Rev July 8, 2023
Given polyvagal understanding, it benefits us here to start with reviewing the change in how our autonomic nervous system (ANS) is conceived. In this short review, I use the word “firmware” as it’s an accurate metaphor for programming in our neurology we do not have conscious perception of; which nonetheless, can be modified given advanced, effective methods employed by trained technicians.
Old view of our unconscious neurology firmware ~
Our unconscious neurology is two-fold. It lives 100% between two poles of (1) stress reactions (fight-flight); and, (2) rest-relaxation reactions (sleep, eat, procreate).
Newer polyvagal view of our unconscious neurology firmware ~
Our unconscious neurology firmware is three-fold. Our neurology awareness moves between three systems:
- Behavior most resonant with heart center: ventral vagal, safe to engage and interact socially,
- Initial threat response behavior: dorsal vagal (fawn, freeze--but not coma), and
- Life-threatening response behavior (most resonant with reptile brain): fight, flight, go into coma.
Rosenberg, S: Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve (2017) pg 19, pg 29.
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In 2023, in my own process, I spent the first six months going deeper than I ever had before on Paul Dennison’s Laterality Repatterning topics; and, where Touch for Health evolved into Brain Integration techniques (1990-2000). This finally led to me investing in six Brain Integration Technique (BIT) sessions in Pasadena, CA with practitioner Amy Wheeler.
BIT was instrumental for me climbing out of the “hole” I fell into May 2023, prompted by two eclipses in Chiron, during Mercury retrograde. A more complete account of my case progress is available.
LEAP and BIT
Online, literature exists for two very similar brain integration methods and brands, LEAP and BIT. Both arose from the two developers, Dr Charles Krebs and Susan McCrossin. In the 1990s they worked together as colleagues in Australia. They did original research, saw clients, mostly children, and published a handful of long, significant papers. The most accessible papers are here https://crossinology.com/articles-media. Around 2000 Krebs and McCrossin each went their own way. Susan created Crossinology or Brain Integration Technique (BIT) and trained students. Charles created Learning Enhancement Advanced Program (LEAP) training.
I am not expert enuf to explain how these two brain integration methods differ. My sense is they are more similar than different.
“Safety” and “trust” in our neurology self
BIT does not use the idea of a “neurology self,” a semi-conscious--compared to conscious waking Self--who embodies the sum of our neurology “wiring”, both functional and dysfunctional. Still I find the idea of a “neurology self” useful and compatible with the idea of a Habit Body, with habits on multiple frequency levels. Full discussion in Your Habit Body; An Owner’s Manual; Gut-brain Axis 2.0.
Before I write more about all three dimensions and how they apply to the vagus nerve alone, I want to emphasize the significance of “safety” and “trust” to our neurology self as a whole system, not only vagus.
Amy and I talked about “trust.” We seemed to agree the main pattern of left~right brain hemisphere imbalance is lack of safety and trust. Primarily left-hemisphere does not trust nor allow any greater flow of input from right-hem. Left-hem fears if did allow more impulses and percepts to flow in from right-hem, left-hem would die, be overwhelmed, or damaged; in a word, “fear.”
I told Amy I recently wrote about this. The biggest dysfunction pattern we see worldwide in males and Patriarchy is this left~right mistrust and fear of anything and everything right-hem. Especially in males, their left-hem fears if they allowed more input from women-children-Nature, male masculinity would be threatened-compromised, damaged.
The above is one of TWO distinct trust~mistrust patterns. It's also like this: The male left-hem especially fears if it allows more input from gut-brain up to head-brain, their masculinity would be threatened-compromised, damaged. If "fragile masculinity" is a new idea to you, Mr. Google today has 233,000 pages on "fragile masculinity" you can look at. Briefly, "fragile masculinity" is in part a belief certain words, expressions, behaviors, choices, any perceived to reduce and lessen a male's healthy masculine self-image, are bad and must be destroyed.
It may be this common left~right lack of safety-trust connects with a neuro-typical fact, the contrast of right side of body is more YANG; while, left side side of body is more yin. If a left~right imbalance does exist, it’s possible to check for predjudices towards or away from either YANG or yin.
The “three dimensions” in our whole neurology
Paul Dennison's Laterality Repatterning (DLR), the 1960s-1980s precursor to BIT and LEAP, contributed a foundational idea to both BIT and LEAP. The idea was lateral disturbances between left and right brain hems were causative for reading and learning handicaps. Also this idea: Sub-optimal conditions are NOT hard wired; they are only firmware which can be re-programmed, given sufficient expertise and training.
