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Happy Brain, Happy Life

Two and a half weeks ago I started a new treatment program for E.I. (specifically for the MCS and Chronic Fatigue). It’s called the Dynamic Neural Retraining System (http://dnrsystem.com/), developed by Annie Hopper. This program teaches you how to retrain your brain and as a result experience diminished symptoms or complete recovery!

I’m fascinated by all I’m learning about the brain. Most of the treatments I’ve used work on the body, but now I realize how important it is to address the brain as well.

The brain is the control center for our life – for both conscious and unconscious thoughts, behaviors, feelings, functions, etc. When the brain is healthy and happy, then life is healthy and happy. =)
(That may be oversimplifying, but you get the idea.)

It’s important to understand that the brain is affected by its environment, both internally and externally. It also has the ability to change – both for better and for worse. Thankfully, along with our amazing brain, God has also given us a mind, spirit and will – with which we can make choices that will direct the changes in our brain in a positive direction.

I wish I could share with you all the information I’m learning about the brain, but it’s just too much for one post! I hope you’ll be inspired to do some research and learning of your own about the incredible brain God has given you.

In the meantime, whether you’re in a process of retraining your brain or not, I thought you’d enjoy reading this article:
http://limbicretraining.com/contributors/julie/25-things-to-focus-on/
It lists 25 things to do when retraining the brain, but I think these are also great things to do simply to promote and maintain a healthy, happy brain…and thus a healthy, happy life. =)

Retraining the brain is not a quick or easy job. The program I’m doing requires a 6 month commitment. But I’m already seeing positive results from it, and I’m excited about having a healthy, happy brain once again! =)

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Laughter Therapy

We all know that laughter is “good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). But I wonder if we have yet to explore its full benefits.

It was pointed out to me last week that it is impossible to be laughing hysterically and be in pain at the same time. I believe this has to do with the different signals that the brain sends for laughter and pain.

I decided to test this theory. During the day as I felt various waves of pain, I would start laughing as hard as I could. If I couldn’t laugh hard, I at least chuckled or smiled really big. And believe it or not, it seemed to help! The pain didn’t completely go away, but it seemed to be less, and even when I felt it, I still felt better somehow as long as I kept smiling. =)

I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but I do try to take what I’m learning and find useful application for it. I think it’s amazing that God has given us the gift of laughter – not just for those “fun” times but also to help us through the painful times.

I realize that originally, pain is a warning sign to us that something in our bodies needs attention. However, often pain becomes chronic and the brain gets in a “rut” of sending pain signals all the time. I think that purposefully laughing may help the brain learn to send different signals, and perhaps interrupt the pain cycle.

What do you think? Would you be willing to try this “laughter therapy” for a week, and then let me know what results you see?

I know it may not be easy, and I realize that you can’t be laughing out loud all day long. But you can try to keep a smile on your face as much as possible, think of as many humorous thoughts or jokes as you can, chuckle softly to yourself, and when possible, let loose with a huge belly laugh! =)

I’d love to hear if this idea works for any of you. If it even brings a small measure of relief, I’m sure it will be worth it. So laugh til you cry, and then laugh some more! =)

Can’t wait to hear from you all!

Hahahohohaha! =)

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E.I. Prayer

Heavenly Father,

We thank you that you are the Creator who made all things – even the plants, foods, and other natural things we react to. We acknowledge that these things are good. Please help us to see them as your magnificent creation and not as harmful to our bodies.

“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.”
-1 Timothy 4:4

Lord, we also acknowledge that YOU are in control of all things – even people who chose to pollute this planet with an abundance of toxins. Help us to let go of anger toward them and trust that you are working out your sovereign and divine plan for this world. Help us to remember that YOU are our Shield.

“But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.”
-Psalm 3:3

“For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”
-Psalm 5:12

“My shield is God Most High….”
-Psalm 7:10

And Father, please keep reminding us that WHO we are is not defined by how we feel or what we struggle with. Our identity is gloriously wrapped up in who JESUS is! Help us to tell ourselves every day who we are in Christ, that we might see Him living through us more and more.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
-Ephesians 1:3

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

-Colossians 3:3-4

Thank you, wonderful God, that you love us, that you are with us, and that you do have a beautiful plan for each of our lives! Strengthen our hearts to trust you one moment at a time and to praise you each day.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
-Jeremiah 29:11

“I will extol the LORD at all times;
His praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt His name together.”

-Psalm 34:1-3

Amen.

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Harvest

At this time of year many people are making resolutions or setting goals for another year. I think it’s also helpful to remind ourselves of the big picture.

If we want a “harvest” of good health, we must faithfully “plant” the seeds of healthy habits. Whatever actions we “plant” with will determine whether we have a “harvest” of good health or bad health.

However, it takes time for “seeds” to grow. I’ve been faithfully “planting” many good health habits for the last 31 months. Over that time, I’ve experienced small steps of progress, but I’m still waiting for the complete “harvest” of restored health.

When you get weary or discouraged about not seeing your “harvest” soon enough, don’t give up. Remember, if you’re not “planting” good seeds, then you’re probably “planting” bad ones. And seeds always produce fruit, whether good or bad.

Psalm 85:12 says,
“The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.”

God has given us all the good things we need for health:
– instruction in His Word about healthy living
– godly men & women who’ve studied and provided us with helpful information
– healthy foods created by God
– the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to say “no” to bad health habits and “yes” to good ones
etc.

As we persevere with what is good, we can be confident that the harvest will indeed come.

Press on, my friends!
Here’s to a bountiful new year! =)