Dr Anuja Luniya – Story


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Hot weather, uncomfortable clothing, loud noises and bright lights always startled me.

I’ve always felt anxious before calls and meetings.
Crowded spaces made me feel uneasy.
I was uncomfortable starting conversation with new people.
In fact, I would have panic attacks when I felt extremely claustrophobic.
I came from a family of doctors, but ‘wellness’ was never a priority for me.
Until 2004.
That’s when I was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
This happened at a horrible time for me.
I had just lost my sister to cancer, and I was feeling the pressure of college life.

Doctors put me on mesalamine, steroid and antibiotics for 5 whole years to control the flare ups.

Lifestyle Changes and Fitness Journey

By 2009, it was clear to me that the relief was temporary.
I wasn’t getting anywhere.
So I decided to focus on lifestyle changes + fitness.
And the results were extraordinary.
Consistent, daily focus helped me put my IBD into 100% remission for nearly 10 years.

Setbacks and Return of Anxiety

Until 2020.
Life took another massive U-turn – personally and professionally.
My lifestyle changed again. This time, it was not healthy.
My anxiety returned.
My panic attacks returned.
I had IBD flare ups for 2 full years.
I was virtually bed ridden, in severe pain and could not eat solid food.
I even lost 1/3 of my body weight.

Daily activities became such a struggle, that I shut down my fitness and coaching services.

I just did not have the energy to work.
I felt lost, hopeless and isolated.
I was afraid that I’d never be able to eat what I love or do a solo trip again.
Until I said “enough”.

Personal Transformation, and Evidence Based Results

In the 7 months that followed, I studied and designed my own behavioral and stress-biohacking protocol that completely changed my life.

The results:

  1. My inflammation (CRP) levels fell from 48.6mg/L to 8.2mg/L.
  2. I can digest and tolerate 5x more foods now, without flare ups.
  3. I went from interrupted to little sleep, to sleeping deeply 8.5 hours every night.
  4. I can calm myself if I get anxious, no matter where I am.
  5. I went from fatigued and brain-fogged to energetic and enthusiastic

Coaching and Helping Others

Today, I use my evidence-backed protocols to coach people who feel overwhelmed by stress and anxiety.

Why? Because no one deserves to go through what I did.
3 myths that 90% of clients believe before working with me:

  1. “I’ll never be normal again”
    a. That you’ll have to make difficult changes to your diet to live an average life.
  2. “Medicines are the only way”
    a. You’ll have to keep increasing the dosage when your body stops reacting.
  3. “I’ll have to give up my favourite foods”
    a. This is a life long ‘disease.’

I can tell you from experience, this is NOT true.
I can also tell you that ‘typical’ solutions are INCOMPLETE.

  1. Anti-Anxiety Medicines
    a. They reduce anxiety, but they also make your brain foggy, make you feel sleepy and make you very lethargic. You just won’t feel like doing anything.
  2. Traditional Therapy
    a. Sharing feelings may help, but discussing uncomfortable experiences on repeat can actually make your anxiety go up! This is the opposite of what you want.
  3. Meditation
    a. It helps to ‘slow down,’ but trying to meditate while you have high levels of stress hormones in your blood can feel threatening, distracting and frustrating.
    No one I know has ‘meditated’ their way out of chronically high stress.

The Holistic Approach

What is the key insight?
The conventional approach:
Stress comes from the mind. Let’s clear the mind.
The evidence-based approach that works:
Stress originates in your body. Let’s regulate your nervous system.

Your brain is connected to your digestion / gut primarily through a nerve called the vagus nerve.

For every 1 signal the brain sends to the body, the body sends 8 back.

That’s why we focus on the body (instead of working on the mind).

Going Deeper

When you get a negative thought like “I will never get better” or “why does this always happen to me,” it’s because your nervous system (specifically autonomic nervous system) is not being able to come back to regulation.

i.e. it cannot come back to a state of relaxation’s safety.

If you want to mention – ANS has 2 parts

  1. Sympathetic:
    a. Activated
  2. Vagus:
    a. Central vagal – Regulated
    b. Dorsal vagal – Deactivated

Your ANS has 3 states – activated, regulated & deactivated.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, agitated, angry or scared, you’re in the activated state.

Numb, fatigue, flat, sad, disconnected or confused – deactivated state.

Regulated is when we feel safe, reduced stress & emotionally stable & feel socially connected and healthy.

ANS – We move between 3 states but ALWAYS come back to regulation.

But if your ANS isn’t functioning well – due to various external/internal factors – you got stuck in either activated/deactivated states.

What if your vagal brake isn’t working properly?
This is what I find with 90% of my patients.
They are stuck in one state:

  • Sympathetic or activated, where you feel overwhelmed, agitated, anxious, angry or scared.
  • Dorsal or deactivated, where you feel numb, fatigued, flat, sad, disconnected or confused

Their nervous system has forgotten how to move between the 3 states – activated, regulated & deactivated, and this causes dysregulation

Your gut microbiome is intimately connected to the Vagus, that’s why I use vagal and gut microbiome regulation to bring back regulation.

Along with the above two, I have incorporated the principles of:

  1. Biorhythms
  2. Biohacking
  3. Fascial Fitness
  4. Mindset resetting
  5. Physiotherapy
  6. Behavioural change
  7. Habit coaching

Crafting an Effective Program

After experimenting with various combinations on myself, I crafted a program with simple strategies that give maximal results with minimal effort.

Want to conquer/relieve your gut issue by resetting your vagus nerve?

Put in your details below, and I’ll get back to you over email 🙂

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