One of the most important things we can do as we age is to take care of our brain chemistry.
What are some of the signs you may have depleted brain chemistry?
- Sensitivity to emotional or physical pain
- Cry easily
- Worry, anxiety, phobia or panic
- Difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep
- Problems with focus or concentration
- Obsessive thinking
- Alcohol, food or drug addiction
- Irritability, anger
- Inability to relax, chronic tension
- Sugar cravings
- Pessimism and low mood
- Chronic use of antidepressants, sleeping pills or anti anxiety medications
Many people are born with depleted brain chemistry. If we don’t learn how to take care of ourselves as adults, the problems may only get worse as we age.
I have studied healing work for years, beginning with writing my book, Healing Depression: A Holistic Guide (New York: Marlowe and Co., 1997).
Over the years my approach to working with clients has evolved as I have studied nutrition and kinesiology and healing work for the brain. I have helped many people overcome depression, anxiety and other brain disorders naturally.
Here are a few things you can do to improve your brain chemistry now:
- Balance your blood sugar. Your muscles store energy in the form of glycogen. Your brain is entirely dependent on circulating blood sugar. Most people with depleted brain chemistry need to eat every 2 to 3 hours.
- Eat protein every time you open your mouth to eat anything. All your neurotransmitters are made from amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. It is a big mistake to become a vegetarian.
- Make sure you get enough carbohydrates. If you have depleted brain chemistry, you will want to make sure you are eating at least 150 grams of carbohydrates every day in order to make your serotonin. While you will want to make sure you get enough protein, a low carbohydrate diet may make you feel worse.
- Run lab tests if you have a chronic problem. In my office, I have run amino acid tests for years and can pinpoint exactly which amino acids a person is missing to keep their brain working properly. In addition, there are other metabolic tests that may be necessary. Many people have had depleted brain chemistry for years and/or taken psychiatric medications for years and may need years of natural supplements to correct their brain chemistry. All this can be established through lab tests. I can put together a personalized supplement program that will help you rebuild your brain chemistry and help you feel better surprisingly rapidly.
- Make sure you get plenty of fish oil. Flax oil will not do. Fish oil is incredibly helpful for treating depression.
- Lower your stress level. If you have depleted brain chemistry, chances are that you are under more stress than you can personally handle. I am a big believer that each of us has to be honest with ourselves about who we are. Some people are simply more sensitive. You can become stronger, for sure, but at the same time it may be more realistic to move to a less stressful job, work fewer hours and re-evaluate the actual demands of your life.
- Exercise daily, preferably in the fresh air and sunshine. Exercise alone has been found to be more effective for depression than exercise and psychiatric medication. If you have depleted brain chemistry, I generally recommend workouts that do not deplete you, such as walking outside, yoga, tai chi, qi gong or swimming.
- Meditate. Meditation can improve our brain chemistry. People who meditate regularly have higher levels of GABA. In a study at Yale University, people with panic disorder were found to have 22 percent less GABA than people without panic disorder. Meditation has also been found to increase our levels of serotonin. It lowers the stress hormone cortisol, which depletes brain chemistry, and boosts the mother hormone DHEA.
- Make an appointment to see me to balance your neurotransmitters. The kinesiology I have learned includes a very good method to help you balance your brain chemistry naturally. This will have the immediate effect of making you feel more balanced and over time can improve the way you use your brain.
- Drink enough water. All your neurotransmitters work in water.
No matter how you have felt up to now, and frankly no matter how many drugs you have taken so far in your lifetime, realize that you have the ability to get better. I feel that the natural methods actually work better than drugs because they get to the root of the matter, which is correcting depleted brain chemistry.