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1. Understanding Dysfunction and Addiction

First blog post of a 5 part series that explains

the 8 Step Neuro Alignment Model Process

· Understand Addiction,Neuro Alignment Mode

Dysfunctional patterns come part and parcel with modern day society, but how do these patterns, or what the Neuro Alignment Model likes to term “addictions”, start in the first place?

Is there a neurological component that creates addiction in the brain and can it be an unconscious process? Can this component create dysfunctional patterns or addictions that cause pain in your life?

The Neuro Alignment Model, which is a new unified model of human behavior, has discovered a core mechanism in the brain that it believes to be the root cause of virtually every major dysfunctional or addictive thought, belief or behavior pattern in modern society.

The Neuro Alignment Model classifies addiction or addictive patterns as dysfunctional thoughts, beliefs, or behaviors that are repetitive, chronic and cause an individual or the people they love pain. These dysfunctional patterns can be conscious or unconscious to the individual who is experiencing them.

Our brains secrete many types of chemicals on a daily basis during different situations, but did you know that the brain can become addicted to certain ones that it is forced to overproduce? If particular chemicals are overproduced for long periods time and over a long duration, the brain begins to crave them and gets HIGH off of them!

Sounds too crazy to believe, right? Should you be concerned?

When a person goes through a traumatic experience in their lives, the brain produces certain chemicals in large quantities, usually Beta-Endorphin as a pain reliever. Our brain often evokes the trauma we have experienced over and over again, as a way to learn how to avoid these painful and detrimental situations in the future. It is trying to help us survive by avoiding future traumas. The emotions that are produced by a particular trauma, usually 2 - 5 core emotions, are evoked over and over in the days and weeks following the incident.

Every time the brain remembers the trauma, the core emotions are brought back up again for the brain to process. Usually these core emotions center around fear, terror, shame, unworthiness, or self-pity. Beta-Endorphin is produced in the brain in quantities relative to the strength of the emotions you feel. The more powerful the emotions that are remembered, the more chemical painkiller is released by the brain.

If a person is continually feeling the same strong core emotions day after day, their brain begins to become addicted to the overproduction of the painkiller chemical that is released and when the level of the painkiller chemical begins to drop, the brain feels withdrawal symptoms and looks for ways to get “high” again.

THIS is the core mechanism in the brain where addiction starts, the one that predicts dysfunctional and addictive tendencies! The brain's cravings for Beta-Endorphin become so strong that brain begins to find ways to cause the person to feel these core emotions, any time and in any way it can! The brain becomes just like an addict and yearns for the next drug hit. The fascinating thing is, we may be totally unaware that we are addicted to a dysfunctional pattern.

How is THAT possible? Now this information is DEEP!

The brain’s pleasure center or reward center, is in a primitive part of the brain which is buried under the cerebral cortex – the area where our consciousness or awareness lies. Anything that happens beneath the cortex is not in our conscious awareness and is known as the subconscious part of our brain. The majority of our fight or flight responses, drive states, survival urges and release of pleasure or pain relief chemicals, is largely handled by this subconscious brain function. We are often TOTALLY UNCONSCIOUS of an addiction starting deep in our brain.

Here is an example to help you make sense out of all of this neuroscience information.

A 4 years old child is pretending to act like a rock star in front of a massive unseen crowd in her living room, and is singing at the top of her lungs. All of a sudden, her mother comes in and shouts, “Stop this nonsense and go play somewhere else QUIETLY”. This very loud and shocking interruption immediately brings up feelings of fear and shame, while the child hurries off and goes somewhere where she feels safe. She is unaware that an action that gave her pleasure has become intolerable for her mother, who was trying to talk on the phone. All the child comprehends is that she was having a great time, singing to an adoring audience, when she was frightened by a sudden attack, yelled at, told she was not good enough and ordered to go away. It was as traumatic for the child, as it would be for an adult who was yelled at at work by his boss, in front of his colleagues.

Children want the unconditional love of their parents no matter what they are doing and when a situation such as this arises, the emotions and its impact are very real in the primitive part of their brain. The child believes that they are going to be abandoned because of their behavior and therefore, they will NOT survive. Now, we all know this is not true and that her mother loves her, but if the mother does not come back in and comfort the child, her primitive brain will interpret this as a sign that the mother does not love her, and therefore the child is in danger of not surviving in the tribe or family environment.

Every time that child hears a song that gives her pleasure or she feel like singing, she will be startled back into that unpleasant memory of being yelled at and will again feel unworthy. It might even happen UNCONSCIOUSLY. She begins to feel shame for listening to any music she likes or wants to sing, and those feelings make her want to hide away. As the years go by she may not remember the event, but the trauma is still very real to the primitive part of her brain. The brain still feels like it is in survival mode each time the core emotions of fear, worthlessness and shame come flooding back when she enjoys music, is spoken to harshly or hears yelling.

These emotions will cause the brain to release large amounts of Beta-Endorphins to act as painkiller, each and every time these emotions are evoked. This is because the brain believes the child has been wounded, even if it is only an emotional wound. The brain makes no distinction between physical pain and/or emotional pain. Soon the brain begins to crave the painkiller chemical it has been overproducing and any loud noise, music playing or someone yelling, signals the brain to bring up those trauma emotions again. This creates a need for more painkillers to flood the brain in order to soothe those hurtful emotions, which satisfies the brain’s chemical addiction craving.

Over time, the child may form a dysfunctional anxiety trigger to any loud noises, music playing, being yelled at or facing any type of disapproval. This translates into a variety of dysfunctional anxious behavior and thoughts, which will cause unhappiness and unease for the rest of her life.

In the coming years, this addiction to anxious thoughts and behaviors could filter into every corner of her life, and cause her to create inauthentic attachments to things that will soothe these anxieties. She might turn to drugs, alcohol, destructive relationships, or disconnect from the people around her in an attempt sooth those wounded emotions that keep coming up and causing her pain.

As an adult, she is totally unaware of how this dysfunctional addiction to anxiety started, she just knows she has severe anxiety and that it is ruining her life! She doesn’t know what created the anxiety addiction, because it happened so long ago in her childhood. It has now become a subconscious addiction.

Continue this journey to see how this woman can learn how to become aware of her anxiety addiction triggers and their subsequent dysfunctional behavior. Learn how she can begin to rewire her brain from its dysfunctional addiction to anxiety.

You can access our second blog post in this 5 part series on UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION, on our Neuro Alignment Model Blog page.

Learn more about the in depth process of how dysfunctional patterns and addictions start and the Neuro Alignment Model's 8 Step to rewiring your brain from virtually ANY dysfunctional pattern in Todd Ritchey’s brand-new book, The Neuro Alignment Model.

For a VERY LIMITED TIME, starting June 16, 2018, he is offering a 5 week Neuro Alignment Book Club Experience, where he will be explaining each chapter in detail through live video calls. He will be hosting live Q/A sessions and offering exercises, tips and real-life examples to help you learn how to rewire your brain from dysfunctional patterns that are wreaking havoc in your life!

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