When the Body Says "no" - Gabor Mate

Buddy

The Living Force
Nicolas said:
As I was perusing Gabor Mate’s videos I ran across some where he talks about the use of ayahuasca to help people see their emotional experiences as a child on their way to healing themselves from stress and addictions. I was pretty surprised to see this and not sure what to make of this but he is pretty level headed about using this plant.

Yes, a key descriptive phrase for this experience is "hold the pain to rewire the brain." (details below)

Here is some more info for interested readers. The speech transcript at the last link is just plain awesome to me!

Dr Mate has been working with ayahuasca: the vine of the souls, found in the amazon and used for generations for its properties that promote healing. He has been using it to help people suffering with addictions heal themselves.

Drinking tea made from the plant can help people hold the pain caused by difficult experiences so that they can work to form new bonds, rewiring their own brains and live more at ease.

Use of the plant in Canada is subject to legal debate that has nothing to do with healing but, it seems, a lot to do with lawyers’ salaries, and bureaucratic international trade negotiations being more important than allowing folks to heal themelves.

Read, watch for yourself – then, if you like, write to your MP : maybe if they drank some ayahusca tea we’d all be able to heal some.

_http://recoverynetworktoronto.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/healing-medicine/


BC Doctor agrees to stop using amazonian plant to treat addictions:

_http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/new-health/health-news/bc-doctor-agrees-to-stop-using-amazonian-plant-to-treat-addictions/article2231413/


The following is the transcript of Dr. Gabor Mate's speech, "Psychedelics and Unlocking the Unconscious; From Cancer to Addiction," which he delivered at the MAPS conference in Oakland Calif., on April 20, 2013.

_http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=216466
 

Aiming

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for opening this thread. I've started reading Maté's book as well and already in the first few pages, next to the discussion and quotes here in the thread, make it clear just how essential this material is for becoming consious of and making sense of the dynamics in our lives. It's very interesting!

As for Maté not being into the topic of a healthy diet, he did mention in passing, in one of his talks, how he isn't following certain parts of a healthy lifestyle, even though knowing what to do better. This isn't to imply that he knows about the health dangers of gluten, dairy, sugar, etc., but that apparently he does know lifestyle to be an important factor, too. One thing that stands out for me when looking at him is that he looks spent in a way that does suggest toxicity.

In the second video Nicolas embedded Maté talks about what shame really is, having previously described it as the deepest of the negative emotions. I've transcribed it, because I think it's important in light of how the nature of shame tends to be misunderstood (including myself here, too):

Gabor Maté on shame said:
We always think that shame is about doing something wrong and we're ashamed of it. But in fact shame begins long before there's any idea of doing anything wrong. Shame is not primarily an emotion, it doesn't begin as an emotion. What it is really is an activation of a certain part of the nervous system called the [?], which makes everything go slack. So, in a shame state your neck falls, your head falls, your eyes look away and you're like this (demonstrates a hunched over position). This is the shame state.

Now you can induce shame in a 9-month old baby who's got no concept of having done anything wrong. And how do you induce a shame reaction in an infant is that if the mother and the infant look into each other's eyes and the mother looks away, the infant goes into a shame state. So shame primarily has to do with loss of contact with those that you need to be in contact with. Later on, the concept of 'you're losing contact because you're doing something wrong' gets grafted into it, because sometimes parents have to shame their kids and sometimes it's good that the kid goes slack, e.g. when the kid is about to jump off the kitchen table or do something bad and you yell at them 'Don't do that!' Then they won't hurt themselves.

But when you've done that you've broken the contact between you and the kid. (...) If the parent does not rebuild that interpersonal bridge that's just been broken, then the child begins to feel that there's something wrong with him inherently. So, sometimes we have to shame our kids in a sense of a quick breakage of a relationship just in order to stop some unacceptable or dangerous behaviour. But then if we make the kid believe that there's something wrong with them, then the shame state becomes ingrained and that shame state is a state of isolation, which is of course the worst thing a human being can experience, because contact is the biggest need that we have. So, shame goes back a really long way into preverbal days and it's toxic.
 

Cosmos

Ambassador
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FOTCM Member
Aiming said:
Thanks for opening this thread. I've started reading Maté's book as well and already in the first few pages, next to the discussion and quotes here in the thread, make it clear just how essential this material is for becoming consious of and making sense of the dynamics in our lives. It's very interesting!

