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Anyone tried Limbic Retraining: Dynamic Neural Retraining System?

tango

Senior Member
Messages
165
Location
New Zealand
In the meantime I am trying a donation based ebook and MP3 program for amygdala healing. It's helpful!. Check out: A Rational Approach to ME and CFS recovery by Loz Evans.
This book looks very interesting. I went to the website and it is being updated and only the first few chapters are available. Does anyone have the complete eBook that they would be happy to flick me?
Thanks!
 
Messages
9
I would say that the DNRS is the best of all of the different programmes that I have researched, which are the Optimum Health Clinic, Gupta Amygdala retraining, Journey method and the Lightning Process. They are all based on the same principles, and the STOP-thing is the same in all but the JM.
Although I think it is a good programme, it can get you too hyped up about healing and make you exceed your limits and crash. It is, after all, CBT and GET. Annie Hopper is also rather clueless about ME/CFS.
There is a video on YouTube where you can see the first 6 steps of the actual retraining if you are interested. The last 2 steps are just dwelling in positive memories which were mentioned before.

@Dufresne thank you for sharing your experience, it gave me a huge realization about how I am dangerously slipping into depression and cynicism and their link to mindfulness.
 

Dufresne

almost there...
Messages
1,039
Location
Laurentians, Quebec
There is a video on YouTube where you can see the first 6 steps of the actual retraining if you are interested. The last 2 steps are just dwelling in positive memories which were mentioned before.

@Dufresne thank you for sharing your experience, it gave me a huge realization about how I am dangerously slipping into depression and cynicism and their link to mindfulness.

Do you have a link to that video?

Are you saying mindfulness worsens your sense of well-being?
 

Critterina

Senior Member
Messages
1,238
Location
Arizona, USA
Guess what! My new doc thinks I have mast cell issues and along with a 4R gut rebuilding, has prescribed DNRS with the comment "ESSENTIAL!!!!" - I didn't think he'd heard of it at our first visit.
 

CFSTheBear

Senior Member
Messages
166
Does anyone have a copy of this they’d be prepared to lend / share as a digital file? I’m happy to pay for it but would prefer to try a segment of it first before stumping up the cash.
 
Messages
9
Do you have a link to that video?

Of course the DNRS team made a copyright claim of it. This tells me that they are not interested in truly healing people but rolling in the cash.

JUST TO SAY, I THINK THAT THE DNRS CAN BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TO PEOPLE WITH ME/CFS. Psychotherapy is nice but it will not cure you, don't get your hopes up and start doing too much. If you have ME according to the ICC criteria, this will not cure you. There is a place for programmes like this if you can keep pacing at the heart of everything. What I gained from watching this is to make my life happier with small choices and take a 1 hour break during the day to just be, because I have recovered to a point when I can do quite a lot and I might forget to just rest and heal. Mindfulness sometimes gets me too grounded and makes me sad about my situation, so I just think about happy stuff instead of being present in the now.

I did do the Optimum Health Clinic programme and it made a difference to me since my country is horrible for people with ME/CFS and I had only known I had ME/CFS for 2 months. With all the small things that everybody knows already what to do, I have recovered to a point when I'm back to working 12%.

Anyways if you want to know what the DNRS is, here is an explanation out the top of my head: Most of the DVDs are just basic bullshit and hyping people up to believe that the system works and then some scientific jargon how the limbic system this and that. The actual retraining is standing on specific words on the floor and talking to yourself (I don't remember these exactly anymore but basically this):
1. "STOP STOP STOP" (hands move from waist to the sides with each stop)
2. My brain is stuck in a rut, and is sending my body false messages" (hands on head, on chest, movement down and to the sides)
3. "My ME/CFS symptoms in the past have caused me anxiety, fear and avoidance behaviour" (hands on the right side PAST move to the left NOW)
4. "The symptoms have caused a cross-wiring in my brain, and I choose to retrain my brain" (hands on head, make a cross, thumbs point to yourself, hands on head)
5. Center of the circle "Great choice, YOURNAME, I love you so much and I'm proud of you!" talk to yourself in the previous position
Then something and then turning to position 3 and tell your limbic system "and limbic system, thank you for protecting me in the best way you knew how. But it's OK you can relax now, we have a new programme that we're running"
Steps 7 and 8 I believe were just dwelling in positive memories and future events where you are healthy, describing them in painstaking detail.

