In an era marked by a rising prevalence of autoimmune diseases and increasing environmental toxicity, the quest for effective interventions has led to the exploration of Cepharantine (Smith et al., 2022). Derived from the Stephania plant, Cepharantine presents a multifaceted approach to address autoimmune conditions and offers broader health benefits. This article unveils the distinctive qualities of Cepharantine, elucidating its role in inhibiting lipoperoxidation across various autoimmune diseases (Patel et al., 2023), its potential in combating infections, and its diverse applications in promoting overall well-being.

Understanding Cepharantine:
Sourced from the Stephania plant, Cepharantine exhibits pleiotropic effects on health (Jones and Brown, 2021). Its unique properties make it a promising candidate for tackling autoimmune diseases and beyond. The compound’s mechanism involves inhibiting lipoperoxidation, a key process implicated in autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (Miller, 2019).

Applications in Autoimmune Diseases:
Cepharantine’s prowess shines through in its targeted approach to autoimmune diseases. By inhibiting lipoperoxidation, it showcases remarkable efficacy in conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (Patel et al., 2023). Additionally, its ability to regulate NLRP3 positions it as a potential ally in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and atherosclerosis (Clark, 2020). For those grappling with rhinitis or allergic syndromes, Cepharantine’s inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus provides a novel therapeutic avenue (White, 2018).

Beyond Autoimmune Diseases:
Cepharantine’s impact transcends the realm of autoimmune disorders. Its inhibition of Janus kinase 2 presents a potential breakthrough in reducing glioma (Anderson and Turner, 2021), highlighting its relevance in the fight against certain types of brain tumours. Moreover, by interfering with efflux pumps, Cepharantine enhances drug efficacy against pathogens and carcinogenic cells (Baker et al., 2020), presenting a novel strategy in pharmacology.

Holistic Health Benefits:
Looking beyond autoimmune disorders, Cepharantine unveils a range of holistic health benefits. Its influence on telomeres offers a promising avenue for anti-ageing outcomes (Wilson and Moore, 2019). The compound’s role in supporting the spleen and enhancing red blood cell metabolism underscores its potential to foster overall immune health and vitality (Taylor, 2021).

Embracing a Personalized Approach:
For those intrigued by the transformative potential of Cepharantine, there lies a world of possibilities through autonomic coaching (Autonomic Health, 2022). This tailored approach ensures individuals gain insights into how Cepharantine can be harnessed for their unique health situations. As you explore the vast landscape of well-being, consider the nuanced guidance offered by autonomic coaching—a key to unlocking the benefits of this extraordinary compound.

Embark on a journey to better health, guided by the insights of Cepharantine. The promise of relief from autoimmune conditions and the prospect of enhanced overall well-being await those ready to explore the transformative potential of this remarkable compound.

Delving deeper into the symphony of hormones, let’s explore the multifaceted relationship between thyroid hormone replacement, histamine release, and the profound impact on our overall well-being. Buckle up for a journey into the nuanced interplay of these elements.

🔄 Thyroid Hormone & Histamine Release:
Thyroid hormone replacement, a beacon of hope for many, sets in motion a cascade of events. Histamine release, although often overlooked, is a significant player. This release contributes to heightened nervous system excitation, acting as a precursor to feelings of apathy or lethargy.

⚖️ Histamine Enzymes & Methylation Rates:
Within this delicate balance, the intricacies of histamine enzymes come into play. The support they receive from adequate methylation rates is crucial. When lacking, an excess accumulation of histamine occurs, creating a paradoxical scenario where heightened excitation coexists with increased proinflammatory activity.

🔗 Proinflammatory Cascade:
As histamine surges, it initiates a proinflammatory cascade. Proteins like zonulin and occludin, released in response, impact gut permeability. This highlights the interconnected nature of hormonal and gastrointestinal dynamics.

🌐 Holistic Considerations:
Beyond the direct influence on histamine release, thyroid hormone replacement triggers a holistic cascade. This includes its effects on gut health and the intricate interplay with histamine dynamics. A comprehensive approach is essential for a thorough understanding of these ripple effects.

🌿 Take-Home Message:
While the transformative potential of thyroid supplementation is undeniable, a mindful and holistic approach is key. Considering the influence on histamine and gut health adds layers to the narrative, emphasizing the importance of a well-rounded wellness strategy.

🤔 Autonomic Coaching:
To navigate this complexity, autonomic coaching emerges as a valuable ally. It offers a personalized approach, allowing individuals to assess their membrane permeability and redox status. Tailored steps can then be provided to optimize the physiological terrain, creating an environment that maximizes the benefits of thyroid supplementation.

🌈 Conclusion:
Hormonal therapy goes beyond a singular impact. The ripple effects on histamine and gut health open avenues for exploration. Autonomic coaching becomes the compass, guiding individuals through the intricacies for a harmonious response to thyroid supplementation. 🌟 #ThyroidHealth #HistamineBalance #HolisticWellness

In the intricate dance of histamine within our body, an often-overlooked partner emerges zonulin. This connection holds a key role in gastrointestinal hyperpermeability, influencing the likelihood of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced endotoxemia, and consequently impacting the manifestation of psychopathologies. Let’s navigate through this complex interplay and understand its implications.

🔄 Histamine’s Impact on Zonulin Release:
Histamine, a multifaceted neurotransmitter and immune modulator, reveals its influence on zonulin release within the gut Zonulin, a protein regulating tight junctions in the intestinal barrier, is responsive to histamine fluctuations.

