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About Anxiety……….

There are two kinds of anxiety – what I call conscious, or cortical anxiety, and subcortical or subconscious anxiety.

Cortical anxiety is easy to recognize – when we’re aware of the cause of anxiety: there’s a tiger in the room, a lost checkbook, out past curfew, driving in icy weather. Good: we know the cause and can develop a plan to deal with it.

But when we are stressed, or unhappy, or nervous, or afraid without a specific cause? That’s subcortical anxiety, and it’s harder to calm. It’s as though you drank six energy drinks at 11:30 pm and then tried to go to sleep, as you were due to give a major presentation at 7 the next morning.   Chock full of caffeine, sugar, and other undoubtedly noxious chemicals, your body is ready to rock’n’roll.

I think this type of anxiety is largely due to un-matured reflexes from our earliest weeks of life, and it’s more and more common, among children and adults alike. Fortunately, we now know how to directly address this – along with, you know, a glass of wine, deep breathing, meditation, exercise class, etc.

If you’ve got this, you’re on a never-ending unconscious alert.   We are cautious as we do specific exercises that teach the lower brain to relax. Those who overdo them on the first try may have their blood pressure drop a bit, as the adrenalin and cortisol drops from the cancel-the-alert call.   Before they leave, I make sure that people aren’t so unstressed that they can still drive safely!

The really cool part is, that they can then repeat the exercises as they need, on their own.

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We’re seeing more and more anxiety lately….

Whether it shows up as excessive shyness, fear and nervousness, controlling or defiant behavior, or as an explosive temper, anxiety is an increasingly problem.

While movement helps enormously to reduce anxiety — sometimes the cause of the problem can be in the GI tract!  The gut is second only to the brain as far as number of nerve cells — and those gut neurons and the brain neurons have an awful lot to say to one another.

But a key to anxiety and the gastro-intestinal tract turns out to be: microbes!  That’s right, we have to have the right kind of bacteria or our gut-brain communication goes haywire, and affects how see perceive life.  So, for anyone with anxiety — try pro-biotics as well as Brain Gym, RMT or other movement therapy!

We’ve known for quite awhile about the brain and the intestinal tract. The connection with gut bacteria is somewhat newer, but there’s a nice piece that sums it up at

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Welcome to my blog!

I’m Ruth Murray, erstwhile nurse (BSN, Creighton University) former homeschooling mom, and now therapist, teacher and advocate for holistic methods of addressing all sorts of less-than-optimum brain function.   In my private practice and classes, wonderful stories emerge of people no longer held back by former difficulties.  I’ll cover all sorts of topics here:  risk factors; techniques to help with parenting, learning, healthy aging, or just living; studies about how all this came about and what helps; and different programs that help these.

A three dimensional pyramid provides “ah-ha!” insights  into both causes and solutions for some of the most difficult problems we face today.  Individuals, families, and society increasingly find themselves struggling with mental health issues, neuro-development disorders and learning disabilities.

Individuals, families, professional groups, and schools are heroically working to address these problems.  However, most seem to be either coping mechanisms or adaptations on an individual basis — including pharmaceutical intervention. I’m not totally anti-medication on a temporary basis, but it’s got terrible problems as a permanent solution.  We search for more permanent solution for diabetes like pancreas transplants rather than daily doses of insulin. I’ve found more permanent, holistic and preferably inexpensive ways to help people with

  • autism spectrum
  • anxiety
    • OCD
    • ODD
    • Intermittent Explosive Disorder
    • anger management
    • stress management
  • schizophrenia
  • psychosis
  • trauma recovery
  • post-concussion problems
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • dementia
  • Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities
  • eating disorders
  • addiction
  • hoarding
  • balance
  • low muscle tone
  • reading, spelling, handwriting, coordination disorders
  • poor organization
  • bonding, adoptive, and RAD concerns
  • people who love math/despair at language arts; or vice versa
  • dreamy/spacey kids
  • those young people having difficulty launching into adulthood (particularly young men)

— and that’s just for starters! Even people who don’t have or need diagnoses — but would appreciate learning easier and faster, enriching marriage and communication, or living with fewer obstacles in their lives — benefits from holistic therapies that promote neurological connections within the brain.

The key is to target our efforts in the right place.  Tutoring, accommodations, etc are effective but so much so if the underlying problem is addressed.  Now, we can. Stay tuned!

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