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Healing Frazzled Nerves

As the holiday season begins, we look forward to times spent with friends and special celebrations. At the same time, we eagerly anticipate the upcoming year and begin to access our goals and dreams we’d like to fulfill. But for many of us the Holiday season marks the beginning of a much busier schedule and higher stress levels, adding another “coal on the fire” of an already over-stressed life. The thoughts of the coming New Year looms over many as a large mountain that must be climbed. For these people, stress and anxiety rule their lives.

Finding the path to Healing

What can you do when your nerves seem so frazzled that they begin to affect your daily activities, judgment, and personality? What do you do when you feel you’re losing control of the very body you live in? Rising above the storm of a stressful busy life can be difficult, but not impossible. The first step is to reach inside yourself and find that desire to gain control again, and upon finding this, realize you can do something about it. One of the biggest factors that cause frustration for those under stress is the feeling of loss of control over the symptoms the body is exhibiting, such as mood swings, depression, or fear. Today I want to help you understand some of these symptoms, what your body is telling you, and how you can turn them around with nutritional and lifestyle changes.

The health of your nervous system affects both your emotional and physical well-being. When this system is weakened, we can feel stressed and emotionally unstable and exhibit a range of ill-health. We commonly hear people who are under stress say their nerves are “frazzled” or “worn thin”. This statement is actually a very true analogy of what is happening in your nervous system. When the nerve endings get worn down the protective covering called the myelin sheath has worn thin. These naked nerve endings spark and leap like live wires, creating problems with the nervous system’s communication system. Once the myelin becomes thin, we start to exhibit symptoms which for many can be quite scary. Let’s look at some of these common symptoms:

- Easily bothered by noise, people, or commotion

- Feeling a need to avoid large groups or noisy places

- Inability to concentrate if other noises are going on around you

- Inability to sleep due to a racing mind, or constant thoughts.

- Need to play the radio, fan, or TV to help you fall asleep

- Often bothered by Intrusive thoughts (unwelcome involuntary thoughts, images, or unpleasant ideas that may become obsessions, are upsetting or distressing)

- Nerve pain caused by inflammation or degeneration of the nerve resulting in tingling, numbness, or pain

- Sudden piercing pains in different places on the body

- Easily startled by sudden noises

- Hearing voices, music or sounds that are not really there

- Having a feeling that someone is in the room or catching movement from out of the corner of your eye only to find nothing is there

- Having a need to double check things

- A need to follow rituals before doing something, like going to sleep

Obsessive compulsive behavior

- Doing something that is a common routine for you, but suddenly thinking you did it wrong

- Forgetting common everyday information like how to retrieve a message from your phone

- Forgetting where you are, or what direction a place is that you have gone to many times

- In addition, many diagnosed medical conditions can be related to a problem with a worn down myelin sheath. Examples are as follows: OCD, Bi-polarity, Bells Palsy, Shingles, Parkinson's disease, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Anorexia, Bulimia, Self Injury, Panic Attacks, Social Phobia, Anxiety, ADD, Tourette's ...and other neurological disorders. These disorders can improve and /or be managed more easily by supporting healing of the nervous system.

I can’t tell you how many people have found relief and hope after reading this list and realizing that these symptoms are not all in their head. But rather, these are symptoms of a nervous system that is worn down, malnourished and simply unable to communicate properly. Best of all, with proper nutritional support, lifestyle changes and rest, these symptoms will go away or greatly diminish, as your nervous system heals and repairs itself.

Nutrients that help to heal your nerves

Lecithin - is an important phospholipid (fatty substance) needed by all living cells. Lecithin is produced within our own bodies and can be found in the major organs: the heart, the liver, and the kidneys. It is important to the formation of a healthy myelin sheath. Choline and inositol are two components of lecithin that are especially important for nerve function. These ingredients are needed to make a chemical that carries nerve messages across the nerve synapses. Lecithin along with the B-vitamins help keep this coating healthy. Lecithin can be found in several foods, such as cabbage, cauliflower, garbanzo beans, soybeans, split peas, organic meat, seeds, nuts, and eggs. However, once the myelin sheath is worn down, I have found people need to supplement with additional lecithin in addition to diet to repair the nerves quickly. I like the Nature’s Sunshine lecithin because they are small caplets. Occasionally I have trouble with some nerve pain in my feet, when this starts up, I take 3 caplets twice daily until the symptoms improve, then I drop to 3-4 daily. In addition, I evaluate the other supplements in this article to see if I need them as well.

Magnesium - This mineral is also needed for the myelin sheath to stay healthy. A lack of magnesium can leave your nerves feeling ragged. Magnesium is vital to the health of every cell in the body; it is a key player in many metabolic processes. It is needed for contraction of muscles, generating electricity in nerves, and the production of energy in the body. People who suffer from chronic fatigue often have low magnesium levels in their blood. In addition, nerves can become hypersensitive to pain without enough magnesium. Magnesium is used by the body to control heart beats. A deficiency can create irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure, both of which are often experienced by people under stress and suffering from a weakened nervous system. Other symptoms of being low in magnesium include Muscle cramps, nervous irritability, menstrual cramps, tension headaches, constipation, muscle tightness, chronic pain and feeling uncomfortable around big crowds of people.

Nature’s Sunshine’s Magnesium Complex contains a good bioavailable form of magnesium (citrate and malate). A dose of 300-600 mg daily is typically used for healing the nervous system. You may also be getting some magnesium from your multiple vitamin and mineral formula, so check the label. Avoid magnesium oxide form, as it is poorly absorbed and serves mainly as a laxative.

