In demonstrating the necessity for the re-training of cerebral control, we said that patients must be shown what to do. How to achieve this is, in fact, the tricky part of the problem, and will be of special interest to physicians who are directly involved in treatment. However, before beginning our study of the training itself, we should ex plain the procedure we will be using, i.e. how we will show patients precisely what they should do.
Direct control of the brain, at the present stage of scientific development, is beyond our control. This means that there are few means at our disposal to verify what patients report in terms of what is actually happening in the brain.
Struck by this gap in our scientific knowledge, I tried to find some simple method of verification.
It seemed to me to be quite amazing that symptoms which are sometimes extremely intense could not be perceived (i.e. verified) objectively. The cerebral pulse (electroencephalograph) provided some indication of what was going on, but was not practical enough, and required the use of highly sensitive instruments.
My own personal experience showed me that, contrary to current opinion, the hand, when placed on the forehead of a patient, and when sufficiently trained, can provide a fairly accurate indication of what is happening in the brain.
It is very likely that the entire body vibrates in unison with the brain, a sensation which is clearly felt by persons suffering from certain disorders. This vibration is not limited to the forehead, but is more perceptible in that region. It is completely different from the cerebral pulse, and is caused by a contraction of the skin and skin muscles. The intensity of the contraction corresponds to the patient's intensity of concentration.
Therefore, perceiving this vibration is not a question of having some kind of special gift or having especially sensitive hands; for years, many patients have been able to perceive it just as well as I can.
I am well aware of how skeptical people will be about this, because it is difficult to admit that the brain's activity can be detected through the skull; I cannot explain how it works - all I can say is that there is an exterior effect, and this effect can be felt by the hand; it appears as a series of repeated shocks, creating the sensation of a wave or particular kind of vibration.
For those who wish to try it, here's how to proceed:
Ask someone to concentrate on the ticking of a metronome, or better still to mentally repeat the ticking sound. Place your hand on the person's forehead, either flat or cupped, and you will feel a subtle shock or beating which is more perceptible on either the right or left side, depending on where the metronome needle is.
If you increase the metronome's speed, the beating will become more rapid; decrease the speed and the beating slows down accordingly.
If the subject is distracted, you will not feel any beats - the sensation in your hand will change, or stop altogether. There is, therefore, a correlation between what the subject is thinking and the sensation you experience in your hand.
It is possible that your sensation will not be precise enough the first time you try the experiment, but if you are patient, the sensation gradually becomes clear.
We are presenting this phenomenon as a simple hypothesis, although later on we will provide more complete and scientific proof of its accuracy.
For the moment, lets us assume that the sensation which is perceived does relate to cerebral activity, and that it is modified according to the state the brain is in. It then becomes easy to perceive the difference between a calm brain and one which is agitated, as well as the difference between a controlled idea or thought, and one which isn't. This phenomenon is a powerful diagnostic tool, allowing doctors to verify how patients are thinking or behaving.
We are in no way suggesting that we can determine what a patient is thinking with this technique. All we can do is verify his/her level of control.
With a little practice, you can begin to recognize certain different sensations, perceived through the hands, which correspond to different states of the brain. We will try to describe them, and give names to the various vibrations or waves which are perceived.
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