Limbic System Retraining
If you've spent any time in the MCS, CFS, EHS circles, you have probably seen a lot of hoopla about the new treatment method called limbic system retraining or brain rewiring that is proving to be helpful for many people. More specifically, the Dynamic Neural Retraining SystemTM (DNR) by Annie Hopper and the Gupta Amygdala RetrainingTM program by Ashok Gupta.
These programs use a variety of techniques like neuro-linguistic programming, visualizations, meditation, positive affirmations, self-hypnosis, mindfulness, yoga and others to achieve that goal.
I have spent a great deal of time exploring these methods and here are my thoughts on the matter. My assessment comes to you as both a health care professional and an individual who is working on several limbic system impairment conditions like chemical sensitivities, Adrenal Fatigue (also known as chronic fatigue or CFS) and migraines for more than 20 years.
Additionally, I used the DNR System myself for an entire year and I'm still using the Gupta program since July 2012. We will first explore the basic concepts used in the programs and then I will provide an in-depth review of the Dynamic Neural Retraining SystemTM and the Amygdala RetrainingTM program.
I did not hop on the limbic system retraining bandwagon quickly or easily. I share this with you because as I have engaged in conversations with other MCS people and visited numerous groups and forums across the Internet when researching this topic, I see a lot of conversations taking place among individuals who are skeptical and also struggling with this new concept. I want to illustrate what I have learned and help you move beyond this and develop a new mindset.
The problem as I see it, is that most people, as did I, do not understand what limbic system retraining, retraining the amygdala rewiring the brain or neural retraining means. I would like to help try and clear that up for you in hopes that you won't let your skepticism get in the way of exploring these new and potentially life-changing approaches.
Indeed, a little skepticism is always healthy, but I encourage you to not let yourself get in the way of exploring new ideas or allowing yourself to think in different ways that may help you optimize your health.
Initially, when I began reading about the DNR and Gupta programs I felt angry, offended and uncomfortable. The language I saw other people using sounded like they were blaming me for my conditions. I felt like they were trying to brainwash themselves into believing toxins aren't harmful, which is ludicrous. I was never going to have a day when I allow toxins in my home.
Although I learned awhile back that the autonomic nervous system was the primary problem in adrenal fatigue, MCS, CFS etc from Dr. Charles, Gant, and I completely agreed with Annie and Ashok that the limbic system was indeed a root issue, it was their techniques that I had a problem with.
It all sounded very similar to things I've tried in the past that didn't work like mind over matter, positive thinking and visualizations. I read The Power of Positive Thinking, You Can Heal Your Life, Creative Visualizations and all Bernie Siegel's stuff decades ago, and although they certainly have their benefits and I incorporated many of those principles into my daily living, they did not make me well.
The language sounded a little bit like the Law of Attraction or The Secret, which I find highly offensive and totally unrealistic. It felt like they were telling me not ask questions; just do as your told. Well, we all know what happens when people drink the kool-aid without asking why.
I've thrown a lot of money away over the years on programs that the individual stated was sure would cure me, only to see no results or even got worse. It's terrifying to put your trust into something again, because the let down after believing that you can get well and it doesn't happen is unbearable. I have truly believed many times I was going to get well with a particular remedy, treatment, method etc., only to be deeply disappointed.
Additionally, it felt like I would have to deny feelings, suppress feelings, lie to myself, ignore the truth and bury my head in the sand. I lived my entire childhood being stifled, blamed and ridiculed and had to suppress my feelings on a daily basis and it took years of counseling to break out of that dysfunction, so I'm very sensitive to that kind of talk.
I heard words like you just "have to believe." I have known many people over the years who felt they had "the answer" to healing my health conditions and told me to believe in them, and I did so, only to be deeply disappointed, or sometimes even worse, my condition deteriorated more as a result of their approach. So, like many of you, I am very gun shy to the whole "Just Believe" approach. In order for me to believe in something I must experience it first hand.
In my brain, I couldn't reconcile what I knew without a doubt to be true about toxins with the new information that was being presented. It took me several months to process the new information and sort it out in my brain in a way that made sense and didn't violate the values or passions that I hold sacred.
I just kept reading and researching the topic of limbic system retraining; reading and researching. Over and over again.
I'm a writer, so I write about what I'm feeling. I wrote out all my questions, skepticism, anger, doubts, etc. This page would have looked and sounded very different if I had published it when I first started researching this topic.
It took several months of my own brain rewiring before I even arrived at a point where I felt I could give limbic system retraining a try. But even when I purchased the DVDS, I was still very skeptical and uncomfortable. In my head, I rationalized the purchase by telling the part of me that didn't want to do the program, that I was just going to do it so I could write a review about it for other people.
Additionally, I had seen so many amazing testimonials that I could no longer deny that there must be something to this approach and that I would have to give it a try whether I wanted to or not. I had to look at it as an experiment to see if it was true.
When the DNR dvds arrived, I did not tolerate the smell of them or the booklet, so I was not able to use them right away. I had to air them out for a couple weeks. While I waited for the DVDs to become tolerable I would sit outside and read the manual.
The first time I read the manual I cried.
I felt angry. I felt despair. I felt depressed, and depression is not one of my typical symptoms.
I said to myself and my son, "If this is what I have to do recover, then I'm screwed."
Again, I went back to the Internet and researched more and read more about limbic system retraining. I continued to write my feelings out.
Every time I looked at the manual I felt hopeless and despair. I would visit the forums where people were using these programs successfully and see how excited they all were about the program and I didn't understand how that could be.
Then finally on Christmas Day 2011 I started watching the DVD's and my entire point of view changed within days. I finished the DVDS on New Year's Day. There was an immediate shift in my understanding of my conditions. It was truly one of those profound "light bulb" moments.
Annie made it clear that she wasn't saying that toxins are not harmful. She still encouraged us to practice green living and healthy eating and this soothed many of my fears. Our goal is to be able to be more functional human beings who can interact with the world in a productive and satisfying way. She isn't saying that we shouldn't protect ourselves in our home. However, we should be able to be free to interact with the world as a non-mcs person.
Additionally, although both of these programs use neuro-linguistic programming, positive thinking and visualizations, it is done in a way that you have never seen presented before. It is very specific for multiple chemical sensitivity and chronic fatigue, which makes all the difference. So, if you're thinking, like I did, that you have already tried all this before and it didn't work, that is not the case. I encourage you to consider them again. I discovered why these approaches didn't work independently in the past. They must be personalized for MCS, CFS, adrenal fatigue, etc., and other things like repetition and consistency are crucial.
As I began to work the program on a daily basis, I came to realize that these new truths really do not contradict or are not in opposition to the truths I already knew to be true. They are just an expansion or another dimension of truth.
Why Limbic System Retraining Works for MCS, CFS, EHS and Adrenal Fatigue
Before we get into the specifics of the programs, you first need a basic understanding of toxins and stress and why both of these rewiring programs have merit. Now, Annie and Ashok both may have a different opinion on why it works, but here's how I see it.
In order to understand this process completely you should read my how toxins makes us sick page, and then come back to this page, but here is a brief overview of the ways toxins make us sick that pertains to the discussion we're having about limbic system retraining.
For nearly two years, I had the privilege of studying with Dr. Charles Gant, CEO of the Academy of Functional Medicine and Genomics and practicing physician at the National Integrated Health Associates in Washington D.C. and here are some things I have learned about the autonomic nervous system.
The autonomic nervous system regulates those aspects of the body that occur automatically such as circulation, breathing, heart rate, digestion and blood pressure. It is also known as the involuntary nervous system and it is comprised of two parts known as the parasympathetic nervous system and the sympathetic nervous system.
In our brain we have toxin receptors, called xenosensors. Toxins of all kinds; pesticides, cologne, laundry soap, bacteria, lyme, yeast, heavy metals, etc. are able to cross the blood brain barrier, which then triggers these receptors. These receptors have one of two roles. One, they trigger the locus ceruleus in the brain stem that a threat exists (the toxin) and the locus ceruleus releases norepinephrine to ignite the fight/flight system otherwise known as the sympathetic nervous system. Norepinephrine is an excitatory neurotransmitter and although crucial for survival, it is toxic to the brain in excess.
Once norepinephrine is released, then it stimulates the amygdala into action, which triggers emotions like fear, anxiety or anger, and the hypothalamus which triggers the pituitary to release ACTH to stimulate the adrenal glands to release cortisol and then preganglion sympathetic neurons stimulate the adrenal medulla to release epinephrine.
It was once thought that the hypothalamus was what set off the stress response system, then later it was believed that it was the amygdala. What we know now is that it is neither one of them. It is the locus ceruleus that sets off the stress response system. The amygdala fires off in response to messages from the locus ceruleus via norepinephrine.
This is called the stress response system and it is activated anytime we are under stress of any kind. Environmental toxins are one kind of stress that we are all exposed to on a daily basis, this is called toxic stress. The more toxins you are exposed to, the more often your sympathetic nervous system is called into action.
All toxins trigger this fight or flight system/sympathetic nervous system. This includes environmental toxins like pesticides, air pollution, heavy metals, food additives, etc., as well as toxins released from viruses like lyme and bacteria like h pylori or yeast like candida, as well as metabolic toxins like ammonia if they aren't eliminated properly.
The fight or flight system or sympathetic nervous system is designed to protect our survival. It is activated anytime there is a threat to our existence. It's our most basic survival mechanism and runs on an unconscious level. Earlier in our evolution as a species it would protect us from predators like a tiger. If confronted by a tiger, then the stress response system would jump in to provide us with the resources to either fight the tiger or run.
