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Brain Retraining
 

Mindfulness

"Outside the realm of conscious awareness our nervous system is continuously evaluating risk in the environment, making judgments and setting priorities for behaviour that are adaptive."

- Dr. Stephen Porges

How does Brain Retraining Work?

By learning to better regulate our nervous systems, actively direct our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and cultivate a compassionate relationship with ourselves, we can begin to change the dominant patterns that are operating in both our brains and nervous systems. The brain is the control center for optimal health and the nervous system is the communicator between the brain, body and the outside world. How they are functioning affects our physical, mental, emotional and energetic experiences. That is not to say that your symptoms are all in your head. They are not. They are a very real experience. And, the way that our bodies are currently responding are a direct result of the way the brain and nervous system are firing. This is the root cause of chronic health issues. And thankfully it is changeable!

Brain & nervous system retraining uses the principles of neuroplasticity and learning to assist us in changing the dominant patterns. The processes used in brain retraining programs must be repeatedly regularly over a period of approximately six months to make lasting changes in the brain and nervous system. That doesn't mean it takes six months to start seeing results. Many people notice positive differences earlier on in the process. It is not enough to understand the concepts, the tools have to be actively implemented and regularly repeated in order to create and sustain healthier alternative patterns.

"Don't believe everything you think, because your brain is sending you false messages" - Jeffrey Schwartz

Which Brain Retraining Program Should I Use?

Brain Retraining has become quite popular in recent times and there are many programs from which to choose. The Gupta Program is the first limbic retraining program created (over 25 years ago now) and it is very comprehensive. It takes a holistic approach to healing, targeting both the brain and the nervous system, and improving overall resilience. The program includes webinars to refine your understanding and an app with daily support to help keep you on track and connected to a community. It is constantly evolving, and there is scientific evidence to back it up. Most recently a study with Long Covid patients yielded very positive results.

 

The Primal Trust​ program is also very comprehensive and holistic. The founder of the program, Dr. Cathleen King, recognizes that there is a necessary sequence that needs to be followed in order to make progress and have sustainable healing and transformation. Her program is structured into levels that reflect this. She has also created a dynamic community of support for people going through her program, available at all of the levels. 

 

The Heal Program is simply & elegantly laid out (which decreases overwhelm). It contains everything that is needed to experience deep healing. The foundation of the program is about nervous system regulation. "Your physiology is always perfectly expressing the state of your nervous system...In order to heal (we) don't focus on healing symptoms, (we) focus on healing the unhelpful survival driven states in your nervous system that are causing your mind and body to produce symptoms." The program is broken down into two levels which follow a progression from nervous system regulation and brain retraining into the deeper healing work necessary for sustainable health. 

 

Joe Dispenza's approach, although different from brain retraining programs, is also very effective. He has written several books (I highly recommend reading "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself") and he has a lot of empirical evidence to support his approach to helping people heal. Many of the healing stories from participants in his program sound like miracles. This is what happens when we learn to harness and actively direct our brains and bodies in a way that support the return to optimal health.

Should I Work With a Coach or Mentor While Retraining?

I highly recommend working with a coach or mentor when using any brain or nervous system retraining program. They can help you most effectively implement the tools and support you along the way, which speeds up progress. Most programs have coaches or mentors associated with them. I specialize in working with people who already have an understanding of their program(s) but are stuck or have not made progress to the level of recovery they desire. I also support people in doing the deeper level of retraining work that is necessary for sustainable healing. I work from a holistic, strengths based perspective to overcome roadblocks and create a clear path forward, really supporting people in improving their health and quality of life. For more information about coaching with me, please visit my coaching page.

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