We talk about this section:
- How Annie's health trip impressed her to start DNRS
- Limbic System and Neuroplasty
- What Causes Limbic System Disorder
- How Do You Have a Limbic System
- How Does a DNRS Work
- Brain Training with Think about
- Difference between DNRS, Psychotherapy and Psychological Well being
- How to Attempt DNRS
Hey, All, It's Chris Kresser. Welcome to Revolution Health Radio's second episode. This week, I'm actually excited to welcome a guest Annie Hopper. He’s the creator of a dynamic neurological retraining system, a top-down, self-directed, neuroplasty-based strategy to rebuilding persistent illnesses in the brain.
™ DNRS, dynamic re-education, is something that I have to use increasingly typically with sufferers within the clinic, and the results are exceptional leads to many instances. I have spoken neuroplastisuudesta and different underlying this technique of scientific ideas just lately featured within the exhibition. And I feel you actually take pleasure in this new strategy to treating sure persistent illnesses. So, with out further circumstances, dive in.
Chris Kresser: Annie, it's a pleasure to get you to the present. Thank you very a lot for joining us.
Annie Hopper: Thanks very much for your invitation, Chris. It’s a pleasure to be here.
- 1 How did Annie's well being journey inspire her to begin the DNRS
- 2 limbic system and neuroplasticity
- 3 What Causes Limbic System Effect
- 4 How to Tell If You Have a Limbic System Disorder
- 5 How the DNRS Works
- 6 IMAGINE Brain Retraining
- 7 The Difference between DNRS, Psychotherapy, and Mindfulness
- 8 How You Can Attempt DNRS
How did Annie's well being journey inspire her to begin the DNRS
Chris Kresser: So I all the time want to start within the background. So most of the visitors I interviewed on the present are on their very own journey and for their very own purpose ending up the place they’re. They’ve been on their own well being journey, and I would come with myself on this group. And I do know that you simply read your ebook and knew little about your story that you’re thinking about neuroplasty and the development of a dynamic nervous system retraining system on your personal health trip. Inform us how it all started.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, positive, Chris. So identical to many other individuals, I have my very own well being trip and that's why I received into this business just because I used to be sick and I used to be on the lookout for solutions. So when the illness started, I labored in Kelowna, British Columbia, as a key advisor to the assumption, and I am also the writer of newsprint referred to as "Emotional Rescue", which I wrote a weekly basis.
And I was generally known as an professional on emotional well-being and interviewed on the radio quite a bit at the moment. And I worked together with individuals and in addition facilitated group workshops on private improvement, improvement, and so forth. And sadly, I moved to the workplace where my workplace shared the wall within the room of the housekeeping room, the place they stored all of the office cleaners. And the building was the truth is the mould, so I was not absolutely aware of the fact that I have been exposed to mould each day and actually heavy chemical compounds.
And earlier than I worked on this workplace about six months earlier, I used to be in a motorcar accident that left me in a type of cervical duct that seemed like virtually mimic symptoms like Parkinson's illness, and this neurological shaking around the neck. Anyway, slowly, once I worked on this building for about 5 months, I started to develop symptoms of continual joint and muscle pain and insomnia and nervousness. And I found that I used to be ever extra delicate to the chemical compounds within the setting, and particularly to what was in it, including human everyday toiletries, perfumes or laundry detergents or plasticizers or plasticizers. cleaners that folks use to clean their houses. And it didn't break down on me that my odor of milk modified. I just thought that the whole lot else changed. And my favorite word was: "It smells. Can't you smell it? ”
Chris Kresser: Right.
Annie Hopper: I couldn't believe other people couldn't smell the same thing as I smelled because perfume is no longer smell like perfume. It smelled like some poisonous bug spray, and it felt like I was poisoned in my environment. And just, yes, it felt like science fiction. And so, so, the sensitivity began to grow. I got more and more symptoms
And when it got to the point where there were chemical sensitivities, if somebody was doing their laundry and they had a laundry in the air and walked in it, I would go cramping. Or if someone walked with perfume, the same thing. And it takes me and the days to recover. So my world navigation was really difficult. So I was able to isolate a lot because I couldn't go public. And if so, I had to wear a mask and I had to be really careful about the exposures. And besides, I had chronic pain, and after all, at the end of this trip, I also got an electronic hypersensitivity syndrome, which meant that you know what this means, I became sensitive to everything – wireless, cell phones, electronics, everything. So it meant I couldn't talk on the phone anymore.
It was just, yes, just scientific. So you can imagine during this illness that I had gone to see a lot of different experts. And while some treatments, both allopathic and alternative, and although some treatments seemed to help temporarily, nothing was lasting for me. And I would always be back to this zero starting point. And unfortunately, the disease progressed and worsened instead of getting better.
So, what I recognize, and even though I had developed this elevated awareness of my sense of smell, it aroused to me that something was wrong in the way that my brain had filtered information. And so I started exploring the brain. So, let's start, there is only one who looks at the past and what actually happened during the illness. And it became so ill that I developed electromagnetic sensitivities, of which I have become homeless. And not because I didn't have the money, but simply because my body, my brain reacted –
Chris Kresser: No safe place.
Annie Hopper: There was no safe place. According to my brain, there was literally no safe place. So, yeah, I ended up in the campsite and lived in a broken houseboat, and life became really interesting. Yeah, yeah, it's a kind of backstory.
limbic system and neuroplasticity
Chris Kresser: Yeah, and I'm curious, what led you agree that this may be the brain's filtering problem rather than strictly an environmental problem? Because it is not necessarily, it was not the dominant paradigm vision, certainly in a number of chemical sensitivities and EHS community. So you have a sense of what led you on the road?
Annie Hopper: Yeah, well, I think it was just a deductive reasoning process. If it is not a problem or it is not a problem, what else could it be? And I thought it was reasonable for my brain not only to understand the information correctly. As I thought, well, how can someone else walk in the grocery laundry detergent and not get cramped?
