“There is no objective reality! In order for the brain not to be overwhelmed by the constant deluge of sensory input, some sort of filtering system must enable us to pay attention to what our bodymind deems the most important pieces of information and to ignore the others. . . Our emotions . . decide what is worth paying attention to.”
In her book Molecules of Emotion she chronicles her findings. Enjoying the cutting edge of research she took an unconventional approach to her Ph.D. dissertation and is credited with finding the opiate receptor in the brain. Her earliest work laid the foundation for the discovery of endorphins.
Dr. Pert pushed the boundaries of the scientific community, as well as resolutely calling out the patriarchy in the field. Both made her unpopular, occasionally blacklisting her. Still she relentlessly pursued her science.
Pert explained how our emotions are the sensory information travelling to our brains – filtering the “signals the receptors are receiving from the peptides.” Through her persistence, the scientific community even acknowledged “the presence of brain peptides in the immune system.”
Our emotions influence brain activity and our immune system. Knowing this we can reframe our expectations and beliefs. Using biofeedback and breathing techniques peptides can be released to manage things like stress and pain. When these peptides travel from the brainstem, they diffuse “throughout the cerebrospinal fluid” in an attempt “to restore homeostasis.”
“Mind doesn’t dominate body, it becomes body—body and mind are one.”
The more I learn the more convinced I am that allowing my emotions to be hijacked doesn’t just make for a crappy day; I’m doing myself a real physical disservice!
“The truth is on the march and nothing will stop it.” – Emile Zola