The Brain is an Electrical Generator

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

The brain is an electrical generator, endlessly producing and emitting streams of energy. And no mere random, chaotic emanations of energy are these. Rather, they are more akin to the organized flow of water on the surface of the ocean. Scientists actually refer to these movements as waves, and measure their motion and patterns on a device called an EEG (electroencephalogram).

The brain is an electrical generatorLike all waves, the ones produced by the brain ebb and flow. Electrical bursts “fire” and then cease “firing”, essentially blinking on and off. The amount of times a burst of brain electricity and its subsequent cessation, turn on and off in every second is called a “cycle” and measured as “cycles-per-second” (CPS). The number of cycles-per-second is referred to as the “frequency”. One that fires and stops firing, or cycles once a second, is said to have a frequency of one. If flow and ebb occurs twice a second the frequency would be 2, three flows and ebbs, or “cycles-per-second” would have a frequency of 3, and so on.

The energy emitted by the brain ebbs and flows at various frequencies throughout the day and ranges from a slumberous 1 CPS to a frenzied 100 CPS. Researchers divide this range into five categories, each associated with its own characteristic subjective qualities.
The fastest brain waves are called Gamma waves. These bursts of energy are occurring at an intense rate of up to 100 times a second. No one knows for sure what gamma waves are related to, although speculation centers on information processing functions including attention, cognition, and memory. Some researchers believe gamma waves may be involved in unifying all the different parts of our perceived reality. At the other end of the spectrum are the so-called Delta waves which ebb and flow at much more leisurely 3 or 4 cycles per second and can even drop down to 1 cycle per second. No surprise then that Delta waves are generated mostly in deep sleep. Between these extremes are the three most accessible frequencies Beta waves (12-16 CPS), Alpha waves (8-12 CPS), and Theta waves (4-8 CPS).

Beta waves represent the energy associated with concentration and problem solving. The brain will go into a predominant beta state when it is addressing survival requirements. Focusing intently on the sounds, sights and other aspects of your experience activates beta energy. But there’s also a dark side to beta. Freak outs, anger, hostility, and fear are all triggered by, AND in turn trigger further, beta brain wave energy.
The next two brain wave frequencies are by far the most interesting. These two brain wave states are associated with the subjective experiences associated with healing, and also love, relaxation, ecstasy and bliss. These are our “chill-out” brain waves and understanding how to activate these energies can be a very important strategy for mitigating excessive beta (and gamma) energies which can burn out the physical body if not effectively balanced.

Alpha waves are associated with relaxation. We are more open to suggestion in this state. Hypnotists love the alpha! So do advertisers and marketers (Hmmm…). In the alpha state we are so relaxed we basically don’t care to filter our experiences intently as when we are in beta state. This makes us suggestible. Television video has an ability to induce alpha waves. In fact that’s why we like TV so much. Human beings love the alpha state.
In addition to suggestibility, the alpha state is associated with learning. A scientist names Jose Silva discovered that if people could access the alpha state at will they could learn much more effectively. He created a study series called “The Silva Method” which you can purchase off the internet.

Learning to activate alpha on your own is easy. You can do it by simply by focusing on an alpha rhythm (8-12 cycles per second) using a metronome, or you can just pace your breathing. Listening closely to any of the body’s rhythms or focusing on a body part works too. In fact, focusing internally can instantly initiate alpha firing. Visualization can do it too. Looking at objects with the peripheral vision may also have an alpha induction effect.
The most intriguing brain energy is emitted in the theta state. It tends to follow the alpha state, and you’ll know your brain is firing theta frequencies when you’re experiencing the bizarre and confusing imagery that shows up as you’re falling asleep and into that midway point between waking and dreaming. This condition is technically is called “hypnogogia” and it can also occur when we awaken slowly out of the dream state. In theta, brain effects like relaxation and creativity are enhanced, and there is generally no awareness of the physical body, although there may be a sensing of it as an energy “field”. Self-healing is maximized in this state, and like alpha, it’s also an ideal brain state for self-programming and self-hypnosis. Like alpha, theta brain waves and the related state can be achieved via various means.

There is an important relationship between the breath and brain states. Not all the various brain states are linked to breathing patterns, but by using breath, and controlling its rate (breaths per minute), various states can be initiated and accessed. Psychedelic drugs like LSD, mescaline and psilocybin are well known inducers of theta. The nutritional supplement GABA which is used to treat insomnia may help access the theta state. Some research indicates that nicotine may have a theta induction effect. There are also audio CDs available that can stimulate the brain to produce theta pulsations via a turning-fork (resonance) effect and induce the corresponding characteristic theta hypnogogic state.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

– dedicated to Robert Y.


