Command and Control Series

P.A.C.S.

As a Watchman on the tower, I want to warn you of a danger perhaps outside your field of view – out of your control.

You see, You are being controlled by an external force. It is not a part of you. But it is also not unseen – you see it all the time: when you wake up and turn off your alarm, when you check your email, when you sign into Facebook, when you drive to work…

You are being programmed.

Unknown to you, the decisions you are making are not always your own. Someone is making them for you, leading you down a strange path.

I’ve said it before, we generally know what is good for us, we know what we need to do – we just don’t do it.

Why? I’ve come to believe it is (at least, partially) because of that old tyrant we know so well. The tyrant within has joined forces with advertisers and media.

You are becoming aware, but neither your mind nor your body is recruited to the Cause. However, you can begin that recruitment process by making a decision for yourself:

Command and Control Series

Cry ‘Havoc’!: Invoking a Sympathetic Response

The other night, I had a friend coming in from out of town. He arrived late, around midnight. He was trying to find my apartment building in the dark and rain, so I left my apartment to stand near the road and flag him down.

I was in shorts and a tank top and had been sleeping lightly for a couple hours already.

I stepped outside and I noticed that it felt ‘chilly’, but I wasn’t concerned. After all, it would only be for a few minutes.

But as the rain fell upon my bare skin, I began to experience a series of autonomic triggers.

First, I began to shiver. Not just light shivers, but hard seizing of the muscles as they begged for blood flow.

My diaphram contracted. Over and over again. And as I held my cell phone, I experienced difficulty speaking through the shortness of breath.

As I stepped into a puddle of water, my other arm clasped around my torso, tucking my wrist under my armpit.

You see, my mind knew exactly what was happening. I was just going to spot my friend. But my muscles were launched into a sympathetic state of high alert, unaware of the benign circumstances beyond my flesh.

Within my body, metabolic and pulminary functions raced to meet the new and sudden demands placed upon it. For all my nervous system knew, I could have been fighting off a predator, or defending my family from an invader.

Fortunately, however, I was in no real danger. My friend arrived and we returned to my apartment.

As I lay down again to rest, I noticed two things:

One, I was not going to be able to fall back to sleep very quickly. My whole body was still humming from the exposure to the elements.

And two, as I lay there, I began to have highly creative thoughts and began drafting this post in my mind. Whereas before, while at rest for a couple hours in the warmth and safety of my apartment, I had enjoyed light fantasies.

It occurred to me that I often experience my highest creativity after exercise or when I first arrive at work and begin “getting after it”.

So, I have begun to experiment with invoking a sympathetic response by simple breath work.

In the medieval era, if the general declared, or cried ‘havoc’, he was in effect allowing his soldiers to abandon rank and pillage and plunder the enemy’s holds.

If we were to cry ‘havoc’, we would set free our muscles that are laden with tension and bound by imbalances.

…many of us are trapped in chronic sympathetic states. We are in constant states of stress and anxiety, and as a result, We lose our freedoms – specifically, our freedom to move without injury because of tight muscles and other imbalances.

– False Flags

On the subject of chronic sympathetic states…

I have said that many of us are in a chronic sympathetic state. You may be asking yourself, If I am in a chronic sympathetic state, WHY would I want to invoke a sympathetic response?

(At least, I hope you are paying attention.)

It may seem counter intuitive, but a solution to chronic sympathetic states is to help the body relieve tension through invoking a sympathetic response and then progressing back to a restful, parasympathetic state.

You see, sympathetic overload can lead to any or all of the following symptoms:

» Decreased Strength & Vitality
» Poor Concentration
» Chronic Fatigue
» Foggy Headedness
» Decreased Sex Drive
» Night Sweats
» Orgasm / Genital Inhibition
» Waking Un-Rest
» Anxiety
» Jittery-ness
» Fungal Infections
» Constipation
» Digestive Disorders
» Rashes & Skin Problems
» Decreased Immunity
» Increased Risk For Injury
» Poor Sleeping Patterns

– Symptoms of sympathetic overload borrowed from “7 Strategies For a Stronger Nervous System”, by Elliot Hulse

It is never a good thing for the body to remain in a sympathetic state for very long. Instead, the human body should experience both sympathetic responses and parasympathetic moods.

Furthermore, a brief sympathetic response – invoked – can result in:

» Newfound creativity
» Renewed passion
» Restored optimism
» Laser-beam focus

Meanwhile, when a parasympathetic mood is achieved, we can enjoy:

» Restorative sleep
» Contentment
» Faster recovery from workouts
» Improved communication skills
» New outlook on life

Command and Control Series

Feeling Pain: The Psychology of Muscles

In a previous post, I likened battle fatigue to muscular fatigue, drawing upon the similarities between constant use of certain muscles and the constant alertness soldiers must have over the course of many days of fighting.

