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Blossom Your Awesome Podcast Episode #67 Change Your Brain With Ben Ahrens

by Sue Dhillon
September 5th 2022

Blossom Your Awesome Podcast Episode #67 Change Your Brain With Ben Ahrens

Ben Ahrens is a chronic illness recovery expert, TEDx Speaker, Neuroplasticity coach, and Co-founder of re-origin... More

blossom. Your awesome podcast episode number 67 today on the show. Ben Aaron's is here with us. Ben is a chronic illness recovery expert Ted X Speaker, neural plasticity coach and co founder of re origin. He is passionate about healing recovery and human optimization and how people can take control of their own mental and physical health. I am so honored and delighted to have Ben here with us sharing his wisdom and insights. Ben thank you so much for being here. Welcome to the show. Yeah, thank you so much for having me. Oh I am so excited to have you here and get into this with you. So Ben, let's start with a little of your background and then leading up to the work you are doing today. Yeah, sure. So um I have a background interesting and diverse, I'd say background kind of a winding road through fitness first and then personal development and biological medicine and everything aimed at human health, healing and recovery and performance.

And this was really catalyzed by my own health healing and recovery journey that I had when I was 25. I went from being a healthy um athlete and a fitness trainer to being bed bound for for about three years with a chronic illness that turned out to be a bad case of neurological lyme disease and um throughout trying to put the pieces together and find out what worked what didn't why and how the body responds in certain ways with some people and not with others. Um I slowly lead myself to understanding the brain and coming to neuroscience and neurobiology and learning how the brain is sort of like this chief orchestrator that presides over all organs cells and systems in the human body and that if we can sort of re establish the brain um in its rightful position, then it will actually take care of a lot of these bodily functions that we may be or may previously have been trying to manage as individual symptoms or issues.

So long story short, I went down this road of learning about things like neurocognitive rehab, neural plasticity, which is the brain's innate ability to change itself and how through our own actions, we can actually direct those changes. And after a couple of years of this, I actually slowly but surely managed to regain my full health and that just plunged me deeper into the fascination with, you know, what the human body and human being is really capable of. Wow, this is so fascinating now, you know, for those who aren't familiar or don't really know, can you explain in a little more detailed neural plasticity? Sure, so, neural plasticity is really, in its simplest sense, defined as the brain's ability to change, to rewire its neural pathways up until about two decades ago, it was thought that the brain stops changing or growing after a certain age after, say, late childhood.

Um but we now know that there's something called neurogenesis which is the creation of new neurons or new brain cells. Um and this process continues throughout everyone's life time. So no matter what stage of life you're in, the brain is constantly changing and we now know that you actually wouldn't be able to learn anything new if it wasn't for this fact that the brain is constantly in this state of change. So, you know, you mentioned some of the work I'm doing now. So all of this, this interest led me to create a brain retraining program for people that, like myself, were stuck or are stuck in a chronic condition, whether it's things like anxiety or chronic inflammatory response type of syndrome, like we're seeing with long covid or post viral fatigue. Um but essentially it teaches them how to perform certain neuro cognitive exercises that they can use to change their own brain to adapt their own immune system and basically improve their level of health and homeostasis.

Mm And now then, let me ask you, So, you know, anxiety and depression and all of this stuff. Are these all things that people can tap into some of your training to help with? Is that, does that entail rewiring the brain as well to kind of get over some feelings of anxiety or depression or that sort of mental health stuff? It does, you know, I think one of the best ways and simplest ways to understand neural plasticity is to think about habits, you know, what are the things that we do habitually without thinking about them um that become almost involuntary or actually involuntary. The reason that something becomes a habit is because we've done it so many times through so much repetition, that it literally becomes wired into the brain so that we don't have to think about it. You see, the brain is always working for you, it's always working to become more efficient. And the way that it does that is by consolidating certain um patterns that we use repeatedly to make it easier to deploy those patterns in the future.

