Brain Function Informed Mental Healthcare Available in Syracuse

Submitted by Syracuse Neurofeedback

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“Brain dysfunction is the number-one reason people fail at school, at work, and in relationships,” states bestselling author Dr Daniel Amen. “When the brain is ineffective, so are we.”  The brain, he points out, “is the super computer that runs your life.” A highly organized spider web of pulsating activity with a consistency like Jell-O, the brain is easily injured by a bump to the head, toxins in our environment, and stress in our lives. You may have never thought of it this way, but anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia, and ADD/ADHD are clear signs of brain dysfunction.  Medications are designed to reduce symptoms, but do not resolve the underlying cause of these life-altering conditions.

Syracuse Neurofeedback and psychiatric nurse practitioner, Alex Eller, are teaming up to bring cutting-edge, brain function-informed mental healthcare to Central New York. By bringing together Syracuse Neurofeedback’s 14 years of experience optimizing brain function through neurofeedback training and Alex Eller’s expertise in diagnosis and medication management, we aim to offer the highest quality mental healthcare. Psychiatric medications have unpleasant side effects and many studies show that they are often no more effective than placebo. Alex Eller plans to help his patients avoid, reduce, and eliminate psychiatric medications. He will also be offering a new approach to diagnosing ADHD which utilizes a new FDA-approved test, NEBA, which analyzes brainwave patterns to help clinicians determine if symptoms are due to ADHD or another condition.

Neurofeedback, which was originally developed by NASA, is a relaxing game-based learning process that enhances the function of the Central Nervous System by training the brain to self-regulate. New discoveries in the field of neuroscience have revolutionized our understanding of brain development. We now recognize that the brain is able to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life; this is called neuroplasticity. Neurofeedback is an exercise for the brain that harnesses that potential. Impact the function of the brain and you can impact everything from sensory processing to behavioral and emotional control, sleep, movement, pain perception, and learning. The response to this training is often quick and profound. With adequate reinforcement, the effect can last a lifetime. For more information, go to Syracuseneurofeedback.com or call 315-492-3789 to schedule your free consultation.

“No, I won’t!” Homeopathy and Temper Tantrums

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Guest Article by  Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH, RSHom 

Are temper tantrums a fact of life in your household?
The cantankerous two year-old.
The confrontational teenager.
But what if tantrums were actually beneficial?
Sounds peculiar that such behavior could be considered valuable, doesn’t it?

Well, temper tantrums are indicators that something is out of balance, not only behaviorally, but probably physiologically.  And since symptoms are the key to choosing the proper homeopathic remedy, then this aberrant behavior can actually become useful in addressing the underlying cause.

Many parents explain away their child’s behavior as simply an age-related stage.  Too often, they offer platitudes such as, “Well, of course he has temper tantrums.  He’s 3!” or “She has a terrible attitude, just like her dad!”

While it is true that these pathologies can be age or familyrelated, we should bear in mind that they are still pathologies. Therefore, even if they present, this doesn’t mean that they belong there.

Not every toddler throws a tantrum and not every teenager needs an attitude adjustment.  These problems are particular to the individual and are symptoms to which we ought to give our full attention.

They reflect an idiosyncratic personality that can be guided and brought to its best state through homeopathic remedies.

Homeopathy is gentle and won’t change your child’s personality.  When the remedy is chosen correctly, it will bring your child into balance both physically and emotionally.

Bye-bye temper tantrums!

Read through the following descriptions to find the remedy that best fits the entire “picture” of your child’s symptoms.  Administer one dose in the 30th potency every 3-4 hours until improvement is seen, then stop.  If no improvement after the fourth dose, try the remedy that seems to be the next best fit.  For more severe symptoms, the chosen remedy can be given every 1-2 hours.

Nux Vomica
This is the remedy to use for symptoms brought on by going “over-the-top.”  Ailments are brought on by too much sugar, too many drugs, too much stress, pressure, work, food, drinks, etc.  Irritability is a key factor in this remedy along with gastrointestinal issues such as gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

Chamomilla
Although irritability is addressed by Chamomilla, it also encompasses symptoms that result from anger.  Symptoms include fractious behavior and acute sensitivity; that is, the reaction is far too great for the stimulus received. Words or physical touch which would normally cause a much less severe response will prompt testy and crotchety comebacks.  This remedy is also particularly useful in cancelling out the workings of unnecessary drugs.

