The Hormone Secret and progesterone for anxiety

Dr Tami Meraglia, MD, is the author of the forthcoming book, The Hormone Secret. I have an advance review copy and read it on the plane coming back from San Diego and it’s fabulous!

Read on below for a wonderful sample snippet from the book.

I do want to mention that we do differ in our food recommendations. I’m a paleo eater myself and am recommending this more and more to my clients.   But I absolutely LOVE the hormone information in this book! Wait until you read about testosterone – yes! natural ways to boost your own production! and/or how to use small amounts for women!

Did you know that you have a natural anti-anxiety hormone?
Women have a hormone that is produced in the ovaries and the adrenal glands that is like Valium bathing the female mind.  It helps reduce anxiety and is known as the peaceful hormone.  It also helps us sleep soundly through the entire night.
What is this amazing hormone?  Progesterone. 
Progesterone acts on the gamma amino butyric (GABA) receptors in the brain (the same receptors sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and even alcohols act upon), producing a calming effect.  GABA is the primary inhibitory transmitter in the brain.  If you wake between2am and 4 am wide awake, you likely have a progesterone deficiency.
Progesterone also affects the elasticity of our skin, memory, is anti-inflammatory, is a natural diuretic and helps normalize blood sugar.  It also stimulates that cells that make new bone called osteoblasts.
Unfortunately progesterone leaves our bodies first and leaves us quickly.  You can have a low progesterone level as early as your late 20’s!  Many women think that their increased irritability, loss of enjoyment of life and trouble sleeping if from their 24/7 lifestyle but it is likely more often due to a progesterone deficiency.

Here are 7 common symptoms associated with low progesterone:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Waking at night
  3. Fibrocystic breasts
  4. PMS
  5. Bone loss
  6. Low libido
  7. Infertility or irregular periods.

Here are 3 simple and natural things you can do to help your own body produce more progesterone:

  • Vitamin C.   A dose of 750-1000 mg has been shown in studies to raise progesterone in women.
  • Selenium.  200-400 mcg/day was shown to boost production of progesterone in an Italian study.
  • The spices turmeric, thyme and oregano are also useful for raising progesterone.  Use in cooking whenever you can.

Topical progesterone is also available over-the-counter.
If you find that it takes a bit more energy to keep your cool or that you are no longer sleeping through the night I encourage you to look to progesterone as a way to help.

I love Dr. Tami’s famous quote: “Remember, fine is a four-letter word.  You deserve to feel FABULOUS!”
Over the next week she is doing some great giveaways and events. Today you can grab a copy of the book (US shipping addresses only. You just pay shipping and handling). She has some bonus videos to share. Then she’ll be offering a recipe book and will then be hosting a webinar.   Learn more here:

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!”

Why Emotional Freedom Technique Work for Anxiety

So often, for those experiencing anxiety, depression, or PTSD, there is a feeling of helplessness and despair.  Mind over matter is such a comforting prospect, except to those whose mind IS the matter.  When you are able to find a way — not out, but through — your struggle, there is a healing process that simultaneously targets your issue as well as your inherent wholeness and worthiness while healing you.  It is known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).


Why Choose to be helped by EFT, a wonderfully helpful technique from the burgeoning field of ‘Energy Psychology’


Just recently I was in my doctor’s office for an exam and he asked how I’ve been.  I explained that there was an incredible amount of stress for me at that time and he said “And are you tapping to reduce it?”  I looked at him incredulously.  I realized immediately that energy psychology was spreading to even the science guys.  Where in the beginning where I was a pioneer in that I was receptive to this remarkable solution, it is no longer considered thinking outside the box, it is now part of the box—the tool box.


There are as many different tools available to a therapist as there are types of people who come to therapy.  No one tool or approach will work for everyone, but certain tools have both scientific and evidential support that warrant their use, even for those who are skeptical about the method.


Just like people who have a preferred learning method, i.e. auditory, visual or experiential, they also have a preferred way of relating to information and experience.  For example, when dealing with a therapy method, one client might simply focus on how it makes them feel, i.e. “I feel better, that’s good enough for me!” while others will want to know why it works, why it’s used before even starting.  Others may try it, find that it works and want to know more, not so much to prove that it really worked, but out of curiosity to better understand oneself and the brain.


EFT is just such a method that can invite skepticism at first exposure and a curious awe after feeling its’ effects.  It is much easier to question a tool that is so visible, so outward, and so, well, awkward than say mindfulness.  Whether it works or not, being aware of one’s experiences and sensations will rarely elicit a response of, “You want me to do what?”


While the only way to truly understand EFT is to experience it, perhaps a better understanding of why it’s done and how it works will allow certain skeptical patients to approach it with less apprehension.  The actual process of EFT is outlined in a handout and taught during actual therapy sessions, but in brief, it is a process of tapping certain meridians on the body while repeating a phrase that represents the issue at hand.  For example, in the previous post about EFT and flight anxiety, the key concern may have been “turbulence”.  None of us want to feel foolish and when looking for solutions to pressing emotional issues or traumas, someone may feel even more vulnerable to not only feeling foolish, but doing so in vein.  And yet the experience brings an improvement to the fear, the trauma, or the issue at hand.  Which is often all it takes for someone to incorporate EFT into their process of self care and healing.


But for the curious or the more vehemently skeptical, there is the science behind EFT.  A fellow named Nick Ortner is often associated with tapping in today’s psychology/self help community with his website, and a book of the same name.  EFT has been around for quite some time though, introduced to many by Gary Craig in the late 90s with The EFT Manual and now through his site  There you’ll find many archived trainings to help even the most unique maladies.


