Annie Hopper is a limbic retraining specialist. Whilst you might by no means have heard this time period, limbic hyperactivity or dysfunction seems to be a foundational core of the dysfunction and challenges related to a number of chemical sensitivity (MCS), electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), persistent fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia and quite a few different circumstances, and by retraining your limbic system to reply appropriately, signs might subside or vanish.
Hopper was herself homeless for a time on account of her EHS, which made her unable to tolerate trendy environments. I not too long ago met Hopper in Peter Sullivan’s electromagnetic discipline (EMF) tent at an autism convention run by Jenny McCarthy referred to as Era Rescue. Sullivan is an environmental well being funder who focuses on toxins and wi-fi security.
Sullivan had additionally benefited from Hopper’s work. Intrigued, I learn Hopper’s e book, “Wired for Therapeutic: Remapping the Mind to Get well From Persistent and Mysterious Diseases,” which is a superb useful resource.
Creating EHS — A Private Account
Hopper describes the challenges that led to writing her e book:
“It began in 2004. I used to be working as a core perception counsellor in Kelowna, British Columbia. I used to be working at an workplace that [had] mildew … [and] my workplace was situated proper subsequent door to the janitor’s provide room, the place they held all of the cleansing chemical compounds for the workplace, all these actually heavy-duty industrial cleaners.
What I additionally did not know was that the precise workplace that I used to be renting was once part of the janitor’s provide room. They only put up a wall to make slightly workplace house. It did not have correct air flow both.
I labored in that workplace for about 5 months. Over that interval, I began to get progressively sick. Earlier than that, [and] that is what we name like the right storm for a limbic system impairment … I used to be in a automobile accident the place I had a minor whiplash damage. That was in all probability concerning the fifth automobile accident previous to this mildew and chemical publicity.
Anyway, for the 5 months that I used to be on this constructing, I began to progressively get signs, like anxiousness, persistent muscle and joint ache, and this rising sensitivity to simply on a regular basis issues in my atmosphere, like perfumes and colognes. That is the way it began … Actually, it felt like I used to be being actually poisoned by any type of chemical publicity.
I moved out of the constructing ultimately as a result of I acknowledged that it was the constructing that was making me sick, however by that point, it was too late. The injury was already executed … [Then] I had what I name a tipping level. I used to be strolling by means of a bookstore and by a scented candle show. Another person may be OK with that, however … at that time, one thing occurred to my mind.
I went over the sting when it comes to this fight-or-flight response that simply didn’t cease. At that time, it felt like I used to be having a mind hemorrhage or one thing. Mild damage. Sound damage. Scent damage. Every thing damage … Once I wakened the following morning … I couldn’t put on the identical garments that I’d worn, as a result of my mind was now selecting up on the smallest quantity of chemical residue from laundry detergent as doubtlessly life-threatening.
That began a really weird type of science fiction world the place I actually needed to navigate how I did life. If I used to be strolling down the road and somebody occurred to be doing their laundry and so they had dryer exhaust going off, if I walked by that, I would go into convulsions.
It was very critical, massively debilitating. I needed to stop my job. I needed to cease socializing. I used to be very a lot homebound and getting depressed. Simply after I thought issues could not get any worse, they did. What appeared like in a single day, I developed EHS.
By this time, I’ve already received extreme chemical sensitivities. I even have fibromyalgia. I used to be affected by anxiousness, insomnia and a bunch of different issues, after which I developed this EMF sensitivity. What that meant was that my physique might detect EMF.”
Chemical Sensitivities and EHS Typically Go Hand in Hand
It is a identified proven fact that many who battle with chemical sensitivities are at greater danger of EHS, and that was definitely Hopper’s expertise. Along with a burning pores and skin sensation, which is a quite common symptom of EHS, she additionally misplaced her potential to talk, which she says is a extreme symptom related to each chemical sensitivities and EHS.
“Once I began to speak, I might say one thing that basically did not make any sense. It wasn’t really what I used to be pondering,” she says. “There was one thing very cognitively off as nicely. I had plenty of mind fog and simply not with the ability to focus, lack of ability to articulate, to assume, to place ideas collectively, to string a sentence collectively, all of that.”
