How Trauma Affects the Brain and Healing Through Neuroplasticity
My guest on Parkinsons Recovery Radio tomorrow is Annie Hopper who developedÂ The Dynamic Neural Retraining SystemÂ™Â as a therapeutic approach to improving brain function.Â Thousands of people have applied her novelÂ program for varying chronic illnesses with great success. Focus of the program is to teach participants how to
self-directÂ neuroplastic changes in the limbic system that normalize threatÂ mechanisms in the brain.Â This allows the brain and body to move out ofÂ a state of survival and
into a state of growth and repair, whereÂ healing can take place.
What is the Limbic System?
The following is an eloquent explanation Annie emailed to me in preparation for the radio show interview tomorrow.
“The limbic system is a complex set of structures in the mid brain thatÂ Â includesÂ the hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala and cingulate cortex.Â Â It has been described as the Â“feeling and reacting brainÂ”. It isÂ Â responsible for the formation of memories and is constantlyÂ Â determining our level of safety. The Limbic System assigns emotional
significance to everything we smell, see, hear, feel, and taste. It isÂ Â known as the seat of social and emotional intelligence and is theÂ Â brainÂ’s anxiety Â“switchÂ”. It is closely integrated with the immuneÂ Â system, the endocrine system and the autonomic nervous system.
When not functioning properly due to injury or impairment, the limbicÂ Â system becomes hypersensitive and begins to react to stimuli that itÂ Â would usually disregard as not representing a danger to the body. ThisÂ Â results in inappropriate activation of the immune, endocrine andÂ Â autonomic nervous systems that can lead to varied and seeminglyÂ unconnected symptoms.
This hypersensitivity of the limbic system causes over-firing ofÂ Â protective and threat mechanisms in the midbrain. This can result inÂ Â distorted unconscious reactions, sensory perceptions and protective responses.
Similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it seems that limbicÂ Â system hypersensitivity, or dysfunction, involves impairment toÂ Â structures within the limbic system of the brain that alterÂ Â connectivity to the pre-frontal cortex. We hypothesize that theÂ Â hyperactivity in the limbic system fosters inhibition of theÂ Â inhibitory networks, which allows the over-stimulation of survivalÂ Â mechanisms. This gives rise to an unconscious and persistent fight orÂ Â flight response associated with limbic system impairment. Over time,
it is possible this state of hyper arousal can weaken the immuneÂ Â system, and affect systems associated with rest, digestion, detoxification, mood stability as well as motor and cognitive function.
The Dynamic Neural Retraining SystemÂ™ was developed in 2008 by AnnieÂ Â Hopper as a therapeutic approach to improving these conditions usingÂ Â neuroplasticity principles. Thousands of people have applied theÂ Â program for varying chronic illnesses and have had great success. TheÂ focus of the program is to effectively teach participants how to
self-directÂ neuroplastic changes in the limbic system that normalize threatÂ mechanisms in the brain.Â Â This allows the brain and body to move out ofÂ a state of survival and
into a state of growth and repair, whereÂ healing can take place.”
Robert Rodgers PhD
Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease