How To Re-Wire Your Brain Out Of Chronic Fatigue with Carol Garner-Houston

Content By: Ari Whitten & Carol Garner-Houston

In this episode, I am speaking with Carol Garner-Houston. Carol is the co-founder and chief medical officer of Brain Harmony, a center specializing in treating neurological disorders without pharmaceuticals. We will talk about the best ways to re-wire the brain out of chronic fatigue.

Table of Contents

In this podcast, Carol and I will discuss:

  • How a disorganized brain may cause fatigue
  • The polyvagal theory – how it affects your health
  • The C.A.L.M. method
  • The AMAZING results clients get from the Brain Harmony protocol

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Ari: Hey there, welcome back to the Energy Blueprint Podcast. I am here now with my friend, Carol Garner-Houston, who is the co-founder and chief medical officer of Brain Harmony, specializing in treating neurological disorders without pharmaceuticals. In their groundbreaking telemedicine program, Brain Harmony applies the principles of neuroplasticity of the brain to treating PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety, sensory and auditory processing, stress and sleep, speech and communication, behavior, autism spectrum, attention and regulation, learning and dyslexia, TBI, traumatic brain injury, stroke and Parkinson’s, and many, many more brain problems.

Carol is an occupational therapist with 23 years of experience and the recipient of Health System Innovation Award from the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, serving vulnerable populations. Her outcomes are the best in the world, with clients gaining years’ worth of skills in several months of time. And she resides with her husband of 20 years, with two children and their hound dog in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

And I want to also say, on a personal note, I did a podcast with Carol, jeez, maybe close to a year ago at this point and I thought it was great. And we got a lot of great feedback on the podcast. And then after it, in the months subsequent to that, I heard from several people who were members of the Energy Blueprint Program, who commented in there that they had done consults with her and were really raving about the benefits of it. And so that’s why I knew I really wanted to have her back as a speaker in this summit. I felt that her work, really she’s doing some amazing, novel, unique work and I think it’s really important.

And there’s a subset of people with fatigue issues that really, really have brain related fatigue. And this is also something that was talked about in the podcast with Dr. Datis Kharrazian. And in that subset of people, I think this work that Carol is doing can absolutely be life changing. So I’m very excited to get into this, talking about polyvagal theory and how to rewire your brain out of chronic fatigue. So welcome, Carol, such a pleasure to connect with you again.

Carol: Thank you so much for having me. I’m looking forward to expanding more about the polyvagal theory and how we use it to gain more energy. It’s so exciting using these neuroplastic tools, with all kinds of different friends who find their way to us. And surge in energy has just been a theme, so when you invited me, it was perfect timing. So, looking forward to sharing more testimonies with you of energy surges with the use of the polyvagal theory.

The link between a disorganized brain and fatigue

Ari: Wonderful. So where do we get started? How do we understand what it means to have, you know, as you call it, a disorganized brain and how does that relate to fatigue issues?

Carol: Absolutely. So whenever you think of a disorganized brain, it’s going to be one that is stagnant in development or relies on compensatory strategies, like pharmaceuticals or alcohol, or things outside of ourselves to help keep ourselves together. A disorganized brain has depleted mental energy, motivation, and they could be more in a sedentary lifestyle. I’m going to be explaining further in this talk about why those feelings there, the mental energy, the lack of motivation, and the sedentary lifestyle, really can be rooted in our neurological condition. And then I’ll teach you how to change that in the positive direction.

But it continues on with having hemispheres of the brain that are isolated and they lack the interhemispheric connections. I love the first slide that we showed because it uses some images from the Human Connectome Project. And it has the white fiber nerves that goes through the brain and they all have different colors, just a beautiful imagery of the connectedness that is required between both sides of the brain. And with a disorganized one, you have some isolation in one, not a lot of communication between both, or you may have one area that’s extremely advanced and developing. And then you have severe other areas that are very much so lacking. So it’s disorganized.