Now, the kind of habits and things that we're familiar with when we think of habits are like routines of like a morning routine or going to the gym or brushing your teeth and these kinds of things. And these are, you know, very much habits that are routines that you can train and they do actually wire themselves into the brain. Um but there's other types of habits as well that we don't necessarily think of as habits. And these are what's known as habituated responses. And these can be things like the inflammatory response or the immune response or how your body responds to stress or how your mind responds to a certain stressful circumstance. There's always the important thing to remember is that there's two sides of the coin. On the one hand, there's the environment or the circumstance that we're that we find ourselves in. And on the other hand, on the other side of that coin, there's your body's response to it and in the center, the mediator is the brain and particularly a region of the brain called the limbic system which basically interprets these signals, these stimuli or sensory data that's coming in from the environment and then signals back to the to the body.

What needs to be done with that data and the basic two categories that things get lumped into our threatening or non threatening. So the brain is always again, it's it's always trying to look out for you. It's trying to protect us and do the best that it can to make life easier, safer and more efficient. And if it classifies that something is threatening maybe based on past experience? Something we were exposed to earlier in life. Um then it responds by provoking this, what's known as the stress response or the fight flight or freeze response. And that's what we commonly experience as anxiety or agitation. And if it's something that remains ongoing um as that too, can become entrained, That's where we find ourselves with something like chronic anxiety or general anxiety or even burnout Overwhelm and depression. Mm wow, this is also fascinating. Now, talk to us more about habits. What how does one like, let's say I want to break a bad habit.

Do you have some guidance on kind of where one would start with that. Absolutely, yeah. So here's the here's the exciting part. And the hopeful part is that just like habits. um you can absolutely change these patterns, even if they are, you know, these internally habituated anxiety responses, these things that we don't normally think of as habits, but they're just, you know, unpleasant experiences or things that we don't want to be experiencing anymore. These can actually be um d sort of d conditioned in the same way, we can we can change a habit. So, I'll give you an example that I frequently give, because I think it really illustrates um you know, really well, how you would change that kind of habit. Um This was when I was getting back to full time work and health, I was working in an office in midtown Manhattan and I was coming from a place of having extreme sensitivities to light and sound and noise, and so, you know, midtown Times Square is not the best place for someone in that position to be.

Um but it proved to be a really interesting training ground to start to change some of these habituated tension responses or anxiety responses that I had um developed throughout the course of my illness. And one of the things I remember uh you know, applying this to, and this is, will give an example of how you can uh you know, change these types of responses, is that I remember that by the time I got to work, I'd be so kind of, you know, agitated or amped up and whenever the phone rang in my office, that phone was somehow like a trigger for anxiety, I would, my mind would start spinning out these stories of like that there would be a customer service question on the other line that I wouldn't be able to answer or someone was gonna, you know, yell at me for who knows what, you know, how the mind just like creates these sort of scenarios. Um and I was in a sales position, so I got like 30 or 40 phone calls a day. So every time the phone rang, I had this like mini panic attack. And when I realized that there was this connection, there was like this trigger of the ringing phone and then this response of anxiety, I said, Okay, what's something else that I can do instead, um you know, what do I want to do?

So the 1st 1st rule is number one, identify what might be triggering a certain, you know, habit or response or feeling. # two would be decide or or ask yourself, how do I want to feel instead? So obviously, you know, the answer for me was when I want to feel calm, I want to feel at ease, I want to feel peaceful, all of these things. And so I practiced just doing that response. Um and I made a simple rule for myself whereby every time the phone rang instead of just picking it up in that agitated state, I would take a pause for about three or four seconds, and in that pause I would take a deep breath, I would roll my chair back from my desk, I would allow my shoulders to relax and I would put a smile on my face and then I would pick up the phone And so I got to practice this about 30 or 40 times a day, every time the phone rang and sure at first I missed it a ton of times, the same way, you know, we make a habit to go running in the morning and we missed it a bunch of times, but because I was so determined because that that discomfort was so powerful, I didn't want to feel that way or have that response anymore.

