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Part I: Brian Alexander
Brian David Alexander is an internationally recognized lecturer and trainer in the fields of Communication and Rapport, Personal Growth and Development, Education, and Counseling and Personal Coaching. He is a Master Trainer and Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Brian has studied with the founders and leading experts of Neuro-Linguistics and has gone on to pioneer new discoveries and developments in the field. He currently teaches courses at Hamsa College covering such areas as Human Communication and Relationship Skills (Certified Practitioner in NLP) Levels I & II, Advanced Therapeutic Techniques in Neuro-Linguistic Counseling, Ericksonian Hypnosis Levels I & II, Education and Learning Skills, and Belief Systems and Health.
Brian works not only with the mind but the entire mind/body system and the energy body system. He has studied, practiced and taught courses in Reiki, Chi Kung and general Energy Medicine and medical intuition for over 20 years. The mind and body are part of the same cybernetic system and so what affects one affects the other. The body energy systems are an equal part of the whole and working with these can have a profound effect on healing.
Hello I’m Caryn Hartglass and you’re listening to It’s All About Food. Hello and how are you today? I’m good, thanks for asking. You know I love to talk about food and today we’re going to kind of expand the notion of food I think and talk about what we feed our minds and how we deal with our mind and food actually is energy, right? And let’s get down to basics: What energy is and how we can use it to heal and learn. We’re going to learn a lot in this first half hour and I’m going to bring on my guest Brian David Alexander is an internationally recognized lecturer and trainer in the fields of Communication and Rapport, Personal Growth and Development, Education, and Counseling and Personal Coaching. He is a Master Trainer and Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Brian has studied with the founders Brian has studied with the founders and leading experts of Neuro-Linguistics and has gone on to pioneer new discoveries and developments in the field. He currently teaches courses at Hamsa College covering such areas as Human Communication and Relationship Skills Levels I & II, Advanced Therapeutic Techniques in Neuro-Linguistic Counseling, Ericksonian Hypnosis Levels I & II, Education and Learning Skills, and Belief Systems and Health. Brian works not only with the mind but the entire mind/body system and the energy body system. He has studied, practiced and taught courses in Reiki, Chi Kung and general Energy Medicine and medical intuition for over 20 years. The mind and body are part of the same cybernetic system and so what affects one affects the other. The body energy systems are an equal part of the whole and working with these can have a profound effect on healing. And I can’t wait to hear more on that. Welcome to It’s All About Food Brian.
BA: Hello Caryn. It’s a pleasure to be here with you.
CH: I’ve been wanting to talk to you about these subjects for a really, really long time so I’m finally glad we were able to schedule this time.
BA: I’m looking forward to it.
CH: So, let’s just get right to it. My first question is how did you get started in this field of neuro-linguistics and mind/body systems and energy/body systems.
BA: Well there’s two different paths that you’re talking about. The neuro-lingustics, I was introduced to it probably about twenty-five years ago by a practitioner and I just fell in love with it. It was like I came home.
CH: Hmm, that’s a wonderful feeling.
BA: I started practicing it and discovered that I was able to do so many wonderful things. I was able to help so many people through different problems that they were having. Then I just continued to study and study and came further and further home.
CH: I like the way that sounds. Well I just read my first book on neuro-linguistic programming. It was really interesting and I have the guests on my program a few weeks ago. I learned a lot and it’s really intriguing to me. I haven’t had a chance to do any of the exercises that are in the book yet because it does take some time and focus but they seem so obvious. It seems like commonsense but it does take some skill, some technique.
BA: Well neuro-linguistics basically came about when a couple people said what is excellence? And how is it that some people can excel in one area and other people in another? They began to study what we call subjective experience. An attempt to learn these things and the question was, can it be copied, can it be duplicated? The answer is yes. Most of what people do well is somewhat intuitive, as what you said, it seems natural. It was a matter of neuro-linguistics, or NLP, really evolved from that simple question and concept. So NLP really is not what most people think it is. Truly what NLP is, is the studying of human experience to learn how we do what we do.
CH: The name, if you’re not familiar with what it is, it sounds nothing like what I understand it to be. It sounds almost scary.
BA: Well I guess it is.
CH: Neuro-programming is like some kind of brainwashing, right?
BA: Well, yes but they’re talking about the programs that already exist, those ones that are there by nature.
BA: And the ones that are there by nurture.