As for Maté not being into the topic of a healthy diet, he did mention in passing, in one of his talks, how he isn't following certain parts of a healthy lifestyle, even though knowing what to do better. This isn't to imply that he knows about the health dangers of gluten, dairy, sugar, etc., but that apparently he does know lifestyle to be an important factor, too. One thing that stands out for me when looking at him is that he looks spent in a way that does suggest toxicity.

In the second video Nicolas embedded Maté talks about what shame really is, having previously described it as the deepest of the negative emotions. I've transcribed it, because I think it's important in light of how the nature of shame tends to be misunderstood (including myself here, too):

Gabor Maté on shame said:
We always think that shame is about doing something wrong and we're ashamed of it. But in fact shame begins long before there's any idea of doing anything wrong. Shame is not primarily an emotion, it doesn't begin as an emotion. What it is really is an activation of a certain part of the nervous system called the [?], which makes everything go slack. So, in a shame state your neck falls, your head falls, your eyes look away and you're like this (demonstrates a hunched over position). This is the shame state.

Now you can induce shame in a 9-month old baby who's got no concept of having done anything wrong. And how do you induce a shame reaction in an infant is that if the mother and the infant look into each other's eyes and the mother looks away, the infant goes into a shame state. So shame primarily has to do with loss of contact with those that you need to be in contact with. Later on, the concept of 'you're losing contact because you're doing something wrong' gets grafted into it, because sometimes parents have to shame their kids and sometimes it's good that the kid goes slack, e.g. when the kid is about to jump off the kitchen table or do something bad and you yell at them 'Don't do that!' Then they won't hurt themselves.

But when you've done that you've broken the contact between you and the kid. (...) If the parent does not rebuild that interpersonal bridge that's just been broken, then the child begins to feel that there's something wrong with him inherently. So, sometimes we have to shame our kids in a sense of a quick breakage of a relationship just in order to stop some unacceptable or dangerous behaviour. But then if we make the kid believe that there's something wrong with them, then the shame state becomes ingrained and that shame state is a state of isolation, which is of course the worst thing a human being can experience, because contact is the biggest need that we have. So, shame goes back a really long way into preverbal days and it's toxic.

Yes it is interesting, but I'm afraid that I don't really understand his description of shame yet...
 

Gawan

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FOTCM Member
What would be interesting if some researchers picked up some of his ideas and made a study out of it. For example he talks a lot about the emotional life of ALS in the beginning and it would be interesting to dig deeper into it with standardized interviews and follow up quantitative studies for example and with that looking further into other illnesses as well to draw a connection of the emotional life of patients and the mind so to speak and to get scientific proof in a way. Still psychological and social studies in general are pretty soft, nonetheless it could be really revealing imo. But it looks like, that science goes a long way around it and I couldn't even find quotes of him in common studies.
 

Aiming

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Pashalis said:
Yes it is interesting, but I'm afraid that I don't really understand his description of shame yet...

I'm still trying to really understand it as well, since something seems to be missing for me, too. In above quote from Maté, what stood out for me was that he says shame is not primarily an emotion. It seems to be a physiological reaction, seemingly genetically programmed into us (i.e. a biological mechanism), which gets triggered for example when a person's sense of social connection is lost, or feels lost, as childhood emotion is being replayed when a similar outer trigger acts on the person. With social connection being the most important need for human beings, the absence, or felt absence of it, would register as 'death', thus a stress response, and ultimately a state of immobilization.

But then there's also the difference between guilt and shame ('I did wrong' versus 'I am wrong / Something is inherently wrong with me'), with guilt being a potential constructive force in focusing on the correction of mistakes/behaviours, while shame has an inward focus and equates mistakes with worth of self.

As a side note, this makes me wonder whether the feeling of shame is a symptom or even hallmark of a ponerized world, since it is the tool that is being used to blame the victim. Since shame thrives in silence and dissolves when socially connecting to others, it is the very internal state that prevents healing, connecting to others, and it furthers dissociation and endless internal running-in-a-loop. Being a so powerfully felt emotion it might be a deliberately set up source of food for 4D STS.

Here's a description from _http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/guilt-shame and it might be helpful to read the whole article.

