Our Mind Controls our Life
This Technique Saved My Life
There was a time when I was the director of an entire mental health system in a county in New York State, and was a very miserable human being. Although I had a wonderful wife, two beautiful children, and a great job, I was depressed, anxious, and had vague thoughts of not wanting to live anymore. It was during this time that I found a book called The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson, MD, a world-famous thoracic surgeon and professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Benson discovered what he called the relaxation response which he said was a natural part of the functioning of the human brain. In his book was a simple relaxation technique that he used as a part of his famous study about the effects of relaxation on stress and high blood pressure.
I used his technique and found that it significantly improved my emotional state and, over time, gave me a mind mastery I never expected. I also realized, however, that its effects were temporary and had to be constantly re-enforced by using the technique for twenty minutes, twice a day. Even though the benefits were worth the forty minutes a day, I discovered a simple, science-based method, called alpha training, to permanently re-establish the relaxation response in the brain. After that is done, it again becomes a natural and automatic response to unnecessary stress, needing only an occasional reinforcement to maintain its efficacy. When this is accomplished, we move into a permanent alpha state or waking meditative state that we take with us into our everyday life where we need it the most. I now recognize that alpha training is also the gateway to a powerful part of our mind that provides us with natural abilities that have been used by very successful people throughout history. This is not something that requires any belief but simply the motivation to give it the chance to work.
WARNING: What you will read about is very simple, but there is the possibility that you may discount it, because we are conditioned to complexity, not simplicity. It was Albert Einstein who said, "If the answer is simple, God is speaking."
these simple instructions to train your brain to automatically
initiate a natural calming response any time, anywhere and tap into amazing abilities you already have. It may take a
while for you to overcome the years of environmental assault on your
nervous system, but, however long it takes, it will be worth it. Stay
with it, and you will be rewarded.
1) Find a time and a place where you won’t be disturbed. This is essential in the beginning, but once your nervous system is retrained, you’ll be able to do this just about anywhere, anytime. (Turn off all phones and do your best to eliminate other disturbances.)
2) Put yourself in any comfortable position, except your normal sleep position, otherwise your brain will put you to sleep; and, this is not sleep.
3) Close your eyes and put your thumb and first two fingers together separately on each hand. (This specific part of the technique may also be used with other form of meditation or relaxation, in addition to this one and is what makes this method unique.)
4) Take three deep breaths letting them out slowly.
5) Count slowly backwards from 20 to 1, focusing on each number.
6) Introduce into your mind the word TELOG, or any other neutral word or phrase you choose. If you become aware of thoughts, simply turn your attention to your word again as if you were watching a bird moving around in a tree. Twenty minutes is equivalent to 1 1/2 hours of sleep.
7) Twenty minutes, twice a day until the desired result is attained is a must to overcome the constant negative programming we are subjected to daily, but dramatic, positive results will be noticed within seven days.
and this is what makes this technique unique and very powerful, during the day when you recognize that you are tense, simply repeat
the three fingers and the word a few times and then go on with
whatever you were doing. This takes only a few seconds, but the more
you do it, the more you are retraining your brain to recognize
unnecessary tension and initiate the calming response. Eventually,
after you’ve done this often enough to change the neuron pathways,
your brain will do it automatically with only an occasional reinforcement
by using the full technique. This training of the brain to establish a permanent calmness moves us beyond meditation by making it possible to be in the alpha or "waking" meditative state in the midst of our everyday life when we need it the most.
The “relaxation response” was discovered by Dr. Herbert Benson. Alpha training, or the association of the physical and mental signals with a relaxed state of mind to create the conditioned response of the calming effect was discovered by Stephen Scalese.
©2003-2009 Stephen G. Scalese
Giliam on April 03, 2017:
Its like an Osiris eye... beautiful picture
The link between the osiris eye and the acacia tree is also very intersting to look up...
joe on February 10, 2014:
Is it necessary or more beneficial to say the neutral word aloud? Or should this be an inner voice thing?
sevoxx on March 05, 2013:
This is the first time I'm sharing my story with anyone as I've been feeling like I'm going insane the last 7 months.
