Neurotherapies for mental health
The Alpha-Stim® has demonstrated efficacy in treating anxiety, stress, depression, fibromyalgia, insomnia and headaches. Using cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) technology, a very mild electrical signal is delivered via ear clips to the brain, resulting in greater calm, reduced stress and increased alertness. Although the exact mechanism is unclear, Alpha-Stim® technology seems to amplify activity in some neurological systems, and diminish activity in others. Note that use of the Alpha-Stim® is most effective when accompanied by regular therapy.
VIE LIGHT NEURO
The world's first transcranial-intranasal near-infrared-light (NIR) helmet is based on the science of photobiomodulation, which uses low level photonic energy to stimulate mitochondria in our neurons. In human studies, pulsed NIR stimulation was found to increase mental acuity, cognition, sustained attention, mood and working memory. Benefits have been shown in patients with dementia/Alzheimer's, traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke and pain. The VieLight Neuro is approved by Health Canada as a non-significant risk general wellness device.
BIO-ACOUSTICAL UTILIZATION DEVICE (BAUD)
This unique treatment works surprisingly well for anxiety, "sticky" emotional issues, PTSD, urges/ addictions and neuropathic pain. This FDA-registered biofeedback-type device utilizes specially designed sound frequencies and waveforms to quickly stimulate neural plasticity (changes in the brain). A typical BAUD session lasts from 15-20 minutes. While individual results vary, the relief experienced from just one session can be enduring, with increasing benefits after each subsequent session. While published data are limited to date, focusing primarily on positive results for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the clinical data are often astounding.
COGMED WORKING MEMORY TRAINING
Developed by a well-respected cognitive neuroscientist, Cogmed Working Memory Training is a five- to seven-week, home-based, computerized intervention shown to improve symptoms of ADHd such as attention, impulse control and working memory. Some academic improvements have also been found. Cogmed is individually tailored to the user, so the level of performance is continually increasing. The benefits can be significant for both children and adults with ADHD, high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, stroke, traumatic brain injury, post-chemotherapy memory loss and the normal cognitive decline associated with aging. All training sessions are monitored by a licensed Cogmed Coach, who provides weekly phone or email support throughout the process.
Mindfulness Meditation has documented benefitsfor emotional and physical well-being (see GROUPS Page). But from a neuroplasticity point of view, those whopractice regular Mindfulness can actually change theirbrain functioning. For example, in one recent study, newpractitioners of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) reduced the size of their brain's anxiety center (amygdala) in less than two months! And experienced Mindfulness practitioners have several differences in their brainsrelative to non-meditators, including increased activity incalming, decision-making areas and reduced activity in theanxious, stress-related parts.
We now know that certain natural substances have psychoactive properties. The following products have been shown in some research to have benefits for mental and/or physical well-being:
SOYA KEFIR POWDER (SKP).™
This nutraceutical has been shown in early clinical trials to produce measurable improvements in pain, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Some benefits to mood, menopausal symptoms and blood cholesterol have also been found. SKP is produced from the fermentation of organic soya milk by kefir bacteria and spray-dried according to a proprietary process developed by nutrition scientists at McGill University. A double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial assessing the safety of SKP showed no serious adverse effects or adverse changes in blood chemistry, urinalysis or body weight. SKP can be mixed into juice, yogurt or any puree (e.g., applesauce).
One of the richest sources of cocoa flavanols in the world, Chococru contains a guaranteed 415 mg per 5g teaspoon - more than 30 times the amount in regular or even organic cocoa. The highly specialized, natural processing method used to produce Chococru maintains 80% of the flavanols from freshly harvested, non-alkalised cocoa beans. Chococru® Cocoa carries EU and EFSA authorized and approved health claims for significant improvement of blood circulation and blood flow. This health claim has important implications for cardiovascular health, skin health and cognitive performance, results shown in an increasing number of published studies. For example, in research conducted at the Columbia University Medical Center, cocoa flavanols were shown to reverse age-related memory decline in healthy older adults. Anecdotal evidence has also shown benefits for sleep, hyperactivity and mood. Chococru contains no sugar but tastes pleasant and can be added to milk, hot drinks, yogurt or baked goods.