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When the grey cloud of depression sneaks in it has a way of easily stealing the show in our minds. Though my own struggles with depression I began to reach for tools that helped me learn to navigate the feelings and reach for hope & healing. Tune in to listen to my 3 favorite tools for taking care of myself when the wave of MEH comes to town. Click here!

Feeling Down? Here are 3 Tips for Coping with Depression

This week on The Wellness Crossing I’m sharing my journey with depression. You know, because it’s just too fun NOT to share. 😉

But really, I am sharing because I know I’m not alone. And though I’ve been seeing strong strides of healing this year, I recently have had this dark cloud of “meh” come on the scene once again.

In the beginning, when depression would come I’d feel shame. Embarassment. My frustration would jump on the karaoke mike in my mind to sing five choruses of WHY CAN’T I JUST FEEL NORMAL?

And all of those feels? They left me in a spiral of fear and doubt that things could ever be better.

Flash forward to this year and I’m grateful for the tools I’ve learned that help me cope with the waves of depression when they come. And honestly, many times reaching for these things change the trajectory of my feelings.

They help me take back the reigns of my day when so often before I’d end up derailed.

So today I’m unpacking three of the tools I reach for in the hopes that they might help someone else out there, too. Or perhaps inspire your own version of self-care practices to help you take better care of yourself, too.

Because you deserve it. And you’re not alone.

Listen to today’s episode:

Click PLAY below to listen to this episode or subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Play!

 

Mentioned in today’s show:

Affirmation Pod

Dynamic Neural Retraining System (affiliate link)

Life Coach School Podcast

Episode with Emelda De Coteau on Wellness for Creativity

 

What are some of the tools you reach for that help you cope with depression or feeling down? Leave me a note in the comments!

 

Feeling down? Listen in to this episode of The Wellness Crossing to hear my 3 favorite tools for taking care of myself when depression enters the scene. Click here to listen in! | Visit livinggraceblog.com/podcast to listen & subscribe!

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After years of living a limited life with chronic illness, Kacie began to see a new chapter unfold. Tune in to hear how her story turned to hope and healing!

Healing Fibromyalgia & Lyme with Kacie Fleming

Chronic illness has this way of sneaking up on you, doesn’t it? Most of us could admit that the signs were there. Maybe they’ve even been there awhile.

But we keep covering the flashing lights or silencing the alarms.

We push through. We get things done in spite of the pain. Or we tell ourselves “this will pass.”

Until we can’t.

Until the symptoms become just enough to start calling some of the shots. Instead of pushing through, we find ourselves weighing out the costs of simple actions. Things we used to do without giving them a second thought.

Kacie’s story is all to relatable. And it begins with an all-too-familiar thought of “something’s just not right.”

From one diagnosis to another, as her list grew and pills were prescribed, she found herself in another world.

The land of chronic illness. A place where resting after a shower, canceling plans, and eating a limited diet was the new norm.

But her story didn’t end there. She pursued other opinions, holistic treatment, and opened her mind to a completely different approach to healing.

Her story is now one that is full of healing and hope for both herself and others – and she’s sharing her journey of how it’s all been unfolding today on the podcast!

She and I have both embarked on the DNRS program, which we’ll also be talking about during our chat. You won’t want to miss it if you’ve been considering learning more about neuroplasticity!

Listen in….

To listen to today’s episode, simply hit play below or subscribe to the show on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Play!

 

Connect with Kacie!

Visit her shops: Katya Valera Jewelry | Streetlights at Midnight

Connect on social media: Facebook | Instagram

Is it possible to heal chronic illness naturally? After receiving multiple diagnoses that could have meant living a life defined by illness, Kacie is sharing her story of how hope and healing have been unfolding in her life through treatments often overlooked (or unheard of). Click to listen!Healing chronic illness naturally with Kacie Fleming @kacie_kvFrom diagnoses to hope: Kacie's story of finding healing through methods most doctors might ignore may bring renewed hope to your own story. Click to listen in!

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Often we view healing as a destination, something we wait to arrive at. But healing is more of a process, and one that I've been working hard on as I've been following the DNRS program. Click to read my 5-month update!

Healing is a Process: My 5-month DNRS Update

“So, are you, basically…all better?”

I sat quietly on the sofa, trying to figure out how to respond to the person who asked me. Have I been improving? Yes. Am I fully healed? No.

But I struggled, more so because, whether or not it’s intended, the question invites closure. Something we, as humans, really, really like. Don’t we?

