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Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS)

The DNRS Program by Annie Hopper

DNRS by Annie Hopper

What is DNRS according to the creators?

You may have heard about Annie Hopper. She is the woman behind the recovery program DNRS. From their website:

“The Dynamic Neural Retraining System™ is a step-by- step method focused on regulating a maladapted stress response that is associated with symptoms of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Depression, Chronic Pain, Electric Hypersensitivity Syndrome, Anxiety, Food Sensitivities, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Mold Toxicity and more.”

Furthermore, DNRS claims to treat the following conditions:

  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Allergies (pollen, food, perfume, chemical, environmental)
  • Anxiety
  • Arrhythmia
  • Asthma
  • Bacterial overgrowth
  • Body temperature regulation issues (hot or cold)
  • Central Sensitization
  • Chronic Post COVID-19 syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME)
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS or Mold Illness)
  • Constipation / Diarrhea
  • Chronic Pain
  • Cognitive Function – memory or brain fog
  • Depression
  • Dysautonomia
  • Eating disorders
  • Electric Hypersensitivity Syndrome
  • Environmental Illness (EI)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Gulf War Syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Lack of sex drive
  • Latent infections
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Lyme Disease
  • Mast Cell Activation (MCAS)
  • Mold Illness
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Pain (chronic)
  • Panic Attacks
  • Poor circulation
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
  • Sensitivity to smell, taste, light, sound, touch
  • Skin Conditions – eczema, rash, hives
  • SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
  • Tinnitus
  • Thyroid Disorders
  • Vulvodynia

So, according to the DNRS site these very different conditions are all treated by following the steps on their DVD.

So, how much does it cost?

So, what about the price? DNRS costs between 249.95 – 315.95 USD. As some of us have a business and marketing background, we like how it is 249.95 USD and not simply 250 USD. Gotta make those numbers look cheap, right!?

In addition to the basic program, they offer a number of “upgrades” and premium packages. You can buy individual support, live sessions, “deeper dive” into the program and even more. You can even buy a subscription to have access to even bigger DNRS forums!

DNRS could, potentially, be a very expensive experience. It seems there is no end to their upselling options.

DNRS for ME/CFS

Spotted ME/CFS in that massive list of illnesses? We put it in bold for you along with “Chronic Post COVID-syndrome”.

Yeah, you read that right. “Chronic Post COVID-syndrome”.

While the rest of the world is still connecting Long Covid and ME/CFS and beginning the research, this program already has the treatment ready! Thank god, right?

So, what is DNRS really?

Again, a simple question but not so easy to find out as a patient. When looking at Google statistics, there are lots of google searches for “Is DNRS a scam?”, “DNRS scam” and “DNRS fraud?”. Similar to the others programs (such as The Lightning Process) you will not really know what it is until you buy it.

DNRS program is a series of videos. In short, the program consists of these elements:

  • Movements/dance and a chant.
  • “As if” affirmations (you tell yourself how good you feel and think about happy memories).
    • You are told that you will not get better unless you maintain these positive affirmations about well-being. They must be said at all times and to everyone (Lightning Process vibes?).
  • The program requires full belief in the theory behind the affirmations.
  • Paid one-on-one lessons with DNRS-people (optional – not part of the basic program).

The program states it takes 14 hours to complete the training, with 4 days suggested for this, followed by regular practice. It can be done online or by DVD. The patient is expected to commit to 6 months of practice, at a minimum of one hour per day 1

The facts

  • DNRS was not developed by a medical professional or scientist. 2
  • No clinical trials have been conducted to show the effectiveness or potential risks of DNRS, and there is no evidence that the brain is “rewired” or “retrained” or that neural networks within the brain are altered by the treatment.3
  • Evidence consists of an unpublished presentation, which has not been peer reviewed. According to the presentation, brain imaging or brain function tests were not used to assess neuroplasticity after the DNRS course, and all results were based on patient questionnaires. 4
  • Various scientific claims on the website about the long term effects of trauma and about how the program physically alters the brain do not have scientific references, including the claim that the program will help you create “new, healthy neural pathways”. 5

Patients explain their experiences with DNRS

As we know, it can be really difficult to find information about these courses online. As mentioned on the page about The Lightning Process, private companies are able to control what is said about them (at least on their own site and social media).

