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Introducing a new online course from Donna Jackson Nakazawa

“Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s new course comes just in time to soothe our minds and bodies.”
—Jane Stevens​, ​founder, publisher​, ​
ACEs Connection, California

Your Healing Narrative: Write-to-Heal With Neural Re-NarratingTM

A powerful Neural Re-Narrating™️ program using science-based writing-to-heal and mindfulness techniques to help you recognize and override your brain’s old thought patterns, creating a new, transformative healing narrative to help you flourish in your life, even in the face of adversity.

Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Donna Jackson Nakazawa is an award-winning journalist and internationally recognized speaker exploring the intersection of neuroscience, immunology and human emotion. She is the author of six books, including her latest, The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine. Her mission is to translate the latest science to help those suffering from chronic conditions find hope and healing.

About Donna | Speaking

More Books by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Donna Jackson Nakazawa1 day ago
Let’s talk about how the stress cycle works, and why this matters for mental and physical health, especially for children who grow up with #ACEs and adversity. Think about how, in nature, your stress response is supposed to function. Let’s say you see a bear in the woods. You go into fight, flight, or freeze. Your body prepares to fight the bear, or run from the bear, neither of which are a very good idea.
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Let’s say the bear isn’t that interested in you, and lumbers off. Now, your body goes through the second half of the stress cycle and relaxes, letting go of stress, Ahhh. But what if the bear is in your home? What if the bear is a father who is an alcoholic who comes home drunk some nights and hits you with his belt—but comes home on other nights and tells you he loves you? What if you never know when the next bad moment is going to happen?
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When you grow up with chronic, unpredictable, toxic stress, and you never know when the next stressful event is coming, you get stuck in the first half of the stress cycle, living in a low-grade, constant state of alertness, hypervigilance—essentially a low-grade state of fight, flight, or freeze.
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This heightened stress response leads to increased production of inflammatory chemicals and stress hormones, which can lead to long-lasting shifts in the genes that oversee the stress response. This, in turn, can lead to increased inflammation, physical illness, and mental health concerns in adulthood, including anxiety and depression.
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In my new course, Your Healing Narrative: Writ-to-Heal with Neural Re-Narrating™️, I use science-based techniques to help you work through #trauma and #ACEs to calm your nervous system down, stop the negative self-talk, and experience a new layer of healing. https://bit.ly/35Wxxnv #brain #neuroscience #resilience #ACEs
Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Donna Jackson Nakazawa2 days ago
I would love your opinion and ideas! Just got out of a meeting with Random House and turns out we have to change the title for my upcoming book on today’s growing adolescent female mental health crisis (book will be In stores this summer). We were calling it GIRLS ON THE EDGE, but that title is being used. We’re looking for a title and subtitle that meets the sweet spot of speaking to the urgency of our times (girls are struggling in an era of toxic stressors) and offering hope. Below is a quick description of the book, followed by a few titles we are kicking around. Thoughts? Ideas? Thank you! I especially want to hear from moms of girls and therapists!

Quick book description: Anyone on the front lines of caring for girls today—parents, school nurses, counselors—knows that girls are more anxious and prone to depression and anxiety than ever before. Now we have the science to understand why: during the critical neurodevelopmental window of adolescence, a confluence of modern toxic stressors are altering the female stress-immune response in ways that derail female thriving. Drawing on insights from both the latest science and interviews with girls, Donna Jackson Nakazawa guides readers through fifteen “antidote” strategies to help teenage girls flourish even in the face of stress, creating a new playbook for how we—parents, families, and the human tribe—can ensure a healthy emotional inner life for all of our girls.

Title ideas that aren’t quite good enough:

Girlhood on the Edge: Helping Our Daughters Thrive in an Age of Increased Anxiety and Depression

Girls in Peril: Helping Our Daughters Thrive in an Age of Increased Anxiety and Depression

GIRLS: An American Tragedy in the Making and How to Rewrite the Story

Growing Strong Girls: How to Help Our Daughters Feel Safe and Seen in an Age of Increased Anxiety and Depression

Healing Girlhood: Helping Our Daughters Thrive in an Age of Increased Anxiety and Depression