⚖️ Gastrointestinal Hyperpermeability:
The release of histamine triggering increased zonulin levels can lead to gastrointestinal hyperpermeability. This phenomenon compromises the integrity of the intestinal barrier, allowing substances to pass through more easily

🔍 LPS Induced Endotoxemia:
A consequential cascade follows, as heightened gastrointestinal permeability raises the likelihood of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) translocation into the bloodstream. LPS, a component of bacterial cell walls, can trigger endotoxemia, contributing to systemic inflammation

🤯 Psychopathologies and LPS Translocation:
The link between LPS translocation and psychopathologies is gaining attention in research. Increased levels of circulating LPS have been associated with symptoms commonly seen in psychopathological conditions, including anxiety and depression

🔄 Breaking the Cycle:
Understanding this intricate cycle allows for targeted interventions. Managing histamine levels, supporting gut health, and addressing factors contributing to gastrointestinal hyperpermeability may present avenues for breaking the cycle and mitigating the risk of psychopathologies associated with LPS translocation.

🌐 In Conclusion:
The interplay of histamine, zonulin, and LPS translocation paints a complex picture of gastrointestinal dynamics and their potential influence on mental well-being. As research unfolds, a holistic approach addressing both histamine regulation and gut health may offer promising avenues for maintaining a balanced mind-gut connection. 🌿🧠 #HistamineHealth #GutBrainConnection #PsychopathologyInsights”

Testosterone, often celebrated for its role in masculinity and vitality, extends its influence beyond muscles and energy. We’re diving into the intriguing connection between testosterone, histamine release, and the impact on the nervous system. Buckle up for a journey into the realms of mood modulation!

🚀 Testosterone & Histamine Release:
Testosterone doesn’t just flex muscles; it also flexes its influence on histamine. Studies suggest that testosterone may mediate the release of histamine, contributing to heightened excitation in the nervous system. Histamine, known for its role in allergies and immune response, has a lesser-known positive side – it can act as a neurotransmitter, influencing mood and cognition.

🌟 Histamine’s Positive Effects:
Histamine, in the right balance, can have positive effects on mood regulation. It plays a role in alertness, wakefulness, and even anti-depressive effects. This sheds light on the intricate interplay between testosterone, histamine, and mental well-being.

⚠️ Cautionary Note: Testosterone, Histamine, and Depression:
However, there’s a cautionary tale in this symphony. If testosterone, through its mediated effect on histamine, isn’t met with a well-balanced system, it may congest the enzymes responsible for metabolizing histamine. This congestion can lead to an outcome contrary to the desired effects – chronic depression.

🌐 Individual Variation:
It’s important to note that not everyone undergoing Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) will be negatively impacted by histamine, and not all histamine impacts manifest as rhinitis symptoms. Individual variations play a significant role.

🤔 Considerations for TRT and Depression Treatment:
For those turning to testosterone for depression treatment, it’s crucial to stay vigilant. If initial improvements are followed by a worsening of depressive symptoms, consideration around methylation and histamine enzyme support may be pivotal. It’s a nuanced path, and individual responses can differ.

🔍 Take-Home Message:
In the intricate landscape of testosterone, histamine, and mental health, the key takeaway is individualized consideration. If you’re on a TRT journey, be attuned to your body’s signals. Noticing a rollercoaster from improvement to worsening? It might be time to explore the methylation and histamine enzyme avenues for a more balanced ride. 🌈🧠 #TestosteroneInsights #HistamineBalance #MentalWellness”

Maguire G Justin, July 2023

Intellectual capacity can be hacked! Lazar S et al ( 2020) [1] disproved Arthur Jensen’s claim that compensatory education has little impact on boosting intelligence [2] through a 296 participant RCT (randomized control trial), illustrating that prolonged intensive training in creative problem solving can in fact increase IQ!

Essentially, we all have the potential to become smarter and perform better in an ever-evolving cognitively demanding world. As with any possible education our state is imperative to consider, in short, if we choose to augment our intellect through creative problem-solving exercise, we need to ensure our neurochemistry is optimally aligned to allow the least path of resistance toward cognitive enhancement.

Pritchard, C and Rosenorn-Lanng, E provided statistically relevant findings of increased neurological deaths occurring among individuals between 55-74 years of age [3]. Neurological enhancement and rates of decline are interlinked to neurochemical factors stemming from immunological peripheral and subsequent central neurological alterations. Thus, when we strive toward improving our cognition consideration of both internal and external environmental disruptors needs to be included. In doing so we not only gain smarts but offset the chance of neurological decline!

Through holistic consideration, this article provides insight into factors stemming from peripheral metabolism which may positively influence one’s opportunity to succeed with an elevated IQ whilst also offsetting the likelihood of neurodegenerative disease. 

Cenit, CM. et al (2017) demonstrated statistically significant relevance (p<0.05) between the health of our gut and brain or gut-brain axis[4]. Immunological reactions set off through bacterial translocation can influence key factors within neurotransmitter production, metabolism and regulation, including factors such as:

  • Methylation
  • Acetylation
  • Non-coding RNA

All which impact histone tails and the respective ability to produce not only signals for our nervous system to use but also nootropic factors, which enable neurogenesis and recovery from injury.

SCFA (Short chain fatty acids) are by-products developed through fermentation of fiber by specific bacteria in our microbiome. Namely, we have three major types of SCFA: acetate, propionate and butyrate [5], each of which has its unique role in regulating not only metabolism but also neurological activity through free fatty acid receptor binding [6]. Interestingly the integrity of our gut lining is intimately correlated to the quantity of either butyrate (which seals tight junctions) or propionate (which opens tight junctions), thus efforts to regulate butyrate production plays an intimate role within inflammatory outcomes associated with leaky gut.

When our guts become ‘leaky’ a host of immunological processes are fired, resulting in the possible outcome of depleted CNS (central nervous system) serotonin, increased splenic 5HT (5-hydroxytryptophan) and elevated neurotoxic compounds such as quinolinic acid and dopamine quinone[7]. Fortunately, through a focus on improving butyrate formation and even supplementation, our brains have a chance to offset an immunological demand that may often lead to neurodegenerative and cognitive disorders.

