Mood disorders have become epidemic. Over 40 million Americans are taking prescription drugs for depression or anxiety. Natural ways to stabilize mood and achieve mental health can often be just as beneficial as pharmaceutical agents, without causing bothersome side effects. Let’s take a closer look at four simple and effective approaches.
– Dichromatic green light therapy. Green light has been successful in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and is effective at regulating circadian rhythms. It is thought to affect brain chemicals associated with mood, as well as reset the body’s internal clock. Green light therapy has also had a positive effect on non-seasonal depression, sleep disorders, and other conditions.
– Warm Shower Followed by Cold Shower. Hydrotherapy (applying water to the skin) has been used since ancient times as a method of balancing the body and mind. Exposure to cold water is thought to stimulate the release of norepinephrine in the brain and increase blood levels of both beta-endorphin and norepinephrine – which directly and indirectly improve mood. Warm water helps relieve stress and muscle tension. Alternating cold with warm water helps strengthen the circulatory system as well as the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system, and helps remove toxins from the body. Starting your day with a cold/warm shower will get your blood pumping, your feel-good hormones flowing, and your body and mind invigorated.
– Salt and soda baths. Combine a half-cup of Epsom salts with a half-cup of baking soda in hot bath water and soak for 20 minutes. Since Epsom salts are another name for magnesium sulfate, this bath will not only remove toxins from your body, but it will also help to boost magnesium levels, which in turn helps to boost serotonin levels in the brain, improving mood. (Magnesium is necessary to convert tryptophan to serotonin.)
– Amino acids: Glycine, Methionine and Magnesium aspartate. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins in the body, and have historically been obtained from the diet. However, as highly processed, fatty foods and chemical food additives have become staples of the American diet, unstable mental and emotional health have become all too common. For optimum psychological health, the body must eliminate chemicals and toxins. Nutrient deficits reduce the body’s capacity for detoxification. Toxins and chemicals that are not properly cleared become free to interfere with the body’s own chemicals and chemical messengers, particularly neurotransmitters, which affect mood and thought patterns.
- L-methionine is key to maintaining clear detoxification pathways in the liver and brain. In the liver, the L-methionine acts to chelate heavy metals, much-documented contributors to mental and emotional disorders. Researchers are increasingly discovering the importance of methionine in the treatment of depression. In a random, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, oral supplementation of S-adenosylmethionine significantly improved symptoms of major depression. In another study of patients with major depression, researchers found an inverse relationship between plasma levels of S-adenosylmethionine and symptoms of depression.*Glycine, used by the brain as a control neurotransmitter, regulates sleep rhythms, thereby producing calmness and aiding sleep. It also sustains the phase II detoxification pathway in the liver, neutralizing and clearing toxins.*
- Magnesium, which is implicated in nerve irritability and mood instability, is required for nerve transmission, and maintaining normal mood levels.* Magnesium aspartate has been shown in various research studies to be an important nutrient for correcting mood swings, nerve irritability, and help with depression. *
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.