Healing Dimensions ACC
Committed to Reducing the Presence and Impact of Trauma in our World

Introducing a New Approach:
"Holographic Memory Resolution®"
For The Emotional Reframing of Memory

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     By Brent M. Baum, STB, SSL, CADC, LISAC, CCH (May, 1999)

In this article we examine some important considerations in understanding the relationship between memory and “disease.” Much that is so easily labeled illness is the shadow of memory imprinting in the bodymind. When we “emotionally reframe” certain experiences and bring light to these moments of pain, we discover that they often diminish and may even resolve when the flow of consciousness is fully restored.

To date I have had the privilege of working with more than eight thousand trauma survivors. What began in my mind as a question about the possible rapport between physiological pain and memories is no longer hypothetical, and the repercussions for our treatment of diseases is tremendous. There has existed a fundamental bias regarding the interface between the origins and treatment of disease in the physiology of the body and respect for the precipitants that occur from our emotional experience and their imprinting in the bodymind. Over the last decade I have witnessed many occasions when clients “demonstrated” the origin of their “disease experience” in memory, and, by addressing the memories, have resolved the symptoms that were so readily labeled “illness.” The empirical data is forthcoming.

But do all diseases originate in memory? The verdict is still out on this question, but the data is pouring in. Let us examine a number of factors:

1. When I have been able to utilize memory resolution techniques like HMR on migraine sufferers, in a majority of the cases, the pain was significantly diminished and, in many cases, completely resolved at the conclusion of the process. In a smaller percentage of the cases where pain remained, it was greatly reduced by the process but there were indicators suggesting either additional memories or other contributing physiological factors. In most of the cases where some level of pain remained, there simply proved to be other memories needing reframing. In a minority of cases the pain remained intact and appeared to have no basis in memory.

2. When a “physiological trauma” like a car accident, surgery, sharp blow to the head, any type of slap or blow to the face (almost any blow to the head before the age of 5), etc. occurs, the event can become bound within an emotional trance state which will preserve the pain symptoms intact despite the healing of the physiological body. Even surgery, the severing of the pain-inducing nerves themselves, acupuncture, anesthesia, and similar procedures may only produce a limited and temporary effect through such interventions. The emotional trance state induced bears with it the capacity to maintain the “trance-created illusion” of the pain syndrome indefinitely. In fact, despite appropriate treatment of the physiological condition, the unaddressed trance state will defy the interventions of surgery, acupuncture, medications, bio-chemical intervention, etc., causing the pain to recur at the predicted intervals. I have seen this condition occur with the following “diseases” or pain syndromes:

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome: Often mistakenly diagnosed in many women when, in actuality, a trauma has been induced through overwhelming emotional or physical circumstances surrounding their first menstrual period; this condition can also be brought on by a specific emotional or sexual trauma. When the sensations similar to the original trauma arise at the advent of the monthly period, the “trance goes active,” thereby resurrecting the same constriction in the nerve center, the same “cramping” and sudden mood shifts that accompanied the original experience.

Seizure Disorder: I have dealt with a number of cases in which the original seizure (brought on by anything from allergies to food poisoning, to encephalopathy, to head injuries or other factors) resulted in the induction of a trauma. That is, the seizure was so intense in the nervous system, that the Limbic-Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal System activated to protect the system from overwhelm, thereby encoding it as a (hologram-like) “holonomic” trauma. This is true of any “excessive” shock to the nervous system. When such an encoding takes place, we are no longer dealing only with the original physiological condition, but also an encoded trance state activated to preserve and protect the system. Both the physiological condition and the trance state need to be addressed. The remaining trance also results in the repression of the immune system functioning due to the spontaneous commands sent by the L-H-P-A System during this “self-protective” encoding. Years later, even if the physiological condition has resolved itself, the unresolved trance state carries the power to resurrect the pain of the original event and will do so when triggered. Such conditions are often misdiagnosed as chronic, when the only pain remaining is the unresolved trance state. We have both neglected to recognize and evaluate the impact of such trance states and failed to see the impact of such trances on the physiology of the body-mind. Medicinal and even energetic treatment of the condition fails if the trance goes unresolved.