I kept at it and after a few weeks, something really interesting happened the phone rang one day in my office and not only did I not have that anxiety response, but I actually found that my shoulders dropped down, I took a deep breath, A smile came to my face and I felt incredibly peaceful and at ease. And so that's when I knew that that ringing phone had transformed into a trigger for relaxation. And that's because the brain is always making associations. So you can think in terms of trigger or initial event and then response, and what is in our control is to change that response, victor frankel famously once said that between stimulus and response there's a space and in that space lies your freedom to choose your own way. And so that's something that we can all all practice and um you know, as I mentioned in the re origin program, we have a number of different exercises and scenarios in which people can can practice these types of things for responses like that or even even deeper inflammatory responses.

Wow, this is all so fascinating, Ben, and now talk to us about your story like what this was like for you. So you have this diagnosis and you had already kind of been in this line of work. Yeah, so I had, I think I always had like this innate fascination with um the human being and then the human body and how it could change. I got into that when I was about 13 years old or so I started, you know working out and got into um you know, weightlifting and things and um just really fell in love with the notion that you could go from having an idea in your head, like I'm going to change my, you know, the shape of my physical body and its function and then you could learn a sequence of things to do in this case exercises and then by doing those things repeatedly, you would actually make this physical change that was, you know, apparent to to you and to people outside you as well.

Um so I was just like hooked on that for from a young age and that led me down the road of becoming a personal trainer throughout college and then going a little bit deeper into injury recovery and and post rehab. Um, And yeah, then, you know, as I mentioned, when I was 25, I had that lyme disease experience that I didn't know it was lyme in the beginning, it took about a year and a half to determine that that was one of the core issues. There was other other things too. It's whenever someone has a chronic illness, it's usually never one thing, these are complex, chronic and multi systemic types of conditions that involve certainly, you know, the pathogen or the trigger the thing that may have initially catalyzed it. They also involve the brain and this hyperactive stress response and how the brain can effectively get stuck in this state of chronic fight or flight. And when that happens, we now know through things like functional MRI's and advances in neurobiology that the body elevates its threat response, which means it increases its inflammatory activity.

This is like what's known as you may have heard about the cytokine storm, um, and basically facilitates all of these processes that lead to a ton of different symptoms. So, it's really challenging for people with these types of conditions whether it's Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, um, like I mentioned post viral fatigue and now, like, we're seeing with a lot of long covid it's very challenging for for doctors to trace back the origin of these symptoms to any particular cause. And the reason we now know is that because there there is no single cause. These are really uh what's known as chronic inflammatory response syndromes meaning that it's an entire condition that ensues such that when the conditions change in your brain and body in a certain way the body becomes more vigilant, more inflamed and more eager to you know produce these symptoms. Try and fight off the things that thinks are aggressors.

And so for me it was a long road of untangling this. Um for much of that time I didn't have my cognitive function. I actually gave a TED talk where I told the story about one morning waking up and looking at these spots on the floor that I just couldn't figure out what they were and then I realized they were my shoes. But I still didn't understand like how to put them on or you know things like that. So very bizarre things were happening at age 25. And on days when I had a little bit of cognitive juice I think it was U. C. Berkeley and M. I. T. We're putting some of their one and 200 level courses online as podcasts for free which was amazing. And so I was taking classes in neuroscience and uh immunology and all of these things and learning information that actually started to make me quite hopeful because for anyone that's been struggling with a condition, you know, whether it's like I was or even something like anxiety or depression, anyone knows that the most prominent feeling is the feeling of being stuck.

It's the feeling of thinking that we won't be able to move forward. But as I started to go down this road of learning that weight, that sense of weight started to lift because I realized that the body and as I mentioned before, the brain are actually in a constant state of change. So when we perceive that we're stuck, um it really is a perception. But if we start to train ourselves in a different direction, then we will start to radically feel and experience, you know, a different state of being a different state of health and what leads to even path of physiological changes downstream now, You know what I think is just so amazing. And I've heard this story so many times then is, you know, when we have this sort of like a physical ailment, something comes up for resolution, there's kind of a deeper thing going on there. Right? So this, you have this diagnosis and then it led you down this whole other pathway and now you're using everything you've learned to help other people, what are your thoughts on that.