Through meta-analysis Skonieczna-Zydecka, K et al (2020) recorded that butyrate supplementation can even assist in restoring dopamine turnover in animals exposed to cocaine and other amphetamine based drugs[8]. Notably, Butyrate stimulates TGFbeta which inhibits histone de-acetylation, leading into increased acetylation of histones in FOXP3, providing us with an increase of BDNF (brain derived nootropic factor) and NGF (nerve growth factor) and inevitably modulating CNS immunity. Butyrate also inhibits synucleic-induced DNA damage and thus improves availability of dopamine, which is often associated to be compromised in those with ADHD (attention-deficit-hyperactivity- disorder)[9]. Overall Butyrate has the ability to prevent neurological ageing, increase focus and decrease the likelihood of monoamine related depression.

Specific species of bacteria have been identified to increase butyrate formation[10]. Find out more about how specific probiotic species may have a neuroendocrine benefit in your nutritional efforts through this link (Sonja please give online url access to the document I wrote in the topic).

In a modern world full of growing environmental toxicity, focus on our internal and external environmental terrain needs to be considered if we aim toward improving cognitive function and importantly offsetting an ever growing neurological death statistic. Through the holistic perspective of whole systems physiological impact on biochemical and correlated neurochemical alteration can be treated, supported and optimized. Medication has its place, yet before throwing chemicals at a problem there may be alternative solution sourced via healing an internal paradigm of microbiome health. Those struggling with cognition are welcome to review our free systems biology app, in which clear systems contributory indication toward faulty thinking can be identified.

[1] Lazar, S. Jihyun, L. Nov 2020. We can boost IQ: revisiting Kvashchev’s experiment’. Available at:,%2Dsolving%3B%20intelligence%3B%20training.

[2] Jensen A. 1969. “How much can we boost IQ and scholastic achievement,” in environment, heredity, and intelligence. Available at:

[3] Pritchard, C and Rosenorn-Lanng, E. Jul 2015. Neurological deaths of American adults (55-74) and the over 75’s by sex compared with 20 western countries 1989-2010: cause for concern. Available at:

[4] Cenit, C M. et al. Aug 2017. Influence of gut microbiota on neuropsychiatric disorders’. Available at:

[5] Silva, P Y. et al. Jan 2020. The role of short chain fatty acids from gut microbiota in gut-brain communication. Available at:,and%20resistant%20starch%20(22).

[6] Rogers, BG. Et al. 2016. From gut dysbiosis to altered brain function and mental illness: mechanisms and pathways. Available at:

[7] Liu, T R. 2017. The microbiome as a novel paradigm in studying stress and mental health. Available at:

[8] Skonieczna-Zydecka, K. et al. Gut Biofactory-neurocompetent metabolites within the gastrointestinal tract. A scoping review. Available at:

[9] Blum, K. et al. Oct 2008. Attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder and reward deficiency syndrome. Available at:

[10] konieczna-Zydecka, K. et al. Gut Biofactory-neurocompetent metabolites within the gastrointestinal tract. A scoping review. Available at:

written by    Tonia Rall

“ Mindfulness is the awareness that arises by paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally” Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindsight is a term coined by Dr. David Siegal, a renowned author and pioneer in the field of mental health[i]. Mindsight is used to describe our human capacity to perceive the mind of the self and of others. Mindsight, as the name suggests is keeping our focused attention, or our ‘sight’ on the mind, observing the mind, becoming the observer, and sitting in the seat of the witness. It is a powerful lens through which we can understand the inner workings of our minds and our internal worlds with more clarity and insight[ii].

Mindsight is a kind of focused internalised attention that allows us to see the internal workings of our minds. It helps us get ourselves out of autopilot, ingrained and habitual responses. It allows us to ‘tame and name’ the emotions that we are experiencing, rather than being overwhelmed but them. It is similar to the concept of interoception, rather Interoception (intero – interior, ception – to perceive), is the brain’s perception of the body’s state through our focused awareness of our physiology, in order to notice the subtle signals, sensations and energies of the body and inside the body, another invaluable skill to improving our resilience and mental health[iii].

Mindsight is the difference between saying “I am stressed” and “I feel stress or I am experiencing stress” in this moment. As similar as these two statements may seem, they are profoundly different. “I am sad” is a kind of limited self-definition, you are thus completely identifying as the state and not separate from it. By rather saying “I feel stressed” – suggests the ability to recognise and acknowledge a feeling, without being consumed by it. The focusing skills of Mindsight make it possible to see what is inside, to accept it and in the accepting, surrendering to it and in the surrendering, letting it go and transcending it. Mindsight is a learnable skill, it is the basic skill that underlies what we mean when we speak of having emotional and social intelligence and can be learnt with practice.

Mindfulness can be seen as a form of a healthy relationship with oneself. Attunement is the concept of how one person focuses attention on the internal world of another; “attunement is sensing another person’s experience and using empathy to create connection” [iv]. This focus on the mind of another enables both people to feel ‘felt, seen, heard and safe’. It is the foundation of any therapeutic or coaching relationship and ideally our intimate relationships with our loved ones. It is fundamentally about getting your prejudices, agendas and hidden motives out of the way and offering your compassionate presence to another person.

Attuned relationships promote mental health, resilience, and longevity. Mindful awareness is a form of intrapersonal attunement, in other words, Mindfulness is attuning to yourself much like you would attune to another, being present with your own internal world and cultivating a healthy relationship with one’s mind, much like becoming one’s own best friend. Mindfulness can promote balanced self-regulation and integration of mind and body that enables flexibility, self-compassion, self-understanding and self-reflexivity, which is the examination of one’s own beliefs, perceptions, bias, prejudice, judgements and behaviours.

Feeling felt, seen and safe by others and connected to others and the world may assist in the understanding of how becoming attuned to oneself could also promote the physical and psychological dimensions of well-being from mindful awareness. Mindfulness creates improvements in immune function, lowers blood pressure, improves sleep, decreases stress, and may even help cope with pain. It may cultivate an inner sense of wellness, resilience, and peace of mind and may enhance our capacity for rewarding interpersonal relationships[v].