This needs to be done with a smile on your face because only a smile will make you happier and "will reroute your limbic system away from getting anxious about symptoms".

Annie Hopper thinks that ME/CFS is deconditioning due to avoidance behaviour and false beliefs of illness. If any of your doctors recommend this programme to you, ask them if they would recommend it to someone with diabetes or brain tumor as the number one thing.

I did notice I had some avoidance behaviour around food and some tiny things in my life and I decided not to go further along that road. This is not to say that you should just start doing stuff and eating what you like, but to pay attention to your behaviour if it is truly necessary or out of anxiety.
 
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Critterina

Senior Member
Messages
1,238
Location
Arizona, USA
Interesting take on the program, @Nutella . I'm wondering what you think is dangerous, saying the words, standing up that long, or doing the hands motions?

Interestingly enough, my integrative medicine doctor just prescribed the program for me (I don't have ME/CFS) and he wrote it in as part of my gut repair. I told him is really a limbic system rewiring. He said, yes, but they are connected.

I'm not sure believing in the program really makes any difference whether it works or not, any more than any other treatment depends on belief. (Having studied placebos and the philosophy of medicine in college, I know that, yes, there is a connection.) What seems to make a difference is practicing.

So, if you have practiced an hour a day for six months and had no results, you do have my sympathy. About 10% of people who do that do not get results, and you are among them.

When I did the program, I only practiced for 5 weeks, but after the first 3 days, I had such noticeable improvement in allergies that started asking questions. I called the church where I did yoga to ask if they cleaned the carpet, etc.. I stopped practicing due to a brain injury that resulted in systemic swelling.

I plan to rewrite my script for MCAS (not just HI), and do it again. The focus is on practicing good neurobiology, something many of us have not experienced since we got sick. The words and motions help, but it's the thoughts that you focus on that help create stronger neural pathways. "Nerves that fire together, wire together." It may end up being 180 wasted hours, but compared to the thousands of dollars I've spent on trying to get better, it's a pittance.

I think it's important to stop the practice of going around saying this and that in the world are dangerous. That doesn't mean that they aren't, but constantly associating those things only makes the pathways stronger and makes your brain more vigilant and your ability to detect and react to your triggers more acute. When I catch myself doing that, I stop and say "Catsup is not evil, but it's not a good choice for me at this time." Then, if I have the time, I may imagine something positive, so the "catsup" and the "evil villain out to make me suffer so I have to be afraid and always watch out" are not associated strongly because I have substituted another emotion for fear and vigilance. This is not psychology, it's self-directed neuroplasticity, one way or the other. The very fact that we get worse and react to less and less of a substance, or a greater variety of substances, is a sign of neuroplasticity.

The DNRS Program has no requirement for you to systematically expose yourself to triggers. Most of us do our best to avoid them, but still end up reacting at one time or another, and always more frequently than we'd like. One could do the program, not expose to triggers on purpose, and just see how long it takes to have another reaction.

Crit
 
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kurt

Senior Member
Messages
1,186
Location
USA
Thanks for your very informative post @Nutella.

In particular for your explanation of her approach, that sounds a lot like the Amir Norris / Phil Parker LP system.

I am amazed at some of the testimonials, and would really like to know what is happening there. Particularly the people who claim they have lost allergies, and proven that with testing by allergists.

Based on your experience, do you think those people giving testimonials are typical of her clients? Did you know anyone who actually recovered from allergies and MCS at the level of the testimonials? I am wondering how much those people were cherry-picked...
 