Therefore, you will have to look a bit further if you want to read something else other than their own sales pitch, testimonials or paid endorsement. For example, here is a blog explaining and rating DNRS. The program gets 1 of 5 stars from an unhappy customer.

Also, here is an honest review of DNRS which has some really interesting points. As we mentioned before, a fundamental part of these programs is to make people claim they are cured. So, lets see some excerpts from the blog describing this strategy.

The problem

“Problem: The DNRS participant is instructed to lie.

– the DNRS program requires always speaking as if already recovered.

– it is emphasized that the program will not work unless the participant always speaks as if already recovered.

– coaching is provided to counsel the participant to speak as if already recovered to friends, family, doctors, and oneself.”

We already know this strategy, right? We also mentioned it in our page about The Lightning Process. The programs always stresses how important it is that you, as a patient, must only speak positively about your health.

Now, the blog digs further into this issue.

Thought experiment

“A participant has been persuaded that she must always say that she is recovered. She is to deny any symptoms; she believes that if she fails to deny symptoms, she will never get better. She is to deny symptoms to her mother, to her doctor, to herself.

You ask the participant if she has any symptoms. She says she does not. She further volunteers that she is recovered.

Can you believe her?

We agree that this is a huge issue and this is the very reason why these programs have been able to exist for so long. A healthy person might think this is silly, but patients who have been ill for years or decades are desperate to get well. Some will force themselves to believe in these things at least for a while.

As mentioned, these programs thrive on their testimonials. It is the most broadcasted part of their marketing. How many times have you seen a patient go: “oh, these people are just like me… surely, this program must work then?”.

DNRS on Youtube

The testimonials for DNRS are the same as for the other programs. Again, the stories are purely anecdotal and viewers have no clue if those people are real or if they are just acting. And if they are real, it is only logical that they will say they are cured considering they are repeatedly told that they must do so. There are only a few videos of them talking about the actual program. No presentations of RCT-studies to be found. Only random people talking about how they supposedly were cured from an incredible list of different illnesses.

Of course the patient will say whatever DNRS want them to say. And if they don’t, the DNRS can just use the next one (and this is of course provided that DNRS uses testimonials from real people). This is a fact for anyone using unregulated testimonials – they simply add zero scientific evidence.

Controlled media

In addition, the DNRS-videos often have very few and only positive comments. What does that mean? It means that they moderate their Youtube channel heavily (like the other programs).

The comments are turned off in their most viewed videos. Why? You only do this if your content is controversial or if you receive a lot of criticism.

Lastly, if you look up the people who have written the positive comments, they are often from people who credit themselves as a “health coach” which often means that they have other motives than just praising the program.

Key point is, like always, that testimonials directly from a private company are generally worth nothing. This is true for any company using testimonials – you only see what the company wants you to.

DNRS and Long-COVID

Like the other programs, DNRS have now turned their attention to Long Covid patients. As seen in the list of illnesses that DNRS supposedly treats, they now sell their course to Long Covid-patients too. Also, the DNRS-people have begun uploading videos titled “Long Covid recovery!”.

This is, again, a problematic claim because there is no standard treatment for Long Covid yet.

What professionals say about DNRS

  • “One of the worst offenders is a product called Dynamic Neural Retraining (which results in an unfortunate acronym). The website for this product has all the red flags of snake oil. There is a page, for example, for testimonials but none for published research supporting their claims.” – Steven Novella, MD 6
  • “Until there is rigorous research demonstrating specific and significant advantages for a particular “brain training” program, I would not believe the hype.” – Steven Novella, MD 7

Conclusion

To sum it up, DNRS claim to treat an enormous list of illnesses but they do not have scientific proof to back it up. Instead, their online marketing mostly consists of testimonials and anecdotal stories of success.

Hopefully, you will now have a better understanding of DNRS



For a few general tips about ME/CFS programs, see the post about what to look out for.

To search for discussions about The Lightning Process and the other dubious programs go to the ME/CFS sub on Reddit

References

  1. https://me-pedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Neural_Retraining_System
  2. https://me-pedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Neural_Retraining_System
  3. https://me-pedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Neural_Retraining_System
  4. https://me-pedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Neural_Retraining_System
  5. https://me-pedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_Neural_Retraining_System
  6. https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/dynamic-neural-retraining/
  7. https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/dynamic-neural-retraining/

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