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Symptoms of disorders of consciousness

Symptoms of impaired consciousness (be patient, such Goodies as, for example, coma or delirium, will be considered in the section syndromes). They are still in 1911, was clearly described by Karl Jaspers:

Violation of orientation in time, situation, space, surrounding persons and self. Let’s try to reveal a little the essence of each of the points of disorientation.

In time. Of course, to forget what today is the day or day of the week, happened to each of us, especially if the work or the situation (vacation, for example) does not imply the need to clearly monitor them. Another thing, if you struggle to understand what in the yard a season or a year. Or why it’s evening, but only that it was morning, although there may also be options…

In a situation. At once the fool to whom participants of a funeral procession hung for a wish “to drag to you — not to drag”is remembered. In other words, it is alarming if a person is not able to assess what kind of situation and relationships (at least in General terms) develop around him: anniversary or Wake.

In space. Of course, no one requires you to know the exact longitude, latitude, altitude and serial number of the galaxy, but the city, the area, and the way home — should.

In the surrounding seats. The General rule of loving people: if you do not remember the name of the partner, call a Bunny, sun or lapulya — you will live longer. Worse, if you are not able to identify people from the surrounding brother, sister, mother, father (the intricacies of the plot lines Express the hero of the Indian cinema), raises many questions.

In self. Unlike Hu em AI, played perfectly by Jackie Chan, a patient who is truly disoriented in his own personality is unlikely to molest you with self-identification problems. And generally hardly understand a word of speech addressed to him — will react as the sound, but no more. Usually this happens with a gross disorder of consciousness.

It should be added that the above paragraphs are given in such a sequence is not accidental. They are a kind of scale of increasing depth and severity of the disorder of consciousness: from disorientation in time, as the easiest (if not a miss in half a century), to disorientation in his own personality, when everything is very, very bad and the patient’s life is in question.

  1. Detachment from the surrounding reality. This is a situation where the reality itself, the patient itself. Events, facts and external stimuli are perceived as fragments of conversations from the street — fragmentary, on the very verge of perception, a person is not able to seriously and permanently attract attention, not to mention a clear and holistic awareness of them. Confusion, indecision prevail — how to behave in a situation when the reality waves the handle? Confusion, surprise: Oh, what is it? Where is it? Oh my gosh!
  2. Violations of understanding. Since consciousness and the process of thinking are inextricably linked with each other, any violations of consciousness will certainly be reflected in the harmony of thinking. This simplification of the associative process (to complex series, when everything is bad!), and problems with abstraction, and violation of sequence — in one way or another least, in dependence from depth disorder.
  3. Memory disorders relating to the period of the disorder of consciousness, amnesia or congrega. Can be full, when memory falls all the painful period, and partial, when some of the memories still remains. For this reason, many alcoholics who have suffered delirium, swear that more — no-no! And we pretend to believe.

Symptoms of disorders of consciousness

  1. Violation of orientation in time, situation, space, surrounding persons and self. Let’s try to reveal a little the essence of each of the points of disorientation.

In time. Of course, to forget what today is the day or day of the week, happened to each of us, especially if the work or the situation (vacation, for example) does not imply the need to clearly monitor them. Another thing, if you struggle to understand what in the yard a season or a year. Or why it’s evening, but only that it was morning, although there may also be options…

In a situation. At once the fool to whom participants of a funeral procession hung for a wish “to drag to you — not to drag”is remembered. In other words, it is alarming if a person is not able to assess what kind of situation and relationships (at least in General terms) develop around him: anniversary or Wake.

In space. Of course, no one requires you to know the exact longitude, latitude, altitude and serial number of the galaxy, but the city, the area, and the way home — should.

In the surrounding seats. The General rule of loving people: if you do not remember the name of the partner, call a Bunny, sun or lapulya — you will live longer. Worse, if you are not able to identify people from the surrounding brother, sister, mother, father (the intricacies of the plot lines Express the hero of the Indian cinema), raises many questions.

In self. Unlike Hu em AI, played perfectly by Jackie Chan, a patient who is truly disoriented in his own personality is unlikely to molest you with self-identification problems. And generally hardly understand a word of speech addressed to him — will react as the sound, but no more. Usually this happens with a gross disorder of consciousness.

It should be added that the above paragraphs are given in such a sequence is not accidental. They are a kind of scale of increasing depth and severity of the disorder of consciousness: from disorientation in time, as the easiest (if not a miss in half a century), to disorientation in his own personality, when everything is very, very bad and the patient’s life is in question.

  1. Detachment from the surrounding reality. This is a situation where the reality itself, the patient itself. Events, facts and external stimuli are perceived as fragments of conversations from the street — fragmentary, on the very verge of perception, a person is not able to seriously and permanently attract attention, not to mention a clear and holistic awareness of them. Confusion, indecision prevail — how to behave in a situation when the reality waves the handle? Confusion, surprise: Oh, what is it? Where is it? Oh my gosh!
  2. Violations of understanding. Since consciousness and the process of thinking are inextricably linked with each other, any violations of consciousness will certainly be reflected in the harmony of thinking. This simplification of the associative process (to complex series, when everything is bad!), and problems with abstraction, and violation of sequence — in one way or another least, in dependence from depth disorder.
  3. Memory disorders relating to the period of the disorder of consciousness, amnesia or congrega. Can be full, when memory falls all the painful period, and partial, when some of the memories still remains. For this reason, many alcoholics who have suffered delirium, swear that more — no-no! And we pretend to believe.

General Psychopathology

In this part, I will try, so to speak, to shove nevpihuemoe, because please be patient, it will be easier and more fun. Come on.

If we consider what is the picture of the disease, it can be divided into three levels of complexity:

  1. The symptoms are as individual manifestations of the disease state.
  2. Syndromes as a set of several symptoms (and not from the ceiling typed, and harmoniously adjacent).
  3. Actually the disease characterized by:

A) necessarily or most often occurring syndromes (what is called” obligate” — from lat. obligatus — a required, indispensable);

B) syndromes occurring from time to time, but not necessarily due here to be (optional), and

C) their change as the disease progresses, or pathokinesis.

The terminology given below is not intended to mislead patients or to plunge into a light trance of frowned girls. The main, if not the only, its task — to lead to a certain common denominator such capacious and imaginative, but too original and picturesque expressions as zakolbasilo, inserts not childishly, a flying trip, the bar collapsed, the roof drove off, the cuckoo flew off, all on nervousness, glitches, nonsense of a gray Mare in a quiet moonlit night, etc., so that specialists of different schools and regions could at least about something, in addition to joint drinking, agree.

