By Sarah A LoBisco, ND
Diet is a key factor to contribute as the foundation of overall health. A healthy brain and a healthy body go hand in hand. For example, in a recent data complication, researchers sought to find an association between international variations in the outcome of schizophrenia, patterns of food usage, and the prevalence of depression. (A note of caution here: association does not mean causation).
This study was a 2-year outcome data study that based its data on the International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia (IPSS; World Health Organization, 1979) and the Determinants of Outcome of Severe Mental Disorders (DOSMED) study (Jablensky et al, 1992). The results measured were mean days out of hospital and percentage of patients with severe social impairment, the two outcome variables. The researchers concluded (bold and underline my emphasis):
In conclusion, this study has shown that national dietary factors predict international variations in the outcome of schizophrenia and prevalence of depression. The nutritional predictors are similar to those reported for other ‘Western’ diseases such as diabetes and coronary heart disease, which are more common in people with mental health problems. Whether the relationship between nutritional factors and mental health is causal can be determined only by intervention studies. Initial treatment studies with omega-3 fatty acids in depression are encouraging but other nutritional strategies should be explored.
You can read more about diet and health on the link provided below.
Tapping Out the Stress Response
Mental stress perpetuates the cycle of physical stress. As mentioned last week, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and meditation can remedy the effects.
In the references below, I have listed a link to an EFT video that reviews the impact of stress and discusses more on how tapping assists to alleviate it.
If you have 27 minutes, it’s worth the background discussion as you prep lunch or dinner. 🙂
Smell Your Way To Calm: Essential Oils
Many of you know I’m a big fan of essential oils. A recently came across a study on the connection between oils, stress effects, and heart health.
This study took place with 100 participants in Taiwan and demonstrated the stress relieving effects of essential oils diffusion on blood pressure measures. Specifically, the researchers found a significant difference in those exposed to the smell of essential oils at 15 minutes to 60 minutes vs. those who weren’t. The researchers noted a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure in the first hour, then an increase in both patterns after an hour.
Although the researchers weren’t sure what to make of the effects after one hour, I think this is an excellent demonstration of two effects:
1. Dosage (Hormesis)
2. The modulating effects of essential oils!
The plants innate chemical balance can mitigate balance in biochemistry when levels are getting too low and support optimization back to set point! I have yet to witness a negative effect of long-term diffusion.
Read more about essential oils on the Times Union Blog listed below.
Hug the One you love!
A recent study of 38 married couples demonstrated the positive effects of close, emotional support on heart health, especially in women. This was done by measuring the effect of “warm contact” on various stress hormonal responses in the body (oxytoxin, norepinephrine, cortisol, and blood pressure).
The researchers found greater partner support (self-reported) to higher levels of oxytocin and lowered blood pressure with decreased release of stress hormones!
Other Brain Healthy Tips
Some other brain healthy tips include:
decreasing environmental impact
There’s more….but it’s your turn…
What are your favorite tools in mind-body medicine?
What else do you notice effects your mental health?
Amen, D. It’s Time to Stop Flying Blind: How Not Looking at the Brain Leads to Missed Diagnoses, Failed Treatments, and Dangerous Behaviors. Alternative Therapies, March/April 2013, VOL. 19, NO.2. http://modernhcp.com/PDFS/amen.pdf
Peet M. International variations in the outcome of schizophrenia and the prevalence of depression in relation to national dietary practices: an ecological analysis. Br J Psychiatry. 2004 May;184:404-8.
Chuang, et al. The effect of essential oil on heart rate and blood pressure among solus por aqua workers (abstract). European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. November 29, 2012. http://cpr.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/11/21/2047487312469474.abstract
Grewen KM, Girdler SS, Amico J, Light KC. Effects of partner support on resting oxytocin, cortisol, norepinephrine, and blood pressure before and after warm partner contact. Psychosom Med. 2005 Jul-Aug;67(4):531-8. http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/content/67/4/531.long
Shinichiro Haze, Keiko Sakai, Yoko Gozu . Effects of fragrance inhalation on sympathetic activity in normal adults. Jpn J Pharmacol. 2002 Nov;90(3):247-53. PMID: 12499579. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jjp/90/3/90_3_247/_pdf
Sun-Young Lee. [The effect of lavender aromatherapy on cognitive function, emotion, and aggressive behavior of elderly with dementia] (abstract). Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2005 Apr;35(2):303-12. PMID: 15860944
Links to Blogs listed above:
Lane, C. Tips for preventing the Cold & Flu naturally. TimesUnion Blog. 1/11/13. http://blog.timesunion.com/healthylife/tips-for-preventing-the-cold-flu-naturally/13213/
Ortner, N & Ortner, J. This Tapping Thing Explained…(video). thetappingsolution.com. 1/21/13. http://thetappingsolution.com/2013VideoSeries/?page_id=17
LoBisco, S. Diet as the Foundation to Health. https://dr-lobisco.com/building-the-foundation-for-health-in-2012/
LoBisco, S. Hormesis: https://dr-lobisco.com/the-concept-of-hormesis-goldilocks-was-right/