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A Holistic Approach to Depression, Anxiety, AD(H)D and Neurotransmitter Related Disorders
Neurotransmitters are messenger chemicals in the brain. Many conditions such as anxiety and depression are directly related to the imbalance of neurotransmitters. Common neurotransmitters include acetylcholine, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin etc. Neurotransmitter imbalances are commonly treated with a type of medication called SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor). SSRIs can be effective for a period of time. But the effect could be temporary. Many patients had to change medications or continue to increase the dosage of the same medication, in order to achieve the same results over time.
From a holistic point of view, to balance neurotransmitters we should look at the problem beyond neurotransmitters in the brain. It is suggested that serotonin is made from tryptophan and the process may start from digestive system. Protein digestion, tryptophan absorption, availability of the enzymes and cofactors synthesizing serotonin all play roles in serotonin metabolism. Blockages related to any of the above factors may cause deficiency of the end product--serotonin.
Based on some clinical observation, overall serotonin deficiency in the body may be the reason causing anxiety and depression. Simply changing population of serotonin in the brain with SSRI may not solve the real problem. There are a few laboratory tests available to check urine neurotransmitter levels. These tests provide important information on changes in serotonin levels.
Besides, neurotoxins such as heavy metals and toxins from pathogens may bind and damage the serotonin receptors and cause neuro-psychological problems.
Another possibility is that the blockage of serotonin metabolism and receptor malfunction could be a result of autoimmune response as well. There are more and more reports showing that autoimmune response in the nervous system is one of the major causes for neurological and psychological problems. Further study on this area may open a door to develop autoimmune related therapies for anxiety and depression.
It believes that toxin accumulation in the body is one of the main reasons causing autoimmune response. The toxins include endogenous metabolic toxins, environmental toxins and toxins from pathogens. Our immune system is sensitive to the presence of toxins and will do everything to eliminate them. If the toxins are hidden inside tissue and cells for a long time, autoimmune response is developed to the tissue and cells hosting the toxins. This could be the root problem for many toxin-immune related diseases. Therefore, helping the body’s detoxification and calming the immune system down become the major goal of the therapy. However there are not many conventional therapies available for this condition. In this field, energetic medicine opens a door to treat these conditions and is worth to explore further.
Based on energy medicine, the body has self-healing and detoxing abilities. Because of the blockages of the energy pathways and malfunction of the associated organs, the body’s self-healing ability is compromised. On the other hand, unblocking those pathways will strengthen this self-healing ability. Detoxification process requires that the energy pathways and related organ systems perform at optimal condition. From this point of view, traditional Chinese meridian balancing therapy definitely helps the body’s detox function. Meanwhile homeopathy plays a major complementary role in energetic detox therapy. Modern homeopathic formula not only provides specific nosode detox but also address drainage system and organ function. Chinese meridian therapy and homeopathy combined to form a perfect energetic program to help the body detox and heal.
Autoimmune response is another important factor causing neurotransmitter imbalance. The term autoimmune response means the body’s immune system attacks its own brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) or other nutrients associated with the production of the neutrotransmitters, such as amino acids, receptors on the intestinal lining that can break down protein and absorb amino acids, etc. Solving the autoimmune response to neurotransmitter and its production pathway helps to balance the neurotransmitter level for those patients with a chaotic immune system. Immune System Reprogramming technique is a good way to address this issue and help other therapies to address other problems further down in the road.
In addition to neurotoxin and autoimmune response, overall serotonin deficiency is another major factor affecting neuropsychological function. It leads to another focus in holistic medicine, digestive health. Many diseases start with problems in digestive system. Because of modern life styles such as busy schedule, emotional stress and environmental toxins, digestive function is often compromised. High stress and toxins cause reduction of digestive enzymes and weak immune function in digestive system. Over growth of Candida yeast and bad bacteria in digestive tract leads to further damage to the lymphatic tissue and receptors on the intestinal lining. All of the above cause food indigestion, malabsorption of nutrients such as vitamins and amino acids, and blockages of neurotransmitter production. Solving digestive issues becomes number one goal for neurotransmitter related conditions.
There are quite a few amino acid formulas available to treat neurotransmitter related conditions. The common formulas include 5-HTP, Tyrosine and Taurine etc. These formulas somehow increase neurotransmitter production and change their balance in the brain. The common problem in taking those formulas is digestive symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea and vomit etc. Some patients go through a tough time in the beginning and get better in a few weeks. Some others give up the therapy. But if the digestive system cannot break down and absorb amino acids in the first place, amino acid supplemented by this method may not be effective enough to treat the issues. Our therapies are aimed at solving the root cause of the problems—to improve the digestive system so it can produce and absorb amino acids and thus nourishing the brain and neurological system.
Focusing on the cause of the neurotransmitter imbalance is the first priority of our program. In the beginning of the therapy, balancing, detoxification and Immune System Reprogramming are used to open metabolic pathways for nutrients. After the body gets out of the initial chaotic stage and energetic and metabolic pathways are running normally, most of the clinical symptoms related to neurotransmitter imbalance might have been resolved already. For those patients who need a final push for neurotransmitter production and those who might have receptor damage and need a higher level neurotransmitter to maintain normal activities, a small dose of amino acid formula may be used. The common amino acid formula contain 5-HTP, Tyrosine, Taurine, Phenylalanine, Cysteine, etc. as well as cofactors such as vitamins and minerals.
Most of the female patients who suffer from anxiety and depression often complain that the symptoms get much worse before their monthly menstruation or during their menopause. Female hormone imbalance causes high inflammation in the body, which may make other symptoms worse. Balancing female hormones plays major role in the symptom control for female patients. Once their hormones are balanced, anxiety and depression may not be their major concern any more.
Thyroid hormone imbalance also causes anxiety and depression. Evaluating thyroid function is an important step to identify the cause of the symptoms. Supporting thyroid function makes a big difference for those thyroid originated depression cases. Low thyroid function can be a result of high adrenal stress or autoimmune response. Addressing root issues for the low thyroid function works much better for the patient than just supplementing with thyroid hormones.
Imbalance of Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) system is another cause for anxiety and depression. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are adrenal hormones and participate in signal transmitting among neurons. HPA function also plays roles in the production of other neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine etc. This is the major reason why stresses may induce depression and anxiety and make the symptoms much worse. Successfully addressing HPA function helps to control depression and anxiety much easier.
Emotion can be a trigger to depression and anxiety attack. Emotional effect on depression and anxiety comes from either stressing HPA system or blocking meridians. Emotional stress can be a major stress for the HPA system. Helping emotions through energetic emotional therapy reduces the stress and tendency to have depression and anxiety.
Based on energy psychology, emotions can block meridians and cause physiological problems. On the other hand, specific meridian imbalance also leads to emotional blockages. Emotional blockage in meridian is the energetic base for anxiety and depression, while neurotransmitter deficiency and receptor damage describe biochemical bases for this disease. Solving emotional issue helps to reduce the severity and frequency of anxiety and depression. For more information, please read Dr. Hong's official website and Dr. Hong's Blog.
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