up against the other’s. Both the Brain Electrical model and the Brain Chemical model are working to understand and explain what is happening inside the brain to give humanity the incredible sensibilities and sensitivities which we suffer and enjoy. Each school uses different data to build up its findings about the same mystery: The Human Experience

As any information travels through the nervous system, it must repeatedly convert itself back and forth from an Electrical Pulse to a Chemical Release. We may ask why, but why? This is what actually occurs in the brain’s complex process of stimulus and response messages. So science has labored to understand not so much the Why of this process, but instead the What. What chemicals are used in making us feel happy? What method can be used to qualify the chemistry of a living brain? What do the differing speeds of electrical pulsation teach us? In what way can we change imbalances? Many questions have been asked, and many also have now been answered. The work is highly commendable. Scientists who research the brain’s chemistry and those who have dedicated themselves to the brain’s electricity have brought the general understanding of our own minds to incredibly sophisticated levels. We know, for example, that the sensation of confidence and self assurance has a specific neurotransmitter- a common chemical- called Seratonin, which produces that sensation. We know that when we are feeling dreamy or are "lost in memory" portions of our brains are pulsing at a relatively slow speed, known as Theta. We further see that these two systems appear highly congruent. When a certain area of the brain is producing more Seratonin, it is also pulsing at the speed known as Alpha; the confident, self-assured brain speed. This is a simplified picture, to be sure. It is natural that after a level of understanding has been reached we should want to find ways to apply the knowledge. Gratefully, this drive has taken us into the realm of healing. When a person is experiencing trouble with life; that is merely an element of Experiencing.  Almost all of our psychological and learning problems are a matter of inappropriate experience of the environment by the person. This phenomenon of experiencing is exactly what the two systems of brain measurement set out to understand objectively: What is happening in the brain during our different life-experiences? With much of this question answered we can ask how to apply that body of knowledge to alleviate the real troubles which real people experience?

One school to stabilize and one to normalize

In the Chemical school, we find our cures in pill form. When it is understood which chemicals are in imbalance during, for example, a depressive episode, a pharmaceutical can be developed which will either generate more of a certain chemical or inhibit the production of another chemical- thus attaining a balance. The chemical balance translates into a sense of well-being in the experience of the depressed person. Effects of such treatments are felt with great immediacy and they will continue being felt to varying degrees for as long as the altering chemical remains at a certain level in the blood supply. When that level drops, a person must either take another dose or will likely return to the state which he was suffering previously.

In the Electrical school, the cure comes by observing ones brain pulse rate. By exercising the brain one either slows down or to speeds up the pulses. Thus creating a balanced relationship between the different brain speeds that occur simultaneously across the whole brain. This is a process much like physical exercise, so growth is incremental. The process of change can go on for sometimes six months of "working out" before the benefits which the sufferer has been feeling are ingrained in his brain’s circuitry. This type of treatment is not one which "wears off," though the gains can atrophy through disuse (or abuse). A physiological change occurs at the base level of our experiencing: our brains. So it appears that perhaps again, these two schools of understanding the brain do compliment each other. The Chemical model offers a solution that is felt immediately, but which lasts only for the length of the dose. The Electrical model surmounts the problem over time, through exercise and reinforcement. Though slower to take, its effect is more permanent.

It does not take much to see that the Brain Chemical and the Brain Electrical methods of treatments can each be explored and used in conjunction or alone with great potential. The decision is up to the sufferer as to what he would call a cure. When problems are overwhelming we look for immediate relief. That can be found in the taking of a medication. Then, when the pain of a suffering has been alleviated, a person may begin to find answers and solutions which can provide relief while still allowing him to be personally empowered and free of the side-effects the medication brings. The Chemical and the Electrical systems shake hands in the brain hundreds of millions of times a day. It is our hope that they can be partners as well on the outside.