To clarify the question of what in the mental activity of a person can go wrong, imagine what it looks like and what conditional fragments this activity is divided into in the norm. So:

  1. Consciousness, where the same without him. The highest form of human reflection of the surrounding reality, characterized by the orientation of man a) in space; b) in time; C) in his own personality.
  2. Perception of the surrounding world: first in the form of sensations as elementary components of the process, and then the perception itself as a more complex and holistic process, not only covering objects and phenomena as a whole, but also laying them out, as they are called, on the shelves (immediately included awareness, understanding and comprehension of the object and phenomenon), as well as representation (when a person mentally reproduces images of objects and phenomena that he perceived earlier).
  3. Attention — not in the sense of universal Achtung, and the ability to focus on any events, objects and activities.
  4. The memory — synthesis, integrative process that encompasses the results of sensation, perception and thinking. It provides memorization (fixation), preservation (retention) and reproduction (reproduction) of past experience. Short-term (while there is a signal source — there are its traces; the source disappeared — traces soon died out) and long-term memory is allocated. You can, of course, take a smart look and note that it is on the terms of retention is divided into iconic (clear, full imprint of 0.25 seconds.), short-term, operational (when the information necessary to achieve a certain goal is selectively stored and reproduced) and long-term (see), but the electorate can fairly rebel.
  5. Thinking is a reflection in the consciousness of the surrounding reality, when a person establishes the relationship of objects and phenomena not only on the basis of the facts lying on the surface (the sun rose — people are hot-hot), but also using the ability to abstraction, analysis and synthesis, as dialectical materialism teaches us. By the way, judging by the huge number of citizens, enriched on the stock exchange, the ability to abstract thinking today is simply frightening scale. In appearance, thinking can be divided into visual-effective (purely concrete), visual-figurative (contemplative-dreamy) and abstract-theoretical (one schrödinger cat what is worth!). You can also on the concrete situation and the abstract and the verbal. Or affective and logical. Or something like that. Forms of thinking are as follows: a) the concept — the allocation of essential properties of a homogeneous group of objects or phenomena; b) judgment — reveals the relationship of the subject — sign, the relationship between objects. Here there is a movement from the particular to the General, from the phenomenon to the essence; C) conclusion — the conclusion of a new judgment from other judgments, obtaining new knowledge from existing knowledge.
  6. It is a process of human communication through language (with words, not anything else). It is divided into internal and external. External speech, respectively, is oral and written. Oral, respectively, — monological and dialogical.
  7. Intelligence (someone would prefer to say — the mind, someone more politically correct – ability) — is the ability of a person to successfully apply existing knowledge and experience in practice. This includes the ability to generate new ideas, as well as criticism and self-criticism.
  8. Emotions: higher and lower, positive and negative. A little digress to make them out more. The scheme of human activity, as an option, can be represented as follows: need — motivation — action — result — emotion. According to the result, positive or negative. Further, the emotions themselves can form new needs (if I liked it, then I need it), sometimes becoming a need per se (Yes, Yes, more!), plus added awareness of Tao and admiring the process of achieving the result — and now a simple scheme is looped and overgrown with fractals. Everything in life, everything as it should be… As for the higher and lower emotions, here is another scheme. According to A. Maslow, the needs can be divided into three levels: a) biological — to breathe, eat, drink, allocate waste products, move, continue the race or have sex (located on the border with the next level); b) social — to create a family, take a place in society, to gain recognition; C) spiritual level — to know yourself and your place in the world, to determine your attitude to religion, to find worldview. The lower emotions are related to the satisfaction of the needs of the biological level, and the higher — respectively, social and spiritual. Reference is also made to the division of emotions on scenicheskoe (mobilizing), and asthenia (disruptive), reactive (as a response to the external process) and vital (due to internal reasons), but also in strength and duration — in the mood (long, smooth), passion is a strong, persistent and profound emotional state and the affect rapid short-term emotion.
  9. Will — is the ability to purposeful organized activities to achieve conscious (and sometimes unconscious) goals. Is completely formed by the age of twenty. The needs and their levels I have just cited, the will sets the direction in the implementation of activities that meet these needs. At all stages, from motivation to result and emotions.
  10. Sleep is a physiological state of the body, alternating with wakefulness and characterized by the absence of conscious mental activity and a significant decrease in reactions to external stimuli.

Now let’s try to consider how each of the components of mental activity can be disturbed.

Little history

They say that the fifties radically changed the face of psychiatry. Why? Yes, because there was aminazine. And then other neuroleptics. And — antidepressants. And off we go. If you believe the teachers, with the beginning of the era of neuroleptics mentally ill people are not left — in its classic version, which existed before many centuries. Now the psychiatrist at hand has an Arsenal of magic pills and injections: from bad mood, from surveillance of intelligence services, from cosmic rays and alien invasion — Yes from anything. Not only potions of intelligence, charisma powder, vaccinations conscience and something else on the little things. And Yes, still no one really knows what’s going on in your head and where schizophrenia comes from. But now there is an opportunity not to keep patients in isolation from society for life.

A natural question: what was the treatment of patients in psychiatric hospitals until the fifties? Let me give you a brief overview of the methods — so you have a General idea about them.

The ancient Greeks to the mentally ill were quite severe — could and stones beat. According to some reports, particularly demoniac they even chained or put on an electric Stingray (as we see, the basics of electroconvulsive therapy date back to the fifth century BC).

The Romans offered their options: to follow, to avoid constipation (it’s in melancholia), bind and keep in the dark (rage and fury), to give the emetic and the time to associate with hallucinations and delusions (if not helps, to prescribe “fasting and healing Lyuli”, recommended that Celsus). And epilepsy was proposed to treat the blood of a Gladiator. No,no, don’t spill it. That is to spill, of course, and then give it to the insane.

Quite varied were approaches to the treatment of mental illness in medieval Europe. Patients were often kept at monasteries and used exorcism. Hot iron and therapeutic auto-dafe were used infrequently. For the treatment of melancholy offered to eat pork heart stuffed with herbs. There were also rods (in order to switch the thoughts of the patient to bodily discomfort), mustard plasters for the whole person (to dilute the blood, stagnated in melancholy), bloodletting and, as an act of condescension, — warm baths. In Switzerland, in a shelter near Zurich, practiced content on the chain and the daily issuance of wine for medicinal purposes. Hellebore water was used quite widely — both from lice on the head, and from “cockroaches” inside (now it, by the way, sometimes pour alcoholics caring wife, in full accordance with the attached instructions).

In Europe, the XVIII century continue to actively use americnas water (it was used in psychiatry for a long time) and practice of the cold water. The British instead of ropes and shackles begin to use a straitjacket — a prototype of a straitjacket. However, in Bedlam still let onlookers (one-penny entrance), and on weekends it’s a full house. The French, through the efforts of Philippe Pinel, too, reject the detention of patients in chains and begin to use a straitjacket to the early nineteenth century. The style of this kind of clothing is relevant to this day.

In the nineteenth century, doctors began to show a greater interest in the mentally ill, combined with irrepressible imagination. Thanks to this, there are a straitjacket chair, a straitjacket bed, a rotational bed and a rotational machine (so that the blood flows to the head and the brain works better), a device for an unexpected immersion in a pool of cold water, as well as an ice shower on the head from a hose (the prototype of the Charcot shower — this method will appear in the same century a little later). Leeches (10-12 pieces per head) are popular in combination with wrapping with cold wet towels and laxative salt (the practice of the ancient Greeks was in use for a long time). Treatment with morphine and cannabis is in Vogue. The first sprouts of psychotherapy begin to break through. Hypnosis is increasingly practiced. There are preparations of bromine and barbituric acid: veronal, medinal. Begin to use paraldehyde and chloral hydrate.

In the XX century (first half) – box methods of treatment of mental illness updated malariotherapy (vaccination of malaria-treated paralysis), and then the injection sulfazine, and electroconvulsive and insulin shock therapy. Except for the lobotomy, of course. And finally, there are the antipsychotics, antidepressants and other psychiatric the contents of the magic briefcase. We look forward to the vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease in this new XXI century, but the creation of vaccinations of conscience and intelligence potions can not even hope.

