Oh, my amygdala!
We’ve danced this exhausting dance too many times before. There is no use beating around the bush, we both know these overreactions don’t help.
Yes, there are things I want you to attend to but please do not set off alarm systems for every petty variation in my experience!
It’s exhausting and I want it to
STOP, STOP, STOP!
Disclaimer: I received this product free for honest review as a part of my membership with Chronic Illness Bloggers Network. Although this product was a gift, all opinions are my own and in no way influenced by the compensation of this product. See the Disclosures for more information.
What is the Gupta Programme?
The Gupta Programme is an intensive therapy used to retrain the brain’s responses to physical symptoms from a state of panic to a conscious state of mindful wellness. The creator of this therapy is Ashok Gupta, self-proclaimed “former” victim of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalitis. After falling ill ten years ago at the hands of CFS he was able to reverse his symptoms after three years of illness. Ashok details an intensive fifteen years of research and personal experience resulting in the fruition of Amygdala Retraining method, the core action of the program’s principles.
The Gupta Programme is designed for those living with CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Chronic Pain conditions and Anxiety. According to the retraining’s philosophies, over-reactive conditioning over time causes maladaptive changes to our alert systems, placing our neurology in a constant state of fight or flight. In Gupta’s evidenced-based theory, reconditioning the Amygdala’s emotional reaction to physical symptoms will decrease time spent in hyper alert states; Thereby, calming the body’s defenses to non-life threatening stimuli and allowing for healing.
For my demo of The Gupta Programme, I wanted relief of anxiety; However, I hoped for help with managing symptoms of chronic fatigue, chronic pain, chemical sensitivities, and POTS. While there is a definite physiological foundation to all these issues, two things are for certain: my system tends to run in overdrive regardless of the situation and this only exacerbates all of my symptoms further. Finding a method to control the overdrive reactions is essential to managing Chronic Illness Life with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. This intensive program is an exceptional way to install “mind over matter” routines in defense from the symptom assault cycle common to chronic illnesses. What you get with The Gupta Programme is formalized guidance on applying regular meditation practices and techniques akin to cognitive behavioral therapy. The different methods presented help manage “symptom thoughts” in a more productive manner from a neuropsychological perspective.
The Gupta Programme Website lists the DVD Programme with three months of personal group coaching by Ashok for $250 USD including the following features:
- Full DVD Home Study Course sent on purchase
- I received a full workbook with all DVD materials in printed form along with worksheets and motivational wall hangings.
- 12 Weekly Webinars in a group and access to Recordings
- Opportunity to ask Questions in text form
- Money Back Guarantee after 6 months of use, and for up to 1 year (no questions asked)
- You can catch up on recordings of current Coaching series, or join the next one
- Gupta recently employed the use of Facebook Groups and Facebook Live to the program to increase the community feel using the program and for more accessibility to all who take on this intensive response retraining protocol.
On the Gupta Programme’s Youtube Channel is a detailed explanation of Ashok’s experience with CFS/ME, Fibromyagilia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities embedded below for a free preview of what to expect with the program.
I found The Meaning of Life Experiment Videos on Youtube a few years ago. This series explains the mindfulness perspective of consciousness. I embrace consciousness development, anything involving self-improvement and the goal of peaceful harmony with the universe. Gupta did a wonderful job presenting on these topics with this series of videos to accompany The Meaning of Life App available on the Google Play Store here or on Itunes here. The Meaning of Life Youtube channel is updated regularly with new content aired on the Gupta Program Facebook Live Series. This program is religion neutral and can be combined with any spiritual practice as needed.
The Amygdala Retraining Technique is a relatively simple cognitive action done over and over to recondition an injured Limbic System into moving from a state of panic to one of mindful wellness.
The technique is easily applied to any chronic illness concerning cognitive neurology with event processing. Utilizing these methods reduces time spent in hyperdrive on a neurological level, soothing the assault on the body from an “all systems go” level.
Gupta implores program attendees to put away any preconceptions and resistance to the program for a six month period while instituting the practice into a conditioned response. During the webinars, he frequently reminded my group not get hung up on timeframes for “getting better.” He recommended taking a year to work diligently on these methods for the best results. Above all, Gupta reminded us often there is no pressure in this space to rush into wellness. The supports employed by the three-month program provides a grand cornucopia of tools for a lifetime of healing so no need to feel pressure while completing the program at your own pace.
How The Gupta Programme Helped Me
From the beginning of my more serious health problems, recommendations to reduce anxiety and stress levels resounded long before symptom management or even diagnosis. For awhile, I thought they might be right. Many years of antidepressants and antianxiety medications left me feeling like a zombie until finally, I quit them all. It was only then I realized these medications weren’t right for me, a fact proven recently with genetic testing revealing issues with drug metabolism of SSNRIs, SSRIs, and certain benzodiazepines. No wonder I felt so horrible during those years!