In one particular case, the client was diagnosed with epilepsy due to the presence of two seizures within a few weeks. While the cause of the first seizure remains unknown, it was clear from the cues of her nervous system that the first seizure had imprinted as a trauma. I now suspect that the second seizure was probably a relive of the first one, triggered by some similar circumstance. When we reframed the memory of the first seizure-trauma to her system, the seizures ceased and never recurred.

A second, but similar case involved a psychologist who had experienced severe childhood abuse. The trauma therapists found her virtually impossible to work with however, because, whenever she began to talk about her abuse memories and they began to “surface,” the “flashbacks” would result in a full-blown seizure, causing her to lose her ability to speak, and resulting in disassociation until the “seizure episode” was over. Immediately after the seizure began to subside, she could be heard to be whispering quietly, as though she was engaged in a child-like conversation with someone. The therapists were baffled. It was clear that, unless the seizure phenomenon was resolved, her traumas could not be addressed. When I pursued details of her history, she suddenly recalled having such an experience at the age of seven, when she had a case of “whooping cough” which developed into encephalopathy. The inflammation from the encephalopathy induced a seizure which caused her to “code” – stop breathing, at which time she was resuscitated after some minutes. During this time, she experienced a “Near Death Experience” and could recall a “profound encounter with a spiritual being.” This was later found to be the source of the “whispering” immediately after the seizure. The physicians in attendance had noted that such conversational ability immediately after a seizure was atypical. After each “relive” of the original seizure trauma, she re-experienced the NDE as well. This encounter created what she referred to as her “first safe place” in life, and was naturally resurrected whenever she began to recall a severe traumatic experience. From her history, it became apparent that the “seizure trauma” needed to be resolved first, prior to addressing any other trauma issues. We accessed the memory of the original trauma involving the seizure prior to triggering it. Immediately upon resolving the seizure/disassociative reaction and creating a more “stable” safe place, we were able to address her other memories without ever triggering the seizure again. Years later, the client informed me that the “seizures” never returned.

This important case highlighted the question about the capacity of an encoded trance state to induce radical physiological symptoms – suggesting the possibility that a series of physiological symptoms could be “misread” as an illness, when the symptomatology could simply be the result of an unresolved trance state. Such trance states can be easily diagnosed and resolved in comparison to “conventional” approaches to the treatment and diagnosis of disease. The high percentage of resolution of pain symptoms associated with HMR and other memory resolution processes suggests that some primary consideration should be given to the distinction between trauma-induced illness and physiologically induced illness. Much that is routinely treated as the latter is, actually, the former. The suggested percentage is too controversial to print at this time, and further research is needed. The simple fact remains that the majority of symptoms which manifest in the physical body as pain find expedient resolution when treated as unresolved memory fragments. This is evident from my experience with the categories of “illness” listed in this article.

Anxiety Attacks/Asthma: Quite frequently these conditions involving shortness of breath, feeling “a weight on the chest” or constriction in the chest area, are simply the indications that a trance was induced during a traumatic experience. Even a “physiologically or allergy-induced asthma attack" can prove so shocking that the nervous system encodes it as a “trauma” (i.e. trance state). At the moment of induction, the asthma symptoms become holonomically encoded and can now be triggered by anything similar to the original circumstance. Much labeled “asthma” is a “PTSD relive” of the original asthma attack and not necessarily a chronic asthma condition. It is a proven fact that one of the nervous system’s automatic (autonomic) responses to a traumatic episode is the constriction of the nerve center in which the threat is first perceived and a simultaneous “holding of the breath” as an effort to stop or contain the painful experience. These conditions are often labeled as “asthma” or “panic attacks” when they are simply reflections of an original traumatic episode. This is most evident when simple questioning reveals that the “attacks” began with a traumatic event. This can be readily determined.

