Are you familiar with German New Medicine? How would you like to quickly get to the “root causes” behind any health symptoms you face (now or in the future) without expensive lab testing or boatloads of supplements?
What about send chronic health issues into remission in as little as a few moments?
Enter: Rewiring the gut-brain connection–a science-based approach to healing the root causes of chronic health challenges through the power of the subconscious mind and limbic system.
It’s no secret that stress is a root cause of chronic health issues. In fact, you’ve probably heard sayings like “99% of all illness is related to stress.”
Bingo: Disease in our body is a byproduct of dis-ease in our lives.
Repeat: Disease or imbalance in our body is often a byproduct of dis-ease (imbalance or stress) in our lives.
This is often an “indigestible conflict”. Where else in your life are you feeling heavy, overwhelmed or weighed down?
Your thyroid is in your throat chakra—your communication channel. Where else in your life are you not feeling heard?
- Stress fractures or bone issues?
Bone breaks and erosion are related to “self devaluation” conflicts—where in your life are you not feeling valued, worthy or confident?
- UTI (urinary tract infection)?
This is related to a territorial or separation conflict in your relationships—often with a partner or significant others.
The bottom line: our “issues” end up in our tissues.
Health symptoms in the body are often a “mirror” to the underlying emotional and stressful triggers going on inside, thanks to our gut-brain connection.
In this article, we will review:
- The basic concepts of the gut-brain connection
- Getting to the root causes of chronic health issues with German New Medicine, and
- 3 practical steps to rewire the gut-brain connection for your own healing journey
The Gut Brain Connection
Your gut is your second brain!
It’s actually directly connected to your brain by way of the vagus nerve.
- You have over 500 million neurons in your belly—which make up the “enteric nervous system” (the brain inside your gut)
- 80% of all communication to the brain actually comes from the gut
- 95% of your serotonin is produced in your gut (explaining why it “feels good” to eat cookies or you feel good after you poop!)
Ever experienced butterflies in your stomach? Boom! Gut brain connection!
Just like you’ve probably only been able to think about how much your tummy hurts after you get food poisoning or how hungry you are if you haven’t eaten in awhile.
Boom! Gut brain connection!
The gut brain connection explains why, when study subjects watch acts of violence or acts of kindness on a TV show, their gut microbiome shifts to being more inflamed or more healthy—just based on the chemicals circulating via the gut brain connection (1).
The gut brain connection also explains why kids with peanut allergies have been shown to overcome them when they think positive thoughts. In one experiment (2) on overcoming peanut allergies, researchers gave 25 kids permission to feel good during the challenge—telling them that the re-introduction would be positive experience. They told the other 25 kids that the food reintroduction would be challenging and that they’d probably experience food allergy symptoms. The result? Those who were challenged to believe the experiment would be positive experienced less stress and food allergy flares.
Boom! Gut brain connection!
So you can perhaps see how stress (physical and mental) can disrupt your gut health, which in turn, disrupts your entire body health.
Since your gut health is related to practically every system in your body, if your gut is unhealthy, it may manifest in a variety of ways.
Common disrupted gut-brain related symptoms include: brain fog, skin breakouts, headaches, sugar cravings, IBS, bloating and constipation, low energy despite sleeping, insomnia, autoimmune disease, allergies, ADD, hypothyroidism.
Key point: If your brain (HPA Axis) is stressed…then your gut get stressed…and the gut impacts the rest of your total health in the body. As a result, our “issues show up in our tissues.”
Enter: German New Medicine
German New Medicine 101: What is It?
German New Medicine is a “gut-brain” or “mind-body” science that may compliment a health and life coaching or functional medicine approach to healing the “root causes” of both chronic and acute illness.
It is particularly effective for helping patients (who are doing “all the things” to be healthy) to bust through the ceilings they’ve bee hitting in their health and heal the issues trapped in their tissues.
The History of German New Medicine
The science was founded by Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer, a German medical doctor who began to incorporate the power of the mind and brain in healing from physical illness, based on his own recovery experience from cancer.
Dr. Hamer developed cancer shortly after his son was killed in a tragic accident and died in his arms—a significant emotional stressor.