Regardless of whose book or website you are referencing, it is all based on the same combination of acupuncture points (energy meridians) and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming).  Different methods use perhaps a different sequence of points and some may include more than others.  All include the basics through tapping on the crown of the head, the inside of the eyebrow, the outside of the eyebrow, under the eye, under the nose, under the chin, the collarbone, the ribcage and the side breastbone.


Rather than using needles to stimulate these points, the fingers are used, thus making it something that can be used easily and anywhere.  The premise is that there is an information blockage in the meridians sent via messengers in your energy meridian or blood/lymph pathways, and is being released via the stimulation of these specific points.  It’s interesting to note how we can be much more open to physical pain solutions such as management and relief through acupressure, as an example, which is known to help arthritis or headaches! but when the pain is of an emotional nature, it is still so new that it is less believable.  However, Candace B. Pert, Ph.D., wrote a book entitled Molecules of Emotion, The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine where she demonstrated that frogs produce endorphins which has lead to a broader understanding of how every feeling we have generates a corresponding molecule inside of us, which may be why tapping also is effective for breaking up those pesky clusters of stuck feelings.


The role of self-acceptance combined with the empowerment brought by freeing oneself from the burden of your fears cannot be underestimated in the efficacy of EFT.


While it may feel silly at first, there is a reason behind the points chosen, the sequence, the phrases and the processing.  Of course there is always the patient (CLIENT?) who says, ‘I don’t care why it works, IT WORKS!’ And if that’s you then by all means, stop reading, and tap away.  For more information contact Pam Goodfriend, LCSW, CAC III for personalized training and a technique that helps you to measure and resolve your issue with her guidance.  You can make an appointment by calling 303.269.1191

Fear of Flying Solution

There are things that make even the least anxious among us get sweaty palms, a racing heart and a concern that they are in grave danger.  For some, this is a panic attack, caused by no specific set of circumstances.  For others it is very specific cause and a very specific concern.  And for some, it’s both.


Often patients with anxiety or panic attacks will fear flying due to its inherent loss of control and escape.  It’s not just control about what’s going on the cockpit.  Your every move is limited.  Not only by the cramped seats and the person next to you (Is their tray down?!  What if I need to go to the bathroom!  How will I get past them?) but also by the seatbelt sign.  For an anxious person, the bathroom can be a refuge, a way to escape a social or anxious situation without feeling revealed, without feeling ridiculous.  “Excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom.”  How bad can that be?  Everyone needs to go to the bathroom.  But on a plane, you’re on display; you’re in a confined space, and regardless of any additional concerns about flying you may have, (Like how is this big metal thing staying up in the air?  Is turbulence really normal? Of course it’s safer than driving, except for the people who are on the plane that crashes.) that space inherently limits your options of escape.  Escape that is the refuge of so many who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks.


Enter a patient who has both.  A fear of flying that existed long before symptoms of generalized anxiety appeared, long before their heart raced in meetings, their head spun at the checkout line, their flight fears kicked in at a restaurant at the least opportune time.  This person, who we’ll call Beth, did not come to me for flight anxiety, rather for generalized anxiety that seemed exacerbated by their job.  That being said, with an upcoming trip to explore a town they may likely relocate to, anxiety was a primary concern with the impending flight.  If bouts of overwhelming anxiety had reared their head in meetings, traffic, restaurants and lines at the grocery store, surely anxiety would overcome them on the plane, something they were anxious about long before anxiety was a state of being.


Beth was very proactive about her anxiety, open to different methods and seeking options that weren’t pharmaceutical.   When our appointment ended, the topic of which was not fear of flying, it was a passing comment, I realized that EFT would be a great resource for her to utilize both before and during her upcoming flight.  EFT combines self administered tapping of specific energy meridians along with neuro-linguistic programming via affirmations.  But knowing that Beth was receptive and resourceful, I sent her several online resources that would allow her to explore tapping before her flight and gain enough familiarity to use it during the flight as needed.  Of course, as a therapist, you always hope that the tools you offer patients are used and useful.  Each person is different and will connect with treatment modalities with varying degrees of success and adoption.  Regardless of what tool you’ve offered, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing that it worked, that in some way it increased joy, confidence, strength or decreased anxiety, fear, panic of depression.  In recapping her trip, Beth relayed the following after I asked if she tried EFT:


“Yeah, I looked up what you sent me, and then found a bunch of videos on YouTube, so I tried those.  I am very curious about how it works.  Or why it works.  Because it does work.  I found myself, maybe three sets through, feeling less anxious.  I chose to focus on turbulence since being in the air is the part I hate the most, and I experienced the idea of turbulence without anxiety, or at least such a decreased level of anxiety that it didn’t even register for me.  And then, when I was on the plane, I had an association to flying, to turbulence, that involved a state of calm.  I had a resource that felt real to me that I could connect to.  When I felt my anxiety rise I would visualize myself tapping and felt myself calm down.   I was fortunate enough to have relatively smooth flights but usually that doesn’t stop me from a fear of what’s about to happen.  I would really like to know more about why this works.”


Which is exactly what we will explore in future posts.  For now though, hopefully knowing that someone else found relief offers you hope and healing for whatever causes you anxiety.   And in the meantime, here is a demonstration of a guided EFT session that addresses the fear of flying…