To outlive, she needed to get away from all these chemical and EMF triggers. On the time, she was residing along with her husband, James, in a rental in Kelowna, British Columbia. It was unimaginable to get away from wi-fi radiation. Ultimately, she needed to resort to tenting.
“Even earlier than this time, I knew that my mind was being affected. It actually made sense to me that my mind was not processing sensory data precisely anymore,” she says.
“By some means, the fight-or-flight facilities in my mind have been being triggered a lot in order that it was distorting a number of the data that was coming into my mind and making this overreactive, overresponsive, hypervigilant response that was additionally affecting my immune system, my endocrine system, my neurology — all of it …
It made sense for me that it was some form of mind damage, some type of mind trauma — one thing was flawed. I began to take a look at what space of the mind was answerable for sense of odor as a result of, to me, that appeared like the fitting place to begin.”
The Function of Your Limbic System in EHS
Consequently, Hopper started researching the limbic system, which is the emotional and reactive a part of your mind, answerable for filtering sensory and emotional data, and sorting that data into two distinct classes: protected or unsafe.
“You may think about that if any of these neurons alongside that neural community are broken or not working functionally in any manner, then that may begin to categorize data that may not usually be thought of harmful as life-threatening,” Hopper says.
That is a wholly unconscious response, after all. Primarily, your mind will get caught within the fight-flight-or-freeze mechanism. She additionally researched neuroplasticity, which is your mind’s potential to vary.
She found there was plenty of analysis displaying limbic system overactivation is widespread denominator for a lot of totally different diseases, together with CFS, fibromyalgia, chemical sensitivities, despair and anxiousness. Whereas studying Dr. Norman Doidge’s e book, “The Mind That Modifications Itself,” she had a sudden revelation.
“He was speaking about Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, who’s the guru for obsessive-compulsive dysfunction (OCD). Schwartz acknowledged that with OCD, there is part of the mind that simply wasn’t functioning correctly. That is what retains folks on this feeling of contamination or obsessive worrying. I believed, ‘I haven’t got OCD, however definitely I really feel like my thoughts or my mind is caught.”
Schwartz would scan his sufferers’ brains to see how the mind was working once they have been having an OCD assault. He then gave them a collection of self-directed neuroplasticity workout routines to do at dwelling, and rescanned their mind after a time period. What he found was that their brains have been really being rewired.
The extra they practiced these workout routines, the extra their mind modified, to the purpose the place they really reversed the modifications that have been taking place throughout OCD. Consequently, they have been capable of operate usually once more.
“It appeared to me like that was the fitting place to look,” Hopper says. “I began to change into my very own private guinea pig, taking a look at how might I modify the limbic system, understanding that it was the sensation and reacting mind and understanding that it could possibly be categorizing data or distorting data … This isn’t in contrast to post-traumatic stress dysfunction, I feel. Or traumatic mind damage …
You realize, I used to be simply as shocked as anybody else, to be trustworthy with you. Once I began to note modifications in signs, my first thought was, ‘Hallelujah’ … By way of influencing this a part of my mind and rewiring the mind, it really dampened and diminished signs, and miraculously normalized my sensory notion.
When your sensory notion goes again to being regular, your physique is not reacting to every thing. That made it doable for me to dwell on the earth once more and be of the world once more, and be an lively participant in my life.”
What Causes Limbic System Impairment?
So, what really causes this limbic system impairment within the first place? As famous by Hopper, it could possibly be quite a few various things, together with viral, bacterial, emotional or psychological stress. It could possibly be chemical damage, mildew or extreme EMF publicity. “Normally it’s a mixture of all of that that results in what we name the right storm. These sorts of stresses are cumulative,” she says.
In the end, her expertise and analysis led her to develop the Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS) course, which is now provided as a five-day interactive coaching program round North America and Europe. This system can also be accessible on-line and as a 14-hour DVD collection.
It is not a fast course of. It could take many months of diligent work, however the finish outcomes are clearly definitely worth the effort. Hopper recommends practising this system day by day for no less than six months.