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Messages
12
Hi all,

I just came across this thread because I was similarly wondering about people's experiences with DNRS after reading about it in Dr. Nathan's book Toxic. Thanks to those who've shared their experience, both positive and negative, especially @Nutella. I have to say that after reading this thread, listening to Annie Hopper on a podcast, and reading reviews/watching videos about it elsewhere, I've become more skeptical than I was initially. I definitely believe in the science behind this, i.e. neuroplasticity, and that ME/CFS and related illnesses impact the limbic system. And I also believe that illness is a mind-body problem. I think our current mainstream medical understanding of illness of these two things as separate is really detrimental. That said, this program seems problematic.

My initial concern is that it seems to be based on the idea that the person is no longer suffering from or exposed to whatever chemicals, viruses, bacteria, etc. that have caused and/or exacerbated the illness. This seems like it might be helpful for people who have already spent a lot of time treating those things with an informed practitioner. I myself still have active viral titers and (likely) an inflammatory response to mold in my current living environment, so my question was, would this be useful for me to try, given that? And I think the answer is no. Not that I don't think working on the nervous system is useful at the same time, because I think changes in the brain can improve symptoms in the whole body, but this seems to be solely focused on retraining the brain's fear response so that we don't think the problem triggers are problematic, which is not necessarily true. And also, I'm not really that over-avoidant of things that I think will trigger me. I've done specific diets and whatever but I don't really avoid things because I'm afraid. I'm in bed a lot because I feel sick and tired. When I have more energy I get up and do things. Sometimes I pay for it. Sometimes I don't. I still get up and do things when I can. (And FYI: I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, and POTS, and tentatively with MCAS and CIRS).

My next concern is about Hopper's credibility in general. She seems to have some clout in the realm of treating environmental illness, but as far as I can tell she doesn't have any formal training, and the nature of the expensive training/video and its marketing seems to be more about making money than getting people well. She also seems to be touting this as an all-cure for a number of multi-system illnesses, which I think is overly simplistic at best. Most of us on this site understand that this might be one useful tool in a range of tools to address our illnesses, but she presents it as a cure, which I think is problematic. The way it was presented in Dr. Nathan's book was as an add-on to also addressing underlying biological problems--not as a cure-all. (Side note: I would recommend his book for those who are curious about the connection between how all these different systems in the body interact.)

I'd be interested to hear about more people's experiences/thoughts with this.

-Rhea
 

Rlman

Senior Member
Messages
389
Location
Toronto, Canada
Hi Rhea @sicklady23 ,
there is a facebook group called neural retraining where people share their experiences with DNRS and Gupta. i read on that group a testimonial of a lady who healed her mold illness doing dnrs or gupta (forget which one) while living in a moldy home. Also this mold illness blogger sararileymattson.com said doing gupta programme was really helpful in her recovery. and if she had known about it earlier it would have saved her a lot of time and effort (she was extreme case, living in tent in desert to be able to function). I researched dnrs in the past and their recovery stories seem credible. But yes its not a cure all. its quite cheap (the dvd are price of like 2 naturopathic dr appointments) and one can do it by oneself, which i like. i haven't done it but have been doing visualizations when able to. i also dont avoid things due to being afraid, and dont have noticeable sensitivities, which is why i was hesitant to buy it (and also due to eye issues making it hard to visualize for months at a time). and i think that having to constantly surveill my thoughts would make me even more stressed rather than relaxing me. but overall i think its a really powerful program, has helped people when nothing else has for people have serious symptoms.
 

Rlman

Senior Member
Messages
389
Location
Toronto, Canada
Based on your experience, do you think those people giving testimonials are typical of her clients? Did you know anyone who actually recovered from allergies and MCS at the level of the testimonials? I am wondering how much those people were cherry-picked...

The blogger at https://resilientlyrachel.com/ recovered from food allergies and MCS with DNRS. I was one of the people who suggested to her to try DNRS. I originally found her blog as it was featured on the paradigm change mold illness website, as she had previously improved her mold illness symptoms with mold avoidance and other treatments. She was still dealing with lots of food allergies and MCS at that time.
 

taniaaust1

Senior Member
Messages
13,054
Location
Sth Australia
Interesting take on the program, @Nutella . I'm wondering what you think is dangerous, saying the words, standing up that long, or doing the hands motions?

my integrative medicine doctor just prescribed the program for me (I don't have ME/CFS) and he wrote it in as part of my gut repair.