Do you believe that this was you were kind of destined to have this come up. So then you could be here where you are today? Yeah, interesting. Um you know, it's, it's the kind of thing where you have to look at it in retrospect, of course, when you're going through something like that, I don't think anyone, it's very hard to have that that objective or review um that came a little bit later, but once I felt like I was truly getting to the other side of it, uh yes, I can look back, you know, like on this day, certainly, and say it was the best thing that ever happened. It really what felt like something that was taking me off course or pulling me away from my purpose was actually putting me on purpose, was putting me on my course and was giving me the tools, the skills and the education and the ability. I, I know that I now need, you know, to, to help people who may be going through a similar journey.

Um and yeah, basically be able to, to short sort of teach some of these, these, these skills or pay it forward in a way, mm hmm, wow, I just I love that Ben, now, you know, another thing that's so cool, is just your interest in neuroscience and then going really deep with it because I'm sure when you were going through your own diagnosis, you know, I find a lot of times we really do have to take our health and our own hands because it's limited what we're getting back from medical professionals, right? So you're kind of diving in and saying, hey, I'm not really getting everything I need and I know there has to be a solution to this. So let me start doing my own research and digging deeper. Yeah, exactly. Right. You know, I remember one of the things that really struck me is um when I sort of started to, first thing you do, when you, when you get sick or you get a diagnosis that you research it right, you want to learn everything about it.

That's actually part of our brain, the limbic system trying to regain control. Um, and so I was no different. You know, I dove headfirst into the research about Lyme disease and most of what you see on the internet is of course very frightening. Um these, these things sort of rise to the surface of the search engines. So, um, but one of the things that struck me was when I came across a talk by dr thomas route was a practitioner of biological medicine and um, he gave this talk in um, the Marion institute in massachusetts, in which he stated that about 40% of people, if you test them, like pull them off the street and just test them, Would test positive for Borrelia, which is the lime causing bacteria. And this is in some regions of the northeast, perhaps not everywhere in the world, but certainly where I am. Uh he said now, out of that, 40%, maybe less than 2% would exhibit symptoms and have what he calls lyme disease, which is the full blown symptomatic experience of it.

And so that sort of started to prompt this, this question in me of what is it about? You know, my body or some some bodies and some systems that respond in this way. So it was sort of a why me question, but not from a wo is me perspective from like a more of a curious perspective of um this is really interesting, you know, and and I dug deeper into learning about the immune system and how and how immune responses happened and came across another interesting statistic which is widely known today, which is that, you know, the cold virus, the virus that causes or multitude of viruses that can cause the common cold Breezes through a room of say 10 people, statistically speaking, three of them would get sick and symptomatic and seven of them would remain asymptomatic or be symptom free. So that goes back to this point that even when it comes to something like a pathogen or like uh an infection, it's not just what's coming at us from the environment.

It's not just the infection, there's this other side of the coin, which is how and why our body response or the immune system in this case responds and that we now know is very much mediated by the brain. So it doesn't mean that whenever we have an immune response, it's never warranted. Of course, if there's an acute infection, we want to have that immune response. We want to, well, maybe we don't want to experience symptoms, but those symptoms are the sign of a healing process that's taken place. Um, but there's, you know, there's there's other layers to it. And then certainly in cases where the immune response does not go back to normal, where it doesn't calm down and stays active or stays elevated. That's when we experience chronic conditions and that's where we tend to have to look a little bit deeper into into ourselves, maybe even our history a little bit, um, and start to perhaps do some some reconditioning to change the way the brain is now processing information. Mm And okay, so Ben, a couple of things here.

One, I think it's just so awesome. The work you're doing. Because you know, the information we get through Western medicine I find is so limiting. Right? You get some sort of diagnosis and then it's kind of like, okay, here, take this or here's the prognosis, right? Versus you kind of diving deeper into this idea of hey there, we have the ability to heal ourselves because this is related to neural plasticity and our brain can rewire itself and here's how you do that. So talk to us about self healing because I feel like it just um, you know, there isn't enough of that information out there, right? Or it's not being presented by our regular doctors and stuff. This idea, a notion that our body has this enormous potential to heal itself.

