This is the foundational autonomic nervous system (ANS) therapy prescribed by Dr. Nigh and implemented with patients by Maria. It is one of those rare therapies causing patients to not-uncommonly comment, “it has changed my life.”
Developed by psychologist Dr. Stephen Porges, SSP utilizes classical music that has been filtered of very specific frequencies. This filtering, through its impact on the auditory nerve, “trains” the vagus nerve to reduce sympathetic activity.
Its effects are commonly subtle and profound at the same time, with patients describing themselves as being more calm, more grounded, and less emotionally labile. For so many reasons, virtually everyone is dealing with an unwanted excess of stress (i.e. sympathetic activation) in their life. For this reason SSP is a cornerstone recommendation for a significant number of patients in the clinic.
The Asyra can be thought of as a “window” into the ANS. The device monitors changes in the electrical resistance in the skin. That resistance is, in turn, a direct result of the activity of the ANS. By monitoring changes in skin resistance in response to being “challenged” with hundreds of electromagnetic patterns, Asyra gives insight into stressors on the body. These might include viruses, bacteria, molds, parasites, environmental toxins, food sensitivities, thought patterns, and more. It is a unique technology that Maria has been studying and utilizing clinically for nearly a decade.
Biophotons, literally “puffs of light,” emanate from all of our cells. This is not just a “new age” idea; it is documented through hundreds of published articles. The intensity of these biophotons, and more importantly the changes in intensity from one region of the body to another, can be translated into information about the health of the associated cells and organs.
The Bio-well maps these biophoton emissions from the fingertips onto the locations of the Chinese acupuncture meridians. Because the system of meridians contains within it far more information about underlying physiological balance, this blending of Western technology and Eastern medicine gives unique insights into the underlying imbalances within these meridians. Based on the identified imbalances, the device generates an audio file the patient listens to daily which influences left/right brain activity and helps to restore balance where it is needed.
Every aspect of our breathing is a reflection of the autonomic activity that regulates it. This includes the rate, rhythm, depth, and location (upper/middle/lower diaphragm breathing). By bringing conscious awareness in a very systematic way to each of these aspects of breathing, the breath can be used to adjust the “tone” of the autonomic nervous system, creating a healthier sympathetic/parasympathetic balance.
Maria has developed a unique application of breath control exercises that she has utilized with hundreds of patients. This therapy typically accompanies SSP and other ANS therapies as part of a comprehensive treatment program.
The science of yoga has recognized for thousands of years the close relationship between the positioning of the body and the activity in the mind. Building on this tradition, in combination with newer research into the physiological and ANS impact of body positioning and gentle connective tissue stress, Maria teaches patients to combine several breathwork techniques with a variety of movements and positions that help them both have greater impact on ANS activity.
Dietetics is different from a specific diet. While there are a seemingly endless number of different diets anyone can follow (low oxalate, low FODMAP, carnivore, low sulfur, etc.), dietetics is built around the principles of healthy eating. Regarding ANS regulation, there are principles of how to chose foods in a way that support ANS regulation and balance. This is not a “one choice fits all” way of including or excluding specific foods. Rather, Maria utilizes a number of tools – as well as over 15 years of clinical experience and observations – to guide each patient toward the most appropriate dietetic approach.
The old adage says, “Give someone fish and they have fish for a day. Teach someone to fish and they have fish for a lifetime.” Maria’s approach to dietetics is to teach the principles of putting together healthy meals. Once the optimal types of foods are identified, Maria educates each patient about how to turn types of foods into an endless combination of healthy meals.