I have been interested in the mind-body connection for as long as I can remember. On my personal health journey as well as my role as an observer/space holder of other people's transformations I have been impressed by the impact of the brain and whole nervous system on every aspect of health. Through practices that work at changing mindsets (and "heartsets") like meditation, heart math, psych-k, counselling, mindfulness, yoga nidra, forgiveness practice, NVC, gratitude practices, breath work, and movement arts people can change their body's physiology to favour aging and living well and feeling good.
Often patients come to see me who would like to feel better on all fronts - physically as well as mentally and emotionally. They may feel in a funk, or are overwhelmed, say they're stressed out, maybe having trouble sleeping or feeling more anxious than usual or just don't feel like themselves. Sometimes it's clear from symptoms that the neurotransmitters may not all be in optimal ranges. There are many effective mood supportive and specifically neurotransmitter specific nutritional and herbal supplements out there but just as with anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds they don't support all of the neurotransmitter pathways in the body and it can be a wait and see game to determine which of the neurotransmitters is/are imbalanced.
Labrix is a lab we have started to work with at Open to Wellness in the last year. My colleagues who have worked in brain/mood health for years have introduced us to this and I'm thrilled with the information we are getting. The test kits are straightforward and assess neurotransmitter levels - serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, gaba and glutamate. Their analysis lets us know where a pathway may be short on nutrients and helps fast track the process of feeling like yourself again and help you access the clarity and energy to make the lifestyle changes that will create health for you. Everyone is so different this helps customize treatment early on.
The panel that has been most popular is the Neuroadrenal panel which includes a saliva adrenal panel (assessing phases of adrenal wellness) as well as the urine neurotransmitter panel. Naturopathically speaking stress often is buffered by healthy adrenal glands and assessing the adrenal's vitality is a key piece of this picture of moving from surviving/getting by to thriving again! Thanks Dr. Heidi and Dr. Chris for sharing this gem of a test. (-:
Here's a glimpse at our amazing body's chemistry lab where she uses different ingredients to support different enzyme pathways. It's a screen shot so not as clear. I like how it offers us a sense of the connection between the neurotransmitters too.