by Kath

Reward SequenceI was still finding RES very resistant to change. I didn’t know what my ears were going to do next (be hot, cold, red or turn multiple times throughout the day).  All I knew for certain was that I still had no control over something happening.

Day 24: I developed a routine which I’ve called the “Reward Sequence.” The first time I used it I was able to stop my ears from turning hot and red three times over the course of an evening. The fourth time my ear tried turning I was too mentally exhausting to stop it from happening.

I was elated with my discovery. I now had a tool I knew worked to help stop or at least communicate a message to my brain that I wanted change. Based on my past MCS successes I knew this little routine would become less tiring and easier to use with practice.

 …the resulting recovery from many chronic and often misunderstood illnesses through self-directed neuroplasticity is miraculous by any medical standard.”Annie Hopper

Getting the most from the Reward Sequence when only one ear turns red:

Use the Reward Sequence whenever you feel your ear is about to turn hot and red. Start immediately, DO NOT wait until it’s become hot because the signal your brain sent will, by then, have reached its destination (the ear to brain connection is the “shortest and most direct of any of the body’s neurological micro-systems”). The amygdala, which directs signal traffic in the brain when danger lurks, receives quick and dirty information directly from the thalamus in a route that neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux dubs “the low road.” This shortcut allows the brain to start responding to a threat within a few thousandths of a second.

I found that pale to medium red, with no temperature change, was still early enough to reverse but once my ear turned hot it was too late; “…the amygdala also receives information via a high road from the visual cortex. Although the high road encodes much more detailed and specific information, the extra step takes at least twice as long” as to the thalamus. Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve waited too long, just try to catch it earlier the next time. Even if your ear does turn hot and red tap through the sequence a few times to remind your brain you’re not happy with what it’s doing.

The best way to use this routine is by looking at yourself in a mirror. Turn your head slightly so that you can see the reddening ear. Tap all 8 points while saying out loud “I Have Control, Stop Now.” Next, turn your head slightly in the opposite direction so that you can see the skin-toned ear. Tap all 8 points while saying “Good Work, Well Done.” You’ll actually be able to watch your ear changing colour back to skin-tone. Keep tapping until the skin-tone matches on both ears. Your ear will either turn back to a normal temperature or turn cool (I’ve had both). When your red ear does turn back to skin-tone start saying “Good Work, Well Done” on both ears for one round of tapping.

Note: Once your ear has signalled that it wants to change but you’ve stopped it from happening, it will probably try a few more times after that to turn hot and red. Just be aware that this could happen and take it in stride. Use the Reward Sequence, and focus on your goal of living free of hot, red ears.

The Reward Sequence “…is a way to interrupt any automatic conditioned response by telling your mind that you’re only interested in rewarding good behaviour from now on.”

“Distracting yourself afterwards can be extremely useful too, as often, if you feel you’ve accomplished what you set out to do, the mind can immediately go back to the compulsion again…The more you interrupt the pattern and the strong urge to respond stressfully to a trigger or triggers, the more that elastic cord pulling you back to an undesirable emotional (or physical) state will be weakened.”

A simple and easy way to distract yourself:

Distract yourself by running a soft brush over your arms, massaging your head using your finger tips or running your fingers over a rough surface. The “touch” area of your brain will become highlighted. At the same time, that area of the brain which was originally overstimulated will calm down and the neurons feeding it will start to drop away. This process is called neural remodeling. Brain researchers have shown that every time you use your brain in a new way neurons start to grow in a new area of the brain “…connecting from the pre-frontal cortex to the amygdala, to subdue and control its reactions.”

Day 25: I added the Synchronization Brainwave Meditation to my routine. The first time I finished listening to it I felt extremely woozy. That feeling lasted for about 30 minutes. The next few times I listened to it I felt less and less woozy and the length of time that feeling lasted reduced. Ten days after starting, the only feeling I got from listening to that music was a deep sense of relaxation and calm.

Occasionally, (people) may feel dizzy or nauseous. This tends to indicate that one’s chi (essential energy) is too high, due to mental and physical tension. This causes the muscles and internal organs to become tight, which in turn restricts the circulation of chi and blood.”

Day 46: I added the Re-Enforcement phrase. As well as consciously thinking it throughout the day, I found that this phrase would spontaneously pop into my head. The first day I included it into the overall program it must have popped into my head at least 10 or more times and it kept repeating multiple times. After approximately a week it got to the point where I thought it less than 5 times a day.

Re-Enforcing Phrase:

Whenever you feel it’s needed, say to yourself “I know you believe you’re protecting me BUT giving me hot, red ears makes me vulnerable. It puts me IN terrible danger.”

Keep repeating this phrase, over and over until you feel calm. Nobody can see or hear you doing this so it can be used all day long in any situation.

Your unconscious mind intuitively knows how to solve problems. It will instinctively know where to direct this statement. An important point to know is that your mind and you are now partners in this healing process. By repetitively thinking the Re-Enforcing statement you’ll notice a feeling of calmness and a lessening of pressure each time you use it.

Using the Reward Sequence plus the Re-Enforcing Phrase when Both ears turn red:

Turn your head slightly so that you can see one reddening ear while saying “I Have Control, Stop Now.” Then, repeat this procedure while looking at the other reddening ear. Go back and forth between both ears 4-5 times. Then look directly into the mirror and say “I know you believe you’re protecting me BUT giving me hot, red ears makes me vulnerable. It puts me IN terrible danger.” Repeat this entire routine 3-4 times.

If you’ve caught it early enough and your ears do start returning to normal say “Good Work, Well Done” while looking at yourself in the mirror.

Give yourself the best chance of success by following these suggestions:

• Things to avoid while brain retraining (geared to those with MCS but works just as well for RES).
• Things to focus on while brain retraining.
• Create Positive Affirmations ~ Select a photo(s) from a magazine or the internet which represents your future free of RES. Write on the photo what it means to you. Put the photo(s) in an easy to see place. Constantly reminding yourself in this way reverses your brains natural tendency towards negativity.

The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones.”

read Part 1 | Part 3

photo © Sam74100 |

About Kath
Kath first shared her MCS recovery story in the now defunct Dtox Radio community, and later on this website. She finds great enjoyment in tending her backyard garden; she and her husband always look forward to eating the fresh, organic vegetables and fruits which it offers.