CH: Well what’s fascinating about the little that I read is how much you can understand about yourself, about the people that are in your life, about your business, your co-workers, people that bother you, people that you enjoy. It really lays out why things work for you and why things don’t and, I haven’t tried it yet, but it seems like there are some pretty good techniques to help you get to where you want to be.
BA: Well, as I said, neuro-linguistics is the study of the processes of our mind/body system. So that’s how we store a process and use information. When you understand that the world opens up. You can accomplish so much for yourself and for others. Unfortunately however, NLP has been so effective there’s many of what I call cookbook recipes for how to achieve behavioral change. And while the recipes are fine in the hands of a good chef, for a lot of people these recipes just lead to other problems and confusion.
CH: That is such a good example, a good analogy. You give a recipe to a good chef you get great food. You give it to somebody else and it could be a disaster. And I’ve seen that so often. We see that in so many fields. There are good doctors there are bad doctors. There are good practitioners there are bad ones.
BA: That certainly applies in the field of neuro-linguistics. There is a strategy for getting rid of phobias, usually requires one session. The fastest I’ve ever gotten rid of a phobia was about seven minutes.
CH: Really? Wow.
BA: The process is very simple. There’s a simple cookbook recipe that allows you to do that. The trick is how do you make sure it doesn’t regenerate itself? How do you deal with other aspects and issues in a person’s life that might cause it to come back or cause other problems to occur in its place?
CH: Can you give a brief example of how it works? Or how you might work with someone?
BA: For a phobia?
CH: Yes, for a phobia. Sure.
BA: Interestingly, a phobia is very much the same as any other traumatic experience in the system. Trauma is one of those insidious things. When it gets inside it likes to dig itself in deep. So examples of trauma, aside from a phobia, rape or abuse is an example, anxiety disorders are very similar to that. All of those disorders that our war vets experience when they come back. They’re all very similar. So it’s a very similar process to remove them. The process is to separate one from the experience. It’s an understanding of how our mind processes information. So when you have a traumatic event it roots itself inside and every time your memory comes up to that event, it’s like playing a tape loop. It plays the same loop over. You re-experience the same thing.
BA: You can’t stop it in the middle. It’s like your computer. When you double-click on an icon to start up a program, there’s no way to stop that program from starting up, short of pulling the plug on your computer.
CH: Right you watch that little thing spinning until it’s up.
BA: And then you can shut it down, you can stop it afterwards. But when you’re in the middle of any traumatic experience…you can’t really shut it down in the middle. It has to play itself out. So that the best way is to stop it from ever starting again. So what we have to do is separate one, disassociate one, from the emotions of the experience. In other words, break what we call the semantic response, the time-based loop that occurs in the mind that re-creates this experience. So, if you think about it, in your mind you’re going to have a picture, a actually a moving picture, of an experience and there’s going to be several emotions that are attached to that experience. What you want to do is take those emotions out in such a way that they can’t get back. You’re going to separate the two. So then it just becomes an experience.
CH: Right. Well it’s quite magical and, if done right, it can really take care of a problem so quickly. You know, we create computers and some people, religious people like to say that God created man in his image and I like to think that we create computers in our image because we function like computers, we are living computers and, like you said, there are all these processes that go on within our mind. When we understand them we can modify them.
BA: There’s two different, what I call types of the unconscious mind, the unconscious and the subconscious. One of them is the mechanistic unconscious, that is the simple routines that occur, the beliefs, the values. When you first start out in life, you’re an open book, you have no conscious mind it’s strictly unconscious. There’s no filter that allow you to say, I don’t believe that, I don’t like that, I’m not going to accept that in my system. So as children every thing we’re told to be true, we accept as being true. So many of our beliefs and values that we hold now came from then. As well as many health issues or other problems that we have in life, they also come from that period.
CH: It’s really amazing how much we give to our choices or our understanding when we were so young but it’s our foundation.
BA: Well, it is. And when you start talking about man being created in some image. I’d like to say that our unconscious mind has, basically like our bodies, there’s a normality to our bodies. We look at it. We know what’s normal—two hands, five fingers on each and so on. The same thing happens in the mind. There’s a certain set of processes that are normal for everybody but everybody may access them a little differently.
CH: Have you used this approach to help people with any kind of eating problems? I like to always relate back to food because I’m always talking about food. There’s so much in our early history that’s associated with food and people who want to change what they’re eating have such difficulty because it’s programmed inside of them.
