Laboratory, Endocrine, & Neurotransmitter Symposium
February 15 - 17, 2019
Las Vegas, NV
14.5 CMES available
Gain additional clinical insight and treatment considerations to evaluate some of the most prevalent and challenging conditions that patients present with, including depression, anxiety, altered mental focus and stamina, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbances, addictions and dependencies, weight management, and chronic disease. Register now to save $50 with our early bird special!
Topic: Hormone Testing Options Compared: Saliva, serum, urine
By: Lylen Ferris, ND
January 2, 2019
Join Labrix clinical staff and special guests on the first Wednesday of every month at 9:30 AM and 12:00 PM PST. This free, live webinar series will cover a variety of neuroendocrine topics that will enhance your knowledge, with clinically applicable testing and treatment considerations. 1 CE credit available upon attendee request.
Las Vegas, NV:
December 13-15, 2018
Labrix will be exhibiting at the A4M conference in Las Vegas this week. Come see what testing with Labrix is all about!
A Fragrant Way to Support Mental Health
This time of year can be challenging for many individuals. As the days become shorter and the holidays approach, feelings of sadness and overwhelm can arise. For those individuals with mental health concerns, the added pressure of the changing seasons and increased demands can exacerbate symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. In some cases, this is a seasonal shift known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Even without a seasonal component to depression and/or anxiety, it can also be a delicate time. Research has demonstrated a quick way to target these feelings without taking a single pill, and surprisingly it involves your nose.
Aromatherapy is gaining in popularity among patients and alternative practitioners with good reason. Olfaction is the quickest delivery to the body and the brain. Inhalation of essential oils stimulates the olfactory system. As the molecules of these compounds enter the nose and or mouth, they are passed to the brain, lungs, and from there other parts of the body. As these volatile compounds reach the brain, they have a direct effect on the limbic system. Because of this, essential oils could be an excellent treatment for mental health concerns, alone or in combination with medication.
Lavender essential oil has a long history of use for relaxation. The spa industry has known of these effects of lavender for a long time, however its use as a mainstream medication alternative remains in its infancy. A human pilot study followed eight patients to determine the effectiveness of lavender essential oil in individuals with major depressive disorder, insomnia, and anxiety. Capsules containing 80mg of immediate-release lavender were given to psychiatric patients upon admittance. Six out of the eight patients had a reduction in Hamilton depression score (HAM-D) along with other promising improvements in insomnia and anxiety. Another human study looked at the acute inhalation effects of lavender essential oil on mood in a healthy adult male population. EEG activity, alertness, and mood were assessed in 40 healthy adult men given 3 minutes of lavender oil inhalation. Profile of Mood States (POMS) showed fewer depressive moods, EEG showed increased beta power, and participants reported increased relaxation, speed and accuracy during the assigned math computations. Results from this study seemed to suggest that lavender oil can improve moods even in healthy individuals. Additionally, the use of lavender has been explored clinically for postpartum depression. An essential oil blend of lavender and rose was given to 28 postpartum women diagnosed with anxiety or depression. The essential oil blend was administered by inhalation or topical application twice weekly during the study period. The results demonstrated a significant reduction in both depression and anxiety, without any reported adverse effects.
Citrus oils, like Bergamot, have been widely studied in humans for their effect on mood. One study demonstrated positive results in the reduction of anxiety in 53 patients awaiting surgery compared to 49 controls. Another study examining work related stress and bergamot essential oil showed an overall reduction in work-related stress from 83 elementary school teachers. Changes in heart rate variability in another study indicated relaxation in 25 healthy females compared to 22 controls within 15 minutes of inhalation of bergamot. A similar study demonstrated a reduction of salivary cortisol, self-reported fatigue and anxiety in 41 healthy women, within 15 minutes of the intervention. One of the most promising studies combined bergamot, orange, and lemon oils. This combination was slowly vaporized throughout the day over a two-week period. Depressed patients exposed to this mixture were able to decrease their dose of antidepressants.
But the question remains, by what mechanism are essential oils working? To understand the pharmacology involved, we can turn to a few murine studies that have demonstrated modulation of neurotransmitters. For lavender specifically, the component linalool appears to affect serotonin secretion while bergamot and other citrus oils containing beta-pinene modulate dopamine levels. While more research is needed in this area, it seems plausible to consider aromatherapy as an adjunctive treatment for a wide variety of mental health concerns.
Learn more about identifying and treating the neuroendocrine imbalances that contribute to mood disturbances and stress states at the upcoming LENS conference, held in February at the Platinum Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas. For more information, visit our LENS website at www.fx-ed.com
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6. Lv, X., Liu, Z., Zhang, H., & Tzeng, C. (2013). Aromatherapy and the Central Nerve System (CNS): Therapeutic Mechanism and its Associated Genes. Current Drug Targets,14(8), 872-879. doi:10.2174/1389450111314080007
7. Ni, C., Hou, W., Kao, C., Chang, M., Yu, L., Wu, C., & Chen, C. (2013). The Anxiolytic Effect of Aromatherapy on Patients Awaiting Ambulatory Surgery: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,2013, 1-5. doi:10.1155/2013/927419
8. Peng, S., Koo, M., & Yu, Z. (2009). Effects of music and essential oil inhalation on cardiac autonomic balance in healthy individuals. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15(1), 53–57.
9. Watanabe, E., Kimura, M., & Rauwald, W. (2015). Effects of Bergamot (Citrus bergamia (Risso) Wright & Arn.) essential oil aromatherapy on mood states, parasympathetic nervous system activity, and salivary cortisol levels in 41 healthy females. Forschende Komplementärmedizin, 22, 43–49.