… we can reprogram the amygdala by chemically induce a calm nonanxious state with natural remedies and then you safe therapy to expose the amygdala to stressful triggers…
Chemically Assisted Amygdala Reprogramming Therapy and Exposure Therapy for Anxiety, PTSD, and OCDThe amygdala is the brains burglar or smoke detector alarm sensing danger and triggering a stress response. When the amygdala becomes overactive or too sensitive it fires unwanted anxious/panic signals into the brain and body. Brain scans have shown enlargement and increased activity in the brains of people with a range of mental health problems including anxiety, PTSD, depression and OCD. A significant and key feature of the way the amygdala works is that it receives information about our surroundings and makes a threat assessment before the information has been received by prefrontal cortex and thinking brain, this means that the amygdala can be triggered by something it perceives as a threat and initiate an anxiety/panic attack before our thinking brain even receives the information, therefore the amygdala can trigger an anxiety/panic attack that is at least initially completely outside our conscious control.
Mindfulness meditation in general has been shown to diminishes the size and dampen down overactivity in the amygdala and this is an already potentially useful stand-alone treatment. However when the amygdala has become incorrectly programmed or super sensitised to a particular trigger it’s like having a smoke alarm that signals danger every time you do some cooking; it may trigger a state of panic at just the thought of germs in OCD or groups with social anxiety or spiders or sounds with PTSD.
We can reprogram or retrain the amygdala with exposure therapy, my version of this therapy is to first learn how to induce a deep state of relaxation in your body and practice mindfulness meditation to strengthen the ventral prefrontal cortex and weaken the amygdala. The ventral PFC is a region of the brain that gives us the ability to control and switch off our fear responses even while negative events and thoughts are occurring.
As soon as a person has become proficient at quickly and easily switching their mind into a state of mindfulness to activate and recruit the ventral PFC we can begin the chemically assisted amygdala reprogramming and exposure therapy. An hour or so before the therapy session starts you preload the brain with antianxiety natural remedies to induce a calm, safe and on anxious state, then in a deeply relaxed hypnotic state ‘expose’ the mind to a manageable challenge or very mild trigger using just one’s imagination. We work out together what you would find a manageable challenge or mild trigger before the start of the session so there are no surprises. The amygdala simply learns by association and we can teach it to make new associations; traumatic memories and associations are not set in stone the brain is plastic it can endlessly learn new connections and associations. When we are exposed to a thing that used to trigger a state of anxiety or fear but are able to maintain a state of calm and relaxation (with training and chemical assistance) in the body and brain we can teach amygdala that this previously triggering thing is no longer a threat. We can teach the amygdala to associate the things that used to trigger anxiety with a state of calm as opposed to danger.
Doing therapy with the assistance of mind altering substances is not a new approach but I do think it’s very underutilised, the American Marines tried treating PTSD with cognitive behavioural therapy on its own and the results were very poor however when the combined CBT whilst the soldier was under the influence of MDMA also known as ecstasy to artificially induce a state of calmness whilst doing therapy on the traumatic events the results were phenomenally better. In my practice I can’t use MDMA :-( so instead I use a legal combination of phenibut, ashwagandha, theanine, taurine, passionflower and 5 HTP or tryptophan.
Please contact me if you’re interested in my chemically assisted amygdala reprogramming and exposure therapy.
07941 331329 (in the UK)
+44 (7941) 331329 (international)