Depression: To put it bluntly, most depression is situational in origin: enough trauma has occurred to induce blockages to the nervous system, its meridians and fields. The cells and fields of the body subconsciously and automatically encode painful experiences in the effort to prevent us from overwhelm. Such encodings involve the storage of holonomic images with the painful emotional state of the moment bound within. These encoded memory fragments present as a painful, low-frequency energy of notable, measurable density. When such densities are repeatedly encoded in the nerve centers of the body, they naturally alert us to their presence by slowing or impairing the energy flow through the cells, meridians, and fields of the body. The body appears heavy, lethargic, and constricted, proportionate to the number of traumatic memories encoded. Biochemically, these trance states created by the L-H-P-A System repress T-Cell production, impairing immune system and endocrine system functioning. In addition, since these encoded memories are holonomic (hologram-like), they require only a small sensory fragment from the original experience to become “active.” With a sufficient number of traumatic memories stored in the system, much energy is spent in these triggered, burdensome trance states, resulting in feelings of lethargy, blockage, and impairment. Consequently, when we address the memories, the dense, negative charge of the original trance is resolved and the body and nervous system are proportionately relieved of the trauma-induced depression. Remember, however, that prolonged exposure to trauma can result in a type of depletion of neurotransmitters, whereupon outside assistance may prove beneficial. Naturopathic and herbal remedies are now also available. I have been much impressed and aided by Chinese herbal remedies.

AIDS and other Autoimmune Disorders: Medical research has confirmed that traumas result in the repression of immune system functioning. Given the amount of trauma evident in the lives/bodies of most patients diagnosed with AIDS, it becomes paramount to recognize the impact that unresolved trauma is having on the treatment process. Treatment of AIDS in the gay population must also involve recognition of the direct impact of cultural and familial rejection (traumas which impair the immune system). The simple fact is that those who traumatize others either intentionally or unintentionally contribute to the impairment of the “victim’s” immune system. Those religions which induce emotional and spiritual trauma in the gay population, therefore, foster the progression of the disease. In those cases where I have had the opportunity to work with HIV+ patients, they have frequently reported that their “T-Cell” count had risen greatly by the time of their discharge from treatment. They attributed much of this to their process of inner healing from trauma. Alternative medicine is now focusing on bringing the body into a state of balance where viruses can no longer thrive. Such efforts are greatly enhanced by effective memory resolution techniques that resolve the trance states that hold our immune systems captive.

Eating Disorders: Approximately 30% of the patients that I worked with during the development of HMR evidenced symptoms of eating disorders. Since food is the earliest “drug” that we have as children to medicate with, it is no wonder that this diagnosis often accompanies a childhood of trauma. Emotional trauma greatly exacerbates these conditions. The classic situation that I have seen is the parent who shames and humiliates the child who is beginning to or has learned to use food to medicate his/her emotional “emptiness.” “If you get any fatter … if your hips get any wider … if you keep eating like that … no one will …” want to marry you, etc. The parent, seeking to help alter the compulsive behavior of the child shames or humiliates the individual, thereby inducing trauma - resulting in the crystallization of a dense, heavy “trance” state: in other words, the parent in focused attempts to shame or redirect the child’s behavior away from the compulsion, hypnotizes the child into preoccupation with the very behavior they are trying to alleviate! This happens with many conditions besides eating disorders. Traumas are spontaneous, subconscious, and automatically induced trance states transacted between the source of emotional overwhelm and the system storing it.

The concrete mind of the child thinks very physically and cannot distinguish well between “emotional” emptiness held in a nerve center and “physical” emptiness or hunger that is felt in the body. The primitive mind naturally seeks the physical satiation of the empty feeling in its earliest attempts at resolution. But, there is no amount of food that can actually “heal” or resolve the emptiness precipitated by an encoded trance state. Hence, more and more food is consumed with growing frustration, and even more preoccupation is generated with the failure to alleviate the “emptiness.”

Shaming strategies induce emotional trauma and often “lock in” (via the trance states) the very behaviors that the authority is trying to help eliminate or resolve. Parents, educators, coaches, ministers have all been notorious at fostering compulsivity through shaming: inducing emotional trauma and their accompanying trance states. I give many examples of the power of such encoded trance states in my first book: The Healing Dimensions.

The psychological dynamics of clients with eating disorders can be among the most difficult to treat because they usually reflect exposure to early childhood trauma and disempowerment. “It is not what you’re eating that’s the real problem,” it’s the trauma induction that gave rise to it. Such is the power and nature of trauma.