Once we escaped the tiger, then the fight or flight system would return to its normal pre-stress state, known as the parasympathetic state. Now, in our modern day life we don't typically face any "real" tigers while walking down the street, however we are surrounded by many different types of "tigers" like pesticides, heavy metals, air pollution, poor diet, cell towers, financial difficulties, working two jobs, traffic jams, raising a family etc. These are all types of stress that trigger our stress response system.
The sympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system and it works in tandem with the parasympathetic nervous system. This process takes place in the area of the brain called the limbic system, sometimes referred to as the old brain or the paleomammalian brain. Now, what it is supposed to happen when all is functioning as it should, once the threat to our survival is gone, (the toxin) the parasympathetic nervous system is supposed to take over and turn off the sympathetic nervous system.
So basically, the sympathetic nervous system is the accelerator of the nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system is the brakes.
When the sympathetic nervous system is dominant, ie we are in fight or flight mode, digestion and circulation are impaired, pupils dilate, blood pressure and heart rate rise, cognitive abilities and memory may be impaired, we are hyper alert and given a boost of energy, blood sugar rises, hormones are disrupted, sleep and the detoxification system are impaired, there's a decline in immune function, neurotransmitters are used up, all of our senses, (particularly our sense of smell, taste and sound) are heightened and there are high levels of fear and anxiety.
(You should take note: don't the symptoms of the sympathetic nervous system arousal look strikingly similar to the symptoms experienced by those with MCS, EHS and CFS - Adrenal Fatigue?)
All of this occurs so that we are capable of coping with the threat or stressor at hand. The sole purpose of the fight or flight system is to prepare our body for a violent confrontation or to run.
Once the threat (stressor or toxin) is over, then the parasympathetic nervous system restores the body to normal. Heart rate, digestion, circulation, blood pressure, senses etc. are restored to normal. We are in a state of rest and relaxation. The body actually prefers to be in the parasympathetic state. It is our normal state.
The sympathetic nervous system or fight/flight is intended only for brief emergencies. If we remain in that state for too long then our health begins to deteriorate. Conditions like multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome - adrenal fatigue, EHS, FMS, depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, insomnia, heart disease, high blood pressure etc. begin to develop. This is known as dysautonomia or autonomic nervous system dysfunction.
Additionally, when we are consistently in the sympathetic state, this puts excessive stress on the adrenal glands. At first this causes high levels of cortisol and if this continues for a long period of time, then eventually cortisol levels become depleted and can no longer meet the demands of stress. Cortisol is critical in supporting the body during times of stress. If you don't have sufficient levels of cortisol, then you aren't going to be coping well with stress. This is when adrenal fatigue develops.
The sympathetic state is degenerative when we remain in it for a prolonged period of time because it breaks us down. The parasympathetic state is regenerative. In order to regain health or heal from "any" health condition, the body must return to the parasympathetic state. Dr. Gant told me that I had MCS because something was keeping my body in a state of sympathetic stress and in order to recover I needed to identify the factors that were in play and eliminate them.
This is where both the Dynamic Neural Retraining SystemTM and the Amygdala RetrainingTM programs enter the picture. Both of these programs target the autonomic nervous system. They each employ a variety of techniques that essentially attempt to turn off the sympathetic nervous system and restore the body to the parasympathetic state. It's a little more complex, than that, but that is the basic premise of both of these approaches in a nutshell.
Now, what Annie and Ashok are saying happens in the case of MCS, CFS, EHS and other similar conditions, is that our autonomic nervous system is in overdrive at all times. Something has gone awry. The limbic system has been damaged or impaired by an "original" toxin or stressor, and now the autonomic nervous system perceives all levels of all chemicals and even items that have no toxicity and all levels of stress as "a threat to survival."
In the case of chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome (adrenal fatigue), electromagnetic hypersensitivity and other similar conditions, something even more complex is taking place in the autonomic nervous system. The system is remaining in a hypersensitive state even when the original toxin or stressor is removed and it becomes a habitual response that spreads to other toxins and stressors. Smaller and smaller amounts of toxins or stress set the sympathetic nervous system into action.
Even when we remove ourselves from the toxin or stressor, our autonomic nervous system continues to believe that smaller and smaller levels of toxins and stress are "a threat to our survival." When the brain thinks there is a "threat to survival" then it remains in the sympathetic fight or flight state. When we are continually in the fight or flight state, this creates all the symptoms that are associated with MCS, EHS, CFS (adrenal fatigue) etc.
The limbic system can become impaired by a one-time event to a very big stressor or chemical like a car accident, the loss of a relationship, death of a loved one, being a victim of violence, spending the day in a mold infested building or a room with a plug-in air freshener, being in the presence of a pesticide or herbicide application or the accumulation of many low-level stressors or toxins that take place over time. Thus, explaining why some people seem to develop these conditions overnight, while for others it comes on gradually.
In the Gupta program, he is saying the primary cause of this event is impairment in the amygdala, while Annie is saying it is impairment in the entire limbic system. In either case, the autonomic nervous system goes from protecting us to overprotecting us because of maladaptive neural pathways that develop in response to a particular toxin or stressor. The ultimate goal of both programs is to normalize the functions of the autonomic nervous system, so it no longer overprotects us, by unraveling these neural pathways and developing new ones.
Essentially, they are saying that we can turn off the "overdrive" with limbic system retraining by forming new pathways in the brain and when this is accomplished then symptoms of MCS, CFS etc., dissipate. Now, considering the fact that hundreds, and maybe thousands of people with chemical sensitivities, chronic fatigue, etc., are making full recoveries or improving significantly using these programs, this indeed does seem to be true. As someone who has experienced it to some degree in my own life, I am a firm believer. I have come to believe that MCS, CFS- Adrenal Fatigue, EHS etc., are primarily autonomic nervous system disorders.
Now, I know that this is a concept that is very difficult for many to embrace. As I mentioned previously, it was for me too, at first. It feels offensive for someone to say that our condition is taking place in the brain. But the important point you want to understand is that although MCS, CFS, EHS, etc., originate in the brain, this does not mean they are psychological conditions. They are not. They are physiological. Essentially, we are talking about brain injury caused by chemicals or stressors.
However, we also know that many other people have healed from these conditions with other means of healing. So the old saying "there's more than one way to skin a cat" applies here. There are many, many possible ways that one may be able to move the brain out of the sympathetic fight or flight state and into the healing and regenerative parasympathetic state, besides rewiring the brain. Some people have achieved it with nutritional supplements, hormone balancing, others with energy medicine, and yet others with saunas, or many others.
Limbic system retraining is just one more tool we can put in our toolbox for the road to recovery. There is no reason for people to feel threatened by this approach. It really is not any different than anything else we have done. It just comes at the problem from a different angle. No matter which approach for healing that you use, the end goal is the same - restore normalcy to the autonomic nervous system.
You should also be aware that other big thinkers in the field of MCS, like Dr. Claudia Miller and Dr. Iris Bell believe that the limbic system may be involved in MCS, CFS, etc. So this concept is not unheard of.
I see some people talking in some forums that say they are afraid to use one of the brain retraining programs because they fear that their brain will no longer protect them or work properly. This is not the case. Retraining or rewiring the brain will make your brain work the way it is supposed to work. Your brain is currently overprotecting you. When you retrain the brain, it will still protect you, but it won't react to things that are not truly life threatening.
You do not have to abandon other approaches you have been following. As a matter of fact, it is my strong opinion that your limbic system retraining should be one component of a comprehensive healing plan. You should still be eating a healthy and organic diet and living an environmentally friendly or green lifestyle.
You should still address any other factors you have going on like nutritional deficiencies, genetic polymorphisms, lyme, bacteria, parasites, or yeast overgrowth etc. that are known to contribute to chemical sensitivities, adrenal fatigue, CFS, etc. You should not be using these brain retraining programs in place of detoxification, proper diet, nutritional supplements etc. Limbic system retraining should be one component of a comprehensive plan, not your sole plan; and let me explain why this is my position.
Continuing on with our discussion about the autonomic nervous system, here are a few other crucial facts to be aware of.
To successfully rewire the brain or heal an impaired limbic system, you must first have something to work with - neurons and neurotransmitters that work adequately.
When you are under stress of any kind, be it toxic stress or emotional stress, neurotransmitters in the frontal lobes of the brain like dopamine, serotonin, GABA, endorphins/enkephalins, endocannabinoids histamine are released to modulate the stress response system. Each of these neurotransmitters oppose norepinephrine and therefore turn off the fight or flight system. If there are not adequate neurotransmitters in the brain, then the fight or flight system will not be modulated properly. The sympathetic nervous system will remain dominant.
Additionally, toxins of all kinds, (pesticides, heavy metals, lyme, bacteria, yeast, sugar, junk food, food additives, air pollution, etc), inhibit the frontal lobes of the brain and prevent adequate neurotransmitter production and function. Since these toxins can cross the blood brain barrier they can land on neurotransmitter and hormone receptors and prevent them from functioning properly. In some cases, they block function, and in other cases, they mimic the natural hormone or neurotransmitter and some do both.
Furthermore, neurotransmitters cannot be produced or function adequately if one does not eat a proper diet. Neurotransmitters cannot be formed if there is not sufficient meat protein in the diet to provide the essential amino acids and fatty acids needed for formation. Neurotransmitters also cannot be formed or function adequately if the body is lacking in crucial minerals like iron and magnesium and vitamins like B6 and pantethine.
Certain foods like sugar, caffeine, wheat and other grains, food additives and preservatives, artificial sweeteners and flavorings all trigger the sympathetic nervous system and deplete neurotransmitters.
