Please take the time to watch this amazing talk by another one of my heroes, David Butler. He covers body maps, neuroplasticity, neuro-immune connections, healthy immune influences (including diet and exercise but also beliefs, social interactions, humour, “homoncular refreshment”), movement, “smudging” of bodymaps (reduced proprioceptive discrimination), context and memory, and the overall complexity of pain with between 4-500 brain areas active in pain states, all of which contribute to the overall feelings of danger or safety, and all of which are changeable. If you’ve trained with me in the last few years you’ll recognise and understand better a lot of the things we’ve been doing – exploring the body and three-dimensional space through movement, building community, using humour, creating a safe and healthy and magical context, honouring our personal stories and the history of our species to “re-enchant” our bodies and the world. If you have ever experienced pain in your life or if you know anyone who has, you really need to know this stuff. Please watch it and share it around.

4 Replies to “David Butler on using the brain to treat pain”

  1. Dear Simon,
    thank you for your great thoughts on the relation of movement and ecology!

    My girlfriend currently writes her doctor thesis on the benefits of children learning within nature. Could you sent me a links on the studies you mentioned, which prove that we gain an empathic understanding for other animals via movements/mirror neurons?

    Thank you!


  2. Hello Lucas!

    Here is an article about some studies comparing the mirror neuron system responses in Capoeira players and Ballet dancers, watching people perform either Capoeira or Ballet. They found that each person’s mirror neuron system responds much more strongly to the movements that they are most familiar with. The extrapolation into animal mimicry then is my own theory, and as yet I have not seen any neuroscience looking into this, nor read of any neuroscientists even mentioning it. If you find any, please let me know!

  3. How can I get in touch with David Butler. The NOI website does not provide any contact e-mail or phone information.

  4. Hi Keith. I’m not sure how to get in touch with David Butler other than through NOI, although he does have a clinical practice in Adelaide I believe, so you might just be able to look him up in the phonebook!

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