WHO IS THE LEARNER?
Cognitive learning, by you, sets the stage for healthy learning by your physiology, the mindfulness of physiology. Misconceptions, misinformation, inaccurate beliefs about biological self, experiential unfamiliarity with breathing, misinterpretation of physical sensations, distrust of the body, defensive thinking, self-talk, and intentional breath manipulation all contribute to learning deregulated breathing behavior.
Who learned the deregulated breathing behavior? Did you? Or, did your body learn the behavior?” Remember that physiology self-regulates based on learning and motivation, and that very little behavior is learned intentionally and/or consciously by you. So who do we “blame?” Who’s, or what’s, responsible?
It is simply a convenience to say, “Merry learned it.” Implicit in this statement is personal intentionality and responsibility. If Merry and/or an "expert” decides it wasn’t Merry, then who was it? Was it her “unconscious?” If so, learning is perceived as isolated from the body, and thus retaining its status as separate from biology, goes unrecognized as an inherently integral part of homeostasis physiology.
Classical conditioning and operant conditioning, for example (as described elsewhere), play a powerful role in regulating your physiology without your realizing it, or for that matter, realization by anyone else. As a result, symptoms and deficits, which may go along with some of this conditioning, remain unidentified, unexplained, or attributed to other factors. Breathing behavior is an excellent example of how the “WHO” may attributed to a “disorder” rather than to learning, and/or to “you” rather than to unconscious learning unwittingly arranged by you and the people around you.
Basic biological learning accounts for placebo effects usually dismissed by practitioners as artifacts, unreal, irrelevant, nuisance, and fake, rather than as signs of physiology deregulated through learning. The principles by which placebo effects emerge are powerful tools to be placed in the hands of everyone. CapnoLearningä, offered by our practitioners, provides a doorway into understanding the mindfulness of physiology.
Behavioral Physiology Institute,