I had a series of traumas in my adult life and 12 years ago I became extremely ill with environmental illness. I went to many clinics, doctors, health care providers — including many months with Dr. William Rea at the Environmental Health Center in Dallas, Texas. I was diagnosed with Lyme, Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), mold toxicity, extreme food sensitivities, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), leaky gut, and chronic fatigue. I took literally hundreds of medications, supplements, antigens, etc. during that time. I had numerous tests and treatments, but I never got well. I did the Dynamic Neural Retraining System™ (DNRS™), sauna, biofeedback, neurofeedback, metal removal (dental) and several other modalities — nothing helped. I used energy healers, naturopaths, homeopathy, acupuncture — and none of it helped. I was bedridden for years, couldn’t drive, developed panic disorder and extreme startle response, lost all of my muscle tone, lost a lot of weight, and could barely eat food (I developed allergies to most everything). I could go on and on, my situation was very severe. It was hell. I would spend my time doing online research, trying to find answers.
Last year I put the pieces together and realized I have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — Complex PTSD, to be exact. I went to a trauma therapist and my suspicion was confirmed. I did a variety of trauma therapies, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) — yet, all of them made me even sicker. About 9 months ago I discovered Irene Lyon – she’s a nervous system specialist. I bought her 21-Day Nervous System Tune-Up online course. It took me 6 months to complete it. I’m currently doing her advanced course Smart Body Smart Mind (SBSM). Here’s the big news: I no longer have any environmental illness!!!! I can eat ANYTHING, I sleep normally, no more sensitivities to chemicals, foods, outdoors, etc! I have normal energy levels, no brain fog or vertigo, and no panic attacks! I’m back to my normal weight and lifestyle. I’m still actively working on getting my nervous system regulated, which is a daily mission.
Irene Lyon’s methodology is deceptively simple. it’s not neural retraining and it doesn’t focus on the brain. It’s completely different in so many ways. Irene Lyon’s program teaches you how to bring regulation to and increase capacity in your nervous system, thru specific practices that focus on somatic awareness (as well as nervous system education). As opposed to brain retraining programs which direct you to not think or talk about your illness or body symptoms/experience. One goes at one’s own pace and learns to feel what their body and nervous system need. Leaders in the field of trauma education (Peter Levine, Bessel van der Kolk, et al) agree that trauma and ongoing traumatic stress causes nervous system dysregulation. Therapies that target the brain (DNRS, EMDR, talk therapy) will not affect the nervous system. Trauma causes dissociation and the nervous system can get stuck in fight, flight or freeze — or all three simultaneously. This is what leads to chronic illnesses. It worked because my body is finally coming out of fight-flight-freeze.
There’s no quick fix for chronic illness, but there is a solution. I’m doing so well now, that I’m planning on moving abroad in a few months! There is hope! Trauma/traumatic stress causes the autonomic nervous system to become dysregulated, which causes physical and mental disorders. Please watch these videos and see if they resonate with you! May you all be healthy and well!
Editor’s Note: While the brain is definitely part of the central nervous system, the main difference between brain retraining programs and this nervous system reset seems to be that brain retraining focuses on healing the hypersensitive limbic system and other areas of the brain primarily through our thoughts/monkey minds/thinking selves. The other heals the dysregulated nervous system via the soma, or the lived experience of the body.