With that, you’re going to lack having access to the higher cognitive centers, where the motivation, the creativity is, all of that that’s going to get you up and going to want to expand on the energy that you have or want to have. A disorganized brain finds it very difficult to filter out distracting information, like attention deficit. A disorganized brain has also very negative OCD loops. They’re very rigid in their thinking, only want one way.

They’re trying to control all of the input and all of the factors that make up their day. And so it just gets more rigid and they get stuck in these loops. A decline in function is surely a sign of a disorganized brain, as well as sensory processing issues, sensitivities to sound, touch, taste, or a regulation level that’s too high or a regulation level that’s too low. All of those are disorganized brain.

Ari: Excellent. So, what specifically would you say are the key aspects of, you know, a lot of the things that you just mentioned, but how do they specifically relate to energy levels and fatigue?

Carol: Yes. Well, how we do that is, let’s go further. Let’s look into the next slide. As I begin to get deep into the neurology that supports the energy. I begin with a traditional view of the nervous system. I love this image, it has a very clear, nice chart here. We’ve got the parasympathetic nervous system, that’s considered that rest and digest response. And then of course, we have the sympathetic nervous system, and that’s that fight or flight. Most people know this one really well, a lot of us are living perpetually in this state.

So these areas here, it gives you a nice list, you can see very clearly the connections from the brain to the specific parts of the body. And depending upon which system you’re in, is this physiological response. So I love a chart like this. I learned a chart like this when I was in college, but it is very much so a traditional view because it primarily only looks at it through two systems, parasympathetic, sympathetic, and it automatically happens. And we have no control over what is happening, no conscious awareness. And there’s no emphasis that there is a sensory and motor pathway that communicates from the internal organs back up to the brain.

So to understand better, why we are so successful in accessing our energy, really has to do as we dive deeper into the polyvagal view of the nervous system. And that’s this next image. According to the polyvagal theory of Dr. Stephen Porges, the autonomic nervous system is a neurological architecture for the brain, body connection, huge difference between the traditional view, very limited. It’s that view but then expanded to include this full brain, body communication, connection, and layering in the conscious control of that autonomic nervous system. Very exciting.

So in the polyvagal view of the nervous system, it includes sensory pathways and brainstem regulating functions. That’s how we can put that volitional control in. So when the ventral vagal, that’s one aspect of it, and we’ll dive deeper in the next slide. But when one branch of the vagus nerve and your social engagement system are functioning optimally, the autonomic nervous system supports health, growth, and restoration. And it is those three things that allow you to access your energy in a much different way than some people have been able to think about it, up till now. And it’s the system’s ability to modulate in and out of the various states with conscious control. That’s the difference between conventional autonomic nervous system and the polyvagal view. So let’s get a little bit deeper…

Ari: So, maybe you’re about to get to this, maybe I’m interrupting but I just want to clarify this for people. So, many people are used to thinking of the autonomic nervous system as sympathetic and parasympathetic, just, it’s either fight or flight, stress reaction, or rest and digest, relaxation. How does Stephen Porges’s view and polyvagal theory differ from that? And I know you’re mentioning specific aspects of this. But if you were to summarize succinctly, how does the polyvagal theory differ from just, its rest or digest versus fight or flight?

Carol: Because of the poly part of the polyvagal, is many or several, so the branch has several connections. And with that architecture plan, not only does it connect into certain parts that allow for that volitional control, it has the ability to modulate and read; the branches can come in and out of strength, and the one can be brought in to soothe the other one. And specifically, when we get into the specific parts of the branch, it becomes very clear, your question. So, for example, understanding the branches of the nerve allows an accelerated understanding that we are neurologically wired to be able to move out of energy draining states and into restorative body function. How do we do this?