“It takes some time to vary these neural networks. Although folks would possibly begin feeling modifications inside a number of days or a number of weeks or a number of months, you actually need to repeat these workout routines frequently to make these actually everlasting modifications within the mind,” she says.
The IMAGINE Acronym
Hopper got here up with the acronym referred to as “IMAGINE” to encapsulate the technique of this system:
I stands for intention — The intention being to strengthen different neural circuitry and shifting the main target away from signs in an effort to change the fight-flight-or-freeze response and normalize limbic system operate.
M for motivation — It is not an in a single day repair, so it’s essential discover the motivation to do the workout routines day by day.
A for consciousness and affiliation — You have to change into conscious of how limbic system impairment impacts your ideas, feelings and behaviors. While you catch these ideas, feelings and behaviors, you will need to redirect your mind in that second into an alternate route in order that it would not proceed down the neural pathways related to the impairment.
You additionally want to take a look at your associations. What sort of associations have you ever created with stimuli that may be activating the risk facilities in your mind on a steady foundation, and how will you change these associations?
G for acquire — It is necessary to acknowledge the beneficial properties you make all through your retraining course of. “That is attention-grabbing as a result of all of us have an innate negativity bias, which means we will discover what is going on flawed earlier than we discover what is going on proper,” Hopper says. “In case you have limbic system impairment, that negativity bias will be magnified due to the impairment itself.”
I for incremental coaching — It is a type of neural shaping that helps strengthen different neurocircuitry by exposing your self to small quantities of stimulus to assist retrain your mind to reply otherwise to it.
N for neurological and emotional rehearsals — “There’s part of this system the place we use our creativeness and visualization,” Hopper says. “The wonderful thing about creativeness is the mind doesn’t know the distinction between what’s actual and what’s imagined. There isn’t any finish to how we will use our creativeness to assist in retraining the mind.”
Utilizing guided visualization, you’ll be able to alter your neural chemistry. When in fight-flight-or-freeze response, you launch plenty of cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. Utilizing this guided visualization approach, you’ll be able to cease the manufacturing of these stress hormones and enhance manufacturing of really feel good hormones similar to dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins.
E for environmental consciousness — Final however not least, it’s essential assess your day-to-day atmosphere and create probably the most pristine and exquisite therapeutic atmosphere for your self.
The Significance of Addressing Mobile Harm
In essence, the central precept of DNRS is that neurons that fireplace collectively, wire collectively. The aim of many of those workout routines is to rewire them within the course of therapeutic, as a result of they have been hyperfacilitated within the course of damage.
Whereas testimonials attest to the effectiveness of Hopper’s program, it is also necessary to appreciate that this doesn’t handle the mobile damage that EMFs trigger. My view is that your limbic system alarms and alerts you so as so that you can take steps to cease this mobile injury that’s occurring.
So, I consider it is vitally necessary to deal with each your limbic dysfunction and the mobile injury that has occurred in your physique. Hopper agrees that each angles are equally necessary, however that limbic system retraining is the lacking hyperlink for a lot of:
“Let’s take chemical damage for instance. Is it affecting the tissues? Is it affecting the mobile degree? Completely. Cleansing may be factor for most individuals, however for the one that has a limbic system damage, they will nonetheless be sick even after they’ve detoxified … or they could discover that detoxing therapies really heighten signs fairly than decrease signs, as a result of the mind is caught in that trauma state.
The cells of the physique have additionally affected the mind. We might do all these therapies to assist with the mobile, clearing the physique celullarly from what is occurring, but for lots of people, that might be sufficient. In the event that they’re nonetheless sick, then we actually need to have a look at that mind element too.”
So, keep in mind, simply because your signs dissipate, which the DNRS methodology will do for a lot of, that does not essentially imply you have mitigated the mobile damage EMF publicity has inflicted. Ideally, you need to do each. It is a mixture of the 2 that is so essential for full therapeutic.
Wonderful Tales of Restoration
Hopper’s e book comprises quite a few accounts of exceptional restoration tales utilizing her program. One not included within the e book is Riley, who was bedridden for 3 years with extreme persistent Lyme illness.