Yeah, exactly, right. And you know, I think in in our current society we've all kind of grown up to think the doctor will will heal you and if you have a problem you go to the to the expert and they solve the problem um that's what they're there to do. Um but there are some some instances in which that works beautifully, you know, emergency medicine is one such example, so, you know, if if you have a broken leg or something you go to to the doctor and that's where I think Western medicine really shines, but there's this whole other category of conditions that are now really coming to the forefront of our society with incredibly high levels of anxiety and depression, changes in brain chemistry um and changes in the immune system that make us more or can make us more perhaps susceptible to different pathogens. Um so with these types of chronic conditions, you know, at first, when you get a diagnosis and go to these doctors and it becomes apparent that people don't really understand them that well.

At first it can feel really, you know, disempowering because it's like, oh there's no solution here, but once you start to understand that you can be the solution, your brain can be the solution Now it changes now. You can start to feel incredibly empowered And to your point about you know self healing And let's say even the role of the individual uh in the healing process. Um I never like to say that that you heal yourself or you because that would imply that you are doing the healing, you're doing something. So you know for example if you got a cut on your finger um and that cut heals itself, you didn't do that healing your body actually did the healing because that's what it does very much in the same way that if you plant a seed in the ground and that seed grows into a flower um then you know the the gardener is not the one that that made the flower grow, He just provided the right conditions.

So I think the role of the individual and the here's where the empowering part comes in is that we have the ability now through our understanding and through the new tools that we have to be this sort of gardener to create the right conditions or create the optimal conditions for our body to thrive. We can't always control every outcome or how our body will respond to everything. But just like the gardener we can set the right conditions, we do know how to do that and when those conditions are set, then the body can do what it naturally does best which is to self heal mm And now as far as the right conditions then what are some of those things? Uh you know what do you do? Because you seem like you're living pretty optimally right? And so you're mindful of your health and wellness and all of that. So what are some of those optimal conditions that we should kind of be focused on?

Well from a neurological level? The optimal condition is to be in this state that we know as parasympathetic. So the autonomic nervous system which is the nervous system essentially that controls all of these bodies. The bodies unconscious functions, the beating of the heart, breathing, digestion, wound healing all of these different you know things the immune system um are controlled by what we know as the autonomic nervous system. Now when we find that we're in a state of elevated stress or chronic stress or anxiety. There's these two branches of the nervous system that most people have probably heard about. There's the sympathetic branch and the and the parasympathetic branch. The sympathetic branch sounds sounds like sympathy but it's actually sort of the opposite. It's actually that vigilant side. It's that fight or flight or freeze response. That part that's um you know mobilizing forces in the body during times of acute stress to help us to get out of the stressful state.

So this was you know the common example is back in ancient times, sabertooth tiger comes along and you have that panic response which prompts you to you know, be able to run faster, gets your heart rate going, gets the adrenaline flowing, all of these kinds of things that you can get to safety and this mechanism really works well in these acute settings and then it's meant to come back down to baseline or to homeostasis, you know fairly quickly once the threat is gone and this still happens and works well in animals, you can see dogs as a great example. If they become a little bit stressed out, they just shake it off and then they're you know, back to wagging their tail as human beings. However, we are a little bit unique in this sense in that our brain has this important learning component, this conscious memory component whereby um simply by thinking about something or by ruminating on something, you know, negative grabs that happened in the past or that we think will happen in the future, we can actually activate subconsciously that threat response and keep it elevated even when there's no threat present.

Also to that note, um the brain sometimes wrongfully classifies things as life threatening in this day and age that are actually not life threatening. So examples would be, you know, giving a talk going on a podcast um doing anything that that could be certainly, you know challenging or stressful but not life threatening, right? But once the brain has classified it in that category um the body responds accordingly and it's sort of a I don't want to say false response but it's a response a real response based on false information or on faulty information. And so the optimal state you know to answer your question is actually to calm that sympathetic response and to spend as much time as we can in the parasympathetic response or the parasympathetic state. This is the state that's optimal for arresting, digesting wound healing, um recovery and you know proper immune modulation. So if you think of the body as this elegant system of resources the brain's job and particularly the autonomic nervous system job is to allocate those resources to the right place.

