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 23061 - Shakespeare and Medicine $12.00   
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Shakespeare and Medicine
Bernard Plansky, MD, FAAFP
Format: MP3 Audio file download

Every person's nervous system has a window of tolerance. If the window is wide, disturbing events can be tolerated and action taken within the present context. Adverse childhood events, i.e. traumatic stress, can tune the nervous system so that the window of tolerance narrows and it is difficult to tolerate being present. In these circumstances animal defense systems of fight, flight, panic, freeze and collapse predominate. The body becomes hypervigilant and mobilized for threat. The Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) Study has documented how such attunement is associated with increased prevalence of addiction and chronic disease. These fixed traumatic responses are three time faster than thought and even if insight into their origin is obtained, there is no direct neural connection between the seat of insight in the prefrontal cortex and the part of the brain that is reacting. It is necessary to bring all the parts onto the same stage in the present moment for a shift in a fixed pattern to occur. Perhaps one of the most dramatic examples is the use of mirror box therapy in the treatment of phantom limb pain. Fixed traumatic patterns are akin to a critical scene in a play - one that has great influence over the outcome of actions but remains largely out of awareness. However, once elements of the scene become visible it is possible to employ the use of Shakespeare to shift a fixed traumatic pattern. One finds the specific text that mirrors the context of the fixed pattern. Through paced mindfulness the text is embodied and made real as if it is happening now, in the present moment. At that precise moment a new neural impression is received through the mirror image of a fixed traumatic pattern and change can occur. The brain now has options. How? Well, to speak as if the brain: "Did what I think I just saw happen? You never allow such feelings to be visible...but then, wait a minute...that wasn't you...you were playing someone else and having fun doing it as well!"


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