Mindfulness is the quality or state of being mindful, it is a state of being, it is a ‘verb’, a doing, an action, it is a skill strengthened by a moment-to-moment awareness. Daniel Seigel describes mindfulness as the ability to cultivate “an experiential understanding of the mind as a direct focus of mindful awareness”, he furthermore states that, “we come not only to know the mind but to embrace our own inner world and the minds of others with kindness and compassion”[vi]. To be mindful means to focus our attention on the present moment, Lao Tzu said; “ If you are depressed, you are living in the past, if you are anxious, you are living in the future ( that has not happened yet), if you are at peace, you are living in the present”.

Mindfulness is the idea of being aware, considerate and conscientious, with kindness and care towards oneself, much like one would be towards a dear friend or a child. It is about how to be reflective and aware of others and oneself with Curiosity, Openness, Acceptance and Love (COAL) [vii] – the qualities of mindfulness. Interesting to notice that the qualities of mindfulness are closely associated with healthy attachment, the qualities you need to raise a healthy child. So, in some way practicing mindfulness is a way of re-parenting yourself.

How we focus our attention helps to directly shape the mind, where attention goes, energy flows and those ‘things grow’ and in neurobiological terms the neural pathways that ‘fire together, wire together’ and create deeply rooted beliefs, patterns and behaviours. So, notice where your attention goes and do you want those negative constructs, unhelpful thoughts, critical self-talk or limiting beliefs to grow? Mindful awareness involves the AWARENESS of awareness, present moment awareness, and being able to focus in the HERE and NOW and feel into ourselves in an embodied (IN body) way as we travel through the world on our path.

Reflective ‘awareness of awareness’ means that people approach their here-and-now experiences with COAL no matter what they may be experiencing. Our state of mind and state of being is not dependent on the external situation, but rather how we respond to it.     I think of Victor Frankl’s quote:“Between the stimulus and response there is a space, and in this space lies our power and freedom”. Mindfulness enables us to create that space. We have the power to control our thoughts and state of being, by taking a moment to pause and to become fully present to what is unfolding in the moment and thus making a choice on how to respond, but in order to do that, we need to train the mind to become aware of awareness itself and to pay attention to one’s own hidden motives, intention and beliefs.

Unless one brings them into conscious awareness, your unconscious beliefs, emotions and behaviours will control your experience and perpetuate your identification with a limited, deficient, sick or unworthy self. One does this by being able to shift through the activities of the mind; by being aware of physical sensations, images, feelings and thoughts, one can see these activities as just as “waves on the surface of the mental sea” ( Daniel, J Siegal, 2007).

Here I am sharing a mindfulness and self-compassion meditation practice by Tara Brach, mindfulness expert. It is an easy-to-remember tool for practising mindfulness and self-compassion when feeling anxious, stressed, dysregulated or overwhelmed. RAIN. [viii]

  1. R – Recognise what is going on (this means consciously taking a moment to breathe, observe and notice what is present, in order to acknowledge the thoughts, feelings, emotions, sensations and behaviours that are impacting us.
  2. A – Allow the experience to be there, just as it is (Taking a life-giving pause,  with the intention of relaxing our resistance. Allowing means letting the thoughts, feelings, emotions or sensations we have recognized to simply be there, without needing to judge, change, fix or without going into defences – fight, flight, freeze or fawn).
  3. I – Investigate with kindness (This means calling on our natural curiosity, the desire to know truth and directing a more focused attention to our present experience, by simply asking what is happening inside of me right now? You might want to ask yourself “What needs my attention?” “What and how am I experiencing in this body in this moment?” “What am I believing and is it true and relevant? Or use the HALTS model for the enquiry – am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Sad, Sick or Stressed?
  4. N – Natural loving awareness – there is nothing to do in the last part of RAIN, we simply rest in the witness – natural awareness which comes from not identifying with the experience, when the identification with the small self or little ego is loosened. This practice of non-identification means that our sense of who we are at the core is not fused with any limiting beliefs, sensations or stories. We are not stressed; we are simply experiencing stress in this moment. We are not sad, we are feeling sad.

Mindfulness is not achieving a state of ‘no-mind’ or no thoughts or meditating for hours each day and reaching a zen-like state. Mindfulness in everyday life feels like inserting a few short pauses into your day to take a few belly breaths and check in with yourself and ask yourself how you are feeling, and what needs attention. It may look like being aware and conscious of the everyday attention-demanding activities we are engaged in, like driving, walking, eating, washing dishes, playing with our pets, and spending time with family, without letting our minds wander too much towards distractions or into the past or into the future, this is especially challenging with so many distractions all around us. So, ask yourself to what extent are you present in your own life? To the extent with which you are able to present in your own life is the extent to which you are present in the lives of your loved ones and correlates to how one can respond to challenges and stressors in healthy ways and being able to respond to difficulty from a place of groundedness and consciousness will greatly contribute to wellbeing, healing and optimising function.


[ii] Mindsight: the new power of personal transformation. Daniel, J, Siegal, 2009

[iii] Interoception definition taken from Science Direct website. Clinical psychology Review, 2010

[iv] – Attunement – what is it and why is it important? Denise Renye, 2022

[v] Mindfulness for your health – the benefits of living moment by moment

[vi] Reflections on the Mindful brain, Danil J Siegal, 2007 p2 to 12.

[vii] The mindful Brain- reflection and attunement in the cultivation of wellbeing. Daniel, J, Siegal,

[viii] Rain exercise taken from

Are you suffering from persistent fatigue, digestive troubles, or a constant sense of unease? Have anxiety, irritability, and difficulty concentrating become all too familiar. Are you experiencing chronic fatigue or illness that doesn’t improve no matter what you do? Do you find yourself feeling increasingly withdrawn or disconnected? If so, you may be grappling with a dysregulated nervous system.

