Reflexology & Vitaflex
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!
Do you utilize vitaflex/reflexology points on your hands, feet, and even ears👂 when you apply essential oils? Do you have an excellent massage therapist who is able to make you feel better both physically and emotionally after a nice long appointment? Have you ever employed the powerful tool of acupuncture or acupuncture point based therapy as a means of retaining or regaining health or function?
Or, are you just not sure “those things” are real? As a 100% science minded health professional, I needed some strong evidence….. After all, these applications are not taught in the Western medicine education system. So, as any good doubting Thomas would do, I set out not to disprove what I didn’t understand….. but to dig for validation and information of what was confounding me! Never discount something because it doesn’t make sense to you or doesn’t fit the mold you’ve been taught! Dig until you find the truth. My own digging has led me through many books, conferences, professional journal articles, and pubmed…. and through these…. Hard facts and data.
We are energetic beings. Energy⚡️ is measured by the rate of oscillation of an electrical current (measured in hertz/ Hz). The rate of this oscillation of current is called frequency. EEG’s and EKG’s are measuring the frequency of the brain and heart respectively. Those are only two organs….. The entire body is one big energy frequency machine! ⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
Acupuncture is based on 14 energetic meridians in the body. (For ease of discussion, I will refer to them as rivers) If one of those energy “rivers” (meridians) becomes stagnant, damaged or “clogged”, the entire “river” will be affected. Over time, that damaged “river” flow will cause pain, dis-ease or dysfunction within the parts of the body it runs through. As that meridian becomes more damaged, it will begin to affect other meridian functions too.
The role teeth play within a body’s energy circuits is one of the most important clues I will write about. This is where physics meets biology! Our teeth are crystalline structures, and they act as a circuit breaker for the meridians in our body. A decayed tooth or a root canal (which actually leaves residual decay behind even when patched up) acts as a resistor on the specific electrical circuit, and eventually, this will show up as pain, dysfunction, or illness somewhere else in the body along the same meridian (river). Interestingly, over 90% of malignancies are associated with a root canal or decayed tooth on the same meridian.
The easiest way to utilize teeth as clues for both present and future health concerns is to reference a chart. ( I will include an example of one below this article).I often use teeth as a clue to “root cause” and “root prevention”. Pun intended!
Let’s take my 1st upper molar as an example. If I had a root canal or untended cavity in that particular tooth, over time, the frequency would drop within the stomach meridian of my body. Because I know my frequency is now prone to dropping in the stomach meridian, I would pay special attention to, and support all of the corresponding organs and tissues in an effort to prevent future dis-ease and dysfunction. (Refer to the chart )
* I would watch my thyroid numbers closely thru comprehensive annual (if not more frequent) thyroid labwork, and support my thyroid function as needed with Young Living’s Thyromin capsules and/or Endoflex essential oil blend.
* I would also make sure my liver, pancreas and stomach had the tools they needed to function efficiently. Digestive enzymes (Detoxzyme or EssentialZymes-4 are my two favorites), and Juvatone capsules for liver support on the regular!
* I’d work to keep my body well hydrated, exercise, and avoid medication that is particularly hard on the kidneys (ex: Ibuprofen and other NSAIDS).
* I’d know that my weakest point on my spine was potentially going to be where the thoracic vertebrae meets the lumbar portion of the spine, and I would work to keep it strong, healthy, and flexible thru exercise focusing on core strength and flexibility.
* I’d know that my jaw and knee joints would be things to keep an eye on and support accordingly to prevent injury.
* I’d know that my trunk muscles needed extra focus at the gym in terms of muscle groupings. #legday #BLMandSulfurzymeforthewin
* I’d want to support my maxillary sinus in a healthy way so that I don’t become prone to sinus infections. I would do this by diffusing all our healthy “breathing oils” and by using my home made (amazing!!!) nasal spray regularly.
All of these body parts I just mentioned are tied to the stomach meridian in the body, and they are going to need a little extra TLC to keep them healthy since the tooth itself is now working against the body.
Forewarned is forearmed, right?!? Using the health of specific teeth to determine how best to support your body is an easy and excellent way to hopefully sidestep potential issues elsewhere in your body in the future!
If you’d like to know more about teeth and their relationship to our health, here are some excellent book 📚 resources (note that all of the authors are either doctors or dentists who have also done their additional research to learn the truth!!):
Healing is Voltage – Jerry Tennant MD
Toxic Teeth – JM Swartz MD and YL Wright MA
The Toxic Tooth – Robert Kulacz DDS and Thomas Levy MD/JD
The Root Canal Coverup – George Meinig DDS
There will never be a single tool to maintain and improve health, just like you wouldn’t use a screwdriver when you really need a hammer. I stretch regularly, use my Young Living essential oils, Dolphin MPS myself when I can…. but occasionally, I can still feel when I’m out of alignment…. and when that happens, it’s not just a structural snafu…. nerves can be pinched, and organs can start malfunctioning. Not coincidentally, the longer I felt my neck out of whack, congestion had started developing in my head and throat.😕
Yesterday, I made time to get adjusted by my chiropractor (thank you Newmyer Chiro in McKinney!) and could literally feel the congestion fade away once my neck and shoulders were back where they were supposed to be.
I tend to carry stress (and 50lb bags of animal feed!) on my shoulders, so it’s no surprise.