I think it's important to stop the practice of going around saying this and that in the world are dangerous. That doesn't mean that they aren't, but constantly associating those things only makes the pathways stronger and makes your brain more vigilant and your ability to detect and react to your triggers more acute.
Crit

Things like that can be very dangerous to those who have ME/CFS (I saw that you do not have this illness but remember most at this website do) as it is quite important when one has ME to pay attention to ones triggers so to avoid them.

Unlike many other illnesses, not doing so can result in a much worst condition with this illness and this can be permanent!! There is no cure for ME/CFS and doing something which could end up having you permanently worst as in then getting more symptoms and worsening of what one already has, is a danger. I do not know if you are aware but ME/CFS if it gets too bad can even kill.

Things like taking stimulants, or any kind of psychotherapy which has us ignoring what our body is doing and not resting when we need to (our symptoms tell us when we need to rest) can have quite bad results (I'm only talking about for those who have ME/CFS).

constantly associating those things only makes the pathways stronger and makes your brain more vigilant and your ability to detect and react to your triggers more acute.

Those who have severe ME need to be vigilant to help avoid crashing with the illness, not to be vigilant means ending up spending much more time in bed extremely sick.
 
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Messages
12
Hi Rhea @sicklady23 ,
there is a facebook group called neural retraining where people share their experiences with DNRS and Gupta. i read on that group a testimonial of a lady who healed her mold illness doing dnrs or gupta (forget which one) while living in a moldy home. Also this mold illness blogger sararileymattson.com said doing gupta programme was really helpful in her recovery. and if she had known about it earlier it would have saved her a lot of time and effort (she was extreme case, living in tent in desert to be able to function). I researched dnrs in the past and their recovery stories seem credible. But yes its not a cure all. its quite cheap (the dvd are price of like 2 naturopathic dr appointments) and one can do it by oneself, which i like. i haven't done it but have been doing visualizations when able to. i also dont avoid things due to being afraid, and dont have noticeable sensitivities, which is why i was hesitant to buy it (and also due to eye issues making it hard to visualize for months at a time). and i think that having to constantly surveill my thoughts would make me even more stressed rather than relaxing me. but overall i think its a really powerful program, has helped people when nothing else has for people have serious symptoms.

Thanks for responding, @Riman. I will check out the sites you mentioned.

I don't doubt that this has been helpful for people, and I may be wrong about it being more helpful for people who have treated the cause of the illness and/or ongoing triggers already. Re-reading the section about it in Toxic, I see that although Dr. Nathan prefaces it with a passage about how, often in chronic illness the triggers have been removed but the symptoms persist because different bodily systems get "stuck" and need to be "rebooted," he then goes on to say that he has found DNRS to be helpful for his sickest patients who are too reactive to everything to tolerate anything--so he has them do this to calm the nervous system down so he can continue treatment with supplements/medication.
 

Dufresne

almost there...
Messages
1,039
Location
Laurentians, Quebec
I'd like to know who first came up with this program; Gupta, Hopper, Neuffer, etc, they all claim to have had this incredible, unique insight that led them to the development of their respective neuro retraining regimens. And apparently they all use the "stop, stop, stop" thing. Seriously, who was first?

There are some very believable and impressive anecdotes out there. And the fact you've these people all trying to claim it as their own does not suggest they don't believe in it. They're obviously passionate about what they're doing.

Dr Nathan endorsing it is also very solid. Dr Nathan who has worked with Dr Naviaux, who has done a very good job showing there is a cell danger response in people with ME/CFS.

@sicklady23
Have you seen the following study? Cort covered it on HR. It suggests cytokines are not so abnormal in those with ME, what is abnormal is the stress hormones among the patients that ride in concert with the cytokine(s). In this case it's TGF-b, that which Shoemaker says is often elevated in his patients. Perhaps it's the cytokines plus the stress response that might be to blame.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5716371/

Most of us know people who were exposed to the same environments as we were but never got sick. The same with those who fell ill in an outbreak; some become chronic while others don't. I believe it's our less than optimal response that makes us ill.

