Dopamine Deficiency Part IV: More Solutions
Do you struggle with belief in any area of your life? Maybe it’s work…. Self confidence…. Big goals…. If so, know that improving your dopamine balance will only help you grow into living what you struggle to believe. Now would be a great time to grab that bottle of Believe essential oil and become a walking diffuser for yourself. Go grab it now… I’ll wait for you!
Gary Young knew which plant chemicals stimulate, protect, and support healthy dopamine levels. And of course, he knew that belief is fueled by dopamine. Essential oils Balsam, Coriander, Bergamot, Frankincense, Idaho Blue Spruce, Ylang ylang , and Geranium all fuel belief through their effect on dopamine within us. These are the oils within the blend Believe. Pretty cool right? Gary never made a product that wasn’t highly purposeful!
Other oils that have been found to contain constituents supportive of healthy dopamine levels in the body include rosemary, oregano, thyme, rose, sandalwood, neroli , palmarosa , and marjoram . Did you notice that many of these oils are used in Raindrop massage? Just one more reason everyone should receive a Raindrop on the regular!
God has gifted us with so many natural ways to support dopamine levels. (Go back and review last week’s post so that you’ll have the full combined list!)
Mowing the yard! It may be hard work, but the aroma of fresh cut grass contains a chemical called hexanal (the “green” smell of grass) that stimulates dopamine release.
St. John’s Wort has been found to increase dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the brain by 40%. Resveratrol has been found to perform similarly ( found in red wine, fresh grapes, dark chocolate, blueberries, peanut butter)
Organic coffee (No more than one cup a day or it may contribute to adrenal fatigue…. A dopamine high followed by a crash!) or a cuppa organic green tea (Have you tried the YL Vanilla Lemongrass Green Tea yet?) is a dopamine supportive treat.
Rhodiola is another herb known to stimulate dopamine receptors and inhibit enzymes that break down dopamine in the brain. Ashwagandha (You might recognize this as an ingredient in Powergize and Endogize) is also an effective adaptogen with supportive dopamine activity.
Pregnenolone is a natural hormone produced in the body that has a positive effect on dopamine levels in the brain. It is an ingredient in hormone supportive Cortistop capsules, PD 80/20 capsules, and Regenolone moisturizing cream. Do a little research on each of these to determine if they might fight your individual hormone balancing needs.
Acupuncture stimulates the vagus nerve, which in turn support healthy dopamine levels. (Go back and reread the section on low vagal tone!)
Creating and performing music boosts dopamine levels even more than listening to your favorite tunes, but all three are effective. Listening to music has even been shown to improve fine motor skills in Parkinson’s patients.
Chronic inflammation reduces dopamine synthesis and release in the brain. We’ve got tools on hand to support a healthy inflammatory response (as opposed to the runaway variety!). Sulfurzyme, BLM, Agilease, and OmegaGize3 are excellent supplements. Nobody can “out supplement” an unhealthy lifestyle…..examine your life and look for offending (and often hidden) toxin triggers in household chemicals, processed foods and drinks, body care products, and makeup.
Lack of sleep down regulates dopamine receptors and reduces dopamine receptor availability. You know what to do! Sleep is so very important in ALL aspects of health. Review your sleep hygiene practices and look for “holes in the armor” that may result in interrupted sleep. I LOVE and incorporate Rutavala on the base of my big toe and Immupro (chewable) in my bedtime rituals.
Iron plays a role in dopaminergic neurotransmission. Iron and ferritin levels are important lab values to watch (both for being too low and too high). Natural sources of iron include spirulina ( an ingredient in Multigreens), dark chocolate, spinach, shellfish, organ meats (I highly suggest Sally Fallon’s cookbook Nourishing Traditions), beans, lentils, chickpeas, red meat, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, turkey, broccoli, and fish.
Vitamin C assists with the formation and conversion of dopamine in the brain. Deficient levels of vitamin C may show up as a low mood. Super C Chewables are a tasty way to supplement daily.
Vitamins B6 and B9 are critical for dopamine synthesis. Low folate levels contribute massively to low dopamine levels which may ultimately lead to depression. Super B is another fantastic supplement to help the body in at least a thousand little and big ways.
Alternate between standing and sitting. “Chronic sitting” lowers dopamine levels. Our body was designed to move!
Finish a project. Who knew? This in itself causes the brain to flood with dopamine.
Huge (and easy) list, right? And yet, sometimes it may seem hard to get motivated to make the changes. Circle back around….. Grab your bottle of Believe, and start somewhere small. I promise you won’t regret finding your dopamine happy place!
My husband calls me “the noticer” on our farm because I notice even the slightest irregularities or inconsistencies… It doesn’t matter if it’s a person, plant, or beast. Often what I notice is nothing to be concerned about, but acknowledging trends or patterns will oftentimes save time and heartache if we can “nip something in the bud” before we have an all-out crisis.