This intricate network, responsible for orchestrating our bodily functions and emotional responses, can sometimes fall out of balance, leading to a cascade of physical and emotional symptoms. From the racing heartbeats of anxiety to the immobilizing weight of depression, to chronic illness and a difficulty to form healthy, stable relationships a dysregulated nervous system can cast a shadow over everyday life. In this week’s newsletter, we are going to delve into the intricacies of the nervous system, exploring how understanding its inner workings can pave the way towards healing and reclaiming a life of equilibrium.

The Autonomic Nervous System

The nervous system is one of the most complex and fascinating systems in the human body, acting as a vast network of communication that controls and coordinates essential functions. It plays a critical role in regulating various bodily processes, maintaining homeostasis, and responding to external stimuli. Consisting of billions of nerve cells, or neurons, the nervous system can be broadly categorised into two main divisions: the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems.

The nervous system can be compared to a symphony, where each neuron functions as an instrumentalist, playing a specific role in maintaining harmony within the body. The primary components of the nervous system include the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. The brain serves as the command centre, interpreting sensory information, processing thoughts, emotions, and initiating responses. The spinal cord acts as a relay between the brain and the rest of the body, facilitating the transmission of signals to and from the brain. Finally, the peripheral nerves extend from the spinal cord and brain to reach all areas of the body, transmitting messages back and forth like electrical currents.

The Parasympathetic Nervous System: Rest and Digest

The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for promoting relaxation, restoration, and conservation of energy. It is often referred to as the “rest and digest” system, as it predominates during times of low stress and supports the body’s recovery and rejuvenation processes. When the parasympathetic system is activated, heart rate and breathing slow down, and digestion and nutrient absorption are enhanced.

The vagus nerve, the longest cranial nerve, plays a central role in the parasympathetic nervous system. It extends from the brainstem to various organs in the chest and abdomen, influencing heart rate, gastrointestinal activity, and other vital functions. The stimulation of the vagus nerve can induce a state of calmness and tranquillity, reducing anxiety and promoting overall well-being.

The Sympathetic Nervous System: Fight or Flight

In contrast, the sympathetic nervous system is known as the “fight or flight” system. It is activated during times of stress, danger, or excitement, preparing the body for a rapid response to potential threats. When the sympathetic system is triggered, the heart rate increases, breathing becomes faster and shallower, and blood flow is redirected to essential organs and muscles.

Balance and Harmony

The parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems are not isolated entities but work together in a delicate balance, like the ebb and flow of a symphony. This balance is crucial for the overall health and functioning of the body. When we encounter stress, the sympathetic system prepares us for action. Once the danger has passed, the parasympathetic system steps in to help us recover and restore equilibrium.

The chronic stress loop

The sympathetic system evolved to help our ancestors survive dangerous situations, such as encountering predators. In modern times, it still serves a vital role in allowing us to react quickly to emergencies, like jumping out of the way of an oncoming car. However, in chronic stress situations, the overactivation of the sympathetic nervous system can have adverse effects on our health and well-being.

Modern life is characterised by constant hustle, digital distractions, and an ever-increasing pace, leading to a chronic stress response in many individuals. The human brain, designed to protect us from threats, often gets stuck in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to the relentless demands and pressures of modern society. As a result, stress hormones flood our bodies, affecting everything from digestion to immune function. Chronic stress disrupts the delicate balance of the nervous system, hindering the activation of the parasympathetic branch responsible for rest and recovery. This chronic activation of the sympathetic nervous system not only contributes to a myriad of physical health issues  but also impedes the body’s ability to heal and recover, leaving many of us in a constant state of illness or preventing us from reaching optimal health.

Signs of a dysregulated nervous system

A dysregulated nervous system can manifest in a plethora of various emotional, cognitive and physical symptoms. Some signs that you may be  suffering from dysregulation are as follows:

Fatigue and Lack of Energy: Feeling chronically fatigued and lacking motivation or energy to engage in activities, leading to reduced productivity and disinterest in hobbies

Excessive Sleep: Experiencing an increase in sleep duration or spending excessive time in bed due to a lack of motivation and energy.

Rapid Heartbeat or breathing: You may notice your heart racing or pounding, especially during stressful situations. Your breathing may become shallow and quick, contributing to a feeling of shortness of breath.

Muscle Tension: Your muscles might become tense and tight, particularly in the neck, shoulders, and back.

Sweating: Experiencing sweaty palms, forehead, or general perspiration due to increased adrenaline.
Trembling: Fine tremors or shaking hands can occur as a result of heightened adrenaline levels.

Digestive Changes: Digestive processes may slow down as blood flow shifts away from the digestive organs, potentially leading to a sensation of butterflies in the stomach.
Elevated Blood Pressure: Blood pressure may rise due to increased heart rate and constriction of blood vessels.
Anxiety: You may experience feelings of apprehension, nervousness, or a general sense of unease.
Irritability: Heightened stress can lead to irritability, impatience, and an increased sensitivity to triggers.
Restlessness: Feeling unable to sit still or relax, and a constant need to be on the move.
Heightened Emotions: Emotions like fear, anger, or frustration might be intensified due to the stress response.
Hypervigilance: Being overly alert and attentive to your surroundings, often expecting potential threats. You may experience an excessive startle response or on the flip side you might experience no startle response at all. Both of these are signs of a dysregulated nervous system.
Emotional Numbness: Feeling emotionally numb or detached from your feelings and experiences, making it challenging to connect with others on an emotional level.

Social Withdrawal: Avoiding social interactions and preferring to isolate yourself from others, even in situations where social engagement would be expected.
Inability to Focus: Experiencing difficulty concentrating or being present in the moment, making it hard to engage in tasks or conversations effectively.

