Known as one of the “happy hormones”, serotonin is a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger that plays a role in some of the body’s most essential functions, affecting our sleep cycle, digestion, and mood. Over 95% of serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract (GI), making the remaining 5% in the brain stem. Serotonin helps build and strengthen neural pathways, but it is not something we can increase by taking a pill or eating certain foods. As with so many things relating to the health of our body, brain, and mind, it is a combination of the four pillars of health – a healthy diet, physical exercise, good quality sleep and our emotional well-being.
It seems that nearly every cell in the brain is influenced by serotonin; according to Princeton brain researcher Barry Jacobs, PhD, when fewer new brain cells are produced, it is easier for depression to set in.
When we are stressed, it is cortisol running the show, aging our bodies, and reducing serotonin levels, so simply doing things that remove or reduce stress is the key to better health and longevity.
There are vast amounts of research pointing to the positive benefits of meditation, more so mindfulness. Still, it all means reducing or removing stress on the brain, mind, and body that increases our serotonin levels. Thus, improving our mood, digestive system, and sleep quality.
Both meditation and floatation therapy have been shown to increase the Alpha and Theta Brain wave patterns that increase one’s sense of peace and calm and improve sleep.
Floatation therapy is fast becoming one of the most efficient therapies to affect the body, brain, and mind. Spending an hour in a float tank is like hitting the reset button for the body. Unplugging yourself from anything that may cause stress, removing external sensory input, and the zero-gravity effect are game chargers that the brain craves and needs to relax and rejuvenate. Outlined in this study on magnesium, floatation therapy is an excellent source of transdermal magnesium, which aids in reducing the stress felt especially in the muscles, aiding in increasing both serotonin, and melatonin, both of which are needed by our brains for quality sleep and a happier you.
Another research paper found that of the 50 participates diagnosed with anxiety and depression who tried floatation therapy reported significant reductions in stress, muscle tension, pain, depression and negative affect, accompanied by a substantial improvement in mood characterised by increases in serenity and relaxation, happiness and overall well-being.
Although the full impact of serotonin on our system isn’t fully understood, those lacking in serotonin are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depressed mood, aggression, insomnia, irritability, low self-esteem, poor appetite, and poor memory. Serotonin deficiency occurs when your body doesn’t have enough serotonin activity.
Shiatsu massage works by stimulating the circulation of blood and qi, whereby reactivate the body’s natural flow; this simple Japanese style of massage reduces stress and increases a relaxed, calm state both physically and mentally.
Acupuncture works on a mental, physical, and emotional level and can therefore benefit and treat a vast range of different conditions. Acupuncture therapy helps increase energy levels, improve sleep, and enables the body to deal with stress better. Acupuncture attempts to correct imbalances and retrain the body to function optimally.
Both are beautiful activities that can reduce stress in our system, decreasing our cortisol and increasing our serotonin levels.
Even soaking your feet in some Epsom salts at the end of the day can relieve tension, reduce inflammation, and of course, increase your magnesium intake.
Try one of our essential oil blends with Epsom salts.
Book yourself in for some floatation therapy, a Shiatsu massage, or some Acupuncture today.