It doesn’t matter if you live on a farm👩🌾 or in a city apartment🏢, becoming a casual “noticer” hones skills that may keep you safe, alive, and healthy. Pairing “noticing” with instinct (what I prefer to call Holy Spirit-led discernment😉), along with a bit of knowledge goes a long way as a skilled “noticer”. We all become amateur paramedic sleuths🔎 when a temperature is taken, a throat is examined for spots, sleep is lost, pain is felt, or a quick look is taken at what just dropped into the toilet😳😱. Those are all clues that we see after the fact…. changes within the body have become noticeable enough that they can no longer be ignored.
“Blood goes round and round” air goes in and out; any variation from this is bad.”~ Paramedic 101
*Blood should move efficiently and effectively throughout the body. If it does not, trouble is on the horizon. Blood transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and removes carbon dioxide and other waste. It also helps regulate body temperature and pH and is a shield of protection within us by way of its finely tuned clotting mechanisms (so that we won’t bleed too much or too little) and role in immune system function.
*Healthy “clean” blood makes more efficient oxygen and nutrient deliveries to cells which ultimately leads to better mental health, cleaner clearer skin, better regulation of cholesterol, and enhanced liver and lung function (which allow for better offloading of cellular and pathogenic waste and toxins).
*Does your blood appear to move efficiently throughout the body?
Try this “hands-on” clue to assess whether your vascular system may (or may not) be serving blood to the nether regions of your body well (your hands and feet!).
The Capillary Nail Refill Test is a simple test you can do on yourself or a family member:
*Note the color of unpolished nails. They should be light pink in color.
*Gently and firmly press on the nail bed of a fingernail for about 5 seconds. The nail will turn pale.
*Holding the hand above the heart, release the pressure on the tip of the finger and watch for the amount of time it takes for the original color to return to the nail.
*Upon release of pressure, the nail should return to its original color within 2 seconds.
Now, what do the results from this clue mean? If the nail bed color takes more than two seconds to recover its color, it may mean any (or all) of these things need to be addressed:
👉Dehydration (blood simply cannot flow well if there isn’t enough water in the blood)
👉Hypothermia (if someone has poor peripheral circulation as with Raynaud’s Syndrome, a cold room can certainly affect the outcome of the press test. This in itself may be a clue, as Raynaud’s is often associated with autoimmune disorders such as lupus, scleroderma, RA, and Sjogren syndrome).
👉Peripheral vascular disease (commonly caused by a buildup of plaque inside artery walls which ultimately leads to narrowing, blockage, and vascular spasms in legs and sometimes also in arms. This is another clue if the pain is exacerbated during exercise and improves when at rest.)
Poor oxygenation throughout the body is the Number One cause of declining health and disease. Blood needs to flow, oxygen needs to be delivered, and waste needs to be disposed of constantly.
What are some things you can do to encourage and support a healthy vascular system?
*NingXia Red! Our favorite red drink supports both the vascular system and the blood flowing through it…. I encourage you to pick up a copy of NingXia Wolfberry: the Ultimate Superfood by Gary Young to learn more! You’ll never want to be without NingXia Red after understanding how valuable and supportive this drink is to our health.
*Eat plenty of fresh cabbage, lettuce, spinach, kale, broccoli, garlic, grapefruit, lemon, and oranges to encourage detoxification. Fruits like apples, plums, and pears have pectin fibers that are also useful in cleansing the blood.
💫Strive to keep a slightly alkaline body. In 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won a Nobel Prize for proving that highly oxygenated, slightly alkaline blood creates an inhospitable environment for cancer cells.
*Diaphragmatic Breathing: Use ALL of the lungs when breathing. Most people only breathe using the upper portion of their lungs. Make your diaphragm work when you breathe at least several times a day (if not always). Pairing “mindful breathing” with positive emotions and gratitude improves the oxygenation of blood!
*Stay well hydrated! If you don’t like to drink water, my guess is that you’ve never tried the Young Living Vitality Drops! (Grapefruit Bergamot is my fave!)
🌟Glutathione: This is the master antioxidant. Sulfurzyme provides the body with essential tools needed to make glutathione. This is another one of my personal all-time favorites!
🌿Chlorophyll, as is found in the leafy greens mentioned above, also provides key nutrients for healthy blood. It’s hard to get enough of it though for most people. Young Living’s Multigreens is a fantastic way to get concentrated chlorophyll into your body on the days you just can’t eat enough kale and spinach!
💥Vitamin B12 and Folate (Super B for the win!)
💪Exercise and movement! The mere act of standing up triggers chemical changes within the body that benefit blood flow.
