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After spending years chronically ill I began researching the DNRS program as a natural alternative to healing. I've seen great results and am sharing 3 important questions I've been asked - and answering them! Want to know more? Click here to learn more about how the treatment works!

3 Things You Should Know About DNRS

This is not a sponsored post. These opinions are entirely my own and are in no way endorsed by the Dynamic Neural Retraining System.

If you read my post last week, you know that over the course of the last six weeks I’ve been adding in a brand new treatment. And it’s a program that’s, well…outside of the box.

It doesn’t come in the form of capsules. Or an injection. And it doesn’t involve a device, for that matter.

Because this treatment, interestingly enough, can’t actually be seen.

Sure, the information and instructions for DNRS (Dynamic Neural Retraining System) are delivered in the form of a DVD series and a personal workbook. So there’s something tangible you have in hand as you’re learning. But implementing the program involves working on/with your brain.

Which means it’s a lot of internal work.

The techniques presented in this program are based on research surrounding neuroplasticity. Which, in short, refers to the brain’s unique ability to change itself. Wild, right?

So today I thought I’d answer some of the questions that I’ve been asked the most since starting DNRS:

  1. What is DNRS?
  2. How would retraining the brain help current health challenges?
  3. Is it worth the $250+ investment?

These are all questions I’ve asked before starting the program so you’re not alone! Information on healing through neuroplasticity is still relatively new to me, but I’ve been seeing profound shifts begin since starting DNRS.

So how about we just tackle these one by one?

What the heck is DNRS?

As I mentioned before, the program arrives at your door with a set of DVDs and a personal workbook. You’re encouraged to complete the program (which consists of 14+ hours of material) in 4 days in order to get the most benefit, but I’ll be honest: it took me a bit longer. But I gave myself some grace and, as I’ve shared, am still seeing positive shifts in my health.

In a nutshell, the DNRS program aims to first educate you in the science behind neuroplasticity and then equip you with both the tools and techniques to help you repair your limbic system.

I wasn’t familiar with the limbic system prior to this treatment program. So in case you’re like me and your thoughts are starting to drift toward what you’ll be eating for lunch, let’s quickly cover the basics.

The limbic system consists of several parts of the brain including the hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala and cingulate cortex. Together, these structures make up the “feeling and reacting” functions of the brain.

Now if the limbic system is impaired due to injury or trauma (whether that’s an infection, chemical exposure, mold toxicity, emotional or physical trauma, etc) it becomes hypersensitive. And in this hypersensitive state it will overreact to even the smallest stimuli that would otherwise be passed over as harmless.

Since our limbic system works intimately with our endocrine, autonomic and immune systems, it inappropriately activates those systems which can end up in a “party” of symptoms we never invited.

The DNRS program gives you a system to implement that will help rewire the limbic system so that it’s once again functioning properly. The treatment you implement includes both daily brain exercises you work on throughout each day and one hour of devoted time of “practice”. Practice each day involves a combination of mild movement, vocal exercises, and mindfulness techniques – all to help restructure the pathways in the brain.

I obviously can’t share exactly what the practice outlines for you to do each day, but something that may be helpful to talk about is the reality that I was very limited before starting this. And even I was able to implement these practices in the beginning. Sometimes I just had to do it in an abbreviated way, such as lying down or sitting during a portion of the daily one-hour of practice.

Want to learn more about the Dynamic Neural Retraining System? After years of treatments, doctors, and way too many years spent home-bound this method is helping me HEAL! Click to read more as I'm responding to my 3 most asked questions about the program.

 

How would retraining my brain help my current health challenges?

Great question! And one I asked over and over again before purchasing the program.

One of my first thoughts upon looking further into the program was that it seemed like everyone was “drinking the Kool-Aid.” But heck, I was desperate. And if  the Kool-Aid actually worked, I couldn’t care less about the modality. I just wanted to be better!

And while I am getting better, this most definitely is not brain washing. (Or sugary Kool-Aid for anyone wondering). There was an important distinction I knew I needed to make early on in the program. As I learned more about the brain and neuroplasticity it became clear I had to treat my brain just like I was treating my body.

My magnesium has been regularly low for years now, which is why my naturopath has been supporting my body’s diet with magnesium supplements. My blood pressure has also been regularly low, so I frequently drank Himalayan salt water to help keep it from dipping too far.

