Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The POTS Treament Center - Dallas, TX

The goal of POTS Treatment Center located in Dallas, Texas aims to get to the root of many conditions by controlling the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).  It used to be thought that once the Autonomic Nervous System became dysfunctional there were no known treatments of reversing this problem.  Fortunately, we now know that we can retrain the Autonomic Nervous Sytem with advanced technology.

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is the part of the peripheral nervous system that controls the body’s visceral functions, including the action of the heart, movement of the gastrointestinal tract, and secretion by different glands, among many other vital activities.  The ANS functions in an involuntary, reflexive manner.  For example, we do not think about when blood vessels change size or when our heart beats faster.  However, it is possible to be trained to control some functions of the ANS such as heart rate or blood pressure.  The ANS is composed of both the Parasympathetic (PNS) and the Sympathetic Nervous Systems (SNS).  Most of the time, we are in “rest and digest” mode thanks to the Parasympathetic Nervous System.  In times of emergencies or in the presence of danger, our Sympathetic Nervous System triggers the  “flight-or-response” in hopes of survival.  For POTS patients, the Sympathetic Nervous System is always active, causing many debilitating symptoms.  The goal of biofeedback training at the POTS Treatment Center is to learn how to disengage the SNS, and to bring our bodies back into homeostasis through the PNS.  The training involves overcoming this over-stressed system by changing the brain waves and allowing the body and mind to relax, reconnect and relearn what is an appropriate response to stress. 

When the SNS is active, it causes symptoms throughout the body.  For example, constant adrenaline release causes adrenal fatigue and can lead to debilitating and chronic fatigue.  The SNS dilates pupils, causing light sensitivity and blurry vision.  Tear glands are not properly stimulated causing dry eyes, and mucus production is reduced in the oral and nasal mucosa.  Weak stimulation of salivary flow can create gluten intolerance because the enzymes (amylase) found in the saliva are not present to break down gluten (starch) before it reaches the stomach.  Arterioles are constricted to accelerate heart rate, and causes poor blood flow in peripherals, and more blood flow to the heart and brain causing migraines and brain fog.  Bronchi in the lungs are dilated, which may lead to asthma attacks.  Stomach and intestinal mobility and secretion are inhibited causing indigestion and other stomach issues.  Kidneys decrease urine secretion, and the bladder does not properly contract.  Sex drive and organs are also affected by stress and the lack of proper blood flow.  The flight-or-flight response is great if it’s necessary, but for POTS patients, every stimulation or stress is processed like it’s a life or death situation.  The parasympathetic nervous system allows for homeostasis in the body, and releases feel good endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine in the brain changing the body’s chemistry to feel better, unlike the sympathetic nervous system.

The POTS Treatment Center in Dallas uses biofeedback, heart rate variability, and other health and wellness procedures to relax the body and mind back into homeostasis.  The body can naturally heal itself if it is relieved of its stressors, and given the proper nutrition and support we need.


Biofeedback consists of a group of therapeutic procedures that use electronic instruments to measure, process and then “feed back” data of an individual’s neuromuscular and autonomic activity in real time.  Biofeedback is like a mirror for patients to become aware of their psychophysiological processes such as muscles tension, skin surface temperature, brain wave activity, galvanic skin response, blood pressure, blood flow, and heart rate.  Much like you may use a mirror to “fix up” your hair or face, this is a mirror to “fix up” the ANS.  To control and regulate these processes, diaphragmatic breathing is used for successful biofeedback treatment.  Diaphragmatic breathing is vital for blood oxygenation and the stimulation of the lymphatic system.  Once an individual can voluntarily control their breath, their mind and body can relax at any time and place, engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, thus relieving the many debilitating symptoms of dysautonomia. 

Currently, the POTS Treatment Center uses the following peripheral biofeedback treatments: 

1.     Thermal Biofeedback: 
The SNS controls the smooth muscles in the blood vessels walls and therefore the diameter of the blood vessels. When epinephrine and norepinephrine are secreted from the brain to induce the sympathetic nervous system, the smooth muscle is constricted. As a result, this constriction of the peripheral blood vessels or arterioles the blood is forced back to the heart, which increases heart rate. The blood is also sent to the head causing the face to feel hot and the hands to get cold. When a person relaxes, the PNS takes over which causes vasodilation. The SNS activity decreases, the muscle relaxes and blood vessels dilate. This brings the body back to normal. Blood flows freely to the peripheral blood vessels and the hands feel warm again, while heart rate and blood pressure decrease allowing the body to return to homeostasis.

2.     Electroymyographic (EMG) Biofeedback:
EMG muscle scanning is a diagnostic tool to locate the areas of excessive or asymmetrical muscle activity throughout the periphery of the body.  Muscle tension and relaxation can be measure and feedback by the EMG. Sensors placed on the skin over a muscle will detect electrical activity of the muscle.  The patient can be trained to lower muscle activity to normal or near normal levels.

3.     Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) Biofeedback:
GSR measures the adrenaline response in the body through the changes in the sweat gland activity on the surface of an individual’s palm or hand. The GSR sensor is usually wrapped around a finger on the surface of the skin. Relaxed hands are dry and therefore there is no moisture to conduct electricity. Measurements are used to see how relaxed a patient is. If the sympathetic response is still engaged, patients will be anxious and the sweat glands will produce moisture. If the parasympathetic nervous system is kicked back on, patients will be relaxed and their hands will be too dry to conduct electricity.

