Inner Limbic Quietude
What happens to the rest of the brain when the inner-limbic system is trapped in a state of perpetual trauma fear?
The outer layer of our brains is vast. It’s responsible for most of what makes us uniquely human; speech and language, art, and the sciences all reside in this outer brain portion. This part is also responsible for trying to figure out logical solutions to emotional upheaval.
When the inner/limbic brain is on fire from unresolved trauma, the logical brain stresses out to the max trying to resolve the problem. And as any trauma sufferer can attest, the whole system fails itself over and over.
So where do we start? Do we ignore the hurricane of instability in the outer-cortical brain, and go to right to the limbic problem, or do we begin with an outside-in approach?
Why Not Both?
To the best of our knowledge, Sleep Recovery, Inc. is the first known practice to put all the pieces of this puzzle together.
Right around 2010, we started to notice that just focusing on the outer brain to improve sleep wasn’t getting the same traction as the years before. So we started asking questions, ‘do you wake up startled? Nighttime body jerks? Any history of trauma? About 20% of our new client base was saying yes. We have ways to screen, (but not diagnose) the inner brain’s alpha-theta amplitude levels in real-time. (See graphic above).
Some clients alpha started this high, this high in their alpha spiking, others were about half of that. However, both alpha scan levels were stalling out the clients continual improvements in sleep quality, using only the one protocol.
Outside Looking Inward
We found the best approach was to work with the outer neo-cortical layers first, followed closely behind with limbic alpha-theta training by about five sessions.
What does this do exactly? The neo-cortical brains job, if condensed into on word would be to ‘process’. And if the limbic brain is overloading the outer brain, it will keep doing so, even whilst its processing the reduction of it high alpha spiking.
What We Found
With just the outer stabilization protocol alone, these high alpha clients usually dropped out of our program. Why wouldn’t they? If their brains were still globally unstable, sleep improvement simply did not come.
But what’s fantastically interesting, is that when alpha theta was added, sleep improvements accelerated once again, and viola! A happy and well rested client, as well as a newly tranquil one to boot.
How Most Doctors View Trauma
Doctors are good people, and most really do care what happens to us. But classical medical training leaves them woefully short-sited. Classical training in neurology and psychiatry are fundamental in its belief that insomnia and trauma are universally exclusive to the realm on neurochemistry. Can’t sleep, here’s Seroquel or Klonopin. History of trauma? Depressed from not sleeping? Here’s an anti-depressant medication.
In 8 years of medical school, (excluding neurologists) physicians receive a total of 5 hours of training about EEG science. Sleep and insomnia? 3 hours total.
Grafting New Ideas, onto Institutionally Closed Minds
As far back as 2011, we would go to medical practices and present our program to the doctors in charge. Mostly, we were politely ignored, or quietly made fun of. But tides are changing. Referring us to their sleep deprived patients, once unthinkable, now happens on a monthly basis. Why? What changed?
In our humble opinion, its a crisis of necessity. Physician’s now have a continual procession of irate patients demanding more for their insomnia than the usual round of ineffective medications. We now have doctors googling “insomnia treatment’ quietly behind their desks, and referring us sight-unseen.
Jeffery Wilson, Ph’D
Chief Clinical Director
David A. Mayen
Founder & Program Director
“When the deep limbic system is less active, there is generally a positive, more hopeful state of mind. When it is heated up, or overactive, negativity can take over.”
Daniel Amen, MD
Founder, Amen Clinics
Dr. Amen is an American doctor who practices as a psychiatrist and brain disorder specialist as director of the Amen Clinics. He is a five-times New York Times best-selling author as of 2012.
“The literature, which lacks any negative study of substance, suggests that EEG biofeedback therapy should play a major therapeutic role in many difficult areas. In my opinion, if any medication had demonstrated such a wide spectrum of efficacy it would be universally accepted and widely used” (p.v.). “It is a field to be taken seriously by all.”
Frank Duffy, MDNeurologist, Head of the Neuroimaging Department and of Neuroimaging Research at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School Professor
“I have been utilizing biofeedback and neurofeedback in conjunction with psychotherapy in my practice for approximately 25 years. I have presented seminars, workshops, and training programs in biofeedback and neurofeedback throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. I have found biofeedback and neurofeedback to be instrumental in helping clients gain autonomic self-regulation and neuromuscular balance – leading to reductions in physical and emotional symptoms. I have found it to be especially helpful in addressing anxiety and traumatic stress disorders.”
Stephen Sideroff, Ph.D
Clinical Psychologist/Assistant Prof.
Dept. of Psychiatry, Biobehavioral Sciences
“Often I recommend brainwave biofeedback (EEG neurofeedback). Always I’m seeking the most naturalistic treatment, with the least amount of medication.”
Thom Brod, MD
Associate Clinical Professor, Psychiatry,
Geffen UCLA School of Medicine