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What conditions can be improved by the Gupta and Hopper brain retraining programs?
The Gupta program is marketed to those with chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), fibromyalgia (FMS), chemical sensitivity, and related conditions. The Annie Hopper DNRS™ program is marketed to chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), fibromyalgia (FMS), chemical sensitivity, plus chronic pain syndromes, electromagnetic sensitivity, anxiety and more. Annie also reports that food intolerances may be reduced or eliminated with the program. To read results people are having for various conditions, please see these discussions: Severe CFS/MCS • Lyme disease • Electrical Sensitivity.
What exactly do the Gupta and Hopper brain retraining programs entail?
The main Gupta and Hopper exercises are based on neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and combine speech, visualization, and full body movement. The Gupta program also includes breathwork, meditation, and other exercises designed to help calm an overactive amygdala. The Hopper program includes neurosomatic repatterning, cognitive restraint induced therapy, the principles of exposure therapy in relation to neuroplasticity, self hypnosis, brain stimulation exercises and a host of other modalities. (Read more about the DNRS™ process here.)
Will the Gupta or Hopper brain retraining programs require me to be physically active or 100% cognitively present - what if I am low energy or experiencing brain fog?
Both the main Gupta and Hopper exercises are whole-body exercises, however they require no great physical exertion. If you are not able to stand up and use your body to make gestures and motions, you can do so from your chair or bed, or just imagine doing so in your mind. You do not need to be 100% cognitively present, but the exercises do require concentration, focus, visualization, and repetition.
How similar are the Gupta and Hopper brain retraining programs?
The main Gupta and Hopper exercises are similar in that they are based on neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), but each program was developed independently and offers unique benefits. For proprietary reasons, we cannot share specifics of the programs. What we can share is that they are different enough that if you feel you have not benefited to the degree hoped for with one of the programs, you might have greater success with the other. That said, you do not need to get both programs and you will hopefully experience symptom improvement with whichever program you choose. We urge you not to get too caught up in choosing the right program – the most important thing is to choose one and then commit yourself to the exercises and complete the program as detailed to the best of your ability for the full six months. We also encourage you to take advantage of the support systems in place for both programs and to read this discussion that compares the two programs: Gupta or DNR? Has anyone tried both?.
I can't access a DVD player. Can I still do the program?
The Gupta Amygdala Retraining™ Program is a series of 6 DVDs that comes with a book, which is essentially a transcript of all the DVDs. If you can read a book, you can still do the program. The Dynamic Neural Retraining System™ (DNRS) is also offered as a DVD program (7 DVD discs and 1 CD disc) that includes a full transcript. You can also learn the program in person, if you are able to travel to the UK to get private sessions with Ashok Gupta or his coaches, or to any of the locations where Annie Hopper teaches her Dynamic Neural Retraining System™ (DNRS™) workshop in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Both programs are offered in multiple languages.
Will I need privacy to do the program?
Ideally, you will have privacy to do the programs since they involve speaking out loud and making full body movements/gestures. However, privacy is not absolutely required. At first you might feel shy about doing the exercises in front of someone else, but after some practice, you might even find it motivating to do your exercises in front of a spouse or friend.
For either the Gupta or Hopper program, how long after I begin the exercises can I expect to see results?
You may see results after the first day, or it might take you weeks or months. No matter how soon you start noticing results from the exercises, it is recommended you practice for an hour every day for at least 6 months, to make sure the new neuronal pathways are fully entrenched.
I don't understand how neural plasticity exercises can help with complex injuries such as CFS/ME, FMS, MCS, etc. Are there any writings you can recommend that explain this better or will help to open my mind to the possibilities? I really want to understand this!
You can start by reading our About page which explains the basic concepts of these programs. Next, we highly recommend reading Norman Doidge, M.D.’s The Brain that Changes Itself. It’s required reading for the Annie Hopper DNRS™ workshop and can help you to understand just how much about the brain we do NOT yet know. The other books on our Reading List can also help open your mind to these fascinating concepts and possibilities. Who knows – Ashok Gupta was inspired to develop his Amygdala Retraining™ Program after reading Joseph Ledoux’s “The Emotional Brain.” Annie Hopper created her DNRS™ after reading Norman Doidge, M.D.’s “The Brain That Changes Itself.” Maybe you will come up with new approaches to these exercises after reading one of these books. Articles that may also be helpful in understanding the concepts include MCS Brain Retraining: Medical Scam or Breakthrough and others found in our Research section.