Sugar, caffeine, nicotine, certain types of carbohydrates and any type of psychotropic drug like marijuana, alcohol, benzodiazepines, heroin, cocaine, etc., mimic neurotransmitters in the brain. This tricks the brain into thinking it has too many and then it reduces receptors, thus resulting in depletion.
Neuroplasticity, (the ability of the brain to change itself) which is the principle that all brain rewiring is based upon, can be impaired by toxins and poor diet. Autism and Alzheimer's are two conditions that illustrate very clearly how neuroplasticity can be impaired. There are many studies around on Autism and Alzheimer's that illustrate that neuroplasticity is lost due to environmental toxins, gut toxins and diet.
Not only that, there are many different types of stress besides toxic stress. Dr. Charles Gant tells us that there are at least 12 different kinds of stress which include the following:
- Toxic stress - this type of stress includes the things we mentioned previously, like food additives and preservatives, electrosmog, pesticides, industrial pollution, heavy metals, air fresheners, solvents and agriculture.
- Oxidative stress - corresponds with conditions like sleep apnea, an impaired detoxification system, circulation disorders, difficulty breathing or conditions of the lungs.
- Cognitive stress - this category is related to the thinking process and may include things setting unrealistic goals, that you are not able to achieve, having expectations that are too high, studying for exams, people pleasing, a career with a high level of cognitive demand .
- Energetic stress - pertains to geopathic stress and electrosmog of all kinds from computers, cell towers, Smart Meters, cell phones, etc.
- Metabolic stress - refers to things low blood sugar, imbalanced pH, syndrome X not enough exercise or too much exercise,
- Structural stress - misalignment of the jaw or spine, postural conditions, cranio-sacral misalignment, TMJ, uneven legs, physical trauma.
- Emotional stress - of course this is the kind of stress that we are most familiar with and has a very long list of possibilities like financial difficulties, loss of employment, childhood abuse, ending of a relationship, dysfunctional or unfulfilling relationships, domestic violence, death of a loved one or a friend etc.
- Immune stress - this category of stress involves issues like food sensitivities or allergies, inflammation and autoimmune disorders.
- Purposelessness stress - this corresponds to spiritual matters like finding meaning and purpose in your life, the depth and quality of your life, your connection and relationship with self, the Universe and others. I call this spiritual stress.
- Endocrine and neurotransmitter stress - problems like low cortisol, too much estrogen, not enough progesterone, adrenal fatigue, type 2 diabetes, hyper or hypo thyroid, neurotransmitter imbalances, menopause or andropause, excessive norepinephrine, hyperinsulinism.
- Infectious stress - includes things like lyme, parasites, h pylori, yeast or bacterial overgrowth.
- Sensory stress - excessive or ongoing external stimuli, chronic pain, loud noise, lights that are too bright too much conversation or interaction with others, no solitude time.
Each one of these types of stress is perceived by the body in the same way, as a threat to survival. This sets off the stress response system. When we are under stress, we need an abundance of neurotransmitters to manage the stress, neurotransmitters are drained out dealing with all the stress.
The total sum of all stressors that you are dealing with is referred to by Dr. Gant as the Total Stress Load. The more stressors you have on your plate, the more often you are going to be dealing with fight or flight stress and the more your neurotransmitters are going to be drained.
So if you have lyme, candida, parasites, nutritional deficiencies, eat a poor diet, high levels of oxidative stress, take psychotropics, etc. this is stress. Stress depletes your neurotransmitters. You cannot form new neuronal pathways if you do not have adequate neurotransmitters to work with.
Each of the limbic system retraining programs, both Dynamic Neural Retraining SystemTM and Amygdala RetrainingTM use neurotransmitters to form new pathways in your brain and restore balance to your autonomic nervous system. It is neurotransmitters that are needed to make these programs work. Each of these programs stress the importance of minimizing stress in your life and state that a lot of stress will impact the rate of your recovery.
The effectiveness of the limbic system retraining program can be impacted by all these other stressors we've listed above. Limbic system rewiring needs neurotransmitters in order to work. The way that you form new pathways is with your neurotransmitters.
If your neurotransmitters are depleted or disrupted because your autonomic nervous system is consistently challenged with environmental toxins, or a brain that is nutrient depleted or overwhelmed with candida overgrowth, lyme, parasites, heavy metal toxicity, genetic polymorphisms and all the other things that deplete and disrupt neurotransmitter function, then you won't have enough neurotransmitters to work with to form new pathways. In order to rewire the brain and turn off the overactive sympathetic nervous system, you must first be able to produce neurotransmitters and have them function adequately.
As I see it, this explains why some people respond immediately to the limbic system retraining programs and seem to have miraculous recoveries overnight and for others it takes a long time. For those who have a very small Total Stress Load that is impacting their neurotransmitter production and function and autonomic nervous system, rewiring the brain can be a quick and easy process. For those who have a large Total Stress Load interfering with their neurotransmitters and autonomic nervous system it will take longer.
Most people who are using the DNR or Amygdala RetrainingTM have had MCS, EHS, CFS etc. for quite some time and have already been working on all their contributing factors in the total stress load by eating a healthy diet, taking nutritional supplements, living green, detoxing, etc. for many years. So they are primed and ready for rewiring. The conditions are ripe for rewiring, because they have minimized the amount of triggers that will set the fight/flight system into action.
Ashok says that about 15% of people using his program do not respond at all to his Amygdala RetrainingTM and Annie says that about 10% do not respond to her neural retraining. It is my opinion that the likely reason that people do not respond is that their Total Stress Load is too high. However, I urge you to be aware that I don't see how either one of them could know how many people who buy the DVDs are responding positively. So their success statistics may be skewed.
So this is why I feel that limbic system retraining must be one component of a comprehensive program. These other issues cannot be overlooked. Limbic system retraining should look like something like this.
First and foremost in the following order:
- Organic and primal native diet (abundant in animal protein and low starch vegetables, low in carbohydrates)
- Environmental clean-up
- Replenish Nutritional deficiencies
- Address all stressors in the 12 types of stress
- Rewiring the brain
In my view, rewiring the brain should come last in the process or it could be done simultaneously as you address each of the other steps.
On the other hand, when the frontal lobes of the brain are exercised more frequently through mindfulness, visualizations, meditation, deep breathing, neuro-linguisitic programming, yoga, etc., then all neurotransmitters, systems and organs in the body will function more optimally and stress will be reduced. So healing can go both ways. Rewiring the brain can help you overcome the conditions in the 12 types of stress. As I see it, eating healthy, living green, replenishing nutrients, addressing the 12 types of stress and limbic system retraining all support one another and each is an important cog in the process.
I'm not saying that you can't rewire the brain if you have some of these thing going on in the list of 12 stressors. I'm saying the more things you have going on, the more difficult it is going to be to rewire the brain. You're fighting an uphill battle. The higher your total stress load, the harder it will be to rewire. The lower your total stress load, the easier it will be. You want to support your brain rewiring by eating healthy, green living and correcting nutritional deficiencies. Give your brain what it needs to rewire and make the process as easy as possible.
Both limbic system retraining programs work by using your neurotransmitters to form new pathways. You cannot have adequate neurotransmitters to work with for rewiring if you eat a poor diet, don't engage in environmental clean-up and address all the other factors in your Total Stress Load.
In my own life, I recovered from anxiety attacks, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, nicotine addiction, caffeine addiction, sugar and carb addiction by making changes in my diet, living a green lifestyle and correcting nutritional deficiencies. I have 25 years of craving-free sobriety, which is quite simply a miracle, considering I was a chronic addict who lived in the bar.
I also overcame Fibromyalgia pain and improved my child's ADHD by 90 percent with these same principles. So, I can say without a doubt that I know these things are important for achieving and maintaining optimal health and should not be ignored.
Limbic system retraining does not oppose or cancel out other methods that promote health and vice versa. They are each interconnected and compliment and support one another when used in conjunction. All are needed to reach the goal.
So, although I believe both Annie and Ashok have a program that will heal an impaired limbic system, I think it's possible that the primary problem may lie in the frontal lobes of the brain, rather than the limbic system itself, since one of the primary roles of the frontal lobes is to inhibit our old brain structures. It may be that the reason these programs work is because they restore normalcy to the frontal lobes, which consequently restores normalcy to the limbic system. The more the frontal lobes are activated, then the more the amygdala and other structures in the fight or flight system diminish in their capacity.
Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should
I've been seeing a disturbing trend among some people who have recovered from chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc. Some of them have returned to dousing themselves or their homes with environmental toxins, drinking alcohol, eating sugar and other junk food and encouraging other MCS people to do the same.
I think this is a very dangerous attitude and one that you should not adopt.
First of all, let's not forget how we arrived in the position of having MCS, CFS, adrenal fatigue, etc. and a need for limbic system retraining. It was through too much or an intense exposure to environmental toxins, a poor diet, and excessive stress. Environmental toxins and poor diet thrust us into a state of fight flight, deplete neurotransmitters, disrupt brain function and impair the limbic system. Therefore, if we want to maintain our health in the future, even if we recover completely, we would not want to return to the lifestyle that made us sick in the first place. To return to that way of living would be absurd.
Frequent exposure to environmental toxins can lead to many other chronic health conditions that are much more life threatening or devastating than hypersensitivity to chemicals and electromagnetic fields or chronic fatigue, like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, heart disease, dementia and Cancer. It would be foolish to overcome MCS only to develop a more serious condition several years down the road that wipes out your brain or your nervous system completely, or kills you.
A diet that includes sugar, white flour and other processed ingredients, and even too many complex carbohydrates not only contributes to sensitivity to chemicals and fatigue, but it also leads to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, depression, anxiety, addiction and much more. There are many reasons one should continue to eat a healthy diet. I wouldn't eat a bagel and pie from the regular bakery even if I could.