· We have two nervous systems.   One for handling stress (sympathetic) and one for relaxation (parasympathetic)

· Under normal healthy circumstances our body’s activities should be dominated by the relaxation nervous system based activity (activated upper digestion, relaxed lower digestion, lower heart rate and a sense of well-being)

· The signs of PTSD are the signs of an overactive sympathetic stress system

· Work mentally and emotionally first.  Use hypnosis, visualization, religion, whatever it takes

· Deep breathing can be very effective.  Stress and shallow breathing go hand in hand.  Oxygenations the fastest way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system

· Nutrition and diet strategies can help too

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

By English: Cpl. Andrew Johnston [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As if the trauma of war wasn’t horrific enough, upon cessation of battle and stateside return, many soldiers are destined to confront continued traumatic mental and emotional stress despite the absence of immediate emergency.  The ensuing constellation of stressful symptoms, so called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), affects, according to the Congressional Research Service, 27 percent of soldiers returning from undeclared wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And you don’t have to be war veteran to suffer from PTSD.  The same constellation of symptoms that affects returning vets can occur with victims of violence, sexual abuse, or emotional battering and mental harassment.   Concentration camp victims and survivors of accidents and natural disasters are also prone towards the symptomology of PTSD.  In fact, according to WebMD, over 5 million people in the United States are suspected of having some of the symptoms of PTSD which can be grouped into three general categories:

Reliving-(hallucinations, flashbacks),

Avoiding- (sense of detachment and isolation)

Increased arousal -(anger, jumpiness, anxiety, insomnia)

To understand PTSD, we have to understand the nervous system or more specifically, the nervous systems.    Plural, because we have two of them.  One which regulates the stress response is called the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).    Constipation, oily, skin, insomnia, low sex drive and anxiety are all signs of an activated stress response nervous system.  The second nervous system is called the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).  It regulates the relaxation response.  PNS activation is manifested by relaxed lower digestion, activated upper digestion, lower heart rate, high libido and a sense of well being.

Under normal circumstances the body operates in a PNS dominant state.  It would like to always be in a PNS dominant state.  The sympathetic nervous system is an emergency system and chronic activation is bound to create mental emotional and physical health havoc.  PTSD is a classic example of an SNS running amok. Consequently the best strategy for dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is to return the body to a PNS dominant state.

Probably the most important therapy for dealing with PTSD and returning the parasympathetic to its rightful biochemical place as the dominant nervous system is to address the mental and emotional causes.  Do not underestimate the importance of this component.  Work with any mental and emotional strategies you can come up with.  Meditation, visualization, hypnosis, Landmark Forum or God.  It doesn’t matter.  This is the most important component of dismantling of PTSD or any other emotional/mental   health challenge.

Deep breathing can also be helpful.  When the anxiety of PTSD kicks in the body tends to contract and breathing becomes more rapid and shallow.  Contractions and rapid shallow breathing alert the adrenal glands to a threat and stress hormone kick in.   This causes more shallow breathing and a further contraction old the muscles and connective tissue.    Which causes the secretion of more adrenal stress hormones, which causes even more contraction and shallow breathing.  The resultant downward spiral can continue unabatedly until it shows up as the chromic emergency type symptoms associated with PTSD.  The key to breaking the spiral is to practice deep breathing.  In fact, there is no faster way to activate the relaxation response than to deep breathe.  For extra benefits, practice relaxing facial muscles on the exhale.

From a diet and nutritional standpoint, there are many strategies for activating the body’s PNS regulated response.  Below are my Top 14 nutritional strategies for activating the relaxation response and dealing with PTSD:

1.      Maintain stable blood sugar; eat more protein, less refined carbs.  Refined food is also more likely to contain excitotoxins which can exacerbate anxiety.

2.      Veggies and protein – Recipe for building serotonin, the body’s most important stress management biochemical.   Starchy veggies and protein from whey and eggs can be especially helpful.

3.      Lithium Oratate (5mg active elemental lithium) – mood stabilizing nutrient, used as prescription medicine, but available at a health food store, very relaxing.

4.      GABA 100mg – (500 to 1000mg once or twice a day)-relaxing brain chemical, made by the body so there’s no toxicity.

5.      Theanine (100-200mg 1-3 times a day)– an amino acid found in tea theanine has been shown in numerous studies to have psychoactive effects, thought to increase the brains levels of GABA, theanine may have excitoxicity benefits too.  You can drink decaff green tea to bump up your theanine levels in the middle of the day.

