The more reflex

Tags: KC OB

The more reflex

It seems to be a common reflex in many situations where something isn't satisfactory to try to figure out what needs doing to make things work better. While it isn't surprising that people try to find ways to make unsatisfactory situations improve it is noticeable that people generally try to change things by adding something or doing more of something. It seems that changing something or removing something come after.

This 'more' reflex has many effects. Of course in some situations it might have as primary result the actually wanted effect, that is changing the situation in a way which was desired. The problem is that it also often has many side effects which might only be noticed later and will require change again, and the reflex being 'more' again a vicious circle is started where more is added to more in a never ending cycle to try to improve a degrading situation.

Overcoming this requires considering other orientations to modify the situation. The two most natural options are 'change' and 'less'. The first is about changing something without adding or removing and the second is about removing something.

Example : asthma

Let's give an example of all this in order to illustrate how far these concepts can be pushed. NOTE: We are not specialist at all of the following but we thought it was a quite relevant illustration, so although some specifics might be neglected here the overall idea remains.

Asthmatics suffer from their airways closing from time to time (up to a few times a day in bad cases). People can suffocate when this happens if they don't stop the process. This is caused by a number of circumstances, which include genetic factors, allergens, physiology, state of mind, ...

Most asthmatics have bronchodilatators (like ventoline) in order to stop the crisis when it happens. These are very efficient and stop the closing process almost instantaneously, but the side effect (in some cases) is that people get somewhat addicted to them and use them more and more (the vicious circle). In addition to this crisis medication, they also usually follow an ongoing treatment in order to prevent the crisis to appear at all (more again).

Now, this is pretty much the more reflex: people have a problem (airways closing at occasions) and to address this they add taking medication. This in turn has side effects and requires taking more medication.

If you search the web you'll find many descriptions of greater value and detail than the above.

Also, if you add 'Buteyko' to your searches, you'll find some other interesting information. You'll find that a Russian doctor named 'Buteyko' did some research into asthma and he came up with a very different idea: he states that asthma (in part at least) is caused by over breathing. He measured breathing volumes of both asthmatics and healthy people to find that asthmatics breath much more and furthermore preceding their crisis breath even more.

He's set up a program to re-educate these people to breath less and better. Many independent asthmatics testify on internet that this is efficient, many of which just about never used a bronchodilatators again!

This is an example where less (less breathing) is better than more (more medication). Again we aren't asthma specialist so you can find explanation and details on the web, this example is just to show how what we call the more reflex translates in various fields, as we could easily list many examples in information technology for example.