Schizoaffective disorder is a little heard of condition. It’s often confused with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (manic depression), because the symptoms are similar to both. Even now, it’s quite common for doctors to change their minds. It is possible that sufferers may have been given several different diagnoses, perhaps by different doctors.
Some people only ever have one episode, but others may have flare-ups of symptoms at intervals throughout their life, usually when they are under stress.
Schizoaffective disorder affects thinking processes and moods, which can swing from deep depression to extreme elation in the course of one ‘cycle’ or episode of the disorder, and in this it resembles bipolar disorder (manic depression). During the same episode, sufferers will also have schizophrenia-like symptoms, which might include seeing or hearing things that aren’t apparent to anyone else (hallucinations) or believing something to be true that nobody else would believe (a delusion).
Doctors regard hallucinations and delusions as psychotic, because, in their view, the person having them is out of touch with reality. However, many mental health service users, and their supporters, would disagree with this. They suggest that Western medicine dismisses what have been common experiences throughout human history. They are experiences that continue to be an accepted part of other non-Western cultures. Critics point out that reality is subjective, and filtered through our own minds. This means that the way we perceive reality can be changed.
Depression: Depression may be the symptom experienced most. It is common to feel depressed, sad, lonely, tired and bored with life. You may want to sleep a great deal, but this may make you feel worse. If the depression gets really bad, you may not be aware of having any feelings at all, except emptiness and despair. It may seem as if there’s a gap between you and other people, which is quite unbridgable. Your thoughts may become very morbid.
Mania: Depression may alternate with mania; sometimes mild (hypomania) and at other times severe. Mania can make you feel very excited and enthusiastic about life, talkative, and with your head jumping with thoughts, ideas and plans. You may get by on very little sleep (and this may make the mania worse). But you may also have a completely unfounded confidence in your own judgement and abilities, which can get you into difficulty. Characteristically, people will be extravagant with money, and pursue unwise sexual encounters and risky business ventures. At times, the good mood (euphoria) can turn to dysphoria, when you become angry and irritable, especially if someone contradicts or questions you.
The cycles of mania and depression can be at fairly regular periods, although this varies from person to person. It can range from ‘rapid cycling’ which means swinging between moods every day, to moods alternating every year, or so. It’s possible to live without symptoms, or treatment, for years. But the symptoms can then return fiercely and suddenly, with no warning. At its extreme, full-blown mania can be a very frightening indeed for all concerned. If left untreated, the cycles can begin to happen more rapidly and more severely.
Hallucinations and delusions: Everyone has an inner voice in which they talk to themselves. It’s easy to tell the difference between the inner voice in your mind, and somebody else talking to you. But hearing voices is different. This kind of hallucination sounds as if it’s coming from the outside world. You have to learn how to distinguish these auditory hallucinations from someone actually talking to you. Hearing voices is regarded as a key sign of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
It’s common for the voices to be harshly critical, to say that the hearer is worthless and deserves to die. Sometimes they give a running commentary on whatever is going on, or discuss the hearer, between themselves. The voices aren’t always negative, however; you may find them familiar and even comforting. Hallucinations can also mean seeing something, and feeling or smelling things.
Delusions are mistaken interpretations of things going on around you. You may believe that you are a famous person. Or that you have superhuman powers. You may even experience physical sensations that confirm your belief that you are in charge, or the opposite idea that you are the passive victim of evil forces.
It’s quite common for people to have paranoid delusions, believing that somebody wants to hurt them, and to interpret innocent actions as threatening them. You may be convinced that somebody else is in control of your actions. You may think that other people, on the television for example, are talking about you or referring to you. Even if part of you knows this isn’t true, it may not stop you having that feeling.
There is a great deal of completely inaccurate publicity about the dangers presented to the public by people who are paranoid. They should be aware that somebody in this state of mind is far more likely to hurt themselves than anybody else.
Dissociation: People sometimes report feeling as if they are a detached observer of their own life. Or they may feel that the world itself isn’t real, but just a figment of their imagination. To counteract this, it may be useful to use physical sensation, such as touching textured objects, to help root you back in reality.
There are a number of medical conditions that cause disturbances in thought and mood (for instance a stroke, a brain injury, problems with the thyroid or adrenal glands), and a doctor needs to rule these out. The next problem is to distinguish schizoaffective disorder from either bipolar disorder (manic depression) or schizophrenia. This is difficult because someone who has schizophrenia can be very depressed, and someone with bipolar disorder can hallucinate.
