We make a big deal about this time of the year being the “happiest” but for way too many people it is the worst time of the year. Cold, snowy weather keeps us indoors, lack of sunlight lowers our vitamin D levels, just about every form of stress increases around the holidays and our healthy diets take a nosedive right into the bowl of eggnog. If you don’t have a predisposition towards depression, you’ll probably make it through this month without much more than a couple of extra pounds around your waist but if you have a history of depression, anxiety or other similar conditions, now is a critical time for key actions.
Take This Questionnaire
Over the years, pioneers in the natural healing community as well as our colleagues in mainstream medicine have been busy trying to find a reliable and practical way to somehow measure brain chemistry. Unfortunately, as of yet it turns out that peering into the complexity of brain chemistry has remained elusive. At this point we are left to use our best ‘medical detective’ skills to address these issues.
There have been some very good questionnaires that have been developed to point us in the right direction though. Our most utilized questionnaire is right here. Neurotransmitter Deficiency Questionnaire
Please download it and fill it out (follow the instructions at the top to score yourself). If you find that you are recording scores above 5 or 6 on any question, you may want to follow the recommendations below. Call the office for additional recommendations.
Here’s a short list of general health tips that have a positive impact on your neurotransmitters.
- Limit the sugar and treats. Sure, chocolate can create a quick rush of serotonin but the sugar imbalance that is sure to follow causes a major drop in energy. Watch out for those pesky treats laying around the home. Throw them out if your will power isn’t strong.
- Make sure you’re taking your vitamin D everyday. If you still need some additional support it isn’t too crazy of an idea to go and visit a tanning salon once a week. Make sure that they put you in a tanning bed that has both UVA and UVB rays and just be in there for a short time. We’re not trying to get a tan, just to stimulate vitamin D production.
- Get enough sleep. So much to do. So little time. It is tempting to want to stay up late every night when we’re busy. Just do your best to strategize how you’re going to still get the required sleep. Lack of sleep disrupts your brain chemicals in a big way.
These simple tips are more powerful than you might think. If you’ve already been working on these and haven’t seen the improvements you were hoping for there are other natural solutions that are more targeted and pack a bigger punch.
Additional Natural Treatment Options
We have the two very powerful natural protocols for helping even cases of difficult depression. The first approach works to actually help the body make more of the depleted chemicals serotonin and dopamine. Without these chemicals we simply cannot feel happy, motivated and positive. Many people have imbalances in these chemicals and despite what you may have been told, anti-depressants don’t work to fix this imbalance. There is a better way.
- Micro-current stimulation. Scientists have discovered that minute electrical frequencies can be used to stimulate the brain’s production of neurotransmitters. Devices like the the Alpha-stim have been shown to dramatically improve depression, anxiety and even chronic pain by influencing the electrical signaling in the brain. (We routinely rent these to patients for a 2 week trial.)
- Targeted Amino Acid therapy. We know that neurotransmitters are created in our body from specific amino acids. When we are depleted or imbalanced, taking doses of the amino acid precursors, in levels higher than we could get through normal diet alone, increases the production of which ever neurotransmitter is low.
Each of these modalities are powerful in their own right but when added together, they can create quick and long lasting results.