Although shame is an emotion that is closely related to guilt, it is important to understand the differences. Shame can be defined as "a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety."[3] Others have distinguished between the two by indicating that "We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are."[4] Shame is often a much stronger and more profound emotion than guilt. "Shame is when we feel disappointed about something inside of us, our basic nature."[5] Both shame and guilt can have intensive implications for our perceptions of self and our behavior toward other people, particularly in situations of conflict.
(...)
Shame, on the other hand, emphasizes what is wrong with ourselves. It has a much more inward focus, and as such, leads shameful parties to feel poorly about themselves, rather than simply the actions they have taken. The result is often an inward-turning behavior -- avoiding others, hiding your face, removing yourself from social situations. Therefore, shame can be problematic, as it is often less constructive than guilt. In fact, shame can lead to withdrawal from social situations and a subsequent defensive, aggressive, and retaliatory behavior, which only exacerbates conflict, rather than alleviating it.[6]

Shame can also lead to other types of behavior, many of which serve little or no constructive role. People cope with shame in many ways. However, few get at the actual source of the emotion. The following is a list of common shame-driven behaviors:

- Attacking or striking out at other people. In an attempt to feel better about their shame, people will oftentimes strike out at others in the hopes that they will be lifted up by bringing others down. While this behavior may produce short-tehrm relief from shame, in the long term shame is only strengthened -- in both parties -- and nothing is done to get at the root of the problem.

- Seeking power and perfection. Others attempt to overcome their shame by preventing the possibility of future shame. One way in which they do this is by aiming for perfection -- a process that inevitably fails and causes more problems. Another manner in which people cope is by seeking power, which makes them feel more valuable.

- Diverting blame. By blaming our faults or problems on others, we can avoid guilt and shame. However, like the previous responses, doing this fails to get at the core problems and as a result, fails to achieve its purpose.

- Being overly nice or self-sacrificing. People sometimes compensate for feelings of shame or unworthiness by attempting to be exceptionally nice to others. By pleasing everyone else, we hope to prove our worth. However, this inevitably involves covering up our true feelings, which is, once again, self-defeating.

- Withdrawal. By withdrawing from the real world, we can essentially numb ourselves to the feelings of guilt and shame so that we are no longer upset by these sorts of things. Again, nothing has been done to address the core issues of the problem.[7]

While each of these actions may provide temporary relief, the long term effects are often negative, and the result is the passing on of guilt or shame to others.[8]

Another one:

(_http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-zesty-self/200905/what-we-get-wrong-about-shame)

When I talk about shame, I'm not talking about anyone actually DOING anything wrong. I'm talking about the FEELING and the thoughts that we are somehow wrong, defective, inadequate, not good enough, or not strong enough.

Lack of information about shame

While everybody feels shame, most of us don't recognize it in its many forms. We can experience fleeting shame at burping loudly in an elevator. Or we can feel chronic shame, experiencing that we, as a whole person, are flawed and inferior. We can feel different intensities of shame. The most intense is humiliation. Humiliation is so painful that we can think, "This is so painful I wish I could just die!"

We didn't know it until fairly recently, but infants are born hard-wired with the ability to experience shame. Here is an example of a scene that shows an infant's response to feeling shame. Baby is sitting on the kitchen counter in his infant seat. Mom steps out of the room for a minute. When Mom starts walking back into the room, Baby hears Mom's steps, and anticipates making joyful eye contact with her when she gets back. (The photo accompanying this post shows a baby's state of positive interest.)

But this time Mom is preoccupied, and when she comes back into the room, she does not meet Baby's eyes. The muscles in his neck then lose their strength, and his head drops down. He turns his face away from her, his eyes are cast downward and he may even drool. This is shame/humiliation. Mom did not meet his high interest; she did not make the connection. Baby's shame is the result.

Ways we may experience shame


I've listed below some variations of shame. We may not recognize some of the ways shame shows up. Each is different-both in what we think caused the experience and in what we think the consequences will be. But they are all shame experiences.