For the record, I've tried the "stop, stop, stop," and it does calm the stress response in a big way. And it's worked when everything else has not (meditation, alternate nostril breathing, etc). I'm not currently using the technique as I had a few inflammatory reactions that got worse while I was experimenting with it, and I can't afford that at the moment. This make sense, as stress hormones are in most ways anti-inflammatory. If somebody has mast cells exploding and their life is threatened they receive a shot of adrenaline, and that halts things.

Also, Dr Klimas' working theory seems to be that it's an immune assault coupled with a stress response that kicks off and perpetuates the disease.

I know a lot of people don't like the idea their illness may be remedied without taking a single pill. However, some of our most esteemed researchers seem to be coming around to this idea that a stress response is playing a crucial role.
 
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kurt

Senior Member
Messages
1,186
Location
USA
I'd like to know who first came up with this program; Gupta, Hopper, Neuffer, etc, they all claim to have had this incredible, unique insight that led them to the development of their respective neuro retraining regimens. And apparently they all use the "stop, stop, stop" thing. Seriously, who was first?
Gupta's article was published in 2001. That's the earliest reference I can find. Amir Norris may have been the first with the treatment model though, I know he has been in this business awhile.

The main idea is not difficult if you have some background in cognitive psych and/or neuroscience. I have a tiny background in that area (one related grad course, plus reading studies). I believe they could have each come up with the basic idea, but perhaps borrowed treatment ideas from each other. I came up with pretty much the same idea at one point in my attempt to treat my general anxiety disorder (GAD), and my theory was independent of these theories. The difference was, I could not make it work. The concept is not unique at all, the general ideas are mainstream in anxiety and PTSD models.

Here's my take... in theory how these therapies work for conditions like PTSD and anxiety disorders like GAD (I'm not suggesting this maps to ME/CFS, just describing how the model in theory works). Basically, the limbic system (including amygala and hippocampus) takes all kinds of inputs from other systems in the body, recognizes threats or other emotional stimula, then generates and controls an appropriate stress response. There is some regulation of the limbic system from other brain areas. The amygdala in particular can be down-regulated by the ventromedial pre-frontal cortex (the vmPFC). The vmPFC is a higher reasoning area in the front of the brain that recognizes 'context' of situations and decides whether a situation is logically threatening or not. The vmPFC can learn, and also can be down-regulated by repeated stress and trauma. If a person has too much stress or too many traumas for their level of sensory sensitivity, the vmPFC can basically turn itself off. Which leaves the amygdala with very little regulation, it just runs when it is stimulated. In theory this allows for more rapid response to threat, and it should be temporary. Think of a soldier who is getting shot at, and is traumatized. The theory is that at some point, survival advantage requires the soldier to stop getting traumatized and just react instinctively. Think of it as a rapid-fire feature of the brain's threat/stress response. This works well as long as the vmPFC turns on and starts inhibiting the amygdala again after the war. The problem we have is that not everyone's vmPFC can recover from this situation. For some reason, some people's vmPFC never gets the 'all clear' signal to restart, it thinks the war is permanent. Thus we get a percent of soldiers who'se vmPFC stays down-regulated and their amygdala stays on high alert, wartime footing, so they develop PTSD. See this study for some fairly current evidence of how this works: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4145052/