Lycopodium
Individuals who might benefit from Lycopodium are generally insecure and cowardly and are typically afflicted by gastrointestinal complaints. Though they appear confident and self-assured, they worry about how they are perceived and judged by others.  Their worries increase when they are by themselves so just having someone nearby alleviates their anxiety. The behavior is often cross and cantankerous.

Coffea
As its name alludes, Coffea is made from coffee beans, and it addresses those pathologies which are similar to the ill-effects of caffeine. Though there isn’t marked anger or anxiety, which the former three remedies envelop, there is an inability to relax and the mind races. Despite these jittery thoughts, the disposition is quite even-tempered, though there might be some, though little, irritability. Because the mind is already quite excited, even the smallest pain causes inordinate distraction and there is an increased sensitivity to surrounding elements, such as noise, light, touch, etc.

When parents ask me what they should do until the remedy takes effect, I tell them to indeed discipline the child. Just because the behavior may have physiological roots, it doesn’t mean the child shouldn’t be held responsible and taught accordingly. We all have our bad days, and we need to learn how to adjust accordingly, so as not to disrupt family life and society in general.

Give the remedy most suited to your child and you might find that even if anger is still exhibited from time to time, it will be mitigated by an inner wherewithal that was previously absent.

Maximize Your Magnesium for the Heart of the Matter

MagnesiumBy Shannon Morehouse, MA CHHC

Magnesium is often referred to as the miracle mineral. Some statistics indicate that more than 75% of us are deficient in this incredibly valuable mineral.

Magnesium deficiency symptoms include: leg cramps, eye twitching, fatigue, constipation, insomnia, anxiety, racing heart, and chest pain. Magnesium is a natural relaxant; research shows that it can help keep insomnia at bay, relieve muscle cramps, get things moving through your digestive tract, ease anxiety, and can even lower your risk for diabetes. Another important fact about magnesium is that it provides amazing benefits for your heart. In honor of National Heart Health Month, we would like to share with you some facts about magnesium submitted by renowned doctor Carolyn Dean, MD, ND. If you find her facts interesting, she has many more facts on magnesium available in a free downloadable guide at http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org.

  • The heart is a very large muscle. Calcium causes muscles to contract and magnesium causes them to relax. If the body is deficient in magnesium, the heart can go into spasm causing a fatal heart attack; beat erratically causing arrhythmia; or beat too slowly (bradycardia) or too quickly (tachycardia). Magnesium balances calcium.
  • Magnesium prevents blood clot formation and muscle spasms of the heart’s blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack. One major cause of angina is spasming of the heart’s coronary arteries that are lined with smooth muscles that react to a deficiency of magnesium.
  • Magnesium prevents muscle spasms of the peripheral blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure, another risk factor for heart disease.
  • Magnesium prevents calcium buildup and cholesterol plaque in arteries, which leads to clogged arteries.
  • Your body requires magnesium to maintain healthy elastin, which provides essential elasticity in your arteries. Loss of elasticity is a risk factor for heart disease. Loss of elasticity causes inflammation of heart blood vessels, which interferes with blood flow and leads to heart disease.
  • High blood pressure can cause stroke and heart attack. Tension in the smooth muscle of blood vessels throughout the body due to magnesium deficiency is a major cause of high blood pressure.

Easter Candy with Petroleum and Mercury?

By  Carol B. Blair, BS, DiHom, CNC
Wellness Educator

EasterCandyYes, unfortunately, it’s true. All those little “peeps,” colored eggs, and jelly beans are mostly high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors derived from petroleum!

With Easter just ahead of us, it’s time to think about what treats we are giving our kids.

Did you know that high-fructose corn syrup is processed with mercury?! High-fructose corn syrup has no nutritional value; it is very addictive and it is more than twice as sweet as regular sugar. When consumed, whether in the form of candy, baked goods, or soft drinks, it causes a huge spike in blood sugar, and if that sugar is not immediately used up by exercising (computer games and texting don’t count!), it is converted into fat and stored in the body…causing weight gain. It also causes insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes (currently an epidemic in America).

As for the artificial colors, some countries like the UK, actually require that companies label products containing certain dyes with a warning. FD&C Yellow #5 or #6 are typically found in the bright yellow peeps. This causes many allergic reactions and studies have shown it to cause hyperactivity in children. FD&C Red is also a trigger for many people.

