I recently interviewed Jenny Peterson from Wisconsin. Jenny recovered from Lyme, insomnia, digestive issues, body aches, dizziness, skin issues, cystitis (bladder inflammation), temperature dysregulation, chemical sensitivities, panic attacks, and more that left her unable to drive or function in normal life.
While I typically feature people who healed from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (main symptom being post-exertional crashes), Jenny recovered from many debilitating chronic symptoms that people with CFS often also experience.
Her unique perspective interested me regarding the root cause for chronic symptoms. Some might find it controversial, but my perspective was opened after our conversation.
Unfortunately, the screen kept freezing in our Zoom recording, so I’m sharing this in audio form rather than video. I hope you enjoy our chat. Please also read my post interview reflections at the bottom of the page.
Audio recording & YouTube:
Listen on YouTube:
Liz: I’m so glad to be interviewing Jenny Peterson today. She’ll be sharing her recovery story from Lyme and countless neurological, cardiac, digestive symptoms and more that might be very familiar to you.
You may know her as the host of Simplify Your Healing podcast. Jenny, I’m so glad to chat with you today.
Jenny: Oh, there’s lots of things to talk about! So yes, I’m excited as well.
Note: I divided the rest of the transcript into topical toggles for easy reading. Small edits have been made for clarity. As a friendly reminder, my interviews are not medical advice nor meant to be prescriptive. I’m just sharing people’s stories for information and inspiration.
Liz: So Jenny, can you describe your life before chronic illness?
Jenny: I can. It takes a while for me to go back there, but I can still go back there to what life was like. I still remember the first day that all this exploded. Prior to that day, it wasn’t like my life was perfect, but I definitely wasn’t sick every single day and not able to function.
My life before that, I was a busy mom. I was a busy business owner. And I also on some level, I was a little lost as well.
I sold my business a couple years before that. And I was a mom that was trying to be a mom, but yet I have this business part of me, and I felt lost.
I had a lot of normalcy, but I really didn’t feel myself as far as on a soul level. But everything else on the outside health wise, I was fine. I could do anything.
I was the doer of doers. I was a high-achieving person then as well, and really never stopped going.
So that was what my life was like, until that one day when everything else after that kind of shifted.
Liz: Yeah. So you mentioned on a soul level, was that something you were aware of at the time or were you just coasting through life?
Jenny: I definitely was aware of it on a certain level. I opened my wellness store at the age of 20.
I was 33 at this time when I sold my store. So I didn’t know anything else. I knew natural health. I knew herbs. I knew homeopathics. I knew everything that was holistic.
When I sold my store, I was like, “Now I’m just a mom,” which would’ve been fine. But for me, I felt like I needed more.
And I just was bouncing from part-time job to part-time job. And just really felt like, “Where do I belong?” Never felt like I was being myself, and just kind of cruising along in life, trying to figure out what’s the next thing that I should do.
Liz: So can you describe now your onset when things started to fall apart, physically?
Jenny: That was when my schedule was a list of a mile long. We were moving and my husband had already moved to his new job in the new city. And I had to pack up.
I had to clean the house. I had to show the house for sale. I had to take my son to daycare. I also had to work part-time. So I was running nonstop. And one night it was like 10:30, 11 o’clock. my son was in bed and I thought, “I’m gonna spend some time on myself. I’m just gonna stretch and relax and maybe just lay on the living room floor and chill out for a little bit.”
So I laid there and kind of just got some of my stress out for the day and then went to bed. And when I went to bed is when everything just broke loose and had my first panic attack had a big, big, thump in my chest.
I felt like I was having a heart attack and called 9-1-1, and it went from there.
And after that I was having those panic attacks. Every time I would lay down, I would have a panic attack, so I could not lay down for like two weeks.
My nervous system was just through the roof, so that’s where it all started. We were moving, and I had way too many things on my plate.
Liz: Were you aware it was a panic attack or did you think there was a cardiac issue?
Jenny: I would have to say I had no idea what panic attacks were before that. I had anxiety, you know, where I would shake, but I didn’t even know what panic attacks were until it was like the third ER visit.
And the doctors were like “You’re having panic attacks,” and I’m like, “What is that?” So, yeah. That was the first time of even knowing what a panic attack was outside of the general basic anxiety stuff.
Liz: Yeah. Did you have a gradual onset, with further symptoms or was it just after that panic attack when things really started to fall apart?
Jenny: There was still more gradual symptoms that continued after that. That was the start of it. And then from there things just kept getting worse.
My husband left for the week, and he came back, and I wasn’t able to drive. I was having panic attacks when I was driving. Then it went into I would get extremely, extremely cold, to where I thought I was in a freezer all the time.
I was having sleep issues. I could not sleep at all.
Major insomnia, body aches, food sensitivities, chemical sensitivities. I had cystitis for two years straight.
Liz: What’s cystitis?
Jenny: You know, with the bladder.
Liz: Oh, yes.
Jenny: Being constantly inflamed feeling like you have a bladder infection all the time, basically.
Liz: Wow. So I’m assuming you tried your holistic remedies that you were trained in. Can you describe, what did you try to treat some of these things in the beginning?
Jenny: Yeah, I thought, well, okay. I’ve helped a lot of people before I can, I can help myself. So the thing is, is I didn’t know what I really quote unquote had. I had all these symptoms, but it was like, okay, maybe I just need to clean up my gut.
I stopped eating the gluten and the dairy and stuff like that and took some herbs and more digestive things, thinking, “You fix the gut, you can fix everything.”
