Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Wing of the Butterfly - A Philosophical Overview

Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Wing of the Butterfly - A Philosophical Overview

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT: Based the principles presented in the book she co-authored with Judith Acosta, LCSW, The worst is over: What to say when every moment counts, Dr. Prager focuses in this article on the application of these techniques for expectant parents. This is accomplished with reference to a wide variety of background concepts, including Native American and other traditional cultures, as well as Chaos Theory. Dr. Prager's wide experience in training doctors, nurses, and first responders how to speak in medical emergencies, including those responding to 911, provides a solid grounding in practical application of the techniques discussed.

KEY WORDS: prenatal care, emergency care, traditional cultures, Chaos Theory.

INTRODUCTION

Having co-authored a book titled The Worst is Over: What to Say When Every Moment Counts (Acosta & Prager, 2002), I have spent the last several years training doctors, nurses, and first responders how to speak in medical emergencies to relieve pain, promote healing, and save lives. What I tell them is that every thought in our minds creates physiological chemicals that influence our cells, our bodies, our spirits. This idea has become more readily accepted of late because of the brilliant work of cellular biologists like Candace Pert, PhD (2000) and Bruce Lipton, PhD (2005). Their research and writings provide evidence of the mechanisms (neuropeptides) through which emotions are generated and carried throughout the body and the effects at the cellular level of these emotions. When Dr. Pert says, 'Tour body is your subconscious mind," (2000) she is indicating the ways in which thoughts are somatized. When Bruce Lipton suggests that our thoughts and emotions are so powerful they affect our genes-"Genes are not destiny! Environmental influences, including nutrition, stress, and emotions, can modify those genes, without changing their basic blueprint" (2005, p.67)-we begin to see that no one can afford to live with an unexamined mind. The great writer, Rudyard Kipling once said, "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." Words also are, of course, the beginnings of images, and images in our minds are the way that we manifest the world. The images in our minds are also the way we manifest, or undo, our health.

THE CHEMICAL CASCADE

You wake up from a nightmare. Your heart is palpitating, your palms are sweaty, your throat is dry. You look around. You are in bed, likely one of your favorite places to be. There's no stalker, no monster, nothing to fear, just your familiar old bedroom. Do you roll over and go back to sleep? No. You get up, you go to the bathroom, you have a drink of water, you check the locks on the door, and you turn on the TV to watch those commercials for ginzu knives, which are featured at 3 AM. Because your body is experiencing a cascade of chemicals, it takes approximately 20 minutes to process them and settle down before you can relax enough to go back to sleep. This entire disruptive event was generated by an image in the mind. And, if this is all true, which it is, when we are carrying a baby in our body, the chemicals, the neuropeptides that communicate our emotions within us are shared by the baby and, along with those neuropeptides, the thoughts that are tied to those emotions are shared. The babies are feeling the very same thing we are feeling. And, they are correlating their feelings to what they hear and sense with senses developing very keenly, for life, very early.

In his book, Prenatal Parenting (2001) Dr. Frederick Wirth says that, "By the time the fetus has completed the twelfth week of gestation, the total number of neurons he will have for the rest of his life have already formed. By the time he is twenty-eight weeks old, he has developed all of his senses, as well as those brain parts dedicated to emotional responses and memory. By this time in gestation, the unborn infant is developing concepts about himself and the world in which his mother lives" (p. …

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