There is a place on Earth where normal human beings will go crazy if locked inside too long. It’s said that 45 minutes is the max most people can take it. What happens in this room, and what can it tell us about staying healthy for life?
This laboratory isn’t meant for torture, but its effect can feel torturous
There is an acoustics lab in Minnesota that is home to one of the quietest places on earth. It’s effects were so fascinating and useful that Microsoft built their own version in Redmond, Washington just a few years ago.
These are essentially rooms especially designed to absorb nearly all sound.
They are called Anechoic Chambers (think anti-echo, so called because they absorb 99.9% of sound with their special acoustic design) — and the effect of rooms like this on your brain can seem just plain crazy.
So what happens when you enter a super-quiet room devoid of all sound?
What happens when your own internal body noises are loud enough?
As one article explains: when there is no sound in the room – your own internal body functions become the sound of the external environment.
Imagine hearing your heart beating, your blood coursing through arteries, the faint crackles of your lungs, the tiny noises made by your joints as they move, and constant gurgling of your digestive tract.
And imagine that you start hearing these outside your body!
With sounds coming from inside you, not from outside, your perceptions of where you begin and the space around you ends can get really weird.
Researchers into the power of human sensory system up the ante by turning off the light.
Without external input of sound into your ears and with the light off, it becomes difficult to stand. Some people hallucinate.
In a new environment without a history to compare to, the brain attempts to integrate this information to give you an understandable experience of what’s happening to you, but it cannot.
The effects of the Anechoic chamber are an extreme example of what can go wrong in our sensing/perceptions system.
When your brain starts lying to you
A completely soundless chamber forces our brain to deal with a new environment we cannot understand.
With our senses distorted, our perceptions (our “making sense” of our senses at a subconscious level) are also distorted.
And our brain cannot fully integrate these distorted perceptions, creating a lot of unresolved tension in the nervous system that shows up as hallucinations and all around mental discomfort.
These hallucinations could be seen as the brain lying to us.
Ok, so what? It’s good for trivia, but what else?
It’s essential for understanding why many people can feel out-of-sorts and uneasy in their own body (including chronic pain), and what we can do about it.
Life is a complex experience of stimulus and response
To recap from the article on Life In Alignment Fundamentals #1: we are sensory creatures, without stimuli, we die — and that includes adequate sensory stimuli from our spines, in addition to the five senses we already know.
Lesson #2 is: Life is a complex experience of input –> output… or you could say stimulus –> response.
Stimuli (sensation) happens, our brain receives it in an understandable way (perception), our brain organizes it with perceptions from our other senses (integration), and our system responds
The basic hand-eye coordination we need to turn the knob on the bathroom door in the middle of night requires all of the above.
Sensation ->Perception ->Integration ->Response
There are many things that may interrupt this sequence across the whole body.
Some we may find pleasurable or annoying in small doses (the effects of alcohol, riding roller coasters, sunburn, having an inner ear infection, etc).
Some we may not be able to fully perceive happening to us, until we have them resolved.
Everything from our ability to walk to swing a golf club, to our ability to concentrate or tolerate crowds of people can be affected.
Important to chiropractic patients, spinal injury and misalignment can affect this sequence at all levels.
This is the primary reason why I can touch certain contact points around the joints of the spine, and in response the entire posture can shift.
Sensation –> Perception –> Integration –> Response
Or, why a gentle chiropractic release in the neck can change how a pitcher is positioning his elbow.
Life in Alignment Fundamentals
#1 We are sensory creatures – without stimuli we die
#2 Sensation leads to perception leads to integration leads to our response – and all can be distorted by minor or major trauma
Here is a short video that explains some of what you just read in a short animation…one part shows you how your brain can lie to you in real time.