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.

Alternatives to Prescription Sleeping Pills

By Laurel Sterling, RD57564237(1)

Sleep is such an important time for the body and mind to rest and repair from daily tasks. When we are able to sleep well, we wake up feeling refreshed and alert for our day-to-day activities. How well we sleep has a major influence on our overall quality of life. Sleep disorders have been linked to many chronic diseases such as: hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, and more.

Many people end up turning to over-the-counter sedative medications, and yet others seek stronger prescription medications. It has been discovered that each year up to 12.5% of adults in the U.S. receive prescriptions for drugs to help them sleep. Most sleeping pills are technically “sedative hypnotics,” which is a class of drugs that are used to treat anxiety and stress also. All of these drugs are associated with significant risks, and most are highly addictive to the brain!

Daniel Kripke, MD, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at the University of California did work for over 30 years looking at the effects of people who take sleeping pills. He found that people who take sleeping pills die sooner than people who do not use sleeping pills. Deaths from heart disease, cancer, and stroke were all increased among sleeping pill users. These studies found that sleeping pills appeared to be unsafe in any amounts!

My suggestions to assist in a more restful sleep depend on the root cause of the sleep dilemma. If there is a lot of stress going on in your life, I may choose a supplement such as magnesium, GABA Calm, 5-HTP, or L-Theanine. You may also want to consider herbs such as valerian, lavender, chamomile, or homeopathic formulas like Calms Forte. If lack of sleep is due to hot flashes, high caffeine consumption, poor diet, or medication side effects, I would offer a variety of other recommendations.

Everyone is different, and everyone’s circumstances in life are different; therefore, we need to take that into consideration when offering suggestions. Occasionally, it is something as simple as magnesium that one needs to assist then in getting a good night’s sleep. It’s not the case for everyone, but as for me, it was a good place to start.

The Benefits of a High-Quality Fish Oil Supplement

By The Natur-Tyme Wellness Team148266535

Fish oil. It’s no longer the foul tasting oil of your youth. Not only do high-quality fish oils smell and taste good, they provide the nutrients, thus health, the body craves—literally!

The nutrients in question are the Omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Extensive research connects DHA and EPA deficiencies to heart disease; brain disorders, such as ADHD and Alzheimer’s; diabetes; stroke; depression; arthritis; allergies; circulation problems; skin disorders; and gout just to name a few. By simply adding high quality fish oil to your health regime, you can vastly improve the health of your eyes, skin, digestive and immune systems, joints, and especially your heart and brain.

Our highly processed Western diet has drastically changed America’s nutritional landscape. The use of vegetable oils in processed foods caused an enormous increase in Omega-6 fatty acid consumption, elevating the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio from its ideal 2:1 to an estimated 20:1. In some cases, it’s even as high as 50:1. Omega-3s can reduce inflammation, while Omega-6s may increase inflammation. Omega-3s can prevent excessive blood clotting, while Omega-6s may promote clotting. Omega-3s can moderate immune system reactions, while Omega-6s may often make it over-react. So you can see how an imbalanced intake can create imbalance in the body, leading to disease.

A fish oil supplement can help create that needed balance. In regard to cardiovascular disease, the benefits of Omega-3s are so well understood and accepted that the American Heart Association published statements recommending increased fish intake and/or the use of fish oil supplements. One study even showed that the Omega-3s in fish oils cut your risk of sudden death from heart disease in half.

At least one epidemiologic study has shown that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have significantly lower levels of Omega-3s than healthy seniors. Researchers report that older people can reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s by increasing their intake of fish and fish oil (DHA).

Omega-3s from fish oil are also a great choice for optimal nutrition during pregnancy, not only for fetal development, but for the mother as well. DHA is the most abundant Omega-3 long-chain fatty acid in breast milk and studies show that breast-fed babies have IQ advantages over babies fed formula lacking DHA. Research also shows that by adding DHA to her diet, a new mother can significantly decrease the possibility and/or effects of postpartum depression.

OTHER BENEFITS INCLUDE

  • Protection against symptoms of hay fever, sinus infections, asthma, food allergies, and allergic skin conditions, such as hives and eczema
  • Inhibition of the production of the inflammatory compounds related to psoriasis and improvement of the health of skin, nails, and hair
  • Reduction in insulin resistance
  • Improvement of immune function (research links the intake of fish oil to a lowered risk of breast and prostate cancers)
  • Lowered risk of age-related macular degeneration—an eye condition which is the leading cause of severe visual loss in people over age 50
  • An anti-inflammatory effect on inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)

When selecting a supplement, choose a product that delivers a high concentration of DHA and EPA per serving. Finally, be sure to look for oils that are clean. Some brands that we recommend for their high-quality fish oils include: Nordic Naturals, Carlson Labs, and NutriNeeds.

 

The Benefits of the Superfood Maca

By Carol Blair, BA, DiHom, CNC

Raw Maca PowderMaca is both adaptogenic and restorative in that it helps the body to adapt to stress and can help to recalibrate the body’s hormones. Maca has an incredible nutritional profile of potent phytonutrients that include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fiber, and fatty acids. This amazing plant can nutritionally fuel the endocrine system so that it is able to produce hormones regularly. Maca does not actually increase levels of any hormones, but encourages the body to produce them on its own. This is accomplished through maca’s targeted nourishment of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands (master glands of the body). These glands in turn regulate other glands, bringing balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian, and testicular glands. This can move the body toward a more optimal balance of estrogen and progesterone levels potentially reducing the severity and occurrence of migraine headaches.

Here are some additional bullets, reviewing the varying specific benefits of maca:

  • Great for menopause. Maca helps adrenals to naturally produce more estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, as well as DHEA. Because maca works on the hypothalamus/pituitary axis, it is often helpful for hot flashes. The pituitary gets messages from the hypothalamus; the hypothalamus controls body temperature. Maca works quickly in helping reduce hot flash symptoms – often in 4-7 days.
  • Helps relieve hormonal depression.
  • Helpful for male impotence and erectile dysfunction; improves semen and motility.
  • Restores vaginal lubrication, libido, and endurance.
  • Helps with ovarian cysts, small uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and fertility whether because of low sperm or lack of ovulation.
  • Used in Peru to carry pregnancies to full-term (raises progesterone). Considered a nutritive tonic and adaptogen.

Dosage is difficult; more is not better. Men may need less than women. For women in menopause, start with one capsule. You may need to go up to 3-4 capsules.  If symptoms get worse, reduce dosage.

Don’t use maca with ginseng; it can over-stimulate and cause jitters or may elevate the cortisol levels.

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