Q: Could you explain why the root cause of hormone imbalance symptoms (in this case hashimotos & menopause hot flashes) is a limbic system impairment and ANS dysregulation as a result of experienced trauma and chronic stress? I need an explanation for me and someone who doesn't know much about DNRS. How is it best to explain it to them?
A: Our nervous system is intricately connected with our hormonal system. When we are in a stress response, we release cortisol, adrenalin, noradrenalin and many other hormones that disrupt the balance of hormones associated with wellbeing and optimal functioning. For short periods of time, this is not really a big deal. During the moments of stress, survival is prioritized over general bodily processes. After the stress has passed, the body's hormonal balance returns and we are able to continue functioning as designed. The problem arises when the stress response doesn't turn off, as we see in cases of chronic stress. Cortisol interferes with thyroid hormone production and requires your thyroid to work much harder to create the amount of thyroid hormone required for our body to function optimally. This excess strain on the thyroid also increases vulnerability to autoimmune thyroid conditions such as Hashimotos. This is why some form of mind-body therapy or brain retraining is necessary in order to heal. If we are taking medications, for example, to address the lack of hormones produced but we are not addressing the underlying cause of that decrease in production, it will be difficult to make any headway in regaining better thyroid function.
In the case of menopause, the adrenal glands take over some of the role of producing estrogen and progesterone, as production by the ovaries is diminished. When we are in a state of chronic stress, the adrenals produce cortisol and adrenalin rather than the estrogen and progesterone needed for health and emotional wellbeing. This causes an increase in menopausal symptoms. Again, reducing stress is a necessary part of navigating menopause.
Q: Could you give your recommendations on how to rewire the brain for these two health issues? Would DNRS be the right approach?
A: I believe any of the brain retraining programs would be useful in these conditions, as part of a holistic approach. I also recommend working with a natural or functional health care provider to help support your system while you are addressing the root cause through brain retraining.
In terms of the practicalities of rewiring, in these cases the states of chronic stress and ANS dysregulation are the targets for change. Become aware of the automatic negative thoughts and emotional states that contribute to limbic system impairment, catch and redirect them. Elevate your emotional state as much as possible and seriously consider adding in daily meditation and/or breath work to expand your resilience and help your nervous system regulate. We need to constantly interrupt the stress signals in order for your hormone systems to start functioning more optimally once again. In addition, consider visualizing your thyroid or hormone systems healthy and functioning optimally, as part of your future visualizations or outside of rounds as part of mental rehearsal.
Until next time!
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Candy Widdifield is Registered Clinical Counsellor, Wellness Coach, and Registered Reiki Master Teacher in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. She works with people all over the world, helping them to optimize their wellbeing and thrive in their lives. Her modalities include coaching, therapy, Reiki and the Safe & Sound Protocol. More information about Candy can be found at www.candywiddifield.com