The goal of the biofeedback program is to help patients retrain their inappropriate physiological processes caused by the overactive sympathetic nervous system in the presence of unchangeable, daily stress.

Heart Rate Variability 

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a measurement of naturally occurring, beat-to-beat changes in heart rate.  System-oriented models propose the HRV is an important indicator of both physiological resiliency and behavioral flexibility, reflecting the individual’s capacity to adapt effectively to stress caused by a medical condition or environmental demands.  HRV is a powerful, objective and noninvasive tool to explore the dynamic interactions between an individual’s processes.  POTS patients tend to have erratic heart rates, and through breathing techniques and visualization the brain can reset the heart rate to a smoother and more effective pattern and rate.  This alleviates the orthostatic intolerance and tachycardia.  

Health and Wellness

Heath and Wellness Procedures modify the cognitive and social factors identified as important to the patient’s physiological functioning, disease status, and overall health and well-being.  The POTS treatment center addresses anxiety, depression, and other issues associated with chronic disease or significant trauma through counseling and other relaxation techniques.  Cognitive and behavioral approaches for initiation of an appropriate physician-prescribed diet and exercise regimen are also included in their approach.  Once the body starts to regain homeostasis, exercise intolerance is alleviated and new exercise regimes can be introduced.

All of these treatments have a cumulative effect, and patients will see progress with practice over time.  Success is dependent on the patients engagement and dedication to the treatment. 

The POTS Treatment Center has effectively treated the following conditions with their approach:

Anxiety, Depressions
Generalized Pain
Agoraphobia – with and without panic attacks
Simple Phobia

Back/Neck Problems:
Muscle Spasms
Low Back Pain Syndrome

Muscle Contraction/Tension

Skin Disorders:

Respiratory Disorders:
Disorders of Respiratory Distress  - Muscle

Essential Hypertension
Raynaud’s Disease
POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)

Gastrointestinal Disorders:
Duodenal Ulcer (without obstruction)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Peptic Ulcer
Stomach Ulcer (without obstruction)

Muscle Disorders:
Parkinson’s Disease
Spasmodic Torticollis
Tourette’s Disease (Motor-Verbal tic)
Urinary Incontinence (Sphincter Muscle Re-education)

Other disorders:
Pain, psychogenic
Trigeminal Neuralgia
Attention Deficit Disorder
Weight problems (stress related)

Temporomandibular Joint syndrome
Myofacial pain

I am confident this holistic, non-invasive and progressive treatment will relieve many (if not all) of my symptoms!  While I came to the center because of my POTS, this treatment may cure the other ailments of my condition (ME/CFS).  It will not be an instantaneous fix, but I know that with time and practice my sister and I will only continue to get better.

We can’t wait to add our story to the list of POTS Treatment Center Testimonals!  It is amazing how many people they've cured world-wide.

Thank you for your support.  Without the kind and generous donations, prayers, and support of so many, we would not be able to receive this life-changing treatment. I am thankful for this opportunity to share my story with you all. 

Watch my video about the treatment here: 

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Hope is the most fearless person I know. Growing up as her older sister, her impuslive, spontaneous and loud energetic ways were nearly impossible to control but undeniably the most fun to have around and to get to know. My brother, Billy and I were closer in age and it usually took both of our efforts to keep her from sticking fruit snacks in the microwave or running outside butt-naked. She has always had a free spirit. Hope wears her heart on her sleeve, and she lives every moment with the most contagious passion. Watching her grow into a young adult has been an incredible experience.

Unfortunately, this past winter, my younger sister Hope was diagnosed with POTS, the same type of dysautonomia or, disruption of the autonomic nervous system that I have.  She is unable to attend school due to her illness and is missing her friends, soccer, and all of the normal 8th grade activities. We’re also concerned that it will continue to get worse as it did with me. If we get her treatment as soon as possible, she has a much better chance of making a full recovery from her condition.

There is not cure for POTS, but there is a one facility in the US that offers a unique treatment to help reduce the symptoms. The POTS Treatment Center in Dallas, Texas is the only medical center that offers an intense clinic of combined treatments including biofeedback, exercise and nutrition, treatment of the autonomic nervous system, physiological stress management, and regulation of the heart rate.

While a number of specialists have been treating me over the last 3 years, most of my relief seems to come from the alternative therapies such as acupuncture and massage. These therapies are not covered by insurance. Between the therapies, supplements, medications, and hospitals visits, the medical bills seem to be growing.

The clinic at the POTS Treatment Center is $5,000 per patient and is not covered by insurance. For both of us to attend the clinic plus travel, the costs are well over $10,000. The clinic has tentatively scheduled 2 weeks in May for my sister and I to go together if we are able to raise the money.

The POTS Treatment Center has proven to help so many people like us. There are many testimonials of young women just like me who went in requiring a wheelchair and came out after 2 weeks walking, without an aid! I think this treatment will help both me and Hope so that we can begin our lives again.

If you’d like to see some of the amazing testimonials from patients who attended this clinic, you can watch these on their website. I am hoping that in May you’ll see me and Hope on that list of testimonials!

Any donation amount will help. Thank you for your support.