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Resources: Articles by Allan Bortnick, Cranial-Sacral Therapist, Master Herbalist


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More articles by Allan Bortnick

“Feeling Distracted? Overwhelmed? Disorganized?” asks Allan Bortnick, Cranial-Sacral Therapist, Master Herbalist

Increased focus can help you feel less anxious. We all live in an era of distraction heightened by stress, time pressures, lack of sleep, and balancing multiple, simultaneous incoming messages (TV, computer, cell phone). Even mild symptoms of distractedness can increase feelings of stress and anxiety. Likewise, anxious thoughts can keep us from focusing on tasks. “Go to” focus-enhancing beverages like colas, energy drinks, and coffees may also contain sugars and/or synthetic caffeine. Sugars causes a temporary energy spike followed by a crash. Likewise, synthetic caffeine is digested more rapidly and produces a similar spike and crash. And a higher caffeine intake can actually increase anxiety and tension, along with a physical “jitteriness.” Furthermore, stimulant medications for diagnosed attention disorders carry a higher risk of dependency and potential abuse, and can fail to address potential underlying issues without appropriate measures (e.g., behavioral counseling).

There are natural ways to increase focus and cognitive performance. The following nutrients and botanicals have shown promise in scientific research in key areas of neurological health:

  • Green coffee bean and green tea. Both provide natural sources of caffeine for a more balanced “lift,” as well as L-theanine. Caffeine enhances alertness, memory, and mood by acting as an antagonist on adenosine receptors that facilitate sleep. Theanine is suggested by preclinical research to promote a sense of “awake calm” by influencing both stimulating and calming neurotransmitters. Caffeine and theanine used in combination have been suggested by preliminary research to enhance attention, alertness, focus, and cognitive performance better than caffeine alone.

  • Guarana seed. Another natural source of caffeine recommended in traditional medicine practices to support cognitive performance.

  • Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Maintaining a proper ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is important for maintaining neuronal plasticity (the brain’s ability to adapt and maintain important nerve cell connections throughout life); unhealthy ratios have been linked to attention deficit disorders.

  • Zinc. An insufficiency of this essential “calming” mineral is often suggested in cases of focus deficit and anxiety because it influences the production of several neurotransmitters that affect learning ability and mood.


Call for an appointment today to learn more about natural strategies for attention and cognitive performance, as well as boosting stress tolerance

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