New Year, New Brain

Brain health, naturopathic support for grief, trauma, depression and anxiety, EDMR, psilocybin

Intense recurring feelings, overwhelming emotions, debilitating anxiety, obsessive compulsiveness,  unusual physical symptoms, and the inability to move forward in the way you would like can all be caused by neural pathways that have “gotten stuck” or are in a “rut”.

Neural pathways send information from one part of the nervous system to another and are much like grooves or roads in the brain.

Difficulties such as:

  • grief
  • trauma
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • depression

can create faulty neural pathways that are easy to get trapped in and challenging to get out of (think getting your car stuck in the ditch on the side of the road without four-wheel drive).

Take grief, for instance.  Deep emotion, extreme stress (acute and/or chronic), and lack of self-care due to the loss of a loved one can alter the brain, specifically by forging neural pathways that don’t properly function for optimal mental health.

However, there are therapies that can help rewire the brain.

The following therapies are two of them:


EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessnatuing) can create new neural pathways and can be sought out from a therapist who specializes in this therapy.

Through specific eye movement or finger taps, this treatment encourages the use of different parts of the brain in order to access, and begin processing, traumatic experiences and emotions.  Its goal is to reprocess difficult memories, trauma, feelings, etc. for healthy healing of the brain and mind.

The outcome can include a decrease in emotional triggers, less heightened emotion around an experience or issue, and a new sense of self moving forward.

You can find more information on EMDR from the Cleveland Clinic here.


Known to many as “magic mushrooms,” the active ingredient in these unique plants, psilocybin, has historically been used for indigenous medicine.  It was outlawed in 1970 under the Controlled Substance Act, but recently was made legal (under specific guidelines) in Colorado.

The compound can have a dramatic affect on the brain, more specifically, neurotransmitters, in which as little as one dose can benefit those with grief, trauma, anxiety, depression, fear of dying, and OCD.

It is often taken as a capsule, in a tea, or eaten raw or whole (such as in a chocolate bar).

Keep an eye out for our in-depth look at psilocybin and how it may be of benefit – coming shortly.

Watch Dr. Graves’ interview with CBS Colorado about this historic ballot measure.

And for more information on psilocybin in Colorado, visit Colorado Public Radio’s report.

Although emotional distress is part of being human (for most), it’s important to note that sometimes it can get stuck – and create biological dysfunction.  Through therapies such as these as well as acupuncture, herbal supplements, and holistic counseling, there are options to help support reprocessing of the brain and the creation of new, healthy neural pathways.

For more information, please call our office at (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves to learn more.

Posted in Anxiety, blog, Depression, Grief, mental health, Natural Medicine, Stress & Adrenal Health Tagged with: , , , , , ,

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