Chris Kresser: Right.
Annie Hopper: Apparently there is something really wrong in the nervous system or the way my brain interprets the sensory information. In addition, my senses had changed. They were completely elevated. So I watched, I started to look at what makes sense to me to study the area of the brain that matches the smell. And it led me to the limbic system.
And I also looked, I was looking for what was a common denominator in all these illnesses, because I felt that although they expressed many things – and yes, the environmental factors were part of it and could have caused the original damage – I felt that my brain just didn't work properly. Not only was the sensation of the senses distorted, but also my ability to think and cognitive was well, very weakened, and communication was really difficult.
It was really difficult to mark the language together. And I thought it was more than just an environmental issue. It's a brain problem. It's a cognitive issue, it's a central nervous system problem. At the root of this is something that causes so many symptoms at many different levels, whether it be neurological, endocrine, immune system, intestinal problems. So I looked at a study that was already done in the brain in many overlapping conditions, such as chronic fatigue, such as fibromyalgia, such as chemical sensitivities such as depression. And I found that the common denominator was this overexposure of threat mechanisms in the limbic system.
So when I started to look, "Okay, hold the other, this is sensible" that I also started researching the latest scientists in neuroplasty. And I met a book called The Brain, which itself changes, Dr. Norman Doidge.
Chris Kresser: Norman Doidge, yes.
Annie Hopper: Yeah. I have since spoken to him several times, and in any case he was investigating the latest topical neuroplastic and looked at all of these other so-called incurable diseases and how they were, how people recovered from this new tool, which is neuroplasticity. And indeed, neuroplasty simply means the ability of the brain to change.
So it was one of the chapters of the Brain that moves himself, and Dr. Norman Doidge spoke of Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, the guru of OCD. . And he talked about why what happens in the brain with OCD. And some of the brain is called the caudate core, and when it grabs, it leaves people feeling this contamination. And they cannot move from one thought to another. And he described how he would get people to do these self-directed exercises and give them brain tests when they came in, and then give them exercises to do and make the brain scan afterwards. And how he noticed that the brain itself changed the structure and function through self-directed neuroplasty
Chris Kresser: Yeah, amazing insight.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, yeah. So …
Chris Kresser: Go ahead,
Annie Hopper: Sorry. But even though I didn't have an OCD, I felt there was something wrong with my brain. It feels like it's stuck. And I understand that a lot of my thought processes, emotional processes, behavioral processes and my body's reaction were about salvation. That just assumed that this flight, battle or freezing mechanism in my brain was stuck. My thoughts were fine if this part of the brain is stuck, what if we get it unstuck? And could this solve the symptoms of the disease when we get it. So it was a good question, and so it started.
Chris Kresser: Right. So this is a double-edged sword of neuroplasty, where we… the realization of our life experience can change the structure and function of our brain as adults, which was a new idea. I think Dr. Doidge refers to this as the biggest change in brain understanding over the last 300 years. I've heard him do this comment
So on the one hand our brain structure and function may change in a way that does not serve us, as it was for you. And being in that office, exposed to mold and toxic chemicals. But the upside down of neuroplasticity is that we can change the structure and functioning of our brain in more positive ways with different top-down and bottom-up techniques we talk about later.
What Causes Limbic System Effect
Annie Hopper: Absolutely. And yes, I just wanted to go back to something, Chris. Everything can cause limbic disorders. When you think of shapes or different forms of trauma, whether viral or bacterial or chemical exposure or mold exposure or emotional stress or psychological stress or excessive exposure to EMF, it may be a set of things that really culminate in a perfect storm limb system deterioration.
Chris Kresser: And this is also more up-to-date when we understand trauma. To my mind, historically, trauma was understood to be limited to an extreme event that could cause PTSD level syndrome. But of course it is not black or white. The whole trauma is here. And nowadays, in the scientific literature, I see certainly a much broader understanding of the trauma and the various traumas we all experience and how they can accumulate in ways you describe changing brain activity.
Annie, I want to separate my back as soon as you speak, talk here, and the idea of a psychosomatic disease that is just when the patient is just about to imagine what is happening. Because of this, of course, for so many years that people with conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and IBS and fibromyalgia and electrical hypersensitivity were reduced and reduced. But what you are talking about is not very much.
So, if we can do, make it clear that some people. Because I think there is often confusion when some people first hear about neuroplasty and these thoughts.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, that's a really good question. And this is not a psychological illness at all. And two things. It is not a psychological illness and it is not a patient's fault. They did nothing to create this disease. It is not about their thoughts or feelings.
So we know, for example, that a mold can be very toxic. And we have all kinds of brain research that shows how it affects the brain and how the damage that the absolute damage can affect the structure and function of the brain. So we know that diseases are not being prepared. There is a real disability. There is real toxic damage to people. And it does not only affect the body and the ability of many of our systems to function properly, but it also affects the brain structurally and functionally. And the brain goes into this truly natural, protective, flight or battle mechanism. And it can be a reaction to the actual trauma itself or it can be because any neurons that along this nerve structure within the limbic system are damaged or injured in any form or form.
And I think this goes back to what the limbic system does. So yeah, the brain's limbic system is basically a set of structures that are located in the medium and are known as "feeling and responsive" in the brain. So it actually detects or filters billions of bits of information that is coming to us at any time, and categorizes this information into two very separate categories, safe or harmless. And if you have had some kind of disability in this area of the brain or you are in the wrong chronic battle, battle or freezing, you can imagine that the stimuli that are normally classified as safe may begin to categorize
Now that doesn't mean the patient did it himself. This is the actual brain trauma or brain injury that causes it. And is this a reason for having an effect on the rest of the body? Absolutely. I mean, when you think your brain is the whole body control center, if your brain does not work optimally, you can imagine that it sends messages to the immune system as an alarm. Also a change, so you can free up all kinds of hormones related to this fight, flight or freezing.