To finally get that degree under our belt. Or discover a positive on the 11th pregnancy test. We want there to be an “end” to the waiting, a destination to arrive at. Because then, things will be better.

Yet…healing, in the context I’ve been learning to embrace it, has taught me there’s so much more depth in a journey rather than a destination.

Because for me, waiting to arrive at “fully well again” was a hope that faded fast. I found myself sitting in a place of acceptance, wanting to just be okay with a reality that sick was a new norm.

It gave me an odd sort of comfort. That I didn’t have to “fight”, and I could just “be”.

But then a few months ago a new treatment crossed my path that gave birth to a new experience in the realm of healing. It gave me a reason for letting go of the concept of “fighting” and empowered me to redefine what it looked like to actively heal.

And it gave me hope.

It’s been awhile since I’ve given any sort of update since starting the Dynamic Neural Retraining System, so I thought I’d do that today. Because while I’m still healing, I believe in celebrating the wins. Big or small. Of which I’ve experienced both!

My 5-month Update

In my last update, I listed off some of the improvements I’d seen in energy, pain and inflammation levels, fatigue, and dizziness. All of those improvements have remained or improved, but my walking distance has increased substantially!

As my legs have continued to grow stronger, I’ve enjoyed long (and often faster-paced) walks with my hubs. Which has been such a great thing! I walk to coffee shops or the farmer’s market without thinking twice. And several months ago that wouldn’t have been possible.

Summer has been another test for us to observe how well I’ve actually improved. And while I’m still improving in some areas, my overall experience in the summer heat is definitely better!

The temps here in southern Oregon have been hot at the peaks of each day, with a bit cooler evenings and mornings. But my body has been handling it so much better than it did the last few years.

Where before I would have felt like I’d pass out at any moment these last few summers, this year I am tolerating it much better. Instead of staying indoors, I can be out in the heat most days, soak up the sun’s rays, and even walk in moderate temperatures without fearing I’ll faint.

But I think my biggest accomplishment is that after 3 years of not driving I was able to get behind the wheel again! And starting back up with a manual again, at that, I’ll have you know. (The hubs said I picked it up quickly so I’m gonna throw in a not-so-humble-brag right here.) 😉

With driving comes another beautiful thing: more independence. And anyone who’s lived housebound for any stretch of time understands what a glorious gift that is!

Some of my other notable improvements include being able to travel several hour distances and sit in restaurants without earplugs (heck, just be around people without earplugs). It’s been so helpful to feel more comfortable in my skin with so many less symptoms grabbing my attention.

I feel happier, lighter, and more filled with hope than I had been in long, long time. Which is notable to me because I swear hope had become a foreign feeling to me. It felt like I couldn’t grab onto it fully no matter how hard I tried. (So I just might need to write a post about that and the connection I see with having an impaired limbic system…)

As grateful as I am for this healing, none of it came to me easily.

It didn’t just “happen” one day or sneak up on me. And I don’t believe it’s a miracle.

Why?

Because I’ve been been working hard, healing my lil’ ass off.

From taking care of my body with food, self-care, rest, and supplements over the last few years to the commitment I’ve made to retraining the neural pathways in my brain every day, I’ve worked for this. And the efforts are paying off.

Healing is like that for any of us, isn’t it? It takes time, effort, commitment. Belief it can happen and the support to help us pursue it.

True healing isn’t just something that appears all of a sudden. It’s not a one-and-done pursuit. For me, I believe my physical healing will reach a point where it’s no longer my main focus.

But I’ll forever be learning to pursue healing of body, mind and soul.

So whether you’re reading this because you were curious about DNRS or you wanted to fuel your own fire of hope that improvement is possible, or maybe you don’t even know why you clicked on this post in the first place…

Whatever the reason you’re here, I just want to leave you with this:  

I’m proud of you. I acknowledge your efforts and how hard you’re working on healing. And I believe things can get better. <3

Wanna know more about the DNRS program? You can check it out here. (<<<—aff link)

Over the past few months I've seen layers of healing begin to unfold as I've been following the DNRS program. I'm diving into just what the progress has looked like for me and why I'm releasing the idea of "fighting" my illness and choosing to lean in to the journey that is healing.

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Tune in to hear Matt's story of how neuroplasticity brought hope into his healing journey from child abuse and anxiety. His authenticity and openness is sure to encourage and inspire you that healing is possible for you, too! Click here to listen now.

