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Entries in Neurotransmitters (2)


How to Stop Negative Thoughts from Racing in your Mind - Overcoming Depression

According to the National Institute of Health, 17.3 million adults, 7.1% have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. 5% of adults experience seasonal depression. 1 out of 6 adults have taken an anti-depressant in the past month. In the past 15 years, there has been a 65% increase in antidepressant use. Is our society getting more depressed and unable to deal with the pressures, stresses, and people in their lives? I’ve seen in my practice that a sense of being stuck or too fatigued to deal with life’s challenges can results in depression. It is reported that over 50% of patients who are diagnosed with depression also have anxiety.

What Causes Depression?

-Low levels of serotonin or dopamine

-Elevated or depleted stress hormones such as cortisol, norepinephrine, epinephrine

-High carbohydrate and high sugar diet

-Lack of physical activity

-Chronic inflammation

-Imbalance in sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone

-Life stress, Type A personality, perfectionism

-Subconscious negative belief systems

-Depleted energy levels in the body, adrenal fatigue.

-Low Qi levels, Liver qi stagnation

-Depleted basic, navel, solar plexus and spleen chakras

-Inability to assimilate and store energy in body

-Weak boundaries, and energetically melding with other people’s problems

Thoughts in Getting to the Bottom of Depression

Taking an anti-depressant is only as good as the placebo effect according to studies. This is approximately 33% improvement. The only problem is that the anti-depressants initially will dull the sensations of sadness or negative feelings that are present making the patient temporarily feeling better. However these medications also decrease happiness, motivation, creativity and other positive emotions. So patients taking these drugs often feel flat. They don’t feel as sad, and they don’t feel happy. This is why some psychotropic drugs are linked to increased suicidal ideation.

To get to the bottom of depression, we do need to correct some chemical imbalances in the body such as hormones, neurotransmitters and dietary nutrients so that the body can make the brain chemicals that contribute to positive emotions and balanced emotional regulation. We also need to work on the thoughts that seem to automatically swirl around the brain. These thoughts include imagination of the worst-case scenarios, sense of impending doom, and those of self-doubt.

Counseling and psychotherapy are helpful in bringing awareness to one’s thought life. But many patients are unable to implement the affirmations, and positive thoughts they are taught to think in their counseling sessions. This can lead to discouragement because negative thoughts just seem to automatically appear and it feels almost impossible to stop the anxious and depressing thoughts. Photo Credit Gareth Williams

What Works Better?

I’ve been blessed to come across some highly effective therapies over the years that have been life changing in so many patients’ moods. I utilized a couple techniques best done when the patient and I are on the phone or video conferencing called Neuro Emotional Technique (NET) and Pranic Healing. Distance does not matter when dealing with these types of healing frequencies. In short these techniques help remove the negative (depressive) information stored in the body and mind. It is like an extraction technique. After giving the body a clean slate, it easier to insert new positive thought patterns.  I also work to energize the patient’s electrical field, because most depressed individuals have a very low energy frequency, and this energizing is very helpful in lifting the frequency of moods. They have measured frequencies of emotions. For example Apathy/Hopelessness logs in at 70. Fear/Anxiety logs in at 100. Optimism/Hope logs in at 310. Love logs in at 500. Higher and healthier emotions have higher vibrational frequencies which is the reason for the effectiveness with energizing techniques.

A study published in the Australasian Psychiatry Journal in 2018 Amelioration of mild and moderate depression through Pranic Healing as adjuvant therapy: randomized double-blind controlled trial, shows amazing results using Pranic Healing, a technique I use with my patients. In the study, one group of patients were given Pranic Healing for 20 minutes once per week for 4 weeks, the other group was given a mock/fake treatment for the same duration of time. Using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale HAM-D as assessment tool, 69% of the mock group improved, and 100% of the Pranic Healing group improved.