At least, that was what my mindset was back then.
So I tried my own ways. After that did not work, then I went to go see other people like me, thinking, “Well, you know, sometimes another practitioner needs to work with another practitioner because you don’t see your own stuff.”
I just went to another holistic practitioner, and took it to another level. They were ones that did more tests just to confirm that yes, these imbalances are there. Same thing, you know, “Oh, you’ve got parasites, you’ve got this, you’ve got that!”
And detoxing for all the things that I already detoxed before.
So I don’t know how I could add even more of those things in me.
And then I went to a more functional medicine doctor that specialized in Lyme. When we were moving, the realtor saw me and he said, “Have you gotten tested for Lyme disease?” and I’m like, “No, why would I get tested for that?” He goes, “My wife used to be very, very sick, and she went to this doctor got tested for Lyme and at least she figured out what it was.”
I was like, okay. So that’s where I went. I went to that same person that that person referred me to.
Went there, got thousands of dollars worth of tests to confirm I had Lyme disease and all the co-infections and everything else that went with it. Here’s your regimen, the vitamins and supplements, all of that.
Liz: So when do you think you actually were initially infected by Lyme?
Jenny: In the world of what I’m in now, I don’t consider that really a place to start with. It’s more of what were my symptoms. [Jenny will explain this later in our interview.] So that’s the way I approach it now.
Back then it was like, “Let’s kill everything.” I bought the Lyme books. I bought the regimen to kill all the Lyme bugs in me and everything else.
Liz: I was told by a few people, “Oh, my cousin had pLyme, maybe it’s Lyme.” So I wasn’t given the test, but I just thought “Okay well if I do have Lyme, it can’t hurt if I take all these things to try to kill whatever it could be.”
Whether it could be a virus that’s reactivating, Lyme, bacteria, parasites. I was also taking the try the “kill everything” approach.
Jenny: I even went as far as, I don’t know if you heard of the machine called the Spooky2.
It’s very popular in the world of Lyme in some cases. and it was a machine from China. It’s basically where you zap yourself so that it kills these bad things in you. And I’d zap myself every single day. And you could zap yourself with whatever frequency that you wanted.
Well I zapped myself so much that I got scars in my wrist to prove it. And it didn’t do anything.
So, I laid in bed zapping myself every day to kill those buggers. You know, that was at least my mindset at that time was to kill, kill, kill, and on some level holistically, that’s what we were kind of taught to going and kill all this stuff.
So it made sense to me at the time.
Liz: Okay, so , how long did you spend on this kill approach? Was it months, years?
Jenny: Oh, I would say I spent about a year and a half in the kill approach. Yeah, and lots of money, lots of money, not just on the supplements, but the tests. And then I bought another machine. The Spooky2 was like a $4,000 machine. And then I bought a biofeedback machine that was $15,000.
And I thought, “Well, If I can have this machine in my house and it scans me and it tells me all the things that are quote unquote wrong with me, I don’t have to go see anybody.
You know, I knew all herbs and nutrition and everything. So I entered that all in the machine. and I would scan myself, let’s say nine o’clock in the morning. And it would say, “Oh, you need liver formula. You need this thing.” And I would take it.
Now of course I’d feel better from taking that. It was just like a placebo effect in a lot of ways. Then 3 hours later, I’d be like, “Oh my God, I feel like I’m dying again.”
I would go scan myself again. “Oh, now I need to work on my kidneys,” you know.
So it was like I became obsessed with these machines to tell me outside of what I knew holistically, which at this point my brain was so offline that I wasn’t even thinking realistically.
So, yeah, a year and a half of using this kill approach with many, many methods and lots and lots of dollars.
Liz: So what would you say was your lowest point of all this during this time?
Jenny: I feel like the lowest point was when I had all this stuff in front of me and just feeling hopeless still, like we’ve spent this much.
Seeing the pain and the suffering my husband was going through of coming home every day. Seeing his wife be the way that I was, and also feeling like I couldn’t contribute at all.
I was spending his hard earned money on more things that didn’t work.
For me, that was my lowest point of “We’ve tried all this and it’s still not working. I’m gonna be this way forever.”
And I felt like I was in fear of dying.
I got to the point of death was something that I saw on a daily basis in my eyes of “This is where it’s gonna take me.”
Liz: Wow. Okay. So when now did you come across a new paradigm? The one that ultimately worked for you.
Jenny: Yeah. I think when you’re at your lowest point, you either give up at that point or you say, “Nope, I’m gonna fight this. I’m gonna figure this out.” And I’ve never been one to quit.
I feel like that lowest point was enough to be like: “One more push. I’m gonna do this one more time, but I’ve gotta find this missing piece.”
And like all of us when we’re in that state, we’re Googling every single day.
I can’t tell you what I Googled.
All I know is that whatever I googled, it brought up “chronic illness, subconscious mind.”
Something in connection to that. And I was like, “Oh, okay, that’s an area I haven’t looked at before.”
I’m definitely open because nothing else has worked.
So I started to really look into the subconscious mind more, start doing more research on that, as far as how that’s connected to the nervous system, and why it plays a big role in the ability to heal.
And then came across German New Medicine, which German New Medicine really just helped to confirm that the subconscious information that I was finding was true on some level.
At this time, I still had that $15,000 machine, and I was learning to try and figure out how to use it.
Well, to know how to use it, you had to go to North Carolina. So I had to fly to North Carolina. Mind you, I couldn’t even drive, okay. So I barely got to the airport on the airplane.