It was during his treatment and recovery from cancer that he began to question the “root causes” that preceded his disease, and realized that disease in the body is often preceded by dis-ease (a significant emotional stressor(s) in our lives—not only for himself, but his patients as well.
German New Medicine: What it Is
The basic tenet of German New Medicine, or the “gut brain” theory, is that disease or imbalances in the body originate from a shock, sudden stressor, or traumatic event that either catches us completely by surprise and/or, lingers and is not addressed.
To cause a disease or health issue, the first significant emotional stressor (SES) must be Unexpected, Dramatic, Isolating and/or you have NO strategy to deal with the situation.
Significant Emotional Stressors Characteristics
- Unexpected (startling, shocking, surprising),
- Dramatic (highly emotional)
- Isolating (can’t talk about it)
- No strategy (don’t know how to proceed, not know what to do – feel trapped, choiceless)
The moment the unexpected conflict or stress occurs, the shock or stressor triggers a specific area of the brain causing a lesion (visible on a brain scan as a set of sharp concentric rings).
The brain cells that receive the conflict then send a biochemical signal to the
corresponding body cells, tissues or organs, causing inflammation, the growth of a tumor, a meltdown of tissue and cells, functional loss, and/or an immune response.
As a result: INFORMATION GETS TRAPPED IN THE BRAIN AND CORRESPONDING ORGAN LOCATION.
Note: This data is information to complement healthcare treatment; recognize it can be a powerful way to understand our greatest health challenges.
The Gut Brain Connection: Healing in Action (Case Studies).
When I began learning about the gut brain connection and German New Medicine it changed EVERYTHING about how I see health moving forward—both for myself and the patients I serve.
And it is a big piece to the puzzle in breaking free and sending over 10 chronic illnesses into remission.
From headaches, to skin breakouts, stress fractures, autoimmune disease, the common cold, menstrual irregularities, metabolism issues, hypothyroidism, bloating and constipation, and beyond, I’ve personally experienced amazing success and resolution of tons of “chronic” conditions through the German New Medicine framework that supplements, restrictive diets and even my beloved sauna (my favorite detox therapy) could not touch!
There are 100’s of symptoms and conflicts they are associated with, this is just an overview of how dis-ease in our life can show up as disease in the body.
Here are some every day examples of a German New Medicine perspective.
Exhibit A: “I’m Fat”
During 4th grade recess, when the Queen Bee told me I was fat and should lose weight, this was SHOCKING and STRESSFUL.
I instantly felt a lack of self worth (sad, hurt) and I could not fully digest, swallow or process the information (overwhelmed).
As a result, this unprocessed mini ‘trauma’ or stressful event went “silent” for years—the words “You’re not good enough” subconsciously etched in my brain.
Instead of working through the stressor (and speaking up to the Queen Bee), the stressor took root in my body, and soon manifested as an eating disorder and IBS (a self-worth and indigestible conflict, stuck in my body for years).
Exhibit B: Eye Troubles (the stye I got in my eye)
I really liked a boy, buttttt…the boy did not like me back.
Ironically I got a stye in my eye during a week that I was feeling particularly low. He canceled his date on us.
Voila– a red lump formed in my eye the next day.
Come to find out, according to German New Medicine, “eye symptoms” are often related to NOT feeling seen.
However, as soon as I recognized this, acknowledged this, and worked through my emotions of feeling rejected and lonely, magically the stye resolved on its own!
Chronic health issues often linger because stress gets trapped in our tissues and we have not resolved the root issues.
Exhibit C: Bacon Intolerant Becky
Becky developed a bacon intolerance–something she had eaten for years…what gives?
When she did the work to figure out what stressors were going on in her life preceding her bacon intolerance, she realized that she had been cooking bacon when she found out her husband had been cheating on her!
Game set match! Her body locked her issues into her tissues.
Exhibit D: The UTI Attack
“Dr. Lauryn, I haven’t had a UTI in years! What do I do?” — a patient messaged me one day.
Of course, my “go to’s” as a clinician are the UTI staple remedies: cranberry, D-Mannose, Uva Ursi, probiotics.