Thus, it has a top-down effect on all body systems. So this is by no means your head. In fact, it is really dangerous and unfair to even suggest that this disease is on the head. Because it is not. It is a brain injury. It is poisonous damage. It affects so many different systems in the body.
Chris Kresser: Right. Or sometimes I tell patients if it is your head, everything else is also your head. Because there is no experience that we do not have that brain-transmitted, and there is nothing in the body that the brain does not control. So it is so important that people understand. And we have this whole field of psycho-anturoimmunendendocrinology, one of the longest words in English – it is dedicated to studying this for several decades.
But unfortunately, this understanding has not yet fallen into mainstream awareness of health and illness. And I think of myself as a doctor myself, that is, this understanding of the limbic system that you have been playing in and who have approaches that we are going to actually talk to these circumstances. Because there are, I think, many people who have at least partially a weakening of the limbic system if it is not usually recognized.
And yet there is very little support for people who have these conditions in the mainstream medical paradigm just because awareness of how they work and what they do with them is still quite low.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, yes, I would agree with you completely. And we try to make our mark as much as we can around it. We currently have two studies. One is the observation research conducted by McMaster University in Ontario, Hamilton. They looked at 100 participants. It went through a five-day DNRS interactive training program and followed them for one year, looking at standardized and validated observation studies to measure the difference in symptoms. The results of this study will be published soon. So look forward to it.
And the second is a study from Calgary University, and we are only entering the second phase of this study, which examines functional MRIs and various test biomarkers in people with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or multiple chemical sensitivities, and how the brain changes and how the body is different markers change as a result of the reorientation of the limbic system. So, yes, I mean it's a really new idea, and the goodness knows how long it will take to move it into the mainstream medical system. But you know, as you know, it can't happen soon.
Chronic illness can cause permanent changes in the brain, but a dynamic neural network system (DNRS) can help you restore your brain and heal. Check out this section of the RHR for more information on DNRS. #wellness #chriskresser
How to Tell If You Have a Limbic System Disorder
Chris Kresser: Absolutely. So we talk a little. You have already touched on a few different conditions, MCS and electronic hypersensitivity, fibromyalgia. What characterizes a limbic system disorder? If someone is struggling with health issues, how would they know or suspect that they might have a limb system weakening? Next, under what conditions have you typically found a limbic system disorder?
Annie Hopper: Both big questions. First of all, I would say that there is a questionnaire on our website and I think I have 29 questions. I just look at it right now. And they are just a kind of general self-assessment questionnaire, so look at the cognitive symptoms of the symptoms of the senses in the symptoms of pain.
So here is an example of some questions: [19659002
So there are a number of different issues that people could really look at, saying, "Oh, grasp another, yeah." I feel I may need this. “So look at the various symptoms at various levels – cognitive, emotional, psychological and physical.
And what are the real diseases, we have seen a useful program, it is interesting, because as we are, I think this is the 11th year when I taught program. And more and more people report great results on the functioning of the limbic system. And even the illnesses I didn't even know at the beginning would be affected.
But here are some of the most common:
So there are about 10 that are really common, and I've probably lost something. Did I say an electronic hypersensitivity syndrome?
Chris Kresser: EMF.
Annie Hopper: Yeah.
Chris Kresser: Yeah. I would like to add that … I find it interesting that I deal with a lot of patients with very complex chronic diseases. And I think we could separate them now into two very broad groups. One group is the patient who enters, they go through the whole Functional Medicine process, and they heal. And it may take some time, and it may require a few different actions, but they will progress steadily and they will get there.
Another group of patients is a patient who does not all the treatments we expect to work with. Or they can't even tolerate treatments because they are so sensitive to supplements or other things we use to make treatments. Or they get better short periods and then click back, almost like a sort of gravity mechanism. I don't always know it, but I often suspect that the limbic system is getting worse in our patient group. Because it is almost as well, we know that it is probably similar to the well-established pattern of the nervous system
And it maintains what produces symptoms and even downstream dysfunction. Imagine a patient with SIBO, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, well, the intestine is just a big bundle of nerves and is part of the nervous system. It is defined as a completely separate nervous system. And if someone is a chronically activated combat or flight response, it interferes with bowel movement and the purifying action of the peristaltic wave that keeps the bacteria growing in the small intestine.
we give it patient antibiotics or treat them to SIBO and we have not discussed this model, it just comes back. And I've often found myself wondering whether SIBO toistumismäärä so great – because we do not deal with the real underlying cause for these situations.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, I would agree with you 100 percent there. And I think this is really a great diagnostic or distinctive, to say okay, is there a limbic system involved? Because if they do not get better or they get better for short periods and then continue the recession, yes, I would suggest that the underlying neurological dysfunction has not yet been addressed. And I think this is a really great vision and I would agree with you 100%.
How the DNRS Works
Chris Kresser: Great. So we talk a little about the dynamic nervous system retraining system, which is of course the approach you have developed. I mean, the first step was to get an idea that this was a limbic system disorder in a personal case. And then of course the next step was that you could start exploring, "Okay, if so, how can I use my brain to reverse this brain problem?" And so, yes, tell us a little more, maybe a little bit of finding your way. And then how has the system evolved and what is the basic approach
Annie Hopper: Sure. So, with my own recovery, I really had to look, I became very well, I was already very skilled at seeing my own internal patterns – thought patterns, emotional patterns, behaviors. It was part of my work before I suffered from limbic disorders. So that the skill set came very handy when I was my guinea pig. Because what I felt about myself was not just my body in this hyperreactive state, it reacted to everything, but I just thought back and I really looked at my thinking processes.