They told us that we would have to sit in there for two hours because something was wrong with the plane.
And my bladder was burning horribly because with cystitis, like it’s burning all the time. But you can’t even have the littlest amount of pee in you without feeling like you are going to explode. So here I am there.
Then I go to the hotel. I’m by myself. I end up with a full blown panic attack. My first night in the hotel, called the front desk and they sent in 9-1-1 .
So here I am, trying to figure out this machine, but at the same time, I’m just a wreck. I am a complete wreck, but I am determined to figure out how I can use this machine to help me.
But yet my mind is still like, “I’ve learned the subconscious stuff. How am I gonna use that in addition to this machine?”
Well, it turns out. I’m gonna bring this full circle, I promise you. That we’re in the room learning about this machine. And one of the ladies presenting is talking about German New Medicine, is talking about the subconscious mind. And I’m like, “Oh.”
So I kind of just shifted all of my energy over to listening to this woman.
And by the time I left, I was thoroughly convinced that kind of the little seed that I was planted before I left was the direction to go.
And I came home and I sold my $15,000 machine.
Not for 15. I think I lost like $5,000 out of it, but I went all that way because ultimately I needed to hear that message.
And that was, that was it. After learning German New medicine and learning things about the subconscious mind that I did, every day I worked on myself of working on those old patterns from there.
Liz: Wow. This woman talking about German New Medicine must have given you trust in yourself that you didn’t need the machine to tell you what was wrong with you.
Jenny: Yeah, for sure. And my husband, you know, I hate to say this cuz I give the guy a lot of credit for my whole healing journey.
He always would say to me, “Honey, the answer isn’t in the pill. It’s not in this machine that you’re doing. It is in your head.” And obviously when you’re sick like that, when you hear that, you just want to choke the person (we laugh).
Cause you think that they’re saying it’s in your head, meaning you’re making it up. But he didn’t mean it that way.
He just didn’t know how to explain it very well. But he was the one that would always tell me your answers are within you.
You know, “You’ve got a lot of trauma, a lot of things in the past”.
But of course, when it’s close to you, a family member telling you that we don’t oftentimes listen. But I will say that yeah, when I was there, I got confirmation of that, came home, got rid of it because, okay this is not outside of me.
This is within me. I need to start working on me.
Liz: And you actually shared a great quote on your Instagram stories. You’re @themindbodyrewire on Instagram.
And it was a quote by Rupi Kaur and it was like, “What is the greatest lesson a woman should learn? And it’s that since day one, she’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.”
And I thought that was just so powerful.
Jenny: Yeah. Give me goosebumps when you say that. It’s so true.
Liz: Yeah. So I would honestly say even equivalent to, “What’s gonna fix me?” type questions that I get from people is the, “How do I convince my partner?” It’s usually the partner. Sometimes it’s just the greater family, the parents, but a lot of times it’s a partner.
“How do I convince my partner this is real?” Because a lot of people are just told, oh, it’s in your head.
Jenny: So when we hear it’s all in your head, we think that someone is telling us that we’re making it up. Right? And we want to punch them, scream, whatever it is, because we’re so frustrated because we know it’s real.
But the reality is, is this is in our head, but it’s not consciously our choice. So that’s the difference.
When someone says it’s in your head and they don’t understand the difference between the subconscious and the conscious, they’re just thinking consciously this person is making this up. Okay. But when I tell you as a mind body coach, this is in your head, it’s in your head on an unconscious level, on a subconscious level that you’re not even aware aware of, and I know consciously you are not choosing this.
You are not choosing this consciously because you wouldn’t want this, but subconsciously this is what’s happening underneath the surface.
That’s driving everything. And so it’s not blaming you for the way that you are thinking and the things that you’re doing, because you’re only doing what you know. It’s now let’s learn about the subconscious mind in its role and its power here.
And then once we can understand that, then we can take the conscious responsibility to do something about it.
Liz: Yes. So what is German New Medicine. And can you break that down for us a little more clearly?
Jenny: Yeah. I don’t believe in using big words just to make myself look smarter. I like to keep things simple. Cause simplicity wins.
So basically what German New Medicine is, is it’s the work of Dr. Hamer, and Dr. Hamer was a doctor from Germany, and he developed testicular cancer after his son had been mistakenly shot. He was an MD. He was not a woo-woo doctor, okay.
A lot of people think this stuff is woo, woo. This is science. This is down to the brain and how we are designed. And Dr. Hamer said, “What the heck happened here? I got testicular cancer, I’m a healthy guy.”
And he decided to start asking his patients what all happened to them a little bit before they were diagnosed with their cancers. And every single one of them had some type of trauma or emotional experience that was stressful for them. So he decided to take brain scans of every single one of his patients.
And we’re not talking five, we’re talking 40,000 patients here that he did scans with every single one.
He was able to identify within the brain an emotional conflict that was active, that was connected to a part of their body.
So there’s a location in the brain for every organ or body system that we have, and he was able to make those connections.
And so German New Medicine isn’t a protocol.
It’s not saying, “you have to do this, this, and this” to get better.
It basically is the science that will help you make the connections to whatever subconscious patterns are connected to your symptoms.
For me as a person that used to be in the holistic world, we would play a guessing game of, “Oh, this person has this and this and this. We’re assuming they need gut help.”
In the world of German New Medicine, when we’re trained on this, it makes our work so much easier because someone can tell me what their symptom is, and I know the exact type of subconscious pattern that is connected to that. There’s no guessing game.