So for me, it was helpful to view my efforts in neuroplasticity retraining as working with the organ of the brain.

As in: utilizing my mind to retrain my brain’s pathways. And while a huge part of this program is working with your thoughts, it’s more specifically working with the thoughts/messages your brain is inappropriately sending.

The aim is to redirect the neurons that are firing incorrectly (i.e. sending symptom and pain signals) so that over time they are no longer wired with the same old pathways. The outcome is rewiring the brain with new, healing pathways so the limbic system can be properly functioning once again. Which results in lessening symptoms!

I’ve heard all sorts of “just think positive” mantras and over these past years of health struggles they’ve felt like a big ball of blame. The message received was “you’re not positive enough, therefore it’s your fault you aren’t getting better.” And I don’t buy that one bit.

Any mindset shifts I’ve experienced (or been able to set in motion) in this program have been a direct result of experiencing tangible healing. Meaning: literally feeling a difference in my brain and body. It’s been like a fog has been slowly lifting. A fog I simply did not invite or entertain. Because believe me, I wanted all of the symptoms and discomfort GONE. 

This program isn’t about just thinking positive, but rather learning how to communicate with your brain to help it reach wholeness. And what I’m finding with each passing week is that I do feel lighter. Even happier, but genuinely so. And it coincides with the healing that’s begun in my brain and body.

How did I decide it was worth the $250+ investment?

First off, I can tell you one thing that didn’t help me decide: a guarantee I would get better. Because there wasn’t one. I knew that just like every other treatment I tried, no one could tell me this would 100% work for me.

But the following things really did help.

    1. A money-back guarantee. This was a first for me. We have shoveled out tens of thousands of dollars, much of which we fundraised, to pay for treatments over the years. Never once have we seen this. If you commit to the program for the full 6 months and don’t see significant improvement, they’ll refund you. That’s quite a statement of belief in their program!
    2. It’s really not that expensive. I probably don’t need to say more after what I just said about “tens of thousands”, right? But in case you need a further statement: $250 doesn’t begin to touch how much my supplements cost us right now each month. If getting me better means being able to go off of those, it’s well worth it.
    3. The research speaks for itself. The more I’ve studied about neuroplasticity through the program (and now after), it JUST MAKES SENSE. Variations of the techniques in this program have been proven effective in so many others. Want to be really amazed? Watch this TED talk given by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor who suffered a stroke and talks about her experience and neuroplastic healing.

The following contains affiliate links which means that if you purchase something through one of these links I may receive a commission – at no extra cost to you. As a reminder, I only promote things I have personally tried or believe are beneficial. Any commissions earned help me keep this blog running. So, thanks! 🙂

You don’t have to take my word for it. Learn more yourself!

Since starting the program I’ve had a craving for learning more about the brain, specifically neuroplasticity. So I have a running list of the books I’d like to read and recently checked out my first one from our local library by Dr. Norman Doidge, called The Brain’s Way of Healing. I’ve just started and already it’s a fascinating and helpful read! I also plan to read his first neuroplasticity book, The Brain that Changes Itself.

Since watching the TED talk video I mentioned earlier I’ve been eyeing Jill Bolte Taylor’s book, My Stroke of Insight, for a future read also. Because after watching her tell her story I just have to know more!

Finally, of course, the Dynamic Neural Retraining System’s website contains more information about both the program and understanding the science behind their approach. And it’s a great way to check it out more before deciding if it makes sense to purchase the program for yourself. Let me know if you do! I’d love to connect.

Have you read any books on Neuroplasticity? Have you done the DNRS program or something similar? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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How the DNRS Program is Helping Me Heal

If you’ve been following me here for awhile, you know that here in this blog-space I share the grit and guts of what I’ve experienced in the realm of the sick life. But if you’d like to catch up on my story to understand how powerful the news I’m about to share is feel free to check out this post. It’ll give you a look at what used to be an average day-in-the-life for me. Don’t worry, I’ll wait right here til you’re done…

Ready? Okay.

So a little over a year ago I met a doctor through a friend and my goodness has she been a godsend to me. Quite frankly, I believe she is one of two doctors that has helped keep me alive. Well, them and a nurse who quite literally gave me back my life in 2015.

