Posts Tagged ‘improving dopamine naturally’

How Addictions Get Stuck in Your Brain!

Friday, January 19th, 2018
(Sharing this fabulous article…Thanks!)
At New Leaf we use kinesiology and Universal Consciousness guided meditations, along with nutritional supplements (which improve the neurotransmitters below); LEAP Brain integration and stress diffusion techniques to support better control over addictions.  Kinesiology and Universal Consciousness healings support better frontal cortex (problem solving) activity, so that the addictive centres don’t take hold as quickly…
Madonna Guy
07 3348 6098
YouTubeChannel:  New Leaf Health Team

How Addictions Get Stuck in Your Brain

Why are some people who overdo it with alcohol, food, sex, or other things, able to remember the consequences of their actions, learn from their mistakes, and avoid repeating the behaviour? And why do others minimize the consequences, maximize the pleasure they got from the activity, and continue to engage in the same destructive behaviour?

The answer lies in the way your brain is wired.

Why Am I A Slave to These Cravings? Understanding the Brain’s Reward System

Whether you experience consequences and quit the bad behaviour or keep repeating it depends in large part on the biological makeup of your brain and your brain’s reward system. What is the brain’s reward system? It is an intricate network of brain systems and neurotransmitters that are critical to human survival. It drives us to seek out the things we need to stay alive and carry on the human race.

Many other things that are not necessarily crucial to our survival also activate the reward system:

  1. Listening to music
  2. Taking a warm bath
  3. Looking at a beautiful painting

Then there are substances and behaviours that are actually detrimental to our health and well-being that cause the reward system to kick into high gear such as:

  1. Cocaine
  2. Methamphetamines
  3. Heroin
  4. Alcohol
  5. Caramel fudge brownies
    Playing video games
  6. Excessive texting and gambling

Let’s take a closer look at the neurotransmitters and brain systems involved in the reward system so you can see how it works and how it gets out of whack. First, let’s examine the role played by four neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters act as the brain’s messengers, relaying information within the brain. The strength or weakness of each of these neurotransmitters plays an important role in your ability to stop engaging in bad behaviours or in driving you to addiction.

BRAIN CHEMICALS INVOLVED WITH CRAVINGS AND SELF-CONTROL

Dopamine—motivation, saliency, drive, stimulant
Serotonin—happy, anti-worry, calming
GABA—inhibitory, calms, relaxes
Endorphins—pleasure and pain-killing properties

  • Dopamine is a feel-good chemical. Whenever we do something enjoyable, it’s like pressing a button in the brain to release a little bit of dopamine to make us feel pleasure. Cocaine, methamphetamines, alcohol, and nicotine all cause dopamine surges that make these substances highly desirable—sometimes even more desirable than the things we need to survive like food, water, and sex. The amount of dopamine released when drugs are taken can be two to ten times more than what your brain produces for natural rewards.
  • Serotonin is thought of as the happy, anti-worry, flexibility chemical. Many of the current antidepressants work on this neurotransmitter. When serotonin levels are low, people tend to be worried, rigid, inflexible, oppositional and argumentative, and suffer from anxiety, depression, obsessive thinking, or compulsive behaviours. Simple carbohydrates increase l-tryptophan in the brain, which is why some people can get hooked on cookies, bread, potatoes, and sugar.
  • GABA, or gamma-aminobutyric acid, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that calms or helps to relax the brain. If you have suffered an emotional trauma or you are under a lot of stress, GABA may be depleted and your emotional or limbic brain may become excessively active, making you feel anxious, uptight, or sad. This makes you eat or drink in an attempt to calm your limbic brain.
  • Endorphins are the brain’s own natural pleasure and pain-killing chemicals. They are the body’s own natural morphine or heroin-like substances. These substances are heavily involved in addiction and the loss of control.