We’re able to target that work immediately without it being “Well, is it this, is it that?”
There’s a specific location in the brain for the digestive system. And with the digestive system, there’s always gonna be a certain type of subconscious pattern connected to that.
What Dr. Hamer was able to determine, was that when we have ‘disease,’ it’s our body responding as a biological being, based on pure survival, adapting to what stress it was receiving.
It’s taking the hit for the stress that we are experiencing on a psyche level that we have not been able to process through.
Note: This is a hypothesis, not medical advice. Please read my post-interview disclaimer in the last toggle.
Liz: So what are the common subconscious patterns that you see?
[NoteL Jenny is sharing a hypothesis and observations, not medical advice.]
Jenny: Sure. Now, when I say this, just remember it’s just a general, general statement and we get more specific when we’re able to have a discussion with somebody.
But what I’m saying is going to be general.
So, one the biggest ones that I see is digestive issues.
Anytime there’s bloating, IBS, Crohn’s, anything like that, that’s going to be some type of indigestible anger, something that that person experienced that they’re angry about. They can’t digest. Now again, I like to keep things simple. And if we think about our body, it’s not that complicated.
If we think about and know what function that organ does in the body, we’ll be able to on some level, make a connection to what it metaphorically is representing on a subconscious level. So digestion is, I actually cannot digest this.
Another big one that I see is skin issues. When it comes to, skin issues, if we’re talking about rashes, it’s a separation, type of conflict.
I mean, if we think about it, the body is creating a separation to protect itself. It’s creating a rash, it’s creating whatever it needs to put some barrier between yourself and the world. So that would be a separation type of thing.
Chronic fatigue. It could be a couple different things. Again, this is where a conversation with somebody is really important to know. Because again, my education from my holistic wellness center really comes into play with being able to know the body systems and how they work together.
So there’s going to be usually one of two things going on there.
We’re going to be looking at the thyroid. Thyroid conflict, which is powerlessness.
Or we’re going to be looking at the adrenals. When there’s chronic fatigue, adrenals is one of the biggest body systems we’re going to be looking at.
And that’s about going the wrong direction in life.
So when you experience chronic fatigue, prior to that happening, what did you feel like you got off track with in your life?
What just didn’t feel right.
Liz: That just gave me goose bumps because right before I got it, I had quit this terrible job that sucked the life out of me.
And I told myself I was gonna do something creative. And two weeks later I was like, “I’m feeling useless, I need to get back out there in the job market.” And two weeks after that, I was working doing a similar job.
It was for a much nicer company, but I definitely did not, yeah.
Jenny: Mm-hmm. German New Medicine doesn’t lie. That’s what I love about it.
If I tell somebody this is what it’s connected to, and they say, “Oh, that doesn’t feel right at all.” Don’t discard it. We will find it. We gotta remember the subconscious doesn’t want us to sometimes see these things.
Jenny: So it does a really good job of hiding or having us see it.
Sometimes it’s very clear, but other times we do have to dig a little bit. We have to be a detective, but the connection is always there.
We always find it.
Liz: Yeah. So as you might know, I did, the DNRS program that was helpful for me. It was certainly not the only thing I did to heal, but it was a component.
And we previously talked about one aspect of the program was that they frame it as a “limbic system impairment,” which is what is driving chronic illness.
And you had a different perspective. And I thought it was very interesting.
Jenny: Yeah. You know like how you scratch the nails on a chalkboard, and it gives you that feeling. That’s the feeling that when I hear ‘limbic system imbalance’ or ‘limbic system dysfunction,’ what it feels like in my body.
Because it’s really not true that is ‘dysfunctioning.’
I think when move from, “This is the label I have, I have Lyme disease, I have chronic fatigue,” or whatever it might be, to now saying, “I have another dysfunction,” we’re just adding on to this label or category that there’s something wrong with me.
When I say I have a dysfunction, that doesn’t feel good.
And it ultimately makes me feel like there’s something wrong, and there is nothing wrong. – Jenny
When you have chronic symptoms, your body is simply stuck. It’s simply stuck in what we call the sympathetic nervous system.
And so there’s nothing about your limbic system that’s dysfunctioning. It’s working exactly how it’s designed. It’s designed to keep you alive.
It’s designed to be able to say, “Okay, we’re no longer in threat. Now we can go into healing.” And if it’s not healing, because it feels like a threat is still coming at it, that doesn’t say it’s wrong. That it’s not functioning. It’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s supposed to stay there if things aren’t being resolved in the psyche level, that’s how we’re designed.
So I don’t like that, because I don’t feel it is a service to anybody that is in chronic illness to say that we have another dysfunction to add to these things that are quote unquote, “wrong” with us.
Liz: So what you’re saying is the limbic system is being maybe hypervigilant and in sympathetic mode, and it’s doing its job, because we have these unresolved subconscious patterns?
Jenny: Yeah, exactly. And If there’s something that is unresolved within the psyche, it thinks the tiger is chasing it. And If a tiger’s chasing us, we’re not just gonna chill out and sit there and you go in the healing mode. That’s not gonna happen.
Our body naturally says, all right, there’s a tiger chasing us. We’re not even thinking about healing right now.
That’s naturally how our limbic system is designed for survival. So it’s not working wrong. It’s doing exactly what it’s supposed to do, keeping us alive.
[Note: Nothing in this interview is medical advice, nothing is meant to be prescriptive, and nothing is intended to discount what you yourself have discovered to be true.]
