How to Harness Neuroplasticity to Enhance Your Self-Healing Abilities
What’s the secret ingredient in your ability to overcome limbic system-related conditions, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivity? The answer is neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to change and grow new neuronal connections throughout life. It’s these neuronal connections that allow people to learn new things.
Neuroplasticity, however, has both a positive and negative side. Limbic system disorders are an example of the negative side of neuroplasticity. Chronic stress and/or trauma can cause changes in the limbic system—the part of the brain that drives your primal fight/flight/freeze response—leading to a wide variety of negative symptoms and conditions. The combination of stressors essentially overwhelms the brain, causing it to go into an extreme survival mode in which it’s hypersensitive and hyper-reactive.
Thankfully, the brain is really good at learning new things. The positive side of neuroplasticity can help you undo this faulty wiring in your brain and bring your body back into its natural, self-healing state.
In this article, we’ll be exploring how the principles of neuroplasticity can be used to maximize your ability to soothe your overactive limbic system and achieve homeostasis. Let’s get started.
How to maximize neuroplasticity for self-healing
Neuroimaging studies demonstrate that anatomical changes take place in the brains of those learning a second language. These results show neuroplasticity at work.
So, how exactly can the concept of neuroplasticity be used to overcome conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, and OCD? Here are some of the top principles of neuroplasticity and how they can be used in the context of overcoming limbic system impairments with re-origin.
1. Use it or lose it
Through re-origin, you’ll learn to apply an easy-to-follow, five-step neurocognitive technique to directly retrain the unconscious nervous and immune system responses that are at the root of your symptoms. The key to success, however, is that you have to practice the technique every day. Without daily practice, you may forget the five steps, how to apply them, and why they’re important. That’s because when a person doesn’t regularly use and practice a skill, the neural pathways associated with that skill can become weak.
2. Get specific
In order to induce plasticity, the practice of each skill must be specific. For example, to learn how to type, you must specifically practice typing, rather than just using a computer in general.
In terms of re-origin, this will look like addressing your unique worries and fears surrounding a particular symptom, condition, or activity, as well as challenging specific symptoms through incremental training.
3. Repetition is key
Repetition is the name of the game when it comes to neuroplasticity. It’s essential for inducing plasticity and forming new, healthy neural pathways. Each time a child practices riding a bike, for example, they’re developing new neural pathways for the movements, coordination, and balance associated with bike riding. However, this process requires more than one day spent in an empty parking lot. With continued practice, these neural pathways will become stronger and stronger until eventually, riding a bike becomes second nature.
The same process occurs when practicing re-origin’s technique. In order to develop new, healthy neural pathways that stick and lead to permanent elimination of your symptoms, it’s essential to apply re-origin’s techniques whenever you notice your mind going down old, faulty neural pathways. These old neural pathways will likely pop up dozens of times a day in the beginning of the process.
Imagine this process like driving down a road. A first encounter with new information or a new skill is like driving on a bumpy dirt road. With subsequent trips down the road, however, the road begins to smooth out until it’s nicely paved. Then, when the skill really sinks in, it’s like driving on a superhighway—free of symptoms.
4. Every stage of learning matters
Different neural pathways are formed during different stages of the learning process, including learning knowledge about the limbic system and the re-origin program, practicing the five-step technique, refining execution of the technique, and making the technique essentially automatic. As such, it’s important to take the learning process step by step. Don’t rush—allow yourself to really feel comfortable and confident at each stage before moving on.
5. Set goals
It can help to break your recovery process into smaller goals. For example, if you experience chronic pain, you don’t want to set a goal of running a marathon the first week. That’s just setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration. Rather, set smaller goals, such as walking for five minutes, then walking for ten minutes, and eventually, going on a hike. This allows you to develop the neural pathways for each step of the process, promoting a better learning outcome. Setting smaller goals also provides you with a sense of accomplishment along the way and encourages you to master bigger, more complex goals.
6. Use rewards
The more motivated you are to complete a task, the more plasticity and learning will occur. This process is called positive reinforcement. To use this to your advantage during your recovery, offer yourself a reward for successfully sticking to your practice or meeting a goal. The rewards don’t have to be big—they could be watching an episode of your favorite show, getting takeout, or even just giving yourself a hug and telling yourself how great you’re doing.
7. Change up the environment
To enhance plasticity, practice skills in multiple environments. This will help you to learn to execute skills with new distractions and demands. If you master a goal at one location, for example, continue practicing the skill at home or in another location to further solidify the neural pathways for that skill.
8. Embrace laughter
The “happy” neurotransmitter, serotonin, is associated with a feeling of well-being and is a powerful modulator of neuroplasticity. As such, don’t forget to include humor, joy, laughter, and fun in your recovery process. Not only will this make the process more enjoyable, but a joyful brain processes learning much better.
9. Celebrate wins—both big and small
On the path to recovery, celebrate every win—no matter how small! Praise and joy promote motivation, confidence, and a feeling of safety—all of which foster plasticity.
The bottom line
Neuroplasticity plays an essential role in learning and the recovery of limbic system conditions, such as anxiety, OCD, chronic fatigue syndrome, and chronic pain. Keep the principles discussed in this article in mind when embarking on your journey back to health and happiness.
By using re-origin neuroplasticity training program and regularly applying these tips, it’s only a matter of time before you build new, healthy neural connections that activate your natural self-healing mechanisms and bring your mind and body back to a state of balance.