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Sun Apr 10 21:48:59 EST 2005

is not unlike standing in a harsh gale, once the terminal velocity was
reached and the terminal velocity was reached while we were busy doing
forward rolls. 

Skydiving was definitely radical enough to activate the alternate
pathways but the panic involved with skydiving is not really
comparable to the panic involved with virtually drowning. That is, I
needed use from right my arm and hand to prevent my head from going
underwater, where as with free-falling there wasn't any necessity for
my hand and arm to function.

I truly believe skydiving still has the potential to utilise the
alternate pathways but if I did it again, my emphasis would be on
enjoying the thrill with even less of an ulterior motive in mind!

Over the years, I have written to numerous medical authorities. Some
have had the professional courtesy to reply and their opinions and
suggestions are given below.

Dr B A Kakulas - a professor at The Australian Neuromuscular Research
Institute - was the first to offer a reasonable explanation why the
fear of drowning made my arm and hand function. The professor explains
what most likely happened: There are many pathways for communication
between the brain and the muscles through the spinal cord. The area of
the brain that controls voluntary movement - the pyramidal system -
was affected in the accident. However, there are alternate pathways -
extra-pyramidal system - that are capable of conveying the required
messages for the right arm and hand to function. 

All the medical authorities that have replied have overwhelmingly
agreed with the professor as to his explanation about why my right arm

Dr P D Thompson - a specialist at the University Department of
Clinical Neurology in London - has expressed his surprise as to why
skydiving did not make my arm move, while Dr Kakulas refers to the
inability to reproduce this experience whilst skydiving of great
interest. Even taking these opinions into account, both the doctors
stated that there is, as yet, no way of consciously being able to
utilise these alternate pathways. 

Michael Hunt - Neuropsychologist at R.P.R.H - justified my initial
presumption concerning the hypnosis angle. He told of a group of
people who had severe memory difficulties and were trying to utilise
the "alternate connections" to improve their situation. However, they
too, were unsuccessful.

Dr Robert A Fishman M.D - a professor at the University of California
in the USA - writes: It is not surprising that some transient motor
function was possible in a monoplegic limb during an emergency
situation. He also regrets that he is unable to offer any further

Professor Istvan T(rk - from the University of New South Wales -
explains that he is not usually an advocate of 'alternate medicine'
but since modern medicine cannot help, perhaps I could learn

The Professor's reasoning behind this was that I may be able to
concentrate the motor centres in the brainstem in an attempt to
activate the alternate pathways at will. He gives an example of Indian
Yogi's performing extraordinary feats to justify his suggestion. I
completed a meditation course soon after but I couldn't see a
realistic link between what I was hoping to achieve and what I was
learning in the course. 

Norman Oliver from the National Institute of Neurological and
Communicative Disorders and Stroke in the USA, explains that the
movement I experienced is typical under the circumstances I described
ie. reflex-like dog paddle while panicking. He also suggests that I
need to reconnect my brain with the  muscles through the spinal cord.
He sent some literature that discusses neural regeneration.

Janet Whitta - Senior Clinical Psychologist from the Devonport
Psychiatric Centre in Tasmania - is an affiliate member of the Board
of Clinical Neuropsychologists. She writes: A thorough biofeedback
session for left and right arms, testing the arms reactions under
different cognitive and postural task conditions may yield some
helpful information.

She also writes: Electrical skin resistance measurements can be very
informative and help individuals narrow down which cognitive and
physical tasks produce beneficial results and which seem to produce
counterproductive responses. In the process of trying to locate a
biofeedback specialist who practices locally, one source suggested
that alternatively, The Feldenkrais Method may be of some help. 

The Feldenkrais method focuses on changing bodily movement patterns,
thereby promoting the use of the alternate pathways. Since starting
Feldenkrais, my balance has improved, my weight distribution is more
even and my gait has become more regular. I walk with less of a limp
and my arm begins to swing on frequent occasions.

In March, 1991, I wrote to Dr Bernard Brucker Ph.D. - University of
Miami, Florida. He is a renowned specialist in the field of
biofeedback. His research involves using the "alternate
pathways/connections" to regain functional motor movement. 

The Biofeedback Program sent many articles of success stories but my
Neurologist has pointed out that biofeedback has its place. In mid
1992 whilst on holiday and travelling though the USA, I went to Miami
and had the treatment. 

After a few days I realised biofeedback was not going to help my
problems with a spastic hemiplegia. However, I could see first hand
"that biofeedback has it's place". Dr Brucker and all of his
assistants maintained it was helping. In retrospect, I don't regret
trying biofeedback. As I said before, if I didn't try, I would never

Despite all this, I have accepted my disability and I am quite content
to remain as I am. As you can probably appreciate, I am willing to try
all possible avenues of treatment and I am open to any suggestions
that you may have

Alternate Titles


The Mind's 
Retrospective Foresight

" " " "......... " " " "

Is the Mind the Parasite of the Brain?

Head Injury - The Virtual Forbidden Experiment

My Head Injury - Living the Forbidden Experiment with Retrospective

"Comfort  Zones"

and Supplemental Addiction Replacement?

Recollective Hindsight?

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