Mirror Neurons and Empathy – Judith Orloff


Elegant brain mapping has shown that we’re hardwired for empathy. The recent discovery of “mirror neurons” has done for behavioral health what DNA has done for genetics. Mirror neurons are what turn on our empathy. They establish a brain-to-brain bridge that puts you on another person’s wavelength. Studies have shown that mirror neurons cause brain cells to “light up” not just when your own finger is pricked with a pin but also when you see someone else’s finger being pricked (an explanation for how the empath functions as well as those with less intense sensitivity).

The pattern of neurons firing in your brain actually mimics those of the person you’re observing. In other words, we can feel each other’s pain. What this finding illuminates for me is that our brain’s instinct to share another’s reaction to pain is the biological mechanism of compassion.

– Dr. Judith Orloff, excerpt from Emotional Freedom

About Judith:
Transforming the face of psychiatry, Judith Orloff MD asserts that we are keepers of an innate intuitive intelligence so perceptive that it can tell us how to heal — and prevent — illness. Yet intuition and spirituality are the very aspects of our wisdom usually disenfranchised from traditional health care.

Dr. Orloff advocates “a democracy of healing,” wherein every aspect of our being is granted a vote in the search for total health. It is our birthright, both as health-care givers and health-care recipients, to reclaim our intuition to build energy and well-being. In response to her work, The Los Angeles Times calls Dr. Orloff “a prominent energy-based healer.”

Dr. Orloff is accomplishing for psychiatry what physicians like Dean Ornish and Mehmet Oz have done for mainstream medicine — she is proving that the links between physical, emotional, and spiritual health can’t be ignored. Dr. Orloff has spoken at medical schools, hospitals, the American Psychiatric Association, Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit, and alternative and traditional health forums — venues where she presents practical intuitive tools to doctors, patients, and everyday people. Her work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine, Forbes and USA Today.

As a board-certified psychiatrist and assistant professor of psychiatry at UCLA, Dr. Orloff draws upon her own intuitive abilities to help her patients and workshop participants. Dr. Orloff’s latest Publishers Weekly and national bestseller “The Power of Surrender: Let Go and Energize Your Relationships, Success, and Well-Being” (Harmony; Reprint edition September 22, 2015) describes the power of letting go in everyday life, health, and wellness–an enlivening and sane alternative to pushing, forcing, and over controlling people and situations.