And during a time of acute stress or threat it wants to essentially shut down these what it deems as secondary functions. Because if you're being chased by a tiger digestion doesn't really matter. Or even your immune system health doesn't really matter. What matters in that moment. Is that all of the energy is sent to your muscles to get you out of the situation again, the problem is that when that stays active because of a faulty information um that energy all of those resources all that vitality that the body has actually remain diverted away from these these key functions that are going to help us in the long term be healthy and achieve homeostasis. So the optimal state you know to bring it full circle really is this one of parasympathetic parasympathetic rest and relaxation where we can go above and beyond that we can go up you know to rise to meet a challenge or even a threat in an acute instance when needed.

But we're also able to quickly adapt and come back to normal mm And now so to lean more into this optimal state. Are there certain things we could be doing? I know meditation has been proven to be you know beneficial. And even I think re wires the brain and can help improve cognitive function and things. So are there a few practical tips you can give us for kind of staying in the commerce state? What has shown to be effective? Yeah, sure. So first of all just make an important distinction between you know meditation and neural plasticity training which is a little bit more specific. So you're right. You know meditation also certainly changes the brain and meditation can be really fantastic for calming the stress response. But the difference between that and say what we're doing with these neural plasticity exercises is that their aim is to prevent the arousal of the stress response in the first place.

So if you think of you know in that story I told about the ringing phone right? If I only use meditation then I might still be having that reaction to the phone. But at least I have the tool of meditation that I can every time I get that panic attack from the ringing phone at least I can bring my stress response back down. But I think what we want to do is even beyond that not be in such a reactive state. So as it pertains to, you know, neural plasticity training or exercises that people can do. It's really a matter of number one identifying when we are in that elevated state of agitation. Number two, deciding how we want to feel instead. And then number three, practicing that new response at as many opportunities as we can. Um while gradually exposing ourselves to the very thing that is triggering that response in the first place. So obviously there's a little more more nuance around this and we have an entire program and a five step, you know, protocol that people can can learn to practice this with respect to their unique circumstances?

Um but those are the basic elements that we want to um to to use to do what's called systematically desensitize ourselves from these things that might be keeping us in that state of elevated agitation. Mm And now let me ask you, Ben. So are there certain? And I know the work you do. You know, it's very um you're teaching you have this training where you're showing people how to not like you said, you know, have that arousal in the first place, but just for the average person, is there something that they can be doing just on a regular, you know basis aside from this training, are there some practical tips there? Like does being, you know, creativity, does that help exercise help? Are there some kind of regular daily activities that we can implement to kind of keep arousal or stay in a state of calm?

Great question. Yeah. So you know in the program we even have this section called calming the nervous system and elevating mood, which we normally think of these two things as mutually exclusive or a little bit juxtaposed. And when we think of mood elevation, sometimes we think of like putting on loud music and jumping up and down. Um and when we think of calming the nervous system, we think of, you know, things like meditation. Um but there is actually an optimal state that we know as being calm and focused or basically the state is called flow. So anything that someone can do to spend more time in flow um is actually going to help sort of buffer the nervous system. It's almost like, you know, patting your feet or putting shoes on so that you don't have to pad the whole world, you don't have to change the circumstances. Um I think it was a knee high chicks at me who wrote this book called flow and he spent about 30 years researching this phenomenon and going around the world and trying to understand, you know, who were the happiest healthiest people and what did they have in common and the one thing he found was that they all spend a lot of time in this flow state.

Now. What gets someone into the flow state now that can be different from person to person. For someone, it might be reading a good book for someone else, it might be listening to a certain type of music for someone, it might be, you know, going for a walk in a certain environment in nature for instance, you know, for me it's definitely surfing and for for other surfers as well. Um so there's a lot of things that you can do um that and a lot of things that don't include necessarily a lot of physical exertion um you know, again things like like reading or listening to music um that can keep you in this state of being, you know feeling connected com absorbed well at the same time putting you in a positive mood and so it's not just about you know positive thinking. This actually has these neurological ramifications that are extremely beneficial, that we know that when you're in that flow state the brain actually secretes what's known as dose chemicals which are dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins. So it literally is like taking a dose of powerful medicine whenever you're in that state.

