Treating Addiction By
Balancing Brain Chemistry
Nutritional Remedies & Cognitive Hypnotherapy
I offer several approaches in my practice to help recovery from addiction:-
- Natural remedies to balance brain chemistry and blood sugar.
- Cognitive hypnotherapy see below.
- Meditation techniques.
- Bicom cravings treatments.
Scientific research is strongly pointing towards a central role of the neurotransmitter dopamine in creating addiction.
The neurotransmitter dopamine is the one most often associated with addiction. Dopamine levels increase with cocaine, heroin, alcohol, gambling, high-risk behaviours, sex and adrenaline sports. Supplementing dopamine levels with natural remedies can help take the edge of the cravings for these things.
The neurotransmitter serotonin is involved in depression and supplementing serotonin can elevate your mood and lifts depression. The recreational drug Ecstasy creates its pleasurable effects principally by increasing serotonin activity in the brain.
When depression is a force driving addictive behaviour it may be helpful to rebalance deficient serotonin (and dopamine) levels with natural therapies to alleviate the depression.
The neurotransmitter GABA has a calming effect on the brain and mind and can help with anxiety and a jittery nervous system. People addicted to barbiturates and other tranquillisers (downers) maybe self-medicating to quell quell anxious feelings and increase their GABA levels.
Alternatively one can boost GABA levels with natural remedies and work on the psychological aspects with cognitive hypnotherapy.
Eating a diet that quickly release sugar into the bloodstream causes first a sugar rush and then a low blood sugar crash some time later. this is very bad if you have problem with addiction. Although the brain only comprises about 2% of total body weight it consumes about half of all the glucose in the blood, the brain needs this huge supply of glucose to manufacture neurotransmitters. When the supply of glucose to the brain drops even a little as it can do after eating sugary foods the brain's ability to manufacture neurotransmitters can become compromised leaving you neurotransmitter deficient. With neurotransmitter deficiencies a person may experience depression, irritability, and the addictive cravings that compels them to seek their drug of choice. If your brain tends to be naturally low in dopamine, serotonin or GABA when your blood sugar drops it makes you neurotransmitter deficiency even worse perhaps pushing you over the edge and seeking your drug of choice to artificially elevate neurotransmitter levels and stop the bad and craving feelings.
This mental roller-coaster caused by fluctuating blood sugar levels is to be avoided by people with drug and other dependency issues. In my practice I achieve this by using the Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load, Glycemic Response and the Zone Diets, with supplements and relaxation response training (stop the adrenal glands causing surges of glucose). See Relaxation and Meditation for more on this.
Cognitive hypnotherapy can help alleviate the psychological sources of pain and pressure which a person may be trying to avoid feeling by getting high.
Sometimes a person will have the best intentions to no longer engage in their addictive behaviour however something seems to comes over them and as if in a daydream go and get high again. They may on the one hand and knowingly "sleepwalk" into it, alternatively they may know what they're doing and even watch themselves doing it and despite a part of them not wanting to its as if there is another part of them is more in control and literally hijacks their mind. We call this a daytime trance state because it has many of the same characteristics you experience when you're in a hypnotic trance; it's as if your brain hypnotised itself with the message get high. One of the objectives of my cognitive hypnotherapy work is to identify these hypnotic daytime trance states and use hypnotherapy to de-hypnotise the addiction trance.
Sometimes people will have conscious or unconscious psychological triggers that switch on the process that makes you want to get high. You might see something or hear something that triggers subconscious memories and sets off a chain reaction causing you to spiral out of control again. Another objective the work I do with cognitive hypnotherapy for addiction is to identify these triggers and break the link or association between the external trigger and the internal memories and feelings it provokes. Another trick is to implant a subconscious process that interrupts the pattern or chain reaction. Yet another thing we can do is to revisit the painful memories and feelings in a relaxed hypnotic state and remodel the memories which provoke addictive behaviours.
I trained as a meditation and kundalini yoga teacher. Kundalini yoga in particular can be of benefit in the recovery from addiction as it employs very vigorous breath-work with stress poses and meditation. This produces a safe and sustainable endorphin high on a physical level, and if taken further can establish inner mental/spiritual peace. Obviously a yoga-induced endorphin high is not a cure for addiction, but for some it can be a safe, helpful transitional prop on the road to recovery. I myself found this to be a great help in managing my own addictive personality, and I have tow old friend who attribute their recovery from alcohol and heroin addiction to kundalini yoga.
Bicom resonance therapy is an innovative, holistic medicine technique that has been developed in Germany over the past forty years. This system is firmly rooted in holistic principals yet uses a high tech electrical device. The Bicom device both diagnoses and treats your underlying health problems. In natural medicine the focus is identifying underlying weaknesses and imbalances in the system, strengthening, re-balancing and stimulating the body and mind to heal itself.
One of the unique abilities of Bicom treatment is to switch off physical cravings. Sugar, tobacco and other drugs can all be treated. Note however that in my opinion Bicom only treats the physical cravings and should usually be combined with some psychological treatments.
Bicom Treatment also enables is identifying and eliminating food allergies and sensitivities. Especially important when they affect the brain and behaviour, so-called brain allergies.
Today I primarily use nutritional medicine, cognitive hypnotherapy, NLP and Bicom therapy to treat metal, digestive and functional health problems like chronic fatigue and IBS.
I have extensive experience (both professional and personal) and a forthcoming book (2013) in nutritional approaches to balancing brain chemistry and psychological approaches to treating depression, bipolar syndrome and anxiety.
I practice at the Hale Clinic (central London) as a holistic medical practitioner and have been in practice since 1988.
Over the years I’ve trained in Nutritional /naturopathic medicine, body-cantered psychotherapy, Chinese herbal medicine, Acupuncture, Bicom resonance therapy (which treats allergies and viruses), meditation, Kundalini yoga, Cognitive Hypnotherapy and NLP.
For a more information on my practice and a list of conditions I treat click here About My Practice
For bookings call the Hale Clinic reception
020 7631 0156
Mobile 07941 331 329
© Peter Smith –Holistic Medicine Consultant-
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