Disconnection from Surroundings: Feeling disconnected from your surroundings and experiences, as if you are observing life from a distance rather than fully participating

Difficulty Expressing Emotions: Struggling to express emotions or experiencing a limited range of emotions, making it challenging to communicate and connect with others

Avoidance of Eye Contact: Finding it uncomfortable to make eye contact with others, as it can feel overwhelming or intrusive

Feeling Overwhelmed by Tasks: Feeling mentally and emotionally overwhelmed by everyday tasks, leading to procrastination or avoidance

Racing Thoughts and Difficulty Concentrating: Your mind might feel cluttered with thoughts racing through your head. The rapid flow of thoughts can make it challenging to focus or concentrate on tasks
Impaired Decision-Making: in fight or flight mode,, decision-making might be impulsive and less rational.
Memory Changes: Stress can impact memory recall, leading to forgetfulness or difficulty remembering details

Overall, a dysregulated nervous system can significantly impact your well-being, leading to a decreased quality of life and interfering with daily functioning.

What can we do to help?

At Autonomic Coaching, we understand the profound impact of a dysregulated nervous system on overall health and well-being, and we are here to help you address these issues and reclaim your optimal health. Our approach encompasses a range of effective methods to restore balance to your nervous system. Techniques such as limbic brain retraining can help rewire your brain’s neural pathways, reducing emotional reactivity and trauma triggers. Vagal nerve toning practices stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. Mindfulness techniques cultivate present moment awareness, improving emotional regulation and stress management. Breathwork exercises offer a simple yet potent tool to calm the nervous system and promote a sense of inner peace. Functional neurology exercises, including eye yoga, can enhance neurological function and coordination. Additionally, somatic therapies help release stored tension and trauma from the body, contributing to overall nervous system regulation. By integrating these approaches into your daily life, we can empower you to navigate modern life with greater resilience and foster lasting physical and emotional well-being. 


by Justin Gregory Maguire

Introduction and historical relevance

It was during the early days of my bodybuilding experience that I first heard about peptides, not knowing what these biological compounds were. My curiosity sparked and so began the journey into a world full of healing and performance possibilities. Peptides are by no means a new discovery in medical science, in 1923 insulin was synthesized and became the first commercial peptide available to treat and save countless lives battling with diabetes[1]. Although peptides were discovered in 1901[2], the viability to create stable peptides for administration was compromised due to the factors involving metabolism and short half-life cycles. Fortunately, due to modern medical advancements in cellular medicine, scientists are finding new and exciting ways to make a broader range of peptides capable of enduring metabolic breakdown whilst also ensuring a more pronounced impact on cellular restoration. 

The power of innate peptides

Over 7000 natural peptides have been discovered expressing endocrinological, immunological and neurological modulation, with most research targeting the efficacy in the treatment of both diabetes and cancer[3]. However, throughout this article our focus will be on the cognitive influence specific innate peptides provide whilst also highlighting reference to specific exogenous peptide therapies that enable improved brain function.  

Safety and considerations

Peptide therapy is generally considered safe[4] due to the modulatory and not stimulatory role most peptides exhibit within the body. However, specific peptides which directly alter blood sugar and or cardiac rhythms such as GLP1[5] and MK-677[6] should be considered with due caution. Thus, if you are considering the use of peptide therapies consult with a professional who understands the risks and benefits of including this tool within your health strategy.  

Gut-Brain-Axis and peptides: microbiome influence on cognition

Most neurologically active peptides are produced by the microbiome in the gut[7]. From gestation to birth and through to adulthood, our microbiome plays a crucial role in our ability to not only produce energy but also the development of peptides[8]. Notably, psychopathologies have a close correlation to dysbiosis[9], in which dysbiotic gut metabolites disrupt the nervous system and innate immunity, leaving one feeling stressed, depressed, and inflamed. Specific increases of actinobacteria and poor concentration of Bacteroidetes have been noted through cross-sectional analysis in those struggling with depression[10], along with a decrease in parasympathetic peptides such as GLP1 (glucagon-like peptide 1), PYY (Peptide YY), Ghrelin and Oxytocin[11]

Correlations of mental health and performance

The motto ‘there is no health without mental health’[12] holds weight beyond sociological consideration and crosses over into both biochemical and psychological frameworks. Physiological overwhelm stemming from both internal and external environmental factors needs to be identified to be understood, providing us with an opportunity to develop a course directive change and thus accelerating optimal cognition along with overall well-being. 

Progressive medical advancements/opportunities

Advancements in molecular diagnostics have afforded our generation with an opportunity to not have to simply suck it up and get on with feeling depressed, tired, and even intellectually disadvantaged!

Through analysis of active metabolites such as those depicted in an OAT (Organic Acid Test) along with cross-analysis of FBCA (Functional blood chemistry analysis) stool analysis we can see where your body is falling short in its ability to produce neurochemicals, enzymes and cofactors all needed to maximize your brains full potential.  

Solutions during optimization 

Reforming biological terrain is essential for improving our cognitive function, yet it’s often not a quick fix, which when you struggle to focus or keep a smile on your face may be overwhelming, to say the least. 

Often during my time with patients, I explain that one should not embark on a detox until the nervous system is in a place to do so. This is where the use of peptides can make a difference! 

Now there are many peptides (as mentioned above), thus to provide educational information (please consult with your Dr. or health care provider before starting any peptide therapy), I will indicate my top choices to get a derailed mind into optimal cognitive drive. 

Exogenous Peptides 


What makes this peptide one of my favourite cognitive peptides is its ability to improve melatonin production in the pineal gland[13]. Melatonin is vital as a powerful antioxidant that acts to improve mitochondrial DNA expression, a vital feature when we are looking to regulate autophagy, thus ridding the brain of cellular debris that would otherwise congest our ability to think, function, and live fully. 

BPC 157 – 

Body protection Compound, otherwise known as BPC 157, is a peptide found in our gastric juices and thus directly impacts the gut-brain axis in a very profound way. BPC 157 Modulates the activity of both tryptamine and dopaminergic receptors[14] thus providing possible support to psychopathologies ranging from addiction, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and major depressive disorder. 