Neuroplasticity & Hope For Survivors: A Podcast Episode with Matt Pappas

If there’s one thing that’s been made clear on my healing journey, it’s this: there’s no one way to heal.

Why?

Because healing comes in many different forms, paths, treatment protocols and timelines. Our bodies, emotions, even our brains – they’re all individually ours.

Which is why it’s my aim with this blog and podcast to share real stories and inspiration from a variety of people. From different perspectives, walks of life, and approaches to healing.

Because whether we’re healing from something physical, emotional, neurological or even spiritual – all of us are on our own unique path to healing. And will need a healing plan that caters to our own personal situation.

Which brings me to our guest for today’s episode on The Wellness Crossing: my friend and fellow healing advocate, Matt Pappas from Surviving My Past.

He and I have been cheering each other on ever since we connected last year through the Chronic Illness Bloggers community. One of my favorite thing that has come from starting this blog has been the connections that I’ve made. Especially the ones that feel like real friendships, where you know the other person has got your back. Matt’s one of those friends.

I always leave a conversation with Matt feeling encouraged and am so happy to have him on the podcast today!

Today we’re talking about his experience with neuroplasticity and the profound ways it’s brought hope to his healing journey. He’ll be sharing what it looks like to incorporate neuroplasticity techniques into his everyday and several resources he’s found helpful.

Since I’ve been exploring the land of retraining neural pathways, what Matt had to share was really exciting. Because while his healing journey may look different then mine, we’ve both seen the powerful effects that neuroplasticity can have on healing.

So tune in to be inspired and encouraged that you, too, can find hope. And that healing is possible.

 

Books on Neuroplasticity & Healing From Trauma:

(If you click on the images below they’ll take you over to Amazon so you can check them out. These are affiliate links.)

 

        

 

Other resources mentioned in today’s episode:

Rachel Grant Coaching – http://rachelgrantcoaching.com/

Connect with Matt:

Blog | Podcast | Twitter

Did something Matt shared resonate with you? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Tune in to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Play!

 

Matt Pappas is unpacking how neuroplasticity has been a game changer for him in his recovery from child abuse, bringing hope and healing to what can otherwise feel like a hopeless situation. His story is sure to inspire! Click to tune in to the episode.Neuroplasticity has been shown to help those recovering from emotional trauma. Matt Pappas is sharing his story in this episode of The Wellness Crossing and it's sure to inspire you! Click to listen.

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Feel like overwhelm has become your baseline? That used to be me, too. But I now have tools that help support me back to a state of calm. And I'm sharing them on the podcast today! Click to listen in :)

Reducing Overwhelm and Creating Calm: A Podcast Episode

I have a long history with overwhelm. Starting as a young child I remember my thoughts running wild with worry. As I grew, I went through life carrying a high level of responsibility and near-constant knots in my stomach.

And as often as those outside of me would recognize that I was “stressed” or “overwhelmed”, the most commonly-passed-on advice was the following:

“Don’t be stressed.”

Yeah…thanks. (But not really).

It really wasn’t until the last few years that I started pursuing what change could look like. I wondered what it could feel like to have tools that I reached for, and that actually…you know…worked?!

Flash forward to this year and I finally feel empowered with tools that have helped me engage with calm in moments where overwhelm used to be inevitable. And there’s something so wonderful about not feeling like I’m spiraling downward without a life raft!

It’s been through my recent exploration of neuroplasticity and the brain’s natural role in healing that I’ve recognized that calm doesn’t just happen. It’s created. And WE can create it.

Tune in to today’s episode of The Wellness Crossing, where I’m diving into the tools I use to support calm. These are the tools that help me bring my mind (and body) into a state I can feel both comfortable in and empowered by. And you can, too!

Related books I’ve read:

(Affiliate links below)

The Honeymoon Effect by Bruce Lipton

Have you tried any of the tools mentioned on the podcast today? If you’re looking for a resource to help you incorporate some calm-supporting practices into your daily routine, you can download my free resource: Brain Vibes!

Tune in to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Play!

 

Learn 6 tools I use to reduce feelings of overwhelm and bring my mind (and body) back to a state of calm in this episode of The Wellness Crossing Podcast. Click to listen in!In this episode, we're talking all about overwhelm and how we can bring our minds back to a state of calm. Tune in to hear about my journey through overwhelm and the tools I've learned that help me create more calm when I'm feeling stressed. Click to listen in!