Liz note: Interestingly, for me, I didn’t mind the term limbic system impairment or injury. I had good experiences with injuries like broken bones that then went on to fully heal. It also felt validating I suppose. That said, I’ve heard from many people who that terminology (used by multiple brain rewiring programs) actually caused them a great deal of stress in the beginning worrying that their brain was injured and damaged. So I appreciate Jenny’s perspective here.
Liz: Thanks for explaining that. And I do now wanna talk about, okay, there’s some very real biological illnesses. There’s Long COVID, they’re finding damage to the vagus nerve.
They’re finding issues with the brain’s gray matter.
How do you explain how this mind-body approach can help something that might have been exacerbated, caused by, or precipitated by a virus that when you do the scans has clear damage or clearly it has affected the body? – Liz
Jenny: Right. So anytime our body goes into adaptation, there’s going to be what they call damage, okay. That’s part of the healing. One of two things always happens in the body.
In the healing phase, you’re either gonna have breaking down of tissue or you’re going to have swelling, water build up. One of those has to happen.
When we see these scans that are happening, that person is still in the healing phase.
We still need time for the body to come back into homeostasis if that is still there.
How long that takes, that depends on how often the sympathetic nervous system is triggered outside of its normal healthy balance.
Cuz every time that is triggered, that interrupts the healing phase. Yeah. So this is where, you know, they’ll say we see it on the scan. This is what’s happening.
Yeah. That’s part of the healing phase. That’s naturally what’s supposed to happen. The body adapted to survive. And in, adaptation it’s either buildup or breakdown, one or the other. Yes.
Liz: And I know when you read these things online, it just then scares you. It’s validating. Of course, it’s very validating that “Yeah, I have the reactivating EBV yeah, I have this, and that… and that,” and you see it in the research papers, but it then adds to the sympathetic fight or flight chemicals in your body.
And that actually is the opposite of what we need to help return our bodies to homeostasis.
Jenny: Yes. So just an FYI, anytime you’re in the healing phase and you get tested, there’s gonna be a virus there.
The viruses, the bacteria, and the fungus are all active in the healing phase. That’s part of it.
This is why people will get a test one day and another day, they’re not, it depends on where they are in that healing phase. Oh, I didn’t have symptoms, and I tested negative or positive. It just depends on how big that healing phase is for that individual. But those are always going to be present.
We’re not looking at killing those. What we’re looking at is what can we do to support our body through this healing phase?
If we go in with that killing type of approach, we’re just gonna do what we did with trying to kill the Lyme just like I did. It’s just gonna keep the cycle going. And fear is going to activate the sympathetic nervous system.
And it keeps the person from moving forward with their healing, cuz you’re constantly reactivating the sympathetic.
Liz: Yeah. There is even research that supports this concept that chronic illness is a block in the healing cycle. So top universities are finding that this is a block in the healing cycle.
So the focus of just trying to kill everything and focusing on damage isn’t as productive as let’s get our bodies into that parasympathetic rest and digest state. [Note: This is my opinion and not medical advice.]
And I think that the subconscious patterns, the traumas, they do impact our body’s ability to heal.
Note: Nothing shared is medical advice.
Liz: So my next question is, how do people begin to resolve some of these traumas and subconscious patterns in a way that feels safe to the nervous system?
I know with traditional talk therapy, you go back into traumas and that can actually reawaken and cause people to sometimes get even more stuck in that sympathetic response because it’s like they’re reliving it.
Jenny: Mm-hmm yeah. So this is why it’s really important to work with a practitioner is trauma informed.
That’s first and foremost, because there’s a lot of methods out there that let’s just start jumping into flipping memories tomorrow. Well, here’s the deal what happens. Our amygdala is basically on fire when we’re in chronic illness, right? It’s on all the time.
So we have to spend, and this is what I do with my students.
So this is when I say we, this is what we do is for at least 30 to 40 days, we’re working on calming that amygdala first. You gotta train yourself to be able to deal with the bigger stuff.
You can’t jump into the bigger stuff now, your nervous system is hot and wired. It’s hot on fire right now.
We’ve got to calm that down first. And that’s with the amygdala work.
When you calm down that amygdala, then it’s much easier to not necessarily go into the traumas and relive it. We don’t need to relive memories in order to resolve them, but we do need to shift the perception. That’s the work that has to be done, because that is the biological thing that happens.
And I’m talking biological meeting science. So let’s say something happens to me, and I look at that event and go from that event, it made me feel like I was powerless versus someone else watching it would be like, didn’t make me feel anything at all.
That powerless feeling, as soon as I perceive that event of I am powerless to this is going to naturally send a message to the survival system of my body and say, “Powerless? That’s threatening our survival.” So it’s going to go in there and adapt to it. And the powerless conflict goes to the thyroid.
That’s what is connected to that. So in that big picture, we’re looking at, okay, we have to calm down the amygdala first.
Second thing that we need to do is go in and identify what are the connections? What are the subconscious patterns connected to this, the conflicts, and how can we see what these experiences were in a different way?
When you shift the perception, you’re no longer sending a stress signal.
So if I feel powerless, I’m going to be sending a stress signal to my body. Survival is going to kick in.
Now it’s about me going in there and saying, okay, I’m really not powerless. I really wasn’t powerless. But because I didn’t have this, this, and this, I wasn’t emotionally mature enough to understand how to deal with that.
The people that were around me in that environment had limitations based on their own subconscious programs. I’m really not powerless. I felt it at that time based on how I saw it then, but now I don’t and the brain goes, “We don’t feel powerless anymore.”