*Increase joy and reduce stress in your life (Have you read Dr. Emoto’s book, “The Hidden Messages in Water”?)
👐Massage: It improves circulation and mood!
Poor circulation can be painful and even dangerous, and the ideas above are just a few ways to support a healthy vascular system and blood supply.
What is something that you consciously do to encourage cardiovascular health?
Feet: Part III… Health from the ground up!
I’ve got a question for you…… when was the last time you went barefoot 👣…..outside…. and on the regular? If you’ve never been one to go barefoot, this may be an important clue for your foot health AND your overall physical and emotional wellbeing.
Certainly you’ve heard the terminology, “He (or she) is well grounded.” What does being “well grounded” feel like? Here’s the clue….”Well groundedness” is the feeling of being VIBRANTLY healthy!
Calm. Cool. Collected.
Does this sound like you? If not, a little regular “grounding” is good medicine for everyone!
What is grounding? Grounding is direct contact of the skin, usually the feet (or hands) with the surface of the earth (or through a grounding system). Grounding is a method of healing that has been used for thousands of years all over the world. Sadly, in industrialized cultures, it has mostly been ignored or forgotten.
Very simply…. the earth 🌎is electromagnetic and so are we! We are designed by God to live exposed to the earth’s natural electrical field regularly. Unfortunately, most of the industrialized countries live more surrounded by stronger, harmful man made electromagnetic frequencies, and spend very little time in direct contact with the healing frequencies from the earth. Long term exposure to manmade EMF without grounding regularly ultimately contributes mightily to many health issues…. especially those that are neurological, cardiovascular, muscular, or immune system based. 😔 I would argue that one of the most electrically unhealthy places to be is in a hospital bed surrounded by electrical devices.
Decades ago, shoes were leather soled. This allowed the transfer of the earth’s healing energy to a person. Rubber and plastic on the other hand are insulators and inhibit the transfer of energy. Centuries ago, most people slept on pallets on the ground. Many cultures today still do…. but rarely in modernized countries. Sadly, in some areas of the world, people go for days or weeks never interacting with nature, much less going barefoot IN a natural setting.
There’s definitely a time and a place for shoes, but as in all things, finding balance between booted and barefoot is where we often fail. Over the centuries, shoes👠👟 have both solved problems and created them. I am a firm believer that God did indeed give us all we needed in the garden, which means there had to be a simple solution to foot health outside of a pair of $200 orthotics. Indeed, God created us to be predominately barefooted beings and science agrees!
Proven health benefits of regular “grounding” include:
📋Reduced inflammation throughout the body
📋Improved immune system function
📋Improved pain management
📋Decreased stress response / improved cortisol rhythm (which helps us shift more easily from “fight & flight” to “rest and digest”)
📋Improved circulation and decreased blood viscosity
📋Improved emotional health (increased serotonin levels)
📋Improved heart rate variability (which is associated with better recovery, emotional resilience, and an overall feeling of well-being)
📋Improved sleep patterns
📋Improved wound healing
How to practice grounding?👣 It’s so very easy! Soil, grass, sand, rocks, or unpainted concrete are all conductive grounding surfaces, while wood, asphalt, rubber, and vinyl are not. Grab a book, a friend, or simply enjoy sitting and relaxing in the outdoors barefoot. Go for a walk on a beach. Garden with your bare hands. Sit in a chair with your bare feet on the ground. Leave your electronics indoors! ….. Remember, the object is to rebalance the body’s electricity. It’s much harder to do that if you’ve got a cell phone in your hands!
*Studies show that a mere 30 minutes a day of grounding has a profound effect on overall wellness!
Additionally, simply walking barefoot:
➡️Trains the body to walk more naturally
➡️Improves body balance
➡️As in reflexology, pressure points in the feet are activated
➡️Strengthens foot and leg muscles (engages all muscles in feet, toes, and legs instead of relying on shoes to do it for you)
➡️Reduced hip and knee pain
➡️Reduces incidence of calluses, ingrown toenails, bunions, hammer toes and foot funk fungus
➡️Improves foot flexibility
Grounding and barefoot walking are two gifts of health we can give ourselves easily and inexpensively. If at first your feet object to freedom, consider simply sitting with your feet in the grass (don’t forget to use Young Living’s MOST AMAZING nontoxic Insect Repellent… a little dab’ll do ya’!). If your feet have been screaming for years, be patient with the process, but don’t give up!
If you’ve got achy arches, consider applying this blend regularly to the bottoms of your feet and incorporate some foot stretching exercises into your routine:
(in a 10ml roller bottle)
12 drops of copaiba
32 drops lemongrass
32 drops peppermint
12 drops helichrysum
12 drops frankincense
Fill the remaining space with the carrier oil of your choice!