So first, let’s look at a branch of the vagus nerve, the ventral vagal. Now I love this one. This is the safety; the safety zone. Its safety by inhibiting the heart rate and it supports calmness. The ventral vagal softens an immobilizing response of some other branches. So it’s looking at softening the branches. The sympathetic branch of the vagus nerve, that we know well when we are in danger or perceive that we are in danger, the body starts to recruit resources so it can mobilize, so it can fight against the danger. That’s an evolutionary response. So it’s very strong and it can come over us. But the difference is that polyvagal is this ventral vagal can come in and put the brakes and start soothing that sympathetic response.

That ventral vagal, you can choose to get into that state by slowing your heart rate down with activities that do that, like yoga and singing, all of these, and snuggling with someone, a co-regulator, or someone who you can pair with on a neurological level to help you feel better and soothing to you. So it’s quite fascinating because that dorsal vagal branch, the dorsal vagal branch that goes to mainly the organs below the diaphragm, that’s invoked when there is a threat to life. Very, very serious, very important aspect of the vagus nerve, the immobilization. It’s an evolutionary defense.

And Ari, it’s been amazing, servicing some of the adults that have found their way to us from that original podcast. Many of them are women and many of them are finding their way to us to see if we can help them heal their trauma, and specific sexual trauma. And I bring it up here with the dorsal vagal branch because it is such an amazing process that when you understand the science behind what’s happening to you physiologically, when your life is being threatened, you are under threat, the immobilization factor can be pulled in and you freeze. It’s that feeling where you go to scream, but you can’t. And your mind is racing and you’re yelling in your mind, and you want to fight back, but you can’t move your arms.

So this is such an important piece, really because for our friends who are recovering, this really helps them understand why they were a victim and did not contribute to the things that happened to them because they couldn’t fight back. After the situation is over, some of them start to process, “Gosh, why didn’t I yell? Why didn’t I fight?” Well, when the vagus nerve immobilized you, you weren’t able to; that was your neurological system coming in to save you. And this really changes the healing process because our friends can let go of feeling like they contributed to their state in some way. So significant, as you learn about these pieces, and how that impacts the whole human condition.

Ari: Can I add one thing on this? There was an image in my head, you know, every time we talk about this immobilization response, that dorsal vagal response. We sometimes get lizards that find their way into our home and so I have to pick them up, and move them back outside. And oftentimes, when I pick up a lizard, I’m initially chasing it and it’s running away, and getting away from me. And then eventually, after a while, I’ll catch it because I’m initially sort of catching it, it’ll start struggling. And you know, maybe try to see if it can wiggle its head around to bite me or something like that. And then at a certain point, once I’ve really caught it and it feels caught by me, it just freezes. It’s immobilized, it stops fighting.

And that’s just sort of an image I have in my mind of like how I visualize this response. But I also see it as profoundly related to some of these chronic fatigue states that especially in people with past trauma, that their brain and their nervous system just gets wired into this sort of more numbness, more like immobilization, apathy, lack of energy, and vitality. I’m sure, it’s as a protective response to sort of minimize the stressors of, you know, whatever stressors they might encounter. But you correct me if I’m wrong there in my interpretation of things, but that’s just how I kind of visualize things.

Carol: And yes, thank you so much for bringing the lizard analogy in because frequently in the journals, you may read about the lizard brain; that type of response. So it’s a perfect layering in and it really does give our listeners an idea of how primitive, how evolutionary that immobilization piece is. And how once you can recognize it, you can blow air and space in between these emotions and feelings. And we can help you pull the vagus in there and we can start to get some more control over our physiological responses. So it’s a wonderful fit.

Ari: Great. So where do we go from here? How do we further understand polyvagal theory and how it relates to energy levels?

Carol: Well, I’d like to go into another aspect of polyvagal theory and I’m pulling up a lovely image here as well. It’s a picture of myself and Dr. Porges, and my business partner and sister, and we are in a picture together in an embrace. And we’re going to go through this picture and I’m going to teach you about Dr. Porges’s term, neuroception of safety and co-regulation. So this will help us understand how to get more energy because the neurological system is set up to do these specific things, and it will help you get more energy.

