Stress is everywhere. Modern science has proved that it generates diseases. In a way, it is the scourge of our times.
We would like to present a revolutionary method of dealing with stress, designed by French physician and researcher Dr Francis Lefebure. His discoveries in cerebral physiology have enabled him to create several techniques and devices that are particularly efficient for managing stress. After a brief presentation of the fundamental factors that govern the development of stress, we will review several techniques for relieving it.
We believe there are three levels of stress:
– Stress related to the social environement
– Stress related to the cultural environement
– Stress related to what we could call the cosmic environement
1) THE STRESS OF SURVIVAL
Confronted to its natural environement, the animal has to permanently struggle, spend energy, mobilize all its ressources to ensure its survival: gathering food, avoiding predators…
In general, mammals are equipped with two mecanisms for adapting to the stress of survival: the first one allows them to optimize all their means of defence in order to face aggression or to adapt in a relevant manner to the environement. The second mecanism allows the mammals to give up life without suffering.
Confronted with danger, the organism triggers reflexes that will help adapting to the situation: the endocrin glands start secreting hormones that prepare the organism to function in a state of urgency.
When the animal is attacked by a predator, there is a moment when it abadons all defenses. The animal goes into a state close to hypnosis so that it does not suffer.
Lethal stress can produce a state of anesthezation where energy leaves the body. Certain authors have explored stress as a means to produce states of trance.
Today, the struggle for life is transposed to business, employment… These situations have become a transposition of the stress of survival though they are mixed with a form of social stress.
2) SOCIAL STRESS
Human being are sociable creatures and they find comfort in being part of a community. On the other hand, the fear of exclusion can generate a considerable amount of stress.
In the past, banishment was just one step lower than death in the scale of punishment.
Today, there is a new pernicious form of exclusion: unemployment. In a society that is governed by the principle of profit and the worship of productivity, unemployment is often experienced as a violent form of social stress, as individuals feel like they are not part of society any more.
Nevertheless, the main source of social stress seems to be the hierarchic bonds in the community. The frustrations related to the relationship between the dominating and the dominated generate the production of specific chemical substances that constitute a conditioning factor of social relations.
Relationships of hierarchy produce two kinds of stress: the dynamic stress that drives the young to challenge the domination of the old, and the debilitating stress that affects the individuals who cannot escape their situation.
3) METAPHYSICAL STRESS
The same way they need to find their place in society, human beings need to situate themselves in time and space, confronted by the infinity that surrounds them. Human beings who cannot identify themselves as agents of the cosmic processes are desorientated and suffer from a feeling of isolation.
The Christian legacy that governs Western society is marked by the belief in the apocalypse and the return of the messiah. Consequently, modern human beings are permanently unsatisfied and are always searching for an illusionary progress. Never knowing if this event will take place and the culpability experienced because this event does not happen generate a great amount of stress.
The techniques of stress management
These techniques are based on the systematic use of the phosphenes. The phosphenes are all the subjective sensations of light, i.e. those which are not directly produced by light stimulating the retina. They correspond to what ophtalmologists call images of retinal persistency or after images. They can be produced by focusing on sources of light for short periods of time.
Simply doing a phosphene is already relaxing. Anglers are a good example of this. Indeed, they spend long hours focusing on the float, and thus doing phosphenes with the reflection of the sun or the bright sky on water. Many anglers relate that this activity relaxes them in a way that cannnot find elsewhere.
In the 1950s, scientists discovered the positive action of light on the production of hormones. Today, it is commonly used for treating the patients suffering from chronic depression. Light has a major influence on the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep.
But, why limit yourself to the phototherapeutic action of light when you can benefit from many other positive effects. Indeed, Phosphenic Mixing (an exercise consisting in mingling a thought with a phosphene) is a powerful stimulant of intellectual activity. Practicing Phosphenic Mixing regularly improves attention, concentration, memory, as well as the spirit of initiative and creativity.
b) Alternating hearing
A principle based on hearing a sound in turn in the right and the left ear, alternating hearing balances the exchanges between the cerebral hemispheres. One of its main effects on personality is to ‟center” the individual. A ‟centered” person is less affected by stress and control their emotions better. Thus, practicing with the Alternophone helps the individual to avoid being subjected to the situations of everyday life.
c) The lateral head sway
The effects of this exercise are similar to those of the Alternophone. In fact, it is a different manner to obtain a similar result.
d) The hammock
A third variation of the same principle, the hammock exercise helps regulating cerebral alternation in a simple and fun way. The exercise can be practiced the following way:
- Do a phosphene.
- Laying on the hammock, give yourself a good push so that you start swaying. Even better, ask somebody to give you a push.
- Focus your attention on the sensation of swaying.
- You can visualize currents of energy that pass trough your body as you sway.
- Keep concentrating like this until the amplitude of the sways has become very small.
- You will be surprised by the sensation produced by the smaller sways.
- When you deem it necessary, push yourself again and start the exercise back at the beginning.
- You can also do a new phosphene approximately every 5 minutes.
This kind of exercise can be practiced in a rocking-chair, but, in this case, it is a antero-posterior sway that is produced. Its effects are slightly different from the effects of the lateral head sway. The antero-posterior sway tends to transform dreams into concrete action. It is more adapted to practicing in the morning.
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Thank you for your indulgence and for your consideration of the many hours spent translating all our pages and, more particularly, all the testimonies we share with you so that you may become aware of the impact that Phosphenism can have on those who practice it.
Wishing you the best with your practice of Phosphenism.
Daniel Stiennon (Dr. LEFEBURE School Director, France)