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Dr Arthur Janov, Founder
Dr France Janov, Clinical Director

Dr. Arthur Janov examines the power of beliefs and how they are used as a mechanism for dealing with early trauma that goes as far back as birth. Beliefs are a way to rationalize with pain rooted deep in the unconscious, and reveal that love is a biological need. Dr. Janov applies engrossing case studies and his many years of experience to bring the reader one step closer to understanding human behavior, and how pain can become converted into an idea. Available on Amazon:

Life Before Birth

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This is Dr. Janov's opus magnum, a revolutionary work in every sense of the word. It may help to change the practice of psychotherapy as we know it, and above it, how we give birth today; the shoulds and should nots. It explains in detail how early trauma and adversity can have lifelong consequences and result in serious afflictions from cancer to diabetes. It can have monumental implications for medical practice, as well, and points to how we can rear healthy children.

Dr. Arthur Janov's Blog
Every week, read new articles by Dr Arthur Janov and answers from his readers.


At UCLA Pulmonary Laboratory, my staff and I filmed two patients in slow motion moving exactly like a salamander (in a birth reliving that was spontaneous and unexpected) for over an hour and a half each. They were reliving anoxia at birth due to the heavy anesthesia given to the mother which affected their respiratory system. Drugs given to a 130-pound mother enters a system of a six-pound neonate and shuts down many systems. They were reliving this anoxia with the most primitive nervous system, hence the salamander-like movements. It was evident that no person, not even themselves at a later point, could duplicate their movements nor their deep breathing voluntarily, and certainly not for half an hour. They would have been exhausted. These patients were not exhausted. In some of these relivings, which were filmed, the body temperature dropped to 94.8 degrees in a matter of minutes. The patient was neither cold nor suffering from it. He is reliving an event where the body temperature was exactly 94.8 degrees. And each time the patient relives this kind of event, the fall, or rise, will be the same. The individual, therefore, in his reliving does not lie; it duplicates history exactly; the history that each of us carries around every minute our lives. It is that history that often requires quelling or suppressing with tranquilizers and painkillers, particularly when there was no love or touch very early in life. When patients relive enough of their painful history, they no longer need alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and painkillers.

The research in blood gases with these patients was carried out in association with UCLA director Dr. Donald Tashkin and his associates, pulmonary scientists Dr. Eric Kleerup and M. B. Dauphinee. They were wired for, among other things, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. They were then taken through a simulated Primal, or reliving, of an early trauma. During the simulation, both patients became dizzy and had "clawed hands," within three minutes, typical of hyperventilation syndrome. This research has great significance for understanding the human psyche, for understanding access to deep brain levels and for how psychotherapy must be practiced.

We took frequent blood samples with an in-dwelling catheter during the subjects' reliving episodes (every two to three minutes for one and a half hours) and during voluntary hyperventilation. We measured blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, as well as core body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. The simulation and the reliving were quite similar in terms of strenuous physical activity and deep, rapid breathing.

During the simulation, the blood carbon dioxide and oxygen levels were what one might expect. There were clear signs of the hyperventilation syndrome after a little over two to three minutes of deep breathing, including dizziness, tingling hands, rigidity of the extremities, bluish lips, loss of energy such that the subject could barely exert himself, and great fatigue.

In the reliving of oxygen deprivation at birth, however, there was no hyperventilation syndrome. Despite 20-30 minutes of deep, rapid, locomotive breathing (it is raspy and sounds like a locomotive), there was no dizziness, puckered lips, or tingly hands. The UCLA researchers found that lactic acid in their blood compensated for the low carbonic acid level caused by their locomotive breathing, preventing the hyperventilation syndrome. In other words, their muscular exertions during the reliving were so great that their oxygen requirement exceeded the supply. Their muscles were forced into anaerobic respiration, like a sprinter in a 100-yard dash: glucose is broken down to lactic acid in the absence of oxygen. No amount of voluntary exertion during a simulated primal could equal that effort. The factor that makes the difference is imprinted memory. The musculature under the control of the imprinted brain memory is working as hard in the session as in the original trauma to try to survive. In the reliving, the brain was signaling its history; a lack of oxygen and the necessity to breathe deeply.

In the UCLA study, we had accessed, almost directly, brainstem structures, something unheard of in the psychological literature, and witnessed their awesome power. It is perhaps the Holy Grail of psychological science. The import for psychotherapy is that only total reliving and frontal cortex connection makes profound change, for it is only in a reliving that vital signs change radically.

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