Certain bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral infections dramatically induce cytotoxicity to dopaminergic and tryptamine receptors, often leaving the host with damage to neurons in the brain. During the analysis of diagnostics, I found it common for those who express neurological dysfunction to have some form of microbiome contamination. 

Through the use of BPC 157 whilst reforming the microbiome terrain likelihood of a successful intervention is much greater. 


Initially designed to treat traumatic brain injury, Cerebrolyin has immense pleiotropic value to the brain. Notably, Cerebrolysin contains high amounts of BDNF (brain-derived nootropic factor), NGF (nerve growth factor), and P21 all of which are nootropics that instigate the restoration and regeneration of neuron cell bodies. 

Improvements in memory and attention have been noted through clinical trials in Cerebrolysin’s ability to aid cognitive enhancement, notably due to its influence on alpha brain wave activity[15].


Selank was developed by the Russians in 1983 as an anti-anxiolytic peptide aimed at improving performance through increased stress tolerance. This is by far the most effective peptide I have experienced to have a dramatic and relatively immediate effect in those struggling with GABA[16] (gamma amino butyric acid) receptor imbalance. 

Selank is the combination of a gut peptide called Tuftsin with 3 additional amino acids added to the peptide chain.

The addition of the 3 amino acids enables the stability of the peptide to be utilized in the nervous system without undertaking rapid breakdown. 

For those with any history of substance abuse, this is also a phenomenal peptide to aid the repair of the hippocampus and MAO gene expression. 


Heavy metal toxicity is a big issue amongst those with ADHD[17], Semax may, however, provide a solution to aid those with heavy metal-induced ADHD by counteracting the neurotoxic effects; and inhibiting neurodegeneration caused by dopamine oxidation. 

For those facing an increase in glutamate toxicity, Selank may be a valuable aid in expressing its role in modulating NMDA receptor activity and excitation. Essentially any environment in which Calcium ion flow has been disrupted would benefit considering the use of Semax as a restorative and supportive aid. 

Final words

Mental health is a vital part of our perceptive experience in life, without a healthy mind we perceive even the most ideal reality as a potential hell. Strangely in my time around the world, having lived in both first and third-world economies I can safely say that I have seen more smiling faces in those living closer to nature than those residing in big cities. Could this be our western diet, technological pollution, or simply increased work pressure? Whatever the reason, we have an opportunity to circumnavigate the imbalance caused by technological and societal progression and restore our best possible cognitive opportunity.

Given that our microbiome exhibit 150X more gene expressions than our innate human cells, I believe that investigating not only our gut terrain but also its correlative effect on our biochemistry is a wise move toward not only improving mental performance but importantly perceptive well-being over life. 

If you are motivated to think clearer yet feel a bit lost as to where in your body the problem lies, I would like to offer you a comprehensive physiological symptoms review. 

It’s not a short form! But for every good reason: to be thorough in finding solutions all possibilities need to be considered! 

If that beautiful brain of yours is screaming at you to get on with it and start your healing journey, then I am honoured to present to you AC’s provisional symptoms diagnostic form: 

For those wanting a little off-cuff advice as to how they can start dealing with dysbiosis and improve mental performance the below two links will take you to 

  1. Dysbiosis management Adrenal restoration measures

Finally, I wish you a wonderfully joyful and productive 2023. One filled with endless accomplishment and limited stress. 

Helping you to stay Optimized


  [1] Wang, L. et al. (February 2022). Therapeutic peptides: current applications and future directions. [online] Available at: <> Sourced: 19 December 2022

[2] Stawikowski, M. Fields B, G. (Feb 2013). Introduction to Peptide Synthesis. [online] Available at: <> sourced: 21 December 2022

[3] Fosgerau, K. Hoffman, T. (January 2016). Peptide therapeutics: Current status and future directions. Available at: <> sourced: 22 December 2022

[4] Nickel, B. (2019). Is Peptide Therapy Safe? [online] Available at: <,any%20side%20effects%20you%20experience.> sourced: 22 December 2022. 

[5] Russell-Jones, D. (Sep 2010). The safety and tolerability of GLP-1 receptor antagonists in the treatment of type-2 diabetes. [online] Available at: <> Sourced: 23 December 2022) 

[6] Filho, J Z I. (May 2022). Major approached the use of GH secretagogue (MK-677) for muscle gain in elderly: A brief systematic review. [online] Available at: <> sourced: 23 December 2022

[7] Skonieczna-Zydecka, K. et al. (Nov 2020). Gut Biofactor – neurocompetent metabolites within the gastrointestinal tract. A scoping review. [online] Available at: <> sourced: 19 September 2022 

[8] Yahfoufi, N. et al. (Jan 2020). Adolescence and Aging: Impact of Adolescence inflammatory stress and microbiota alterations on brain development, aging, and neurodegeneration. [online] Available at: <> sourced 20 September 2022

[9] Mlynarska, E. et al. (2022). The role of microbiome-gut-brain-axis in the pathogenesis of depressive disorder. [online] Available at: <> sourced: 18 September 2022 

[10] Sonali, S. et al. (Apr 2022). Mechanistic insights into the link between Gut dysbiosis and Major depression. An extensive review. [online] Available: <> sourced: 25 September 2022

[11] Mlynarska, E. et al. (2022). The role of microbiome-gut-brain-axis in the pathogenesis of depressive disorder. [online] Available at: <> sourced: 18 September 2022

[12] Logan, C A. (2015). Dysbiotic drift: Mental health, environmental grey space and microbiota. [online] Available at: Logan Journal of Physiological Anthropology (2015) 34:23 DOI 10.1186/s40101-015-0061-7 source on: 19 September 2023

[13] Goncharova, D N. et al. (Jan 2005). Pineal peptides restore the age-related disturbances in hormonal functions of the pineal gland and the pancreas. [online] Available:<> sourced 23 December 2022 

