Depression, anxiety, and mental health are hot topics. Emotional factors, external substances, along with endogenous genetic physiology all play a part in one’s emotional health. These contributing causes vary as much as successful treatments. But more and more credence is being given to controllable factors that previously were discounted by mainstream medicine.
In my 18 years in practice, I have witnessed dramatic improvements in clients’ moods, level of depression, anxiety, energy and feelings of well-being when specific underlying causes are eliminated or down-regulated.
- 1. DIET AND INFLAMMATION: In the past few years alone, extensive research has been conducted, and conclusions reported by Integrative Psychiatry, JAMA Psychiatry, Alternative Mental Health, and even in the Huffington Post that attention should be paid to the connection between inflammation in the brain, depression/mood and diet. This is why I am a proponent of testing for food sensitivities (not just allergies) as sensitivities also promote chronic inflammation. Maintaining an anti-inflammatory nutrition plan, unique to the individual, improves mood and energy, and overall health in general. Consider having your practitioners test you for food sensitivities in addition to allergies.
- 2. TOXINS AND PATHOGENS: Environmental and chemical toxins, herbicides, pesticides, toxins in personal care products, and pathogens such as excess Candida, Yeast overgrowth, parasites, heavy metals, chronic viruses, bacteria and fungi, all play a role in mood and mental well-being. These also can create chronic inflammation in the system with the same ramifications as an inflammatory diet. My clients complete 3 self-tests on my website, I review their standard blood work, and look at total score values and for patterns in blood studies that are indicative of a problem. This is another area that is addressed with my clients, and in so doing, mood and energy improve.
- 3. B-Vitamins: B complex vitamins are important for the health of the nervous system. Some diets provide adequate amounts, but some do not. And depending on the absorption capability of the individual, whether they have digestive issues, leaky gut, or other malabsorption tendencies, sometimes adequate amounts of the necessary B vitamins are not met even with supplementation. Also, if supplementing with B vitamins, there may be genetic issues with methylation which require certain vitamins to be in either “methylated or non-methylated” format, for in the wrong format, mood and energy can be made worse. Again, work with your healthcare team to make sure you are getting not only what you need, but in the proper format for you
- 4. ESSENTIAL OILS: Certain fragrances have been proven to uplift mood and feelings of well-being or to calm over anxious nervous systems. The oils I frequently suggest that my clients try for mood enhancement are lavender, lemon balm, cypress, cedar, clary sage, rosemary, eucalyptus, and neroli. Based on clients’ needs to calm down feelings of anxiety, or to uplift mood and energy, essential oils work through the limbic system in the brain and can help in gentle but effective ways. Experiment a bit and find what works best for you, based on what is needed. You can also work with your practitioners that are familiar with the properties of essential oils for individual guidance.
- 5. SUPPLEMENTS: Just as one person’s food can be another person’s poison, so too ingesting herbs and nutritional supplements should be monitored by a knowledgeable practitioner on your health team. Some medications are contraindicated for certain herbs or supplements. Some health conditions are also contraindicated for certain herbs and nutritional supplements. But two products that I often suggest to my clients when needed, if there is no contraindication of a health issue or medication are GUNA MOOD, and Bach Flower Essence Rescue Remedy. These 2 products have helped tremendously for many of my clients while they are going through the process of balancing their systems in their plan for well-being and goals for health.
As always, there is no one cause or solution for everyone. Each person must do the work and find the appropriate guidance to address their underlying causes when it comes to mental health. But if you or your practitioners were unaware of the impact of an anti-inflammatory diet, the need to address all toxins and chronic pathogens, the proper format and types of B vitamins, the benefits of certain essential oils, and the help possible from certain supplements, then I suggest you consider these tips.
Wishing you health, the help you need for improved mental well-being, and living your best life.