Nearly one in four people suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a single year ( According to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). This includes depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and PTSD. Everyone I speak with seems to either have it in their families or have experienced it themselves. I know only too well the devastation it causes for the personal suffering and their family. It is a disease that many don't want to talk about, many fear, and it's impact on all of us is severe. There have been great gains through the years in finding medications that help with symptoms as well as psychotherapy has proven effective in changing the brains chemistry however only a small amount go into full remission. There is a huge push for effective treatments and scientists are learning more and more about the problem.
Mental illnesses are dis-eases of the brain. The inability to concentrate, worrying endlessly, anxiety, and disordered thoughts are all symptoms of imbalanced neuro chemicals and malfunctioning neural pathways. What is called the "fear" circuit is centered in the Amygdala part of the brain. This is also called the "reptilian" brain and is an area that is effected with PTSD's. The emotion and memory centers of the brain called the cerebral cortex are effected regulating the capacity to feel enjoyment as with depression.
There is research that states the biochemistry of a growing number of neurotransmitters, as well as inflammation ( think FOOD YOU EAT), glucose metabolism ( SUGAR) and stress response ( what do you DO to relieve stress?) are all areas to target new treatments around. The study of "resilience" among people who go thru difficult situations and come out healthy is also a target now to find medicines and therapies.
In our Kai classes we will explore how surrendering into the moment, into the bodes' natural ways of moving boost up what is called "joy" . The hypothesis is that this will help stop the neural networks that are connected to memory and emotions and allow new circuitry to build via the bodies movements and finding pleasure. The Joy is also obtained thru the music, the community, and thru focusing the mind into the present moment. The movements we do in Kai are also chosen for their ability to flush the body out of toxins in the lymph, sweating, thru the breath work and to shake loose the connective tissue that builds up from stress both of which can make "being in the body" more comfortable and even pleasurable. Doing this regularly ( 3-4 times a week) is one way to employ healthy choice to keep the positive neural activity building in the brain and build up resiliency when tough times come.
Check out our Kai classes locally in Sarasota Florida. We will explore a different area of the brain and research all week. Also there are trainings both locally and as a Long Distance Learning training to learn more about kai and how you can grow more personally with the work or to become a Kai Facilitator and share it!