why and how you need to listen to your body when
it has something very important to tell you …
Rationale (if any …)
“Why some staff members shorten their
sick leave while they are advised to rest?”
should listen to what their body wants to
they should respect themselves
« Respect yourself …
“If you don't respect yourself/ Ain't nobody
gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na”.
“ Put your hand on your mouth/ When
you cough, that'll help the solution”
The Staple Singers
Going back to my roots (1) …
It tooks 5M years to move
from: ardipithecus ->
Going back to my roots (2) …
To Homo genus (2.5M years ago):
Homo abilis ->
Homo erectus ->
Going back to my roots (3) …
To Homo sapiens sapiens ->
200,000 years ago (??)
-> To be continued …?
Summary of the Human
• 5 million years … this is the time it took to adjust ourselves, as human beings “in
being”, to a slowly changing environment. 6 glacial periods
• We are now in an interglacial period that started 10 to 12,000 years ago.
Everything goes too fast
Over just 100 years we shifted to a universal rural life to more and
more urban setting (in 2007, urban>50%, worldwide)
From the 4-strokes seasonal rhythm (in the Northern hemisphere), to
a chaotic +/- succession of the seasons.
Globalization of the commercial exchanges.
How do we cope with a changing
environment at the scale of a human life?
intrinsic human (mammals) physiology – (other than
the nervous system): it is a matter of physics, chemistry
at the level of the cell (cell biology) and of
communication between cells (endocrine glands, local
Bernard (1813-1878) - homeostasis: “The stability of
the internal environment [the milieu intérieur] is the
condition for the free and independent life”
The Boss ….
Human species managed to survive as bare fragile animals,
struggling among beasts in a hostile environment. (we are
just naked apes - Ref.: The Naked Ape, Desmond Morris)
• They were living as a united group,
• Their unique circumvoluted and hyperconnected brain
(protects individuals and thrive on its peers: We are The
The triune brain theory (Paul D.
Mac Lean, 1913-2007)
Superposition of 3 evolutionary structures we
inherited during the evolution from the
reptilians (320M years ago):
The reptilian complex
The limbic system
The reptilian complex
reptilian complex: instinctual behaviors involved
in aggression, dominance, territoriality, and ritual
displays. The deeper structure of the brain. INSTINCTS.
The limbic system:
The limbic system: inherited from the early mammalian species and is
responsible for the motivation and emotion involved in
feeding, reproductive behavior, and parental behavior. BASIC NEEDS.
Emotion, motivation, long-term memory, olfaction (M.
Proust, Remembrance of Things Past. Volume 1: Swann's Way. The Cookie)
Memory, “a human being is an acting memory” without memory, no
happiness, no sadness …
The neocortex: the most recent step in the evolution of the
mammalian brain, conferring the ability for language,
abstraction, planning. THINKING CREATION IMAGINATION.
Frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal lobes, outer layer of
the cerebral hemispheres
Three buddies in a boat (skull?)
Connections between these 3 structures:
the reward bundle
the punishment bundle
the inhibitor system
The Reward/Punishment/Inhibition of
Action system (1)
The reward bundle (medial forebrain bundle) reinforces a sensation
that pleases us. “I want it again …”, “Give me more …” (Pleasure
Systems in the Brain, Michael A.
The punishment bundle (periventricular system – PVS) transmits the
information that what is happening is
detrimental, painful, unpleasant, IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED …
The behavioral inhibitor system (BIS, H. Laborit, cf. supra): passive
submission. Chronic stress and subsequent chronic diseases.
« I don’t like that » … or How to deal with
punishment? Fight or flight!
1st is the flight: okay, but what if there is no way to escape?
2nd : “is there anyone around? If so: YOU are the CULPRIT”.
From willingness to flee to willingness to fight. “It is useless, but
it makes me feel so much better …”
3rd, no way out, and nobody to punch … or I am not allowed to
react (culture, education). It is the inhibition of the action. All
the mechanisms triggered to take action just act against the
individual -> psychosomatic diseases and beyond.
The Reward/Punishment/Inhibition of
Action system (2)
(Ref.: http://thebrain.mcgill.ca/avance.php accessed on 25 September 2013)
4 basic behaviors
Laborit, a French neurophysiologist, identifies
subsequently 4 central behaviors:
Consumption, which satisfies the elementary needs,
Gratification, which reinforce the sensation of
Response to punishment, that may be flee or fight,
Inhibition, which is a state of tension that drives to
anxiety which is the impossibility of taking over a
The Boss is Back on the Track
neocortex has the capacity to take over and to give a
meaning to what we decide to do.
often take action based upon a wrong assessment of
same neocortex gives a time-lagged picture of the
It doesn’t listen to what your body feels right
away through its 5 senses.
Here and Now …
This is exactly what the Buddhist tradition teaches: the Four Nobles
Truths (the 1st is the « Truth of Dukkha »: unsatisfaction, anxiety of
trying to hold on things that are consistenly changing »
This is the core of any meditation technique
Jon Kabat-Zinn: Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness
Meditation in Everyday Life. Hyperion Books, 2005.
Give yourself a break
yourself on your respiration
the tensions, and focus on releasing them
down, sitting position or walking
Back to basics
Do not pretend to be stronger than you really are:
Accept to feel tired, sleepy, weak, sick and manage yourself
« Know Thyself » (ancient greek aphorism).
Finally repecting yourself is respecting the others:
If you spend all your energy to struggle against yourself you will be
a burden for your colleagues and your family.
If you carry a communicable disease, just stay away from the one
you care, keep the bugs for yourself …
Respect … again