Sports/Performance Trauma: Here I am referring to a trauma pattern that my clients have identified. Many of us in our efforts to achieve certain goals, utilize our intellects and “will power,” forcing our bodies and nervous systems to extend beyond healthy or reasonable limits. This is a phenomenon that is common with students, athletes, “workaholics,” and “perfectionists,” to name only a few. Whenever the intellect or willpower is utilized to override the warning signs of excessive stress/abuse to the body and an action is performed despite the warnings, trauma is induced in the system. We may justify taking the final jump with an injured ankle, but we must also take note of the fact that we are traumatizing our physical bodies and will need to go back and address and reframe the “internal message” (trance) that we have now encoded. There were many such cases in evidence in the last Olympic games. It is also true, that once such a trauma is knowingly or unknowingly induced into an athlete’s psyche, the block often remains in place in the subconscious until the scene is resolved. Many athletes’ careers have been sabotaged by their own self-encoded traumas - and unbeknownst to them. This condition, however, is quite common in students also: the repercussion is that, after the harrowing exam study and the abuse to your body, you get ill. Trauma and stress reduce T-Cell production and foster illness. Remember also that the body holds “somatic memory” which can readily be identified and diagnosed. While “scanning” a client’s knee recently for an injury he was describing, I accidentally passed my hand over his left wrist and felt a sharp pain in my hand. Upon completion of the “knee trauma,” I asked him if he had ever injured his left wrist. He affirmed that he did - twice! And he described falling on his wrist and breaking his finger. The body remembers our accidents and our abuses to it.

Internalizing Others’ Traumas: This notion is not so far-fetched as it would seem, particularly with more sensitive individuals or those with more fragile boundaries. A young boy, for instance, watching his intoxicated dad choking his mom … seeing mom gasping for breath, will inevitably experience a tightening in his own throat and chest as he “engages” the scene within his own mind. At the moment when the scene becomes truly overwhelming, he encodes the memory as tension or tightness in the nerve centers involved. Stanford University found that it may take up to two weeks for such constriction to subside. The trance induced, now sublimated or stored predominantly in the subconscious, will resurrect the same tightness when triggered, however.

If you think about it, a trauma is actually a scene that overpowered us sensory-wise from within our own imaging system. All images are actually organized, created, interpreted within our minds. Being unable to stop the “external event” itself, the Limbic-Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal System activates and assists us by “freezing” the image for us. In other words, we could not stop the event, but we could “pause” our own internal imaging system. We are, therefore, quite capable of storing the pain of others (as we perceived it). In some remarkable cases, I have encountered individuals who, as children, could not stop the deaths of other children before their very eyes, and, hence, internalized them as “personalities” or “parts” which they kept alive within themselves. We internalize others, quite naturally, as part of the scene we freeze while trying to protect ourselves from overwhelm. This explains, in part, how the “shame” or pain of others can so readily become our own.

Post-Partum Depression: We have all heard about the depression that sometimes occurs after a woman delivers a child. While there can be many causes for such depression: including hormonal, marital, occupational, etc., there is also a very common source that is often missed. The first time I saw this was with a trauma survivor who had recently given birth to a beautiful child after a long struggle to get pregnant. Finally upon delivering this beautiful, long-anticipated child, she became extremely depressed. As I began to work with her and explore her history, she turned to me one day and said: “I know exactly where this depression came from! As a child, I got very few of my needs met. I always swore that when I had a child I would make sure all her needs are met. But now that I have a new child of my own, all the ‘wounded children within me’ that never got their needs met are feeling scared and hopeless … they think that now that I have a ‘real’ child of my own, I won’t be able to even partially meet my own unfinished childhood needs.” I have seen this in many cases since this first. When there has been much deprivation and trauma during childhood, the birth of a child can trigger a “subconscious panic” from the wounded, needy ego-states that are still actively in trance. The birth of a new child actually serves as a “trauma” to the wounded ego-states already within the psyche. This relates also to the next category.

