Lately I have been focusing on the work of neuroscientist and Stanford University professor, Dr. Andrew Huberman. He has developed effective techniques intended to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, while stimulating the release of dopamine, serotonin and other neurotransmitters and hormones through natural methods and specific behaviors. I recently posted blogs/videos, explaining the 5-step program I have developed in order to de-stress and release dopamine and serotonin. Subsequent to these postings I have discovered more of Huberman’s work, as well, as rediscovering the work of Dr Joe Dispenza.
I am covering a lot of stuff in this blog post and there are three things in particular that I would like to emphasize:
- In addition to the small goals I’m giving myself throughout the day in order to stimulate the release of dopamine … such as, giving myself a goal of walking across the room with authority, and with a full stride, placing my foot down heel-to-toe, then celebrating my accomplishment … I’m also giving myself daily goals to achieve and bigger lifetime goals.
- I have expanded my dopamine release protocol to include the stimulation of acetylcholine and epinephrine.
- I have added specific dialogue and visualization techniques intended to support and enhance the behavioral techniques.
The intention of this program is to change my brain chemistry. This is called neuroplasticity. This is why we take medications…to change our brain chemistry. The difference is, I’m doing it naturally.
My living in good health program is a fusion of what I’ve learned from the teachings of Huberman and Dispenza, as well as, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer and Ester and Jerry Hicks.
From Andrew Huberman, I learned about how to de-stress, activate the parasympathetic nervous system and stimulate the release of certain neurotransmitters and hormones, including, dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, epinephrine, GABA, oxytocin, endorphins and melatonin.
From Joe Dispenza, I learned that it is possible to heal ourselves … as he did … using thought and visualization to connect to our inner wisdom. I was also reminded that in order to change my experience, I need to change who I am.
From Eckhart Tolle’s teachings, I learned about acceptance … that I may not want to have this health condition, and I may not want to experience all of these symptoms, like trembling and freezing, but I accept that I do and … I don’t mind that I do.
From Wayne Dyer’s book, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life, Living the Wisdom of the Tao, I learned the true meaning and importance of letting go and trusting that I don’t need to control everything, including, outcomes. I just need to do what I can, then step back and let my inner–intelligence do its thing.
From Ester and Jerry Hicks book, Ask and It Is Given, I was reminded that the only thing stopping us from healing is the belief that we can heal, and moreover, that our thoughts, beliefs and emotions must be in vibrational harmony with our desire to heal. Also, how we ask for healing is critically important … we must ask as if it has already been given.
The program I have created includes the following key elements:
- Overall intention/goal
- Morning protocol
- Dopamine stimulation
- Serotonin stimulation
- Acetylcholine/epinephrine stimulation
- GABA stimulation
- Oxytocin stimulation
- Endorphins stimulation
- Melatonin stimulation
- Self-talk and Visualization
- Healing request
- Bedtime protocol
Key Neurotransmitters and Hormones:
In order to understand the protocol I have developed, it is helpful to understand the key neurotransmitters and hormones that are involved.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced in the substantia nigra section of the midbrain. It is associated with movement, motivation, excitement, reward and celebration. It is dopamine release that motivates us to move towards a goal, and it is further released when the goal is achieved. It makes us feel excited and wanting more.
Serotonin is produced in the raphe nuclei which are located in the midline of the brainstem. It is associated with happiness.
Acetylcholine is produced in several places in the brain and brainstem. It is associated with focus.
Epinephrine is produced in an area of the brainstem. It is associated with energy, alertness and stress. When released in the adrenal glands, this neurochemical is called adrenalin.
Oxytocin is produced in the pituitary gland in the brain. It is associated with love. It is released when we hug our kids or our significant other.
Endorphins are produced in the pituitary gland in the brain. They are associated with ecstacy and euphoria. They are triggered by exercise, accomplishments and sex.
GABA is actually an amino acid that behaves like a neurotransmitter. It is synthesized in the brain from the amino acid, glutamate. It is associated with calm and expansive thinking.
Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland in the brain. It is associated with sleep. It is triggered by darkness.
Acetylcholine and epinephrine when released together, combines and enhances focus and alertness, and according to Huberman, ensures that neuroplasticity will take place, so long as acetylcholine is released from both the forebrain and the brainstem. Whatever you want to change will change as long this simultaneous release of epinephrine and the duel release of acetylcholine occurs. So if you want to train your brain to release dopamine by moving towards and achieving a goal, stimulating this release of acetylcholine and epinephrine at the same time virtually guarantees it because you will be more focused and alert.
Each of the neurotransmitter/hormone release elements outlined below includes both a behavioral technique, as well as, a self-talk/visualization script.