Thrive Girl: Helping Our Daughters Feel Safe and Seen in an Age of Increased Anxiety and Depression
Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Donna Jackson Nakazawa3 days ago
Plant party time! People ask me if I have a green thumb when they see all our house plants and the truth is I do not. But every week I give the plants a party and they all perk up and I think it makes them happy. My family has to work around the green party for a day or two but no one complains. I think it perks us all up.
Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Donna Jackson Nakazawa6 days ago
𝐅𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐠𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐟 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐨𝐬𝐬? 𝐑𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐱 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐨𝐝𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠. According to a new study from the U. of Arizona, finding simple ways to relax your body is an effective treatment for grief.
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Researchers compared 2 ways of treating grief. One focused on the mind (mindfulness and focusing attention on the present moment with kindness and curiosity and letting difficult thoughts come and go without trying to change anything). Another focused on the body (guided sessions of progressive muscle relaxation, letting different muscle groups relax in stages to make difficult emotions more tolerable).
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Researchers were surprised to find that the ability to focus on the body and really relax the body turned out to be more powerful and important in managing grief and loss. The key difference? Mindfulness is about learning how to be with what is without trying to change it, and doing so with compassion. Progressive muscle and body relaxation is more about how can we be in the present moment but also feel better in our body right here right now.
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Both mindfulness and muscle relaxations helped participants find relief from the severity of their grief. But the muscle relaxation was more helpful and participants found it easier to stay with and keep implementing this practice over time. *
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Bottom line: these are tough times and we are all managing grief at varying levels right now. Those of us who regularly meditate might find it hard in these times of adversity to find our usual calm (I know this has been true for me on many mornings when I sit down in my meditation chair!). If that’s true for you, too, give muscle relaxation and other body relaxation techniques a try! https://bit.ly/2W9VV3u
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If you’re dealing with unresolved childhood trauma or feeling chronically stressed and want to learn how to rewire your brain for health and build resilience back into your life, then click the link in my bio for my books and courses ❤️.

Thank you for being part of our community ❤️ Content by @donnajacksonnakazawaauthor
Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Donna Jackson Nakazawa1 week ago
𝐀𝐝𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠-𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐬, 𝐝𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐃𝐍𝐀, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐮𝐬 𝐬𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐝𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐬. Conventional wisdom tells us what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But science tells us that far more often, the opposite is true. Based on the findings from the original ACE survey, two-thirds of American kids experience wounds in childhood and carry them quietly into adulthood, with little or no idea of how their wounds affect their daily health and well-being.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are surprisingly common. And even more surprising is the relationship between early adversity and physical and mental health disorders in adulthood.

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If you’re dealing with unresolved childhood trauma or feeling chronically stressed and want to learn how to rewire your brain for health and build resilience back into your life, then click the link in my bio for my books and courses ❤️.