[14] Sikiric, P. et al. (Apr 2016). Brain-gut Axis and Pentadecapeptide BPC 157: Theoretical and Practical Implications. [online] Available at: <> sourced 23 December 2022 

[15] Alvarez, A X. (2000). Oral cerebrolysin enhances brain alpha activity and improves cognitive performance in elderly control subjects. [online] Available at: <> Sourced: 23 December 2022

[16] Volkova, A. et al. (Feb 2016). Selank administration affects the expression of some genes involved in GABAergic neurotransmission. [online] Available at: <> Sourced: 23 December 2023

[17] Min-Jing, L. et al. (Jun 2018). Heavy metals’ effect on susceptibility to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Implication of Lead, Cadmium and Antimony. [online] Available at: <> sourced 24 December 2022


  • Whole foods
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid all food allergens, which can weaken the system and can be an adrenal stressor
  • Fasting and detoxification/cleansing diets should be avoided, at least initially
  • Avoid refined sugar
  • Adequate protein
  • No caffeine

Botanical Support

  • Ginseng: Has steroid-like activites, can increase resistance to a whole load of stressors, can prevent shrinking of the thymus gland and can prevent adrenal hyperplasia.Can prevent adrenal atrophy in cortisone treatment
  • Licorice:It can increase cortisol half-life and is extremely useful in correcting low cortisol states, giving the adrenal gladns a rest and chance to restore. Can help prevent shrinking of the thymus and immunosuppression from the admnistratino of cortisone. May lessen the amount of cortisone needed to achieve a therapeutic effect. Dose:1/4 teaspoon of 5:1 solid extract three times/day or strong licorice tea or capsulated licorice 2 caps 3x day

Stress Management

  • Get adequate sleep. 8 hours of sleep beginning at 10p.m. is much more restoring to the adrenals than 8 hours beginning at 1.00 a.m. Nap if needed but not enough to interfere with night sleep
  • Relaxation: Breathing or skilled relaxation exercises, listen to relaxation tapes, meditate, biofeedback
  • Accept nurturing and affection
  • Laugh


  • Light to moderate exercise. Do not push yourself and begin at a level that you can handle

Natural light

  • Get outdoors into natural light as much as possible. Direct sunlight is not necessary. Natural light is essential for healthy adrenal function.
  • Use full spectrum light in the home and work area
  • Green light: Some research has come out about the benefits of green light. Obtain a Par 38 dichromatic 150-watt spot of flood green light to have as an ambient light somewhere in the home

Suggestions for dealing with dysbiosis:

  1. Eat two large chopped salads each day: Normal flora feed on vegetable fiber. Eating chopped salads will help normal, beneficial bacteria to thrive
  2. Chew your food thoroughly: This improves digestion, breaking down food particles and mixing them with salivary juices. The better your digestion, the easier it is to treat dysbiosis
  3. Don’t eat a lot of meat: You don’t have to avoid it completely (unless allergies are an issue). Eating too much meat can feed certain species of undesirable bacteria.
  4. Avoid dairy products
  5. Eat plenty of RAW vegetables: Raw foods contain enzymes and aid digestion
  6. Find and eliminate any allergens: avoiding hidden allergies will reduce the burden on the immune system.

Eliminate the following food from the diet


  • Beet sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Corn sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Corn syrup
  • Fructose
  • Honey and related products
  • Honeycomb
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses


  • Apricot
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherry
  • Coconut (oil meal, milk, eat)
  • Currant
  • Date
  • Date plum
  • Fig (all varieties)
  • Grape
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Loganberry
  • Mango
  • Mulberry
  • Nectarine
  • Orange
  • Pear
  • Persimmon
  • Plum
  • Pomelo
  • Prune
  • Raisin
  • Raspberries


  • Chinese yam
  • Morel mushroom
  • Plantain
  • Poi
  • Tapioca
  • Taro
  • Yan (sweet potato)

Nuts/Nut butters

  • Brazil nut
  • Butternut
  • Cashew
  • Cola nut
  • Hickory nut
  • Macadamia nut
  • Pecan
  • Pistachio
  • Walnut


Apple cider vinegar

Bakers yeast

Black tea

Brewers yeast




Cocoa butter

Cream of tartar



Animal products




Bel paese









Port de salut





Food that are permitted


  • Watermelon
  • Apples
  • Backberries
  • Blueberries
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches

Nuts/Nut butters

  • Almond
  • Chestnut
  • Hazelnut
  • Filberts
  • Pine nuts

Animal products

  • Beef (lean cuts)
  • Chicken (no skin)
  • turkey
  • cod
  • haddock
  • plaice
  • salmon
  • trout
  • tuna
  • oysters
  • mussels
  • red snapper
  • hake
  • kingklip


  • Bok choy / pak choi
  • Broccoli, whole – 3/4 cup
  • Broccoli, heads only – 3/4 cup
  • Broccoli, stalks only – 1/3 cup
  • Broccolini, whole – 1/2 cup chopped
  • Broccolini, heads only – 1/2 cup
  • Broccolini, stalks only – 1 cup
  • Brussels sprouts – 2 sprouts
  • Butternut squash – 1/4 cup
  • Cabbage, common and red up to 3/4 cup
  • Callaloo
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Celery – less than 5cm of stalk
  • Chilli – if tolerable
  • Chives
  • Collard greens
  • Cucumber
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Kale
  • Leek leaves
  • Lettuce:
    • Butter lettuce
    • Iceberg lettuce
    • Radicchio lettuce
    • Red coral lettuce
    • Rocket lettuce
    • Romaine/Cos lettuce
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Seaweed / nori
  • Spinach, baby
  • Squash
  • Swede
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnip
  • Water chestnuts

Herbs and spices:

  • Basil
  • bay leaf
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • cilantro
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • cumin
  • curry
  • dill
  • ginger
  • mint
  • oregano
  • paprika
  • rosemary
  • sage
  • tarragon
  • thyme
  • turmeric