The role of endogenous cyclic nitric oxide spiking in motherloss and existential grief recovery: A modified neuropsychological and psychophysiological heuristic self search inquiry approach to stress reduction, homeostasis, and healing

by Wright, Robert, Jr., Ph.D., CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF INTEGRAL STUDIES, 2012, 533 pages; 3539752


The threefold purpose of this study was to determine whether there was an intersecting confluence among the three variables of grief/grief recovery, stress/stress reduction, and endogenous nitric oxide flatlining/spiking utilizing Motherloss and Existential grief as proxy themes; to demonstrate validity and appropriateness of a modified neuropsychological and psychophysiological Heuristic Self Search Inquiry (HSSI) method for purposefully elucidating and excavating first person subjective bodily felt sense phenomena; to demonstrate that Peat's (2008) Creative Suspension could be conceptualized as a way of increasing and evolving conscious awareness, self transformation, and individuation within the dissertation context.

A keyword search of EBSCO, ERIC, HAPI, OASIS, PILOTS, ProQuest, PsycINFO, and PubMed databases evidenced a gap in the relevant neuroscience, medical, and psychology research literatures. There were no existing published quantitative or qualitative studies where these three variables were co-variables.

Study conclusions revealed a confluent intersecting relationship among the three variables of grief/grief recovery, stress/stress reduction, and nitric oxide flatlining/spiking; that HSSI method was an appropriate and valid approach for systematically uncovering and exploring first person subjective human experience using bodily felt sense as a guide; that moving through the stages of resistance encountered at each HSSI phase could be viewed as acts of Creative Suspension: contributing to the richness and efficacy of the inquiry process rather than as stuck states.

The study utilized a modified neuropsychological and psychophysiological HSSI method to explicate and analyze bodily felt sense phenomena lodged and submerged within tacit knowledge structures associated with Motherloss and Existential grief using five protocols: Open Focus, tuning forks, music therapy, gamma brainwaves, and incomplete grief exercises.

The Brain Pattern Interrupt Technique was employed at study conclusion, as another way of validating the extinguishment of negative valence grief trauma associated memories: to confirm recovery and healing.

Results confirm that nitric oxide spiking can be qualitatively assessed as bodily felt sense phenomena. Study conclusions indicate that any method which engenders a Relaxation Response may spike endogenous nitric oxide, and other homeostatic neurochemicals. If confirmed by future studies, these findings may have health policy implications, contributing towards the shift to a wellness paradigm.

AdviserDavid Peat
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsNeurosciences; Psychology; Clinical psychology
Publication Number3539752

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