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By: Olivia Kalinich, LMHC
Anecdotally, we have had many clients regulate their menstrual cycles through ISF neurofeedback. We have helped with fertility issues, pre-menstrual depression/anxiety, and other pre-menstrual physiological symptoms like cramps, nausea, and migraines. How is that possible? It sounds a bit hyperbolic doesn’t it? Well actually, the claim is grounded in the behavioral science literature.
The human body is a complex orchestra of hormones and signals, each playing a unique role in regulating our physiological functions. Among these, the luteinizing hormone (LH) holds a vital position, especially in the context of reproduction and menstrual cycles. Marshal et. Al 2000 research has shown that Infraslow frequencies have a direct impact on the luteinizing hormone, or the “mother” hormone. Let’s explore the fascinating world of infraslow frequencies and their role in governing the luteinizing hormone.
The Luteinizing hormone is a glycoprotein hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland in the brain. Its primary function is to regulate the reproductive system in both men and women. In women, the LH surge triggers ovulation, facilitating the release of a mature egg from the ovary. The menstrual cycle is a tightly regulated process that typically spans 28 days, although variations are common. It involves a series of hormonal changes and events aimed at preparing the female body for possible pregnancy. LH, along with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), plays a crucial role in this cycle. In men, LH stimulates the Leydig cells in the testes to produce testosterone, a key hormone in male reproduction. Our LH plays a central role in our ability to procreate.
Research is increasingly shedding light on infraslow frequencies significance in various physiological processes, including hormone regulation. Infraslow frequencies are thought to act as a sort of "master clock" for the body. They can synchronize and coordinate the activity of different organs and systems, ensuring they work in harmony. It's like the conductor of an orchestra ensuring that each instrument plays its part at the right time and in the right way. Recent studies have suggested a link between infraslow frequencies and LH regulation (Marshall et al 2000). It is believed that these frequencies influence the pulsatile release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus. GnRH, in turn, regulates the secretion of LH from the anterior pituitary gland.
By modulating the firing patterns of GnRH neurons, infraslow frequencies may impact the timing and amplitude of LH surges during the menstrual cycle. A dysregulation in infraslow frequencies, can, in turn, affect the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries, potentially leading to irregular menstrual cycles and fertility issues.
ISF neurofeedback has helped to regulate our clients’ monthly cycles. Some of our clients with fertility issues have been able to conceive and carry to term. Moreover, we have had a positive impact on PMS issues. Now maybe the ISF effect on menstrual function can be chalked up to the relaxation effect that is produced by ISF neurofeedback. Or maybe, just maybe, we are regulating the secretion of the Mother Hormone. Research will tell.
Marshall, L., Mölle, M., Fehm, H. L., & Born, J. (2000). Changes in direct current (DC) potentials and infra-slow EEG oscillations at the onset of the luteinizing hormone (LH) pulse. The European journal of neuroscience, 12(11), 3935–3943. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1460-9568.2000.00304.x