I'm 24 years of age and had my first hardcore panic attack in August 2012 (7 Moths ago) 2 days after a night of heavy drinking. The following day after the night out was fine, normal hangover, nausea, headache and whatnot. The panic attack occurred 2 days after the event after my morning cup of coffee at work when a thought suddenly hit me -- What if I slept with someone, why is there a cheap condom lying in my car... WHAT if I have HIV! That's where my life turned to shit, I had a full blown panic attack, heart racing, constant exagerated thoughts - I told my boss I couldn't work the day I was trembling and freaking out. 2 days passed with this constant worry, too afraid to talk to anyone about it because of the stated questions. I went to the doctor and had an HIV test, came out negative just after telling me that there's a window period of 3 months, so that didn't help me much.
Another 2 days passed and I started feeling this extremely weird outer body feeling which I have no learned is known as de-personalization or derealization, this is what's killing me almost 8 months later. I have CONSTANT dizziness and this odd feeling. I work infront of a PC throughout the day and I have the constant feeling as if I'm rocking my head back and forth slighty, along with head pressure.
My doctor later prescribed me with Lexapro (10mg), an anti-depressant that only made me feel 10 times worse, it increased the outer body feeling and made me feel like a machine/robot.
I apologize for the jumpy post, but I'm typing this in a workplace and just want to get it out there ASAP. So here's me getting to the point, I'm still confused as to what this is, why am I feeling this way? Is this Axniety/Stress? is this my hypoglycemia? What should I do?
Any replies would be greatly appreciated, I'm desperate to feel normal again.
royce on April 19, 2012:
Sorry to bother you again. But I always see a strong correlation between super fit athletes and compliance of mind and body. Lance Armstrong, ironmen,ultramarathoners etc. If you look at their physical body and energy it is obviously paramount. They are on a different playing field, and you won't catch these people with the same challenges as a person of "normal person". Anyways I guess the thought of transpersonal orientation of mind and body to achieve transcendence of the self is a logical thought. If you look at most people they tend to be focused on seemingly mundane "limited" issues which if you look more deeply into a usually a product of their environment, and cluttering of mind by continually repeating tasks and staying within a limited framework.
What do you think about us as being fields of energy which by expanding volumetrically enable our potential for real growth and evolution? There are many variables which make the conscious and subconscious, but for me I see most people as robots trapped by their own adherence to societal norms. Maybee the only truly free are dolphins and shamans :)
royce on April 19, 2012:
I have researched energy/mind mastery for several years through occultism,Robert Anton Wilson/Timothy Leary(8 circuit model),Quantum physics,NLP,pranayama,shamanism,brainwaves,etc.And honestly, these things are all good,but what really matters in the end is the actual physical result.There is a lot of talk about "mind over matter" and "ANS and psychoneuroimmunology" function,but some people just cannot physically communicate with their entire field of energy.So they will try everything and still experience trouble and have "dark spots" of unconscious material.
Knowing all this stuff, as far as you know. What physical, mental, nutritional, etc, etc practices could I explore to fully potentialize and self-actualize to fullest capacity? Obviously history place a role from conditioning,stagnant energy and pavlovian/automatic programs/etc. But if you've read Robert Anton Wilson, he talks about being in the higher circuits of function and being able to metaprogram everything so you are literally creating new realities. There must be atleast a handful of people on this planet who have extensive teachings. Thanks.
Bhim on April 30, 2011:
Really interesting I will try this technique.
Sgscalese (author) from Tucson, Arizona on December 21, 2010:
The fingers, and equally important the "word," are a called stimulus/response technique. One is physical, and one is mental. They could actually be any physical and mental signal that the brain associates with the feeling of relaxation. After they are used with the relaxation technique, they should be used during the day when one feels tense and/or uptight. Gradually, they will create what is called a "classic conditioning" of the brain. At that point, the brain will automatically initiate the relaxation response whenever it senses that the person has reached an unacceptable level of stress. Dr. Benson states that the relaxation response is natural and normal, but we have factored it out of our brains because of our overloaded lifestyles. The three fingers and the word is a technique I developed to factor back the relaxation response into the brain again. Once this happens, we no longer have to use any kind of relaxation technique or meditation, because our own brain will keep us in an alpha state naturally. Occasionally, using the full relaxation as a reinforcement is helpful in our crazy world where we are constantly being bombarded with negative data and information. Very few in the world know how simple and effective this simple technique is, and even fewer will use it as directed to attain a state of permanent inner peace.
peacefulparadox on December 21, 2010:
I read Herbert Benson's books many years ago and believe in his techniques. I also wrote about a breath counting technique here https://hubpages.com/t/1da4ce
So I believe in the positive effect of the breathing and the counting. I am curious to know the reasoning behind the thumb and finger position. I have heard other techniques that use similar finger action.