Sleep Deprivation

Depression is almost always associated with sleep disorders. Depending on the type of disease, these disorders can be of different nature, from difficulties with falling asleep, surface sleep with frequent awakenings to opposite symptoms, expressed in increased drowsiness, heavy waking. It is characteristic that with any orientation of violations sleep does not bring relief to the patient, recovery in sleep does not occur, regardless of the amount of time spent in bed.

There have even been theories that point to sleep disorders not as a symptom, but as a cause of depression, although to date there is no scientific evidence to support this assumption.

The mechanism of the therapeutic effect of deprivation is based on the regulation of disturbed daily cycles of the body, the so-called circadian, 24-hour rhythms, in this case, the cycle “sleep – wakefulness”. In the same rhythm there are changes and other human functions, such as appetite, body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and others. The speed of metabolic processes, the activity of the endocrine system, the metabolism of neurotransmitters – all this is subject to circadian rhythms.

In a healthy person, all these periodically occurring processes are strictly synchronized with each other, but in a depressed state their normal course becomes disturbed, while there are also characteristic daily fluctuations in the emotional background, in the morning the patients feel worse, in the evening the condition usually improves.

These biochemical studies show that during depression disturbed normal daily rhythm of hormone production, metabolism of other biologically active compounds. All this suggests that somehow such desynchronization is involved in the pathogenesis of depressive States. Sleep deprivation is a kind of reset, an attempt to restore the original synchronicity of the circadian cycles.

The positive effect of sleep deprivation on endogenous depression was first reported in 1966. Since that time, deprivation has become popular as a simple and relatively safe method. There have been many reports from various psychiatrists about the successful application of the method in practice. Subsequently, enough data have been accumulated to judge a certain commonality of mechanisms for the development of disorders and depressive States.

The structure of sleep is cyclical, that is, in its course there is a change of several phases. These encephalograms show that in depressed patients there is a violation of these phases, the process of falling asleep and waking, the overall quality of sleep deteriorates. The distribution of sleep stages changes dominated by superficial sleep and reduced during the phase of deep sleep. There is a sharper than in healthy, the transition from one phase of sleep to another. Accordingly, the improvement of the clinical condition of patients is accompanied by its normalization.

The indication for the use of sleep deprivation as a therapeutic method is not only the presence of depression itself, but also a depressive state in other diseases, including some forms of schizophrenia. The best results are achieved with classical melancholic depression, with a marked decrease in mood, psychomotor inhibition, a feeling of sadness, guilt, combined with low self-esteem, and a sense of lack of prospects in life.

Sleep deprivation is considered to be effective both in recent depressions and in prolonged, drug-resistant therapy. Moreover, in some cases of severe prolonged depression, depression was effective in overcoming such resistance and increasing the patient’s sensitivity to antidepressants.

There are no absolute contraindications to its use, you should take the usual precautions for hypertension, recently suffered a stroke. The natural limitation of its wide application is a violation of the rhythm of life of the patient, the discomfort experienced by him, the difficulty of resisting the desire to fall asleep. The advantage is the availability and possibility of independent practice.

As for the practical application, there are several methods of deprivation, the most common of which is total sleep deprivation. The essence of the method is that the patient misses one night, that is, he does not sleep a day, a night and another day, the total is about 36 hours of continuous wakefulness. A single procedure, as a rule, causes a short-term effect, so it is repeated 8-10 times, twice, and then once a week.

On the day of the beginning of the procedure, you should exclude daytime sleep and make a program of classes at night to successfully combat drowsiness. You can prepare in advance the materials for reading, playing, music, stock up discs with movies. Load yourself with work is not necessary, because it leads to fatigue and increased need for sleep. You can alternate these classes with light exercise, push-UPS, abdominal muscles load.

During the night, you can eat light food, reception of stimulating drinks (tea, coffee) is best avoided. The next morning it is better not to sit at home, take a walk, do something in the fresh air. Having held out thus 36 hours, it is possible to go to bed at usual time for itself.

A more gentle method is a partial deprivation of sleep, in which the patient sleeps at night for about three hours, then wakes up, and then everything happens as in total deprivation. Partial deprivation is easier to tolerate than total, but it should not be used for patients with disturbed sleep, in this case, from attempts to sleep and a short sleep, a person feels only more broken.

There is an even more technically complex version of partial deprivation, in which the patient is woken up at the onset of his REM phase and then allowed to fall asleep again, before the next such phase. This procedure is repeated throughout the night. This so-called REM (rapid eyes movement) deprivation, no special efficiency it does not have, requires technical equipment and therefore is currently rarely used.

In deprivation, there are several stages, during the day the fluctuations of the emotional sphere occur in the usual scenario, in the morning the state of health is worsened, in the evening it is leveled and remains so for the first few hours of the night. Closer to the morning, the state of health improves, usually imperceptibly for the patient, and remains so until the end of the procedure.

The main difficulty is the struggle with sleep, with good preparation, the first night hours usually pass without problems, the probability of falling asleep increases sharply closer to the morning, if it is overcome, then during the next day it will be easier to sleep, periods of drowsiness will be observed at times, but not as pronounced as the morning.

In the first half of the second day, a paradoxical feeling of vivacity, a surge of energy, even talkativeness can be felt. Sometimes they write about the appearance of headaches, weakness for this period, but this phenomenon is individual and occurs not at all.

The maximum improvement occurs at 9-12 o’clock in the morning, at this time, usually in depressed patients there is the most severe period during the day. Subjectively perceived mood elevation, disappears retardation, the person becomes active, communicative, critically ill patients may disappear suicidal thoughts, ideas of self-malacense.

During the rest of the day, the mood gradually decreases, but never falls below the level usual at this time of day. Sleep, after deprivation is very good, deep, comes very quickly and lasts all night, even in patients with obvious disorders. After awakening, the symptoms of depression are again felt, albeit to a lesser extent than before the procedure. Unfortunately, the effect of deprivation is short-term and requires repeated repetition of the process.

As the procedure is repeated (first two, then once a week), there is a gradual improvement in the patient’s condition, the duration of periods of good mood increases, respectively, the periods of bad are reduced, with time, the reduction of symptoms can take large values. There is interest in what is happening, improves appetite, is inhibited. Later, other symptoms are a receding concern. This is a typical pattern, from which, of course, there may be deviations, both in relation to the reaction to the deprivation itself, and the speed and sequence of reducing symptoms.

Some patients during the night procedure may increase symptoms, more often it is observed in patients with anxiety and depressive disorder. But in the morning, almost everyone gets better.

I have repeatedly tried this method, and it really has a short-term effect, but I can not attribute it to physiological. Yet there is a rough intervention in the functioning of the body, and although the literature does not describe the serious side effects of its use, it seems to me that long-term use for the benefit of health it does not go. It should be understood that the state of consciousness in deprivation refers to the changed, it is not normal, although it brings relief. The use of deprivation is poorly combined with social life and work, although in severe depression it is not so significant.

Is it worth trying this method? I think he’s definitely better than electrical stimulation, whose effectiveness it is often compared, side effects are certainly less. Deprivation is a good immediate effect, even a short-term improvement can be a great gift for a serious patient, to open the long-closed door to another world, to give hope and give strength to continue the struggle. But I still have not seen the information about the patients, get rid of depression, just practicing deprivation.


Rolfing, or system integration, refers to the so-called body-oriented therapies. These methods originate in the works of the outstanding psychiatrist of the twentieth century, a student of Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Reich.