My overall intention is to live in excellent health. Jerry and Ester Hicks suggest that we state this intention/desire in the form of … Wouldn’t it be nice if … rather than … I want to. When we state a desire in the form of … I want … we are acknowledging the absence of what we desire and this creates a form of resistance to receiving it. Whereas, when we state our desire in the form of … Wouldn’t it be nice if … we are activating a vibration that is less resistant in nature.
My overall intention statement:
Wouldn’t it be nice if I lived in excellent health because wouldn’t it be nice if I could drive myself anywhere I want to go, anytime I want to go there. And wouldn’t it be nice if I could visit my children anytime I want to. And wouldn’t it be nice if I could swim, play my guitar, play my mandolin, play golf, write and go for long bike rides, anytime I want and for as long as I want to.
My plan is to recite my intention statement every day, before getting out of bed.
In addition to reciting my intention statement before getting out of bed, I also recite the following:
- 23rd Psalm [spiritual version]
- Love affirmation
Also before getting out of bed, I ask myself two questions [this is taken from the teachings of Joe Dispenza]:
- What is the greatest ideal of myself that I can be today?
- What is the predominant thought I want to think today?
After I get out of bed and before I eat breakfast, I do the following:
- Speed exercises
- karate exercises [strikes and kicks]
- balance exercise
- knee raises
- short qigong practice
- meditation or yoga nidra [approximately ten minutes]
About a half an hour before breakfast, I take my first round of meds [2 100mg Sinemet tabs]. After breakfast, I usual spend some time writing blogs, running errands, etc, while the meds are still in effect. After the meds wear-off, I switch my focus to de-stressing and neurotransmitter stimulation.
Stimulating Dopamine Release:
My dopamine release regimen is based on setting goals and tasks for myself to complete and then working/moving towards completing them. According to Huberman, when we complete a goal/task, there is an immediate release of dopamine, especially when we celebrate what we just accomplished. I give myself three levels of goals.  Moment-by-moment goals: For example, I’m going to walk across the room with authority, taking a full stride, while placing my feet down, heel-to-toe.  Daily goals: For example: today I’m going to shovel half the driveway, or today I’m going to post a blog, or today I’m going to write one chapter of the new book I’m writing.  Life goals: One of my goals is to live in excellent health. A second goal is for one million people to read the books I’m writing.
Stimulating Serotonin Release:
I outlined my serotonin release protocol in the same video and blog where I discussed how to stimulate dopamine release. The most effective technique for stimulating serotonin release is expressing gratitude and appreciation.
Stimulating Acetylcholine/Epinephrine Release:
According to Huberman, acetylcholine and epinephrine are the key neuro-chemicals involved in neuroplasticity. Acetylcholine is connected to focus, while epinephrine is involved in alertness, energy and stress. Huberman says this combination when released together in the brain drives changes in our brain chemistry [neuroplasticity].
Huberman says that mental focus follows visual focus because the eyes are actually part of the brain. The technique he has developed to stimulate the release of these two neurotransmitters is quite simple. You pick a small object closeby and focus on it [ideally, without blinking] for 60 to 120 seconds. Focusing on the object triggers acetylcholine, and doing it without blinking puts us in a mild state of stress, thus triggering epinephrine. Huberman says neurolasticity is enhanced by a moderate level of stress.
Practicing this technique in combination with the dopamine and serotonin release techniques heightens the effectiveness of these techniques.
Stimulating GABA Release:
GABA is associated with calm. It is directly related to de-stressing.
There is a simple qigong technique for stimulating GABA, which is to jump up-and-down three times while vigorously shaking the hands. Do this three times and then do a full-body shiver. Repeat this as many times as you please.
Doing this technique sends a signal to the brain that the stressful event [danger] has passed, we are safe and we can relax.
Stimulate Oxytocin Release:
Oxytocin is associated with love. To stimulate oxytocin release, hug someone, send a message to your kids, call your kids or spend time with your grandchildren, etc.
I also list things I love. For example, I love watching eagles soaring high in the sky. And I love a clear blue sky. And I love sitting by the lake, etc.
Stimulate Endorphins Release:
A simple way to stimulate endorphins release is to do any joyful exercise and celebrate any accomplishment.
Stimulate Melatonin Release:
Melatonin, of course, is involved in sleep. It is triggered naturally by darkness, so keeping lights low after dark, especially towards bedtime, is really important.
Huberman also says getting exposed to early morning sunlight, as soon as possible after sunrise [without looking directly into the sun], is important. He says that morning exposure stimulates cortisol release, which activates our circadian clock [our 24 hour clock], so that melatonin will begin being secreted approximately sixteen hours later.