So here, the neuroception is a process by which the brain evaluates cues in its environment and cues from other, whether or not the situation is safe, if it’s dangerous, or if it’s life threatening. So here in this beautiful picture, you can see more of a ventral vagal response is in balance with our social engagement system. It’s evident in the embracing touch that he has on either side of us. You can see dynamic facial expressions here in those pictures. You can see the crinkles around my eyes. You can see some engagement in Dr. Porges’s forehead. And you can see that Laura is connecting very well with the person who’s taking their picture.

All of this requires neurological energy to do so but we’re in a nice, wonderful state, we’re co-regulating with each other. My neurological system is matching theirs. And together, it’s easy for us. Our energy is not being zapped from us. We are in homeostasis. We are ready. We could go dancing if someone put a song on or we could go and have a lovely conversation and get more intimate. We have a beautiful homeostasis of existence. So, a fun picture to show what that actually looks like. It’s the expression of the science.

Ari: If I may try to summarize this in different words, it sounds like you’re saying is, this ventral vagal response is a safety social engagement response. It’s when that pathway is stimulated, your brain, your body is relaxed because it perceives itself to be safe. As opposed to the opposite scenario where your brain might perceive… and this is unconscious, your brain might perceive itself to be in an unsafe environment with unsafe people, or unsafe circumstances. And that state is itself draining to one’s energy levels. If someone is wired into more of a state where they’re sort of in a baseline level of higher sort of danger sensing. Is that accurate?

Carol: Absolutely, very well said. And another way to illustrate your point, summarize your point, is with a disorder like sensory processing disorder. So beautiful example of this disorganized brain, the sensory system is all disorganized. It’s very distorted. You can’t hear what others hear. Touch, you may retract from touch and all of this adds stress level. Draining from the neurological system. Draining from themselves. If this friend with sensory processing disorder has something like a larger neurological disorder like autism, you pair that same sensory processing difficulties with a mom who’s trying to co-regulate the system, that’s really having a difficult time doing that. Together, you can now understand why they can get into such a state. And really so much suffering that happens there.

Until you start to reorganize the brain and neurological system in a bottom up approach. And by addressing the polyvagal science within the protocols, you really can springboard yourself into energy that was really not really on our radar. It was like something that happened and people were feeling better. But as we did this more and more with adults, their expression of how this type of work has changed their energy levels is why it’s just so exciting to share it.

The C.A.L.M. method

Ari: Beautiful.

Carol: Yes. So the next way that we explain how we’re going to get access to that energy, is we explain, when you take the polyvagal theory, and you combine it with our CALM method. It is a four step process. And with those two together that is how you get optical energy. So I’ll share this with you right here. The first step of CALM is to first comfort and soothe. So of course, we do our vagal work first. And here is a wonderful testimony of our friend, adult friend who just experienced this first step here.

“It’s been transformative. I haven’t slept as well, probably since I was eight years old, since starting this. It was almost immediate. Within two days, my sleep pattern was dramatically improved. I’ll say probably the second weekend, I started noticing my energy had been stepping up, as I went day over day, over day. And my clarity is crisp throughout the week. I’m not burning off towards Wednesday afternoon, it’s consistent. And my energy is higher than if I was on the caffeine. My mental clarity is much, much more improved.

I do have some attention deficit things going on in my life. So that’s… Actually, something I didn’t tell you. It just occurred to me. I haven’t been taking any of that medicine in the last month. It’s only a few weeks in but it’s blowing me away, the results. I could have never predicted it. Had I known this, I would have signed up sooner than the six months after hearing you on the podcast the first time. It’s crazy and I can’t stop talking about it to people. So, it’s amazing.”