We can go do some things on our own and feel like we’re in power rather than feeling like it’s out of our hands.
All right. We feel safe enough now. And then the healing process starts.
So the first step to resolving these number one, you’ve got to get the amygdala to calm down.
Once that’s done, and there’s exercises for that, there’s things to do for that, but you’ve gotta calm that down first.
It’s like a child that’s having a tantrum, just sit them down, calm ’em down first. Spend 30, 40 days on that.
And then we can start to dig into resolving some of these things because we’re going to have a whole new, calmer viewpoint of it when we’ve already calmed down the amygdala.
So that’s my approach. That’s how I do it. Again. Trauma informed is really important. You just don’t wanna jump and do it. And when you do start doing memory work, it’s not about just talking about it and talk therapy.
Granted, that might work for some things, we’re not talking about it. We’re actually shifting perception, and that changes the biological response in the body.
Liz: Okay. That was very well explained. Yeah. And the order, which you described, I think the order is, very important when it comes to healing.
Liz: So I bet many of your clients probably have done some of the traditional brain retraining programs. What do you often find the missing components of the traditional or the, popular brain rate training programs are?
Jenny: Mm-hmm. I’ve done those all as well.
So that helps because you know, when people come to me and say, I’ve done this and this, I totally then have an idea of what they’ve done. Otherwise before that I’d be like, I’d have to buy it just to figure it out. So I did buy all of them. I did try all of them. And most of the students that come to us have done all of those as well.
Now we don’t have all day to talk about it. So I’m just gonna go about the very basic things that I see that are missing.
Number one, there isn’t targeted work. Like I said, your experiences are your own. Your perceptions are your own.
Your subconscious patterns are your own. Your beliefs are your own. Your traumas are your own.
When you do a standard protocol, you’re not resolving those targeted specific patterns. You’re only stopping what I call surface level things.
It’s stopping the negative thoughts. Okay, that’s good. But we have to take it deeper. There’s the surface level work, which is helpful for calming down the amygdala.
And then there’s the deep level work that we have to go much further into.
And that’s gonna be looking at who are you, what is it like to be this person? And what are their patterns? And even what are the patterns of their parents that are causing them to be in this loop? We’ve got to look at the full picture, not just surface level stuff.
So that’s the biggest difference.
I also see one of the biggest things that is missing in all programs, just everywhere across the board when it comes to healing, is looking at secondary gains. Even though we don’t want to see these, we don’t want to admit that there are benefits to us being sick.
Everybody has one.
And when I say that, I’m not saying that you’re consciously making this choice. I’m not saying you’re consciously saying I want to be sick to do this. It is subconsciously.
Secondary gains, when we work on those with clients is a game changer.
Jenny: Your body is not going to go into healing if it feels that there’s something on the other side of healing that is too fearful.
Liz: Does your body really want to go back to your old life?
Liz: And how you were living.
Jenny: And how you were living it, or if you have to change it, what’s fearful about changing it.
Jenny: You might have to leave your partner. You may have to get a job. You may have to do something that you don’t wanna do.
One that I see, because I do secondary gain sessions with all of my clients. and a majority of the time it’s about failure. They are in fear of failing.
I see a big pattern with women that they’re overwhelmed, and their fear of failing at being a mom, and a wife, and possibly having a job.
So it’d be much easier to just be sick to say I can’t do it all rather than fearing and going into that state of overwhelm.
Liz: That’s one for me, too. I think a lot of people who get chronic illnesses tend to be, more than the general public, have perfectionist tendencies.
Liz: And if I do something, I have to be the best at it. So people trying to be the best at work, the best mom, it’s just a lot of pressure we put on ourselves. So, yeah, just trying new things without that pressure of needing to be the best and perfect.
Jenny: Yeah. The high achievers, perfectionist are number one characteristic when it comes to the students that we work with.
It’s no surprise those people drive themselves to the point of where their body says, “Enough is enough.”
But we gotta remember there’s something underlying that fear of failure, something is driving that and that’s going to be something that happened younger or the fear of shame.
Shame is usually in with that.
But there’s usually something driving that parents that were high achievers or even the simplest things like, kids working with their parents doing homework, got the belief that failing is something I want to avoid. Or being on a sports team. I see it all the time, is where did this proof that failing is scary come from?
And it’d be like, oh, when my mom was screaming at me, because I couldn’t figure out my homework. And because of that, that person’s in a heightened state, and that heightened state is causing us all the time, “If I fail at this, I’m going to be rejected by mom, unloved by mom,” whatever that felt like as a child, you are still doing that as an adult.
It goes full circle. Whatever is in our subconscious, from when we are a child is showing up as adults. We’re little babies walking around with wounds.
Liz: Wow. This is really resonates, Jenny. Yeah. And, and again, we’re not providing medical advice on this channel.
We’re talking about an approach and sharing our experiences and nothing is meant to be prescriptive. I recommend choosing what resonates with you.
Liz: So I do wanna ask, people do tend to want to know. How long did this take? You were a year and a half in the killing mode. Then how long did you take with this German New Medicine approach before you began to see improvement?
Jenny: Yeah. So, I really don’t ever, I guess I don’t like saying how long, because I think then that causes an expectation that other people have.
So I’m just gonna put that first and foremost is look, your healing journey, whoever is listening, is really up to you and how your body is going to do that.
Everybody is different.