I have thought about this for several months and have decided to compile some of my thoughts on the subject.

Psychological effects on your muscles are different altogether. Think of battle fatigue. It is the result of many consecutive days of fighting. Soldiers who experience battle fatigue are lucky enough to avoid injury or death, but unlucky enough to get a break from fighting.

– Sound The Retreat

The Psychology of Muscles

When I mention that muscles have a psychology of their own, people often think I’m going into pseudoscience territory again. While some of my impressions certainly have only anecdotal evidence to support them, I believe that my thoughts are aligned with the medical truths so many adhere to.

Muscular Psychology final

The only difference is that I am not certified in those fields, and therefore I will use a layman’s diction.

Just as the mind can suffer trauma, so too can the musculoskeletal system. But it is traumatized in different ways. Remember that the body doesn’t always understand what is actually happening outside of it. The hamstring cannot see through the eyes, but neither can the eyes feel the hamstring – therein lies an inability to communicate.

So throughout the day, we put pressure on muscles and joints and after a while, the pressure becomes normal to us. Then, one day, the muscle gives out. In my own throes of agony, I have asked, “If I was doing something wrong (wrong form), why did I not feel something sooner?”

Our Love Affair With Resistance

I’ll speak for myself, but I believe I am not alone – I love a hard workout!

And when I think of grueling workout programs, like Spartan Race and Cross Fit, and my local variety Camp Gladiator, I get fired up! I think, “That is how you get SHREDDED!!”

But you get shredded by obtaining a low body fat percentage and a nice, hard slab of hypertrophied musculature. The former has nothing to do with the specific program or brand name, and the latter can be achieved through the most basic of resistance programs, if you’re consistent with that program.

But we love to sweat. We love to say, “That was brutal,” and high five the guy next to us.

Chemicals are flooding our brains and we stupidly think, “I’m getting stronger.”

And our muscles are crying in anguish, torn and victimized.

Perhaps the way our muscles feel resistance is not the way that the mind interprets resistance. Perhaps that WOD is not a ‘good workout’ for our muscles – it’s only an ego stroke for the mind. Another vanity.

Adapt or Die

There is a General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) in which our bodies are faced with resistance and deal with it accordingly, while preparing to meet that same resistance again.

Think of it like a child learning to not touch an oven burner. The child will ignorantly explore and then discover the searing pain. When the finger touches the burner, pain receptors in the brain (seemingly) instantaneously call for the appropriate muscles to contract, and the hand wrenches away from the danger.

That is a sympathetic response. And, unfortunately, most of us are trapped within a chronic sympathetic state following childhood.

So it is obvious that our developing child-brain could learn to avoid pain. But at some point, we began that dreary trek into the sympathetic wasteland – the wilderness – and we began developing a new relationship with pain, or resistance.

Fight or Flight

If you traumatize a muscle, it may never respond to you the same way again even after it mends and you regain range of motion.

We see it sometimes with fighters. They can be a true technician of their style and be very diligent in their training. But then they get hit a certain way one time and they aren’t the same afterward.

Their body, which is the mind, adapts very fast and very effectively, and develops a resistance to fighting. Just as that child clutches their hand away from the stove top, they freeze in the ring.

This is an incredible reaction of the nervous system! Despite their own recklessness – despite their intentions – their body has adapted to avoid that trauma. It never wants to feel that way again. And for good reason!

Alas, this type of adaptation (trauma) does not help the fighter. They are now unable to compete. It is contrary to their conscious intent. Furthermore, if they are put into a similar situation in or outside the ring and they freeze up, which is the body resisting, the fighter could be gravely injured or even die.

Now, based on this scenario, it is not always healthy to experience resistance, wouldn’t you agree?

Multi-Phase Adaptation

In the event that someone is traumatized by an experience, whether it is from abuse or assault, they are fearful to return to that place. They avoid situations or people that may ‘trigger’ them.

This prevents healing. It stops the bleeding but the figurative wound still festers because the proper treatment is never applied. Some people go their whole lives with an old wound that stops them from actually living.

I recall Jordan B Peterson recounting a series of therapy sessions with a client who was absolutely terrified of needles. First, Jordan would simply say the word, “Needle” to which the client would respond with revulsion.

Then, the therapy progressed to Jordan explaining that he would be bringing a needle to the next session. At the next session, Jordan would explain where the needle was located – on his desk – but he would not bring it closer. Then they would talk while the needle was present.

Progressively, Jordan would lay the needle upon the desk within sight of the client, and slowly, over multiple sessions, the needle would be brought closer and closer until finally he could tough the client with the sheathed needle!