I feel much more balanced and healthier this morning!
What’s an “out of the box” tool you use with great results?
As much as this oily farmgirl loves her animals, counting sheep as I lay in bed is NOT my favorite thing to do. In fact, it’s downright annoying and, over time, it can actually become destructive to the body. Usually, I have no trouble falling asleep, but there are times when I wake up with some thought that is front and center in my brain and refuses to leave. That’s a problem. Thankfully, it isn’t a chronic issue for me, but when it does happen, it sure makes the following day a little more challenging.
If you do suffer from chronic sleep dysfunction, ultimately your health will be affected. Heart disease, cancer, mood disorders, immune system function, the healing process, memory loss, diabetes, and increased speed of aging….. all of these (and more!) become more likely to occur with chronic insufficient sleep.
Sleep issues are incredibly diverse, and this post will certainly not do the topic justice. Some of the most common reasons for not falling asleep, not achieving deep sleep, or nocturnal awakenings (my occasional complaint) can be blamed on everything from health conditions to bad sleep habits.
- vitamin (D) or mineral (magnesium or potassium) deficiency
- decreased melatonin production
- hormone imbalances (especially common in menopause and ‘man’opause)
- thyroid or adrenal imbalances
- cardiovascular disease
- heartburn and reflux (GERD)
- kidney disease and/or bladder dysfunction
- respiratory disorders (including sleep apnea)
- poor gut health (our gut bacteria is largely responsible for neurotransmitter production that facilitate sleep)
- a bad mattress or pillow (or one that doesn’t suit your body’s needs)
- stress, depression, and/or anxiety
- the result (a side effect) of many many medication’s side effects
- caffeine (especially in the afternoon/evenings)
- not enough exercise during the day (preferably early in the day)
- money! (this is actually THE #1 reason people lose sleep)
- poor sleep hygiene habits:
- not dark enough in the bedroom
- temperature of the bedroom is not cool enough
- light emitting technology (TV’s, ipads, phones) in the bedroom
- heavy meal at dinner time
- not enough ‘downtime’ (including technology) before bed
Recognizing that one or more of these factors may be affecting your sleep quality is the first step to achieving a better night’s sleep. Many of these factors are physiological dysfunctions and the ’cause and effect’ can become cyclical very quickly. For example, pain can prevent sound sleep. Conversely, lack of sleep can magnify pain and lower the pain threshold. It is situations like these that can easily develop into chronic sleep pattern disruptions.
Lest you think “My doctor can give me a pill for that, right?”, let me lay out some facts. I see far too many people at the pharmacy assume that taking a pill is an easy fix for a sleep disorder, and this group of medications is a classic example of cause and effect.
- Prescription sleeping pills are designed for short term use only. None of the narcotic sleeping aids are approved by the FDA for daily longterm use (Ambien, Lunesta, etc).
- Narcotic sleeping pills increase the risk of:
- developing a rapid tolerance to the prescribed strength and bear the risk of addiction (if you have been using them regularly, tapered discontinuation is generally recommended because of this)
- drowsy driving
- erratic behavior/ memory issues
- DEPRESSION (can cause and actually make existing depression worse)
- increasing the risk of infection
I am all about sustainable living in all aspects of life. Long term nightly use of prescription sleep aids is not sustainable, safe, or approved by the FDA….. and yet nearly 9 million Americans take prescription sleep aids on any given night.
By far, the majority of sleep dysfunction can be corrected by simply improving sleep hygiene habits, improving diet ( and adding a probiotic like Young Living’s Life 9), adding activity and exercise to a life schedule, and most importantly managing stress in a holistic manner. The limbic system within our brain is a powerful tool we can utilize to help us fall and stay asleep. If you have been around oils for any length of time, you understand the important role that the limbic system also plays in memory and in our body’s physiologic response to odors…… odors including those of our beloved Young Living oils. There has been a tremendous amount of research on this topic, especially regarding fragrances with very specific constituents that have therapeutic properties. Fascinating stuff. So, in addition to modifying your sleep habits, it may behoove you to experiment with a few of the Young Living oils or oil blends known for their sleep support:
Any or all of the above may support your sleep in ways you never imagined possible. Tranquil and Rutavala are designed to be used topically, and come in a roller bottle ready for use. I use Tranquil nightly at the bottom base of my big toes (vitaflex points) to help me sleep at night. All of the other oils can either be applied topically (same location) or on the wrist or neck, diluted and spritzed on a pillow, or diffused.
Two other products, Sleep Essence and Immupro are Young Living sleep support supplements that may also keep you from having to count sheep. Both are oil infused and contain melatonin, a key hormone needed for healthy sleep patterns. Additionally, 1-3 drops of Lavender Vitality oil under the tongue may also prove to be your best nighttime friend.
As mentioned previously, there is a tremendous amount of information on sleep, and I always feel like understanding a body process (or dysfunction) is key to finding a solution that affects the root of the problem…. not a band-aid to simply address the superficial symptoms. Moving forward, I will be offering an online class on Sleep at least every 6 weeks if you’d like to learn more. You can watch for class dates (as well as other classes) here on my blog, where upcoming classes are posted regularly.
I hope that this post has encouraged and inspired you to give your sleep a little support. So put that flock of sheep away, and work towards getting at least 7 hours of quality ZZZZZZ a night!
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