Reich suggested that mental trauma can manifest itself at the bodily level in the form of various muscle blocks and clamps. In the end, the suppressed emotions are transformed in the human body into a muscular shell, which prevents the normal flow of mental energy and suppresses the emotional side of the person. Accordingly, removing these clips on the bodily level, it is possible to achieve the release of blocked mental energy, which is subjectively manifested in improving the mental state of the patient.

On the basis of Reich’s ideas there were many different schools of body-oriented therapy, I had the opportunity to get acquainted in practice with one of them – Rolfing. The founder of the method, IDA Rolf, doctor of biochemistry, built her method on the basis of correcting deformities and changes that have arisen in the muscle fascia, a binding tissue that supports and binds together the muscles and bone system. Initially, Rolfing was intended only for work on the physical level, but in the process it turned out that the removal of tension in certain parts of the body often leads to emotional discharge and remembering some long-forgotten and repressed incidents. For me, Rolfing was of interest as a tool to achieve and identify unconscious material that may be relevant to the emergence of my underlying disease.

Certified Alferov, at the time of writing, in Russia. I had two sessions in Berlin, in November 2008, when I was in this city on a business trip. Ideally, you need to take a course of 10 procedures, but I did not have time for this, so I had to limit myself to two. Each session lasted about an hour and a half and felt like a deep massage. At times, the procedure was quite painful, yet the impact occurs at a deep level and with the use of rolfer strong pressures and sprains, sometimes with the help of knees and elbows. Nevertheless, in General, the procedure is quite tolerable and does not cause much physical discomfort.

During the second session, I actually had a childhood episode in my mind related to my relationship with my father. He did not carry a great emotional charge and his awareness did not cause a noticeable mental relief, however, this episode confirmed for me the ability of Rolfing to release long-standing emotional blocks. On the same physical level after each session I felt very good. Posture has improved markedly, the body appeared overall ease her mood has also changed in the direction of improvement.

Unfortunately, these effects were not long, after two weeks, my muscle shell gathered again in its original form. As far as I understand, one physical impact for reliable elimination of corporal blocks is not enough. Without the awareness and experience of the mental trauma that caused the clamp, he comes back after a while. For a sustainable effect, a holistic approach is necessary, along with physical impact, serious psychological work should be carried out to release from traumatic situations. Nevertheless, Rolfing can be a great addition to the method I propose. At the first opportunity, I’m going to take the course to the end and get my missing eight procedures.

Philippine healers

The phenomenon of hilerstvo, or “psychic surgery“, is widespread not only in the Philippines, quite eminent practice live in Brazil and certain other Latin American countries, but the Philippine masters got the greatest popularity. Interestingly, in all countries in which they live and work, the healers, the dominant religion is Catholicism. I don’t know if it matters or if it’s just a coincidence.

About healers, in the Russian-language media, reported in the Soviet era, in a negative, of course, aspect. They were presented as charlatans, oblaposhivaya gullible tourists with the help of simple tricks. At that time, I could not imagine that there would come a day when I would have to verify the relevance of this information to the truth on personal experience. I must say that at present, in 90 or more percent of cases, the way it is; the growing popularity of healerism in the Philippines has become a tourist attraction and led to the widespread opening of many clinics and salons, which are practiced by pseudo-healers, in fact charlatans and magicians.

But before I tell you about my personal experience with Filipino healers, for a better understanding of the subject of this Chapter, I would like to give the story of the famous writer and journalist Vsevolod Ovchinnikov. Ovchinnikov’s impressions are very interesting, and I will allow myself to cite his article in its entirety.

The miracle of the Filipino healers

The Philippine witchcraft surgery documentary captures the video. Was it real, did I saw it with my own eyes? I would never believe anyone that this is possible. Two steps away, a Filipino physician operated on two dozen patients with his bare hands in an hour, spending two or three minutes on each.

No pain. No disinfection. Finally, even without a single question. The patient whispers a few words to the assistant, and he sends him either to the right – on the couch, or to the left – on the chair. And the surgeon comes and goes, barely managing to wipe his hands with a towel.

Collective hypnosis? But a black journalist from Trinidad, standing next to me, was videotaping what was happening, and everything we saw was recorded.

My friends brought me to Alex Orbito, one of the most famous healers in the Philippines, as the masters of this mysterious direction of traditional medicine call themselves. After an hour’s drive, we reached Cason, a suburb of Manila. As I entered the gate, I was surprised at how many people had gathered in the cramped courtyard.

The visitors were eighty men. Many of them came before dawn. Surgery with bare hands is a truly traditional medicine, in particular because it does not involve any pre-agreed fee. It is believed that thoughts of profit lead to a split will and reduce the supernatural abilities of the healer.

The house was adjoined by a canopy under which several rows of benches were placed. It was like a village cinema. Only instead of the screen in the depths could be seen a large glazed opening. He separated the room area of about thirty square meters. There was a wicker couch and a chair covered with white oilcloth.

The Catholic Church was surprisingly sympathetic to the local healers, calling their inexplicable art”faith”. Therefore, on the wall hung a picture of Christ and a religious poster with the inscription:”If you believe, everything is possible.” Nearby on a small table lay a Bible.

At half past nine there was singing from the courtyard. The sick, some of whom sat on benches, and the rest crowded behind, performed the religious Psalms in chorus.

Suddenly a young man of small stature appeared in the doorway. He smiled pleasantly, but there was something prickly in his eyes. His whole appearance left a feeling of a tight steel spring. It was an Orbital.

While the sick continued to sing the Psalms, he put his hands on the Bible and remained motionless for about half an hour. However, his concentrated face changed. The sight became even more rigid, shrill and at the same time is absent. Nervous hands with long thin fingers paled noticeably.

I have heard that healers do not let the audience closer than five or six steps. But when Orbito began to heal, I was Willy-nilly literally next to him. Because in the room, which is conventionally called the operating room, immediately crammed a lot of people. First, a journalist from Trinidad and I stood between the chair and the couch. Second, there were Three orbito assistants. And finally, more than a dozen patients from the beginning of the queue squeezed through the door.

Singing of Psalms lasted more than half an hour. And the assistants of Orbito skillfully conducted the choir, bringing its participants to the state of self-exaltation. Even I felt a shiver run down my spine.

What was happening before my eyes was like a miracle. But perhaps the most striking of all was the pace. Another patient, who was pointed to the couch, lies down on it, without removing his shoes, raises his shirt. Orbito goes to him, and nothing without asking, begins fingers of both hands to massage the sore spot. Then the doctor’s left arm stops moving. And now I can clearly see how the index and middle fingers of his right hand go somewhere deep.

Well visible oblong cavern, opened between the fingers. In this case, clearly heard not the slap, not the splash-about the same sound that you hear when you swipe your finger on the tense lips. In the cavity there appears a reddish liquid. Not blood, but something lighter, perhaps ichor or lymph. Drops of this liquid are sprayed on the oilcloth. Quickly moving the index finger of his right hand and helping him with his thumb, Orbito pulls out of the open wound a piece of brown tissue, similar to the color of a raw liver. His left hand is still motionless, pressed to the sore spot. With his right hand he takes a swab that the assistant has just moistened with water, plunges it into the wound and after a few seconds moves away from the table. The assistant with the same tampon, but already moistened with coconut oil, wipes the patient’s stomach. And I, in disbelief, convinced that it is not even a scar, just a red spot. And Orbital, making two quick steps, already leaning over a patient sitting in the chair. On the neck of the patient is clearly visible zhirovik the size of a pigeon’s egg. Again a few strokes, the fingers of the psychosurgeon go under the skin. And in the bowl flies another bloody piece. The patient feels suspiciously smooth neck where you just had the nodule. And on the couch belly down is a woman. The assistant bares her back, and Orbito, without asking anyone anything, immediately reaches for a small bulge in the patient’s lower back. Again splashes of reddish liquid. This time the Orbit is extracting some particularly large piece of bloodied tissue. And people all go and go. An orbital in the same incredible pace moves from couch to armchair, from armchair to couch. And at once, without asking any questions to the patient and without listening to assistants, finds a sore spot and begins to manipulate with it. According to Orbito, during the healing he seems to be in a trance, his hands move automatically.