And what happened to me is that my brain was stuck in this trauma. Because many of my thinking processes were about survival and security. And even though I was in a very stressful situation, I also noticed that I was no longer the person I used to be. I turned in – and before that I was this happy-happy, really bubbly, make a new friend-everyday person – and turned to this totally horrified world and everything – the person who was completely closed. And the only thing I thought about most of the time was my survival. What I also noticed was emotionally that I had no more access to pleasure, which is really interesting. Because again I was a very happy and happy-happy person.
And surely, I understand how I would be worried about health and trying to get better. But even more than I found that I could no longer get into positive emotional spaces. And it was curious to me because I thought, “Wow, I know there have been really great things in my life. So sure, I should be able to a) remember one and b) be able to raise my emotional state. “And what I noticed is that my brain just continued the trauma of the past, even though I had completely solved these problems. So it was like the brain was in this trauma response and it was just like a candy boy who is looking for more trauma focus.
So yeah, it was just really interesting. The thought patterns were about trauma or trauma to the future, but the emotional state was also really about… I just had access to survival feelings. So fear, worry, anger, only those feelings. And then I really look at my behavior. So I thought, "Okay, if this is not a brain injury or a brain trauma that affects my brain in this particular way, how can I change these patterns because I could do it myself?" Self-control these changes. "
So I looked at the work of Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz and the work of Dr. Ramachandran, who talked about brain imagination and how I could use these tools to really change brain pattern. So it was a surprise to me that I found a way to reduce the symptoms. And it happened at very small moments in time. I'd like to do special exercises that include visualization and raised emotional space, and for a long time I'd noticed that my sensory perception changed a little. And when my smell seemed to normalize, I knew I was something. Because of the other treatments I had tried. It was the only thing I recognize that I changed my sense of sensuality, especially the smell. So I started using myself as a guinea pig and I go there.
But certainly, the program itself contains some visualizations, contains small movements, speech. It is not very difficult to do, but I came to an acronym to really think about what neuroplastic principles are for the repair of the limbic system and because they relate to a dynamic system of neural network rearrangement.
IMAGINE Brain Retraining
Annie Hopper: So my acronym is called IMAGINE. So I mean intentions, so we have to understand that when we are in the limbic system rehabilitation, it is not necessarily the intention to reduce the symptoms immediately, even though it happens when the nervous system returns itself. But we need to turn our attention away from the symptoms and move energy towards brain rehabilitation exercises that change the limbic system. And of course, as you said, you have an effect on different body systems
M means motivation. So we have to be willing and motivated to become an active participant in the healing process. Too much of our medical system has largely placed the patient in a passive role where they are dependent on other people or outside activities. And this is something that the person himself directs and does. But it must be done daily for at least six months to strengthen these alternative nerve cells. So it is M.
A means awareness and unification. So we need to be conscious and conscious of all thoughts, feelings, behaviors and physical symptoms associated with limbic disorders. And we also need to be aware of the unconscious protection mechanisms that the brain can operate. For example, like MCS, a combat or air defense response may have been appropriate in the context of the original chemical damage. But the brain-unconscious association of small amounts of chemicals that are life-threatening and may be present in some laundry products is not the right answer.
Joten tarkastellaan, miten aivot ovat vaikuttaneet täällä ja myös muuttaneet yhdistyksiä. Because I think once we become sensitive to a certain stimuli, then … Well, for me, once I became sensitive to chemicals, I started to research everything that I was sensitive to. And then it made common sense that I’d be reactive to these products, considering how carcinogenic they might be or how toxic they might be. So that’s truth number one, right? We know that there are a lot of toxic agents or toxins in the environment. But the truth number two is that the brain can become impaired by trauma, and our focus is really to focus on that truth number two, is about rehabilitation of the brain.
So, changing, so that led to having to change my associations with things. So instead of saying, “Perfumes are all poison and this is toxic” and actually spending my power and time targeted on how toxic the world is, I had to really change my considering and go, “Okay, you know what? That is true. But for the purpose of rehabilitating my injured limbic system, I’m going to have to focus on something else entirely and something that preferably brings me joy.” In order that was sort of a 180 contemplating that I’d been dwelling in survival.
Chris Kresser: Yeah, and so necessary based mostly on Donald Hebb’s insight, neurons that fireplace together wire together, proper? So you understand that the more we run a certain sample or association, the stronger it gets. And so as to shift it, we’ve got to create a new one after which run that one a lot more than the previous one.
Annie Hopper: Exactly, exactly. And it doesn’t mean that I’m not environmentally conscious, it simply signifies that I want to change my brain packages.
Chris Kresser: Sure, sure.
Annie Hopper: Or brain patterns. So thanks for the clarification on that. G stands for features. So whereas we’re undergoing limbic system rehabilitation, it’s actually necessary to consciously give attention to our good points regardless of how huge or small they’re as a result of we have now this innate negativity bias, which means that we’re naturally wired to discover potential threats versus what we will respect or what’s going good in our life. So with limbic system impairment, this negativity bias, turns into magnified. As a result of you possibly can think about, if the menace centers of your brain are firing too quickly and too typically, that is obviously going to affect this negativity bias.
So it turns into actually giant and magnified. So we also have to acknowledge that the restoration process in limbic system rehabilitation may be gradual, and it’s not necessarily linear, it’s not necessarily a linear course of. So meaning typically that signs will ebb and stream through the restoration process, but we all the time need to take into account that general aim of, “Okay, hang on a second. I’m rewiring the limbic system. Even though I might be symptomatic one day, it doesn’t mean that I’m not in the process of rewiring the brain.” It’s like watering a plant.
After you have that focus in thoughts, you say, “Okay, if I am doing the exercises in the correct way and I’m implementing them on a daily basis and I’m doing this for a minimum of six months,” then your brain truly has no selection but to make those modifications. But I all the time use the analogy identical to watering a seed. You don’t … look, in case you plant a seed within the floor, you don’t dig it up every single day to say, “Hey, are you growing yet? Are you growing?” You water that seed and you give it all of the nutrients it wants and you then belief that these pathways are forming.
