As a Holistic Health Practitioner and Life Coach, with both a medical and mental health background, I look to balancing your neurotransmitters as a first step in healing the whole body. Once our brains are healthier and better balanced, mental and physical health follows naturally.
Our brain is the control center of our body and regulates mood, activity, energy, focus, concentration, motivation, pleasure, appetite, sleep, and much much more. Our brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, regulate brain activity and are a complex and highly interactive system. The right balance of chemicals in our brain is essential to feeling happy and healthy. This then can allow us to develop healthier lifestyles and reach our full potential.
The mind-body connection is powerful and there are many factors that affect the chemical balance of the brain. Achieving a state of optimal mental and physical health can only happen when there is a balance in the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. This is called the study of psycho-neuro-immunology which helps us understand the interrelationship between each and how they effect our state of health or illness.
Imbalances in these systems occur as a result of exposure to psychological and/or physical challenges. Both metabolism and genetics effect our body’s ability to produce neurotransmitters. Stress, which seems to be ubiquitous for most people, is detrimental to our neurotransmitter system and underlying stressors such as mental stress, poor diet and nutrition, and unhealthy lifestyles contribute to the dysregulation in brain chemistry. Other things that influence neurotransmitter balance include infections, environmental toxins, and/or general immune system concerns.
Testing and Treatment
Beyond antidepressants and other medications which treat anxiety, depression, insomnia and other mental health conditions, there are supplements available that will increase our body’s ability to correct neurotransmitter imbalances. While neurotransmitters are being re-built with appropriately designed supplements, treatment with conventional medications can be used in symptom management.
The research in this area is continually expanding and the diagnostic testing of neurotransmitter biomarkers, which in conjunction with clinical symptoms, aids in determining the balance of neurotransmitters. Treatment with the appropriate amino acids and other nutritional supplements can help to correct these imbalances. This supplement modality is essential to attaining not only good mental, but also physical health.
Testing is easy, relatively cost effective, and often covered by health insurance companies.