Through her care I’ve seen some beginning signs of improvement as well as experiencing a much lower # of ER visits (1). But I’ve still been largely home bound. Weak. Frail. Experiencing way too many symptoms to be normal. She was feeling hopeful that by the year’s end I’d see some marked change. And I tried my best to hope with her.

But then I was sent a message from an Instagram friend that told me I needed to check out the DNRS (Dynamic Neural Retraining System) program. She said it had completely changed her life and since our stories were so similar I thought I should at least look into it.

So I clicked over to the website and began to read. My first response was honestly, an eye roll. “‘Retrain the brain’? Do they think this is all in my head? This sounds like another load of positivity B.S. So…I’m outta here.” I replied to the friend with a thanks, but this just isn’t for me. And I thought that was it.

But it KEPT. POPPING. UP.

A few weeks after I said ‘no thanks’ it popped up again. Then a couple days later a friend messaged me about it, asking if I’d heard of it. Call it what you will: a sign from the universe, or God, or my own body/brain trying to send me a message, but I just couldn’t get away from it.

So I looked at the website again. I watched tons of the testimonial videos as well as a presentation by the creator of the program, Annie Hopper. Her story, though different than my own, also held so many similarities. And she confirmed what I knew to be true: this illness is NOT all in our heads. So I softened.

I felt like her heart was compassionate toward others who had gone through what she had. And her incredible story was this: I learned to retrain my brain and I healed myself.

That’s quite a bold statement, no? So I looked at the price of the program and I talked it over with Trevin. A couple weeks later I had the DVD program in hand. It came right after I’d finished running my very first workshop with some of the readers here at Living Grace. The timing felt perfect.

Have you heard of the DNRS program based on the research of neuroplasticity? It's a fascinating program that is helping me heal from years of chronic illness. To read more of my one month update, click here!

I entered the DNRS program with a lot of skepticism.

I just feel like you should know that. It definitely wasn’t as if I bought into this deal right off the bat. But there were some aspects of the research I found online surrounding the brain’s ability to change itself (neuroplasticity) that I couldn’t ignore. And seeing how it had helped so many others similar to me gave me enough hope to give it a shot.

The program is designed to help you rewire your limbic system so that it builds more functional neural pathways. As I learned more about the brain and limbic system in this program, the cause and effect of why I continued to grow sicker or only experience small amounts of relief started to make more sense.

In the DVDs Annie explains that when the brain experiences various forms of trauma, whether that’s viral, physical, emotional or otherwise,  a maladapted stress response can be triggered. Essentially that means that our brain’s instincts to protect us get kicked into overdrive, leading our limbic system into a constant state of fight or flight mode.

And how on earth could I get better if my brain constantly thinks it’s under attack?!

This video documentary on neuroplasticity is quite fascinating if you’re interested in understanding more. (Just feel free to ignore the creepy music.) Variations of these concepts have been proven effective in the treatment of physical injuries, such as stroke patients or those who have suffered brain damage. And it’s also helped those who have suffered psychological PTSD or have OCD. 

Next week I’ll be unpacking a bit more about neuroplasticity and the design of the program, but until then you can also check out the website to watch some tutorials and read up on the science behind it. (<—that’s my affiliate link, which means I may earn a small commission if you click on it and purchase the program. As a reminder, I only share things I’ve either tried or believe in the value of. In this case: I’ve tried it and it’s helping me heal!)

My one-month improvements:

I’ve been on the program for just 4 weeks now and the changes in that short period of time have been quite amazing. Especially when Trev and I compare it to the life I’ve been living the last few years. And while I have more healing to work towards, I’m truly grateful for these beginning signs of healing.

As a pre-cursor to my improvements here’s a list of most of my diagnoses: Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia, Mold Illness, Heavy Metal Toxicity, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, MTHFR genetic mutation and POTS).

  • I’ve gone from barely being able to walk a couple blocks on a very good day to walking almost daily the last week+.
  • My fatigue levels used to be at an average of 7-9 every day (on a scale of 10 being “I can’t move”) and now my levels are averaging below 5 consistently.
  • The inflammation and joint pain I’ve consistently lived with hasn’t been this low in over 4 years.
  • My strength is slowly growing and my litmus test is being able to do the dishes almost daily. They used to sit an average or 2 days before I could get through another round.
  • Dizziness used to be one of my most debilitating symptoms. Now? It’s at an all time low also.