I stands for incremental training. So, incremental coaching is a type of neural shaping that strengthens new neural pathways whereas desensitizing previous neural pathways. And which may involve barely triggering a reaction to create a heightened neuroplastic state inside the brain, which makes it easier for the brain to change. So what we do is it might be by way of small publicity remedy or another type of set off. However, and it’s not essentially essential to know what all of your triggers are, having stated that. But when we will set off the brain barely, it truly activates neural pathways which are at play with the neural sample itself.
So we will redirect all the actual property that’s involved in that reaction in that moment of time and move these neural pathways right into a more healthy sample. So it’s truly, we benefit from the truth that anyone is perhaps reacting.
Chris Kresser: Right. And just for the listeners who could be less conscious, I’ve talked rather a lot about neurotoxicity and approaches to persistent pain on my website. These are very comparable mechanisms which might be used by individuals like Dr. Moskowitz, who’s just across the bay from me, who’re using these top-down self-directed neuroplasticity-based approaches to treating persistent pain. So it’s actually fascinating and inspiring to see what’s potential once we’re in a position to redirect our brain in new methods.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, I imply, the results that we’re seeing converse for themselves, truly. However I just needed to get back to IMAGINE for a second, because I solely have two more letters to undergo. So N stands for neurological and emotional rehearsals. So it’s a type of visualization that chemically blocks the menace mechanism to create a healthy emotional set level in the brain. And what that does is it moves the neurochemistry related with the stress response.
So cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine, or we’d name that CAN, c-a-n, to DOSE chemistry. And DOSE chemistry is d-o-s-e. It stands for dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins, to transfer the brain and physique from a state of survival into that state of progress and restore. So we say kick the CAN and get your every day DOSE. And yeah, it’s really fairly unimaginable.
And the E, finally, the E stands for environmental awareness. So acknowledge toxins in your everyday setting, an setting that could be contributing to ailing well being, from the products that you simply placed on your body to the food that you simply eat to the merchandise that you’ve in your house. Reducing your time on the computer and really setting yourself up for a very great, healthy neurorehabilitation expertise.
Chris Kresser: That’s a terrific acronym actually. It brings to mild all the numerous approaches and instruments that you’ve put collectively within the DNRS system. And I’m all the time struck once I speak to sufferers about this, like I stated earlier, how these individuals like Norman Doidge and Michael Moskowitz and all the pioneers, Donald Hebb was talking about this, what was back in the 40s or the 50s that he, I feel, had coined that saying “neurons that fire together wire together.” So this has been round for, these concepts have been around for fairly a very long time. But what I actually recognize about DNRS is the way you’ve put them collectively in a approach that is actionable for an individual to give you the option to utilize these instruments. As a result of I feel I’ve been aware of those areas of science for in all probability 20 years. I wrote again once I was learning integrative drugs and nonetheless in class, I wrote a paper on the placebo, or self-healing, response.
And we talked about a number of these similar pathways. However—and I’ve read tons of books about this and skim research on neuroplasticity—however it was elusive to work out how to truly put these ideas to work in a approach that folks might access them and truly make a distinction in their own health as an alternative of it simply being an fascinating principle or understanding of how issues are working in the brain. So I’m really grateful to you and for the work that you simply’ve achieved in placing this all together within the system.
Annie Hopper: Thanks, Chris. It’s actually my honor to find a way to do this. I made a promise to myself once I was suffering, that if and when I found a approach to recuperate that I might share that with the rest of the world. And that is a part of my promise. And I’m just so thrilled that increasingly more practitioners are seeing the constructive impression of neural retraining with their sufferers. I just acquired back from attending a conference, the ICI. Nicely, truly, it’s ISEAI, which stands for Worldwide Society for Environmentally Acquired Sicknesses.
Chris Kresser: Sure, I know lots of those clinicians from my work within the environmental illness world; it’s an incredible group.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, it’s an amazing group. And Dr. Robert Naviaux was a speaker at that convention.
Chris Kresser: Sure.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, he wrote papers—
Chris Kresser: On the cell danger response.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, on the cell hazard response.
Chris Kresser: Yeah.
Annie Hopper: And we have been talking extensively. I had dinner with him one night, and I was speaking to him concerning the cell danger response and how that relates to limbic system impairment and the brain’s context of security. And when there isn’t a context of safety, in fact, it’s going to have an effect on the physique down to a mobile degree.
Chris Kresser: Sure.
Annie Hopper: And so, yeah, he was really excited. On Sunday I spoke for half an hour and just type of gave the highlights of what we’re doing and showed a video testimonial, a few of the people who have gone by way of the program and are recovering. And he was simply lit up. He was identical to, “Wow, this is amazing, the fact that you can show people how to do this. And there’s a step-by-step process.” It’s fairly thrilling.
Chris Kresser: Yeah. It’s very exciting as a result of, I mean, Dr. Nathan, Dr. Ackerley, and so most of the different clinicians are there. Myself, we’ve been treating individuals with environmental illness for a few years and we all know that the standard approaches could be helpful in some instances definitely, however in lots of instances, they’re both not useful in any respect or they’re not useful sufficient. They’re not sufficient to reverse the situation. And just in our follow alone, I imply, I first discovered about DNRS from a patient. And as soon as I heard about it, I used to be on testing your website and learning more about it. Because that’s where I study probably the most, is from my sufferers.
And I’m all the time on the lookout for new instruments and new things that may help individuals recuperate. And this, we have been seeing conditions the place individuals … Mould is a superb instance because we’ve accomplished plenty of work in that area. Someone would get uncovered to a big amount of mould. It might develop continual inflammatory response syndrome, or CIRS, and we might undergo the entire protocol. We might remove them from exposure, we might use binders, we might restore their detox capability, and they might get higher. But then all it took was another mould exposure to ship them right again into that entire cycle again. And it’s really onerous to keep away from mould utterly, especially in certain elements of the world, until you’re going to go stay in a tent within the desert for the rest of your life. It can be fairly limiting to stay with that prime sensitivity for mould.
