Alternating Brain Hemisphere Activity and Bilateral Brain Stimulation with WHEE*
by Daniel J. Benor, M.D.
Experiments have shown that the functions of analytical, logical, intellectual thinking and expression of language are carried out largely in the brain's left hemisphere. The right hemisphere performs intuitive, artistic, symbolic and analogical thinking functions.
(See Table 1.)
Our brains tend to focus primarily on one hemispheric mode or the other when we are engaged in a specific task, and we tend to have personal preferences for one or the other mode of functioning. We are all familiar with extremes of such types - for instance, the typical left-brain character is unemotional, logical, and always analyzing what is going on, like Mr. Spock in Star Trek. STUDY ID# These are people who have difficulty answering when asked what they are feeling about a given situation, and they are commonly accountants or scientists by profession. Their right-brain preference counterparts, the emotional, intuitive, artistic folk, are commonly living in creative modes. In their more full expression of their passions they are poets, musicians or artists, but may have problems dealing with facts and figures.
Thank God for making reality, and for giving us means of escaping from it. - Ashleigh Brilliant
There are simple ways through which to identify for yourself whether you have strongly divided functions between your left and right brain hemispheres. Think about a problem or memory that disturbs you (with feelings of hurt, anger, or remorse, etc.). Now, use your right palm to completely cover your right eye, and your left palm to cover all but a little of the ear-side of your left eye. This will allow a little light in from the left side of your left eye, which will stimulate and activate your right hemisphere. Spend a few moments exploring your feelings regarding the issue you have chosen to focus on. Then reverse the process and cover your left eye entirely, leaving only a little of the ear-side of your right eye uncovered, and spend a few minutes exploring how you feel about the same issue.
About 60 percent of people will notice a distinct difference, sometimes quite a strong one, between the responses of their right and left hemispheres to this type of stimulation while focusing on an emotionally distressing issue. For most, the left, thinking hemisphere is more rational and can sort out how to deal with the issue, while the right brain tends to be emotional, and when it is activated, they may feel quite upset about the issue.
Every 90-120 minutes (on average) the dominant activity in the brain hemispheres spontaneously alternates from one side to the other. Although Eastern meditation experts have known of these shifts for millennia, Western science has only recently become aware of them. When hemispheric functions are predominating on a particular side, the nasal passage on the opposite side is markedly more open. That is, when your left nostril is open, your right hemisphere is 'in gear,' and conversely for the opposite nostril and hemisphere. This is called the ultradian rhythm of the brain. (In some cases this rhythm can have cycles up to 8 hours.)
Table 1. Brain Hemispheric Functions Left Right
Rational/ Logic/ Cognition
Intuitive/ Emotion/ Feeling
Time sense (past, present, future)
Paced and directed/ controlled by rules
Aims/ Goals oriented/ Planned progress
Instant gratification/ Impatient
Discrete/ Successive (either/ or)
Continuous/ Simultaneous (both/ and)
Creative ultradian possibilities
Maxwell Cade and Geoffrey Blundell, who developed a biofeedback device for brainwaves, found that certain people were more likely to have a balanced brainwave pattern, suggesting equally active right and left brain hemispheres. They found this balanced state present most often in experienced meditators, healers, creative people, and in those who were successful in their chosen professions. What has not been established, as far as I can determine, is whether meditative states can bring us into a balanced hemispheric state that is reflected in balanced, equal right and left nasal dominance. If this works, it might provide a feedback mechanism for developing a meditative state.
Milton Erikson, who was an outstanding hypnotherapist and observer of human behaviors, noted that in the interval of a few minutes between right or left dominance, when dominance was shifting from one side to the other, people were much more susceptible to hypnotic suggestions. He often conducted his hypnotherapy for 2 hours in order to be certain that he included at least one such shift during the therapy session.
I note from my personal experience that when I lie with my right ear down on a pillow, the left nostril becomes clear within a few minutes. If I turn over on my other side, with the left ear next to the pillow, the right nostril will clear within a few minutes. This regularly overrides the spontaneous ultradian rhythm. I can thus generate more frequent transition periods where both of my nostrils are clear, although the duration of the transition periods is only about 15 seconds.
I can extend the transition duration if I lie on my back a few seconds after the transition period begins. Both nostrils will remain open for 15-60 seconds, but then one or the other will start to narrow down. As the shift begins to occur towards one of my nostrils narrowing, I can re-open it within seconds by turning my head part way towards the pillow, in the opposite direction to the nostril that is closing. With a little practice, I have been able to keep both nostrils open for as long as I continue this procedure.
Subjectively, this is a state in which I find that working on myself with WHEE achieves markedly deeper and quicker results than I otherwise experience. However, it requires a great deal of effort to maintain my concentration, when I am in this state. Without that effort, my mind drifts around along associative links more readily than normally.
I have found this process particularly helpful in clearing deep core beliefs and meta-emotions and issues.
This is an early note on a psychotherapeutic process that has not been explored systematically by anyone as far as I can find. I would add a word of caution that anyone with history of severe emotional trauma might want to do this only in the presence of a therapist who can guide them around blocks and through the releases of buried emotional hurts.
Resources See excellent discussion of the ultradian rhythm: Rossi, Ernest Lawrence. Altered states of consciousness in everyday life: The ultradian rhythms, In: Wolman, Benjamin, B/ Ullman, Montague. Handbook of States of Consciousness, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold 1986, 97-132.
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*The introduction to this article is taken from Benor, Daniel J. Healing Research, Volume II: (Professional edition), Consciousness, Bioenergy and Healing, Bellmawr, NJ: Wholistic Healing Publications 2004, p. 74-79.
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