The healing process continues…

There continue to be new things that pop up and surprise me as I continue to commit myself to the program and work toward further healing. And in my commitment to the program, this post will be one of my last to mention diagnoses or symptoms for awhile. It’s a necessary part of retraining my brain in this critical stage of early healing.

Guys, I’m not going to sugar coat it for you: this treatment is not easy. But then again none of what I’d done for healing has been. Seeing improvements and feeling genuine hope is most certainly worth sticking with it.

With all that said, I feel so happy to share that I believe I’m in the process of healing. And while I believe in God, I’m going to keep my feelings on this experience ultra-real for you: this is not something that I’ve seen sprinkled down magically into my life. 

I’ve fought for this. For years.

I’ve committed myself to countless supportive supplements, doctor’s appointments, injections, blood draws, detox, nourishing myself, gripping onto my pebbles of hope, so-much-waiting and now I continue to reach for healing with this program. (And I continue to maintain my supplement protocol under my current doctor’s care while on the program).

So I’ll leave you with this one-month update and hope that this program may also help some of you sweet struggling ones on your own healing path. To reclaim your own health. To heal your brain’s limbic system. And begin to see yourself able to dream again… of living a healthy life, of travel, and of pursuing the things you’ve been waiting for.

Have you heard of DNRS before? Or tried it? Have questions you want me to answer in another post? Drop your thoughts below in the comments! I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

As a heads up: I’ll be largely taking a break from my Facebook page indefinitely, so if you want to stay in touch be sure to sign up for my email list. Or connect with me on Instagram!

 

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Thanks for supporting this blog and my health!

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Want to save money on gluten-free, organic, natural, or Paleo items? Thrive Market will save you 25-50% and deliver right to your door!

Thrive Market Review: Saving Money on Organic + Paleo

This post contains affiliate links. This means that when you purchase an item through one of my links below I may receive a commission. Thanks for your help keeping this blog running!

Recently I signed up for a free Thrive Market trial offer to explore whether or not the yearly membership ($59.95) would be worth it. There are many reasons I believed it could be beneficial. But when you’re throwing a huge chunk of cash at treatment each month, adding a membership cost can feel overwhelming. If not downright impossible.

Buying organic, grain free, all-natural products to fit my dietary needs has it’s limits with our current budget. As in: we simply can’t afford it. So I had high hopes that this could help curb our costs. Spoiler alert: I just wasn’t prepared for how quickly the cost would pay for itself in savings!

So before I start throwing confetti all over you and singing Thrive Market’s praise, let’s get down to the basics.

What is Thrive Market?

Thrive Market is an online membership-based site that offers many of the top selling non-GMO, organic, healthy food and household products at a discount. We’re talking 25-50% off retail value!

“Why, yes, I do love a good discount, Thrive.” – Me.

Is non-toxic cleaning important to you? Well, they’ve got it.  Gluten free snacks? Done. Following a Paleo diet? You’re covered too. And you are going to be in love with the Simple Mills line. Or at least, I am.

So, in short, think: shopping the speciality/health food market at wholesale prices.

A Business That Gives Back

Beyond their selection of great healthy products, one of the biggest things that stood out to me was Thrive’s heart for those in need. I love that it’s their mission to give free memberships to those who can’t afford one. And for every paid membership, a box of food is donated to a family that needs it.

Which means that by shopping with Thrive, we get to be a part of that cause. And I LOVE that by buying groceries that my body needs (and even saving money while doing it) I can play a small role in helping someone else out.

What’s in my first Thrive box?

I know this is what many of you sneaky blog readers really want to know anyway. Yes, I’m looking at you, cutie who reads through posts but never says hi. 😉 Don’t worry. I still love you. And I’ve done it too.

Here’s what I got this round:

If you're looking to save money on organic, Paleo or gluten free products, Thrive Market will deliver them right to your door. And for 25-50% less than your local grocery store!

Teeccino Dandelion Dark Roast Tea – $4.45 for 10 ct.
I am supposed to stay away from coffee due to mold and candida issues and let me tell you: I MISS IT. Some friends told me about this awhile back and I finally tried it with this Thrive box. I’m in love, you guys!! It reminds me so much of coffee. Mmmmm coffee.