BA: It’s almost like an addiction.
CH: Yeah, absolutely.
BA: I’ve worked with a great many people over a great many different types of issues, a lot of health issues, eating disorders directly. It really depends on what the person is coming to see me about. I can’t think just off the top of my head of a specific type of eating disorder I’ve worked with somebody on. There’s been so many different types of things.
CH: OK, let’s talk about, we may get back to NLP but I wanted to talk a little bit about energy and there’s a lot of people out there that practice Reiki and just like we were mentioning before there are some that are good at what they do and some that aren’t. This is a field that is gaining some momentum in some areas. Some people still are saying that there’s nothing that supports its impact. We don’t have enough clinical evidence to show that it really has an effect but some people have experienced benefits. How did you get interested in Reiki? And actually general energy medicine and what is it?
BA: This is the other path. When we started out I said there were two separate paths. I began, I suppose I’ve always been interested in it to some extent and I’ve done martial arts for a great many years so I began to study, about 25 years or ago or so, tai chi and other energy work and from there I became interested in the aspects of energy and the human body. Our bodies are energy systems, we’re electrochemical and electromechanical devices. We generate an energy field. And we can all use it. We all have it, we all use it. If you bang your shin, the first thing you do is grab it with your hand. You bang your elbow you grab it with your hand because there are areas in our palms that are really great for transmitting energy. So this is a natural function with us. A young child when he hurts himself goes running to mommy because he or she knows it intuitively that mommy’s energy is much stronger. So when mommy puts her hand over it, it’ll provide better healing.
CH: Mmmm. I like that.
BA: Of course mommy can kiss it better because mommy’s saliva is probably good too.
CH: You know I’m getting a little more understanding of this. I’ve seen the technique, I don’t really understand what’s going on where people will put their hands over their food.
BA: Oh, yes.
CH: What is that and what’s supposed to be happening?
BA: Well I said that our bodies create an energy field. I have different tests that I do with people to demonstrate. You can feel this field for quite a distance off, several feet. And all life has an energy field around it, every living thing. When you begin to talk about energy and food, if your food is alive it has its own energy field. You’re mixing your energy field with the food’s energy field to enhance it, to improve it, to strengthen it. My first teacher in chi kung a great many years back, told me of something he’d seen with his own Chinese chi kung master. What happened was there were two petri dishes filled with bacteria. The master held his hands over one, the bacteria began to grow and multiply. Then he held his hands over the other and the bacteria began to die off. He called it healing chi and killing chi.
CH: That’s amazing.
BA: The explanation is in Chinese the saying Yi leads Chi or mind leads energy. So where we focus our energy, where we center our energy, is where it goes. If you put your hands over your food, as in a prayer if you will, you’re not just asking the food to provide nourishment for you, you are nourishing the food. By nourishing that living food it in turn provides more nourishment and health benefits for you.
CH: But doesn’t that drain from us when we focus it on the food?
BA: You have a universal supply. Yes, you can use your own energy…
CH: I see it sort of focuses it like a conduit.
BA: Yes. The amount of energy you’re giving to the food to strengthen it is very small compared to what the food will give back to you, if the food itself is healthy…I was going to say, and that brings up an interesting thing, there are some foods that give energy to us, there are some foods that take energy from us.
CH: Anything specific or…?
BA: The more life, the more vital, your food is, the more energy it can give back.
CH: And how do we know if it’s vital?
BA: Ah, if your food is already dead, it’s not going to be giving anything to you, it could be taking something away from you.
CH: And what defines dead?
BA: Well, other animals for example.
CH: Right, they’re dead. So when we eat plant foods that have just been harvested or harvested not too long ago, they still have life in them.
CH: But cooked foods aren’t alive. They have some nutrition in them.
BA: Yes. And there’s a lot of foods that are neutral as well. Well, they don’t give or take.
CH: They don’t take. I see.
BA: So there’s going to be some neutral foods. Your body can get something out of everything and the more you cook a food, the more you can drain the energy out of it. And you can test it, there are ways to test these things on your body to find out what the effects are, whether they are going to give to you or take from you.
CH: OK. I like that. I like this idea of focusing the energy into my food. Is there any specific way to do that? Can we do it without really knowing what we’re doing?