For far too long I lived without tools to bring calm in moments of overwhelm. Be it symptoms, too much on my plate, or challenging relationships, I felt helpless when stress settled in. But this year I've been learning to embrace tools that actually help me create calm! And I believe you can, too. Click here to listen!

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Learn more about neuroplasticity and the way it can help you reclaim your health. I'm sharing a few of the tools I've been learning to implement and how they can make an impact for you, too! Click to listen in!

The Wellness Crossing: NEW Podcast launch!

I’ve been planning and dreaming about launching a new podcast for a couple of months now. And today, I’m excited to say: it’s happening. Or rather, it’s HAPPENED!

Introducing: The Wellness Crossing Podcast.

(Cue radio announcer voice: now available on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Play!)

This podcast is designed to be a space where we can talk all things healing. A space to feel empowered and inspired to be our best advocate when it comes to wellness. As well as learn about new approaches to treatment, alternative therapies, and even the role the brain and energy plays into our health.

Each week we’ll dive into a new conversation related to wellness, healing or inspiration for rising above the challenges or hangups we may be facing. And I’ll be inviting various guests on to lend their insight and tools for how they pursue and prioritize healing.

Which brings us to today and the very first episode!

So if you’ve been following along here on the blog, you may have hear about the new treatment program I’ve been following. Now, it’s not a traditional treatment, in that it’s entirely done from home. And the responsibility lies entirely on the patient to implement.

Now, most treatments have at least some, if not a large reliance on the patience doing their part. But this treatment approach puts the full control on the one doing it because it involves retraining one’s neural pathways.

Weirded out yet? Stick with me….

The techniques center around the research of neuroplasticity, which basically means that “the brain can change itself.” Each technique and daily practice that you follow is designed to help you do just that.

And I’m living proof that it does, in fact, make a difference. Because quite literally, it’s been giving me back my life after years of living with a debilitating chronic illness.

So in this first episode of my new podcast launch, I’m sharing more about my experience with the Dynamic Neural Retraining Program (DNRS). I’m unpacking how I went from total skeptic to setting up camp in the land of Neuro Plastic City.

Healing is a journey that has been far from linear for me, but as I’ve seen huge shifts begin to unfold in my health I feel compelled to share what I’m learning. And it’s my hope that it helps support you on your own exploration of how to tap into the brain’s ability to heal.

So listen in to hear the whole story and learn how YOU can start to learn and implement neuroplasticity tools into your everyday, too!

 

Resources to check out:

(The following list includes affiliate links.)

Books by:

Norman Doidge
Joe Dispenza
Bruce Lipton

Neuroplasticity Tools:
Dynamic Neural Retraining System / DNRS
Brain Vibes – a FREE resource on my blog!

Tune in to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Play!

Have you ever tried incorporating neuroplasticity techniques into your routine?

Learn what it means to "retrain the brain" and how it's been helping me heal from chronic illness! Listen in as I share some of the tools I personally have been using to reclaim my health and how you can begin to implement them, too. Click to listen in!Implementing tools based in neuroplasticity has quite literally been changing my life. After years of living with chronic illness, I've been reclaiming my health and living a fuller life! Join me on the podcast as I share more of my journey and some resources for you to explore. Click here to listen.

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Learn how my new approach to the gratitude journal has reshaped the way I look at living the grateful life! Click to read more.

Living Gratitudes: A New Approach to the Gratitude Journal

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase after clicking on one of my links I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting this blog!

Growing up I always had a journal running. Sometimes it would sit for weeks without a single word hitting the page. Other times I’d write novels each night, processing all of the feels and every single tiny detail of my elementary school, junior high, and high school life.

You know, the important details. Like what I ate, who said what, what my wedding would look like and just how many dreams I had about how my life would unfold.

A few years ago the idea of a gratitude journal was brought up in a conversation after a friend had read the book, One Thousand Gifts. She mentioned how she had taken the idea and started her own journal, each day writing down a few things she was grateful for.

I would periodically follow suite in the years that followed. Purposing to write down a few things here and there throughout the week that brought a smile to my face. That made my heart sing. Things that were just plain pretty, funny, or enjoyable.

But last month I decided to take this idea of a gratitude journal and put a spin on it. Instead of merely writing things down each day, I would take a short Instagram story (a video of just a few seconds) and I would verbally share something I was grateful for that day.