Why Can’t I Just Say No? The Brain’s Self-Control Circuit

The brain systems that drive you to seek out things that bring you pleasure and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which puts on the brakes when you are about to engage in risky behaviour, work in concert to create your self-control circuit. In a healthy self-control circuit, an effective PFC provides impulse control and good judgment while the deep limbic system offers an adequate dose of motivation so you can plan and follow through on your goals. You can say no to alcohol, hot fudge sundaes, cigarettes, gambling, sex fetishes, and many other bad behaviours.

In the addicted brain, the PFC is diminished and the drive circuits take control. When the PFC is underactive, it can create an imbalance in the reward system and cause you to lose control over your behaviour. When this is the case you are more likely to fall victim to your cravings. Having low activity often results in a tendency for impulse-control problems and poor internal supervision.

Natural Help and Support for Depression & Mood Disorders at New Leaf Natural Therapies, Wynnum, Brisbane

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

There is effective, natural help and support for depression and mood disorders available at New Leaf Natural Therapies.  Have you been told you’ll be on anti-depressants for the rest of your life for your depression?  Have you tried, and failed, to get alternative help for those debilitating mood disorders?  Been to psychologists and psychiatrists, but nothing ever seems to change? Have you been told nothing else will help since it’s just a ‘chemical imbalance in the brain’??

The great news is that there is help for depression and mood problems.  There are very specific things we can do to help with depression and mood disorders.  Our clinic has been dealing with depression and mood disorders since 1995 with great success.  So if you are looking for another avenue to try, then look no further.  We are a specialist naturopathic and kinesiology clinic with plenty of knowledge and experience with depression and mood disorders.

Basically depression and mood disorders are about hormonal imbalance (that’s the chemical imbalance they’re always talking about).  Hormones are made of good fats and proteins and other nutrients.  So when we’re talking about improving depression and mood disorders we have a system to deal with it.

Here are 5 keys to improving depression and mood disorders.

  1. Find out which nutritional deficiencies you have and deal with those.  We have tests, questionnaires and processes to find out where the clinical nutritional deficiencies are and high quality supplements to improve these shortfalls.  Depression and mood disorders may be linked to magnesium, potassium, calcium, zinc, iron, B12, folate and other B Complex, essential fatty acids, to name a few.
  2. We have products which improve specific hormonal/neurotransmitter deficiencies such as serotonin, dopamine and gaba.  Proxan is a natural anti-depressant which improves serotonin levels, Gaba is a natural anti-anxiety capsule which improves gaba, the calming hormone, Prozestan is a natural supplement which improves dopamine, which helps give us the umph to get through the day, Stressan and Relaxan help to calm mood disorders which are linked to hormonal imbalances.
  3. We use kinesiology and/or frequency specific microcurrent to reset/reboot the nervous system and to ‘open up’ the conscious areas of the brain, which are the areas where happiness and feeling optimistic and looking forward to life, takes place.  Kinesiology and frequency specific microcurrent help to diffuse deep survival patterns which have been running for weeks, months or decades.  These are gentle processes which make huge changes to the way the brain functions.
  4. We need to reduce inflammation of the brain.  It has been medically proven that depression and mood disorders are inflammatory conditions:  the brain and spinal cord are inflamed, this disrupts the nerve conduction and makes it harder for many processes to function well.  Inflammation also eats up many nutrients which are also necessary for creating our feel good hormones – therefore the process of being inflamed (which is a proven medical fact in depression and mood disorders) means that we have less serotonin, dopamine and gaba.
  5. Reducing pain and increasing relaxation. Many people with chronic depression and mood disorders are in pain (or take pain drugs regularly so therefore don’t feel pain) and their relaxation time isn’t actually relaxing.  We recommend Remedial Yoga and Meditation Classes, infrared saunas, relaxing and lymphatic drainage massage and supplements to help REAL relaxation and REAL reduction in pain.

So, don’t just cover up your depression and mood disorders, come in and let’s fix your depression and mood problems today!

Madonna Guy
Naturopaths & Kinesiologists, Wynnum, Brisbane