By Laura Griggs, Corporate Nutritionist
As we approach Mental Health Awareness week, I would like to share a few insights on neurotransmitters, those brain chemicals that play such a big part in our brain function and general wellbeing.
Before I start, picture this scene…
You are in sitting in a meeting, and you know that your colleague has just said something, but you have no idea what it was.
…Does it sound familiar?
If you sometimes get the feeling your brain isn’t working 100%, don’t worry, you are not alone. The good news is, this type of attention lapse and other brain issues that threaten mental wellbeing can be improved through nutritional changes. The first step is to identify the imbalances, which are disrupting your neurotransmitter function.
So what exactly are neurotransmitters?
They are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. They relay signals between nerve cells, called “neurons.”
The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest. They also affect your mood, sleep, concentration and weight, and can cause adverse symptoms when they are out of balance. There are many ways your neurotransmitters can be depleted. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that 86% of British people may have suboptimal levels. Stress, poor diet, neurotoxins (of which alcohol is one!), genetic predisposition, drugs (prescription and recreational), alcohol and caffeine usage can all damage your neurotransmitter balance.
You need them all…
There are two kinds of neurotransmitters – INHIBITORY and EXCITATORY. Excitatory neurotransmitters are not necessarily exciting – they are what stimulate the brain. An example is dopamine. This little guy is probably the reason your attention wavered in the meeting. When your dopamine levels are low, you’ll have problems focusing, you might forget where you put your keys, or feel like daydreaming half way through reading a page.
Drinking coffee will temporarily improve your focus by stimulating dopamine, but unfortunately, doing this consistently will deplete it over time.
The neurotransmitters that calm the brain and help create balance are called inhibitory.
Inhibitory neurotransmitters balance your mood and are easily depleted when the excitatory neurotransmitters are overactive. A good example of this type of brain chemical is serotonin.
Serotonin is responsible for keeping you feeling happy and relaxed and it also regulates other processes such as carbohydrate cravings, your sleep cycle, pain control and digestion. Low serotonin levels are also associated with decreased immune system function.
Would you like to measure your neurotransmitter levels?
In my practice, and my work with corporate clients, I use Asyra, a bio-energetic screening device, which helps identify imbalances and systems under stress.
This type of testing is similar to kinesiology, with significant additional advantages. When my clients ask how it works, to simplify things I compare it to how a lie detector works. Only Asyra is used for testing the body’s functions.
One of my clients came to me because she complained of always feeling low. She had difficulties sleeping and as a result struggled with her daily chores. After running a neurotransmitter test, we identified that her serotonin levels were low. After analyzing her food diary, it became clear that she wasn’t eating enough of the foods containing tryptophan (the compound that helps to make serotonin).
Tryptophan containing foods include bananas, beef, beans, legumes, lentils, oats and seeds. When we added some of these foods into her diet, the deficiency was corrected, which resulted in the complete disappearance of her symptoms. She felt better than she had in years!
Of course, drugs have their place in the treatment of mental health challenges but sometimes these treatments can come with harsh side effects. Energy medicine aims to identify the underlying causes of these issues, such as nutritional deficiencies, and then devises a treatment plan accordingly. By supporting and enhancing the body’s natural healing mechanisms a natural rebalance takes place.
Interested in booking some testing sessions with me for your employees?
Each test can be performed in under 10 minutes, along with some personalized tips around nutrition and stress management for optimal mental health and wellbeing. Get in touch to find out more.
This could be the perfect opportunity to help your employees wellbeing by improving their brain health, and give them the insights they need to feel great!
Laura is passionate about helping people who need to bring more balance into their busy lives, improve their health and want to look and feel fantastic.
She specialises in bio-energetic screening using the Asyra Pro device to analyse the body’s health status. This fascinating system, based on advanced technology in the field of energy medicine is the first of its kind in the world to be approved by the FDA.
Some of the tests available include ‘Nutrient Deficiencies’ showing individuals’ vitamin and mineral status, food intolerance and sensitivities, hormone profile and sleep disturbance assessment.