When you experience trauma to the limbic system - the part of the brain responsible for sensory perception, unconscious protective mechanisms and emotional control - you can begin to understand how injury to this system would begin to affect all aspects of your life. Damage to any neural circuits within this system can cause pain and skew the brain’s perception of stimuli - leaving the brain and body in a chronic state of survival, otherwise known as “fight or flight.”
Understandably, over time this state of high alert begins to affect all systems of the body, not just the brain. When in this state, it robs the brain and body of energy that would normally be used for other functions like rest, digestion, elimination and communication. In practical terms this affects our ability to sleep, to digest and absorb food, detoxification processes and memory or cognitive abilities.
The effects of limbic system trauma can result in tremendous amounts of suffering and isolation. The pain involved in this group of unique illnesses such as chemical sensitivities, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and electric hypersensitivity syndrome is very real, yet usually cannot be seen by the naked eye. For many who suffer, it leaves them feeling isolated and misunderstood, or they are labeled as being controlling, or that the illness is “in their head”. Far from being fictitious, this form of brain injury has far reaching ramifications and is very real.
This new understanding of how the brain is involved in this group of illnesses demands that we understand how neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change) is involved in both the development and resolution of illness. This emerging field of science is known as Psychoneuroimmunology – but don’t let this big word scare you. Basically it means understanding the interaction between the physical body, brain and immune system.
This focus is at the heart of what I do. We teach our clients how the brain has been changed through trauma, and moreover, how to correct the neural circuits that are at play. Transforming health issues through rewiring brain circuits truly speak to the brain’s role as the center for optimal health.
In fact, recently I was invited to a get together with two very special women - Karen and Linda - who graduated from the Dynamic Neural Retraining System™ program over 2 years ago. Both of these incredibly courageous women had suffered from severe chemical sensitivities and electric hypersensitivity syndrome due to limbic system impairment. Karen had taken the program first and then encouraged her friend Linda to take the program. And now, both are recovered and living a “normal” life again. This might not seem like a big deal until you realize that both of these women had lived through an amount of suffering that most people cannot even contemplate. Imagine what it would be like for a minute if you could not be in an environment that had electricity, wireless, chemicals or scented products of any kind. Life becomes very small and increasingly surreal.
Now imagine how fun it was to skip down the street with Karen and Linda. Yes, I said skip! When you have recovered from a limbic system impairment, one cannot help but to be thrilled and ecstatic about life again! The simple things that most people take for granted, like sitting in a busy coffee shop, become huge milestones in the recovery process.
Being witness to people transforming their health and reclaiming their lives through neuroplasticity is a blessing in the biggest way.
Annie Hopper is a Limbic System Rehabilitation Specialist and can be reached at www.dnrsystem.com