So every day (okay, okay so I forgot one, but doubled up the next day) I would log in to my account and record my gratitude. And thus my #livinggratitudejournal was born.

It was an interesting experience because not only did I do it every day, but there were a few people who joined me! And I absolutely loved reading or hearing their entries. It inspired me to look differently at my own world, uncovering new things that I found I could find gratitude for.

So why spoken gratitude instead of writing?

Really, as I’ve been learning more about the art science of neuroplasticity techniques, I’ve seen how powerful engaging as many senses as possible can be for helping along positive change.

For example, writing down something I’m grateful for is great in and of itself. But what can it look like to take that even further? Our brains respond to patterns, emotion, neurochemicals – they’re constantly looking to us for reasons to establish truths. And they also are affected by words.

So if I want to establish a state of gratitude as an outlet for bringing my mind and body to a state of calm and healing, if even for a moment, engaging more than one of my senses in this practice of keeping a gratitude journal is like icing on the cake. AND sprinkles.

Of course, now I want cake. Chocolate on chocolate on chocolate for me in this dreamland, please.

But back to this learning business.

Where were we at? Ah, yes engaging more senses. So writing a list of things I’m thankful for essentially covers two senses.

First, it covers thought because if I’m writing it, I’m also thinking of it. At least for a brief few seconds. Second, it covers sight. Because obviously: ink on paper.

So adding in another layer, like speaking it out loud, brings even more depth to this act. And even more so when I stop and actually meditate on each gratitude.

 

Learn how to keep a LIVING gratitude journal: what it is and WHY it can make an even greater impact on your mood and mindset! Click to read more :)

A little practice exercise.

Allow me to put this idea into practice. I’ll start with this one for an example:

“I’m grateful I could walk around my neighborhood today.”

To be intentional with this I first have to have thought of the question “what am I grateful for today?” And then, naturally, I find myself searching for at least one answer.

Once I land on an answer, I can be intentional with my response. More than just stopping at the one sentence, I can pause before writing it down and think about why that particular thing came to mind. Did it bring up any good feelings? Did I see something beautiful on my walk? Or did I feel more connected to nature and less “stuck” inside?

Pulling out every little detail in my thoughts, really painting a picture of this thing I’m grateful for in my mind can help send my brain all those positive, good neurochemicals like dopamine or oxytocin.

Now, I can either scribble down a few words or I can spend a few extra seconds and write down all those good details in a journal. There’s no pressure to over-perform, this is about finding what works best for you. Do you need to write more than a few words to feel like you’ve connected to that gratitude? Or are you already feeling it after spending that short time meditating on all the deets? You do you, boo.

Finally, the speaking part. What I learned through having a commitment of doing it daily was that it challenged me to step a little outside of my comfort zone. But in a really good way. Because it shifted my focus each day for those few seconds onto something positive. Away from any negative lists or self-pity and toward cultivating a calm and appreciative state.

Living grateful

My Living Gratitude Journal was an exercise in learning to LIVE grateful. From noticing tiny buds on a walk to seeing improvements in my health. Improvements that I was challenged to focus on instead of the symptoms that were left unchanged.

And you know what? It felt dang good. It wasn’t always easy, but it always felt more hopeful to spend even a few seconds embracing a light-filled perspective.

Would you like to learn a few neuroplasticity tools to incorporate into your day that will help you support your brain as you heal? Then this free resource is for you, my friend!

This year I tried something new with the gratitude journal idea: I kept a LIVING journal! Click to find out more and learn how YOU keeping a living gratitude journal can help reshape your mindset and support your overall health.

 

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Have you tried what seems like all-the-treatments and there seems to be a missing piece? Check out the 12-week program, Empowered Healing, and learn how to reclaim wellness! Click to read more!

Empowered Healing: Reclaiming Your Health & A GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is sponsored by Innovative Medicine and is open through May 31, 2017 at 11:59 pm PST. Scroll to the bottom and follow the directions to enter!

Over the last few years I’ve done anything but lie in wait for healing. I have made a lot of sacrifices, faced incredibly difficult treatment protocols, and put a huge daily effort into supporting my body’s healing.

My diet has shifted dramatically, and multiple times at that. I relied on an expensive supplement plan just to keep functioning. And up until 3 months ago I spent the majority of my days at home. Not out of choice, but because my unimaginable fatigue and symptoms demanded so much rest.