And then once we began to use, beneficial DNRS to lots of our sufferers who had CIRS. We had some patients that had gone by means of the whole thing, the whole Practical Drugs pantheons, so to converse, and had not improved to the diploma that we needed them to. After which inside six months, in some instances sooner, some instances somewhat longer of doing DNRS, they for the primary time in, like, 15 years of making an attempt to work out their well being drawback have been lastly beginning to see some vital progress.
So and that’s been true not only for mould and environmental toxins. It’s been true, we had one patient who had persistent diarrhea for her complete life. She never, to her memory, had had a traditional bowel movement and normal digestive perform. And we went via the entire, every check you’ll be able to imagine. DNA, PCR, stool testing, SIBO breath testing, urine testing, all the things, and gave her tons and plenty of totally different remedies. And she or he simply, she would begin perhaps to appear to be she was getting higher after which it will just snap back. That snapback mechanism we talked about earlier. After which after I feel just three or 4 months of DNRS, she started having normal bowel movements for the primary time in her life, which was simply pretty superb.
And for me, the best way I understand that’s, like, if you turn off the fight-or-flight system and also you interact that rest-and-digest mechanism, the parasympathetic, that’s then what creates the surroundings that is attainable where, like, a wholesome intestine microbiota can develop. And the physique is pretty good at taking good care of itself as soon as the circumstances are proper. So I’m notably fascinated with it for a lot of the digestive and G.I. issues because I feel the nervous system has type of been the missing piece in a lot of people’s, in a whole lot of the best way that we treat that, even in Useful Drugs.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, absolutely, Chris, I might agree. And I mean, in fact, it simply brings a huge smile to my face once I hear about recovery stories. And but we’ve got so many various restoration tales on our website and actual individuals which might be struggling and have recovered from a myriad of different circumstances. Such as you stated, whether that’s intestine points or immune system issues or sensory sensitivities or food sensitivities or chemical or mould, and so on. And I feel there’s something that I’d like to speak to is that this entire, such as you stated, the whole problem of avoidance, right?
Chris Kresser: Proper. Yeah.
Annie Hopper: It’s unimaginable to create a perfect place.
Chris Kresser: No, no.
Annie Hopper: We will’t stroll around the globe in a bubble. And so, for everybody who’s sick, they’ve already tried that they usually attempt to manage their life by means of avoidance, and that works up until some extent where perhaps you’ll be able to attempt to decrease the variety of occasions that you’ve exposure. However it’s pretty unattainable to do until you reside in the desert. And even then.
Chris Kresser: And even then, there are penalties to that selection.
Annie Hopper: Yeah.
Chris Kresser: Like you identified in your personal expertise. You can begin to really feel very remoted and alone and your options for work are restricted. Your entire life just gets smaller and smaller. And then you definitely, it’s sort of a cascade as a result of you then begin, there’s more probability for melancholy and all of these damaging, the CAN chemistry begins to actually hearth.
And also you’ve also mentioned in your guide that, and this is additionally type of a tragic irony, is that avoidance itself can truly perpetuate the cycle. Because neurons that fireplace together wire collectively. So we keep away from something because with the thought that it’s going to hurt us, that fires that neural pathway that’s already developed and reinforces it.
Annie Hopper: Yeah.
Chris Kresser: And this isn’t to blame anyone for avoiding things that harm them. In fact, that’s just primary human nature.
Annie Hopper: Yeah.
Chris Kresser: Or even animal, any animal would do this. So I’m not suggesting that avoidance was not the most effective technique that we knew at the time. However I’m simply mentioning that it type of can backfire on us in that means too.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, absolutely. And something that we hearth with worry, any type of emotional charge that we’ve with one thing is going to strengthen the neural pathway and the affiliation associated with that stimuli. So, yeah, once we strategy the world from a place of worry, then it really does strengthen these neural pathways which might be at play in one massive system impairment. And such as you stated, it’s not their fault, they usually’re not, this can be a brain trauma.
And in order to transfer from that place of avoidance into having the ability to be round issues again takes a neural rehabilitation program so as to do this. You simply simply wouldn’t go from “Hey, you know, I can’t go anywhere” to “I’m just going power my way through this and I’m going to go everywhere.” It doesn’t work like that. You actually have to rehabilitate the injured brain in order to give you the chance to particularly go round substances once more.
So it’s a really prescribed neural rehabilitation course of that we’ll get someone from that place of utmost avoidance to being able to reside on the earth once more as a healthy individual. But once more, even once we’re dwelling on the earth as wholesome individuals, we still make environmentally aware decisions and selections based mostly on that.
Chris Kresser: Yeah. Yeah, and that’s the flipside of what we stated earlier. Just as this isn’t a psychological situation where you’ve just talked your self into being sick, it’s additionally, you’ll be able to’t simply speak yourself out of, you simply determine at some point, “Okay, I’m no longer sensitive to chemicals,” or “I’m no longer sensitive to electricity or EMF,” or “I’m no longer sensitive to these foods.” You’ve gotten to truly do the brain retraining in order to shift the sample. Because it’s not just in your creativeness.
Annie Hopper: No, exactly. I mean, there’s a real menace mechanism that’s gone rogue in the brain that’s inflicting this downstream effect of signs in many instances. So we’d like to rehabilitate the brain in order for it to not be sending these downstream messages to the immune system, to the endocrine system, to the intestine, whatever. So, yeah, it’s not merely simply changing your mind about one thing.
Chris Kresser: Right.
