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The Role of the Amygdala in Fear and Anxiety

Imagine you’re lying alone in bed when something hairy crawls across your arm. You immediately think SPIDER! and trigger your fear response. Your heart rate goes up, you jump out of bed and turn on the light to find out what just crawled over you. 
This fear response was triggered by intricate communication pathways between your senses (touch/feeling in this case), your nervous system, and your hormonal system. These communication pathways are the same pathways that go haywire when we are diagnosed with anxiety spectrum disorders like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

The Role of the Amygdala in Fear and Anxiety

So what exactly is going on? Well, this is where your limbic system comes in. The limbic system is made up of several areas in the brain whose main purpose is to keep us safe and alive.  Within the limbic system, you’ll find the amygdala, which is an almond-shaped set of neurons located in the temporal lobes near your temples.
The amygdala’s job is to process emotions such as anger, fear, and sadness. It also helps to store memories of events and the emotions associated with them. This helps us to be able to recognize similar events that may arise in the future, and to know how to respond appropriately.
Here’s how it works: When we see or feel something scary, like a spider, the amygdala processes that information. Once it analyzes this information, it labels the situation as potentially dangerous and coordinates our hormonal responses. For example, it causes other areas of the brain to stimulate the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline as well as our involuntary body responses like heart rate, breathing and digestion. The purpose of all of this coordination is to keep us safe and alive. You definitely would want that response if a tiger were chasing you!
The amygdala collects information from our other senses as well, so this sequence of events would also take place if we heard, smelled, or tasted something that our brains perceived as scary or dangerous.

The Difference Between Fear and Anxiety?

Before we get into our discussion on the amygdala and anxiety, I think it’s important to differentiate between Fear and Anxiety. 
Fear is a negative emotion that is short-lived and based in the PRESENT. In other words, there is a specific threat happening right here, right now, that is directly causing this emotion. Fear helps us to escape the threat, like the spider in our bed, and remain safe. 
Anxiety, on the other hand, is a negative emotion that has a longer duration and is based in the FUTURE. It typically happens as a result of uncertainty and it helps us to approach life defensively and effectively analyze risk. Anxiety is more like not being able to sleep soundly because you were wondering if there was another spider lurking in your bed.
If you are human, you undoubtedly will feel fear and anxiety at some point in your life. Fear and anxiety help to shape our behaviors and decisions so that we can survive. Experiencing fear and/or anxiety does not mean you have an anxiety spectrum disorder. It’s only when fear, anxiety, or both become excessive or triggered inappropriately, that we develop anxiety spectrum disorders. 

Amygdala Hyperactivity and Anxiety

Research has shown that people with various anxiety spectrum disorders tend to have amygdalas that are hyperactive.1 In other words, when they come into contact with something that their brains perceive as harmful, the amygdala reacts more than it does in the average person and leads to more of what we recognize as an anxiety response. Basically, the amygdala triggers an ongoing fight or flight response which can lead to ongoing anxiety. Until we can learn to turn off that response, anxiety can wreak havoc on our life.

Using Frequency-Specific Microcurrent to Reset the Amygdala in Anxiety Spectrum Disorders

Thankfully, there is help for anxiety disorders! One of my favorite modalities for balancing anxiety is using Frequency Specific Microcurrent or FSM.
FSM is a treatment modality that can be used to address anxiety spectrum disorders as well as so many other issues. I love using FSM daily for my family, pets and my clients.
FSM was developed in the 1920s and is a type of micro stimulation, similar to a Tens unit. The unique thing about FSM is that you use specific frequencies to address specific issues. When you match up the specific frequency for original trauma with the specific frequency for the organ, such as the thyroid, you can help to balance out the trauma that is being stored in the organ and therefore help to restore healthy function. A typical Tens unit has a very small range of frequencies whereas FSM has thousands of potential combinations of frequencies to use to help bring balance back into the body. FSM is being used by many professional sports teams to help balance out traumas and injuries on the field. Studies have shown that FSM helps to heal injuries 500x faster. It’s absolutely amazing!
Back in 2008, when I was recovering from surgery to remove a huge ovarian cancer tumor, I used frequency-specific microcurrent as soon as I was released from the recovery room. True to its word, I was hiking in 10 days and back to work in 4 weeks. I saw firsthand that FSM dis help me to heal 500 times faster! I’ve also used this modality to help athletes erase concussions and injuries to get back on track for peak performance. And, of course, I’ve used it to address anxiety spectrum disorders.
When using FSM as a part of a comprehensive plan to address anxiety spectrum disorders, I like to find out what is at the root and driving the anxiety. This may include looking into the sources of physical or emotional trauma, assessing nutritional deficiencies, opening detoxification pathways, as well as evaluating for parasites. Once I know what is fueling the anxiety, we can address the underlying cause(s) and use FSM to help the body to get back on track. 
By feeding corrective frequencies to the body and brain, we are able to retrain the brain and help people release trauma that has been stored for years! This works beautifully to help them get out of the anxiety loop, calm their hyperactive amygdalas, and successfully rewire their brains. As a result, they have less anxiety and improved quality of life.
When using FSM, I always start with a concussion protocol. This is because we’ve all experienced repeated traumas, physical and/or emotional, that may contribute to concussion symptoms. After making sure we resolve any emotional trauma that may be present, we can see what symptoms remain and address them in a more calculated way. 
The FSM device has two channels—channel A and channel B. Channel A is where we set the frequency of the problem and channel B is where we set the healthy frequency of the tissue, organ, or gland. Basically we can mix and match the frequencies to help balance out the problem  and assist the body back to health.
 As an example, I may use the FSM to address an anxiety state by using code 970 in channel A and 347 in channel B. This frequency pair is designed to relax the emotional stress on the amygdala or the fight or flight reaction. Anxiety melts away when I run these frequencies and the nervous system can finally relax.
Because we can combine the condition with the organ/gland and send highly specific frequencies to the body, the possibilities for individualized care are limitless. 

Is Frequency Specific Microcurrent Safe?

The great thing about frequency-specific microcurrent is that it is very safe. As far as side effects are concerned, there aren’t any. In fact, if your body can’t use a frequency that you’re using, nothing happens. Think of FSM as a homeopathic remedy. If it’s the wrong remedy then nothing happens. If it’s the right remedy (or frequency) then the healing can begin! I even use FSM on my pets and they respond extremely well and they love it too!
All that to say…
The research shows that the amygdala tends to be hyperactive in anxiety spectrum disorders and by addressing the underlying cause of the anxiety with FSM, we can retrain the brain, free the individual from trauma that has been stored for years, and calm their hyperactive amygdalas, so that they can feel peace and happiness again.
If you are experiencing anxiety and would like to chat with me to see how we can work together to address your anxiety, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

  1. Etkin A, Wager TD. Functional neuroimaging of anxiety: a meta-analysis of emotional processing in PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobia. Am J Psychiatry. 2007;164(10):1476–1488. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2007.07030504

 

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