Carol: So what’s exciting about Mark is that his response, his energy levels made such a leap with specifically that first step that we do, vagal regulation. We go in first to calm and soothe, and energy is what bubbles to the surface. So I love that. The results that we get also, are not only in the immediate but they are long term changes. That’s what neuroplasticity is, it means the brain can change based upon the input that it’s given. So we give it the most organizing input possible and that’s what develops.

So, once we finish the step like that, we then move into step two, which allows us to activate our energy. Once we are neurologically safe, we can open the social portal engage of human engagement, we can organize the sensory system. Specifically, we start with vestibular organization first because it is directly related to the sedentary or over arousal states that so many of us struggle with, with our energy levels as well. So in an activation stage, you can have a response like this. And I’ll show you Miss Cassie’s results [00:24:05].

“My oldest son, Gray, who is 11, he suffered a concussion when he was in third grade and had post-concussion syndrome. We met with neurologists, we did therapy but still two years later, he still had extreme car sickness. I mean, every time he would get in the car, he would have car sickness. And he suffered with a lot of anxiety and just residual anxiety. And both of those two things have improved since doing the listening. We actually drove to Florida from Indiana a couple of weeks… well, three or four weeks ago, and he sat in the third row of our SUV the whole way there and the whole way back, and didn’t have car sickness. So that’s a huge improvement.”

Carol: And so that’s important because the reason why he could sit in the backseat and he wasn’t carsick, that directly impacted his positive energy level by not being carsick because she used to drive him to school, and he would get carsick just on the way to school. And that would negatively impact his ability to engage and learn, and his regulation levels. So what we do also in this activation phase is we go to the primitive aspects of the central nervous system, the sensory system, particularly the vestibular system.

With him, we went very primitive and we reorganized from the very base of the central nervous system, with little tiny exercises. Then we built in complexity and it’s because we activated his vestibular system to work as intended, that he no longer had the draining anxiety that comes with a disorganized system, as well as the car sickness. This is a good illustration of how once you activate the right things in the system, how it overrides those negative experiences.

The next step into accessing your neurological energy is in step three, is helping the brain and neurological system learn how to do that. And we’re going to see here how Kirk is learning to use more of his natural socialization skills.

“Decreased brain fog, decreased procrastination, anxiety, increased ability to handle situations that otherwise would have been stressful, increased ability to think on my feet, to relate to people in a natural way. So I still don’t go like really far out of my way to try to relate to people. But if I’m in a situation where relating to somebody would be the appropriate thing to do, it just flows much, much more naturally now. You know, I don’t find myself feeling like I’m pinned under glass or something if I have to relate to somebody; that I can actually hang out and just casually talk to somebody that I don’t even necessarily know, for a few minutes at a time. And that would have been completely impossible a year ago. Actually, it’s funny that I don’t remember when it stopped being like this, but there was a long time where I was just so overwhelmed with everything at work that I couldn’t even think. That I would not be able to do a task unless somebody explicitly told me, “I need you to do this and here’s when I needed done.”

Ari: I definitely know some people with those sorts of anti-social tendencies and I’m disinclined toward small talk myself. So I kind of know some of those feelings. I was laughing as he talked about the feeling of being pinned under glass. Yeah, very interesting and powerful stuff. Okay, so we’ve got comfort, activate, and learn. Where do we go from here?

Carol: Once the brain learns how to make those connections, now it’s about having those experiences again, so you can use your skills. And the more you do it, the stronger connections in the brain and the better that you master and build those strong connections. So let’s look at Miss Alicia here, as she talks about her adult son, mastering communication with happiness at 20 years of age.

“My 20 year old son, he was for this and he wanted to try this. And I was thankful for that and I was surprised that he was willing to do it. And he was getting up at 5:30 in the morning to do it before he left. He was the one we noticed the first with because he also has pretty profound auditory processing. And at some point in his life, he just quit talking because he had the words in his brain, but he just couldn’t… I think just couldn’t say, express what he was wanting to express. And so he just sort of just didn’t talk much and he was kind of grumpy. And we, my husband and I, could never hear what he was saying to us. And we thought it was a disrespect thing until Brain Harmony, like a couple of weeks into it.

