Understanding Switching in the Body and the Brain
What Does It Mean? (excerpt)
by Dr. Charles T. Krebs
The concept of switching has been around in kinesiology since its early days, but few kinesiologists have an in-depth understanding of either the nature of switching or the different types of switching. The original concept of switching came from Applied Kinesiology or AK. In the AK model, switching was perceived as neurological confusion, usually related to cranial imbalance. In later Kinesiologies, switching was perceived as a polarity problem so that when switching was “on-line,” there was a reversal of the body’s polarity, and this reversal of polarity led to a reversal of signals sent out to the body, and a reversal of mental orientation. So if a person was switched, they would often point to the Right as they said turn Left.
Likewise, when a muscle on the top part of the body was sedated, it would switch off the homologous muscle (muscle that does the same function) in the lower part of the body. From a neurological perspective there are two distinct types of switching:
1) A cortically based Projection Switching, and
2) A brain-stem-limbic based Survival Switching.
Cortical Projection Switching is more superficial and results from “stress,” either physical, emotional or mental stress, causing a reversal of the output of cortical processing such that sensory input correctly processed in a specific cortical area is then “projected” to the wrong, and usually opposite part of the body; or the brain reverses its orientation relative to the body, e.g. confusing right and left. This switching is normally transitory, and only exists for the duration of the stress, e.g. you’re very tired one day and switched, but well rested and not switched the next; or the emotional situation stressing you one day has been resolved the next day so you are no longer switched.
In contrast, Survival Switching is a much deeper level of switching caused by psycho-emotional factors that exceed your personality’s ability to cope. You cannot live long in a non-coping state, so the subconscious must do something to survive psycho-emotionally. It must somehow reduce stress levels to allow your personality to cope with your life’s circumstances once more. This Survival Switching occurs deep in the brainstem and limbic areas involved with survival, and since these areas are totally subconscious, we are unaware of their existence. However, once a survival program has become switched, it totally controls our overt behavior, particularly in stress situations, because the survival system neurologically fires first before conscious cortical areas are activated.