However, when we “did the work” — brainstormed what (if any) stressors were present prior to her getting a UTI, we realized the entire past week, she had been experiencing conflict with her husband, her sexual partner. Well, low and behold, UTI’s are related to “territorial” or “separation” conflicts, particularly with our significant other.
Boom. The Gut-Brain connection strikes again.
Exhibit E: A Random Nosebleed
Another client of mine, we’ll call her “Molly” began experiencing random nosebleeds at random times of the day, primarily in her right nostril.
“Dr. Lauryn, I don’t know what’s up? These nosebleeds are coming from out of nowhere.”
Given the nosebleed was on her right handed side — the right nostril (her dominant hand), from a German New Medicine, we knew this had something to do with a “paternal”, external or authority conflict (either her dad, a partner, a boss or authority figure, the external world and stress).
Come to find out, her brain was getting “re-triggered” thinking and processing the loss of her dad exactly a year ago, to the date, and subconsciously, her brain was “firing” a “stink conflict” (“this stinks”, it’s “lousy”), resulting in nosebleeds in her nose.
Exhibit F: Bloating Be Gone
Phoebe was bloated. All the time. And she was doing “all the things” (low FODMAP diet, enzymes, SIBO treatment, etc.).
She also was bloated in her life. And she was doing “all the things” (for everyone else).
She was living in cold, windy Chicago, attending college and studying a major she hated for her dad—finance. While her heart’s desire was to be a movie screenwriter in L.A.
Feeling very bloated. Until…she finally took the leap. Listened to her gut. Moved to L.A. to finish her last semester “abroad” and intern on set of Hollywood studios.
The bottom line? The body keeps the score. And the gut (the gateway to total health) and the brain are connected.
Often times, our internal issues and emotions can show up in our tissues. Chronic (persisting) illness and imbalances (despite doing “all the things”) can often be a sign that the body is still “processing” an emotion, stressor or trigger that it has not been able to shake yet at the subconscious level.
To fully grasp how this works, let’s review the 5 Core Principles of the Gut Brain Connection, then I’ll share 3 Steps to Rewire the Gut Brain Connection.
The 5 Core Principles of the Gut Brain Connection
There are 5 core principles of the gut-brain connection (inspired by the 5 Biological Laws of German New Medicine), explaining how this whole gut-brain thing works at a mental, emotional and physiological level.
Principle #1. “Dis-ease” (Stress) in Our Lives Shows Up as “Disease” (Stress) in the Body.
Every Significant Biological Special Program (SBS) originates from a SES (Significant Emotional Stressor) in the Unconscious Mind. The body is a mirror of what’s going on inside us.
Some examples of common stressors that may precede the onset of illness or a health issue include:
- Receiving news that was difficult to take in, digest or comprehend
- Feeling stuck in your life
- A loss or separation (job loss or income loss, relationship, move, loss of a loved one)
- Not feeling good enough or wanted
- An “attack” such as an offending remark
- Inability to conceive
- Any life-threatening situation, for example, in the course of an accident or during a medical emergency
- A hard boss or relationship difficulty
Principle #2. The Onset of Disease & Symptoms Happens in 3 Phases:
Phase 1: Fight or Flight (“Stress Mode”)
In the first phase (“conflict active”), the body enters in permanent “stress mode” as if it is running from a bear in the wild: metabolism is increased, the person has lots of energy, the need for food and sleep decreases (with regular waking up around 3 am), pulse rate increases, extremities get cold easily, and the body is using its reserves (energy and nutrients) especially if the stress period is prolonged.
When we go into “stress mode,” specific areas of the brain get activated and begin sending inflammatory signals to specific tissues, organs, microbes and cells, depending on the specific type of stress (example: “indigestible” conflict sends signals to the gut, manifesting as IBS, bloating, constipation). CT brain scans show concentric rings in certain areas of the brain (correlated with specific body organs and tissues where inflammation or disease may manifest for that person).