He started talking and he was talking loud enough to where we could hear him and we just sort of noticed, we haven’t asked him to repeat anything for a long time. And he was becoming happier. And he was sharing with us personal thoughts that he never did before and things that he just was thinking about and just bringing up conversations. He would never start a conversation or anything like that. So that was huge. We just felt like we got our son back. With my eight year old, he also had a lot a big difference in emotional regulation. He would very easily get angered and I’ve noticed that has calmed down a lot.”

Carol: Again, so profound experience. When you organize the system in this order, and in this way, the brain mapping is laid and established. This is where executive functioning skills develop because you have a solid foundation of the central nervous system. So if you feel like the executive function is something that’s far away from you or it’s getting farther away from you, it’s just something that you can build, which is fantastic. And our friends are no longer stuck in primitive movement patterns or old thought processes are limited by genetic predispositions. We use the polyvagal theory to organize the system and access the energy that it needs.

Ari: That was an amazing testimonial. Wow. I mean, that’s just life transformative for both the kid and the parents to go through something like that. Amazing.

Carol: And at 20. So much of what we do is our friends saying, “Gosh, I wish I would have found you earlier.” But think about all of the suffering, right? I mean, as wonderful as this is, I get a little anxious when our friends don’t have access to us or access to this, in this order in which we do it because it is so profound. You can take someone who’s completely dependent upon their parents for all kinds of things, you can actually organize the brain and neurological systems so they can start testing on standardized assessments. They can go to college or get a higher vocational training. They can have that neurological organization to make some of these changes.

So learning about the science of it is really one of the greatest gifts is because with the gift of the polyvagal, it’s not only to learn all of the aspects of what the science can do, but that we have some volitional control here. And we can tap into doing things and repeating things in a certain way that can bring upon that most robust energy.

Ari: Gotcha. And so I want to recap here and I and then I have a couple maybe more specific questions. But the four steps are comfort, activate, learn, and master.

Carol: Yes.

Ari: First, just to summarize things in case people have been lost in some of the details here. Can you explain succinctly, in the big picture, this CALM method, what do these four steps do in terms of how they change a person’s brain? And how does that relate to energy levels?

Carol: Absolutely. First, we go to the central nervous system and we’re calming and soothing the base, which is the sensory system. In the sensory system, when we walk through these four steps, we’re going to first calm and soothe. Then we’re going to activate that vestibular and those aspects that may be weakened, and we’re going to strengthen them. Then it allows us to move to the next level of learn. And then we can activate, then learn, and then master these tools. Because you go in that bottom up approach is what allows for us to access that energy.

Neurological organization allows for you to have as much energy as you like. Enough energy to fight a bear or a threat or enough energy to go run three miles, or enough energy, like our friend had testified, he was getting up at 5:30 in the morning. I mean, that type of shift in the neurological brain, I just haven’t seen in the conventional medical model. Outside of these tools, when you start layering this in, we can bring a friend who’s severely depressed, who cannot physically feel like they can get out of bed and have not gotten out of bed in several years.

Wiggle in and you use this process, we’re first going to calm and soothe. Then we’re going to activate their social portal of human engagement. We’re going to awaken that and shake out that sedentary type of trait. Then we’re going to teach their brain how to access these other levels. And then they master it and that’s how they gain their access to their energy and gets out of bed.

Ari: Beautiful. And can you maybe give two or three examples? And you can do a very brief treatment of these, but two or three examples of specific things or practices, strategies that you would have people do to accomplish some of these four steps of the CALM method?