Thrive Organic Spices – $2.95 each.
I bought their brand of paprika, Chili powder, and cumin seeds. It’s such a great price period, let alone for organic. I’m not a spice expert, but they’re fresh and flavorful. Just like they should be. 🙂

Check out my recent Thrive Box review: Why it's helpful for me in chronic illness.

Simple Mills Rosemary Sea Salt Crackers – $4.45
These were probably my favorite thing in the box. Let me just ‘splain something before I get crazy with excitement. I do my best to eat grain free. And I’ll be honest and say it’s sometimes sad and I dream of donuts, but avoiding them helps my sick body. So basically: THESE CRACKERS ARE LIFE!! They taste amazing, have the crunch of crackers that I miss so much and I could easily write them a love song. That is all.

Simple Mills Pizza Dough Mix – $7.55
Okay, so I splurged with this one a bit. The box makes two 8-inch pizzas, but if I were to buy again I’d either try to make them bigger and thinner or make 3-4 smaller personal pizzas. I did like the crust, but probably won’t be buying this again anytime soon because paying for crackers and fake coffee come first.

Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips – $2.95
Get ready for more giddy excitement because these babies were another fave from this box! I absolutely adore these chips. Everything about them. The salty, thick kettle-like crunchy, that sweet potato goodness. Sigh. These are the goods. And they’re baked in coconut oil for a double win!

My Thrive Box Review: Unboxing and my favorite grain-free and organic products!

Acure Lemongrass Conditioner – $6.15
I’ve been a fan of Acure natural bath products for a couple of years now so I decided to try this out. I’m waiting to finish my current bottle of Acure conditioner in a different scent so I’ll have to update you later on how it works. But it smells great! And is several dollars cheaper than on Amazon.

Acure Body Wash – $5.95
I’m a fan of clean. Clean ingredients and clean skin. But sometimes organic + natural products can leave a little to be desired in the area of “sudsing”. This body wash is a winner in my book! I’m not sure how to describe the scent, so we’ll just go with I like it. And it’s fresh. Not overly floral or fruity, but light.

Meyer’s Hand Soap Refill – $6.45
This is such a deal for this hand soap refill! And the scent (lemongrass) feels so refreshing to me. I hadn’t tried this before, but I’ve used Meyer’s dryer sheets and loved those so decided to give this a shot. And I can report that the soap hasn’t disappointed either.

Califia Farms Better-Half Almond milk + Coconut Creamer – $2.95
It was important to me to get a full “coffee” experience so I treated myself to this dairy-free creamer. I was very impressed with it! I’ve run out and am definitely planning on ordering more of this. And soon.

Jason Peppermint Toothpaste – $3.95
What I like about this toothpaste is it’s better for me than what I’d used before. And it makes my teeth feel really clean. As in slick when run over with my tongue and my mouth stays fresh longer than with regular paste. The taste is different than traditional toothpaste mint (guess those chemicals taste pretty good…) but I really don’t mind it.

Is it worth it?

In short: I’m a convert. I love the ease of ordering specialty items online, saving money on things I’d be buying anyway, and supporting a company that gives back.

In my first two boxes (the second one containing only 3 items), I saved nearly $60 – which, as you read at the beginning of this, is the cost of the yearly membership. So I’ll most definitely be joining as a way to save money this year!

A free gift for you.

When I signed up for my free trial I didn’t get a free gift, but YOU WILL! This month when you sign up for a free 30-day trial through my link, they’ll include a FREE full-sized bag of raw cashews with your first order of $50+. And you’ll only pay $1.95 shipping! (UPDATE 5/23/17: You can get 25% OFF your first order and FREE shipping!)

You can even more perks if you share the Thrive love. Invite a friend to join and they’ll get 15% off their first order, while you get $25 Thrive Cash! And if you blog and want to become a Thrive Market affiliate, you’ll earn a commission every time a new customer joins or your fellow bloggers sing up as an affiliate.

Have you tried Thrive Market? What are your favorite items?

Who knew you could buy healthy groceries AND save money?! Have you checked out Thrive Market? Click here to check out the free gift you get when you sign up for a trial membership.

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