Thank you for being part of our community ❤️ Content by @donnajacksonnakazawaauthor
Donna Jackson Nakazawa
Donna Jackson Nakazawa1 week ago
Forest bathing with my husband today. Best hiking partner ever.
How adverse childhood experiences or ACEs impact your current wellbeing - Often, people who have a history of trauma in childhood find themselves struggling to flourish in adulthood. Trauma affects the brain in ways that can make you more likely to experience difficulty when faced with emotionally stressful and demanding situations in your relationships, at work, and as a parent. Throughout my life, both growing up and as … Continue reading How adverse childhood experiences or ACEs impact your current wellbeing
How to care for yourself during difficult times - Many people with #ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) are finding that the early #trauma and sense of unsafety they endured growing up are being re-triggered during these fear-laden times, amidst the #Covid #pandemic, political upheaval, and feeling isolated. Stress and uncertainty can trigger old, sticky feelings of fear, anxiety, or loss from long ago and bring … Continue reading How to care for yourself during difficult times
Paperback Release of The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine - When I sat down in my attic to write THE ANGEL AND THE ASSASSIN: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine, I never imagined that it would be so needed in our world! 2020 has been chock-full of adversity, uncertainty and distress on so many levels: the worst pandemic in a hundred … Continue reading Paperback Release of The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine
Quiet Your Body and Mind - Hello Friends. As a SciComm journalist with 30 years of reporting and 6 books under my belt, which focus on how our stress response governs our immune health, I’ve been thinking about what I have learned, and how I might help you quiet your body and mind during this #pandemic.
Big Women, Little Women, Small Oscars - The Oscars are this Sunday, and as war movies and films about repressed male feelings take center stage, I’ve been thinking about why Greta Gerwig’s Little Women had me wiping away tears during the last 30 minutes of the film – something that also happened to me while watching another Gerwig film, Lady Bird.
The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine – now available everywhere! - Dear Readers, Friends, All,  I’m thrilled to announce that THE ANGEL AND THE ASSASSIN: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine in now on bookshelves and available everywhere! When I first told you, my readers, that I was setting out to tell the story of these tiny brain cells, microglia (remember that name!) … Continue reading The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine – now available everywhere!
The Angel and The Assassin: Book Launch and Tour Info - Dear all, The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine will be out in just 6 days! If you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll consider pre-ordering from your local bookstore or seller of your choice! You can also check out this review in Kirkus, or read the prologue … Continue reading The Angel and The Assassin: Book Launch and Tour Info
The Angel and the Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell that Changed the Course of Medicine - My new book, THE ANGEL AND THE ASSASSIN: THE TINY BRAIN CELL THAT CHANGED THE COURSE OF MEDICINE will be out in just 2 months, on January 21st, 2020! After two years of reporting, researching, writing, factchecking, I can’t wait to share it with you!
Why We Need to Talk About the Unique Biological Effects of #ToxicChildhoodStress and #FemaleAdversity on Women’s Bodies and Brains. - The Female Body and Brain on Toxic Stress (CRUCIAL NOTE HERE BEFORE YOU READ: Boys’ immune systems become dysregulated in response to #toxicstress too, and that leads to disease and changes to the brain that we also need to talk about more openly AND compassionately. Today I’m focusing on girls’ unique immune response to #toxicstress.) … Continue reading Why We Need to Talk About the Unique Biological Effects of #ToxicChildhoodStress and #FemaleAdversity on Women’s Bodies and Brains.
Why Girls Who Face Toxic Stress are More Vulnerable to Adult Illness: The Shocking Relationship Between Being Female, #ACEs, Autoimmune Disease and Depression - Hi All, This blog is about WHY Adverse Childhood Experiences are a #METOO ISSUE. I want to talk about how and why toxic childhood stress – also as #ACEs — is a #metoo issue of the greatest magnitude. For girls and for the adult women they become. One thing readers know about the work I … Continue reading Why Girls Who Face Toxic Stress are More Vulnerable to Adult Illness: The Shocking Relationship Between Being Female, #ACEs, Autoimmune Disease and Depression
Female Adversity: The Female Body and Brain on Toxic Stress - Hi All, Three things I wanted to let you know about: later this weekend I’ll be posting a three part essay about women, toxic stress, and the female immune system — and why this topic matters now more than ever (more on that below!); an update on my next book, The Angel and the Assassin; and … Continue reading Female Adversity: The Female Body and Brain on Toxic Stress
Hope You’ll Come Say Hi at One of My Upcoming Talks - Hi Friends: First I want to say a heartfelt thank you to the hundreds of women who reached out to me, offering to be interviewed for my next book, THE ANGEL AND THE ASSASSIN: The Tiny Cell That Changed the Course of Medicine, and Gives us a Radically New Way of Looking at Human Well-Being, which … Continue reading Hope You’ll Come Say Hi at One of My Upcoming Talks
Want to Be Part of My Next Book Project? - Hello friends: For my next book, I’m interviewing women and young adults experiencing mood, anxiety and/or learning/cognitive issues, who are curious about the concept that brain based symptoms have neurobiological, immunological, physical roots. If you are, or know, a woman in mid-life, for whom this resonates, and are in an extended family that faces depression, … Continue reading Want to Be Part of My Next Book Project?
How to Win The Doctor Lottery - Hi All, and Happy Spring! I’m proud to share this very personal essay I wrote for the April 2017 issue of the journal, Health Affairs, “How to Win The Doctor Lottery: Not every doctor-patient encounter is healing, and it can seem a game of chance. One patient explores what it takes to win.” Or, if … Continue reading How to Win The Doctor Lottery