Carol: Absolutely. So in the first step is that comfort, we’re talking vagal regulation again. There are things that we can do that you don’t have to buy anything for. There are things that we can do to keep us in ventral vagal. You want to stay around people and make sure you have safety cues in your environment, of safety. You’re with people who are safe, who make you feel safe, and they feel safe with you. You can create that environment. Also, yoga is wonderful, beautiful. Take this polyvagal lens and now use it as your meditation while you do your yoga. You can feel and experience the stretch of these nerves through the other parts of your body, as you perceive your heart rate decreasing.

Oh my, and then because your heart rate is decreasing, you’re a little more snuggly, and you’re a little more open to engagement. You’re able to smile at your friend doing yoga next to you and then you’re able to connect with that person after. These are all very comfort vagal steps. Activate looks more like the vestibular protocol, any bilateral coordination activities, for sure.

Ari: What’s the vestibular protocol? And you don’t have to go through the details, but just what does that involve? What kinds of things does the vestibular protocol entail?

Carol: So the vestibular system is about knowing where you are in space innately, without the use of your vision. It’s one of the first systems to develop in utero. And so we go there first specifically. And we are finding the trend in our community is that we have all of these friends, adults and children with these super weak vestibular systems. They’re either sedentary or they’re too hyper, or they get carsick or their feet don’t leave the ground. They won’t jump or they won’t jump on a trampoline. They won’t even like jump two inches off the ground. It’s too disorganizing and too noxious for the system; that consciously you may not even be aware of.

But what happens is, the person just avoids those activities because they are subconsciously noxious. And when you avoid bending over to catch a ball because it makes you dizzy and you want to throw up, then you’ve missed the opportunity to throw the ball, the trial and error, the learning and the mastery piece. So vestibular is so important. And what we do is we go real primitive on vestibular. We go to very small movements of the head in regards to the semicircular canals inside the inner ear. So it’s super chill and easy, first. I mean, like, literally, the exercise is so easy that you’re like, “Huh, how could that be doing anything?”

Well, you know, it starts very slow, very safe, and we put it through different motions of the head, side to side. We may go all the way back and down and here, then we might go diagonally down and back up. All of the purposeful movements to start activating the vestibular apparatus inside the inner ear. We organize it, build strength upon it, and when that neurological reason resiliency is there, there go the negative symptoms. Whoop, they’re just gone. And they’re driving in the car and now he’s talking, he’s laughing. He’s engaging because he’s not being drained by a weakened, inactivated vestibular system.

Ari: Yeah, very interesting. As you’re talking there, it made me wonder if people with those issues, vestibular issues, if they might have behaviors that sort of mimic an overlap with chronic fatigue. Like, specifically the aversion to doing physical movements, like when you said the aversion to bend down and pick up a ball. It sounds to me almost like it’s more comfortable to just sort of be still right, to sit down or lay down and not do that much. Which is itself, sort of mimicking how chronic fatigue manifests.

Carol: Yes, and it’s not a reflection of your character. It’s not a reflection that you’re not working hard enough. It’s not a reflection that these choices have just been… there’s something that just happens to you. It’s really more of a reflection of the state of your neurological system. And we can make it so much stronger and better. And then you can cut all of that cognitive talking, where you’re beating yourself up, “You should get up. You should get up. You should be doing this. Why aren’t you doing this?” And then, at the end of the day, you’re just hammering yourself again because you just didn’t feel like getting up and doing it. But that’s because you didn’t have as much neurological organization needed to do that as expected. But it’s changeable, it’s malleable, we can change that state. And the polyvagal theory is what helps us understand how we can.

Ari: Got you, beautiful. And then, where you on step two there or step three? Vestibular activation.

Carol: The activation was step two. So the next step is L and that is learning. And in the vestibular system, when we’re learning, so again, when we activate, we go very primitive, very small movements. But once we’ve activated it and we’ve said, “Hey, this is the world in which we live in, it’s dynamic,” then we start to teach it how to function properly. So we will start increasing and changing the type of input and exercises for that vestibular. We’re going to teach it how to function in higher levels.