I don't think that eating foods from the bakery, drinking alcohol and using Lysol to clean our house should be goals that we are striving for. Yes, we should strive to live a normal life, to be able to come and go freely in the world and not be reactive to low levels of chemicals. However, to maintain long-term good health, living environmentally friendly and eating an organic and healthy diet are essential.
Concerns About Brain Retraining or Limbic System Retraining
One of the factors that I was uncomfortable with when first hearing about limbic system retraining, and I continue to be concerned about, is the message that we may give society about chemicals and diet.
We have been fighting for years to gain credibility for health conditions that are triggered or perpetuated by poor diet and environmental toxins and promote awareness that environmental toxins are harmful to our heath. It is very dangerous to dismiss this fact and talk as if they are not.
If we convey a message that says these conditions can be easily overcome with brain retraining, nobody will be motivated to eat a healthy diet and take care of themselves.
If we are not careful what we say, we risk sabotaging all the progress we have made in legitimizing MCS and other conditions caused by environmental toxins and we also put future generations at risk of being exposed to more and more toxins.
The message that environmental toxins impair the brain and result in many debilitating health conditions must still be conveyed loud and clear. It must be stressed that damage to the limbic system happened because of toxins or stressors.
It must also be conveyed, that although brain retraining is working for many, there is nothing easy about it. Rewiring the brain is extremely difficult work, takes an extensive amount of time, does not always produce results and prevention should be the first course of action.
We have treatments for Cancer, but we don't encourage anyone to ignore the Cancer risks. As a matter of fact, we promote a great deal of awareness to avoid those risks, because treatment is not easy or guaranteed. The same should apply here. We should still tell people to avoid the risks that can lead to limbic system impairment.
Anything that can be cured by changing your thoughts, behaviors and language alone will be viewed by the public as a condition that is created because we think we are sick. People like Barbara Walters and John Stossle will have a field day with this, like they have in the past in regard to our conditions.
Monsanto and all the other chemical manufacturers can say, "ah look at this, it is all in their head. If they just think the right thoughts and say the right words, they won't be sick. If they are sick it is their fault. If they just retrain their brain they will be okay. If they are sick it is because they need to retrain their brain. We'll just go ahead and keep poisoning the planet and destroying people's health."
Utility companies can continue to feel justified in assaulting people with Smart Meters. Neighbors will feel justified in not accommodating requests to notify when they spray. etc. etc. "All you need to do is believe you aren't sick, act like you aren't sick, change your language, visualize and you won't be sick," is what they can say.
Now all the doubting employers, spouses, family, friends, significant others have ammunition to use against us and justification to not accommodate us, because all we need to do is change the way we think, talk and behave and we'll be better.
We know for a fact that toxins are harmful to the endocrine system, brain, nervous system, mitochondria, immune system, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, etc. There is a sea of research to support this. To ignore this is irresponsible and dangerous on many levels.
Additionally, we must also be careful to not promote feelings of blame, guilt, shame and inadequacy on individuals who are not able to heal. If we convey the message that all conditions can be overcome easily by rewiring the brain, then this is a ripe environment for those kind of feelings in those who can't achieve the goal.
So we must acknowledge the fact and make it known that the reason we need to use limbic system retraining is because it was damaged by the toxins or stressor to begin with and recovery is a very long and difficult road. We should take all the steps necessary to prevent limbic system conditions from developing in the first place and continue to do so, even if we recover, to protect ourselves in the future.
Limits of Limbic System Retraining
Rewiring the brain or limbic system retraining requires that the individual has a certain level of healthy brain function already in place in order to grasp the concepts and put the practice to use. It requires a great deal of motivation, commitment, investment and perseverance. Many people I work with have limbic systems that are damaged so badly from poor diet or environmental toxins that they are beyond this. Even many average bears are not willing to put in the amount of work that is required for this kind of approach.
It also requires a great deal of mental and/or cognitive energy to rewire the brain. Some days I get exhausted from rewiring. This can be problematic for those who have a great deal of cognitive/mental fatigue.(Please note that the Gupta program is somewhat less exhausting than the DNR program.)
For those who move forward at a snail's pace, like myself, the return on investment (ROI) can be very low and this can be discouraging sometimes. You must keep the bigger picture in mind and constantly remind yourself of your successes.Many people cannot stay committed or motivated when there is a low ROI from their treatment method.
The rewiring process requires that one thinks positively at all times. If one has severely depleted neurotransmitters, which are highly involved in regulating our thought processes, then conjuring up some positive thinking can be a difficult task to achieve. Thus, emphasizing the importance of a healthy diet, green living, reducing the total stress load and nutritional supplementation in order to increase neurotransmitter levels. On the other hand, the longer you engage in the rewiring process, the more it will assist in neurotransmitter balance. It's just a matter of getting the ball rolling.
Rewiring the brain is a full time job, especially for the Universal reactor. It requires that you have the freedom and the time to use the techniques all day long. This can be quite a challenge for the person who has a family and/or a job. I am self-employed and work from home, so I have the luxury of being able to rearrange my day as I see fit and I still have a hard time fitting it all in, but many people will not even have this luxury.
There are a variety of aspects that can contribute to limbic system impairment that are not addressed in either of the limbic system retraining programs such as the impact of pesticides on acetylcholine, the autonomic nervous system and serotonin, genetic polymorphisms, nutritional deficiencies and methylation.
Pesticides inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. This enzyme controls the metabolism of our neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This results in too much acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is also the neurotransmitter that the autonomic nervous system uses for all its functions. Too much acetylcholine results in depressed emotion, cognition and respiration, and overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system; which thrusts the body into fight-or-flight mode.
Pesticides also inhibit the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin, resulting in low levels of serotonin. Serotonin is needed to rewire.
There are several genetic polymorphisms that affect one's ability to convert their amino acids into dopamine and serotonin, thus result in inadequate levels of these neurotransmitters. This would impair one's ability to build new neural pathways.
There are also genetic polymorphisms that impair one's ability to methylate, which makes it impossible for you metabolize norepinephrine and results in an excess amount of norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is the neurotransmitter that sets off the stress response system. If it is in excess on a frequent basis, then it keeps one in a chronic state of fight or flight.
Nutritional deficiencies, which are very common in the general population, in B vitamins, iron, magnesium, fatty acids and amino acids will impair your ability to make neurotransmitters needed for rewiring the brain. Certain deficiencies like folic acid, B12, B6, and magnesium can also impair methylation.
Additionally, people who have low levels of neurotransmitters due to nutritional deficiencies or a high total stress load can have a difficult time conjuring up any positive thoughts to focus on. However, if you are one of those people, then I still encourage you to give it a try. In time, as you rewire, it will get easier.
If you have chronic fatigue, then most likely you have adrenal fatigue. If you are in an advanced stage of adrenal fatigue, then you are not producing enough cortisol to meet the demands of stress in your life. Pushing yourself too quickly will be counterproductive. It is very important that you move slowly with your rewiring so that you don't deplete cortisol any further.
Limbic system retraining works on chronic fatigue or adrenal fatigue because it increases your neurotransmitters that counteract stress, thus turning off your stress response system. This means your cortisol levels will not be drained as quickly and thus the adrenal glands replenish the cortisol reserves. But if you move too quickly by pushing yourself to engage in too much activity too quickly, then cortisol reserves will not be able replenish. It is very important to pace yourself.
I struggle a lot in finding the right balance in my brain retraining and often push myself too hard and fall on my face. Yet, on the other hand, if I don't push some then I don't move forward. Balance is a very fine line and it is equally important to rest.
Childhood abuse wounds the limbic system quite seriously and completely alters brain chemistry. It is often the original trauma that sets one up for MCS, CFS (adrenal fatigue), etc. I have written about this extensively, you should take a look at it, if it applies to you, as it can impact your ability to retrain the brain. On the other hand, limbic system retraining could potentially help unravel some of the damage done by childhood abuse.
However, severe stress or trauma that occurs early in life like childhood abuse, neglect or loss of the primary caregiver, as well as acute life-threatening events in adulthood like a car accident, living in a war zone, rape or other violent acts, or a natural disaster can cause permanent and irreversible damage to the stress response system, which leaves the individual with stress circuits that remain in a hypersensitive state and perpetuate sympathetic nervous system dominance throughout the course of their life. This, of course, leaves the individual highly prone to developing any of the conditions related with limbic system damage and they may not be able to turn it around completely.
So, if you have engaged in one of the limbic system retraining programs with little success, it may be the result of one of these issues mentioned above.
Last, but not least, retraining the brain is extremely hard work. It is like swimming up stream with a boulder on your back. There are days when I throw myself on the bed in tears and cry out, "I can't do it anymore, it's just too hard." But then I pick myself up and carry on. However, many people will not have the wherewithal that is required to achieve the goal.
Detoxification and Limbic System Retraining
The predominant theory for decades as to what causes multiple chemical sensitivity has been that it is a faulty detoxification system. It is commonly found in people with MCS, CFS, adrenal fatigue, etc., that phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification are not functioning properly. The focus of recovery has always been on trying to improve detoxification. Although some people have recovered by enhancing their detoxification, most of us have not, in spite of trying every detoxification method under the sun. Of course detoxification is important, but we have obviously been missing something here.
Both Annie Hopper and Ashok Gupta feel that impairment in the detoxification system is secondary to the limbic system impairment. In their view, it is the limbic system impairment that is causing the inability to detoxify and when you rewire the brain then the faulty detoxification will be resolved. It is possible that this is true and let me explain why.
A faulty detoxification system is a type of stress on the body, so it will contribute to the Total Stress Load. However, on the other hand, when the body is remaining in fight or flight for other reasons, then the detoxification system is impaired.
