The Sensitivity Gene: How A Perceived Weakness Becomes A Strength

Have you ever said to yourself, “Ugh, I’m never drinking again!” and then a day or two later you’re drinking again.


Have you wanted to cut back on sugar, but find it hard to stick to?

Or maybe you’ve turned to other vices – cigarettes, pot, or behaviors like compulsive exercise or work to run away from and numb out the uncomfortable feelings.

It doesn’t matter what the vice or behavior is, or where you are on the spectrum – mild, moderate or severe – there are resources available to help you regulate your anxious mind and bring your body back into homeostasis so you can feel better.

This week I shared my very personal and vulnerable story about alcohol and anxiety with the ladies on the HOME podcast. Many of you know I’m passionate about studying and sharing the cutting-edge research in neuroscience, brain chemistry, functional nutrition, emotional resilience, mindfulness and habit change. But a lot of people didn’t know WHY I’m so interested in this work.

I shared it all here.

The feedback and response to this podcast was incredible. So many women have written emails and posted comments to Laura McKowen, Holly Whitaker (the co-hosts of the HOME podcast) and myself to let us know how much this Craving Brain research deeply resonates with them. We’ve heard from nurses, occupational therapists, yoga teachers, psychotherapists, nutritionists and so many others (outside the healthcare profession as well) who identified with my personal story.

One piece in the interview that people really seemed to gravitate toward is the Orchid/Sensitivity Gene theory. I believe the Orchid Gene along with the ACE (adverse childhood experience) study is a game changer. There is so much promising research surrounding neuroplasticity (rewiring the brain) and the Orchid Gene is front and center in that research.

I wrote a blog post about the Orchid Gene is 2014 after I read Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s book The Last Best Cure. Donna says:

“I want people to know that even if they are sensitive and feeling, and came through a lot, although they might sense all that as a handicap, they also, hypothetically, have a leg up.”

I completely agree. There is hope, SO MUCH HOPE. Not only can we rewire our brains, regardless of our age or experiences, but we can begin to feel so much better as we get out of the sugar, alcohol, self-flagellation loop that has plagued so many of us for so long.

To read my full blog post on the Orchid Gene go here.

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