We seek to examine through clinical studies the effect that entering a Non-Ordinary State of Consciousness may have upon the mind and body of a traumatized individual. The research hypothesis proposes that entry into NOSC may precipitate a release of ‘the frozen present’, Browne’s working description of our internal condition in which we unwittingly carry the effects of trauma after the event.
Phase 1: Research
This research project is informed by a breathwork and medicine practice focused upon trauma and PTSD in which subjects consistently achieve beneficial outcomes; the practice allows the subject entry into NOSC that enables the trauma to release. Treatment-resistant subjects may release unresolved trauma they have carried for years, and the durable lowering of stress post-session is consistently confirmed.
Trauma caught and held within the individual has been implicated as the leading cause of stress. Our approach is predicated upon the understanding that ‘the only way out is through’, and work with NOSC gives subjects the circumstances necessary to allow the trauma to be released.
Observational experience has shown this release comports with the mechanism-of-action hypothesized by Ivor Browne, M.D. in his 1985 article, “Psychological Trauma or Unexperienced Experience”.
Our research task is to offer breathwork, MDMA and other forms (per regulatory approval) that reliably produce a NOSC within volunteer study-subjects who have a diagnosis of PTSD, or who are suffering from other psychic depredations following trauma. We will replicate the private practice protocols that have produced successful outcomes, witnessed by us, namely the in-session release of trauma per Browne’s UE.
Clinical studies will focus upon the effect of such releases upon the molecular and biochemical pathways including neuroendocrine processes, immune response and other cellular pathways. Stress has a systemic impact on the body’s biochemical processes and cellular functioning, and the clinical studies will focus upon whether the release of trauma can, by reducing stress, have a beneficial effect upon the integrity, overall health and well-being of the microbiome through regulation of stress related perturbations.
We will design and mount research that measures a number of molecular and biochemical markers, as expressed by the levels of stress in each subject, by taking blood samples before and after each session in NOSC. These pre- and post-session measures of established and novel molecular and biochemical biomarkers will demonstrate any change to the stress level of the individual. Members of the research team have expertise in clinical studies as well as understanding the dynamic nature of bio-markers in health and disease conditions.
In addition to exploring the changes in the molecular and biochemical processes pre- and post-session, the subjects will also undergo psychosocial analysis to decipher psychological and behavioral changes resulting from the sessions.
It is reasonably anticipated that comparison of the pre- and post-session blood samples may show a noticeable change in the biomarkers, indicating (in the absence of any other factors) that the release of trauma has resulted in a reduction of stress within the subject.
This action will convincingly demonstrate that, by relieving the mind and body of the traumatic burden it has been carrying, stress is reduced as measured by the molecular and biochemical markers that are linked to key cellular events in the body.
That this release action by the immaterial mind can have such a beneficial effect upon the material body will be a significant contribution to our current understanding of the body-mind connection.
The impact of psychedelic drugs which primarily modulate serotonergic signaling in modulating the gut serotonergic system is not well studied, which opens an interesting avenue to pursue the potential clinical usages of psychedelic drugs in gastrointestinal diseases.
MDMA is one medicine that primarily modulates serotoninergic signaling, breathwork being a non-medicine method of achieving the same ends. Currently, increasing attention is currently being given to the critical importance of microbial health in the gut.
The innovative research begun here by REBECOMING seeks to demonstrate that a lowering of stress following trauma-release within MDMA/breathwork will in turn benefit the overall health of the microbiome.
This, we humbly submit, could presage an entirely new understanding of the biological mechanism of trauma capture and release and, being so, will be game-changing.
Phase 2: Education and Outreach
Following the success of this research endeavor, REBECOMING is committed to establishing and maintaining an educational outreach program directed to the general public. As Morton Herskowitz pointed out in “Emotional Armoring:, “It is axiomatic in medicine that theories proliferate when the condition is not comprehended… Once the cause is known and the process is understood, the multiplicity ceases.”
Ivor Browne’s hypothesis of “the frozen present” and Unexperienced Experience is sufficiently coherent and comprehensible to be understood by anyone, both lay and professional. Our commitment to redressing the willful ignorance that has led to this forgotten truth being confined for almost thirty-five years to a psychiatric peer-review journal is absolute.
Phase 3: Implementation
The education and outreach program will dovetail with the implementation phase of this endeavor, and we will continue to work with healing centers to include NOSC work within their existing programs. These will include breathwork, EMDR, hypnotic regression, Reiki and other forms that can reliably enable individuals to experience the healing potential of NOSC.
The final stage of implementation will be the creation of community orientated centers modeled after Joshua Bierer’s ‘Therapeutic Social Clubs’; REBECOMING will establish these centers to offer a full range of NOSC forms. Acknowledging the critical importance of bringing NOSC experiences ‘to the ground of our being’, these centers will also focus on integrative and supportive modalities to include Somatic Experiencing, yoga and meditation, psychotherapy, individual counseling, ongoing integration groups and other activities that enhance the ability of the individual to function within the community.