Phase 2: Symptoms Begin
In the second phase (“conflict resolution”), as the initial triggering stressor calms down (ie. The bear stops chasing you in the wild), you go into “parasympathetic” (less stressed out) mode and the body begins to take in everything that just happened. Interestingly, the development of the symptoms always matches the development of the conflict and the type of conflict. (ie. sudden conflict = sudden illness; building/long term conflict = disease builds over time).
This is where symptoms of all sorts unfold: tumors (cancer), cold and flu, chronic fatigue, skin breakouts, yeast infections, anxiety, hair loss, thyroid flare, food intolerance, constipation, fever, back pain, stress fractures. During this phase, you need to regain energy and you also need correct mental, emotional and nutritional support.
Phase 3: Resolution (or Chronic Illness)
You have one of two options after symptoms arise: recover or continue being sick. Chronic illness is often a byproduct of unresolved (tissue, organ, bacterial and cellular level) stress. Because, otherwise, the body has the perfect blueprint of health and healing already inside.
For example, break a bone and slap a cast on it, and in 6 to 8 weeks, your bone is “healed.” Your body naturally wants to heal and resolve the issues in your tissues unless…the stressors go unaddressed.
How to “resolve” issues?
Resolution of chronic symptoms and disease can occur through either:
(1.) External circumstances change (ie. You break up with the bad boyfriend);
(2.) Inner awareness—becoming conscious and recognizing the stressors that preceded your illness or symptoms (ie. Realizing the ‘indigestible conflict’ behind your gut issues are unresolved conflict with your dad), or,
(3.) Taking Action (making a decision to resolve the initial conflict directly).
Principle #3. The Mind, Body & Spirit Are Connected
Physical disease is derived from ‘dis-ease’ in the mind and spirit. Likewise, physical dis-ease (such as sleep deprivation or lack of exercise) also disrupts peace and causes distress in the mind and spirit.
There are 4 primary types of mental and spiritual conflicts that manifest in the body. These include:
Conflict 1: “Morsel Conflict”
A morsel is a survival lifeline or sustenance, such as food, relationships, job and money, family connection, health in body. Digestion problems and eating disorders are often “morsel conflicts.”
- Not being able to digest a morsel (ex. Too much to handle, losing a job, parents’ divorce, Hearing that your best friend is sleeping with your partner. It may be something you cannot digest)/ morsel (conflict) gets stuck in the body
- Inability to catch a morsel for ‘survival’ (ex. relationship difficulties—can’t make it work, can’t make enough money)
- Inability to get rid or eliminate a morsel (ex. bad relationship; nagging parent, feeling stuck in a rut/school/season of life)
Conflict 2: Attack or Fear of Being Attacked Conflict
Exactly what it sounds like—feeling like others or the world is working against you.
- Knife in the back (ex. friend backstabbing you/gossiping about you, rejection)
- Being rejected or fear of being rejected. (ex. Acne: Why do teenagers develop acne? They are in the process of developing their identity and may fear being rejected or judged by their appearance, as a result it affects their skin—trying to protect them).
- Verbal abuse (ex. being cut down by others, such as a parent or teacher or coach or peers)
- Fear of Being Disabled/Injured, Polluted or Soiled (ex. losing job/status on social media; threatened; losing everything you’ve worked for such as during the pandemic)
- Nest/Attack Conflict (fear being attacked for not being a good mom; fear of being attacked for being a ‘fraud’ or imposter syndrome)
Conflict 3: Self Devaluation / Self Esteem Conflict
The conflict is experienced as a byproduct of humiliation (accusations, scoldings, derogatory remarks), abuse (physical, sexual, verbal), failure (at work, at school, in sports, in a relationship, as a parent or partner), a poor performance (intellectual, artistic, athletic), or feelings of shame and guilt.
- “Not good enough” (ex. Comparing yourself to others)
- Feeling left out (ex. Not being invited to the party)
- Poor boundaries (ex. Others walking over us; don’t value ourselves / being push overs)
Conflict 4: Territory & Separation
This conflict involves anything that metaphorically represents your territory: Communication, social interactions, sexual issues with a partner or self (infertility), safety issues, competition, position in community or family, Boundaries, Living environment, etc.
- Struggling w/ boundaries (ex. Not using your voice)
- Territorial threat/survival, anger or rivalry (ex. Conflict with a boss/colleague, friend, etc.)