• Shyness is shame in the presence of a stranger
• Discouragement is shame about temporary defeat
• Embarrassment is shame in front of others
• Self-consciousness is shame about performance
• Inferiority is all-encompassing shame about the self

Common triggers for shame

Shame is commonly triggered by the following:

• Basic expectations or hopes frustrated or blocked
• Disappointment or perceived failure in relationships or work
• In relationships, any event that weakens the bond, or indicates rejection or lack of interest from the needed other
You've probably heard the phrase, "What you feel, you can heal." We have learned much about what is needed to work through and release shame. Recognition of our feeling of shame is the first step to mastering our shame reactions. And mastering our shame enhances our zestiness.
 

Minas Tirith

Jedi Council Member
Without having read the book yet (just ordered it), this reminds me of Thorwald Dethlefsen and Ruediger Dahlke: "The Healing Power of Illness and what your symptoms are telling you". As I remember this book came out way before Louise Hay started writing and was very popular in Germany, but somehow never really made it in the English speaking world.

Dethlefsen was quite controversial because of his sometimes rude writing (see excerpt I posted below), but Ii remember finding his ideas real eye-openers. This is a description from Amazon:

Based on the idea that a patient brings about their own illness, this book suggests that symptoms are expressions of psychological conflicts, and can only be healed when the patient is aware of what is behind the problem. The book covers the meaning of specific symptoms, covering various systems such as respiration and digestion, and illnesses ranging from cancer to varicose veins. In each case, the authors explore the mindset that precipitates the symptom, and suggest new perspectives which can induce healing.

And here is an excerpt:

Modern medicine enables us to replace various joints with artificial prostheses. This happens particularly frequently in the case of the hip-joint (endoprosthesis). As we have already emphasized in connection with dentition, a prosthesis is always a deception, in that a pretense is being made that something is there when it is not. If a person is inwardly stiff and rigid, yet behaves in such a way as to make an outward show of mobility, the hip-symptom corrects the situation by injecting greater honestly into it. The effect of an artificial hip-joint, however, is to cancel out this correction by once again giving the impression of physical mobility.

In order to gain an impression of just how dishonest medicine enables us to be, let us mentally imagine the following situation: just assume that it were possible suddenly to magic away all the artificial prostheses that people have - their glasses and contact-lenses, their hearing-aids, artificial joints, man-made teeth, facelifts, metal bone-pins, pacemakers, and all the other various bits of metal and plastic that people have had implanted. Imagine how horrendous the resulting sight would be!

Now let us cast a further magic spell and take back all the medical achievements that have saved people from dying in the past. Immediately we should be surrounded by corpses, cripples, the lame, the half-blind and the half-deaf. It is a horrifying picture - yet at least it would be honest! It would be the visible expression of the true state of the human soul. A lot of medical skill has gone into sparing us this grisly prospect by zealously restoring the human body and building it up with so many artificial bits and pieces that in the end it almost looks alive and real. But what has become of people's souls in all this? Here nothing has changed. They are just as dead, blind, deaf, stiff, cramped or crippled as ever they were. It is just that we cannot see it. That is why we are so afraid of being honest. It is the story of The Picture of Dorian Gray all over again. We can use all kinds of trickery to preserve our youth and beauty for a while - but great is the horror as soon as we are faced with what we really look like inside.

M.T.
 

Laura

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FOTCM Member
Minas Tirith said:
Without having read the book yet (just ordered it), this reminds me of Thorwald Dethlefsen and Ruediger Dahlke: "The Healing Power of Illness and what your symptoms are telling you". As I remember this book came out way before Louise Hay started writing and was very popular in Germany, but somehow never really made it in the English speaking world.

Dethlefsen was quite controversial because of his sometimes rude writing (see excerpt I posted below), but Ii remember finding his ideas real eye-openers.

<snip>

M.T.

That sounds like a really good resource. It seems to be rather pricey so QFG will purchase it and I'll get it scanned to make available for qualified research.
 

Minas Tirith

Jedi Council Member
Laura said:
Pashalis said:
Minas Tirith, do you know the german title of that book?

you can search just using the author's name.

Krankheit als Weg. Deutung und Be-Deutung der Krankheitsbilder (1983)

Dethlefsen started as a hypnotherapist and also drew heavily on C.G. Jung (shadow aspect/shadow projection), but unfortunately I don't remember much of it and there is also not much about him online. He died in 2010 after withdrawing from the public completely.

M.T.
 

