Natural Brain Boosters for Mental Health
Written by Dr. Dinah Absi
Sarah, a 22-year-old college student, had struggled with anxiety and unexpected panic attacks for years. She had exhausted the conventional treatment options. She had tried “everything”, or so she thought. After learning about a special brain chemistry evaluation brain retraining technique. She decided to give it a try.
Based on the evaluation a personalized, therapeutic nutrition and supplement protocol were recommended. After just 6 weeks of adhering to her prescribed protocol, she reported an improvement in her symptoms, and a 50% improvement was reported at her 3-month follow-up. Sarah felt empowered and equipped to manage her anxiety and cope effectively with stressors she faces in her life without the negative side effects of medications.
In recent years, mental health has become a topic of much discussion and research. What was once swept under the rug is now readily acknowledged as the source of many societal and individual problems. As awareness increases, so does diagnosis.
What is mental health exactly?
The National Institute of Mental Health states that approximately 1 in 5 adults in the United States (about 51.5 million people) experience mental illness each year. Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. These aspects are inextricably related as they affect how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It is key to address the symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, among others, but from a root cause approach rather than just a symptom management cycle. But often, there is not just one root cause of mental health issues.
Root causes are typically diverse, ranging from genetics and trauma to environment and lifestyle. For this reason, the symptom pattern can be complex, manifested as problematic behavior, mood, and thoughts. This pattern of symptoms, combined with the complex causes, requires a clear, efficient, integrative treatment approach.
What is the integrative treatment approach?
Specialty lab work that investigates the unique individual’s brain chemistry, which informs other treatment approaches such as working through coping strategies, training the physiological reactions, correcting thought patterns, training the brain’s response to emotional triggers, etc. can be key in determining root causes. Once lab work has identified the aspects of an individual’s neurochemistry, there are three main categories of tools that may be utilized to break down the biological walls that are preventing positive mental health outcomes.
First, lifestyle interventions:
Exercise has been called the most powerful “natural antidepressant”.
Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proven to reduce anxiety and depression. Thirty minutes of exercise of moderate intensity, such as brisk walking for 3 days a week, is sufficient for these health benefits. However, more recent research has revealed that these 30 minutes do not need to necessarily be continuous; three 10-minute walks are believed to be as equally as beneficial as one 30-minute walk!
Nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining good mental health. Consuming a nutrient dense, whole foods diet can help support mental health. Here are some nutritional tips:
1. Limiting intake of processed and junk foods that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and processed salt.
2. More than 55% of our brains are made of fatty acids!! Increase intake of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as nuts, seeds, and fatty fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel, sardines).
3. Increasing intake of foods high in fiber, which supports stabilization of blood sugar levels, which subsequently aids mood regulation.
4. Consuming adequate levels of clean protein from sources such as grass-fed meats, pastured poultry, wild caught fish, pastured eggs, soaked beans, and legumes. Protein is important for building and repairing tissues in the body, including the brain. PLUS, your brain's neurotransmitters are built from amino acids that come from proteins.
Supplements may be helpful for supporting good mental health.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain health and have been shown to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Omega-3 supplements are available in both fish oil and plant-based forms, such as flax seed and chia seed.
2. Vitamin D3 is important for bone health and has also been shown to play a role in mental health.
3. CoQ10 - a powerful antioxidant that supports energy production and supports memory, focus and cognitive function to prevent neurodegenerative disease.
4. Probiotic supplements are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and have a part in both physical and mental health. The adequate strains must be selected.
5. Intravenous therapies (IV) can get much needed nutrition at a therapeutic level into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system. Here are a few offered at Real Health Medical that could be incorporated into a Brain Health Protocol
Second, a very valuable tool is mechanical intervention.
Lasers, for example, offer a non-invasive stimulation similar to acupuncture without needles. Biolight, Theralase and Scalar lasers as well as Equiscope microcurrent therapy all work on a deeper level than the physiological realm, and they help guide the body back into its balanced state and stimulating key brain wave signaling pathways and creating new ones - neuroplasticity.
Third, Autonomic Neural Immunology (ANI) is an excellent intervention.
Did you know that more than 90% of the decisions we make every day occur in the subconscious mind? During these sessions, the emphasis is placed on brain frequencies as well as neural wiring especially focused on the subconscious function of our brains. The goal is to release negative data from the subconscious mind and replace it with positive data.
What is ANI?
Autonomic Neural Immunology (ANI)
ANI Clinical Therapy: Resetting the Nervous System
● Activating sluggish areas of the brain
● Calming overactive areas of the brain
● Resetting or rewiring how your brain responds to certain stimuli
● Developing a healthy and positive outlook for emotional or traumatic triggers
● Correcting or improving core beliefs (positive or negative)
A 45-year-old woman had been grieving after 2 years of having lost her mother. The grief took away her ability to do even simple, daily tasks and handicapped her from the pleasures of life.
Every day, she would come home from work, manage to have dinner, go to bed, and start over the next day. Her nights were very long, as her sleep was disrupted by sad thoughts. She is self- described as a zombie in that phase of her life.
This woman decided to take control and attend several ANI sessions; after only a few, she was able to release the root cause of her trauma. The sessions facilitated her ability to rewire her brain to change her outlook and process the grief in a constructive and non-debilitating manner.
She is now embracing life again, taking care of herself, and engaging in many pleasant activities; her husband has expressed the joy of “getting his wife back.”
In conclusion, mental health is a crucial aspect of overall wellbeing, affecting all aspects of individuals’ lives. Because mental health is complex, it must be treated comprehensively. There are many tools and approaches to breaking barriers and achieving balanced mental health; through personalized care, the imbalanced components of an individual’s neurochemistry can be identified and targeted via an integrative approach, including but not limited to, lasers, neurotransmitter optimization, and natural brain chemistry balancing.
If you or someone you love struggles with mental health – from sadness that keeps them in bed to panic attacks, anxiety, PTSD, or other trauma-induced conditions – then know that you are not alone. We can help identify the root cause and personalize your journey to healing and balanced mental health.
Call us at 678.990.5401 if you’d like to learn more about our brain-neuro evaluation, ANI sessions, and other drug free brain health therapies!