Although I've discussed the importance of treating the underlying energy crisis/biochemistry in fibromyalgia using the S.H.I.N.E.® Protocol, many people face the unusual problem of having severe sensitivities to almost everything. So today I'm going to talk about how to address this (much of this information comes from my dear friend and colleague, Dr. Neil Nathan, author of the book "Toxic").
When dealing with extreme sensitivities, it's not only important to treat the biochemistry, it's also critical to understand that our brains and minds both direct our immune system. That's why many of us have experienced the phenomenon of feeling as though we're under physical attack (e.g., infections) while also feeling that we're in an unsafe physical and emotional environment. At its extreme, the latter can often even trigger PTSD.
When this happens, our immune system ends up lashing out wildly and ineffectually at everything. So what to do?
We can take a simple clue from our computers and electronics. When you have a problem and call tech support, the first thing they tell you to do is to "turn the device off so the system can reboot." Most of the time, we are amazed at how wonderfully this works.
While you can't turn off your body, you can "reboot" your limbic system and vagus nerve (parasympathetic nervous system). And though it can take a couple of months to start working, the effects can be as dramatic as it is for your PC.
Calming an Immune System Gone Wild
Your immune system and mind's over reactivity to everything has been coined the "Cell Danger Response."
Once you've begun addressing your underlying problems with S.H.I.N.E.®, or even before addressing them if the sensitivities are limiting you, a major part of healing will be to have your immune system recognize that your environment is now safe. As Dr. Nathan puts it, "An inflamed nervous system is a distracted nervous system."
Taking a compounded medication called low dose naltrexone, or LDN, (3-4.5 mg at bedtime) along with a supplement called Palmitoylethanolamide, or PEA, (more on this in an upcoming newsletter) can help decrease nerve pain, central sensitization, and sensitivities. It takes about one or two months to work and improves your overall immune function.
If you experience a severe Herxheimer reaction to antivirals (a reaction in which the dying bacteria release endotoxins into your blood faster than your body can handle it, which results in an extreme inflammatory response), Dr. Nathan says it's important to address underlying mycotoxins.
The techniques below can dramatically help this without the side effects of taking any pills, and are synergistic with the LDN and PEA suggestions above. You can choose just one or two of these to start with (such as DNRS™ and the BrainTap™ technique, both of which can be done at home). Or you can even combine them all at the same time. I recommend you visit the websites at the links I include to help you decide which ones intuitively feel right for you. And start there!
Dynamic Neural Retraining System™
Balance your limbic system using a therapy developed by Annie Hopper called the Dynamic Neural Retraining System™, or DNRS™. Begin with the DVDs at her website. One hour each day is recommended, but even 15-20 minutes a day can be very helpful. You'll start to see results in about eight weeks. After that, you may want to consider taking some of their workshops (coaches are available at her site to help if you'd like to work with one).
Vagal Nerve Stim (with FSM)
Read the book "Accessing the Healing Power of the Vagus Nerve" by the renowned Craniosacral Therapist Stanley Rosenberg. It explains the crucial role that the vagus nerve plays in determining our psychological and emotional states and explains that a myriad of common psychological and physical symptoms — from anxiety and depression to migraines and back pain — indicates a lack of proper functioning in the vagus nerve. Through a series of easy self-help exercises, the book illustrates simple ways you can regulate the vagus nerve to initiate deep relaxation, improve sleep, and recover from injury and trauma.
Frequency Specific Microcurrent
Frequency Specific Microcurrent, or FSM, is a technique developed by Dr. Carol McMackin that can be very helpful for pain in general. It also can be very helpful for Vagal Nerve Stimulation. (If you find a practitioner at her website who's in your area, ask them to use the frequencies 109 for the Vagus Nerve Plus 40 or 81.)
I'll discuss other equipment you can get on your own and use at home in an upcoming newsletter. Vagal nerve stimulation can help your body end its adrenaline overdrive, so you can finally rest and heal.
Developed by Pat Porter, Ph.D., BrainTapping™ is a technique that helps you relax, reboot and revitalize by optimizing your brain's peak potential. Their website provides hundreds of guided audio programs for this (including a bundle for sleep) that you can access with a smartphone and a monthly subscription for as little as $10 per month. You can contact them to determine which bundles of programs are best for you. These systems can help reboot your limbic and vagal nerve systems in as little as 20 minutes three times a week.
Emotional Freedom Technique®
The Emotional Freedom Technique®, or EFT, provides another helpful method for both rebalancing the vagus nerve and releasing emotional traumas. This can be powerfully effective. You can get a general idea about this by watching EFT videos at YouTube that were created by Brad Yates, one of the top recognized teachers of EFT. If you want to try this, search the web for a practitioner in your area to help you. After you've done this for several treatments with a practitioner, you'll often be able to do it on your own.
Ready to "reboot" your brain and immune system? The techniques above can powerfully and gently do this for you.
In upcoming newsletters, I'll discuss more tools that can dramatically help you in healing your mind/immune system response — and even your soul!
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is one of the world's leading integrative medical authorities on fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. He is the lead author of four research studies on their treatments, and has published numerous health & wellness books, including the bestseller on fibromyalgia From Fatigued to Fantastic! and The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution. Dr. Teitelbaum is one of the most frequently quoted fibromyalgia experts in the world and appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, CNN, and Fox News Health.