“I have to focus deeply,” he says. My body’s getting cold. I feel dead. But then I feel a growing warmth, especially in my hands. And when I touch the body of the patient, I feel that some force is flowing from my fingers.

Only the thumb remained outside. Orbito himself about not looking at your hands. Sometimes he raised his head, and there was an inhuman strain on his face.

I must confess that after witnessing a dozen such operations, I felt bad. Already during the singing of Psalms began to feel dizzy. And after I saw the fingers next to me, sinking into the human body, I heard a strange sound, in which spray flew from the opened cavity, after I saw the bloody pieces of cloth thrown into the enameled basin, it charged in my eyes, and I lost consciousness.

Orbito looked up at me for a split second and said to the assistant:

  • Let him sit in the yard.

Even under the canopy it was hot, about 40 degrees. Staggering, I went out into the yard and sat down in front of the chicken coop. Sweat poured from me. For a while I was as if in oblivion. But suddenly I felt as if I had been showered with a cool shower. I took a deep breath and opened my eyes to see Alex Orbito put his hand on my forehead.

“Well, it’s all right now,” he said, and went back into the house.

I, as if hypnotized, followed him. And just in time, because the wife of Dr. Fava, the doctor from the life insurance company, was lying on the couch, and he brought me to the Orbit. According to her, she told the assistant literally two phrases: “I have a heart. There are interruptions.”

The old woman was laid on her back. She unbuttoned her shirt. Orbito came, put one hand on the forehead and the other on the chest of the patient and remained in this position for a minute. Then the doctor began to massage the base of the woman’s neck. His index finger and thumb went down behind his collarbone. And although he manipulated them for quite a long time, only a thin film of coral color was extracted.

No swab in this case, an Orbital is not used. After the assistant wiped her collarbone with cotton wool soaked in coconut oil, Mrs. Fava got up and came out with me into the yard.

  • I felt the pressure of fingers, as if someone pinched me. But there was no severe pain. And this hour only burning, – she said.

Already on the way back, sitting in the car, I asked Mrs. Fava to expose the collarbone and saw only a small red spot on it.

– How much does it cost to appeal to such a well-known believer?

  • According to custom, everyone gives as much as he can. For example, my assistant advised me to buy a jar of rubbing. But I might not have done it.

Among the Filipino faiths there are charlatans who were convicted of cheating. But in General, their authority among the people is great. Several dissertations are devoted to them at the University of the Philippines. Scientists try to explain the phenomenon of healers by the fact that healing activates some powerful spiritual forces, as if they combine the means of suggestion with surgical intervention. Therefore, by analogy with the concept of “psychotherapy” Filipinos coined the term “psychosurgery”.

The authors of books about Philippine healers argue that they accumulate some unknown energy through meditation and radiating it through the fingers, for a few moments push the tissue at the cellular level to get to the place that you want to remove.

Verbrachten is also credited with the ability to create the aura of the resonance with a magnetic field of the island of Luzon (it really has a strange peculiarities, as evidenced by the behavior of devices on passing ships). According to legend, this island was part of Lemuria-a state that partially sank to the bottom of the ocean, like Atlantis. Legend has it that the ancient inhabitants of Lemuria has been the ability to psychic contacts.

So, it is believed that it is the ability to accumulate some unknown energy and radiate it through the fingertips allows healers to penetrate deep into the body of the patient. And it is this biofield that ensures the sterility of the space above the wound, which remains open only a few seconds.

“I believe that psychosurgery, like acupuncture and herbal medicine, can complement modern medicine,” Dr. Fava tells me. – Acupuncture, for example, has been recognized, despite the fact that the mechanism of its action still has no scientific explanation. So psychosurgery, apparently, deserves to be studied seriously. By the way, specialists in military surgery from the Pentagon, the Bundeswehr and the Japanese “self-defense forces”show an increased interest in the Philippine healers. After all, the “Philippine miracle” is not only the ability to penetrate the body with bare hands, but also the ability to instantly close the wound.

Choosing a specialist, you should be very careful and scrupulous, even widely advertised practices in practice may not be the most effective. In my opinion, it is better not to be guided by the volume of names, it makes more sense to make inquiries in people who have undergone procedures in this or that healer, it is desirable to get acquainted with medical reports and analyzes before and after sessions of mental surgery. I did exactly that.

In Baku, where I live now, the case of a high-ranking official working in the state railway administration has become more famous. He was diagnosed with some special form of urolithiasis, one of the kidneys was literally stoned, and, in addition to the fact that the disease caused him excruciating pain, the diseased organ practically did not function, being on the verge of failure. Eminent experts in Baku and Moscow offered the only solution – amputation. I don’t know how he knew about Romeo, but for him, Romy was the straw a drowning man grasps.

Romeo lives and practices in Manila, but he comes from Baguio, a province in the Philippines, where, for reasons not fully obvious, most of the famous healers occur in this country. On one of versions of, about which mentions and Ovchinnikov, in this district there is any anomaly magnetic field Earth, which and leads to birth relative a large number of people with paranormal abilities.

In any case, the man I’m talking about had nothing to lose, he contacted Romeo and went to Manila, where he went through several procedures. As far as I know, after the first trip he went to the same one or two more times, but I’m not sure that the reason for the subsequent trips was the same disease, perhaps there were some others; perhaps this is not so important. It is important that after the first course of procedures ultrasound examination showed no trace of stones in the patient’s kidney. It is possible that subsequently the stones were formed again and therefore the patient had to undergo repeated courses of treatment in Romeo, if we accept this assumption, it turns out that the healers treat the consequences of the disease, and not its causes, which, however, is typical for any surgical intervention. But isn’t the fact that a large number of kidney stones have been removed or made to disappear by some other means with bare hands, without the use of any cutting tools, sterilization or anesthesia, surprising?

I do not know this person personally, but I know his name, place of work, as I said above, the case became widely known, and several other Bakuvians, among whom was one of my friend, visited Romeo after him. My friend had a problem with a herniated disc. The case was extremely started to walk without canes he was not, the only solution offered by local experts, was the date of surgery and prosthesis of the damaged disc. The same recommendation was given to him at the famous Mayo clinic in the United States, where he was able to undergo examination during a business trip.

Romeo did not restore the integrity of the disk and did not remove the problem completely, apparently, the case was too started or such cases in principle can not be completely corrected, I can not say competently. But the fact is the subjective improvement of the patient’s condition, he still walks with a cane, but, according to him, he experiences much less pain, who had problems with the lower back, will understand how important it is. I give this example to illustrate that in no case is hilarity a panacea for all diseases and, as I will show below, in some cases it is completely ineffective. I am not aware of any other case of complete healing other than the one mentioned above about a patient with kidney stone disease. Nevertheless, the present hilerstvo is not a charlatan, as he is often trying to represent skeptics, and deserves more careful study.

But let’s move on to my personal experience.

The four of us went to the Philippines, each with his own problems. One of us was suffering from low back pain, the second was diagnosed with some kind of education in the gallbladder, called “polyp”, I expected to get at least some relief from depression, tormented me by the time the second year, well, the fourth our friend joined the group out of curiosity.

In Manila, we arrived in December 2003 and immediately realized that, in addition to undergo procedures at the healer, there is nothing to do in this city. Manila is one of the most criminal capitals in the world, in the hands of the population is a mass of firearms, at the entrances to restaurants and large shops is a detector frame for metals and an armed policeman. Add to this the impossibly polluted air, traffic jams, worse than Moscow, the appalling poverty on the outskirts of the city, and you get a fairly accurate idea of the point on the globe, where they live and work the world’s best healers.

Romeo is not fluent in English, and communication with him was maintained through his wife and assistant Bess, with whom the terms and time of our visit were agreed. We stayed in a hotel in a relatively safe area of Manila, and every morning we were picked up by a minibus, which took us to the house where Romy practiced. The round trip took us about four hours every day.

I must say that these healers, among which, of course, was Romy, do not take money from the local population for their services. True healers lead a modest life and are themselves very humble people. All of them believe that their hands are operated by the Holy Spirit, and they themselves are only conductors of the divine will. For the vast majority of Filipinos, the services of modern medical clinics and hospitals are not available because of their high cost, and visiting a local healer is often the only possible medical procedure for them. Every morning to the house of the authoritative healer a huge queue of sufferers is built, none of which the healer does not refuse gratuitous help. Voluntary offerings are not forbidden, someone can donate a dozen eggs, someone a chicken, but the source of income of healers working with the local poor is not. They live at the expense of tourists, such as was our four. Romy has set us a price for his services, quite reasonable, in my opinion, although by local standards, perhaps, and high. I see nothing wrong with this practice. We could afford to pay this money, why not give healer the opportunity to provide for his family for some time and thus make his modest contribution to the treatment of people who can not afford such costs?

So, the day after arriving in Manila, we went to meet Romy and our first procedure. In total, we went through seven such procedures, one daily, on an empty stomach. Romeo’s residence was a small detached house with a small courtyard, where several chickens were walking, probably offerings from grateful patients, who, despite the early hour, had already gathered a sufficient number at the gate of the house. I must say that the number of patients at healer local residents can serve as a good sign, a distinctive feature of the wizard. Given that he’s not taking money from them and that local spend is much more complicated than a naive tourist such interest in healing, he was encouraged. In addition to Romy himself, there was Bess, a wife and an assistant interpreter, a masseur who prepared patients for the procedure, and an old woman of the most mysterious kind, whose appointment remained a mystery to us for a certain time and which we immediately dubbed “the witch”. Unlike Ovchinnikov’s story, I did not see any religious attributes in the house, except for a poster with a very nice image of Jesus in jeans and with a mobile phone, Romeo did not meditate on the Bible either. But more on that later.

The first candidate for the procedure, as the organizer of the trip and the leader of the group, friends unanimously identified me. I suspect that this, from their point of view, was some sense, stories stories, and before you go not even under the knife, and under the bare hands of an illiterate witch doctor, it does not hurt to watch the process personally, from the side.

Well, I, I. No fear I experienced, on the contrary, wanted to complete the session quickly, in the event of a positive result to feel the effects as early as possible.

Procedural itself was a small room in the center of which was a couch, beside her was a chair with enamelled bowl and bowl with a small amount of wool. There was nothing else in the room. There was no way to hide anything under the couch: the edges of the sheet did not hang down from it and the space under the couch was perfectly visible.

The procedure began with a massage with coconut oil, conducted by an assistant. The massage was short, maybe five minutes, probably, and then entered the room himself Romeo.

Heather was a short, hard-built man of forty. Before and during the procedures, he was completely focused and even seemed somewhat sullen, but this impression was completely dispelled during communication with him after the session. Romeo is a very modest, humble and sincere person, like other true healers, he considers himself as a tool that operates the Holy Spirit. He himself can not explain exactly how he manages to push the hands of soft tissue and extract pathological formations, apparently, at the time of intervention, he is in a kind of trance, the nature of which can not explain. Romeo meditated before the operation, did not pray to the Bible or anything, just very focused, concentrated attention.

The procedure was carried out quite openly, my friends were present nearby, surrounded the couch from all sides, filmed the process. Romy was operating in a short-sleeved shirt, so there was no physical way to hide anything up his sleeve.

Immediately before the intervention, healer made a diagnosis, which looked like this – he held his hands over all the organs and dictated to his wife the names of the affected organs: liver, kidneys, spleen. No concretization was not carried out, just called the sick organ, however, expect from the healer of deep medical knowledge would probably not be quite right.

Romeo began by kneading his stomach with his fingers, created such a small hole on the surface of the abdominal cavity, which in a few seconds began to fill with blood. Suddenly Romeo lifted one palm, rested his index finger on my stomach and with a thud abruptly entered the abdominal cavity. The sight was impressive, but I must say that the open cavity and internal organs were not visible, blood interfered. A little digging in the stomach with his index finger, he introduced there is also a large and began to pull something from the stomach with a noticeable effort. It looked like a strip of adipose tissue covered with blood. Just Romeo pulled about four inches of fabric, which is thrown into a basin near the couch. There went and a cotton swab, which he with a quick movement rubbed the surgical site and cleanse it from the blood. At the site of intervention there was only a slight redness, no wounds or bruises. I will say again that neither I nor my comrades saw an open abdominal cavity, only blood and pieces of stretched tissue.

The same procedure Romeo repeated in other parts of the body, sometimes instead of tissue he took out some clots of coagulated blood, when exposed to the heart and lungs through the chest he had not penetrated, manipulated only on its surface, only slightly pressing with the fingers the skin and muscle.

I did not feel pain, but there was a very strange feeling, which was later confirmed by my friends, as if the skin is drilled with steel tools, very hard, but painless. I am convinced that simply pressing your fingers to create such a feeling will not work. Sometimes there was an impression of penetration into the body of some cold energy, dulling sensitivity and possible pain.

After completing the procedure, Romeo handed each of us a large thermos with some warm light red liquid and told us to drink at least six glasses of it every day. The thermoses we passed the next morning back and got a new one instead. Someone from passing at one time treatment of foreigners told us that it was infusion of bark of a tea tree, but I am not sure, I cannot confirm.

So lasted seven days. Of course, it was a shock, a miracle happened not just before our eyes, it happened to us. To explain this phenomenon by natural causes would be a completely meaningless occupation, at least so it seemed to us during our stay in the Philippines. After returning home, the first impressions subsided a little, and it became possible to conduct a relatively objective analysis of what happened and to sum up the results of treatment.

One of us underwent a second ultrasound examination, which showed that there was no trace of the polyp in the gallbladder. This could be attributed to an error in one of the surveys conducted or to the presence of a polyp or the reverse. If not for one fact. Another our friend assistant Romeo, the same “witch”, removed the large papilloma from the chest and keloid scar under the jaw. Without any pain with his bare hands. Scar, however, is not completely gone, 80 percent, but from papilloma was only a small, barely noticeable cleavage. It’s just a fact, no medical error to write it off will not work.

