The Four Foundations of Treatment
Body: Claiming Your Space
Epileptic seizures and functional neurological symptoms are expressions of your body.
At the level of body, you may experience uncontrollable shaking, difficulty breathing, clenching, paralysis, inability to speak, or stiffening of the body. Other experiences include feeling foggy, tingly, out-of-body, numb, overtaken by a strong energy, or feeling trapped in his or her body.
Within the Foundation of Body you will discover how to listen more deeply to your body, identify and stay present with physical sensations, and respond to these signals in order to interrupt the cycle of your episodes. You will learn how your nervous system works and how to down-regulate (relax) your nervous system through grounding, resourcing, breath, and movement practices.
Mind: You Are Not Your Thoughts
Epileptic seizures and functional neurological symptoms are expressions of your mind.
At the level of mind, you may experience racing thoughts, negative beliefs about yourself, repetitive worries, intrusive memories, constant fears about the future. The mind may tell you to avoid certain aspects of your life because of the possibility of having an episode.
Within the Foundation of Mind you will discover that you do not always have to believe your thoughts. You will become more aware of how your thoughts affect the way your body reacts and how, in turn, your interpretation of these physical sensations affects the way you feel. By being a “witness” to your internal narrative, your body can relax into the present moment rather than re-living the past or anticipating the future.
Emotions: Finding Freedom
Epileptic seizures and functional neurological symptoms are expressions of your emotions. At the level of emotion, you may experience helplessness, fear, confusion, hopelessness, isolation, shame, anger, overwhelm, anxiety, or loss of control. These are very common feelings for people who have been diagnosed with epilepsy and/or functional neurological symptoms.
Within the Foundation of Emotion you will discover that these feelings are normal and healthy reactions to a crazy-making and often misunderstood life situation. You will become more aware of the human tendency to struggle against painful emotions and chase pleasant emotions. In learning neither to push away nor hold onto emotions, you build the capacity to experience the full spectrum of feelings and tap into their natural wisdom. This “emotional freedom” allows you to slow down and positively impact the neuropathways of the emotional spiral seen in epilepsy and functional neurological symptoms.
Energy Systems: Exploring Yourself More Deeply
Epileptic seizures and functional neurological symptoms are an expression of your energy. At the level of your energy, you may experience a change in perception, that “something comes over you,” a weird energy, a gap in time, an indescribable strangeness, disorientation, or some kind of shift in “normal” reality. You have probably felt or experienced that others cannot relate to these experiences. Know that, among individuals with epilepsy and/or functional neurological symptoms, these are typical experiences. Within the Foundation of Energy Systems you will discover that these experiences are not something to be afraid of. You will be supported through a process of making new meaning and integrating the more subtle or spiritual aspects of your being. The inexplicable and energetic layers of experience become a ground for discovery and growth rather than fear and isolation.
Through our work together, we will support you in improving your quality of life. We’ll help you:
- Learn healthy coping strategies for both real and perceived limitations caused by your seizures
- Improve unwanted emotional aspects of your diagnosis, including shame, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and/or anger
- Recognize seizure triggers and transform (not avoid) your relationship with them
- Learn how to transform feelings of stress and overwhelm
- Use nutrition/food to support greater brain health
- Gain a deeper understanding of how nervous system activation builds increasingly: including anxiety, depression, symptoms of PTSD, and seizure activity
- Learn how to down-regulate nervous system under or over-activation
- Increase mindfulness and self-awareness in regards to smallest emotional, physiological, and physical changes, leading to your ability to “not go into a seizure”
- Learn how to regulate your breathing (CO2 levels) to increase oxygen levels available to the brain
- Explore questions, insecurities, and hopes around your diagnosis
We use a variety of complementary techniques, depending on each patient’s individual needs. Our work together may include psychotherapy and life coaching, mindfulness training and meditation, stress-reduction techniques, professionally guided support groups, biofeedback, neurofeedback, and aura disruption techniques. Use the following links to learn more about our specialties:
As with any condition, knowledge is not only empowering, but will help you cope with your epilepsy or non-epileptic seizures (NES). We’ve compiled a list of resources to support you. Some are specific for Colorado, and some are nation-wide. If you know of an organization, resource, blog you would like to add, please feel free to email the Rocky Mountain Center for Epilepsy and we will add your information.
Start your journey to a healthy, happy, and fulling life now. Call or email to set up your initial consultation. P: 303.258.1116 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you ready to take the first step toward an FND free life?