Annie Hopper: It’s not a program about constructive considering or denial and even denial about signs. It’s truly about acceptance that your brain is definitely involved in the actual sickness, and that doesn’t mean your thoughts. That the construction of your brain, which is just one other organ identical to your heart and your lungs, that the construction of your brain is involved. And the best way that your brain works is involved in these groups of sicknesses. So we’re just actually taking a look at, “Okay, so if the brain is involved, how do we address the brain?” And this is likely one of the ways to handle the brain element.
Chris Kresser: Yeah, I really like that you simply clarified this. This isn’t simply constructive considering. And on the similar time, it does invite us to shift extra of our attention to what is going nicely and to domesticate extra constructive emotions. As a result of in the identical method that in case you associate one thing with worry, it’s going to strengthen that neural wiring that occurs there, constructive emotions have additionally been, any type of robust emotion, together with constructive emotions, tend to strengthen the neural connections.
The Difference between DNRS, Psychotherapy, and Mindfulness
Annie Hopper: Completely, completely. And a couple different issues that I simply regarded as you have been talking. It’s essential to concentrate on constructive emotions so that that may lay the groundwork for serving to the brain to rewire itself. But in addition types of typical psychotherapy and why they may not be beneficial in the course of the rehabilitation process. Because you possibly can imagine if a brain is stuck in trauma that going back and talking about past traumatic occasions wouldn’t essentially be helpful for somebody who’s already affected by limbic system impairment.
In reality, speaking about past trauma can truly reinforce the neural circuits which are at play with the impairment itself. And so, yeah, we don’t need to go to trauma at all. We don’t need to go to something even related with trauma, really. And the other factor that I needed to say was, the variations between what we do in meditation. As a result of perhaps the bigger umbrella could be mindfulness, nevertheless it’s in a very, very totally different approach. And we know that meditation might be actually useful and it’s a very useful gizmo and it helps lots of people. And we all know that meditation helps to restructure the brain in very particular methods.
However, and what we do is sort of totally different from meditation within the sense that with many types of meditation, we step into that curious observer and we emotionally distance ourselves from our thoughts or feelings and what’s occurring. And we just let it go by and not turn into hooked up. With limbic system impairment and rehabilitation, we step into that curious observer, but we acknowledge these thought patterns or emotional patterns or behaviors which are related with the impairment itself. And once we recognize it, we don’t merely let it’s.
We truly actively step in and redirect the thought, redirect the emotion, the conduct in order for the brain to truly take a special pathway. So it’s once more, it’s not about denial. It’s about actually repatterning the brain in second to moment, in each second in the course of the day, but specifically through the rewiring process as properly.
Chris Kresser: Completely. And lots of these approaches are being used for melancholy now. Like Rick Hanson’s work, his e-book Hardwiring Happiness is absolutely based mostly on loads of these comparable ideas. And I do know a number of psychiatrists are more and more getting fascinated about neuroplasticity as a approach of rewiring melancholy and nervousness. And I do know DNRS can also be helpful for that as nicely.
It’s really cool for me to see these insights coming from totally different locations and being applied in several ways. And I do assume that there’s a very shortly growing degree of awareness concerning the significance of neuroplasticity and understanding health and illness. After which how we will apply it to truly reverse disease and enhance our high quality of life.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, yeah. And I’m actually excited to be on this position, to be a pacesetter in this area and in addition to watch what number of hundreds of individuals are recovering. It fills me with pleasure that I can’t even categorical, and I’m actually longing for our future and that the medical system really starts as properly concentrate. And in addition that we begin to acknowledge sickness sooner relatively than later, in order that we will forestall years of suffering and, in fact, relationships and cash and all of that stuff that goes with being sick.
How You Can Attempt DNRS
Chris Kresser: Absolutely. Nicely, thanks a lot again for this work and all the things you’re doing to assist individuals to get well their well being with this strategy. And where can individuals study extra about DNRS?
Annie Hopper: Yeah, they will go to our website, which is RetrainingTheBrain.com. Once more, that’s RetrainingTheBrain.com. And I wrote a ebook in 2014 referred to as Wired for Therapeutic: Remapping the Brain to Recuperate from Persistent and Mysterious Sicknesses. That can be discovered on the website as nicely. And truly we provide the program in three totally different codecs.
We now have a 14-hour educational DVD that’s out there, and in addition that program is now obtainable on-line. So there’s a 14-hour educational online program that folks can do in the event that they don’t have DVD players. As a result of they’re going to be a thing of the previous now. We’ve got to stay up with the occasions and know-how.
So, and the other means that the program could be accessed is through our five-day interactive coaching seminars. And those, we hold these all through numerous places of North America and Europe. And they are often discovered on our web site as properly. So we go to totally different resorts or retreat facilities, and for five days individuals are utterly immersed inside this neurorehabilitation process. And you may think about that we vet our possible places rather well. So, in fact, we attempt to make them as environmentally conscious for those who have sensitivity issues or food restrictions, that sort of factor, because we would like to be sure that we set up the healthiest type of setting for fulfillment in this system. So those are the three ways that the program could be accessed, and in addition the e-book Wired for Healing.
Chris Kresser: And then you definitely also have DNRS coaches, which I very a lot advocate to my patients who we refer to DNRS. Because change is tough. Any type of change. Altering your food plan, adopting a brand new train routine. But altering entrenched brain patterns is particularly arduous, I feel. As a result of they’re ordinary they usually feel very familiar.
If you start to change them, they begin to really feel, that may feel uncomfortable and unfamiliar. And I feel it’s, with out help, that may be very challenging. I’ve simply observed with my patients, the ones who get teaching and help and have a help network, their entire household is on board in supporting them in their DNRS apply, they get better outcomes.
Annie Hopper: Yeah.
Chris Kresser: And it is sensible to me why that could be the case.
Annie Hopper: Nicely, yeah. It’s like, any sort of change in your behaviors, right? Everyone is aware of, yeah, I ought to train every single day. But perhaps it’s going to take you a personal coach to get you motivated to go to the fitness center, to do the workouts that you simply want to do. So yeah, there’s large worth in hiring a licensed DNRS coach.