Our third friend, who suffered from lower back pain, felt fine after the procedures in the Philippines, literally flew, rejoiced like a child. But after some time the pain, unfortunately, returned. I suspect that the psychological factor played an important role in improving his health, and in the subsequent deterioration. No wonder all the same foreigner that told us about the infusion of the tea tree, advised us – do not tell anyone anything. It was not the first time he had been treated and he was well aware of the skeptical reaction we might encounter from others. So it happened. People can rarely go beyond the usual worldview, all the unusual, does not fit into an acceptable framework for them, it is easier to declare fraud, to laugh, otherwise you have to admit that your own way of life is not the only true and correct. Skepticism of others was called to my companion of doubt, doubt led to the decline in mental attitude that plays a very important role in the recovery process, it does not deny us the usual modern medicine.

As for me personally – alas, I did not feel any result, neither during treatment in the Philippines, nor on my return home. Hilerstvo not a panacea, there is disease, under which it is powerless to operate the soul harder than the body.

So what it really is, hilerstvo?

In my opinion, this is a kind of bioenergetic therapy, a kind of extrasensory effect on the human body. Healers, apparently, have a special susceptibility, the ability to accumulate energy from the outside world and direct, transfer it to the diseased organs, experiencing for various reasons, a shortage of such vital energy. This is more akin to Reiki procedures or therapy in the qigong system, but in a much more concentrated form. After each session, Romeo sweated, looked completely exhausted, he needed to go out into the fresh air in order to regain strength. We even asked him to somehow not leave the premises to dispel the final suspicions, and Romeo spent the whole day in the room, by the end of which looked like a squeezed lemon.

At the physical level, this energy can contribute to the restoration or improvement of blood circulation in the affected areas of the body, thereby reducing inflammation, swelling, improve the work of organs. As for surgery, the penetration of fingers through the skin and muscle of the body, the extraction of tissues and foreign bodies – here I am powerless to explain anything. I’d be happy to suggest a coherent theory that would put everything in its place, but I don’t have it, I just don’t know. It can be assumed that this part of the manipulation is indeed a clever trick designed to strengthen the patient’s faith in the effectiveness of treatment, a kind of lie in salvation, but after going through this procedure personally and remembering our Romi, it is extremely difficult for me to accept this assumption. Too much he was naive and unsophisticated for such complex combinations, and how it is possible to hold such a focus under the close supervision of the audience surrounded on all sides, shooting the same process on several cameras, I can not imagine.

In any case, so it or not, the true Heather fraud is not, a certain effect in some diseases from it is. Once again – this is not a panacea, in any case should not abandon the services of modern medicine in favor of healing, both methods can perfectly complement each other, about any contraindications for treatment in healers I do not know.


You can find a lot of information about Scientology on the Internet, mostly of a critical nature. What Scientology is not accused of, the religious organizations that classify it as a destructive cult, and its main organization, the Church of Scientology, equating almost with the Church of Satan, are particularly zealous in this regard.

In fact, this is certainly not the case, and Scientology is not a destructive cult or sect. But at the same time there is a certain surprise in the abundance of criticism against her, I do not know any other practice of spiritual growth, causing so much irritation and rejection by society. There is a certain rational grain in this, and it must be said that Scientologists give plenty of nourishment that does not allow this blooming criticism to wither. What is only one, often quoted, statement of the founder of the movement, Ron Hubbard:

“If you want to make a fortune, make your religion.”

On the other hand, it is absolutely impossible to explain the popularity of Scientology, if you perceive it only as a totalitarian sect and a means to extort money from gullible adherents. Commitment to Scientology John Travolta, Tom cruise and a number of other popular Hollywood actors has long been the occasion for endless parodies and sharpness from comedians around the world. But it is hardly necessary to perceive these successful and happy people as round fools who are not able to distinguish the working equipment from obvious deception in mysterious packing.

So what is Scientology?

First of all, it is a practice of spiritual growth, which, in my subjective opinion, is ineffective. I suppose I can afford that kind of judgment. Still, I spent about 50 hours of my time and about one and a half thousand dollars in an online session with one popular in Runet coach in Scientology. And of course it is a business based on learning this practice.

Again, we are interested in Scientology as a tool for treating depression. We can safely escape from the metaphysical worldview of Scientology and Dianetics. Ron Hubbard written many books, thousands and thousands of pages where he talks about the Universe, other worlds, aliens and macarenco. We should not forget that Hubbard was a science fiction writer, perhaps even a good one, so if you are interested in this genre of literature, you can devote some time to his books. Again, we are not interested in this now.

It is no secret that Scientologists are extremely negative about the methods of modern psychiatry, in particular the use of psychotropic drugs, and offer their own alternative methods of getting rid of this disease. There is a scandalous case when Tom cruise attacked with accusations and reproaches against the actress Brooke shields after the public recognition of the latter in the use of antidepressants.

This approach is clearly wrong and, in some cases, extremely dangerous. About the role of antidepressants we have already mentioned above, they are rarely sufficient to treat depression, but very often – necessary. Already one such categorical rejection of one of the main and, undoubtedly, effective methods of treatment of depression and denial of its obvious positive impact on the course of the disease raises doubts about the scientific value of the approach of Scientologists. But let’s take a closer look at what Ron Hubbard’s followers have to offer.

As far as I can tell from my own experience, Hubbard has adopted one psychotherapeutic technique, the so-called psychological desensitization. In practice, this means that an aspiring Scientologist is encouraged, under the guidance of a specially trained member of the Church of Scientology, to review his entire life experience. This procedure is called auditing, from the Latin “audit” – “listening”, “listening”. During the process, painful episodes from the past are revealed, causing unpleasant emotions in the passing auditing. Lead process auditor, offers repeatedly to scroll in the minds of this particular episode, until he is completely emotionally “drained”.

That such discharge has come, the auditor learns on indications of the special device, and-meter. I also had to buy it for the procedure, as a result I paid

$ 200 for a regular ohmmeter to which two hollow metal cans were connected. During the process, I held the banks in my hands, the device was turned to the front of the auditor, who read his testimony. Does that make any sense? I do not know, the feeling was no difference that before the “discharge” that during that after.

As for the method of desensitization, it certainly has a right to exist, although it should be noted that it was not invented by Hubbard. Psychological desensitization has long been used in various types of psychotherapy and is one of the many existing methods in the Arsenal of doctors of the corresponding profile. How correct is the isolation of only one method and its application to all in a row, despite the completely different pathogenesis of the disease in each case, I leave you to judge. I can only say that any psychiatrist would call it absurd.

Desensitization didn’t help me at all. This does not mean that it does not help anyone, by no means. I have no reason not to believe the enthusiastic reviews of practicing Scientologists that can be found on the Internet. For someone, perhaps, this method is ideal, but no statistics on successful and unsuccessful sessions Scientologists will not provide you. Again, we must understand that people can set different goals. It was important for me to get rid of depression, and in my case Scientology was powerless. For some science fiction fan interested in spiritual growth, Scientology may well prove useful. However, even from this point of view, I believe that there are many other, much more effective practices.

I practiced auditing online, with an auditor who works in the “free zone”, that is, has nothing to do with the Church of Scientology and does not pay them any fees. Such freelancers prices are usually lower than the official, which, frankly, was one of the factors of choice in my case. Regardless of the price of services, my auditor is considered to be quite advanced in the Network and has some unimaginable for a mere mortal titles, like “Acting Tetan” of some sort.

