As some of you know, last fall I was diagnosed with a rare condition called mast cell activation syndrome. It’s a relatively new condition– doctors have only even had a name for it for the past 10 years.
Mast cells are a part of our immune system, and they once had a tremendous role within our biology, fighting off deadly diseases and the like. Now, they don’t have as much to do, so sometimes when something finally DOES trigger them, they can get a little confused.
Mast cell activation can happen to people for all sorts of reasons– a viral illness, food poisoning– for me, it happened after I had an allergic reaction, and my immune system couldn’t figure out how to settle back down.
Mast cells are some of the main cells responsible for allergic reactions. People with this condition can have allergic-type reactions, sometimes spontaneously, without a clear trigger. It can be food, a change in temperature, just about anything.
I’ve personally met people who can’t leave their homes without wearing a mask, because they could literally go into anaphylaxis from breathing in someone else’s perfume.
I am lucky that this condition never got that bad for me– but I certainly didn’t know that at the time. When I first got the diagnosis I honestly wondered if I was dying.
However, I am SO SO lucky that very early into my illness, I went to a support group and met someone who had fully recovered using a program called the Dynamic Neural Retraining System.
DNRS uses the concept of neuroplasticity– that “neurons that fire together, wire together.” It centers on the idea that many chronic, “mysterious” illnesses that doctors don’t fully understand can actually have a huge brain component– and that if you change what your brain is doing, you can change the physical reality of what is happening in your body.
When you do DNRS, you are essentially taking your brain out of a chronic state of fight or flight, and helping to grow the neural pathways associated with rest and digest.
So I did it. I was a bit skeptical at first, but I couldn’t argue with my friend’s success.
The program requires that you put in a minimum of an hour a day, every day, for 6 months. In the beginning, I did more than the hour minimum, because there are a lot of supplemental activities, journaling and writing prompts, etc.
I’m happy to say that, 6 months later, I have noticed a HUGE difference. Those of you who’ve seen how scared I was to eat– I am back to pretty much eating whatever I want. And I’m back to pretty much doing whatever I want.
I went to a wedding and drank the champagne. I went to my friend’s lake house and jumped in the lake. These are all things I thought I might never be able to do again.
Of course, I’ve followed very single piece of advice my doctors gave me, but I think the real reason I got better so fast (compared to many patients) was DNRS.
DNRS has been shown to help people with ALL kinds of health issues– the list is pretty crazy.
I’m going to put some links to a few resources below, for anyone who is interested. If you think DNRS might help you, or you have any questions, please feel free to let me know!