Continue Learning about Functions of the Brain
Depression was not one of my symptoms, so it isn't that the program eliminated depression. Celebrities use HBOT for clearer, healthier, beautiful skin. One study published in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care found that aromatherapy helped hospice patients decrease pain, anxiety and depression, and promote an increased sense of well-being. For example, we had a big wildfire this past summer. This article has multiple issues. Produce healthy skin from the inside out.
Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should
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. 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.
However, many people will not have the wherewithal that is required to achieve the goal. The predominant theory for decades as to what causes multiple chemical sensitivity has been that it is a faulty detoxification system.
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. 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 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 Retraining TM or Amygdala Retraining TM are dealing with some of these issues, or maybe not.
Regardless, these are things to consider. However, unfortunately, Ashok doesn't make it to the U. 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. 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.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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 Retraining TM 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 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 System TM 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.
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. 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, However, there are a variety of things, like my bath soap, dish soap, laundry soap that has not improved hardly at all.
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.
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. 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. My conditions were at the extreme end of extreme. The program brought me in off the ledge a little bit. Now, one of the first things you may be wondering is whether I really applied myself to the limbic system retraining program.
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 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. 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.
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. 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. For the past three months I have been using both programs.
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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
However, I can clearly see that the rewiring is happening and that I am improving and this motivates me to continue. 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. As of August 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.
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. 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. 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.
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.
Immediately after I purchased the Gupta program, in July of , 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. The Gupta DVDs come in a very nice, sturdy and professional case. 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 Retraining TM 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. There is a shorter version of the main technique that only takes seconds to complete. This is my favorite. 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 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'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. 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.
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. 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.
However, if the massage is done properly you should feel better than ever within a day or two. Aromatherapy works on the basis that the smell of the essential oils bring about the limbic system - the part of the human brain which seems to be linked with emotion. This is why it can affect how you feel, and help you relax. Massage assists your skin to absorb warmed essential oils; these types of oils improve the effectiveness of the massage in treating specific physical difficulties.
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