Now that I've been doing the DNRS program for 6 months, I'm really excited to share how it's improved so many of my chronic illnesses and symptoms. For this blog post, I'm going to focus on how it's helped with a condition I have called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).
POTS is a form of dysautonomia—which means your body's autonomic nervous system isn't functioning properly. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls involuntary functions of your body such as heartbeat, breathing, blood pressure, digestion, etc. Dysautonomia symptoms can range anywhere from mild to severely disabling.
About 6 years ago, I was diagnosed with POTS after developing a whole slew of debilitating symptoms (severe dizziness, syncope, fatigue, migraines, the list goes on). Over the years since I was diagnosed, I've tried almost all the "standard treatments" for POTS, including: increased sodium and fluid intake, compression stockings, countless medications, and more. A few of these treatments helped temporarily, but my condition continued to worsen over the years. At my worst, I was severely ill and bed-bound. We were desperately searching for answers and solutions.
I first heard about DNRS about 5 years before I actually started it. In fact, someone commented on one of my YouTube videos about POTS suggesting I look into DNRS. I went to their website and my first thought was "there's no way this actually works—I have a real illness, it's not in my head." I assumed it was meant for those with mental illness or it just a scam altogether.
It took me years to become more open-minded to learning about how neuroplasticity—the brain's ability to change—can be used to initiate physical healing for those with chronic illness. Once I really started to dive into the science behind neuroplasticity and brain rewiring, I knew a program like DNRS could really make a huge difference in my healing journey. Before I share my experience with DNRS and how its helped my POTS, I'll give a brief description of what DNRS is and how it works.
What is DNRS & How Does it Work?
The Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS) is a brain retraining program using concepts of neuroplasticity to help those with chronic illness heal. Most people with chronic illness are subconsciously stuck in a constant "fight or flight" state—making it almost impossible to heal. This maladapted stress response can be caused by a wide range of triggers, including infections, mold or toxin exposure, stressful life events, physical or emotional trauma, etc.
Unfortunately, modern medicine does not give us the right tools to get our bodies out of this "fight or flight" state. DNRS is an extensive course that teaches you how to rewire your brain for healing. The program requires a daily one-hour commitment where you do what they call "practice"—which involves repeating their brain retraining steps and verbally visualizing joyful (and healthy) past and future memories.
Other important parts of the program include redirecting negative thought patterns, letting go of limiting beliefs, and elevating state of emotion. It really requires a lot of commitment and dedication, so be prepared for that (it will be worth it)! They recommend doing the hour of brain retraining each day for at least 6 months, though many find they have much longer lasting and significant results if they commit to at least a year of retraining.
How can DNRS help with POTS?
When you search "dysautonomia" in google, one of the first medical articles (from the NIH) that comes up says this:
"Dysautonomia refers to a disorder of autonomic nervous system (ANS) function that generally involves failure of the sympathetic or parasympathetic components of the ANS"
Those with dysautonomia have a dysfunctional autonomic nervous system, which can affect virtually any system of the body and cause a laundry list of (undesirable) symptoms. Typically dysautonomia is triggered by some sort of infection, stress, or trauma. When this happens, the nervous system becomes stuck in "fight or flight" mode even after the perceived threat is gone. Imagine your body thinking its constantly being chased by a tiger—all other systems of the body go on the back burner as it focuses on that threat. This maladapted stress response can affect your immune system, gastrointestinal system, respiratory system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, etc. No wonder so many people with chronic illness have systemic symptoms.
DNRS essentially gives you the tools to help guide your nervous system back into parasympathetic (or "rest and digest") mode where it can really start to heal. When you visualize something, your brain can't tell the difference between what you're visualizing and reality. As you continue to do these visualizations and alter your mindset, you will signal safety to your brain—which will allow healing to start taking place. I actually think it's sad brain retraining isn't a first line of treatment for those with POTS, as its actually addressing the root cause of illness.
My personal experience with DNRS & POTS
When writing this article, it's been about 6 months since I started DNRS. Personally, I saw positive results fairly quickly—but I had already been implementing many of the principles of the program prior to starting, so I think that set me up for quick progress (I did a lot of research beforehand).
I did not start the program during the most difficult part of my health journey, either. I had already seen a significant amount of healing through the carnivore diet. Though many of my symptoms had improved prior to starting DNRS, I was still very ill. At the time I started, on average, I was only spending about 3-4 hours out of bed a day.
During the first week of DNRS, I walked to my mailbox and back for the first time. Then after 3 weeks, I walked an entire mile for the first time in over 5 years. I saw improvements in my POTS symptoms fairly quickly.
Here are some of the biggest improvements I've seen since starting DNRS:
Increased walking ability and distance
Increased standing ability
Improvements in brain fog, dizziness, tachycardia, headaches/migraines, etc.
Reduction in POTS symptoms
Improvements in severe fatigue
Improvements in light & noise sensitivity
Major improvements in histamine intolerance / MCAS
Improvements in sleep
Improvements in exercise ability (I've been doing gentle strengthening exercises)
Overall increased ability to do things
Overall chronic body and joint pain improved
Feeling much more safe in my body
Some digestion improvements
Here are some of the biggest milestones I've had:
Walking a mile for the first time in over 5 years
Walking through the airport without a wheelchair for the first time in years
Traveling across the country
Driving much more often
My first fever in many years (a sign the immune system is waking back up & responding properly)
I'm so grateful for the progress DNRS and brain retraining has brought me. Because I've been doing other things to support my healing (such as the carnivore diet and prolotherapy injections) its difficult to know exactly how much progress to attribute to what effort. But I know without a doubt that brain retraining has been very important for my healing. Even when I put it off my retraining steps until later in the day, I notice a difference in how I feel. I always feel better physically after my visualizations and practice. That alone shows me how impactful it has been for me.
One thing I really want to do my best to share is that brain retraining is something that can be done to help heal from physical chronic illness (even severe illness). The power of our brains can't be understated. We have such an incredible innate ability to heal, it just can be difficult to access.
It's also important to note that doing DNRS isn't the only way to rewire your brain and heal. I'm sharing a lot about it because I have experience with it and think its an excellent resource. Keep in mind that there are other brain retraining programs out there such as The Gupta Program or ANS Rewire. Do some research and figure out what's best for you! Healing is possible, my friends—and everyone's path to healing looks different. Don't give up hope. I'm rooting for you, as always.
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