Childhood Trauma Leads to Lifelong Chronic Illness — So Why Isn’t the Medical Community Helping Patients? - Hi All, I hope you’ll enjoy this essay I wrote for Huffington Post, “Childhood Trauma Leads to Adult Chronic Illness — So Why Isn’t the Medical Community Helping Patients?” I put my heart into it. My team has also gathered some of readers’ favorite articles and video clips in which I address the link between … Continue reading Childhood Trauma Leads to Lifelong Chronic Illness — So Why Isn’t the Medical Community Helping Patients?
Updates and Reader Feedback! - Hi All, I wanted to update you on recent events, and ask for a bit of advice as my team gears up for the paperback release of Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, And How You Can Heal — which will be out on July 26th. Earlier this week I was happy and … Continue reading Updates and Reader Feedback!
Paperback Giveaway! - In two weeks (July 26th) Childhood Disrupted will be out in paperback! To help spread the word about how the book can help individuals who are suffering find healing, our team is offering a free book giveaway! Three winners will receive a free signed copy and a second free copy for a friend! Here’s how … Continue reading Paperback Giveaway!
Early Trauma and Adult Chronic Illness — VoiceAmerica Talk Radio - Why do childhood traumas — like being frequently put down, losing a parent, living with a mom or dad who is depressed, or alcoholic, emotional neglect, and other early adversities — leave permanent physical “fingerprints” on our brains? In this VoiceAmerica Talk Radio interview, I share my thoughts with host Katherine Vox about the link … Continue reading Early Trauma and Adult Chronic Illness — VoiceAmerica Talk Radio
How Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Illness - Hi All, Here is a recent video interview, in which I share my thoughts on How Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Illness, why our new understanding of this science must change the way we do medicine, and why I wrote my book, Childhood Disrupted. Produced by Studio4. Hope you’ll enjoy! Donna
Childhood Disrupted – Pub Date Has Arrived! - I can’t believe it’s finally here: Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal hit stores yesterday and has been steadily climbing on Amazon (as of this afternoon, it was the #1 best-seller in Developmental Psychology and #787 overall!) and gaining traction on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and various news outlets, … Continue reading Childhood Disrupted – Pub Date Has Arrived!
Is depression caused by inflammation? - Increasingly doctors are looking at depression as an inflammatory reaction, rather than a standalone neurological disorder — and in some cases depression may even be exacerbated by an allergic reaction. This theory could lead to never-before-prescribed methods that can be used in conjunction with traditional antidepressants to combat inflammation. This new understanding of depression could … Continue reading Is depression caused by inflammation?
Come Join Me For Talks & Booksignings in July 2015 on Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal! - Hope you can come join me on Tuesday July 7th at 7:00 at Baltimore’s lovely Ivy Bookshop for a talk, chat, and booksigning! Tuesday, July 7th, 2015 7:00 p.m. Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal — a Discussion & Book Signing with Donna Jackson Nakazawa http://www.theivybookshop.com/ Or, come … Continue reading Come Join Me For Talks & Booksignings in July 2015 on Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal!
My Next Book! Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal - Every once in a while, as a writer, I sort of “disappear” — taking a break from blogging and social media to fully immerse myself in finishing a new book. I’m happy to say, in 2015, you’ll be able to see what I’ve been so busy working on (and why I’ve been so quiet)!
The Art of Doing Everything Twice - My mom said something recently that really stuck with me. She’s 82. “It used to be that we did everything once, and now we have to do everything twice!” I kind of brushed it off as a subtle sign of aging, but then I noticed, over the next forty eight hours: the washing machine/dryer repair … Continue reading The Art of Doing Everything Twice
Come Join Me on June 8th at Breathe Bookstore! - Hope you can come join me on Sunday June 8th at 1:00 at Baltimore’s lovely Breathe Bookstore and Cafe for a chat and booksigning! Sunday, June 8th, 2014 1:00 to 2:30 The Last Best Cure — a Discussion & Book Signing with Donna Jackson Nakazawa
What is the Green Solution for Toxic Thinking? - Is Someone Driving you Nuts? Fifteen insights on how to stop thinking about someone who’s driving you crazy. Have you ever found that you just can’t stop thinking about someone and what they did or said, and how bewildered or hurt you were by their actions? When someone hurts us, our children, or someone we … Continue reading What is the Green Solution for Toxic Thinking?
A Q. and A. with “Between the Covers” on What Compelled me to Write The Last Best Cure - I recently spoke with Melanie Brevis, blogger at Baltimore County Public Library System, and we had a great chat! Between the Covers with Donna Jackson Nakazawa Baltimore author Donna Jackson Nakazawa discusses her latest book, The Last Best Cure, on Wednesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. at the Perry Hall Branch, sponsored by the Friends … Continue reading A Q. and A. with “Between the Covers” on What Compelled me to Write The Last Best Cure
Not Cured, But Healing - Hi All, I wrote this for the PBS website, Next Avenue, and have recently had a number of requests to share it. So, I’ve included the essay here, and a link to the original below. I’m Not Cured, but I Am Healing After years of pain and chronic illness, an author finds relief through breakthrough … Continue reading Not Cured, But Healing
Thank You Readers – The Last Best Cure hit #10 in Bestselling Books in Health Memoir - Thank you readers, I just found out that last night THE LAST BEST CURE hit #10 on AMAZON in BESTSELLING BOOKS IN HEALTH MEMOIR! That made me smile, and I realize I have all of you to thank for spreading the word, one woman, one reader at a time! In gratitude, I thank you.http://amzn.to/1dIIyVd
Talking on NPR about The Last Best Cure - I really enjoyed a great discussion today with Dan Rodricks, the host of the NPR show, Midday, on WYPR, Baltimore’s Public Radio station. Dan is smart, genuine, and asks great questions. We really delved into why I wrote The Last Best Cure, the science behind it, and how I hope it can help readers with … Continue reading Talking on NPR about The Last Best Cure