Children, and even many adults, are not able to detoxify these chemicals readily. Studies have shown they contribute to hyperactivity. A combination of the high-fructose corn syrup, artificial colors, and artificial flavors have many kids “off the wall.” Other possible reactions include itching, sleep disturbances, and anxiety.

So how can kids have a treat without all of these ingredients?

The first thing to do is to become a label reader. Look for natural colorings that come from pigments of fruits, vegetables, or spices. Also, look for real chocolate without hydrogenated fat and high-fructose corn syrup. Try to get them to eat dark chocolate (which is higher in nutrients) instead of the milk chocolate. Children are attracted to the brightly colored paper, so if they are wrapped in that, they may not realize the difference. They can actually have a treat that is high in antioxidants and they won’t even realize they’re eating something healthy! Natur-Tyme now carries healthier Easter candy options. We also carry organic jelly beans that are made with natural colors and organic cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup.

We can still allow our children to have an occasional treat, but if we are conscious of what is in it, we can make better choices for them. As their taste buds adjust, they will learn to make better choices for themselves as they grow up.

5 Reasons You Need More Magnesium

177687545By Jennifer Morganti, ND

Did you know that pure magnesium is highly flammable, making it the perfect ingredient for the explosive energy needed for fireworks, jet engine parts, rockets, and missiles? It’s even more powerful in the human body, as it is involved with over 320 biochemical reactions! Because it’s used in every cell of the body, it’s frightening that 60% of Americans are deficient in this key nutrient. Some of the reasons for deficiency include the fact that we lose magnesium when stressed, that sweating causes magnesium depletion, and our intake is low because poor-quality soil has lowered the natural levels of magnesium in our food.

Here are some conditions that may improve with magnesium supplementation.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance is when cells don’t respond adequately to insulin’s attempt to shuttle glucose into cells after eating, resulting in elevated blood sugar and increased fat storage. It is the hallmark of pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Research shows that people with adequate magnesium levels have appropriate insulin sensitivity and are at low risk for developing diabetes. People with the highest magnesium levels have a lower risk of developing diabetes than people with the lowest magnesium levels. The amazing fact is that even if a person possesses other diabetic risk factors such as smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and excessive weight, adequate magnesium stores will compensate.

Inflammation 

Inflammation is at the root cause of so many health problems, such as arthritis, heart disease, and obesity. Magnesium has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory. More than one study has shown that as magnesium levels decrease, CRP (a marker for inflammation) increases. Elevated CRP is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and other inflammation-related conditions.

Hypertension 

Magnesium deficiency may play a role in hypertension, as demonstrated by studies that have shown an inverse correlation between a magnesium-rich diet and risk of high blood pressure.

Asthma

Magnesium also has a dilating effect on respiratory passageways, so it benefits asthma for the same reasons as hypertension—it relaxes the airways so more oxygen can flow through.

Anxiety 

Anxiety is a symptom that can have a variety of etiologies, both physical and psychological, but magnesium deficiency is high on that list. Animal studies have shown that when mice are given a magnesium-depleted diet for several weeks, they begin to display signs of depression and anxiety. Those symptoms are alleviated when the magnesium levels are restored. Clinical studies have shown that magnesium can relieve anxiety and depression alone or in combination with herbal formulas. Magnesium works in conjunction with calcium to contract and relax muscles, which contributes to its relaxing properties. Add magnesium salts to your hot bath before bed for serious calming effects.

Insomnia 

Insomnia can result from many factors, with magnesium deficiency being at the top. Magnesium calms the nervous system, relaxes muscles, and counters stress. Replenishing magnesium can lead to a longer, uninterrupted sleep pattern.

Magnesium comes in many forms, but be sure to avoid the oxide form if you want to maximize absorption. To determine the appropriate dosage, start with one or two pills, and increase the dosage over the course of a few days, until it has a laxative effect, then decrease the dosage slightly. This method determines the appropriate dosage for your individual body, based on your level of deficiency. If you want the laxative effect, then magnesium oxide or hydroxide would be a good choice. If you have a sensitive digestive tract and aren’t able to tolerate the levels of magnesium that you feel you need, add topical sources such as magnesium oil, which can be sprayed on the skin, or take magnesium salt baths.

At first glance, magnesium may not strike you as an exciting, cutting-edge nutrient, but when you are lacking it, it can make a huge impact on your health!

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