From a rather young age, I remember being excitable. I over-reacted to life by nature whether it be with joy, sadness, fear or trepidation. I didn’t know how to behave unless I went over the top with the reaction I thought most appropriate. As an adult, I constantly struggled with knowing how to react as within a few years of adulting I realized my reactions were viewed as odd. Add in a lifetime movie dose of traumas and there’s the perfect recipe for How to Make a Chronic Illness Worse with Anxiety.
Despite my illnesses, I am all about health and wellness activities. I’ve used meditation for many, many years in various forms. Before I hit my big injury in 2015, I sported a cool hour Yoga and Pranayama practice daily. I even continued a modified practice until I could no longer stand due to POTS and now, the practice is further tailored to accommodate the significant decline in my malady over these last few years. Over my lifetime, between flares of illness and periods of wellness, I was active in life and work. I took my health struggles like the waves you jump through to get further out into the ocean, intuitively knowing I absolutely must try harder if I were ever going to get past the backpedaling of the curls. I did not account for the undertow at work in my genetics, getting stronger with each inapplicable assault of adrenaline coursing through my body. I didn’t see the predisposition to injury and lasting debility until it fell upon me with harsh consequence. The peaks and troughs of my illnesses continue but through it all, I learned no one method is adequate in managing life with chronic illness.
Employing The Gupta Programme helped me reintroduce healing practices into my life, making my anxiety work for me instead of against me. When I gain adept knowledge, I recall the information much like a supercomputer processor, taking all the little bits of data received and then translating it into the highest probability based on my knowledge base. While this ability is an enormous benefit while advocating for myself using my previous nursing experience, the same practice works to unnerve me with all the possibilities flying up into my conscious thought haphazardly causing undue stress on my body and mind. It is for all these reasons my participation in the program helped me regain some control in life by retraining my thoughts towards ideas of wellness rather than impressions focused specifically on my debility.
For me, The Gupta Programme was the boost I needed to get back to employing more dedicated and mindful meditation practices.
Yes, I still have symptoms. What changed is I use the techniques from The Gupta Programme to help me stay calm when my symptoms flare rather than letting my anxiety in on the chaos to make things worse. This physiological cascade of anxiety in the long term spectrum results in further damage. Using Gupta’s techniques, I manage my reactions to symptoms through a conscious effort, repetitively employed and eventually integrated as a habit on my sub-conscious level. This retraining reframed how I view my illnesses and exacerbations of symptoms into a more productive perspective. My mind can now take breaks from the constant symptom chatter so I may refocus on crucial pursuits like spending quality time with my loved ones, meditation, creating and writing.
Simply said, employing this program provided the mental reset I so badly needed since my health went downhill again.
It is important to address any behavior modification plan with your pertinent healthcare providers. I presented The Gupta Programme to my therapist and nonsurgical orthopedic doctor, ensuring this program would be okay for me to employ. Both agreed it was a good route for me to take in managing my disease processes. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is a lifelong, incurable diagnosis with countless surging consequences throughout the entire body. My vitality is sensitive to stress levels. Quelling the inner storm of fear when aspects of my illness take over is essential to survival.
In honest review, The Gupta Programme is an excellent resource for those dealing with any chronic illness worsened by states of anxiety. The theories behind the retraining are substantial when understanding the physiological mechanisms set forth by the body in reaction to stressors. There’s no denying the benefits the retraining offered in managing my anxiety with greater success, especially when it comes to my body flaring out of control from problems related to EDS and POTS. By the end of the 3-month program, I could better recognize when my worries were getting the best of me and stop the process. I am not cured but I definitely got some recovery. Gupta’s methods, effectively applied, decreases the stress response and improves quality of life from an important, often neglected viewpoint of the mind-body connection. Although the program is over, effects of the retraining remain. The Gupta Programme is the perfect adjunctive therapy for regaining control of life lost to illness.
Thanks for reading my review of The Gupta Protocol for Anxiety!
This review is a part of the ongoing series here at Only in this Head: Chronic Illness with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in which I highlight exceptional products for managing chronic illness life.
My goal is to provide valuable information thru chronic illness product reviews whilst intertwining the account of my EDS history and diagnosis. My hope is my work will serve as a beacon to the undiagnosed Zebras looking for examples of Zebra life as well as providing the chronic illness community with real erudition on the innumerable goods marketed to those enduring disease and debility. While an EDS diagnosis doesn’t include a cure, employing multiple strategies improves quality of life, invariably improving the overall prognosis of this insidious process. My mission at Only in this Head is providing sincere product reviews the chronic illness community can trust ❤