“He couldn’t communicate, couldn’t eat. He was partially paralyzed. He was delicate to mild, to sound, to motion, to chemical compounds. He’d additionally had mildew publicity. His mother saved him alive by feeding him little Dixie cups of soup.
He’d been to plenty of actually nice practitioners and had come a great distance. They received him strolling once more and with the ability to discuss, however he was nonetheless left with plenty of totally different points, like meals sensitivities, chemical sensitivities, some OCD, some motion dysfunction.
Riley got here to this system. It took him a couple of yr to recuperate from the signs that have been left … that have been associated to limbic system impairment. He’s absolutely recovered. He traveled in Europe and went backpacking for a yr. It’s a fairly wonderful story.”
Hopper additionally recounts two different success tales, together with certainly one of a girl with a stability dysfunction who made a exceptional restoration on this system. One other is of a younger girl who had extreme POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) who went from being in a wheelchair to rollerblading. At current, Hopper has two analysis tasks within the works.
One is an observational examine at McMaster College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, involving 100 contributors with all kinds of medical diagnoses. This examine goals to evaluate how the DNRS program impacts high quality of life and measure modifications in symptom severity over the course of a yr.
The second analysis initiative is going down on the College of Calgary. On this examine, they’ll assessment mind scans of people that have persistent fatigue, fibromyalgia or chemical sensitivities to get a baseline mind scan after which have a look at how the mind modifications when somebody is definitely implementing this system for a interval of no less than six months. In accordance with Hopper, the estimated success charge of bettering high quality of life is about 90 %. Hopefully, these research validate that estimate.
Whereas this system seems to be very efficient, you do need to be motivated to do it. Being underneath a excessive diploma of stress might also dampen outcomes. Homelessness may be an instance right here. “However by all means, give it your finest go. You may not get the outcomes that you simply need to see as shortly, however that does not imply that you simply will not see outcomes,” Hopper says.
That mentioned, she doesn’t suggest this system for sure psychological circumstances, similar to schizophrenia, or for those who’re presently going by means of excessive situational stress, similar to for those who’re going by means of a court docket case, or grieving a cherished one who simply handed away.
“Which may not be a very good time to begin the course,” she says. “It doesn’t suggest that it is unimaginable, however it would possibly gradual the development down. I feel that if somebody’s simply handed away, you are coping with grief or loss, there is a pure development to grieving and a pure course of the place grieving takes place.
I do not assume that may be a very nice time to begin this system, as a result of we actually need folks to focus particularly on elevating their emotional state as a lot as they’ll, not solely once they’re doing the workout routines and in addition all through the day. In case you’re within the grieving course of, it is type of slightly bit tough to do.”
Barring extreme psychological sickness or excessive stress, for those who’ve been struggling for a very long time with a persistent and mysterious sickness, be it CFS, fibromyalgia, chemical sensitivities, EHS, Lyme illness, meals sensitivities or any variety of different difficult-to-pin-down illnesses, think about giving limbic system retraining a strive.
“Do not hand over hope. There’s a solution. There is a manner out of struggling,” Hopper says. “I made a promise to myself after I was sick that if and after I discover a solution, I might share that with the world. I am doing my easiest to do this. Our staff is increasing an increasing number of.
The DVD has been translated into seven languages. We’ve folks from everywhere in the world and over 65 international locations report back to us that they are recovering their well being by means of limbic system retraining. All I want to say is, ‘Give it a strive. Embrace this system.’ I feel that individuals might be pleasantly shocked with the outcomes.”
To get your toes moist and be taught extra concerning the science behind the DNRS program, choose up a duplicate of “Wired for Therapeutic: Remapping the Mind to Get well From Persistent and Mysterious Diseases.” In case you resolve you need to undergo the course, you’ll be able to choose up the 14-hour DVD course on Hopper’s web site, RetrainingTheBrain.com (you too can decide to do the coaching on-line).
There you too can register for the five-day interactive coaching seminar. Since folks coming to this system have all kinds of sensitivities, nice care is taken to make sure a protected and wholesome atmosphere for many contributors.