So these are people who have gone by way of the program, that have recovered from continual illness and have been extensively educated in supporting people who are implementing the DNRS program. So regardless of what your expression of limbic system impairment is or nevertheless that’s expressing, the coaches might be in a position to, our certified coaches might be in a position to information you through this system and to really level out any sort of hindrances you may need or create some clarity or present next steps for your rehabilitation process.
Also, we’ve a free on-line group discussion board. So anyone that purchases this system, whether or not it’s DVD or on-line or they attend the five-day interactive coaching seminar, all of these individuals have access to our free group discussion board. And I don’t know how many members are on there. Nevertheless it’s one thing alongside the strains of 5,500 individuals.
Chris Kresser: Yeah, I’ve heard it’s very lively, and my sufferers who take part in it say that it’s additionally a very nice source of help.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, I imply, it’s just this large library of data, of those that have recovered from the program, individuals which are reporting their victories, and I feel that if you will get your household involved in your restoration process, it’s actually great too.
So perhaps give them understanding of what it’s that you simply’re going by way of by getting them to learn the e-book Wired for Therapeutic or going to the website and seeing the science behind what that is. As a result of it’s actually essential that, yeah, I mean, if we will, we would like to have supportive individuals in our surroundings which might be really partaking with us in a constructive approach during our rehabilitation course of.
Chris Kresser: Yeah.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, the extra help we’ve the higher.
Chris Kresser: I agree and I feel, I really like your guide. My audience, I’m very science-minded and have an evidence-based strategy. And once I first saw DNRS, I have just a little confession to make right here.
Annie Hopper: Positive.
Chris Kresser: Earlier than I really sort of understood the idea for it and had read extra about it, in the event you take a look at the video testimonials with none of this understanding, that’s one of the reasons I needed to have you on the present, they will virtually seem just unbelievable. Too good to be true.
Annie Hopper: Right.
Chris Kresser: Especially people who’ve been sick for such a long time they usually’ve all typically been gotten their hopes up for something. And like, “Oh, I did this and I recovered.” They usually’re understandably skeptical and uninterested in hoping after which having their hopes dashed. And in case you take a look at a number of the testimonials with all the issues that folks have recovered from and also you don’t have an understanding of the scientific foundation for this technique, it will probably seem virtually too good to be true.
But then whenever you study neuroplasticity and the limbic system and limbic system impairments and how the brain is the control middle for optimum well being, and the way limbic system impairments have an effect on the nervous system, the endocrine system, the immune system, then it begins to make sense how all of these circumstances, which haven’t been seen as being related, are very a lot associated beneath this umbrella of limbic system impairment. And for me, and I feel for a lot of of my patients, understanding the science behind it helped open their minds to the likelihood and to really sort of settle for the superb outcomes that individuals are getting and to really truly give them hope for the first time, in some instances for a few years, if not many years.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, yeah. Properly, and it’s a, thank you for saying that. And yeah, it does appear too good to be true originally. Since you take a look at those video testimonials and you’re like, “What? How can that even be possible? I’ve been sick for 20 years and I’ve seen every specialist known to mankind. And surely if they didn’t know, then this can’t be true.” However it’s actually taking a look at virtually from a unique paradigm and really taking a look at how the brain is, such as you stated, the control middle for optimum health.
So we’re actually impacting the brain via this program and it has a variety of downstream effects. So I’m just actually grateful to be in the position to assist individuals move out of that cycle of sickness. But in addition, I needed to mention the spectrum of sickness because I feel that sadly by the point that folks discover out about us, typically they’re means into, like you stated, a few of them have been sick for decades. So if you’ve been sick for many years, you really construct a, it actually is tough to have hope once you’ve been sick for that long. And but that is a completely totally different strategy. So for those people who have been sick for a very very long time, I might say don’t lose hope and give the program a attempt.
And I feel that folks can be actually pleasantly stunned by the outcomes. And the brain has no selection however to change when you give it the proper directions and the correct method to rehabilitate. So yeah, I’m simply tremendous thrilled, and thank you, Chris, for talking about your sufferers that have really benefited from the program as nicely. Because definitely in case you had not that have from your sufferers, it might be arduous to consider.
Chris Kresser: Proper.
Annie Hopper: But you’ve seen it first-hand.
Chris Kresser: I’ve seen it first-hand. Completely. So it’s superb to have this as a useful resource to advocate to others. And I feel hope is absolutely what it comes down to for therefore many people who’ve been within the state of affairs as you simply mentioned, for many years or years, they usually’ve tried so many various things. They usually have, in lots of instances, misplaced hope.
And simply having the understanding you can take management of a few of these circumstances and the signs by rewiring your personal brain I feel is basically empowering for a lot of people.
Annie Hopper: Yeah.
Chris Kresser: So thank you a lot for coming onto the present and once more for the work that you simply’ve carried out. And we’ll put all of the links you mentioned in the show notes of the episode. And good luck to you, and I’m excited to see what the research results will present.
Annie Hopper: Properly, thanks so much, Chris, for having me on the present. And thanks for all the necessary work that you simply’re doing with individuals too. I’m simply so impressed with the work that you simply’re doing and that you simply’re recognizing that limbic system rehabilitation could be a part of the bigger puzzle for therefore many individuals. So thanks, and it’s been my honor to be on your show. Thank you so much.
Chris Kresser: You’re welcome, Annie. Take care and good luck.
Annie Hopper: Yeah, you too. Kiitos. Bye.
Chris Kresser: Bye.
Now, I’d like to hear from you. Are you suffering from a limbic system impairment—or a stubborn set of signs that don’t appear to reply to remedy? Comment under and let me know what you’ve tried and whether or not you’re contemplating DNRS.
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