Therefore, improving the detoxification system through traditional detox methods like saunas, Epsom salt or clay baths, nutritional supplements, etc. can improve the system which will decrease the Total Stress Load, increase frontal lobe functioning, and thus return us to the healing parasympathetic state.
While on the other hand, when the body is in a chronic state of fight or flight, as it is when the limbic system is impaired, the detoxification system is impaired. Anything that helps increase frontal lobe activity in the brain, such as limbic system retraining, meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing, etc, will enhance neurotransmitter production and function and also take us into the desired parasympathetic state. Once in the parasympathetic state, then the body can detoxify on its own again. So it can go either way. The more often you exercise your frontal lobes, the stronger and healthier it becomes and consequently the less often your sympathetic nervous system will be dominant and the better your detoxification system will work.
I can't really say with certainty which came first, the chicken or the egg, but it doesn't really matter. We can restore balance to the autonomic nervous system either way, and when we do, then detoxification works properly again. It's the old "more than way to skin a cat" analogy at play again.
However, there are a few factors that are not accounted for in limbic system retraining in regard to detoxification. There are a variety of genetic polymorphisms that can impair both phase I and phase detoxification. If nutritional deficiencies are present, the detoxification system cannot function adequately. Pesticides can create an upregulated phase I and an downregulated phase 2, which is a dangerous combination, because the body cannot excrete the oxidized toxin, which is much more toxic than it was when it entered the body originally. Additionally, pesticides can also permanently damage the phase I cytochrome p-450 enzymes.
I can't say how someone with any of the aforementioned issues will respond to limbic system retraining. Perhaps that 10 or 15 percent of people who do not respond to Dynamic Neural RetrainingTM or Amygdala RetrainingTM are dealing with some of these issues, or maybe not. Regardless, these are things to consider.
Review of Annie Hopper's Dynamic Neural Retraining SystemTM(DNR)
Pricing on DNR
DVDs - $249.95
Seminar - The price is now up to $2795.00 - Clearly this program is only for the wealthy MCS individual.
(If you can't afford this, you may want to note that Ashok Gupta's live seminar is only $195. However, unfortunately, Ashok doesn't make it to the U.S. very often at this time.)
In all honesty, a while back I felt that both the seminar and the DVDs were over priced; especially the seminar. This was a big road block for me when I was considering whether to buy. I felt I was being overcharged, which promoted feelings of distrust. I see that this is an issue for many other people as well.
Personally, I would never pay that amount of money to attend a seminar of any kind and, frankly, I think it is a crime for anyone to charge $1495.00 for a seminar, especially for the MCS population who is typically low on money anyhow. So that wasn't something I even considered. On the other hand, if you can recover your health, then I guess many of us would be willing to pay anything and it would be worth it.
Additionally, I have heard from a few others who have attended the seminars and also have the DVDs and they felt that the seminar was a much more powerful experience and that it propelled the healing process significantly.
In regard to the DVDs, when you take into account the fact that we spend hundreds of dollars a month on things like supplements, it is not really that much money.
Now, I feel that the money I spent on the DVDs is probably the best $200 bucks I have ever spent. I felt that immediately after I watched the program that it was already worth my money. If I hadn't experienced any improvement, I would have still be happy that I watched the program as I learned a lot of amazing things about the brain and I had an immediate shift in my view of my conditions. Although I wish the program was more affordable for the financially challenged, I encourage you to not let the price of the DVDs influence your decision.
Packaging and Tolerability
The DVDs are not in a very stable package. It's just a little cardboard holder. This allowed the DVDs to flop around during shipment. I had several scratches on them, but they were not harmed.
For me, the DVDs had an electronic smell and the book smelled slightly like a skunk. I reacted quite badly just holding it outside. I had to air it out for a couple weeks. This is not a reflection on Annie's manufacturing process, only an indicator of my high level of sensitivity at the time and my great need for limbic system retraining.
You should be aware that all the packaging, dyes and manufacturing materials are made to be environmentally friendly and from what I hear and see from others is that almost all people with MCS did not have any trouble tolerating the DVDs or the book. I was certainly in the minority on that point.
I had to wear a mask while watching the DVDs or open the windows. In order to use the manual I had to make copies of the worksheets on my own paper. I tell you this, because I've seen some people who are reluctant to try the program because they are unable to tolerate watching DVDs.
I say, "find a way to get through it." Don't let whatever symptoms you may have to the DVDs, the manual or electronic hypersensitivity stop you. The symptoms will only be temporary and the benefits you gain will be well worth it. Find some way to make it happen. If that means you have to sit outside and watch it with your coat and hat on, or separate yourself from the DVD player with a glass window, then so be it. Be willing to go the extra mile for your health.
Layout and Useability
The layout of the DVDs was not very user friendly. Both my son and I felt that it was very confusing and difficult to navigate from one section to the next. I repeatedly got lost and had to find my way back to my current spot. If you move from one spot to another it would frequently replay the disclaimer over and over before allowing you to proceed even though you already saw it. There were several mechanical glitches. It would get stuck and would not move forward. It would quit responding to clicks. This all incited quite a bit of stress and frustration. However, you can get through it sufficiently.
I don't dispute that limbic system impairment is indeed a component of MCS and adrenal fatigue (CFS), etc. However, I would have liked to seen more science around the area of applying her theory to chemical sensitivities and chronic fatigue, etc. There is a lot of science about neuroplasticity in general on the DVDs, which was an excellent learning experience, but I thought the science connecting it to MCS etc. was weak. I also did not see science that supported the theory of kindling and how a cycle of inflammation comes about.
I would have also liked to see more testimonials from people who struggled and took a long time to recover. I could not relate to the people who got well in a matter of hours or days and some people's stories were so over the top they were hard to believe. In the beginning it was difficult to feel hopeful that the program would work for me, because I didn't see any dramatic and immediate improvements. If more testimonials had been presented from people who struggled, it would have helped with faith and hope.
I also would have liked to seen something about the process of limbic system retraining recovery. The process was not really covered at all. I found myself many times throughout the process wondering if what I was experiencing was normal, was it still going to work, do other people go through this, has this happened before, what should I do about this and that and questions like that. Something in the manual or the DVDs that explained what the process was like would have been helpful. People didn't really talk much about process in the forum either.
Other Highlights of the DNR Program
There is a private forum where you can talk with others engaging in the program that I found to be helpful. Annie, and her coach Candy, often answer questions personally in the forum, so you get help from the experts. It isn't a highly active forum, but a lot of the material that is there is of high quality and quite useful. Personally, I like the low level activity as it feels like a good fit for me. Forums with too much activity cause me stress.
However, in the forum, you are only allowed to talk about positive things and success. It isn't a support forum for those who are struggling or need help. It's entire focus is on talking about success. This means that the people who are struggling don't get very much attention. Most attention is paid to those who are excelling in their progress. If you aren't having exceptional success, you may be ignored and feel unwelcome. This can be discouraging for those who are struggling and I think the forum could be more useful if it changed its angle a bit, but you can still gain a variety of useful tips and strategies by reading what is posted. If you need help, then you really have to get personal coaching, which I discuss in the next paragraph.
They also provide private telephone coaching for the DNR program for a fee. I did two of these sessions and found this to be very helpful as well. My coach, Candy, was professional, kind and very competent. She did not waste any of my time or money on fluff conversation. She provided me with many useful tips and strategies that I was able to implement immediately that assisted me in moving forward with my progress. I encourage you to have a couple coaching sessions, if you are in the Dynamic Neural RetrainingTM program. Again, I felt this was well worth the money.
The definition of mindfulness that was presented in the DNR program does not fit with my understanding and experience of mindfulness. The program implies that being mindful of symptoms and pain will increase them. That is not accurate. There is a very big difference between being focused, preoccupied and ruminating over symptoms and pain and being mindful of them. When you are mindful of your pain and your symptoms, you can make them disappear within minutes. Being mindful decreases symptoms and pain. You can learn more about this in my mindfulness for migraines and mindfulness for chronic pain books, if this is an area of interest for you.
I also do not agree with the amount of exercise that is recommended. Recent research suggests that traditional cardio and aerobics are actually harmful to our health. The body experiences endurance type of exercise as stress. We are genetically wired to respond most optimally to exercise that consists of short periods of intense exercise followed by rest and recovery.
Our limbic system evolved with short bursts of intense exercise, followed by rest and recovery. Earlier in our evolution, we would face a lion and run from them. We would sprint. We would lift heavy things. We would walk slowly for long distances. But we would never exert ourselves intensely for an hour at a time. When we engage in a short intense burst of exercise, followed by rest and recovery, it tricks the limbic system into believing we have escaped the lion and thus the sympathetic nervous system turns off and we move out of fight or flight and into the healing parasympathetic rest and digest. Therefore limbic system retraining will do better with this type of exercise.
Being cautious with exercise is of great importance for those with chronic fatigue (adrenal fatigue), because as I mentioned earlier, you probably don't have enough cortisol. Cardio or aerobics is counterproductive for those who aren't producing cortisol and will set you back. Exercise should be mild and gentle.
The retraining technique takes 15 minutes to do and it must be done at a minimum of 1 hour a day. In my experience, the 1 hour a day is not sufficient and it must be done to all reactions. The length of the technique makes it feel like a chore and it takes a great deal of mental energy. This is very time consuming when you have lots of sensitivities to work on. Once I make a commitment to something, I'm committed regardless. However, many people have trouble staying committed to something that feels like a chore. You must be very motivated to remain committed. The length of the technique is just not very practical for the Universal reactor.