So now you’re going to do those same exercises like this and like this, and you’re doing your diagonal ones, but now try it with your eyes closed. Well, what difference could that make? Well, you can do an exercise standing on one foot with your eyes open for 10 seconds. That’s what a human should be able to do with an intact vestibular system. Do the same activity, standing on one foot and close your eyes, and see if you can do 10 seconds the same way. Most of our friends can do the 10 seconds with their eyes open but if you ask them to close their eyes, at three seconds, they fall over, they put their foot down.

What does that mean? That means that they depend upon their vision to know where they are in space. That weakened vestibular, when you occlude the vision, they fall over; that isolates the state of your vestibular system. So you can do that very easily right now and from that, though, you can then build some more things. So our activities, we add a layer of learning by doing the same activities with our eyes closed. Really strengthening and teaching that vestibular system, “This is where you’re supposed to be. I know where I am, I know that innate line through the center of my body and I know right from left without having to put markers on my fingers to tell me what color it is.” It’s that innate knowledge of knowing that. So that is our learning process.

And then the mastery comes by once you’ve activated it and you’ve taught the vestibular, now it gets real life experiences and an option to use these new tracks, a new connection, and it’s working well. And it’s reinforcing. So the person does it again and again and that’s where self-confidence comes from. Self-confidence comes from mastering neurological organization. And that’s why you can be confident in knowing that with this type of work and approaching your system’s ability to organize, will give you more energy.

Ari: Beautiful. Carol, this has been awesome. Thank you so much. I know that you also offer free consultations. So if somebody is interested in applying this method and learning this method that you teach, basically, if they resonated with the content of the talk, and they’re thinking, “Yeah, this sounds like I could use some of this brain rewiring,” how do they go about doing that; doing a free call consultation with you? And by the way, I just want to warn you that you might get a flood of people wanting to do these free consults with you. So you sure you can handle that?

Carol: Yes, we love the volume. We love talking to friends. And all you have to do is, we have a link for our consultation and you can schedule one yourself. Or you can just call the 888 number, the 888-272-4650. And you’ll get either my business partners, a hospital administrator, and fantastic in helping you sort through the state that you’re in. And they will lay out for you all of the different options that we have. And then from there, if you’re ready to move forward, then you get on a phone call with me. We’ll look at your intake paperwork, we’ll diagram your medical history, and then we’ll get very customized on how we’re going to get these types of outcomes for you.

Ari: Beautiful. So they can call it that phone number or should we set up a link? Do you have a link that you can give to people for that?

Carol: Yes, we have a consultation link and that we’ll make available to you. And you can just pull up a date and time that works for you. And it’ll put it on our schedule and we’ll meet you there.

Ari: Okay, so for people who want to do a free consult, we’re going to set up a link at, and that will allow you to get the free consult. So,, all one word, brain harmony. So Carol, this has been awesome. Thank you so much. I really appreciate the time. And this is just fascinating stuff. And as I said at the beginning, I know from now having done this podcast with you about a year ago and having a whole bunch of people work with you, who are Energy Blueprint members and actually hearing them.

I think I actually posted at one time, just I was curious, I was sort of vetting you, to be honest. I wanted to see what the results were of people who had done the consultations with you and took action, and started applying the methods. And I was blown away, honestly just blown away with how much amazing, positive feedback people had. And there was numerous people that had worked with you, and they just raved about it. So I’m really glad that I was able to fit you in last minute for the Superhuman Energy Summit. And really a pleasure as always, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with our audience. And I hope and I’m sure, many, many people will be taking you up on the free consultation. So prepare yourself for a flood of requests.

Carol: Love it. Thank you so much for helping us to relieve suffering for so many people because there’s options out there.

Ari: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, Carol. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Show Notes

The link between a disorganized brain and fatigue (6:11)
The C.A.L.M. method (24:05)


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