But in the last three months I’ve seen tremendous healing come from adding in an entirely new treatment program called DNRS. And because of that I’m truly starting to get my life back. DNRS is based on the foundation that we have the ability to heal ourselves by rewiring our brain. You can read more about that here.

Because of this new addition to my healing protocol, I’ve become absolutely fascinated by reading up on neuroplasticity. I’m always intrigued to hear about other treatment programs with similar, yet unique perspectives on healing.

So when Monica from Innovative Medicine reached out to share more about their Empowered Healing program launching on June 1, I was all ears!

Psssst…spoiler alert: they are giving away FIVE of their 12-week programs here on the blog! You can scroll down to the bottom for more info on how to enter.

What is Empowered Healing?

Empowered Healing is a 12 week program designed to put you in the driver’s seat of your health. EH is founded on the idea that we all have the ability to reclaim our natural state of health and functioning. And their program gives you the tools you’ll need to do just that: to activate your journey back to health.

What you’ll learn…

(taken from their website):

  • A holistic understanding of the underlying causes of illness and the critical (yet often overlooked) mechanisms that determine how people truly heal.
  • How to start feeling better instantly and optimize your recovery response by learning and applying the scientific evidence that the body can heal itself.
  • The 7 key fundamentals of health and how to address each of them in a personalized way that starts with your current individual-based priority.
  • The ‘Healing Blueprint’ framework: A five step process for charting your own unique course back to health, starting from right where you are.
  • How to solidify your newfound vitality, step fully into your healthiest self and sustain your new ‘set-point’ for the rest of your life.

The program consists of a 12-week guide, video lessons, interactive exercises, personal accountability calls, email coaching, research, and an online community to foster your healing journey.

I also found it super compelling that the program has been 12 years in the making…12 years! The creators of the program spent that time interviewing doctors from around the globe and learning from them. And now have used what they’ve gathered to create a comprehensive system that offers tangible steps for healing.

One of the creators, Ben Ahrens, suffered years with Lyme disease and has seen tremendous healing through implementing some of the practices presented in the program. You can listen in on his fascinating story he shared on a TED talk here.

“Could the program help me?”

As I was reading some of the info on the website, their description of who the program is for tugged at my heart. Simply put, it’s because I feel like it resonates with so many of us that have been working hard at healing:

“Whether you’re chronically ill and looking for ways to optimize your success outside the doctor’s office, wondering why various treatments don’t always lead to long-term health, or simply curious about what you can do in your personal life to compliment your medical treatment, this 12-week program will show you how to implement all of the discoveries and principles that Innovative Medicine is based on to empower yourself and reclaim health outside the medical office.”

How many of us have tried yet-another-treatment that helped someone else, but our body couldn’t tolerate it? Or it made us worse? And how many doctors have we seen that left us wondering if there was possibly a missing link? Perhaps something they hadn’t thought of that could help.

I know I, for one, could answer so many of those questions with a head nod. Or a blank look while trying to add up the number of times I’d been there.

Empowered Healing is a program designed to help you reclaim your body's natural state of health. And if you're tired of a one-size-fits all healing plan, this program may be just the thing you need! Click to read more!

So what do I think?

I have to say that I’m excited about this program! I’ve seen firsthand how powerful neuroplasticity based healing can be. And with that being just one component to Empowered Healing, I’m embracing it with open arms.

I’ve had a chance to look over their beta program and will be diving into the full program in June. And I’m impressed just from my first exposure to the program!  The science behind it, their teaching style, and holistic approach really resonates with me.

And if you’re one of the lucky winners, maybe we can swap our experiences as we go through the program together! 😉

The GIVEAWAY:

Innovative Medicine was kind enough to offer not one, but FIVE lucky readers their brand new 12-week program!

Here are the deets:

  • Giveaway winner must be 18 years or older.
  • You may earn up to EIGHT entries.
  • Submit all entries by 11:59 PM, May 31, 2017
  • Winners will be contacted by email and must respond within 24 hours to claim their prize.

To enter click this link or enter using the Rafflecopter form below!

Connect with Innovative Medicine on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why would you like to win the Empowered Healing program?

Enter to win an Empowered Healing program from Integrative Medicine: the 12-week program that's designed to help you reclaim health and wellness through a holistic approach to healing.

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Did you know that there's healing that can be found by transforming the way we think? Here are 3 practices that are helping me release negative thoughts and reclaim health! Click to read more.

3 Practices That Help Me Release Negative Thoughts & Heal

My original version of this post was first published on ProHealth’s Inspirational Corner.