6.      Glycine (500 to 1000mg once or twice a day) -like GABA it’s a brain chemical and made by the body so there’s no toxicity.  Whey protein is an excellent source of glycine.

7.      Vitamin C (5-10 grams a day) – The quintessential anti stress vitamin.  Deficiencies are common. The greater the stress the more you need.  The more sugar you eat, the more you need.  Take the powder and save money, 1teaspoonful = 5grams.

8.      B-Complex (B-100 every few hours with water) with timed release niacin (100mg once or twice a day) – mood stabilizing, promotes serotonin synthesis.

9.      5HTP (100mg at bedtime) – precursor to serotonin, has anti anxiety and anti-depressant effects, take at bedtime.

10.   Melatonin (3 mg at night)-major relaxation biochemical, anti-aging, supports immunity and digestive health as provides a sense of well being.  Causes drowsiness, take at bedtime.

11.   Beyond Tangy Tangerine – nutritional deficiencies =can trigger the symptom of PTSD.  Sipping on Youngevity’s Beyond Tangy Tangerine all day long can prevent drops into nutritional deficiency status. [Buy Beyond Tangy Tangerine here]

12.   Celtic Sea Salt – manna for the adrenal glands.  Put a teaspoonful or two in a glass of water and sip on it, if it tastes delicious you’re adrenals are gonna love it!   After a while, when it doesn’t taste as delicious you’ve had enough.

13.   Magnesium (1200-2000mg a day glycinate form is the ideal.)  Green veggies are a great source of magnesium.  Involved in production of stress management hormones.  Gall bladder or other digestive health problem may impair absorption.  Take with apple cider vinegar, lecithin, digestive enzymes, bile salts, fatty meals to maximize absorption.

14.   Inositol (500mg 2-4 times a day) – This vitamin-like substance improves serotonin’s stress management properties.  High doses (18) grams a day shown to work as well as Prozac with no side effects.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Gaga For GABA: Love Nutrient For the Endocrine System

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Like many nutrients, with the exception of the essential ones, GABA is a chemical component that is produced by the body, but one that can be taken as a supplement for maximum benefit.

Gaga For GABAIt is technically a neurotransmitter, which simply means it is a chemical that affects nerves; in the case of GABA, the effects are inhibitory, which means it’s got some nice anti-stress effects. There are prescription drugs such as the benzodiazepines (diazepam for example) that induce relaxing effects by exploiting the GABA neurological system.

GABA can be taken as a sleep aid and it has been used by anxiety sufferers to improve their sense of well-being. Body-builders have a special fondness for GABA because it can help improve growth hormone levels. According to well-known study done at The University Of Milan, Italy, 90 minutes after supplementation with 5000mg of GABA, levels of growth hormone increased by 5 times.

GABA may help improve concentration and also can be used for its soporific effects to help alleviate insomnia. Try taking one or two grams before going to bed, it may help you get a good night’s sleep and you’ll be helping support the nighttime growth hormone surge that occurs as part of normal endocrine functioning.

gamma-Aminobutyric acid

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
γ-Aminobutyric acid is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. It plays a role in regulating neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system. In humans, GABA is also directly responsible for the regulation of muscle tone.

Structure and conformation
GABA is found mostly as a zwitterion, that is, with the carboxy group deprotonated and the amino group protonated. Its conformation depends on its environment. In the gas phase, a highly folded conformation is strongly favored because of the electrostatic attraction between the two functional groups. The stabilization is about 50 kcal/mol, according to quantum chemistry calculations. In the solid state, a more extended conformation is found, with a trans conformation at the amino end and a gauche conformation at the carboxyl end. This is due to the packing interactions with the neighboring molecules. In solution, five different conformations, some folded and some extended, are found as a result of solvation effects. The conformational flexibility of GABA is important for its biological function, as it has been found to bind to different receptors with different conformations. Many GABA analogues with pharmaceutical applications have more rigid structures in order to control the binding better.

Now Gaba 500mg, 100 CapsulesNow Gaba 500mg
Supplement Facts:
Serving Size: 1 Capsule
Amount Per Serving:
Vitamin B-6 (from Pyridoxine Hydrochloride) 2 mg 100%
GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid) 500 mg
Other Ingredients: Rice Flour, Gelatin (capsule), Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source) and Silica.
Contains no: sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, soy, milk, egg, shellfish or preservatives.

Now Gaba 500mg, 100 Capsules

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health