The marketing for the Dynamic Neural Retraining SystemTM focuses a lot on the people who experience instant miracle cures. Although, we can't really fault them for this, because this is to some extent a necessary evil in the world of marketing. We live in a society that expects and wants instant results, so to some extent marketing messages must give people what they want. This is true of most marketing.
So, I encourage you to keep your expectations realistic. Most people are not experiencing these miraculous cures overnight. It takes a great deal of time and hard work to rewire the brain. From what I see and hear from others, there are many different ways that people are experiencing this process.
Some people have dramatic improvements in days, weeks, or months. Some people are completely well or almost well within 6 months. The recovery percentage is not usually 100%. Some people are achieving 25, 50 and 70% and anything in between. There's a good amount of people who must continue the program well beyond the 6 months and a lot of people have been at it for a year or more. Some people have no improvement at all.
Additionally, instant miracle cures really defy the principles that brain rewiring is based upon - consistency and repetition.
My 6 Month Mark Improvements
Please be aware that I am only sharing my process. Your process will not necessarily be like my process. Everyone experiences the limbic system retraining process differently. Do not let my lack of progress impact your decision to try the program. You may be one of the people who responds quickly.
I will update this page again in a few months but here are the improvements I have seen personally so far at the 6 month mark in my limbic system retraining, which is July 1, 2012:
I estimate that I have improved approximately 25% overall, but it's important to break this down, because improvement is not the same across the board. For example:
MCS has improved 25%
Now within MCS we must still break it down to see the greatness of what has been achieved.
Dryer exhaust is about 90% improved.
Woodsmoke and smells when it rains about 60 or 70% improved.
Outdoor sensitivities (trees, pollens, bushes, weeds, flowers etc.) have improved about 70%
Going out in public has improved about 30 or 40% percent for immediate symptoms, but delayed symptoms coming the next day have only improved about 20%.
However, there are a variety of things, like my bath soap, dish soap, laundry soap that has not improved hardly at all.
CFS, Chronic Fatigue - Adrenal Fatigue has improved 5%
Migraines improved 10%
Food sensitivities (about 5%)
My threshold for most chemicals is much higher than it used to be.
Some symptoms do not respond to the DNR practice. For example, gallbladder pain is a common response to chemicals for me. The practice often eliminates all symptoms except this.
When I take all this into consideration it amounts to an average of about a total of 25 percent. However, here are some other benefits I am experiencing.
I am happier and more optimistic. Depression was not one of my symptoms, so it isn't that the program eliminated depression. It just increased the level of happiness, joy and hope that I experience in my life.
My son, who is an adult, used the program simultaneously with me and he felt that it made him happier too. We both noticed that it improved our relationship. We had a strong relationship previously, but this enhanced it more and improved our patience and compassion with one another. We are both more playful. It reduced some of the MCS strain that commonly occurs in relationships.
My son had mild sensitivities in comparison to mine. Prior to using the DNR program, he had already recovered about 60% of his health through diet, lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements. With the rewiring program, he improved about another 20%. So he is now about 80% recovered.
It is challenging when two people in the household are doing brain retraining together who have different levels of sensitivities. Since his sensitivity was much lower and he had a lot less to work on, he was able to move faster. I was crawling at a snail's pace. This sometimes created friction, because I often felt pressured by him to move faster and he often felt held back by me. On the other hand, it was great to have someone to talk to about the program.
Limbic system retraining has changed my life in a powerful way.
I also feel I am a better practitioner and I am taking many of the principles into my work. I see change in my future in regard to my work.
I sleep more deeply and don't wake up as often to go to the bathroom.
My conditions were at the extreme end of extreme. The program brought me in off the ledge a little bit.
I live differently with my conditions; in a way that feels better.
Overall, my quality of life has improved significantly.
Now, one of the first things you may be wondering is whether I really applied myself to the limbic system retraining program. I did. I'm the kind of person who really doesn't know how to do anything half-assed. If anything, I always try to do things too perfectly.
I applied myself to the rewiring process whole heartedly. I committed to it 200 percent. I practiced the rewiring steps at a minimum of 80 minutes a day. I never missed not one day. Most days I was working on it all day. There were days that I was doing the practice every hour or every half hour.
Coming into this as a Universal reactor, it is a full time job for me. It takes a lot more than just doing the hour of practice. For example, on days I am doing chores like cleaning the house, I'm doing the practice every 10 or 15 minutes. When the day was filled with woodsmoke or rain odors, I was doing the practice every 30 or 60 minutes.
I consistently challenged my pops, (you won't know what this means if you haven't seen the DVDs and I'm not at liberty to share with you because of copyrights and privacy agreements.) I sang, hummed and recited my proclamation all day long. I wrote it and posted it in the kitchen. My son repeated it back to me. I stopped watching the news because it caused me stress.
I watched feel good movies. Listened to relaxing music. Watched humorous videos and tv. I filled my brain with positive thoughts, images and behavior consistently every day. I smiled all day long. I recited affirmations of different kinds all day long pertaining to each trigger. It takes constant reassurance for my limbic system. I practiced mindfulness meditation and deep breathing exercises four times a day, every day as well. I completely changed my internal and external vocabulary.
However, I do not see the fact that I have only achieved 25% recovery in a 6 month period as a failure of the program. I believe for some people it takes longer than 6 months to rewire the brain.
It took me a long time to arrive at a high level of sensitivity so it seems logical to me that it could take a long time to recover. It can take people who have a stroke years to rewire their brain so it seems that the same could apply to other conditions.. For Jill Bolte Taylor it took like eight years. Although our brain trauma is different than having a stroke, it makes sense to me that it could take a long time. Hopefully, and probably not, eight years.
I plan to continue rewiring for another 6 months or as long as it takes. I can clearly see that it is working in my life and I believe that I will continue to improve. Additionally, as I mentioned I have just purchased the Gupta Amygdala RetrainingTM program and I intend to work both Gupta and DNR for the next 6 months.
The healing process in rewiring the brain is not linear. It goes up and down like a rollercoaster. I have days when I feel like I'm going to be well any day now. Then I have days when I feel like I'm almost back to square one. Then in a couple days, I go back up again. Usually after a dip and a rise, I rise to a higher point.
I crawled at a snail's pace for the first three months, but things seemed to pick up momentum in month 4 and more momentum in month 5 and then even more momentum in month 6.
The DNR team describes limbic system retraining as peeling the layers off an onion. For me it felt more like unraveling a tangled ball of yarn. Sometimes it unrolls smoothly, then you hit a kink and have to stop and work real hard on it. Then you move along smoothly again. It can take a long time to unravel a ball of yarn that has kinks. Sometimes when it's moving along very slow it is difficult not to feel discouraged, but I just keep moving and it passes.
With all that being said, I feel the Dynamic Neural RetrainingTM program was well worth my money, time and effort. However, please be sure to read my review of the Gupta program further below, as I am having better success with it. Also, be sure to read my improvement updates as well.
Improvements Update Using DNR and Gupta (October 2012)
As mentioned earlier, I purchased the Gupta program at the end of my 6 months with the DNR program. For the past three months I have been using both programs. I only do the DNR for the minimum 1 hour a day and I do Gupta all day long for everything else.
The Gupta program worked quite well for me the very first time I used it and it gets more effective each week.
For about 6 or 7 weeks I felt like I was soaring along with my recovery, making fantastic improvements in both chemical sensitivities and fatigue. However, I then had a few brief setbacks when I experienced a few high stress events and a brutal migraine. So my progress is still going up and down like a rollercoaster.
At one point I felt like my MCS had improved by about 40%, but I dropped back down to about 25% with one of the setbacks. However, amazing things are happening with MCS symptoms.
For example, we had a big wildfire this past summer. In the past, I would have to seal myself in the house tighter than a drum and wear a mask with the slightest bit of wildfire smoke in the air. This time, I didn't need a mask at all, and only had to shut the windows. When the smoke was light, I was able to have the windows open for a short period. I had very few symptoms and was able to stop each of them with the Gupta technique.
I can spend two hours in the mall ... with lots of Gupta.
In the past, I had to wear a mask and couldn't go out of the house when it rained, or I would get a migraine. I no longer have to wear a mask when it rains and I went out shopping on a rainy day and even took a walk in the rain one day. I must do the Gupta technique every 10 or fifteen minutes to keep a migraine from coming on, but even still, this was something that was impossible just a few months ago.
Adrenal fatigue (chronic fatigue) has improved about 25%. I use the short and long version of the Amygdala Retraining technique to enable me to do all kinds of physical activity I couldn't do previously. However, this is very hard work.
Although I haven't stopped migraines from appearing, I can turn off almost all migraines that occur when I'm awake as soon as they begin to appear by using the Gupta technique. I can also achieve this with my own mindfulness technique, but I use Gupta to hopefully rewire the migraine process as well.
In my experience, brain retraining works best when your health and stress level are very stable. During my rertaining I experienced a significant setback on a couple different occasions from a chemical exposure and a very high stress event. I was in a very high state of sympathetic stress and couldn't bring it down, even with extensive use of DNR and Gupta. Gupta would take the edge off a little, but not good relief. I don't know about you, but I find it damn near impossible to engage in the required visualization and meditation when I am in a severe reaction state or high stress mode. I still continued to do the rewiring during the setback, but it did not provide the relief it provides when things are less severe and more stable.
Improvements Update Using Gupta and DNR (January 2013)
As of mid December 2012, after an entire year of using DNR, I discontinued use of the DNR program and I am now only doing Gupta. My decision to do this was based on the fact that I respond better to Gupta and it is more convenient and practical. It was too time consuming to try and continue to do both programs simultaneously, and I wanted to be more fully committed to just the Gupta program.
