Annie Hopper, founder of the Dynamic Neural Retraining System™ is a Limbic System Retraining and Rehabilitation Specialist who has been in the health and wellness field for over twenty years. Hopper is an expert in the field of acquired limbic system brain injuries and neuroplasticity.
As a keynote speaker at a national Brain Injury Conference in June 2009, Annie delivered ground breaking research on “Acquired Toxic Brain Injuries and Neuroplasticity.”
Annie had her own first hand experience of impaired limbic system function and how devastating it can be. In 2005, at the peak of her overflowing counselling practice, she developed severe and disabling Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) from working in a sick building, which progressed to include Fibromyalgia (FM) and Electric Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS).
Annie is now completely recovered from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Electric Hypersensitivity Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through self-directing neuroplastic changes in the Limbic System. She now travels internationally to bring these tools to patients who suffer from Limbic System Impairments like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME), Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Fibromyalgia, Electric Hypersensitivity, Chronic Pain, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and associated Depression.
Her work on neuroplasticity and the limbic system has caught the interest of Dr. Norman Doidge a leading medical researcher in neuroplasticity and author of the best-selling book, "The Brain That Changes Itself". By invitation, Annie met with Dr. Doidge in early 2010 to present her findings and discuss her work in helping patients recover through neuroplasticity.
In addition to being a Brain Retraining Specialist and Environmental Advocate, Annie also has years of experience as a Core Belief Counsellor, Life Coach, Workshop Facilitator, Keynote Speaker, Newspaper Columnist and featured guest as an Emotional Wellness Expert on talk radio.
With a deep understanding of illness and brain function, today Annie provides a wide range of programs and services to facilitate healing for others. Through limbic system neuro rehabilitation programs, counselling services, writing and keynote speeches, Annie provides vital, ground-breaking information and tools for recovery.
Candy Widdifield joined our DNRS staff in the fall of 2010. She began as a course participant in 2009, struggling with severe Chronic Fatigue and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.
Having completely recovered as a result of the Dynamic Neural Retraining Program, Candy was inspired to assist others with limbic system injuries find their way back to health (read her story here).
Candy holds undergraduate degrees in Commerce, Education, and Psychology, and a Masters degree in counselling psychology. She has been in the helping profession for years, working primarily in the areas of trauma, chronic illness, anxiety, and grief & loss.
In addition to her role as a senior Dynamic Neural Retraining Facilitator, she currently practices as a Registered Clinical Counsellor, Canadian Certified Counsellor, and Reiki Master Teacher in Kelowna, B.C. Canada. She brings a wealth of information and experience to our program and we are delighted to have her on board.
Imagine that you have an illness that prevents you from even being able to hug your own mother. It also prevents you from working, hanging out with your friends, going to church, shopping, talking on a phone or using a computer. Merely walking by someone who is wearing perfume or cologne might cause you to have seizures. Now imagine what it would be like to become homeless. Neither the medical community nor government has any idea how to help you, nor is a hospital a safe place or refuge for you.
That is what life was like for me when I had debilitating severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Electrical Sensitivities. At its worst, the chemicals found in common, everyday household cleaners, personal hygiene products and perfumes would cause me to have seizure-like reactions.
I started to become chemically sensitive back in early 2005 due in part to exposure to toxins in a “sick building” where I had rented office space for my busy counselling practice as a Core Belief Counsellor. I also write a weekly newspaper column and was a regular featured guest on local talk radio. My life was in full bloom until everything came crashing to an abrupt halt.
In effect when I became sick I not only became homeless, but I had to let go of everything that gave me any sort of comfort and security in life. I left my home, my job, my partner, my friends, and in the process almost lost my faith.
My family doctor did not know what to suggest beyond referring me to an allergist and suggesting that I avoid the things that made me react. Anyone who lives with severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) knows that avoidance translates to barricading yourself like a prisoner within your own home – if you’re lucky enough to still have a home.
I intuitively knew that MCS was not an allergy, but rather some kind of brain injury.
Trauma in all of its various forms - whether it is physical like a chemical injury, car accident or viral infection, and emotional or psychological trauma – has an accumulative damaging effect on the brain and alters brain function.
As a result, brain synapses do not fire properly. The brain goes into a high alert status or a chronic fight or flight response and sends alert messages to cells in other systems of the body. This results in a host of various physical, emotional and mental ailments or conditions.
When your brain does not work properly, your body and mind do not work properly.