- Loss/change in business
- Family division & Separation (ex. Division with a business partner, relationship, friend, family; kids leaving “the nest”)
- Sexual frustration (ex. feeling violated or partner does not meeting needs)
- Loneliness/lack of connectedness
- Environmental threat (ex. mold/toxins in environment; threatened)
- Motor Issues (ex. being trapped in a city or job you hate; not able to move; disability)
Principle #4. Gut Bacteria (Microbes) Drive Disease & Healing
Gut bacteria are not active when the body is healthy. They are balanced and at peace. However, after fight or flight mode, this is when gut microbes go to work to heal (which is why gut issues and stress go hand in hand as well). Microbes don’t cause diseases, instead they play a crucial role during the healing phase. After, the moment any stress or conflict is “resolved” (fight or flight is over), our fungi, bacteria and viruses GO TO WORK. They become active and begin to assist the healing process. (Gut “problems”, like SIBO, candida, dysbiosis, are often signs that the body is trying to heal and can’t!!!)
Principle #5: Disease & Symptoms Are a Way Your Body is Speaking to You (“Please Listen, I Want to Help You”)
Our bodies want to work for us, not against us. Any disease or symptoms we experience are opportunities to get curious into what our body is trying to tell us (ie. What emotional triggers or stressful events have happened lately?). Once resolved, the body is better able to heal!
How to Rewire the Gut Brain Connection & Begin Healing: 3 Steps
Healing the gut-brain connection is three-fold process.
Rewire the Brain Step #1: Give the Body the “Right Tools” Recognize the Stressor
In order to do the “deep work” for gut-brain rewiring, first your body needs to have the “right tools” for feeling good.
Physical Health:Physical Tools
- Nutrients, minerals & balanced eating
- Supportive supplements
- Daily movement
- Human connection
Rewire the Brain Step #2: Identify the Stressors or Conflicts in Your “Timeline”
I like to do a “timeline” exercise with my patients to figure out (a.) when did the symptoms or disease onset? And (b.) what was happening in your life right before and leading up to the symptoms or disease? Job loss? Relationship conflict? Receiving news that was “difficult to digest”? etc.
After doing a little bit of reflecting, then research the meanings of your health challenges. Good ol’ Dr. Google can help (check out the learninggnm.com for all things German New Medicine). Additionally, The Psychic Roots of Disease is a great book.
For example, you may discover that osteoporosis is related to a self-devaluation conflict (after years of being “at war” with yourself eating away at your bones). Or, acne breakouts are linked to an attack or “feeling soiled”-conflict– such as verbal attacks, being stabbed in the back, insulted, being criticized or criticizing yourself.
Rewire the Brain Step #3: Seek Resolution
Resolution depends on the conflict you identify. While awareness of the conflict and timeline is HUGE, you can also directly work through the negative emotions, memories and beliefs around the conflict to release it.
Two of my favorite “exercises” to do this include:
Exercise 1: Forgiveness
Literally, LET GO and release the grip of emotions in your body (note: fear, anger, sadness, shame, guilt, hurt are the main emotions that get trapped with stress). Interestingly, stress and emotions typically involve someone else – hurt over rejection…stress over not being good enough at work…relationship conflict…other people are involved in 90-99% of stress in our lives to some degree.
Write a letter to the other parties involved in the conflict – big or small … the doctor who didn’t hear you … the girl who called you fat … the dad who always cut you down. You don’t have to give them the letter.
Forgiveness releases the bondage of negative emotions.
For example, I have a client who lost 20 “stubborn” pounds, his acne went away, and energy skyrocketed when he decided to forgive his best friend for cutting him down and always trying to one-up him.
Exercise 2: Breath Prayers
Simply pray up your worries and stresses over anything—release them. I keep a prayer journal of bulleted prayers and thought in my phone notes app and it’s so cool to look back on them years later!
Research shows that prayer shows has similar benefits to meditation: It can calm your nervous system and subdue negative emotions, shutting down your fight or flight response; and it also helps you “work through” stress (versus stress being locked in your body).