All the improvements I made in previous months continue to hold and I continue to make more small improvements each month, but it is still a rollercoaster ride. Some sensitivities like rain, dryer exhaust, woodsmoke, and outdoors have improved drastically, while some things like food odors have improved moderately and some other things have not yet responded. Plus, it all varies from day to day; some days are better than others.
Sensitivity to fragrances in public are not consistent. Sometimes I have very few symptoms and sometimes I struggle.
Fatigue is still at about 25% improvement.
However, I can clearly see that the rewiring is happening and that I am improving and this motivates me to continue. Additionally, even though symptoms continue to arise, most of the time I can turn off about 50 to 75% of them with a simple Gupta technique and this improves the quality of life greatly. I plan to continue Gupta until it is no longer needed. I am not going to update this page again for another 6 months or so.
Improvements Update Using Gupta Only (August 2013)
As of August 2013 I have been doing the Gupta program faithfully for a little over a year. Between the Gupta and the DNR program, that means all together I have been retraining my limbic system for 1 year and 8 months.
Since my last update, I feel both my MCS and adrenal fatigue have improved by about another ten percent, so that means all together, I have improved by about 35% since beginning to rewire.
I continue to maintain all the improvements I made in previous months and make more improvements each month.
I haven't had to wear a mask in over a year. I used to have to wear a mask quite frequently, even in my own house. So this is a major improvement. Fragrances when I go out and about rarely cause me significant symptoms anymore.
My physical strength and endurance are slowly, but surely, increasing. I can do a lot more physical activity than I used to, but it still requires lots of Gupta. My fatigue is still much more persistent and problematic than my chemical sensitivities.
However, recovery is not consistent across the board. For example, I tried to move into a different house several months ago. It was an MCS owned house, so I was fairly sure I would be able to live there. I kept my current house, just in case it didn't work out. I had a wide variety of symptoms in the new house that I did not have in my current house. I really thought I would be able to overcome them with limbic system retraining. I remained in the house for almost four weeks and when Gupta didn't work I tried DNR as well, but neither one of them would relieve my symptoms. The longer I stayed the worse the symptoms got. I tried to force my body to stay there, but it wouldn't have it, no matter how much I rewired. The symptoms were completely resistant to both Gupta and DNR. So I had to give up and return home. One of the symptoms I developed while I was in the temporary house was severe head ringing. I never had head ringing prior to this. When I left that house, all the symptoms I had dissipated very quickly, except for the head ringing. It's been several months since I left and I continue to get intermittent bouts of head ringing for unknown reasons, that do not respond at all to Gupta nor DNR. It isn't nearly as severe as it was in the other house, but it appears my exposure to whatever chemicals were in that house caused a problem that won't leave, despite the rewiring throughout the entire exposure. Additionally, I had a pesticide exposure in January and it did not respond to Gupta or DNR either. So, for some reason, there are some chemicals that do not respond to the brain retraining as of yet.
On the other hand, this temporary move required a lot of physical activity and it seemed to propel me to a higher level of improvement on the fatigue level and other than the head ringing, sensitivity to chemicals continues to decline.
When I first started doing Gupta, I did only a little of the full ART technique and a lot of the short technique, because I hate the wording in the full version; it makes me feel like I'm being scolded. Then for about six months I used mostly the full version to see if it was more effective. I did not notice any difference in effectiveness between the short or long version, so I returned to the short version only. I've been doing only the short version for the past four months. I also do the Gupta breathing technique every morning and the Gupta meditation five mornings out of the week. I tried the accelerator technique again, but that triggers my sympathetic nervous system.
Improvements Update Using Gupta Only (January 2015)
I continue to use Gupta heavily on a daily basis. I have not been able to make anymore improvements beyond what has already been achieved, but it works great as a management tool for symptoms. It's been three years now since I began brain rewiring, and I continue to maintain the improvements that were made initially, but it appears I am not going to improve anymore beyond the original 25 to 35 percent I achieved.
Although this has clearly been a long process for me, I am very grateful for the improvements I have been able to make and it is well worth the effort. It has significantly improved the quality of my life. I will continue to do Gupta, but I won't provide anymore updates on my progress, unless something miraculous happens.
Please read my review of the Gupta program further below for more details on my progress with this program.
Review of Gupta Amygdala RetrainingTM Program
DVD Price - $199.75
Live Seminar - $195.00
Immediately after I purchased the Gupta program, in July of 2012, I received an in-depth email with a variety of information for getting started. Since I was already very familiar with limbic system retraining, I was able to immediately put these practices to use, along with what I was already doing in my DNR training.
His focus is quite a bit different than Annie's, and provided me with some insights that I didn't have and complimented what I was already doing. In all honesty, I felt that this immediately began to make my retraining more effective and I began to improve even more right away, especially in the area of fatigue. I was immediately able to do some physical activities that I haven't been able to do in a couple years.
Packaging, Tolerability and Useability
The Gupta DVDs come in a very nice, sturdy and professional case. They kept the DVDs safe and protected very well, even traveling all the way from the UK to US. The book and mind map are of very good quality as well. However, the ink and paper used has a significant chemical odor that as many MCS people already have noted, is problematic for many in the MCS population.
Since I have been doing some retraining already it was not as problematic for me as it is for others, but even still, I had to watch the DVDs and use the book and mind map outside. It did produce some symptoms for me, but I was able to use the short version of the Amygdala RetrainingTM technique that I learned in my first email to eliminate most of them.
I encourage you to be creative and find some way to view them. As I mentioned previously, the benefits you have to gain far outweigh any symptoms you may experience. Keep in mind that the symptoms will be temporary and they will not produce any long-term or permanent effects. Make a commitment to your health and be willing to go the extra mile. Sit outside, wear a mask, or whatever it takes.
The DVDs are very user friendly and I had no mechanical problems, which made viewing a calm and pleasant experience.
Let me say this... I am very impressed with the Gupta program. It has far exceeded my expectations.
You really get your money's worth in this program and then some. It is very comprehensive and complete. He not only explains the techniques in an excellent manner, but he also promotes motivation, provides encouragement and support and most importantly, addresses the process thoroughly. Ashok addresses each and every aspect that may come up throughout your training process. He really left no stone unturned.
The manner in which he recorded these videos makes you feel like you are actually present with him. He has a great style, comes across as very authentic, sincere and warm, and makes you feel excited about the retraining. He inspires trust and hope.
The main retraining technique only takes a couple of minutes and it is working very well for me.
There is a shorter version of the main technique that only takes seconds to complete. This is my favorite. It works beautifully.
Both of these are so easy and quick that they don't feel like a chore and it's practical for the Universal reactors who have a very long list of triggers.
I have been using the shorter retraining technique on numerous things and I am having great success in eliminating symptoms. I still have a long way to go, but I can turn off many MCS reactions in less than a minute to many things and I'm getting stronger physically. I use it all day long on everything that comes up to relieve symptoms and get energy for the task at hand.
Additionally, there is a powerful accelerated version of the main technique which is quite amazing, but I don't like it much.
The program also has a powerful core meditation and breathing technique that soothes the nervous system and really makes you feel good, as well as other secondary meditations.
There is an excellent mindfulness meditation that is very effective. It shares many of the same principles that I have been teaching for years and have written about in several of my books. So, of course, I am a real fan of this.
The way that he teaches how to do visualizations has been much more effective in helping me get in touch with feelings of the healthier self than what I learned in DNR. He goes into great detail explaining what to focus on and how to magnify these feelings. It has also been more effective at enabling me to identify other issues that need worked on, and since the retraining techniques are short, it is very easy to work on them quickly.
In the DNR program you are only taught to use the technique on symptoms. In the Gupta program you are taught to use the techniques on the symptoms, thoughts and stress patterns, which I feel is one of the factors that makes the Amygdala Retraining more effective.
The Gupta program also has a support forum and it appears to be very active and seems open to people who are struggling.
I feel I have become more compassionate and less demanding of myself with the Gupta program, which really reduces my stress load. I often hear Ashok's voice in my head throughout the day saying, "it's okay, you're doing the best you can," "you can do it Cynthia," or "take more time to do the things you enjoy."
Periodically, Ashok sends out an email newsletter that is packed with helpful retraining tips, as well as encouragement and support.
A problem I have always had with approaches that focus on positive thinking, is the labeling of feelings or thoughts as negative. So that is something I am still uncomfortable with. Labeling my thoughts or feelings as "negative" makes me feel like I'm being a bad girl. I feel I'm being blamed for my condition. I feel judged. I feel like I'm doing something bad or wrong. Additionally, I don't like to label feelings as positive or negative, as all feelings and emotions are normal and serve a purpose. So I prefer to use a different word in place of "negative" thoughts, like "not so useful" or "counterproductive."
There are a few other concepts and words used in the program that feel a little blaming, so anytime I feel this way, I just reframe it into something that feels comfortable for me. I know this is an issue for many other people with chronic health conditions. So if this is an issue for you, then I encourage you to try and find words that feel less offensive for you.
Ashok's amygdala hypothesis makes perfect sense and is fleshed out thoroughly. He is truly a master at his craft. I can see the truth of it in my own life, however, I do not agree 100% with all of his conclusions in regard to MCS, stress, anxiety, fatigue and thoughts etc. I'm not sure that the pieces of the puzzle all fit together exactly as he feels they do, and I don't believe things are as black and white as he sees them, but I do believe he is in the right ball field and that he has a program that can certainly help us return to the desired parasympathetic state.
As I stated earlier, I'm not completely convinced the "root" problem lies in the amygdala. The amygdala is definitely involved and overactive, but something else may be in the driver seat causing the problem in the amygdala. Remember it was once thought that the hypothalamus was what set off the stress response system, then later it was believed that it was the amygdala. What we know now is that it is the locus ceruleus that sets off the stress response system, not the amygdala or the hypothalamus.