B-vitamins stabilize the nervous system and are needed for proper functioning of nerve impulses. B12, plays an important role in the health of the myelin sheath around the nerves. A deficiency of B12 may cause the following symptoms: numbness and tingling of the arms or legs, difficulty walking, memory loss, disorientation, and dementia with or without mood changes, and a sore mouth. A special type of anemia, caused by a lack of intrinsic factor (a glycoprotein in the stomach), can cause an inability to absorb B12. People who suffer from chronic digestive problems, IBS, and severe food allergies, run a higher risk of having this type of anemia develop. For the majority of people low B12 may develop due to weakened digestive processes in the stomach. This may be due to reduction of enzyme production due to stress, or because of aging. In addition, the daily use of antacid medications such as Prilosec, Nexium, or Prevacid can lead to B12 deficiency. These drugs reduce the levels of the stomach acid called hydrochloric acid (HCL). HCL is needed to separate the B12 from the food proteins, so it is available for absorption.

All the B-vitamins help play a role of good digestion and keeping your nervous system healthy. People who are constantly on the go all the time and have constant stress in their lives should supplement their diet with additional B-vitamins to support their lifestyle. These people tend to have excessive worry and anxiety, digestive complaints and difficulty relaxing. The Nature's Sunshine formula Nutri-Calm is a great B-complex formula which includes additional herbs to help relax the nervous system. Vitamin C is also added for its support for the adrenal glands (your stress glands). The key to taking a B-complex formula such as Nutri-Calm, is to spread it out throughout the day. B-complex vitamins are water soluble, what your body does not use in the morning hours will be flushed out of your system in your urine. Therefore, you should divide the dose into 2-3 daily doses to help support stress throughout the day. Nutri-calm or other B-complex formulas do contain some B12. However, if you feel you may have a deficiency you may want to include additional B12. The formula liquid-Methyl B12 Complete offers an easy to absorb liquid form to take along with your B-complex formula. The liquid form which is held under your tongue for 30 seconds before swallowing is the preferred form for taking B12.

I have found that Lecithin, magnesium, B12 and the B-complex vitamins to be the most significant nutrients needed for the reversing of the above symptoms of a worn myelin sheath.

Rest is vitally important for the nervous system, it’s essential to find ways to pause amidst the rush of the day allowing some time to rest and unwind. There are a lot of breathing and meditation apps which you could use to help you relax and re-focus your mind. In addition to incorporating times of rest during the day, prioritizing a good night’s sleep is equally vital. Identifying your stressors is important, evaluate where you can make changes to help lift some stress in your life. Take a closer look into the things that are bothering you and find solutions to these problems. If you think that your problem is too big for you to handle, try to breakdown your problem into small components and see if you can find partial solutions. It is important not to go to bed while dwelling on your day’s problems. Engage in practices such as deep breathing and relaxation techniques, yoga, prayer, or meditation, before bedtime. These methods can effectively train your mind to unwind and foster positive thinking. Evaluate your intake of substances like caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, especially in the early evening. People metabolize caffeine differently, for some it may take up to 20 hours for the effect of a cup of coffee to wear off. I like to drink a cup of chamomile tea in the evening to help prepare my mind for relaxation and sleep. A hot bath with soothing essential oils like lavender can also help induce relaxation. I like to listen to relaxing music with my headphones just prior to bed.

There are nutritional supplements which can help as well to prepare the body and mind to relax and unwind….

Herbal Sleep – Is an herbal combination that supports proper nervous system function. The formula promotes restful sleep when taken at bedtime. This formula contains valerian, passionflower, and hops. All three of these herbs have a successful history of use with nerve pain as well as helping to balance neurotransmitters that help to relax a racing mind. A similar formula, called Stress-J is excellent for calming the nerves during the day. This formula also supports digestive distress triggered by stress. There are many different formulas that help the body to sleep more restfully. Since people have different imbalances, different supplements are needed. If the Herbal Sleep does not work well for you, consider Melatonin, Stress-J, Herbal Ca, calcium or magnesium, L-tryptophan, or GABA instead. Contact me if you need help figuring out what combination might work well for you.

Having a worn nervous system is very stressful for both you and those around you. Without help, people often develop a feeling of being "burned out" and lose their motivation or zeal for life. The formula Chinese Nervous Fatigue TCM can be very helpful in this instance. This formula works to strengthen the circulatory system as well as the nervous system. It is helpful for those who have a restless night’s sleep often accompanied by night sweats. It helps recover from nervous exhaustion and improve muddled thoughts and mental confusion brought on by long term stress. I often have clients take 1-2 of the TCM concentrate capsules before bedtime. If this energizes you for some reason, take it in the morning and dinner instead.

I hope this newsletter has brought some encouragement and hope to those of you who have been feeling run down and discouraged. I hope that this information has given you some useful ideas as to how you can work to heal and repair your damaged nerves, so you can look forward to a brighter New Year.

Disclaimer: Supplement recommendations are not designed to treat a disease condition. Discussions are for educational purposes only. Supplements should be used to nourish and strengthen the natural function of the various body organs and systems so that they will have a greater capacity to heal themselves. It is not intended to replace your doctor's recommendations. If you are taking medications for your nervous system, talk with your doctor on how you can incorporate natural supplements into your program.

Copyright 2023 Restoring Light, all rights reserved

Artwork by Valerie Greguire, all rights reserved


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