Wellness

Inner Battles With Outer Space: The Role Of Your Physiology In Personal Transformation

Matt Cooper · March 3rd, 2022

Although psychedelics are an element of nature that can assist transformation at the physiological level, most don’t fully grasp the role our baseline physiology plays in our personal growth.

By now, you may have heard of concepts like, “the body is the mind,” but beyond this esoteric blanket is a lot of wisdom that remains largely undefined in a tangible capacity.

Of course, transformative practices like breathwork, a general concept of eating well, taking care of yourself, yoga, and more physical integration tools do get mentioned, but this vital integration piece largely remains vague, abstract, and without much clear direction. Like most things, the relationship between the body and mind is fluid and looks different to different people. However, it’s also apparent that we as a community can do better to provide some tangible guidance.

Without practical support, many are left without a vital piece of the transformation puzzle and can reach a glass ceiling in their potential to heal.

As breathwork practitioner and Art Of Breath creator Brian McKenzie likes to say, “emotions and physiology are a feedback loop.” Your body–and all of the communication networks happening under the hood–color the lens through which you take in and present in this world.  By not fully understanding the physical, we are shooting in the dark in one area (if not the key area) of transformation.

Because of this, we at Third Wave are taking action to better help define and refine the physical integration pillar so that people can be fully supported in a truly alchemical process.

Physical Health IS Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Health

The physical is intimately intertwined with mental faculties, emotional development, and spiritual cultivation.

It’s not going to be as easy to fully focus, be creative, and mentally take inventory without a baseline of cognitive fitness, which is supported by our neurological wiring.

If you’re already feeling bad because your body is in an energy-depleted state, then it can be challenging to feel your feelings then respond intentionally, rather than react in the moment.

Spiritual cultivation, which includes concepts like “letting go,” may actually be physically more challenging to do if you have a depressed metabolism that keeps you from adapting to the necessary stressors of life.

Hopefully, this is starting to paint a picture that makes sense. Also, we would be remiss to not mention that this is but one piece of the puzzle that’s also supported by other pillars, including mindfulness, therapeutic practices, and more.

The Importance Of Building A Biological Baseline

If the physical influences how we take in the world, it’s worth revisiting everything you’re trying to work on from a physical perspective too. Start by asking yourself: where is the physical blind spot in what I’m experiencing and trying to develop at this point in time?

Are there things that can be influenced physically that are holding back my personal evolution? If the answer is yes, then good–there’s power in that awareness.

There’s power in this because it allows us to meet these classically esoteric problems at a biological level where answers can be more simple and less existential or insurmountable. Physiological sticks in our bike spokes can also help make the seemingly existential, insurmountable, and unconquerable seem like bigger deals than they actually may be.

For example, do you truly hate your job? Or do you have a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) imbalance as a result of some lifestyle crack (e.g. diet, technology use, lack of sunlight) that’s limiting your ability to feel good?

Are you depressed because of external factors in your life?  Or do you have subclinical hypothyroidism that’s robbing you of your cellular energy, and life force, by proxy.

Are you truly incapable of transcending a past capital-T-trauma? Or are other lifestyle aspects inhibiting your healing?

The takeaway here is that oftentimes people come to us with classic opaque problems, such as anxiety and depression, which they think is simply a fixed part of who they are. But, in reality, their environment (including diet, sleep, toxins, etc.) is negatively programming their physiology (epigenetics).

Again, there’s power in knowing that. Because, with this understanding, the transformation process can be made “easier” by restoring the physical alongside the mental/spiritual.

Of course, it’s important to continue practices like introspection, traditional therapy, and mindfulness; however, these should be done in tandem with physical practices to allow you to become a stronger, more resilient organism. An organism more capable of adapting to the stressors of life and more capable of getting out there and living it to their fullest potential.

THAT is really our goal here: to support you in your journey to build yourself up so that you can more fully take in the breadth and richness of life.