The amygdala fires off in response to messages from the locus ceruleus via norepinephrine. However, I supposed it is still possible that the amygdala becomes sensitized and is firing off on its own. But I think it is also possible that the problem lies in the locus ceruleus.
Since the amygdala is fired by the norepinephrine coming from the locus ceruleus, and the frontal lobes are what inhibits the amygdala, it seems to me that the root of the problem may lie in one of those areas, but I may be wrong. The amygdala is downregulated when the frontal lobes are activated more often and the Amygdala Retraining technique increase frontal lobe activity. Regardless, it doesn't really matter. The fact remains that he has a program that indeed restores the limbic system and the autonomic nervous system to balance and thus helps many people overcome MCS and CFS etc.
Furthermore, Ashok talks a lot about adrenaline being the problem, but adrenaline burns off very quickly. It is a short acting hormone. Adrenaline is not really the problem. It is norepinephrine that is the problem. Norepinephrine can linger in the brain for days and if one is under constant stress or they have an impaired ability to methylate it away, then it will be there continually. It is norepinephrine that keeps the body in the overactive sympathetic nervous system state, not adrenaline. I believe he does this for simplicity matters and, again, it doesn't really matter as far as the techniques are concerned. They work regardless. But I thought you might want to be aware of the mechanics.
Although Ashok is very well versed in the subject of chronic fatigue, it appears he does not yet have an in-depth understanding of multiple chemical sensitivity and toxins. I hear that this makes some people uncomfortable and that many struggle to accept his views.
However, many people with CFS (adrenal fatigue) and MCS are undoubtedly having miraculous improvements with the Gupta program. So we do not need to agree with all his theories and conclusions to use the program. Regardless of whether we agree with his theories and conclusions, it is a method that is certainly worth exploring.
It doesn't really matter why it works, it only matters that it does indeed work. I encourage you to look beyond this aspect and give it a try anyhow. You don't have to embrace his beliefs, you only need to practice the techniques.
It is clear that Ashok is a kind, good-hearted, likeable guy with good intentions, and I don't believe he's going to lead you astray. He is still in the learning process in regard to MCS and I think we may see some changes as he evolves. When you watch the DVDs, you will come to trust him.
On the other hand, I have seen some people in forums mention some comments that his coaches have made about chemical sensitivity that I feel were somewhat offensive and again illustrate a lack of in-depth knowledge about MCS and toxins in general. So, if you do coaching with Gupta coaches for MCS, I encourage you to exercise some caution and be sure to take what works and leave the rest behind. Coaching for chronic fatigue may not be affected by this point, as his program has been used successfully for many years in the chronic fatigue population.
I find the concept of secondary gains to be insulting. If I wanted some secondary gains, I would pick a health condition that actually elicited some empathy from others, which is not the case with MCS and CFS. I have never experienced any secondary gains with any of my conditions and really can't even find any if I dig with a shovel. So I ignored this small aspect of the program and if you feel as I do, then I encourage you to do the same.
I would argue that the some of the aspects Ashok considers to be secondary to the autonomic nervous system dysfunction like candida, are actually causes of the autonomic nervous system dysfunction. I would also argue that many times the thoughts are a result of the symptoms, not the other around and sometimes there aren't any thoughts attached to symptoms. However, again, it really doesn't matter which came first, the retraining techniques work regardless.
Another point I would argue, is that handling stress is not always about how you choose to respond to it. Indeed that is a major component to stress management, however, if someone is not producing cortisol which is common in the chronically fatigued, or they have depleted neurotransmitters, both of which are crucial in the modulation of stress, then you aren't going to be handling stress very well regardless of how you respond to it. The lack of cortisol or adequate levels of neurotransmitters may make it quite difficult to respond appropriately. On the other hand, in the long rung, using the techniques will assist you in producing cortisol and neurotransmitters.
Additionally, the Gupta Amygdala RetrainingTM program does not encourage eating an organic diet or living a green lifestyle, which as I have mentioned previously, I feel is essential for long-term optimal health in recovery for any condition, but especially in the chemically sensitive and chronic fatigued.
However, as long as you are aware of theses short-comings and incorporate the Gupta program into a comprehensive plan, then none of this should be a problem.
Again, from what I see online, it appears that a small number of people are achieving "complete" recovery by retraining the amygdala. Some people are 25 percent, 50 percent, 80 percent and everything in-between. Most people are not recovering within the 6 month period. Many people have been retraining for more than a year. A lot of times the retraining is more of a management tool than a "cure" tool, so keep your expectations realistic. However, it is an excellent management tool that can bring you many benefits that cannot be found elsewhere.
I really cannot say enough good things about the Gupta program. This, too, is one of the best purchases I have ever made. It has become such an integral part of my life that I honestly do not how I survived without it. It provides you with so many useful tools, even if complete recovery does not occur. In my opinion, it is a more complete, thorough and powerful program than the DNR program.
Possible Reasons I Did Not Achieve Full Recovery
Now, people who already have one of the brain retraining programs may read this page and say, "the reason she didn't recover completely is because she's talking about toxins all the time." I want to note that I am not talking about toxins all the time. I only took out 2 weeks at the end of my 6 month rewiring to write this page and a few moments here and there to update it.
First and foremost, I believe my limbic system trauma is deep and severe and may not be reversible. As mentioned before, severe trauma in early childhood can result in permanent and irreversible damage to stress circuits and the limbic system.
I have had limbic system trauma since I was a child. My original trauma was severe, extensive and ongoing sexual, physical and emotional abuse throughout my entire childhood. There was also neglect and I was abandoned by my primary caregiver. I'm now age 53. So I have five decades to unravel.
I have a great deal of stress in my life. In the list of 12 types of stress I listed above, I'm still working on several of the types of stress. My Total Stress Load is still very high.
I'm self-employed which is high stress.
I'm a holistic health counselor, so I'm talking with people every day about their symptoms and conditions. (As part of the DNR and Gupta program, you will learn that you aren't supposed to talk about these kind of things, because you're using your language to rewire the brain. I have to work or I can't pay the bills, so giving this up is not possible.)
I have chronic migraines. Although I can successfully turn off most of my migraines with my own mindfulness technique or the Gupta technique that occur within the daytime hours, many of them occur in the middle of the night when I'm sleeping and I wake up in the morning with one. Since, I'm sleeping I am not able to use my techniques to turn them off. Migraines are an extremely stressful event, if it is a particularly brutal one, I am in a severe state of stress for about 16 hours. It can take me days to recover. Whenever I have a brutal migraine it really sets me back in my rewiring process. This is a frustrating aspect for me.
Some symptoms may be the result of some other factor like a genetic impairment in detoxification, pesticide damage, or undermethylation, which rewiring is not unable to undo.
So all these factors undoubtedly are impacting my rate of recovery.
Limbic System Retraining Conclusions
Taking everything that I've presented on this page into account, I encourage you to embrace the new concepts of neural retraining, rewiring the brain, limbic system retraining or retraining the amygdala and explore what benefits they may be able to bring to your health. However, be aware that it should not be used in place of other health care approaches; it should be used in combination with all your other methods of healing, including eating a healthy diet and living green.
Research both the Dynamic Neural Retraining SystemTM and Gupta Amygdala RetrainingTM program and see which one resonates the most for you. If one doesn't work, then you can always try the other one later. Some people favor DNR, while some favor Gupta. After you master one, you may want to do both of them. However, I don't recommend starting out with both of them at the same time. You should spend 6 months mastering one of them before tackling the other one.
As I mentioned previously, I feel the Gupta program is much more thorough, effective, powerful and complete than the DNR program. It provides more support, guidance, motivation and hope and focuses on all the aspects that need to be addressed, not just symptoms. The rewiring process is explained thoroughly and you know exactly what to expect. It is much more practical to use because of its short length and choices of several different techniques. So if you can only afford one program, then I think your money is best spent on the Amygdala Retraining. However, the DNR program has some excellent educational material on the limbic system and the rewiring process that are not found in the Gupta program, that I feel are really essential to know. So, if you can afford both programs that is the way to go. Additionally, I feel the explanation for limbic system impairment that is provided in the DNR program is a more accurate description of what is really going on than the explanation offered by Gupta.
Although I haven't found either one of these programs to be a "cure-all" for MCS, CFS etc., I put these techniques in my top 5 list of things that have had the most impact on my life and provided the most benefits. Changes in diet and environmental clean-up are the first in that list.
Limbic system retraining can be beneficial for any condition associated with autonomic nervous system dysfunction, including, but necessarily limited to; multiple chemical sensitivities, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, adrenal fatigue, anxiety disorders, depression, high blood pressure, migraine headaches and insomnia.
However, keep in mind that in order for healing to take place in any type of health condition, the mind and body must be restored to the healing and regenerative parasympathetic state. Therefore, neural retraining could potentially be helpful for any condition under the sun.
My research reveals that both programs are helping many people achieve incredible, and sometimes miraculous, results that were not achievable previously. You really have nothing to lose.
- Dr. Charles Gant
- Academy of Functional Medicine, Dentistry & Psychology
- End Your Addiction Now, by Dr. Charles Gant
- Dr. Al Sears, M.D.
- Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine (Lord & Bralley)
- The Metametrix Handbook - Clinical Reference Manual (Lord & Bralley)
- Emeran A. Mayer , Bruce D. Naliboff , et al. V. Stress and irritable bowel syndrome. American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology Published 1 April 2001 Vol. 280 no. 4, G519-G524 DOI: http://ajpgi.physiology.org/content/280/4/G519