Because the client was in control of the needle’s location and what Jordan would do with the needle, he progressed to the point that needles no longer evoked the same fear – nowhere close.

The client adapted to a resistance formed in the mind through a series of phases in which he was in total control.

We must introduce our muscles into positions in which they are uncomfortable while also being in total control of the situation. We can maintain control by bracing ourselves against a wall or on a bench at the gym, or use elastic bands to support our weight while moving muscles into those different positions.

One major reason that professional footballl players are injured is that they find themselves in positions, often under the load of another player or players, which they are not accustomed to.

It has nothing to do with their level of conditioning – they are conditioned like crazy! But they are not conditioned to be pinned under three 200 pound men with their leg in some awkward position.

Using theoretically sport-related situations, you can put an athlete into different phases of a load and allow them to become more comfortable with that load and explore ways to 1) compensate for the load 2) escape from under the load 3) fight back and overpower the load.

In a way, you can condition any athlete playing any sport to respond like a fighter who must respond i.e. problem solve when faced with an opponent.

Begin with a dynamic warm up in which different joints are mobilized followed by a systematic progression of all reps before the actual workout begins.

Command and Control Series

False Flags

I have a question for you, What is our government lying to us about? What scandals has it assuaged? What is it hiding from us?

Remember, our nation is our body and our mind is the chief governor of that nation. What lies are being told by the mind?

It is crucial that you understand that, The body follows the mind – the body is a top-down organization.

And thus we return to that tyrant within us, that dictator and insurgent-king. He would tell us many lies, if we should listen. And when we listen and obey, our freedom is taken away.

As citizens under his rule, we do not enjoy basic rights, such as freedom of speech. We begin to tell others the same lies we believe ourselves.

Therefore, we become agents working against our own nation. But because it is all based on a lie, or False Flag, we do not know that we are become traitors.

So, we must maintain control of our nation, and to accomplish this, we must be in control of our mind. This what the Command and Control Series is all about.

As discussed in a previous post, many of us are trapped in chronic sympathetic states. We are in constant states of stress and anxiety, and as a result, We lose our freedoms – specifically, our freedom to move without injury because of tight muscles and other imbalances.

So, we distract ourselves. We utilize these distractions to move the stress around rather than to eliminate it altogether. For example, watching television after work and late into the night – this interferes with our natural sleep cycles. The very nature of shift work leads to late night activity, including eating before bed.

We cannot let our government distract us. Recognize the False Flags and respond with scrutiny. Do not believe everything that your mind tells you, especially the urgent pleas to procrastinate.

Alas, a Retreat is not always the same as Defeat. We must allow our bodies to recover and that is best done each night with seven-to-nine hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Furthermore, to maintain control over the mind and body, there are specific exercises we all can perform, which change our state of consciousness – either accessing a sympathetic response in times of crisis, or a parasympathetic response preceding deep sleep and healing.

Command and Control Series

Sound The Retreat

When traversing the Warpath, your soldiers (your muscles) can become weary from their march to Victory. Day after day, grueling conditions placed upon them can result in both physical and psychological taxes.

We are all familiar with muscular injures, resulting from poor form, poor nutrition, or even the controversial “overtraining.” These are physical conditions.

Psychological effects on your muscles are different altogether. Think of battle fatigue. It is the result of many consecutive days of fighting. Soldiers who experience battle fatigue are lucky enough to avoid injury or death, but unlucky enough to get a break from fighting.

As we live our lives, how often do our muscles receive rest from the everyday tolls placed on them? I would argue that they never do. They require liberation from their imprisonment inside your body. Even they need to become free.

Of course, the muscles are confined inside you and they are necessary for your daily activities. So a compromise is called for.

I call for a Retreat.

This is not a full scale withdrawal from the Warpath. It is a compromise between your physiology and your mind, for they are one and the same.

One method, or strategy, for the relief of your muscles is hydration.

It may sound simple enough – drink more water. But when to drink and how much to drink may vary depending on your lifestyle and current nutrition.

First, one might find the most appealing time to guzzle a liter bottle of cold water to be after exertion/exercise. Certainly, that is a time when your body may be dehydrated but only if you fail to do so appropriately beforehand.

Upon waking in the morning, you should begin hydrating. For seven-nine hours, your body has been deprived of nutrients. Water is one of those nutrient. So, even before your cup of coffee, drink a small amount of cold water – less than eight ounces, small sips – while seated.

Continue to hydrate throughout the day, more often a half-hour after meals. Do not over-drink during meals and do not use drinking water as a way to stave off boredom or hunger between meals.

As you sit and take these short deliberate breaks, you will not only provide your body with the vital nutrients that it needs, but it will allow your mind a small rest from the daily grind of work and family obligations.

Cease hydrating a few hours before bed.