If after reviewing all of these resources you still have confusion and doubts about proceeding with one of the programs, our recommendation is to either: 1) Sit and wait – there is no need to play guinea pig yourself; there are enough people with your health condition trying the programs that you can watch to see the success rate over the next few years before committing your money, time, and energy; or 2) Abandon the need to know exactly how it works, and give it a try. This is making a conscious, considered choice to suspend doubt and disbelief in order to give the program a chance. If reading about brain retraining upsets you or leads to anger, we encourage you to take a break and return to it at some future time.
How can a simple brain retraining program repair organ and DNA damage and remove environmental toxins like mercury and formaldehyde from our bodies?
Well, technically it does neither of those things. There have been no claims of organ or DNA repair. What it can result in is a more optimally functioning brain and body, and over time you may see reparable damage to organ systems reversing. Brain retraining will not physically remove environmental toxins from the body by itself. It will help your body’s detoxification system return to a normal, healthy function and you may find you start dumping heavy metals and other toxins more easily after the program.
Believe it or not, but I appreciate being chemically sensitive - it helps me to avoid toxins that I might not otherwise have an awareness of that could cause cancer down the line. I'm nervous about eliminating my ability to detect harmful substances in my environment.
The programs are meant to normalize your reactivity to environmental toxins and other sensory stimuli, as well as your sense of smell. They are not intended to eliminate your common sense and judgement or restrict your ability to make conscious lifestyle choices. If you are aware that chemicals are toxic, and aware that they are in your environment, you should be able to make wise decisions from a grounded, non-reactive place about how much exposure you get to them when you are well.
I don't want to accept chemicals as part of the everyday fabric of modern life. I want to educate the world on the dangers of toxins in household and personal care products and work to increase regulations on businesses that pollute our world with chemicals in order to produce their products. Isn't the whole premise of the brain retraining to override our innate alarm system so that we can re-enter our toxic world and accept chemicals as part of a modern lifestyle? The program feels at odds with my important activist work.
Please consider that you might become a more effective activist if you have healthy levels of energy and can access mainstream society again. By returning our bodies to the innate alarm system that we were all born with, coupled with the newfound knowledge that we have acquired about toxins in our environment, we have a chance to become true advocates with an active, unencumbered voice that is more likely to be heard. Remember, after incurring a neurotoxic injury, that innate alarm system became overactive and dysfunctional. The hope is to normalize and regulate it’s function so we can live life free of debilitating levels of pain, cognitive confusion and other common symptoms of all these illnesses. As Annie Hopper said in our interview with her, “…the more people that heal from this illness, the stronger our unified voice is to make some much needed changes in the way that we live and the way that we treat the planet.”
Chemical sensitivity is not curable/healable. It is not something you recover from. It is a lifelong disability and the sooner you can accept it and learn to cope/manage your symptoms, the better.
It may be true for some people that their chemical injury and genetic predisposition makes improvement of their condition unlikely. But even William J. Rea, M.D., a preeminent physician of environmental medicine who has treated over 30,000 chemically sensitive patients, says that there is always hope of improvement with these types of injury, even the most severe pesticide poisonings. Stating that an illness is not able to improve is not helpful to anyone when none of us knows what is truly possible. Removing all hope from someone’s life may actually be far worse than providing false hope and expectation, which some fear is what brain retraining is doing. And while it is certainly helpful to accept one’s illness and learn how to cope/manage it, one can also simultaneously be open to improvement and even recovery. There is such a wide range of symptoms, levels of severity, and causes of these illnesses – so many converging and overlapping factors – that it is just as improbable a statement to say that no one will be helped by a certain therapy as it is to say everyone will be helped by a certain therapy. Both are extreme stances and the truth more likely lies in between both ends of that spectrum.
Since Ashok Gupta and Annie Hopper are not licensed physicians, doesn't that make them unqualified to help those with CFS/ME/MCS, etc.?
That statement would be true if you believe that only licensed physicians are qualified to help those with CFS/FMS/MCS, etc.. Unfortunately, most physicians are not only not qualified to help people with complex, chronic, invisible biotoxin illnesses, but they in many cases do nothing to help their patients, possibly ridicule/berate/ignore their patients, and may even do serious permanent damage to their patients. Of course there are those doctors who are truly caring and knowledgeable about the illness and take an integrative approach to treatment, but the large majority of Western-trained physicians are not qualified to treat those with CFS/FMS/MCS. A common example is for doctors to advise their patients with post-exertional malaise to exercise more, push themselves harder. Many patients have experienced severe backsliding of their health by following those instructions. And so we caution people not to judge a practitioner or program solely by the degree after someone’s name, and to take into account their work history and success rate.
Ashok Gupta never had MCS, so how can he pretend to know anything about it? I'm not sure how I feel about the MCS explanation on his website, either.