I do believe that utilizing physics methods of therapy such as Pranic Healing increases the effectiveness in treating depression dramatically because we are both biological and electric beings. When we influence the electric memory and signally systems, the burden on the patient to “try” so hard to change their thoughts is significantly minimized. They feel lighter, see the world more hopefully, feel more ease associated with daily tasks because proper electric wiring is restored and takes a lot less burden for the system to operate.






Dance of the Brain

The least understood yet containing the most complex choreography of the entire body is the brain. Yet this system does not contain one thing that the rest of the body has, pain receptors. When our peripheral body gets hurt, injured, infected or inflamed, we feel pain. But what happens when the brain is inflamed? How does it let us know? You do not get a headache. Headaches are usually due to inflammation in the vasculature in the head, but not inflammation in the brain. The brain does not feel physical pain. The way the brain gets our attention when enough inflammation has caused a disruption in it's seamless dance is manifested as anxiety, depression, foggy brain, memory loss, ADHD to name a few.


This is not to say that inflammation is the only cause of the maladies above. However, I've seen improvement in many of the conditions above when we give the brain nutrients needed to decrease oxidative damage to the neurological system. Did you know that certain nutrients such as folate, taurine, B12, tryptophan, DHA, N-acetyl Cystein, Magnesium are part of the members of the cast necessary to get the show produced?

For example tryptophan, an amino acid, (many amino acids chained together make up proteins) is needed to produce serotonin, the molecule supposedly deficient in depression. Certain patients are so nutritionally deficient in their diets that they do not have the cast members to run the happiness show in their brains. This often happens in those whos diets consists mostly of carbohydrates and sugars. I've seen many patients moods improve when they  increase their protein intake.

My friend's daughter has been having some behavioral issues that were worse when she ate foods she was sensitive to. Her mother, who was a physician, could tell every time her daughter "cheated" on her diet at a friend’s house, because she behaved differently when she ate certain foods. Probably the foods she ate which she was sensitive to caused enough inflammation to affect her brain. Her mother, who was a motivated doctor decided to supplement her with 5-methyl-tetro-hydro-folate, a more bioavailable form of folic acid and anti-oxidant. Given the extra anti-oxidant support, her daughter no longer reacted with detectable behavioral changes even if she "cheated" a bit on her food sensitivities. Therefore, correcting certain nutrient deficiencies can often increase functionality of the brain even in the presence of triggers.

Since the brain is so complex, we may want to dissect the problem to get more specifics, like running a football game on slow replay. The body is more complicated than what we see with our eyes at times, so a serotonin deficiency is not always the cause to depression. When we run a neurotransmitter test, we may find that low dopamine, or excessive glutamate, cortisol, epinephrine may also play a role in depression. Consequently how we address the problem differs from person to person and is more specific than giving an SSRI for every depressed patient.

Last but not least and closest to my heart is the mind body connection. The mind and body are constantly interfaced by signals connecting the two, sharing incoming and outgoing signals, that then affects what happens on stage. We can imagine the tangible as the stage, such as how our mood or body feels. The backstage is the brain. What happens backstage can affect the performances on stage, but also what happens on stage can affect the dynamics backstage later, that can then again affect what happens on stage during the next act.

I've personally witnessed blowing the cranial bones out of alignment so profoundly from emotions, that the chiropractor asked, "are you sure you did not hit your head?". It sounds so absurd that emotional states can change structure. But then in turn, structure that is not aligned makes it much more difficult for the body or brain to maintain balanced functions. So is it the chicken or the egg?

I've been offering craniosacral therapy to patients, and many have found profound physical benefits as well as leaps in personal growth. I look at craniosacral therapy as a bridge between mental knowledge, such as what can be found with psychotherapy, and physical health, such as what can be adjusted with nutritional supplements. Craniosacral therapy integrates the two, making both therapies more synergistic. It also balances the nervous system connected to survival and instincts that may make it more easy for us to do what we know is a beneficial choice, through breaking unnecessary survival instincts from the past that are no longer needed in the present. I am excited to embark on this journey with you, so you can dance more freely in your body and mind.