It is also helpful to get exposure to late evening and sunset light.
Self-talk and Visualization:
To enhance the effectiveness of the physical behavioral techniques described above, I am also doing self-talk and visualization techniques. This is where Dr Joe Dispenza comes in. Dispenza is a neuroscientist, chiropractor and author of several books including, You are the Placebo. He healed a severely broken back himself after a devasting cycling accident in 1986 when he was struck by a vehicle doing 55 miles per hour. He didn’t like the extensive surgery protocol that was recommended to him. Instead he decided he could heal himself by tapping in to the body’s innate ability to heal itself. I believe it is possible for me to do the same thing.
The following is the inner-dialogue script I have created for myself. Feel free to copy it, or write your own. The emphasis of the script is on expressing immense gratitude and appreciation to my body for providing me with a physical vessel in which to complete this journey:
Thank you inner-self for guiding me on this journey of living in good health. I really appreciate it. I know excellent health is possible. I also know that this is what my inner-self wants. I am ready to be healed and I am ready to live in excellent health.
Thank you for helping me to live in an emotional state of love, joy, gratitude, acceptance and trust.
Thank you for reminding me that on a soul level, I chose this journey and therefore, I am in charge.
Thank you for providing me with guidance in regards to the emotional traumas that need to be identified and healed in order to facilitate my living in good health.
Thank you inner-self for balancing all of my neurotransmitters and hormones in order to facilitate my living in excellent health. Thank you also for activating my parasympathetic nervous system in order to facilitate my living in good health. In particular, thank you to my substantia nigra for producing the dopamine that is necessary to living in good health. Similarly, thank you to the raphe nuclei in my brainstem for producing the serotonin necessary to live in good health. Similarly, thank you to my brain and brainstem for producing the acetylcholine and epinephrine that are necessary for me to live in good health. Similarly, thank you to my brain for producing the GABA necessary to live in good health. I really appreciate you helping me in all aspects of this endeavor!
I suggest reading this script at least a couple times a day. While I am reciting the script, I visualize each body part releasing the neurotransmitter or hormone. To strengthen the effect of the visualization … and to have a little fun with it, I picture each neurotransmitter and hormone as a Seven Dwarfs type character [Doper, Serry, Ace, Eppie, Oxy, Gabby, Dorphy and Mello], each with an important function to fulfill.
To support my protocol, I repeat the affirmation I described earlier:
Wouldn’t it be so nice for me to live in excellent health, because wouldn’t be so nice for me to be able to drive myself anywhere I decide to go, anytime I decide to go there, and wouldn’t it be nice for me to visit my children anytime I decide to. And wouldn’t it be nice for me to be able to swim, play the guitar and mandolin, write, blog, play golf and do many other things any time I decide to and for as long as I want to. I AM READY TO BE HEALTHY and I AM READY TO DO ALL THESE THINGS.
In addition to my neurotransmitter protocol, I am also continuing to do my daily regimen, which includes walking and other exercises, stretches, qigong, meditation, spending time in nature, energetic and emotional healing, affirmations, writing, learning to speak Estonian and bodywork.
Also throughout the day, if I find myself struggling with something, I say to myself, I may be having difficulty with this task but I don’t mind that I am. It is only temporary and I accept it for what it is.
My recovery regimen also includes emotional healing. I do this every day. I use a healing stone that I found in the forest to facilitate my healing. Holding the healing stone between the palms of my hands, I repeat the following:
I call upon my inner-self and the four archangels [Raphael, Michael, Gabrael and Urael] to assist me in giving over to this healing stone, all of the low-frequency vibrational energy that is being held within my energy field, so that it can be alchemized into love, particularly that which is connected to the beliefs, thoughts and emotions that are not in vibrational harmony and alignment with my intention to be healthy in all aspects of my life, and I thank you so much for this healing.
My bedtime protocol focuses mainly on expressing gratitude and appreciation. I also repeat my Thank you for the Light [see below] affirmation. Before going to bed, I also do a short qigong routine.
I realize that this program is quite extensive. There is a lot to it. I have been developing and evolving it over many years. It might be easier for you to tackle one section at a time, in which case, I would suggest starting with the dopamine and serotonin stimulation techniques.
Now, I will admit that this program is unproven, at this point. I am sharing it with you now in the hopes that you will join me on this journey. If it resonates with you, great! Perhaps if we have enough people participating we will create an energy that will benefit us all!
May you be healthy and content!
Thank you for the Light:
Thank you for the light that shines on me immersing me in divine goodness and compassion, forgiveness and gratitude, understanding and abundance, patience and trust and aceeptance and faith, and physical, mental and emotional tranquility. And thank you for bringing me a good nights sleep.