ICE Method Science
Stress vs. Calm
If you are stressed, the cells of your body are stressed. In a stressed state it is more difficult for your body to heal. Bruce Lipton, in The Biology of Belief, does an excellent job of explaining how a body at rest is in a naturally healing mode. The ICE Method does two specific related things that help your body/mind/spirit to heal.
- Entering a calm or chill state frees your cells from external demands. In the chill state cells are free to follow their natural action of the resting state – cellular restoration and relaxation.
- In the exchange step of The ICE Method, stressful memories have their emotional impact replaced by the emotions of calm and peace.
How The ICE Method works can be understood in terms of brain and body chemistry, including a fascinating molecule called a peptide.
Emotions create peptide molecules.
Every time you have a thought, it triggers a certain chemistry in your body. Depending on what emotion you experience, you create a peptide which corresponds to the emotion. (I find this totally amazing, this is the interface between immaterial thought and actual physical chemistry. If you have not yet read Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotion, I recommend this reading highly. It will change your understanding of life.)
Peptides are the instructions for cellular function.
Once a peptide is created in response to an emotion, the peptides go throughout the body, attach to the surface of cells and actually provide the operating instructions for the cells. If the peptide is in response to fear, then the cell prepares to respond to a danger. If the peptide is created from anger, then the cell prepares to carry out an action against an aggressor. Similarly with happiness, competitiveness, or other emotions, the peptides give instructions for how the cell should respond.
Our cells serve our wishes.
The cells of our body are constantly responding to peptides. If the peptides are created as a reaction ito an external event, then the cells of the body are using energy to react and respond to external situations. This is normal, but it does require energy. If the cells are constantly responding to high level external demands, for example chronic work or relationship stress, or even a past traumatic event that continues to signal danger to the body, then the cells can end up drained, weakened, and ultimately symptomatic. Again, Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief, will be useful reading to understand this more deeply.As an example, one area I specialize in is helping people recover from fibromyalgia. People with fibromyalgia typically have traumatic memories that put their bodies in a state of constant alert. Over time, cells wear out, sleep deprivation builds up, and the body becomes symptomatic as fibromyalgia syndrome creates progressively more and more symptoms.
Relaxed cells are in a natural healing state.
If a calm or peaceful peptide is created which gives the instructions of pure rest to the cells, then the cells will go into what Lipton calls a growth mode. In growth mode, cells are free to focus on their internal needs, including metabolizing of energy, clearing out worn or waste molecules, repairing of the DNA strand, and building up energy reserves. As long as there is no external emotional peptide that needs to be responded to, the cell can remain in this natural healing state called growth mode.
One of the two main functions of The ICE Method is to help a person get into the calm or chill state where cells function in growth mode. It turns out that the process of paying attention to thoughts and observing them is extremely useful for entering cellular growth mode. Without actually responding to our finding solutions to the thoughts a person enters a deepening state of calm. Thoughts naturally begin to slow because the mind is not reacting to the thoughts. Eventually a person becomes aware of a blank space, a space of zero emotion, complete calm, sometimes even a feeling of euphoria or bliss. I have found Frank Kinslow’s work, especially The Secret of Instant Healing, to be valuable in understanding and accessing this calm state. Kinslow writes in terms of quantum physics and eastern spirituality, but if one is familiar with emotional peptides, the connections become vivid.
Entering cellular growth mode is one of the most powerful things you can do for your healing. Just by following your thoughts and observing them without engaging the thoughts you will naturally tend toward this cellular growth mode.
At first, when you practice getting into growth mode, it will probably feel unusual to you. In fact, you may realize that you have never consciously experienced this state of being before. With practice, you can make cellular growth mode your natural state. Instead of it being a special place that you visit only under special circumstances, you can practice and soon have the calm or chill state be your normal operating state. Emotionally charged events can put you into a reactive mode and draw you out of the chill state, but with practice you’ll quickly notice that you’ve come out of rest state, and all there is to do is be aware of and observe your thoughts and emotions, and soon you will once again return to the chill state.
Having the chill state become your default normal state of being will transform your life and it will transform your health.
Peptides and stuck emotions from the past.
The chill state is extremely valuable for restoring your health in the present moment. The exchange part of The ICE Method allows a person to expand the calm state to bring peace to memories and traumas from the past as well as fears and anxieties about the future. The science behind this exchange process come from the neuroscience laboratory of Joseph LeDoux, and a process he calls memory reconsolidation. A 2010 article in NATURE magazine provides results from recent experiments.It turns out that when a memory is created, the brain cells that are involved in the memory are bound together by the emotional peptides present when the memory is formed.Now, the critical discovery by LeDoux’s laboratory is that when memories are recalled, they become fragile for a short period of time. In order for the fragile memory to be stored, emotional peptides must be present to reconnect or reglue the brain cells used in the storage of the original memory.
Normally, a memory is recalled when the emotions are the same as at the time of the original event. Car tires screeching behind you will bring up the memory of a car accident. Both the past emotion and the present emotion is terror, so the memory of the original car accident will store in pretty much the same way as when it was originally formed.
The exchange process of The ICE Method makes use of memory fragility. If the calm or chill state is entered soon after a memory has been recalled, then by a gentle back and forth process, the emotional peptides of calm and peace can become the new glue that replaces the old emotional peptides from the original memory. For instance emotional peptides of terror from a car accident can be replaced if the memory is recalled and then reglued with the emotional peptides of calm and peace from the chill state.
The memory of the event will remain, but the emotional intensity of the original memory will be replaced with calm and peace. By calming charged memories, the calm state can be expanded to include more and more memories and aspects of the past, as well as expanding to bring peace to more and more future concerns.
Taken together, the identification of an issue, the entrance into the calm state and the peptide exchange process provide an extremely powerful healing process that includes both physical and emotional healing. The process is grounded in an understanding of scientifically demonstrated emotional paptide chemistry.