So that's something that people can can practice whenever they are experiencing anxiety or anything less than a pleasant state. You know I would recommend to make a list of what are all the things that you could do instead. What are things you know, quick things that you can go to um other things that you can do and the more time you spend in those states are doing those things um basically the more you know uh like sort of shock absorbers, your nervous system will have mm wow! Ben, this is all so insightful. That was such great practical guidance there. So thank you for that. Now let me ask you, you know, with the training that you do and re origin. What kind of is there a focus there? Like what about memory loss? What about, you know, what does that range cover there? Yeah. So you know a lot of times when people have been going through chronic condition they experience changes in memory in mood, brain fog are very common And um a lot of these are come on as sort of secondary consequences or secondary conditions as a consequence of being in that chronically elevated stress response where you know, the brain essentially determines that oh you know, memories positivity feeling good.

These are not essential to survival. And so in an effort to preserve its resources, its energy um it will take those resources, those energetic resources away from those functions. Those neurocognitive functions that are actually important and it will divert them towards things like you know producing inflammation and fighting off pathogens and and things like that. Even if those pathogens have passed out of the system and are no longer there, the brain has certain traces and memories that um that it may have learned that this is just the state it should stay in right now. So a lot of times what we see is that when we uh when people, you know practice these exercises and they start to shift their their neurology and shift their physiology um in that that more optimal direction. Uh that a lot of these secondary conditions, things like like pots, which is postural tachycardia or changes in heart rate.

Um these neurocognitive symptoms like brain fog, even things like depression, we'll start to lift and resolve themselves. And so who is it sounds like some of the training you do is not it's really for everyone, right? It's for someone who's aging and is feeling a little brain fog or someone who's kind of down and out and or someone who could have some sort of chronic condition, this actually works for so many different things. It does. Yeah. So, so I would like to think that it's it's for everyone. I mean, I do believe that everyone could certainly benefit from going through this type of training um where it really shines is in a particular category of conditions. What's known as these chronic inflammatory response syndrome type of conditions basically means that the body is stuck in fight or flight. Um it's stuck in in producing excess inflammation and the common or the most common conditions that we see are things like chronic fatigue syndrome.

Lyme disease long covid now um post viral fatigue, anxiety and depression. Uh you know beyond that there are a few conditions that I would say this program is not meant to address directly and those would be things like um uh neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson's. Um Yeah, I think cancer of course, things like that are you know of a little bit of a different category. Again, I do like to think and certainly believe that this program can be beneficial for for anyone. I think calming the stress response and elevating mood alone can be beneficial for or would be beneficial for for just about everyone. But what this program is really meant for is those first category of conditions that I mentioned. Awesome. And now Ben, so I know you have a bunch of resources and things even free resources on your website. Right? So we do where is a good place for someone to start If they just kind of looking around and thinking about getting some of this training or you know, getting into one of the programs.

Yeah. So they can visit the website is the main place to start. It's origin dot com. And there they can take a free trial. They can sign up for a informational call with that's with myself to learn more about the program and see if they're a right fit. They can also take a series of different self assessments and quizzes um to start to evaluate you know where they are and get a little bit of a baseline and as well as read some some articles and some of the research that we have on the site awesome. Well then you know you have been just so insightful, this has been so informational and I think people are gonna have a lot of great takeaways from this and um I just really want to thank you today for your insights and your time. Yeah. Sue, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. You've been awesome. Now on in closing if there were one message then that you'd like to leave people with what would that message be?

Certainly I would say that message is if you are feeling stuck if you've ever felt stuck that you're not, first of all you're not alone in feeling that way. And secondly secondly uh that your brain and your body are capable of changing and you can be the one that catalyze that change. Mm I love it. Ben, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Thank you. Mhm

Blossom Your Awesome Podcast Episode #67 Change Your Brain With Ben Ahrens
Blossom Your Awesome Podcast Episode #67 Change Your Brain With Ben Ahrens
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