Okay. But for me, when I decided, and I think this was for me, the best thing I did is I said, “I am just working on my brain. I’m getting rid of everything else. I’m stopping, eating a certain way. I’m stopping the supplements. And I’m just focusing on my subconscious.”
And I did that every single day. Like I’m not saying I did memory work every day, but I did memory work once or twice a week or about that.
And then I also made sure to be shifting the way that I was thinking and making these connections to what my subconscious patterns were now that takes periods of time.
Because number one, you have to build this awareness muscle because without an awareness muscle, you won’t see your patterns.
So building that awareness muscle is gonna be the key to being able to see your patterns. And when you see your patterns, then you are saying, “Oh, that’s an old one. I gotta do something different with that.”
And so every time you notice an old one, you’re doing something different and you keep doing that over and over again.
So for me, it was about six months to where I was then back to what I call normal. I was able to drive. I was able to be a mom and, you know, do the normal things.
Was I 100%, like I didn’t have anything left. No, I still had some things after six months, but six months I was back to… I can be my normal self again.
And then just kept on, you know, I allowed myself to come back into homeostasis as long as it needed. And so when you do this work, it’s not like it’s a one and done thing. Every day is still for me learning.
And having a business now helps me be aware now of patterns. I’m not sick anymore, but now my business is there to show me where my patterns are.
And for me, personal growth never stops. And that’s what really this work is about is personal growth.
And so I don’t really want anybody to have an end date to say, I’m gonna stop doing this work in six months and be done and think that’s all I have left.
No, this is really lifetime work. But to get better, you’re gonna have to put, in my opinion, at least six months in, to the work, cuz if you’re 30, 40, 50, whatever age you are, that’s how many years some patterns have been in your subconscious mind. It’s not gonna leave a lot sooner than that.
Our students, we have a six month program and we work every day on stuff. And within six months, you know, they’re usually 80 to a hundred percent better, but that’s because we have an actual system that tells them, “This is what you do every day”. If you’re doing that on your own, it might take a little bit longer, but just have patience with that.
You know, knowing that your patterns didn’t get here overnight and that this is a personal growth journey.
This isn’t about “Let’s get me better faster so I can do the same old things that I did before and end up back where I was before.”
Cause that’s what’ll happen.
Liz: Yeah, we all heal in different timelines, but thanks for providing a realistic timeline, and I love how you say, there’s no finish point to personal growth. I myself, I got better after doing DNRS for a few months and then I went back to some old achieving patterns.
I was like, “I need to be in the best shape ever.” I was planning my wedding. I’ve just had piles and piles of stress without doing the work. And then, I did end up getting back on the horse. And I continue to learn from others like yourself.
I follow you on Instagram. So even though I’m not actively doing a one hour practice every day, I am continuing to learn and grow from others like you.
Jenny: So, yeah. And I do the same thing as I’m learning and growing from my business as well.
Even me. Okay if I have a digestive upset, it’s like, okay, my body is no longer something that I fear.
And that’s what we learn when we do this work is my body is here to give me a messenger to tell me, “Jenny, you’re still holding onto this, just so you know, we’re gonna back you up until you resolve it.
And so now I call my body, my personal growth gauge. It’s there to help me grow.
And it’s gonna tell me when I’ve gone back to those old patterns and I’ve now chosen to listen to it rather than ignore it.
Liz: And you don’t need that $15,000 machine.
Jenny: No, no, no.
Liz: You just said that, “My body is no longer something to fear.” And I think getting to that state is so important. It sounds like you help people get to that state.
Because sometimes when I see people doing neuroplasticity work or even just Googling German New Medicine and then being like, “Okay, there’s a symptom now I need to fix it.”
But to get in that space of, “Okay, there is nothing to fear, what is this teaching me?” versus, “Oh no, this is another thing wrong. And I have to fix that.”
So I think what you just said, there was really powerful about “my body is nothing to fear.”
Jenny: Yeah. And it takes about six months for us to unwire that old thinking.
Think about it. We’ve been trained since we’ve been little with our parents, because most of us have been grown up, oh, we have a body ache or something wrong. We’re running to the doctor or, oh no, what’s wrong. I mean, we’ve had years of being programmed that if we have a symptom, there’s something wrong with us.
So it’s in that six months…. it doesn’t take six months, but it takes about 2, 3 months for a person to be really confident and be jumping on that train of: “I can trust my body, and me and my body are now together as a team.”
Because it takes a lot of unwiring of those old thinking patterns before we can get there.
I would never expect a person to go from here you are now…now tomorrow you need to no longer fear your body.
Nope. We need to back things up a little bit, understand where you’ve come from, what what’s been all programmed, and then teach you about your body.
And then when you do have symptoms show up, you’re able to make the connections and go, “Oh, it really is about what is happening within my mind,” cause I literally seen it happen.
So there has to be enough proof to support that before they can believe in that. And that’s where again, what we do in the program comes into play with that.
[Note: Nothing on this channel is medical advice. This is not intended to replace seeking medical care for treatments, emergencies, or preventative care. Just sharing people’s stories in case they resonate. ]
Liz: How can people find out more about your program and reach you.
Jenny: Sure. You mentioned, Instagram I’m on there at @themindbodyrewire, and you can also go to themindbodyrewire.com. I’m on Facebook as well. That one is Mind Body Rewire.
And I have my own podcast, which is where I do things that I absolutely love: teach and talk.
So, if you want to learn more, my posts on Instagram are a small version and then my big version of education is on my podcast, which is Simplify Your Healing. So those are all the places. My website does have more information about the program as well.
