“In Dr. Amen’s best-selling book, Healing Anxiety and Depression, he identifies 7 different types of anxiety and depression, based on information amassed from thousands of brain scans” said Harmony Morgan, Director for Healing Hands School of Holistic Health – Laguna Hills. “He explains that each type of anxiety responds differently to different remedies, so understanding the type you’re dealing with is the first step. Fortunately, his book and website offer a questionnaire that’s very useful in determining your type. Your results can help you begin an important conversation with your doctor about customized treatment”, she added.
Serotonin, often called the “feel good” hormone, is a neurotransmitter associated with sleep, appetite and mood. If Serotonin levels are too low, you may experience pessimism, depression, lack of appetite, irritability, anxiety, and irregular sleep patterns. If symptoms are severe, your doctor may suggest a medication to boost Serotonin levels. In cases where symptoms are less severe, he or she may suggest a number of natural remedies that can substantially reduce or diminish symptoms all together.
Below is a list of holistic practices you can use to boost Serotonin and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition to the biochemical benefits, taking the initiative to help yourself feel better is empowering by itself and facilitates the healing process. Natural remedies include:
Exercise – Regular exercise is an excellent way to boost your serotonin levels, naturally and safely. Exercise also boosts other feel good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and endorphins. Best of all, you’ll reap immediate as well as long term benefits from your efforts.
Diet/Nutrition – Most types of anxiety respond well to a high protein low carbohydrate diet. This is because protein tends to boost dopamine and norepinephrine levels, which are low in some types of anxiety and depression. The variations of treatments are an important reason for knowing your anxiety type. For example, people who have Type 4: Over-focused Anxiety/Depression, need to enhance their brain serotonin levels and may respond better to a high carbohydrate diet.
Vitamin B6 –B6 taken as a supplement helps with GABA synthesis. GABA – (gamma-aminobutyric acid) functions as a neurotransmitter, occurs naturally in your brain, and has an inhibitory function – it tends to slow down neuron firing.
Magnesium -is a great muscle relaxant and has a calming effect on the body. Low levels of magnesium are associated with a whole range of disorders. These may include high blood pressure, anxiety, diabetes and thyroid imbalances.
Theanine – Theanine boosts GABA and tones down the stimulating neurotransmitters that contribute to anxiety. It also boosts Dopamine – which is one of the “feel good” neurotransmitters.
L-Tryptophan – L Tryptophan also boosts serotonin levels. For best absorption, doctors recommend a dose of 1000-3000 mg per day, taken on an empty stomach with a small amount of carbohydrate.
5-HTP – 5 –HTP is another supplement that increases your brain’s serotonin levels. The recommended dose is 50-10 mg for adults taken two to three times a day. Children would take half this recommended dosage. Taken at night, 5-HTP can help you sleep better as well.
St. John’s Wort – an herbal remedy that can be effective in boosting serotonin levels more gently than prescribed medications. The starting dose for adults is 600 mg taken 2-3 times per day. Be sure to select one with a minimum of 0.3 percent of the active ingredient Hypericin.
Healing Hands School of Holistic Health has been serving residents in Southern California for over 27 years. To date, their highly qualified Instructors have prepared more than 7,500 students for rewarding careers as Massage Therapists and can do the same for YOU! To learn more about a career as a Professional Massage Therapist, visit us online at www.HealingHandsSchool.com or call us at (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills or (760) 746-9364 in Escondido or (858) 505-1100 in Kearny Mesa. ###