Manic-Depressive Illness: We are discovering that the radical mood swings labeled “manic-depressive” illness often subside greatly when trauma resolution addresses the traumatic events which underlie the depressive cycles. Although I have witnessed the biochemistry that confirms the presence of this “bipolar function” in the metabolism of many clients, a contribution to the pathology also occurs through its misdiagnosis, mistreatment, and secondary trauma from having the condition. The reduction in the mood swings and their intensity that often occurs with emotional reframing suggests the probability that trauma exacerbates manic-depression. Misdiagnosis may even occur if the trauma history has not been explored.

Learning Disabilities: A percentage of that which looks like hyperactivity associated with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is actually childhood depression resulting from trauma. The attention span of the child is affected by the nervous, agitated, hyper-vigilant stance created from a traumatic event. When the traumatic events are addressed, the child returns to a more focused, relaxed posture and learning proceeds without intrusion from the trauma-induced triggers. ADD can be induced from traumatic events according to the psychologists and researchers with whom I have conferred. There can be organic causes and other sources, but we are able to reduce symptoms when there is some evident trauma precipitated etiology. Trauma resolution – addressing the memory possibilities can determine if the source is organic or memory-based.

Relapse Triggers: It has been noted that one of the strongest relapse triggers for an addict is the death of a parent. This makes all the sense in the world from the standpoint of trauma. Since most addicts have had considerable trauma in their histories (eighty-seven percent of women alcoholics have histories of sexual abuse: recent study), there are numerous “frozen ego-states” or wounded selves within that never received the nurturing that they felt they needed. Hence, when the parent actually dies, there is a panic or fear that arises related to the revelation that mom or dad will never meet our needs now. These encoded trance states can become very active upon the permanent removal of their hope for wholeness: mommy or daddy. In such cases, the subconscious ego-states must be redirected to the adult/nurturing self to achieve resolution of these trauma induced “codependency” issues. The true “parent” of the self is we ourselves; our parents were only our trustees until we could take over and complete our own self-parenting. Reframing our childhood memories allows us to experience our own power to nurture ourselves into wholeness.

Chronic Pain: In my book I documented two cases of chronic pain. In one case was a woman who was addicted to pain meds for over thirty years, resulting from a car accident that occurred when she was seven years old. The doctors even reported that she had permanent nerve damage from the accident and continuously prescribed pain meds for her. When we actually accessed the accident scene, she discovered that the accident involved an emotional trauma of lying by the interstate with her legs crushed, while no one would stop and help her or her unconscious family members: at that moment she realized she might die and encoded the scene as trauma. When we reframed the scene and brought her promptly to the hospital, the trance resolved and all the pain suddenly vanished. I myself did not believe her at first, having read the substantial documentation affirming permanent nerve damage. When the trance was resolved all of her pain resolved as well. The fact was that the only pain present was that produced by the unresolved trance state. Her pain never returned, and her “recovery program” was, quite obviously, much easier to maintain. Many “chronic pain” patients are in trauma-induced or trauma-enhanced pain conditions that could be eased or alleviated with appropriate reframing. Perhaps we should do the simple check for trauma induced pain-trance first, and only operate later!

In a more shocking case, doctors decided to severe the nerves along the spine of a client who evidenced a debilitating left flank kidney pain. This was after four previous surgeries which were unsuccessful at alleviating the pain. Finally, they decided upon a more drastic solution to prevent her growing attachment and debilitation from narcotic medications. They did a dorsal rhizotomy, permanently severing the nerves along her spine and numbing her whole left flank region of her body. The difficulty was that the pain promptly returned in the same cycle as usual! The doctors said she could not be experiencing such pain. But she was! She returned to me to continue our initial discussion about trauma, and, after the first session, began having flashbacks about sexual abuse that traumatized her left flank kidney region. When the “trance” was triggered/active, the pain was present in the kidney region. This phenomenon is now familiar to those physicians who work with sexual trauma survivors.

We are finally learning to respect the power of the mind. Medical professionals prided themselves on declaring the ‘90s as the “Decade of the Brain.” Perhaps we should initiate the new era by calling it the “Millenium of the Mind,” for in this resource is held an unlimited potential to heal and transform our bodies, our lives, and our world. HMR is one such resource, and a powerful one, for teaching us of our self-healing ability. I hope to continue sharing these lessons with you as we evolve together. Stay tuned. We’re just getting warmed up!

Love and Light,

Brent Baum