As I sat outside sipping on my cup of tea this morning, the cool air brought a smile to my face. In the quietness I brought my mind into the moment, took a deep breath and closed my eyes against the rising sun’s bright beams.

And then I did something I’ve been doing more of lately. I silently reminded myself: “I’m strong. I’m happy. And I’m healing.”

You see, I recently started a new treatment that’s brought up a lot of new emotions. Renewed hope for healing, a genuine happiness, and more quiet rest in my mind. And while the quiet and calm have been so welcome in this tired body, I’ve discovered some buried debris:

Some negative thoughts I’ve held onto about my worth, purpose, and talents.

You see, I’ve worked through a lot of the things that have surfaced in these years of health challenges. Ideas that I’m not enough. Thoughts of comparison with someone else’s talent or ability. Beliefs that what I have to share isn’t of value to anyone else. It’s really quite a messy collection of harsh words and emotional knick-knacks that I just don’t need.

So I’ve started to question, what do I believe about myself? Do I really believe that my diagnoses define me? That my thoughts, experiences, or talents have no place in this world? Are they really “not good enough” or am I just afraid of letting my talents shine?

I don’t want to live buried by a pile of doubts and insecurities so I’ve decided to intentionally shift my thoughts. And in doing so, my aim and hope is to make more room for self-kindness, acceptance, and grace. Let me share a few ways I’m tangibly putting this into practice…

Daily gratitude journal.

Over the years, the people I’ve met with health challenges are some of the most grateful, appreciative bunch I know. We see the beauty in the simple things, soak in the things and moments that matter. So I wanted to be even more purposeful in this. Writing down a list of the things I’m grateful for has created a perfect space to allow the good in my life to shine.

And this list is not just about noticing the good, but also recognizing my efforts for the day. This can look like “I’m grateful I did a great job at sticking to my treatment schedule today” or “I’m thankful I was able to commit to my appointment even though it took a lot of extra effort.” It reminds me of positive truths like: I’m strong, committed to my health, determined. And when does that ever not feel encouraging to hear?!

(I’ve also been doing a Living Gratitude Journal for the month of May in my Instagram stories. Short video clips of something I’m grateful for each day. If you’d like to follow along for inspiration – or join me – come visit my feed and click on my profile pic!)

Speaking kindness to my inner self.

I can be incredibly hard on myself. So learning how to treat myself with the same gentleness I wish to give others has been a process for me. And one way I’m challenging the tide is by silently reminding myself of my worth. Affirming what makes me, me.

The more I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone with this one the more emotional healing I’ve experienced. Why? Because I’m actually starting to believe what I’m saying. That I’m talented. That I’m important. That I have something to offer the world. The beauty in growing in how I self-talk and care about myself is that I believe I’m becoming more equipped for encouraging and supporting others around me, too.

Meditation.

Meditation is something I’ve only recently begun exploring, but it’s such a treasured new experience! I love how calm and relaxed it can make me. So each day I make space for a bit of meditation before bedtime. And I do my best to get in another hour at some point during the day.

It’s something that has taken practice (and I still have room to grow). But I make a great effort to remain focused on healing for that hour. My body sometimes gets restless and distracted, so it’s been important for me to learn to be gentle with any thoughts that arise. Which can look like calmly reminding myself/my mind that it’s time for healing. And in giving myself permission to let go of any harsh thoughts during my meditation I’ve found that the harsh thoughts have lessened as a whole!

Finding My Center.

These three practices, while small and not-so-out-of-the-box, have played an important role in centering me on my quest for healing, fullness and purpose. Because as I’ve approached each one with intention and grace, they’ve helped quiet the thoughts that don’t serve me well. It’s helped me refine my focus on healing, be more gentle with myself, and be more accepting of where I’m at right now.

And it’s given me hope that there can be a full life in this moment – as I embrace the now, hope for tomorrow, and learn to dance in the freedom to dream.

Have you tried any of these practices or have one you’d add to your own list? What inspires you to stay mindful in healing?

If you’re looking for some guided meditations, here are a couple of my faves: Meditation Minis by Chel Hamilton and Tracks to Relax for bedtime. But there are a lot of other great guided meditation podcasts on iTunes if those don’t quite resonate with you! Or you can check out what’s available for beginners on Amazon.

(If you click on one of my affiliate links in this post, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase – at no extra cost to you!)

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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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