A recently published meta-analysis showed that vitamin and mineral supplementation benefits mood. Continue reading
I recenty read ‘The Breakthrough Depression Solution’ by James Greenblatt, MD. Greenblatt is an integrative psychiatrist and his approach to depression is very different from that of mainstream psychiatry. I personally found his argument very convincing. For nutrition and nutritional therapy aficionados there’s much here to learn from. This post is about why I think this kind of approach represents the future of medicine. Continue reading
Professor Richard Gevirtz is one of the world’s foremost authorities on Heart Rate Variability Biofeedback (also known as Heart Rate Coherence biofeedback). Last week he visited the UK and delivered a two day training seminar focusing on the applications of HRV biofeedback. I was in attendance and like the other delegates was (re-)inspired by the power and potential of this technique. I wanted to devote this blog post to summarising some of the main themes. Continue reading
As long as I’ve been a therapist I’ve held that psychotherapy interventions should be rooted in an understanding of the biological systems that underlie mental and emotional well-being.
Professor Richard Davidson’s recent book, ‘The Emotional Life of Your Brain’ (co-authored with Sharon Begley), offers us a glimpse of a future in which mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are defined not in terms of their symptoms but rather which specific brain systems are out of balance or need to be strengthened. Such an understanding would naturally inform our choice of therapies.
Professor Davidson is a leading figure in the field of “affective neuroscience”, or the study of the brain mechanisms behind emotions. The book explores his theory of “emotional style”, a way of describing our emotional propensities based on a set of six dimensions, each representing a relatively independent trait and embodied in distinct brain circuits that can be measured objectively using the tools of neuroscience. Examples are resilience, or how quickly you recover from adverse events, and self-awareness in the sense of how well you perceive bodily sensations that reflect emotions. Continue reading
Recently New Scientist magazine published an article on Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) reflecting a growing level of interest in the subject. Current research is exploring the therapeutic efficacy of tDCS, but as the article indicates, also its potential in helping all of us access optimal performance, especially in learning. Whilst tDCS must still be regarded as an experimental therapy it clearly has lots of potential, and tDCS and other forms of neurotherapy and neurofeedback are available to clients of York Mind-Body Health. Continue reading
Let’s summarise the drift of my last few posts.
- I find EEG assessment to be useful and percipient in clinical practice.
- I think it has more potential yet. The system I use derives from neurotherapy where it is used for selecting neurofeedback protocols, but I think it’s use can go beyond that. My ambition is to use it to inform my decisions in nutritional therapy.
- A lot is known about how neurotransmitter brain chemistry relates to symptomatology in mental, emotional and neurological disorders. Mainstream medicine’s approach targets brain chemistry adjustment – even though for the most part no attempt is made to objectively assess patients’ neurochemistry.
- There are EEG patterns that correlate to symptom patterns, albeit loosely rather than definitively. So it might be possible to use EEG patterns to predict which nutritional interventions are more likely to be successful. Continue reading
In my last post I made the case for EEG assessment as a useful and powerful tool in therapy and coaching. In this post I hope to put some flesh on those bones by explaining just what EEG is and what it can tell us.
EEG (short for electroencephalography) is simply an oscillating voltage measured from the scalp, and deriving from activity in the brain’s cerebral cortex. We can analyse the EEG to make sense of how the brain is functioning. Continue reading