In my search for answers I exhausted alternative therapies that focused on MCS as a toxic overload syndrome. Toxic overload is indeed associated with MCS; however I believe it is merely another symptom of a much bigger problem.
It was not until I rewired my limbic system, that I was able to successfully eliminate symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), Fibromyalgia (FM), and Electric Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS). Within a short period of time my sense of smell and taste returned to normal. I no longer have the feeling that I am constantly being poisoned or injured by my environment. Chronic joint and muscle pain are completely eliminated and my body feels healthy and strong. My body no longer goes into “reaction mode” with exposure to chemicals or electro magnetic fields and I am able to fully participate in life in whatever way that I choose, without limitation. As a result of the knowledge that I have acquired throughout the course of illness, I still choose to live my life with a high degree of environmental awareness.
The brain has an innate ability to rapidly change and heal itself, otherwise known as neuroplasticity. In fact every second there are one million synapses firing in your brain. This extraordinary, internal healing mechanism is discussed in the book “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Dr. Norman Doidge. Neuroplasticity was also a featured topic recently in David Suzuki’s program The Nature of Things. The discovery that the brain is adaptable and regenerative is the biggest breakthrough in neuroscience in four hundred years.
Creating positive neuroplastic changes has also been successfully involved in treatment and recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Anxiety Disorders, Chronic Pain Syndromes and Depression.
The brain is far more capable of adapting and regenerating then we thought. It is also involved in all aspects of health, not just brain function. We are truly on the leading edge of a new science in discovering not only how the brain functions, but also its role in optimal health and understanding its wondrous capacity to heal.
Since 2008 I have been travelling internationally to assist others in healing. The Dynamic Neural Retraining System™ focuses on how to manually rewire the limbic system and restore optimal brain function, health and vitality.
My vision is to facilitate global healing while also promoting environmental awareness that precipitates big changes in how we live on this planet. My intent is to empower you with the knowledge and tools that you need to retrain your brain, transform your health and reclaim your life! Together we can create a unified and strong voice for much needed change in the world!
Keep the Faith!
It’s 8 a.m. and the alarm clock has gone off twice already. In fact Candy has spent the last two hours trying to cheer lead herself out of bed so she can get her eight-year-old son ready for school.
“Wake up honey,” she says with a fake smile, trying to hide the pain and discomfort she is in. She spends the next 45 minutes just managing to get him dressed and feed him a bowl of cereal. Secretly she is counting down the minutes until she can go back to bed again.
Sleep is the only thing that her body wants, just sleep. Yet no matter how much sleep she gets, she continues to feel exhausted all of the time. She is in a constant state of brain fog, with little ability to focus on anything. The pain and exhaustion is almost more than she can take.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was the diagnosis that she was given by her doctor. Labelling it was not much help though, because even with the diagnosis there was nothing that the conventional medical system could do for her. Then she tried the alternative route and spent thousands of dollars on all kinds of therapies, some even managed to help the pain a bit, but nothing helped with the overwhelming exhaustion.
She feels as if she is slowly dying. Life has become a matter of survival, just trying to make it through the next minute, the next hour, the next day.
She safe guards her energy like a precious commodity as she knows that there is always a cost analysis associated with any task.
If she goes to the store she knows that she will spend the next three hours in bed trying to recover.
And on top of the chronic exhaustion she has also developed a super human sense of smell and can pick up on any chemicals in the environment. Perfumes and fabric softener fumes have become the number one enemy and any exposure causes additional neurological symptoms along with a complete energy crash. Going for a walk is now even more challenging then it was before. Not only because of the chronic fatigue and pain, but now she has to worry about when the next sudden “dryer attack” might take her down.
As a counsellor, Candy is well informed about the subtleties and complexities of illness. She had explored every route possible, yet still came up empty handed in trying to understand and recover from this mysterious illness. But one day that changed.
After being directed to Annie Hopper`s dnrsystem.com website by a friend, Candy recognized that she was suffering from a limbic system impairment in her brain that was keeping her in a cycle of chronic illness. She immediately signed up for the Dynamic Neural Retraining System™ program and well, the rest is kind of like a fairy tale.
Candy is fully recovered and is a firm believer in the healing power of neuroplasticity.She is now a part of the DNRS team in helping to facilitate global healing while promoting a message of environmental awareness.
Along with being a certified Dynamic Neural Retraining System™ facilitator, Candy is also a registered clinical counsellor who has several years of experience in dealing with trauma and chronic pain.