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I have seen people in my neural retraining group confused with a program to choose in order to get better from chronic illness. There are several out there, so it becomes difficult to know which way to go on this journey. Also, a person in a dysregulated state is confused. I suffered from extreme confusion for a long time. I was incapable of making a decision with any kind of confidence or trust in myself. When I did face a decision, I made sure to ask everyone I knew what they thought, and then object to the response they gave, because I was sure they missed some of the pros and cons to that decision.  This of course led to a lot of frustration to those I asked to “help me.”

I remember going to my integrative doctor when very sick and getting a brain map done. He showed me hyper firing in my limbic system and prefrontal cortex and told me how this led to my confusion , inability to focus, and all the other symptoms I was experiencing. I felt so validated. There was a reason I was sick and emotionally unwell. I finally had proof from someone that there was nothing wrong with “me”, but something organically wrong with my brain.( Just to clarify, I was in a dysregulated state since childhood causing things like anxiety and depression which led to physical  illness and more brain inflammation causing more dysregulation)  It helped to distance “me”, from the outside me interacting in the world.  Of course I was always asking for help, there was something wrong with my brain, not “me.”  I began to understand that I had a brain “injury.”  I had not yet fully understood what caused this brain “injury”, but it was not my fault. And this relieved me of the guilt I had felt for so long, for my behavior during chronic illness. Chronic is a stress state, meaning cytokines are being released to attack the threat within my brain and body. Any chronic illness will have the same root cause, the limbic system dysregulation and similar manifestations.

I began writing this to explore the idea of different retraining programs, but it has become clear to me that those who are looking for a direction ,are suffering from the same kind of “help me” pathway I had formed long ago, and this exploration may be more beneficial, Of course, this “help me” pathway”  is found in different degrees in people. It is normal to ask for advice when facing an important decision, but I often see people stuck on that decision for quite some time, and not moving forward.  And often, I find myself giving the same advice, “just choose a program and adapt as needed. ” These programs are frameworks for change and should be changed around, added to, subtracted from as needed.

I did not have this confusion about which program to choose. In a terrible state of withdrawal and hyper sensitivity to different triggers like mold, chemicals and emf,  I was unable to process much, and often speak. I was told by the same integrative doctor who had done the brain map, to try this retraining program since as he said,some were seeing success with it. At the time, I was spending a lot of time in a car because of extreme reactions to mycotoxins and was desperate. I bought the online version of DNRS and tried to watch the videos. Unfortunately, I could not understand what Annie Hopper was saying, so I


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reached out to a coach and begged her to tell me how to start. The details are fuzzy, and I do not remember much of this time, but somehow I was told some basic steps for the “rounds.”  I have never watched the complete videos of DNRS, and I believe this in some ways,  helped rather than hindered me to adapt the program as I needed.  I did however, not believe that retraining the brain could heal me, and spent the next few months making fun of the program while clinging to it in desperation, and as I said adapting it as I retrained, since I could not watch the videos.

I do not know if this is what the original creators like Annie Hopper intended, but I can’t imagine that she thought the rigidity of DNRS was suitable for everyone. Retraining lends itself to facing the mental schemas that manifested in illness, and just doing constant “rounds”  or  reframing of negative thinking without allowing for forgiveness and compassion exercises, can’t work. If I face in my thinking an idea that was created such as “I am not worthy”, changing it  to “I am worthy” will lead to questions and doubts and objections, and all sorts of evidence that the brain will find to prove the opposite. In the space between the old pathway and the new one, will be much resistance, meeting of trauma memories (for some)  and it must be met with strategies the retrainer may not be comfortable with. It is here that reparenting and self love are fostered. But, these programs do not provide this kind of training, so it must be added in. (I am sure there are some programs who have a more comprehensive structure, but none can ever encompass what every single individual needs to heal an illness that resulted from stress, as we all have different stories that brought us there.

The programs at their basic level are all the same, interrupting old pathways of behaving and speaking to implement new ways of being , redirecting negative emotions to find the “good’ and take in the “good.”   With some subtle differences in their approach they all work towards changing behavior and thoughts, and in doing so cause resistance.  Change is scary to the brain . I like to attribute this fear to the brain to distance the higher self in all of us from the workings of a dysregulated nervous system. The truth is coming from a balanced state, the higher self is absolutely open to beneficial change, and not confused. I also understand that there are many more retraining program available now and of course this would initially confuse anyone. We are a society full of choices and entrepreneurs are more than happy to give us even more.  A quick google search into brain retraining for chronic illness resulted in 5 different advertisements on the first page, DNRS, GUPTA, ANS REWIRE, RE-ORIGIN, LUMINOSITY, and I am sure that soon there will be more.

Even those without an “injury” to the autonomic nervous system have some confusion when faced  with a decision and because of how inundated with choices we are today, a phenomenon called the paradox of choice has been observed.  According to Barry Schwartz, it can cause one to be less likely to purchase a specific product, a freeze state would ensue and no decision at all would be made.

This phenomenon is known as the paradox of choice and it is becoming a concern in the modern world, where more and more options are becoming easily available to us. The paradox of choice stipulates that while we might believe that being presented with multiple options actually makes it easier to choose one that we are happy with, and thus increases consumer satisfaction, having an abundance of options actually requires more effort to make a decision and can leave us feeling unsatisfied with our choice. If we only had to choose between 1% and 2% milk, it is easier to know which option we prefer, since we can easily


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Tumore prostatico: la prognosi in base a stadio, grado e rischio

weigh the pros and cons. When the number of choices increases, so does the difficulty of knowing what is best. Instead of increasing our freedom to have what we want, the paradox of choice suggests that having too many choices actually limits our freedom.  
https://thedecisionlab.com/reference-guide/economics/the-paradox-of-choice

One with a nervous system injury would find it even more difficult. But, it is very important to begin a practice of healing at this stage and not remain enmeshed in this confusion. Learn the basics of each program, but at some point, take a deep breath, choose one , know you will have doubts about having made the right decision and just begin. Most importantly, be willing to go outside the framework you choose to give yourself what you need.

Stefanie