Liz: And you’ve shared such great wisdom. Do you have any final parting wisdom for listeners today?
Jenny: Oh, goodness.
Believe in yourself. Believe that there are answers, and that you’re never too far gone.
I hear that too often is I’ve had this, you know, for 10, 15 years, is this really gonna… you are never too far gone. And the best day to start working on this is today.
Start watching out for those patterns, start watching out for the things that are bothering you, and really hearing the message that’s within those.
Liz: Thank you so much, Jenny. This was wonderful and powerful. So thanks for being here and sharing your inspiring story and wisdom.
Jenny: You’re welcome. Yeah, it was pleasure. I’m really sorry if I went on too much, but I could talk forever.
Liz: This was great Jenny, take care. Have a good rest of your afternoon.
Jenny: Alright, you as well, Liz!
Disclaimer: While I present different perspectives on my blog, nothing is meant to be prescriptive.
German New Medicine principles (or any other mind body approach) should not be considered to replace medical treatment.
For those with chronic conditions where there is no medical solution or who’ve exhausted all treatment options under the sun, I have personally observed many find benefit from addressing drivers of stress and the nervous system. (Not medical advice.)
Science shows that stress activates our sympathetic nervous system, which blocks our body’s natural healing process.
There is also recent compelling evidence, for the brain-based origins of chronic pain and the efficacy of mind-body treatment (a brain retraining approach). September 29, 2021: Cornell study, Effect of Pain Reprocessing Therapy vs Placebo and Usual Care for People with Chronic Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. October 2021: Washington Post article, Chronic pain is surprisingly treatable — when patients focus on the brain. And this recent Harvard study, too.
However, it’s unclear to me how one would get solid proof – with technology in the 1980s and early 90s when German New Medicine hypotheses were developed – to connect someone’s emotional conflict, with an area in the brain, and an organ system.
While I can see how emotional conflicts and subconscious patterns (like fear of failure and a push to achieve, powerlessness, etc.) can contribute to over-activation of our sympathetic nervous system thereby perpetuating symptoms, there is no recent peer-reviewed published evidence at this specific level to my knowledge. That said, there is growing research on the physiological impact of trauma and chronic stress, and how mind-body modalities can help mitigate it, coming out of multiple universities.
I do not believe one single lens applies to everyone with chronic illness or any single approach is the right one for everyone. My goal is to provide people with different perspectives, and let people discern what’s right for them. Please consult trusted licensed health professionals.
The realization I got from this interview:
While editing the audio for this interview, looking back, I realized how much – like Jenny – a few months before my “Perfect storm” would knock me fully down with CFS, I was in a state of discord on a soul and psyche level, which was affecting my physical health.
I was stuck then in a high-stress, unfulfilling job.
That Christmas 2015, I noticed a limerick poem my mom hung up in my room in their house that I had written in the 4th grade. The poem described myself as “prompt,” “serious girl working always on the computer,” and the last line said “smart.”
When I flew back home, on December 30, 2015, I wrote a new limerick on a pink post-it. This time, 20 years later, I described myself as “fearless, dancer” and a “funny woman enjoying life” who was “making things.” The last line I wrote “happy.” I stuck it on my mantle.
After a health scare just a couple days later that sent me to the ER, I quit my terrible job, and convinced myself I was going to finally pursue my creative passions! I wanted to become a standup comedian and was bursting with other creative ideas.
Instead, less than a month later, I began another job doing a similar role. While it was for a nicer company, I put my wild dreams on the back burner. I did not pursue a single one, and dove right back into spreadsheets. And I think fear of failure and shame (and my perceptions around that) played a role.
Of course, I had also been working late hours and pushing myself for years on a physical level, which contributed to my health downfall.
But I realize I was pushing myself on a physical level because my subconscious was telling me that I needed to prove myself to others and show them I was successful in their eyes.
I wouldn’t have been ready for Jenny’s perspective in the early days, and I think the order in which I did things for my recovery really mattered for me. Even the things that didn’t help (like in Jenny’s case, too), ultimately helped me realize what did. Looking back, her message resonates with my own journey.
For me, my health journey with CFS came with deeper lessons beyond what builds health from a physical perspective.
I know there are some groups who say the only hope for people with invisible illnesses is funding more research for a pharmaceutical cure, and any other angle is pseudoscience. (Which is unfortunate, because drug discovery can take many years, and there are people I know who currently have chemical sensitivities that are so bad, they can’t take most pharmaceuticals without even worse side effects.)
But I’m an all of above kind of person, with an open mind and nuanced understanding based on my own journey with very real, extremely debilitating symptoms and very real biological triggers.
My hope is that scientific researchers continue to explore all angles (lifestyle interventions, mind-body and nervous system focused approaches, nutrition) beyond just drug-only approaches (since people don’t have many years to wait). Note: My twin works in the pharmaceutical industry, and I’m a big fan of the work she and her company does to help save and improve people’s lives. And she’s a fan of what I’m doing, too.
I stayed up late last night, trying to perfect this disclaimer, ignoring my own advice about a healthy nightly routine, concerned about, “God forbid someone on the Internet doesn’t think I’m ‘smart‘ or a ‘good person’ for sharing a different type of perspective.”
And then I realized that was an old pattern, that wasn’t helpful to the life I want to live, which is one of authenticity, bringing different viewpoints together, and giving hope to others. In a world that tries to get us to think in black and white, I’m choosing to be purple. And I think I’m not alone.