BA: Oh yes. There are many different rituals people have developed for giving energy to food. I’ve read of several that can become very complex. You can call on spirits and gods and energy to help the food but the reality is holding your hands over the food for just a few moments with your mental concentration saying, “I’m revitalizing this food, I’m giving it health and life and energy” and that’s enough. You’ve created your own personal ritual for energizing your food.
CH: OK, well I started doing it recently and I’m going to just continue doing it because why not? Can’t hurt and it can do a lot of good.
BA: The potential for good is far greater than the potential for hurt is. So you might as well just keep doing it and as you said, you certainly aren’t going to lose anything by it.
CH: Right. Well I think there’s so much that we don’t know. I mean, I know there’s so much that we don’t know and when it comes to energy I think that this is really going to be the next field where we start really exploding with knowledge and information. We’re just like starting to understand it and maybe we’ll have some tools in the future where we can actually measure and verify and “see” what we’re working with.
BA: Well we have to be open to these concepts, I mean as a people we have to be open to it. I’m always amazed even when I do energy work with people and they see some of the results. But a lot of times people say well it’s just the placebo effect or something. I had a friend with a couple of elderly dogs and one was very sick, it wouldn’t go up the stairs any more, just basically lay down and stayed there. And I went over for a few minutes and put my hands over the dog and she was quite amazed. She said it’s the first time the dog hasn’t snapped at anybody when they got near it. And for the next week she told me the dog was able to go up and down the stairs. And the dog didn’t know anything about placebos.
CH: (laughs) That’s right, not that we know of unless this dog had been reading up on things.
BA: I don’t know what it was doing in its spare time but I saw the actual effects of the energy on it so there is something to this.
CH: As a scientist I know that things happen that are good and things that happen that are bad with respect to medical care and sometimes people survive things and sometimes people don’t and it’s not happenstance or reasons and just because we don’t know what those reasons are doesn’t mean they don’t exist. We need to look further and it’s always frustrating that the medical community doesn’t focus enough on those spontaneous remissions or those magical healings and they just fluff them aside but those are where the answers are.
BA: Well I’ve had more than one example where I’ve done an energy treatment with a person before they went in for an operation and they told me later that everybody was amazed at how well they went through the operation.
CH: Well I can say that I might be one of them. I’ve had good fortune to work with you and I had great success afterwards and I am very grateful about that…because I’m here years later to talk about it. And that’s a good thing.
BA: There are many others of us that are grateful as well that you’re here.
CH: Oh thank you. We have a little bit more time left and I just wanted to detour a little bit and talk about some other things that you’ve been working on now. You wrote a fictional story, a book, a few years ago called The God Matrix. And I enjoyed reading that book and it incorporated a lot of, I think, of your personal beliefs in the story. And I realize now, in hindsight, there was a lot of this energy, medicine and energy concepts in it that lent themselves so nice to the story and made it really interesting but also made it feel like, even though you were talking about aliens that came from a more intelligent, more profound, place, it made sense. It just made sense. It just seemed right. Like yes, this could be possible.
BA: Well yes, I talked about energy and I talked a little bit about eating and a little bit of what we were talking about earlier, neuro-linguistic programming. So I incorporated many of these concepts into my fictional book, maybe not quite as fictional as I originally thought it was.
CH: And where can people find this book?
BA: Well, it’s available through Amazon or Barnes and Noble or any of the online stores. Or you can go directly to the author’s website thegodmatrix.com.
CH: OK. Well, I really enjoyed that book and if anybody wants a good read it’s a good one. I would like to know that there are good aliens out there, well I don’t want to tell the whole story but…enough said. It’s a nice story and just shows that we have a lot of work to do here on this planet, but there’s always hope to make things better. We can start with ourselves and if we have issues that we want to work on, no matter what they are, issues within ourselves or with other people or people that we work with, here are some really good techniques that are worth looking into. You’re in Canada but if people wanted to work with you is there a way to contact you?
BA: Well if they go to my website that’s a good start. They can learn a little bit more about what I do there. My own personal website is briandalexander.com.
CH: OK. Well thank you so much for joining me on It’s All About Food and for all the great work you are doing. Can you, I just want to ask everyone, can you feel his energy? Whenever I talk to Brian I just feel you have this control of energy–it just kind of pops out of the phone. A great conduit for energy.
BA: Thank you Caryn
Transcribed by Suzanne Kelly, 6/3/2013