The Lowdown Dreary, Short Day Blues -- How a Marin Chiro Strikes Back at SAD
Are you ready for an El Niño year, with lots of dark, cloudy days?
If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), you may already be feeling the effects of gray skies and early darkness. In the Bay Area roughly 10% of the population complains that sadness and depression set in when the sun goes on hiatus. Before I knew my girlfriend, she fell into the SAD blues every winter. It was heartbreaking to hear how the dreariness played havoc with her mood and energy level. Thank heavens she’s fine now, and I’d like to share how we managed to restore her to happy winters. It starts with brain chemistry
In the fall and winter, having fewer daylight hours can trigger a neuro-hormonal imbalance that bumps your body clock out of sync. This causes a variety of symptoms:
tiredness, lack of energy
heaviness in the arms or legs, body aches
appetite changes, including a craving for high-carb foods
The remedy? Broad spectrum amino acids. They help balance the neurotransmitters in the brain, acting as metabolic enhancers for a healthy mood and greater energy.
My girlfriend starts on the aminos around mid-October because it takes a couple of weeks to feel the difference. This treatment has done wonders for her. Ideally, you begin supplementing in the fall, but any time you’re buffeted by dreary weather and short, dark days you can benefit. I can’t speak for other products, but with my Total Amino Solution I recommend six capsules a day, split between mid-morning and mid-afternoon doses (not taken with food). If you don’t see improvement in two weeks, you can move up to nine capsules, three times a day. More remedies for SAD
Low vitamin D levels also contribute to sadness and depression. Consider taking a high quality Vitamin D supplement in winter months, since we miss out on our usual ration from the sun. Light therapy is another option for pushing back the winter blues. The high intensity lights mimic sunlight and help regulate your body’s natural rhythms. For a therapeutic effect, sit within two feet of a full spectrum light for 15 to 20 minutes every day. A particularly stubborn case of SAD may call for all three—the aminos, vitamin D and light therapy. Let me know if you’d like help diagnosing or treating your symptoms. And bring on the rain!