The MCS explanation on Ashok’s website is his first stab at addressing MCS within the context of his program and we suspect it will go through many revisions over time. What matters to us is that we know that people with MCS doing his program are improving the severity, frequency, and duration of their symptoms, plus receiving so many other added benefits including a much better management of ongoing stress and past trauma. We let the results speak for themselves. This program is just being applied to MCS in a more focused way for the past year, so we are all new at this, including Ashok. He has shown a deep interest in modifying the techniques for the chemically sensitive based on our input and feedback. We have a unique opportunity to help co-create a model of treatment through our experiences.
If Ashok Gupta really wants to help people get well and his program is indeed a cure for CFS/ME/FMS and related conditions, why doesn't he just give away his DVD program for free? $190US is a lot of money for people who are disabled and broke.
That would be nice but it’s just not realistic to think that Ashok could afford to produce a 6-CD package with a book and printed map and ship it all over the world for thousands of people. If only….
$190 US is definitely a lot of money for those who are living on government assistance but it is also one of the cheapest modalities available. Buying $20 worth of vitamins each month would cost more in a year than his program. It’s certainly much cheaper than what most physicians standardly charge just to get your medical history at the first session!
Scam artists like Ashok Gupta who insist illnesses like CFS/ME/FMS/MCS etc. are psychogenic and just require a mind over body approach are the reason invisible illnesses never get taken seriously, are why research studies for valid treatments are never appropriately funded, and they keep our quality of healthcare in the Stone Age. It makes me so angry!
If you think Ashok’s program is based on a psychogenic model of illness, then you do not understand his approach. We suggest you go back and read all the articles he has written explaining his program, and watch the free videos he offers on YouTube.com. We constantly hear people mislabeling his program as a “mind over matter” therapy, and we feel that it’s partly due to this common misunderstanding of the science behind his program that prevents funding from being directed toward needed research studies.
I find the scientific research provided to support Ashok Gupta's theory to be full of holes and incomplete. How can I have faith in his program?
If you feel that scientific evidence is needed, you may have a hard time with the program. We know many people with CFS and MCS doing his program who are improving the severity, frequency, and duration of their symptoms, plus receiving so many other added benefits including a much better management of ongoing stress and past trauma. For these individuals, and for others inspired by them, the results speak for themselves. If you need scientific proof, then you might be more comfortable waiting for more studies to be done.
Ashok Gupta's presentation style on the videos make it hard for me to take him seriously and interferes with my ability to do the program. I find him to be so happy-go-lucky and smirky, and his marketing methods are too slick for my tastes - how can I really trust his program is more than flash and hype and has the complexity to really help my complicated and severe condition?
Some people find Ashok handsome and attractive, others find him a turn-off. No matter how you respond to him as a person, it’s important to separate your feelings of him from your feelings about the program. They are two different things. We know many people with CFS and MCS who are doing his program and are improving the severity, frequency, and duration of their symptoms, plus receiving so many other added benefits including a much better management of ongoing stress and past trauma. You will need to decide for yourself whether you can ignore your personal feelings about Ashok’s presentation style and just take in the message itself. You might prefer Annie Hopper’s presentation style; she also uses an NLP-based program to heal the brain.
Annie Hopper initially claimed her program was a cure for MCS.
MCScure.com is a great domain name in terms of search engine optimization. Annie was most likely just being a savvy marketer when she chose that website address. What she did not realize is how using the term “cure” in her web domain would cause such a backlash in the MCS community. What she shared in her Planet Thrive interview is that she was truly inspired by her own recovery and excited to share her technique and help thousands of others to have the same joy of recovery in their own lives. Using that term was in no way intended to scam or fool anyone into attending her workshop without hope of recovery. It was her own naivete and as soon as she realized her error, she got a new domain name: DNRsystem.com. She most likely kept the original domain name and pointed it toward the new one in order to receive the additional search engine traffic. That’s just savvy marketing.
Annie Hopper was only sick with MCS/FMS/ES for a few years, and she was not very severe. How do I know her program will help my severe MCS that I've had for over 20 years?
Annie was severe enough that she became homeless. From all accounts, she certainly was very disabled by her illness. It might be logical for one to think that because she was only sick for a few years, those neuronal pathways might not have been overly entrenched, and thus, easier to override. We really don’t know. Nonetheless, there are testimonials on Annie’s website from people who have been sick far longer than Annie. The only way to know if her program can help you is to do it yourself. There are no guarantees, unfortunately.
Annie Hopper's DNRS™ DVD program is relatively new. How have people been doing with the DVD version of the program?
You can read about peoples’ experiences with the DNRS™ DVD program here: Annie Hopper’s new DVD.