Our sessions were held three times a week and lasted about one hour, sometimes up to one and a half hours. It cost one hour of classes 35 US dollars, I stood a little more than three months, that is, only about 40-50 hours. All this time we were engaged in “repair of life”, the first phase of auditing, in which we had to handle all the traumatic situations from the past and from scratch to develop further. Actually, the successful completion of the first phase would suit me quite well, I was not going to become any “Tetanus”. But alas.

My patience has burst, when the auditor declared that the prices for their services, it translates into euros, which at the time meant the increase in the amount of 30 percent. I figured $ 1,500 wasted was enough for 50 hours of exhausting exercise and the auditor’s constant whining about the antidepressants I was taking at the time. It seems to me that the” Acting Tetan ” himself by that time understood that we were going nowhere, and was glad to get rid of such an unpromising student.

Of course, he blamed everything on my pills and said that by continuing to take them, I discredit Scientology and him personally. That’s bullshit. Taking antidepressants didn’t stop me from doing qigong and transcendental meditation, which I really enjoyed.

Summing up, I, based on my own experience, categorically do not recommend Scientology practices for the treatment of depression. For me it was a waste of time and money.

Holotropic breathing

The authorship of the technique of holotropic breathing belongs to the now-living American psychiatrist of Czech origin Stanislav Grof, already mentioned in the Chapter “Psychedelic drugs“. After the legislative prohibition of the use of LSD in psychiatry, the Grof began to search for a legal alternative. Having tried many different methods of changing consciousness, he eventually stopped at a deep frequent breathing, which he called “holotropic” (holistic).

With a sufficiently long and intense deep breathing, the gas composition of the blood changes, carbon dioxide is washed out of it and oxygen saturation. Hyperoxygenation causes the practitioner effects similar to those arising from the use of LSD. In addition to the breathing technique itself, specially selected music and bodily manipulations by the teacher, techniques for overcoming pop-up muscle clamps and barriers are also used.

The session lasts about an hour and a half, the result is the ascent, the manifestation of unconscious material in the minds of holonaut. Grof believes that in this way it is possible to realize not only the deep personal experience, but also to go beyond it, in the area, which he calls transpersonal.

Here is how he writes about Grof:

The content of holotropic States is often spiritual or mystical. We can go through a series of psychological death and rebirth and a wide range of supra-personal phenomena, such as feelings of unity and identification with other people, with nature, the Universe, God, discover something that seems to us memories from other incarnations, meet with bright archetypal images, communicate with ethereal beings and visit countless mythical lands. Our consciousness can be separated from the body and yet maintain its ability to perceive both the immediate environment and the most remote places.

Stanislav Grof’s “Transpersonal vision»
The topic of transpersonal experience is very interesting and extensive, but beyond the scope of this study, those interested in this field of knowledge, I refer to the works of Grof, many of which are translated into Russian and available in electronic form. We are also interested in the practice of holotropic breathing in relation to an important topic for us, the treatment of depression.

Theoretically, if, according to Grof, holonaut experiences are equivalent to the effects achieved by the use of LSD, and also are safer, then this practice should have greater therapeutic value for the detection and study of hidden unconscious material, which plays a significant, as we found out above, role in the development of depression.

Reasoning in this way, I signed up for a seminar to a fairly well-known coach in one of the major Ukrainian cities. The seminar was held for three days, the program included two breathing sessions. Before the seminar, I told about my problem to the coach and received assurances from him that, at least, to eliminate the somatic manifestations of depression, holotropic therapy is the best. He told me his own story of getting rid of a chronic stomach ulcer with just one successful breathing session. During the session in his mind he had a vision of a medieval battle in which he participated and was stabbed with a sword in the area of the right hypochondrium, in right in place of the projection of ulcers on the anterior wall of the abdomen. Needless to say, after this experience, the pain stopped, and the instrumental study showed no signs of a disease resistant to therapy over the previous five years.

I must say that this story and everything I previously read about holotropic therapy, it is very reassuring, but unfortunately, I was waiting for another disappointment. I can’t blame the coach or talk about the ineffectiveness of the method itself, in any way. Just personally, I did not succeed. It was extremely difficult for me to physically withstand a given rate of breathing, especially given my pronounced asthenia. I lost my rhythm after a few minutes and could not return to it, despite all efforts. The same story was repeated at the second session, and as a result I had to come back empty-handed.

Holotropic breathing is a very interesting phenomenon worthy of careful study, but for its successful practice, it seems to me, it is necessary to be in good physical shape, which is rarely possible for a depressed patient. In addition, a certain inconvenience is the impossibility or, let’s say, the undesirability of independent practice. During a session you may lose control over their movements, disorientation in the environment, it can be easy to cause yourself some injury (without control on the part of the sitter?).

As for the analogy between the effects of holotropic breathing and LSD, which is carried out by the Grof, it is certainly an exaggeration. LSD gives almost instant access to unconscious material, which is stored for several hours, in the case of holotropic breathing, in order to gain such access, you have to make a lot of physical effort for at least an hour and as a result, if you’re lucky, to be able to open the door to the subconscious for just a few moments. The difference seems obvious to me.

Later, while doing primary therapy in the center of Dr. Yanov, I realized how naive were my ideas about the possibility of awareness of one traumatic episode from the past and the subsequent immediate recovery. But this is a story for another Chapter of the book.

Light therapy

Light therapy is indicated for people suffering from seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (ATS). Women between the ages of 20 and 40 are more likely to suffer from this disease. When ATS manifestations of depression are exacerbated in winter and subside in summer, with an increase in the number of Sunny days. It has long been observed that in the Northern latitudes, people are more likely to suffer from depression in the southern us States, this figure is 1-2% in the Northern reaches 10 %. According to some data, the prevalence of depression in Eskimos in Greenland reaches 80% of the total population.

The mechanism of exposure to light therapy is associated with the effect on metabolism in the body of melatonin, the hormone of the pineal gland, the secretion of which increases with the onset of darkness. The function of melatonin is associated with the regulation of human sleep, its secretion contributes to sleep, but at the same time there is an inverse relationship with the level of serotonin, the production of which decreases with increasing amounts of melatonin in the nervous tissue and Vice versa. As in other cases, biochemical disorders are not the only cause of depression, but rather serve as the basis for the emergence of a favorable background for its manifestation.

Exposing the patient to additional artificial irradiation with bright light, in many cases it is possible to achieve a positive result. Therapy usually lasts for a month, the effect is achieved in terms of several days to two weeks, the duration of the session from half an hour to several hours, depending on the response of the patient.

The convenience of this method is the possibility of its independent use, you can buy special lamps, up to 10 Lux, and practice at home. There are no side effects of the drawbacks – requires a certain amount of time, sometimes significantly.

Most recently, in April 2009, the results of a study by a doctor at the Falun psychiatric hospital in Sweden, Cecilia Rastad, were published. Dr. Rastad monitored 24 patients who received a course of light irradiation for 1.5–2 hours daily for 10 days. According to the data, more than half of the patients felt much better after the course, and they remained in good health for another month after receiving therapy. Characteristically, in Northern Sweden seizures of ATS is subject to 20 % of the population.

I personally have not tried light therapy, my depression did not differ seasonality, but the reviews of the method are good, as symptomatic therapy, it may be suitable for patients with appropriate manifestations of the disease. But we must be aware that in this way you can achieve only a temporary improvement in health, because the true causes of depression, the method can not have any impact.

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