Some people consider bad habits a mental health concern. They are not quite the same thing!
While many natural things can support a mental health issue, they rarely can be the only solution.
Where naturopathy can be best utilized, is for things like kicking bad habits.
Are all bad habits necessary to kick? Not always! That is for you to judge. I can help you decide; and I can give you tools to make some important changes, that have some kind of theory, philosophy, and science to back it up.
First, what is the habit?
Some ideas to be discussed are things like:
-sense of enjoyment/fulfillment
-nutrients that play a role in the nervous system
-safe and non-habit forming alternatives
-concepts related to our nervous system, our personality, our sensitivity and how we function at our best/worst
-lifestyle choices that encourage health promoting behaviors, keeping in mind that no one is perfect and it is not always necessary to do these things all the time
I am currently reading The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner, a pioneer in incorporating Shamanism and Aboriginal medicine to Western thought.
Naturopathic Doctors are not trained in Shamanism, however, I have always been curious about this long-used form of medicine and without searching too much for explanations, to gently grasp some of the concepts as described by Shaman's, their apprentices, and indigenous medicine.
What I am finding most intriguing are the parallels between it and other vitalistic concepts of health and healing as described in Homeopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine (Qi and meridians). The basis that when the body's vital energy is strong, there is less chance of invasions, of progression or worsening of existing illness, and lifting of depression and anxiety.
I am discovering similarities between the philosophy of homeopathy and how the body expresses or does not, its energy - with some of the concepts in Aboriginal medicine.
What does it mean to be "sensitive"? More and more, people are describing themselves as sensitive or hypersensitive. In health, this statement can mean different things. There is emotional sensitivity, whereby psychologically we are easily triggered and reactive, either emotionally or through behavior. There is physical sensitivity, whereby we are sensitive to cold, heat, wind, rain, etc. And then there is chemical sensitivity, whereby many adverse events occur from coffee, nicotine, alcohol, medications, etc.
Naturopathic medicine aims to consider all of these sensitivities as one package. Are we emotionally sensitive because of a chemical sensitivity, or vice versa? Is it all in our head or all in our body??
There are 5 organs of detoxification: the lungs, kidneys, gastro-intestinal tract, liver, and skin. These organs function together in order to balance our level of toxic burden. Depending on our lifestyle choices, certain organs may be working harder than others.
The avoidance of c...
Tryptophan is interesting in that it is the sole precursor of the inhibitory neurotransmitter serotonin. The relative percentage of tryptophan in protein sources is small in comparison to the other amino acids (roughly 1%). Additionally, the degradation of tryptophan occurs via two pathways: the kynurenine pathway that is responsible for 90-95% of tryptophan degradation and the minor pathways that lead to serotonin and melatonin (serotonin synthesis). The kynurerine pathway leads to two metabolites, quinolinic and kynurenic acid, which act on the NMDA receptors (glutamate receptor) as either an agonist (neurotoxic) and antagonist (neuroprotective) respectively (1). Interestingly, the kynurenine pathway is involved in UV protection of the retina, which naturally declines with age (2). The kynurenine pathways is also involved in the formation of NAD and NADP necessary for redox reactions. To a lesser degree, tryptophan degradation along the kynurenine pathway is involved in niacin (B3) s...
The neuropsychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), autism-spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) lead to certain traits such as impulsivity and compulsivity, and increased irritability. Research has indicated that these disorders in early childhood can persist to impulsivity and addictive behavior in adulthood (1,2). Addictions in adulthood can stem from a simple pleasure that turns into a compulsion with several neural and brain adaptations that occur as a result of changes on the neural-transmission in the brain, and physiology associated with the chemical / behavior leading to deficiencies in motivation and learning (3).
One proposed hypothesis in the etiology of these disorders, based on observations in neuro-imaging studies, are the glutamatergic interactions in the frontal area of the brain. Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter in the nervous system.
Before reaching for herbs or other products to help ease anxiety, it may be worthwhile to investigate some behavioral approaches to reduce anxiety and stress. Here are 5 easy steps to reduce anxiety.
Step 1: Buy a watch. Time is the only constant variable.
Step 2: Memorize 3-4 important phone numbers in your cell phone. Memorizing is a great way to enhance cognition.
Step 3: In the morning, take 5-10 min to visualize and plan out your day. Research any anticipated events that may require you to look something up on the internet. Create a positive image of your day. Visualization has been known to improve outcomes of negative events.
Step 4: Leave your cell phone at home. Cell phone use is becoming an increasing problem with anxiety disorders.
Step 5: When in need, reach out and ask someone for help or call one of the numbers you memorized. Connecting to a person and practicing healthy social behavior improves mood.
There exists a host of plant compounds that are being studied for their properties to aid in these mental and emotional disturbances. In the plant, there is usually one predominant active ingredient, however, there can also be an abundance of ingredients creating what is presumed to be a synergistic effect. For example, valerian has over 150 of these active ingredients. Originally developed in plants as a means of defense, these compounds are generally recognized as safe however there are some that may be toxic in large doses, such as kava kava or Saint John's Wort (not my favorite, by the way!).
In vitro or lab studies are used to determine the mechanism of action, or pharmacological properties of these extracts or compounds, while clinical trials are used to determine the actual effectiveness in humans. These trials may or may not be conducted in a suitable way to determine the appropriate efficacy or guidelines for recommendations, however with greater number of trials, the...
Starting October 1st through until December 1st, I will be offering my services of pay what you can every Wednesday 8am-8pm!
This month, my pay what you can day will be Saturday October 27th 2018, 10am - 3pm.
Please email email@example.com. Je parle les deux langues.
Still do not know what naturopathy is? Good question! It is an open-concept approach to whole-person care using tools that are non-pharmacological, but do not replace your pharmacy or medical doctor. A good quality trained ND will have the accredited education, and will use more than anecdotal evidence to provide you with a strong program to achieve your health goals, one step at a time. In fact, I will most likely help your other providers in their approach to reinforce what you could be doing.
I bring compassion and knowledge together, and why not discuss philosophy!
What am I good at? Helping out with mood and anxiety disorders, and women's health conditions.
And you can come see if you have digestive concerns too.