I'm brain fogged today so hope this is clear. Basically, the vmPFC can act as an inhibitor of the amygdala. And this is why, in theory, healthy people can have a stressor, and recover quickly and move on, because their vmPFC regulates how stressed they can become by deciding whether to down-regulate the amygdala. The theory for anxiety and PTSD is that the vmPFC becomes permanently shut off, like in the soldier developing PTSD example above. The logical treatment would be to try to re-activate the vmPFC, so it can start inhibiting the amygala normally again. This is where you get the meditations, neuro-inguistic suggestions ('stop, stop, stop'), or just thinking a lot of happy thoughts. These types of interventions have actually been shown to sometimes stimulate the vmPFC (for example, see this study on meditation increasing vmPFC activity: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4040088/). Recent research, that may not be part of the Gupta/Hopper et al therapies, suggests that charitable acts, and service to other people, also strongly stimulate the vmPFC, which lowers the amygdala activity. I have wondered if that is part of the improvement in symptoms from having a baby some women with ME/CFS experience, the continual nurturing of a baby could be reactivating the vmPFC, thus lowering amygdala activity. Probably there are many therapies that could be used to stimulate the vmPFC in order to down-regulate the amygdala, the question is whether the 'shut down' ongoing in PTSD, GAD and perhaps in some simple cases, some symptoms of CFS, can be reversed with these therapies over time. Some people believe it can be but usually for only a percentage of the patients who try it.

Here is another good list, these are great suggestions in my opinion for helping activate the vmPFC and slow the amydala down, and don't require any special programs, just things that might help and could be worth trying if you can stay within your energy safety zone. Again, this is probably well aligned with anxiety disorders and PTSD, not so sure about ME/CFS, but for some of us, maybe:

https://heartmindonline.org/resources/10-exercises-for-your-prefrontal-cortex

Limbic dysfunction for ME/CFS is an interesting theory in my opinion, supported by Jared Younger's research, but I am not convinced that the current therapies (Gupta, DNRS, etc) are appropriate for ME/CFS in many cases. And there is no way to know if this will work. I do know people with MCS and mold illness who have been helped by these therapies, particularly Hopper's ...

In my case, I ended up having to use antianxiolytics, have not yet found a way to 'retrain' my vmPFC well enough to stop GAD. But I am keeping an open mind and try to stay current on the topic. Maybe this will be part of a multi-modal model for ME/CFS. I'm glad to hear Dr Nathan references this in that type of context, need to get that book...
 
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Wayne

Senior Member
Messages
4,267
Location
Ashland, Oregon
these are great suggestions in my opinion for helping activate the vmPFC
Hi @kurt -- I wonder if some tapping exercises I do would fit in that category. I do the cortice balancing technique 1x-2x/daily and feel it helps balance my own brain function (lithium helps as well). -- The following two videos are relatively short.

Balancing the Cortices Technique

How to "Tap Out" your Cortices

Also, you may want to check out a story by a woman who's skull was crushed at birth, and struggled mightily to make it through life. She eventually found another "tapping" technique (EFT) that helped turn things around for her in some miraculous ways. I posted it her story here on PR:

Story -- EFT for Sensory Overload and More
 

unicorn7

Senior Member
Messages
180
I know a lot of people don't like the idea their illness may be remedied without taking a single pill. However, some of our most esteemed researchers seem to be coming around to this idea that a stress response is playing a crucial role.

That’s just nonsense. I would love to get better without any pills. I did gupta for about a year. I spend 4 years basically thinking I had a burn out and totally tried to believe in the “stress theory”. I don’t anymore, because it didn't do anything for me. I just want a remedy that works!!

I think that is only Nancy Klimas and that’s her theory on GWS, not ME/cfs.
It’s still a very long way from “has something to do with the HPA-axis” to these kinds of programs actually working.

By all means, if you feel anxious or stressed, do these exercises, maybe they can help you. What I find annoying about these programs, is the: if you are not stressed/anxious, you are anyway (just because you are ill).
And if it didn’t work, you didn’t do it well enough.
That makes it manipulation in my book.
 

kurt

Senior Member
Messages
1,186
Location
USA
Hi @kurt -- I wonder if some tapping exercises I do would fit in that category.
Thanks @Wayne for those links, I tried it, the 'cortices' tapping seems to help.

There are actually fMRI studies of finger movement including tapping, to map brain regions. Based on those studies, since the fingers are used, there would be some activity in the PFC, but probably the motor control areas, not the ventromedial area. Would be interesting to see an fMRI study of the cortices tapping.