And, to be clear, what we are NOT trying to do is minimize or take away from the other tools for transformation that are absolutely necessary like conventional therapies, how you live your life, and more. We are just trying to add another key piece to the toolkit. This way you can have a more complete roadmap for success.

It’s All About Energy

As we mentioned earlier, health and wellbeing DOES get well-deserved attention in the mental health space, however it’s largely disorganized and lacks structure or context. One unifying way to think about your health, and how it impacts your mental and emotional health, is through energy.

Everything–from thinking to muscle firing to immunity–is energy-dependent at the cellular level. Flashback to bio class and picture mitochondria and cellular bioenergetic processes.

Decreased energy at the cellular level is THE one common denominator across all types of dis-ease presentations, according to both research and experts like geneticist and evolutionary biologist, Dr. Doug Wallace.

The body works similarly to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It will prioritize the survival mechanisms before more “optional” items up the chain. This means that “luxury” things like manufacturing neurotransmitters in balance (brain chemicals that,in part, make up who we are and how we feel) isn’t as important as other more baseline processes.

You can bet that if you’re getting sick or experiencing fatigue, persistent digestive inflammation, libido issues, or hair loss then your mental and emotional faculties upstream are not going to be fully functioning either.

This understanding is critical because it allows you to discern how your physiology might be negatively coloring your perception of the world, thus rendering you less capable of feeling happy, fulfilled, or adaptive to stress and trauma. It’s time to stop being biologically “neutral”; instead, it’s worth asking yourself how your physical state of being is impacting your path of self-development, acceptance, and surrender.

For this reason, it’s useful for health practitioners to ask simple questions like, “how creative have you been lately?” “Do you find enjoyment in life and simply feel good on a regular basis?” The brain and nervous system complex, which uses more energy than any other organ, may simply not have enough gas to go around.

Stress, trauma, and learned helplessness fold in here too. Experts like author Mark Wolynn (It Didn’t Start With You), Dr. Ray Peat, and psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps The Score) have all extrapolated these concepts, which find support in neuroscience research. The physical component of integration is also the basis for somatic therapies like E.M.D.R. and T.R.E.

Just like exercising or thinking, trauma also has an energetic cost associated with it. This is why trauma, perpetual mental stimulation (busy mind syndrome), and chronic stress all present in serious health issues.

Eastern Medicine has long understood this dynamic, which is now gaining scientific traction in the West. Of course, these things may look different for different people, depending on genetic predispositions and environmental/epigenetic specifics (e.g. immunological conditions for some, hormone deficiencies for another), but both unique specifics are symptoms of a lowered energetic state.

In fact, animal studies have shown how animals with depressed energy metabolism shut down in the face of new stimuli in the environment. Thus we can see how poor eating habits inhibits people from successfully adapting to new scenarios.

We all know people who seem overwhelmed by life, who shut down in the face of the slightest stick in their bike spokes. Then there are the physical discomforting feelings that come with making large changes to our environment: quitting that job, moving to a new town, leaving a relationship. All of these things come with an energetic cost.

A robust energy metabolism allows us to deal with the stressors of life, so that we may reach our greatest potential.

Energy, physiology, and the physical aren’t the be-all-and-end-all of your transformational experience, but they are a significant component. And these factors currently lack a unifying framework or context in the space thus far.

The Biggest Blind Spot in the Personal Transformation Space

Oftentimes, breakthroughs are not made by new discoveries, but by learning to look at the old through a fresh perspective.

Surely, the idea of taking care of oneself in order to feel good is not a revelation of any magnitude. However, as with many things we take for granted, sometimes deeper truths can be hidden in plain sight. The rock that was always there perhaps never was fully turned because it seemed so… simple.

in our search for finding ways to better support you and your journey, – we at The Third Waveare committing to provide more clarity for physical integration.

We will be including more nutrition and physical integration information across the board with our free educational suite as well as in courses, coaching programs, and our brand new practitioner-grade Nutritional Therapeutics Supplement Dispensary.

Our hope is that through more education we can help provide you with a deeper understanding that can yield tangible results in your path to a happier, healthier you.

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