Sgscalese (author) from Tucson, Arizona on August 25, 2010:
Yes, you will "lose efficiency" as defined by this technique if you use relevant key words. Of course you can do what you're doing and get beneficial results, but the result may be quite different than this technique was design to obtain.
The purpose of this exercise is to reduce and even eliminate unnecessary thought that causes distraction and fear. The result is a clear, quiet mind that's open to inspiration coming from our creative, intuitive mind and "other sources." When one uses a "key word" that has obvious, conscious meaning, often that meaning stimulates more thought, not less. Now, you many feel, believe that those thoughts are beneficial, but they are still thoughts that tend to block creative, inspirational messages and can even trigger fear, because fear is thought in the form of memory. This would be counter-productive as far as the purpose of this technique is concerned. The ultimate goal here is to eliminate all thought that does not have a specific purpose and to produce an alpha state that is free of thought, clear, quiet, and creative ALL THE TIME that we are not specifically and intentionally using our rational, analytical mind to solve a "technical" problem.
Prayer, as you describe it, is a form of meditation. If you associate it with the "three fingers" and the word, and then use that throughout the day when feeling stressed, it can have a similar result as long, again, as those "prayers" are not stimulating more thoughts. This would nullify the result of clearing the mind to allow for the streaming of new, creative answers to questions and/or inspiration that has the same effect. If you asked for help in prayer for an answer to an important question in your life, but your mind is still full of spiritual or religious-based thought, the chances are slim that you will be aware of the answer coming from "God" or whatever source you seek an answer from.
I suggest you read my following Hubs that will further answer this question. https://hubpages.com/hub/A-New-Mind, https://hubpages.com/hub/Making-Decisions-is-Obsol... https://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Stop-the-Global-Pa...
I also strongly suggest that you read my book, The Whisper In Your Heart, that explains how I helped Nancy heal herself of terminal cancer by finding within her mind a special intelligence that guided us on a five-year healing adventure. It is this special intelligence that will provide us with all of our answers but ONLY if we get out of the way by eliminating unnecessary thought that blocks the flow of these answers. Blessings, Stephen
Andrei on August 25, 2010:
I wonder if you lose or gain efficiency by making the key word more relevant. What if you use a word like love / peace / calm / serenity ?
What I've been doing may sound completely different but in a way it is the same: I've basically replaced step 6 with continuous prayer and did it every night. I pray for family, friends, people i know and for myself.
I always fall asleep praying and it's the best nap I ever took. I wake up refreshed and feeling really good.
And the key words I use throughout the day would basically translate into this: "I can do everything through the power of Christ".
Your technique is probably just as powerful as Belief. But why not combine the two? Praying is incredibly powerful and it can change your life even if you are not a very religious person (I know I'm not). And finding more efficient ways of praying can help.
snuffie420 on June 06, 2010:
A few years back I heard a radio program in Nashville TN about this. I thought the person speaking talked about imagining feather at the temples to do this with clouds. Was that you?
Sgscalese (author) from Tucson, Arizona on January 12, 2010:
Mohsin...Make sure to use it as directed, and it will work. See my comment above to Jeffery. Blessings, Stephen
Mohsin on January 11, 2010:
Thank you so much. I hope it would work. I will start from today and will let you know in 7 days about the result. Thanks again for this useful information.
Sgscalese (author) from Tucson, Arizona on November 01, 2009:
Hi Jeffrey. I suggest you "just do it," because "trying it" leaves open the possibility that it won't work. It will work if you follow the directions, especially using the three fingers and the word during the day. The effects of alpha training go far beyond positive thinking. Blessings, Stephen.
Jeffrey Neal from Tennessee on October 31, 2009:
Interesting technique. I will definitely have to try it. Since losing my job a few months ago, my stress level is actually much less and I've maintained a positive outlook, but something like this would still be useful. Thank you.