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Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

Awakening Potential One Brain at a Time: Westport Center Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

Dec 03, 2014 12:40AM ● By Nicole Miale

“If you want to find the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”
Nikola Tesla

Fairfield County naturopathic physician Adam Breiner first heard about Higher Brain Living (HBL) from a business associate in Minnesota. His colleague was undergoing sessions of the gentle-touch technique and protocol developed by chiropractic physician Michael Cotton and raved about their effects. “I was interested in what I heard and started researching it. What I found seemed to make sense based on what I’d previously studied about the brain and its functioning,” Breiner explains. “I could see the possibilities that this process could create for people. It was exciting.”

After undergoing a series of his own HBL sessions as a client, Breiner then went on to become a facilitator in the technique, believing this work would be of benefit to many of his patients. In the winter of 2013, he opened the first HBL center in the Northeast, in Westport. Now celebrating its first anniversary and including multiple trained HBL facilitators, Breiner says his initial thoughts about the promise of the technique have been borne out during this first full year of practice. “This is incredibly freeing and powerful for people,” he says. “It really does help people shift in a big way.”

Lynn Lantieri of New Haven is one of Breiner’s patients and she agrees with his assessment of the HBL work. More than a year and a half into her HBL sessions, Lantieri credits HBL with opening her world and getting her unstuck. “I’ve been on a self-growth path since age 20,” she says. “But one of my issues was kind of stuck and I was having trouble breaking through it. When Dr. Breiner suggested HBL, I thought it was worth a shot. I didn’t know how strong I was until now. It’s like there was another dimension of me that I’m just now tapping into and it feels really good.”

What is Higher Brain Living?

Science has shown that most of our daily life experiences are filtered through our lower brain, which is focused on survival and therefore dominated by anxiety, worry and stress. This physiological phenomenon in turn blocks access to the prefrontal cortex or higher brain, which seems to hold an apparently limitless capacity for joy and well-being. HBL activates the underused higher brain through a 22-step (session) program developed by Cotton. Gentle touch along the spine and at certain points on the upper chest are used to activate unused energetic pathways in the central nervous system, allowing energy in the form of spontaneous deep breaths to surge into the prefrontal cortex. The influx of energy brings more oxygen up through the body and increases metabolism in the higher brain. This reduces lower brain dominance, transcending the effects of everyday stress associated with home and work environments, financial worry, job loss, smoking, weight loss and other stressors.

Reducing the effects of stress is a critical element to living a healthy, happy life. The American Medical Association reports that stress is the cause of up to 85 percent of all illness and disease in the United States; approximately 90 percent of all primary care physician visits are due to stress-related issues. According to research conducted over many years by Amit Sood, M.D., professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, and chair of Mayo Mind Body Initiative, stress affects both the occurrence and severity of illness and disease. During a radio interview in September 2014, Sood discussed his research and its implications. He emphasized the role of personal choice in creating and fomenting stress, saying that with every interaction, we have two choices; We can react from a place of inattention, disconnection and fear (lower brain) or we can cultivate the ability to respond from a place of presence, attention and connection (higher brain). The latter is an expanded consciousness and empowerment state associated with new ways of knowing and being in the world, an awakening to maximized potential. This is what the HBL protocol facilitates in each individual via an internal feedback mechanism releasing stress while rejuvenating and reorganizing every cell.

“I’ve done a lot of metaphysical work but never felt sure if it was working or not. It was very frustrating,” Lantieri says. “With HBL, I experienced the energy in my body from the second session. I could feel a humming in my body that I had never felt before.” That feeling doesn’t just happen during the sessions, which are 45-minutes in length and conducted while the client is fully clothed and lying on a massage table. Instead, the sense of strength and energy continues post-session.

Another HBL participant, Natural Awakenings’ Bergen County, New Jersey, publisher Jerry Hocek, first learned about HBL from his wife Pat. Pat Hocek received sessions with Breiner in the Westport center and has gone on to become an HBL facilitator. Jerry Hocek was somewhat skeptical when she first began the work, but seeing his wife’s response to the work motivated him to try it himself and his own experience has been powerful. “I definitely feel stronger and more resolved to actualize the person I choose to be,” he says. “I also find myself finally moving towards certain goals, some of which were unrealized for months and even years.”

The energy surges activated by the technique and their effects on the brain are not subjective; these have been validated by objective scientific studies, including EEGs. In the same way meditation has been shown to increase activity in the higher brain, HBL creates measurable changes in brain wave patterns associated with increased states of peace, well-being and relaxation. The difference is that HBL rapidly replicates the energy transformation over the course of 22 sessions while years of meditation may be needed to show similar or comparable effect.

As the human search continues for elevated consciousness and equanimity in the face of stress, Higher Brain Living offers an intriguing glimpse into what may be possible for those who choose to remove their barriers to change and activate more of themselves. Founder Cotton says HBL is nothing less than setting humanity free through the power of the untapped brain.


Nicole Miale is managing editor of Natural Awakenings Fairfield County. Connect with her at [email protected].

For more information or to attend a Higher Brain Living presentation, including observation of a demo HBL session, visit or call 203-863-8333. The next scheduled presentation will be December 4 at 7pm. Location: 17 Bridge Square, Westport. See ad, page 13.