Retrain Your Brain, Fix Your Gut

The Gut-Brain Connection with Researcher Ashok Gupta

Sometimes the limbic brain can become stuck in a negative cycle conditioned by trauma or stress. When this happens, mysterious conditions like chronic illness and gut imbalances can take hold in the body. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to, bloating, headaches, and an inability to relax, but also more severe symptoms like chronic fatigue, IBS, inflammation, or chronic pain. To break the cycle and restore homeostasis, extended meditation is highly recommended. As well, an anti-inflammatory diet, restorative sleep, and exercise can help. Guided protocols and tools are available for more severe circumstances.

Episode Intro

Dr. Michael Ruscio, DC: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Dr. Ruscio Radio. This is Dr. Ruscio and today I’m here with Ashok Gupta. We’re going to be talking about the gut-brain connection, which is a conversation that I’ve been wanting to have for a while. Very excited to have you here, Ashok, and welcome to the show.

Ashok Gupta: Yes, thank you for having me on. Really appreciate it.

[Continue reading below]

Dr. R’s Fast Facts Summary

Who needs to put in the additional time and effort into brain-based therapies?

  • Those who seem to obsess over their health or illness to the point where they cannot take their mind off of it or relax

Chronic conditions and the limbic system

  • Many conditions seem to start off in the limbic system of the brain when people are:
    • Overworked
    • Emotionally stressed
    • Have experienced trauma
  • The brain shifts from normal homeostasis to over-defensive response
  • Body and brain get stuck in hyper defense mode which results in over-triggering of nervous and immune system
    • Body cares more about your survival than your well being
  • A history of early life physical or emotional trauma can skew resting nervous system


  • Responsible for threat response, emotional response, fear and anger

Neurons that fire together, wire together

  • Feelings of depression and anxiety can cause an inflammatory response
  • Stress often manifests as gut discomfort or headaches/migraines etc.


  • Symptoms of chronic conditions are expressed in many different ways which makes them difficult to test for and to diagnose

ME/CFS – otherwise known as chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Immune reactivity
  • High cytokine levels


  • Meditation for at least 20 min per day can have a direct effect on inflammatory biomarkers for gut issues like IBS and IBD
    • Try deep breathing for a few minutes before beginning meditation
  • Resist the urge to avoid feeling emotions and using technology as a distraction throughout your day

MEND protocol

  • See infographic image below in the transcript

Brain Retraining: Gupta Programme

  • Gupta program is for patients diagnosed with ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, chemical sensitivities, IBS, burn out, and more
  • Starts with the the 3 R’s
    • Retraining the brain – out of the chronic response that it got stuck in unconsciously
    • Relaxing the nervous system – involves deep and long meditations twice a day, as well as a relaxation diet or an anti-inflammatory diet, mindfulness, getting sleep rhythms correct
    • Re-engaging with joy – directing our brain’s resources to something that brings joy
  • Main goal is to train the amygdala and the insula out of this hypervigilance on the body and those symptoms
    • A unique 7-step process by which the brain is trained over and over again to reprogram unconscious thoughts and reactions to pain, discomfort, illness, etc.


  • 80%-100% recovery within one year when treating people for ME/CFS and fibromyalgia with this approach
  • Small study with Mayo clinic – compared to the standard protocol, people with fibromyalgia seem to make better improvements and have more energy than the control
  • Additional, large-scale studies are needed

Where to learn more

Retrain Your Brain, Fix Your Gut - DrR Feature AGupta
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In this episode…
Episode Intro … 00:00:40
The Gut-Brain Connection … 00:06:52
Thresholds of Stress … 00:09:41
The Amygdala and Responses to Stress … 00:13:47
Symptoms of Brain Imbalance … 00:18:13
Chronically Ill vs. the Worried Well … 00:25:05
The Power of Meditation … 00:34:11
Keeping Your Body in Homeostasis … 00:40:58
Brain Retraining: Gupta Programme … 00:44:56
The MEND Protocol … 00:49:16
Research on Brain Retraining … 00:56:17
Episode Wrap-Up …00:58:31

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