EmeraldHope

The Living Force
Aiming said:
As for Maté not being into the topic of a healthy diet, he did mention in passing, in one of his talks, how he isn't following certain parts of a healthy lifestyle, even though knowing what to do better. This isn't to imply that he knows about the health dangers of gluten, dairy, sugar, etc., but that apparently he does know lifestyle to be an important factor, too. One thing that stands out for me when looking at him is that he looks spent in a way that does suggest toxicity.


I noticed that as well while watching the video. I wonder though how much that has to do with his own ADD? I ordered the book in the thread title as it was not available on kindle, but in the meantime got his Kindle version of " Scattered - How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It. He has ADD, as well as his three children, and he self medicates. No mention of diet at all thus far but I am not very far into it.


The book so far is interesting and ties in also with high sensitivity. It also goes into how environment and most importantly the emotional state and stress levels of parents and family environment produce ADD and how that is why there is more of it due to our current society. For example, he cites how a very large percentage of adopted children develop ADD compared to non adopted children and how the adoption itself is left out of other studies as a possible trigger.


People with ADD are hypersensitive. This is not a fault or weakness of theirs , it is how they are born. It is their inborn temperament. That, primarily, is what is hereditary about ADD. Genetic inheritance by itself cannot account for the presence of ADD in people, but hereditary can make it far more likely that these features will emerge in a given individual, depending on circumstances. It is sensitivity, not a disorder, that is transmitted through heredity. In most cases, ADD is caused by the impact of the environment on particularly sensitive infants. Sensitivity is the reason why allergies are more common among ADD children than the rest of the population. It is well known, and borne out again and again in clinical practice, that children with ADD are more likely than their non ADD counterparts to have a history of frequent colds, upper respiratory infections, ear infections, asthma, eczema and allergies , a fact interpreted by some that ADD is due to allergies. Although the flare up of allergies can certainly aggravate ADD symptoms, the one does not cause the other. They are both expressions of the same underlying trait: sensitivity. Since emotionally hypersensitive reactions are no less physiological than than the body's allergic responses to physical substances, we may say truthfully that people with ADD have emotional allergies.
 

Thor

Jedi Master
Cyndi said:
Aiming said:
As for Maté not being into the topic of a healthy diet, he did mention in passing, in one of his talks, how he isn't following certain parts of a healthy lifestyle, even though knowing what to do better. This isn't to imply that he knows about the health dangers of gluten, dairy, sugar, etc., but that apparently he does know lifestyle to be an important factor, too. One thing that stands out for me when looking at him is that he looks spent in a way that does suggest toxicity.


I noticed that as well while watching the video. I wonder though how much that has to do with his own ADD? I ordered the book in the thread title as it was not available on kindle, but in the meantime got his Kindle version of " Scattered - How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It. He has ADD, as well as his three children, and he self medicates. No mention of diet at all thus far but I am not very far into it.

<snip>

Cyndi,

I remember trying to find the Kindle version of the book on www.amazon.co.uk but it wasn't available. I then checked www.amazon.com and purchased the Kindle version from here: http://www.amazon.com/When-Body-Says-Understanding-Stress-Disease-ebook/dp/B000YIUTQS.

I live in Denmark and therefore normally buy books from amazon.co.uk. With printed books I've often seen books available in the US but not in Europe and I've not been allowed to buy from Amazon.com and have it sent to Denmark. However, with Kindle books there's never been a problem. FWIW.
 

EmeraldHope

The Living Force
Thor said:
I remember trying to find the Kindle version of the book on www.amazon.co.uk but it wasn't available. I then checked www.amazon.com and purchased the Kindle version from here:http://www.amazon.com/When-Body-Says-Understanding-Stress-Disease-ebook/dp/B000YIUTQS.I live in Denmark and therefore normally buy books from amazon.co.uk. With printed books I've often seen books available in the US but not in Europe and I've not been allowed to buy from Amazon.com and have it sent to Denmark. However, with Kindle books there's never been a problem. FWIW.



Thanks, Thor, but when I click that link it says the title is unavailable. I have plenty to read until it arrives though.
 

Maat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Krankheit als Weg. Deutung und Be-Deutung der Krankheitsbilder (1983)

Just as a sidenote, this book exists in French and seems to be easily available. The title is Un chemin vers la santé : Sens caché de la maladie et de ses différents symptômes
 
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