Looking back from 2023, we can say DLR was primarily effective because it was able to identify and remediate disturbed or missing firmware in the laterality (left~right) dimension of our neurology. Paul’s DLR was the first kinesiology protocol for brain imbalances. He was able to assess and correct left~right balance between brain hemispheres. Most of his clients were children, age 6-15. In 2023, this demographic continues to be half of more of Amy Wheeler's BIT practice clients.
Later in Paul’s Brain Gym phase, a second dimension of front~back was also documented and explored. The literature on this second dimension is restricted to workshop manuals only available in for-pay training courses. I do not have this literature.
As best I can recall, DLR never progressed to a third dimension of top~bottom. Both LEAP and BIT did progress to test for and treat this third dimension of our neurology firmware. In 2023 it appears few to none DLR practitioners exist any longer. However a younger generation of LEAP and BIT practitioners now address these needs. The more numerous BIT people can be found at Crossinology.com. A new effort to network BIT practitioners for mutual support began in June 2023.
One of my motivations to invest in BIT sessions was to learn if I had one or more of these dimensions disturbed or incomplete. This turned out to be more true than I imagined.
The above summarizes the idea of “dimensions” in our whole neurology.
Below I continue with the idea of three dimensions found only within the vagus nerve. You can think of these as a separate subset within the three dimensions of our neurology as one whole.
New idea: Vagus nerve has three dimensions within itself
At this point we need a scale to measure with. Bruce’s checking on his own vagus nerve suggests his vagus nerve prefers a scale of three: 0/3, 1/3, 2/3, 3/3. Do we know anything else about a scale of three useful here? Yes. Bruce’s testing suggests our individual human cells also prefer this scale. It make perfect sense our vagus nerve uses the same scale as the cells it monitors. If you get a different scale, please share with me.
Vagus nerve--apart and separate from our total neurology--appears to have its own separate three dimensions. Neither Amy nor I have encountered this idea before. If you have explored these ideas on yourself; or, with clients, do share with me.
Q: Are you implying each cranial nerve has three dimension internally?
A: No. My sense is this is unique to the vagus nerve. It’s already exceptional in multiple ways. The vagus nerve clearly has the biggest and most extensive physical mass of nerves of any cranial nerve. It makes sense the largest, most significant (for survival) cranial nerve could have its own internal organization.
Beyond the vagus nerve’s physical exceptionality, I believe there is more we can learn. The vagus nerve is the closest and most relevant physical structure we have analogous to the inner child, the basic self, the child within. I like to call it our immune system self; it’s also our neurology self as I view it. The many terms used to describe this internal part stems from its characteristic multi-tasking.
Part of the character of the basic self is its semi-independence from the conscious waking Self. The uncovery of three dimensions of organization within just the vagus nerve is a perfect analogy for the semi-autonomous nature of the basic self.
Bruce discusses vagus nerve with Mimi Castellanos
In the midst of my BIT sessions, Mimi Castellanos, a Medical Intuitive in Florida (http://simplymimi.net), and I discussed the vagus nerve. Could we agree:
- Our total neurology, head to toe has three dimensions:
- Left~right (laterality);
- Front~back, and
AND our vagus nerve alone also has three internal dimensions:
- Left~right (laterality);
- Front~back, and
A fractal pattern may be present here. While our vagus nerve is a large fraction of the “bottom” in the top~bottom~dimension, in the whole of our neurology, could it also, wholly within itself, have useful distinctions Left~right, Top~bottom and Front~back? The image of wooden Russian dolls, ever-smaller complete dolls one inside the other may be useful here.
We know already from polyvagal, vagus nerve has two well-understood dimensions:
- Left~right (below the skull, vagus has a clear, separate right and left branch), and
- Front~back, the ventral~dorsal distinction, which can be conceived of as the difference between reptile awareness (dorsal) and human awareness, Virginia Reel contra dancing (healthy social ventral interaction).
Mimi and I came to this. Yes, vagus nerve has its own somewhat unique third dimension. We know this because the top of the vagus nerve differs from the bottom of the nerve. How does it differ? It differs in the sensory channel of taste. The quality of its tasting differs top~bottom.
Tuesday, after we get thru your Healing Collective's grounding for New Agers out of their physical body protocol, let's see if Bruce is in balance in all three dimensions of vagus nerve.
What does stand out for me is the unknown-to-now dimension of taste top~bottom within vagus nerve. Mimi Castellanos’ idea first idea about this was the top and bottom of the vagus nerve—not whole neurology just vagus, are different. My guess was they differed in taste. We both liked this insight.
What I suspect is true is vagus above the diaphragm taste-tests for quite different qualities than below the diaphragm. I suspect below the diaphragm vagus is more likely to be tasting for infection and putrefaction. Above the diaphragm perhaps it is testing more for adequate sufficient T helper cells and anti-oxidants.
Your ideas and experience on this are welcomed.
Bruce before and after BIT