It is no coincidence that VIBRANT and “vibrate” share the same etymology lineage. That’s energy my friends….in essence, grounding is like energy nutrition!
There is an old farm saying, “No hoof, no horse.”. The savvy horseman looks at hooves very carefully because he or she knows that a horse with poor feet will not be able to function optimally, and that a horse with chronic hoof issues often has metabolic, digestive, or rarely… a genetic anomaly . The same holds absolutely true with humans.
If you’ve had an excellent massage therapist (or perhaps even an astute pedicurist), perhaps they’ve told you a little bit about yourself simply by examining your feet while they worked. It’s lovely to have a day of pampering, but don’t depend on anyone to look for clues. It’s time to get to know your feet really well if you haven’t done so already! Our feet are an excellent barometer of overall health. Clues often appear below the ankles before any other place on the body, giving ample time to reverse the course of your personal story should it happen to be heading down a rocky road.
26 bones. 33 joints. 100 ligaments. More than 100 moving parts. What could possibly go wrong? 😬Well, take a seat….shuck the shoes 👟and socks, and take a close look at your hardworking utterly complex feet. I’m going to group feet clues into two categories: What you can SEE and what you can FEEL.
Visible Foot Clues:
*Do you see dry, cracked, peeling, blistered, red, or scaly skin, usually on the bottom of the foot or between the toes? Sometimes these clues may be accompanied by a burning or itching sensation. Athlete’s foot is a fungus known as tinea pedis that thrives in dark, damp places….an excellent reason to go barefoot whenever possible! Fungal infections throughout the body are fueled by high sugar diets. A sustained change in diet (along with allowing the feet to breathe!) often eliminates chronic foot funk. Occasionally, all of these clues may point instead to contact dermatitis. When contact dermatitis occurs, it’s most often due to a chemical / toxin exposure. It’s just one more reason to use the Thieves Household Cleaner line of products!
*Now, check your heels for cracks. Going barefoot or wearing flip flops often do not cause cracked heels, though this is a popular belief. Cracked heels is a classic sign of a struggling thyroid.
*Hairy toes. Do you have them….. Or, did you used to have them but now you don’t? The same can be said for the tops of the feet and the lower legs. Hairy toes, feet, and lower legs are a sign of healthy circulation. Nourishing hair follicles on the lowest extremities is one of the first things to go when the circulatory system starts struggling. A poor nourishment pathway in the legs starves the follicles, and hair ceases to grow. Don’t panic if you’ve never had hairy toes. Not everyone is genetically predisposed to furry distal digits. The important thing to remember is your uniqueness, and to learn to watch for these clues so that you’ll notice when something changes, or goes missing! This is a clue easily caught on men, and less easily caught on women.
*Swollen feet and ankles. So very common in pregnancy, but an important clue for those who are not pregnant. Even if you are standing all day, feet and ankle swelling should be minimal with good circulation. This is a clue that may indicate impaired circulation or lymphatic drainage. Additionally, the kidneys remove excess fluid from the body. If they are not functioning properly, excess fluid tends to accumulate in the body. An under-active thyroid may also contribute to fluid retention.
*Sores that are slow to heal on the feet are a significant clue also indicating impaired circulation. This particular clue is often seen in diabetes and peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is a narrowing of the arteries which reduces blood flow to the legs. If nourishment cannot get to a wound, it will be slow to heal.
*If you have noticed circulatory system clues in your feet, try to avoid crossing your legs when you sit. Sitting like this further constricts blood flow and will only exacerbate the clues you’ve noticed!
*Stinky feet! You may have noticed that some people have stinkier feet than others. Feet are loaded with sweat glands: 250,000 give or take a few. But odor is not caused by sweat alone. It is caused by the byproducts of bacteria, possibly fungus, and ALWAYS the toxin load of the individual. Simply put, the more toxins ☠️ within a person’s body, the greater the odds of some rank stank. All the more reason to help your liver out and choose healthy, toxin free options whenever possible in life! #thanksYL
If you know someone with stinky feet, consider gifting them this easy peasy helpful spray for their shoes (and feet!), and get them on the path to a less toxic lifestyle.
***Stink Stank Stunk no more Shoe Spray***
👟3-4 oz glass or metal spray bottle
👟2 oz witch hazel
👟1 ounce filtered water
👟30-40 drops total of essential oil using any of the following (Purification, Eucalyptus Radiata, Peppermint, Lemon, Rosemary)
Shake well before each use!
Take some time to look at your feet at least once a week. I do a quick assessment every night as I apply Thieves to the bottoms of my feet before bedtime for immune support and Tranquil to the base of my big toe for a good night’s sleep.
See you next week…. We’re just getting started on foot clues!