I recently did a survey to check in with those who did a brain retraining program for MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) and related limbic system impairment disorders. Some people used Annie Hopper’s Dynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS), others used Ashok Gupta’s Gupta Amygdala Retraining Program (GARP), and a couple used Dan Neuffer’s ANS Rewire program. Some used a combination of programs, and a few used FasterEFT or their own version of brain retraining. The statistical results of this survey can be found here.
I wanted to find out if any health improvements that occurred through use of the various programs had stayed over time. Thirty-three people responded to my survey, and I was surprised to find out that fifty-two percent (52%) of the respondents saw improvements in their condition within the first 2 weeks of starting the program. Ninety one percent (91%) found improvement within six months (the minimum suggested time to do the programs). Even those who ultimately were not satisfied with the results of the program(s) saw improvements relatively quickly! This says to me that it is usually always worth it to at least try one of the programs if you are suffering from MCS, EHS or a related hypersensitivity syndrome — why pass up even a minimum of improvements when life can be so challenging with these conditions? For me, this was very exciting news for those challenged by severe chemical sensitivity and related conditions!!
I wanted to share some of the responses so you get a sense of how quickly these programs can work.
QUESTION: At what point did you start to see gains after starting the program(s)?
First day. – Steve, British Columbia, Canada (DNRS for MCS)
I saw gains in the program after 7 days of the DVD course work. – Sarah, Arizona (DNRS for MCS, mold, anxiety)
The first gain was just two weeks in. – Diane, Connecticut (ANS Rewire for CFS/ME + POTS)
I started to see big changes after working with FasterEFT practitioners for a week. – Vera, Ontario, Canada (FasterEFT for MCS)
About Day 2 of DNRS I began noticing improvements, and by the time I finished Day 3, I was much healthier, but improvement continued afterwards, especially the second time, after I’d worked on healing traumatic memories. – Heather, Wisconsin (DNRS for MCS)
I would have to say that within a few days I started to have gains. The speed and effectiveness were, at the time, incomprehensible. I was SHOCKED with the positive results. I REALLY didn’t think the program would work. The DVDs sat on my desk for over a year after I bought them. They just sat there because I had little confidence that the program would resolve my issues. But, I was desperate … none of the other things I did made much of a difference. I HAD to do something different. I found the program sitting on my desk and I started to use it. The change was DRAMATIC and effective. Ultimately, I used the program for 2-3 months consistently. But the improvements started early. – Paul, New York (Gupta for EHS, MCS)
I had very small gains (so small I wasn’t sure whether they were “real” at first) within a couple of weeks. I saw significant gains within five weeks — where I could tell that, for sure, things were different. That was incredibly motivating. Once I saw that, it was a no-brainer to keep going. – Leslie, Oregon (DNRS for MCS)
I had small gains almost immediately. Medium gains over a period of about 3 to 6 months, and then continued to get better after that. – Linda, Illinois (Gupta for CFS)
About 3 weeks after religiously practicing the Hopper program per all the instructions. Improvement came in a series of peaks with plateaus in between. My adapted version of Pysch-K was the last wave of major improvement, and it occurred real fast – just a few days with several short sessions. – Jeff, Texas (DNRS, then Gupta + Psych-K for MCS)
I actually noticed an improvement 3 days after I watched Gupta’s online videos, before I got the program. This was just from understanding the hypothesis and knowing that I had to stop the feedback loop. – Jeny, Texas (Gupta + DNRS for MCS, CFS, FMS, EHS, mold)
For my mental health, I made strides right away. Almost immediately, my anxiety dropped precipitously and rapidly. For my physical health (EMFs, etc.) it took about three months, maybe four, before I started noticing less symptoms. By month five, almost entirely gone. For the lymphedema, the situation is ever ongoing, but I wouldn’t give up the retraining for the WORLD because it helps with the pain immeasurably. It’s not a cure (lymphedema is not a limbic-related condition), but it totally makes the pain so much more manageable.– Patrick, California (DNRS for EHS, lymphedema)
I saw small changes in the first week – my ‘super nose’ with crazy smelling power decreased somewhat. I had less panic attacks from exposures. Slept a little better. Had a little hope. It took probably 7 months of dedicated practice (1 hr daily, plus catching POPs all the time) for the MCS to fully go away. The mold sensitivity has decreased BY A LOT!! But, while the consequences of exposures are much less, they still suck. However, without MCS I can now inhabit new builds, which helps me stay away from mold. – Sarah, Oregon (DNRS for MCS, mold)
It took a full 6 months of daily practice. – Bunny, Washington (DNRS for MCS)
I’d like to add my own personal experience — it took me about 5 years of practicing Gupta and Hopper on and off (I used both DVD programs AND went to a DNRS seminar) plus extensive one-on-one coaching for EFT and FasterEFT before I saw real gains. But when my gains came, they came quickly, in the first days of restarting. The key for me was stopping my computer use (EMF exposure) for 2 weeks while brain retraining, which seemed to make my brain MUCH more “plastic,” or responsive to the brain retraining. Once I did that, the changes came quickly! I also had to address my PTSD before I could do the programs as directed. I always thought that many others with severe environmental illness like myself might have a similar experience as me. Based on the results of this survey, the truth is it is MUCH more common to see improvements within the first few weeks of starting brain retraining, providing you commit fully to the practice (I never did because I was so focused on helping others through my websites!) and providing you don’t have any major current exposures (like I did with chronic EMF exposure) or severe trauma that needs to be addressed first.
There are, of course, many who don’t see any significant improvements and are disappointed with their experience of brain retraining. To these people, I would say not to give up — that there is some version of “brain retraining” (whether a commercially sold program or just real life) out there that can help make life more livable. My personal advice is not to spend more than a year on any one program. If you don’t start to see significant improvements within the first six months, consider switching to other programs or modalities. Also, re-evaluate your living environment and lifestyle — if you have a mold, EMF, or other type of exposure that may be inflaming your brain, work on improving the situation and then give brain retraining another try. You can also try adding in brain support — eating healthy fats and proteins and taking targeted supplements to support your neurology.
If you have significant trauma in your past, consider getting help for that before embarking on a brain retraining program. Somatic based modalities seem to work best for many. I personally found that I needed to do a year of one-on-one coaching with EFT and Faster EFT before I could do the DNRS program. I discovered MFR or Myofascial Release Therapy (find practitioners trained by John F. Barnes) about 5 years ago and this modality has been such a gift for me, helping to release trauma stuck in my tissues, bringing my body out of fight-or-flight, and releasing anti-inflammatory cytokines (studies show that after 3 minutes of sustained pressure on the fascia, interleukin 8, interleukin 3 — involved with white blood cell formation — and interleukin 1b — nitric oxide, vasodilation — all increase and after 5 minutes interleukin 8 doubles.). If you find a physical therapist, this modality may be covered by insurance or Medicare.
The bottom line is that brain retraining does offer hope of at least a minimum of improvement to most suffering with MCS, EHS, CFS, and FMS. Give it a try — the investment is minimal compared to years of doctors visits, supplements, and expensive lifestyle hacks to survive. If finances alone are truly preventing you from purchasing a program, you can always post on MCS groups (like PlanetThrive.com) online to see if you can find a free or discounted used program. If there is a will, there is a way.
Brain retraining revisited: A follow-up survey
How long before you see results from brain retraining?
How brain retraining changes lives
The challenges of brain retraining
Advice from brain retrainers
Would you recommend brain retraining to others?
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