Full-blown manic is frightening and most unpleasant. There is no test for these conditions, and your doctor will make the diagnosis on the basis of your medical and personal history, by observing your current behaviour, talking to you and giving you other psychological diagnostic tests. The diagnosis is usually based on the DSM-IV (the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders).
One of the key ways doctors distinguish schizoaffective disorder from either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (manic depression) is in the timing of the symptoms. An episode has to last for at least a month, and mood problems and thinking disorders should be happening at the same time, or within just a few days of each other. But, for at least two weeks during that month, the mood symptoms should disappear altogether, leaving only the thinking problems.
A person may have more of one type of symptom than another, so doctors may describe them as having manic type, depressive type or mixed type schizoaffective disorder.
The mood symptoms may include:
elation, increased self-esteem and unrealisable plans
irritability, with aggressive behaviour
inability to concentrate
Thinking problems may include hallucinations or delusions, but these may not necessarily be either grandiose or paranoid. Episodes of this type usually start suddenly, and people may behave in a very disturbed way for a short time. They usually make a full recovery within a few weeks. People who have manic forms may be less vulnerable to relapse than those with depressive forms of the disorder.
The mood symptoms may include:
feeling very low
feeling slowed down
no appetite; losing weight
loss of usual interests
lack of concentration
Thinking problems may include hallucinations or delusions, which are likely to be grandiose or paranoid. This type is usually less dramatic and alarming than the manic type, but tends to last longer. Sometimes, people go on experiencing a few of the schizophrenic symptoms afterwards.
This diagnosis is made when symptoms of schizophrenia occur at exactly the same time as those of bipolar disorder (manic depression). Confusingly, you may experience one type during one episode, but a different type during a different episode.
The causes are unknown, but there seem to be a number of factors that could be contributing. Stress seems to play a key role in triggering the problem, as with many types of mental distress, and you may be particularly vulnerable to a relapse in times of stress. You may well be able to identify particular events or sources, which you feel have contributed to your state of mind.
There is no doubt that there’s a chemical imbalance in the brain when someone has schizoaffective disorder, but the question remains, which came first, the problems or the chemical imbalance?
Schizoaffective disorder seems to occur more often in families where other members have been diagnosed with something similar, such as schizophrenia. It suggests that people might be more prone to developing the problem because of their environment or because of something they have inherited.
As a rule, the problem begins in early adulthood, and although there hasn’t been much research into the problem as a whole, it may be that women are more likely to experience it than men.
Although the causes of mental health disorders are often relegated by conventional mental health professionals to being solely psychological or genetic in nature, holistic health professionals recognize that many other factors can also be involved, and in many cases are far more significant. Moreover, they also recognize the fact that many times people are misdiagnosed with mental health disorders when in actuality they are suffering from significant biochemical problems caused primarily by poor diet and nutritional imbalances.
Other important factors to consider as causes of mental health disorders are food and environmentalallergies, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), stress, chronic physical illness, hormone imbalances, lower than normal histamine levels, and viral infections of the brain. Social and cultural factors, as well as a person’s age and gender, can also contribute to or exacerbate mental health disorders. Ironically, so can the use of prescription drugs, including drugs specifically prescribed and recommended for treating mental health disorders.
Addiction/Substance Abuse: Holistically oriented mental health professionals recognize that a similar mechanism, known as specific adaptation, is often at work in cases of both addiction and mental health disorders. According to mental health doctor Karl E. Humiston, M.D., of Albany, Oregon, in cases of addiction, specific adaptation means that the addict’s body has adapted, both chemically and energetically, to substances to which it is allergic or which are toxic in order to derive temporary feelings of pleasure. Similarly, specific adaptation also forms many various types of mental health disorders, such as anxiety, compulsive behavior, depression, and, in some cases, psychosis, all of which can be triggered by allergy-causing foods and toxic chemicals. Because of the way the body adapts to, and then starts to crave such substances, their lack can trigger heightened negative emotional episodes, making it far more difficult to accurately determine the causes of mental health disorders and, therefore, to effectively treat them. This aspect of the relationship between addiction and mental health is often ignored by conventional health professionals.
Allergies: Allergies, especially those caused by foods and food additives, can contribute to a number of mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. The late Benjamin Feingold, MD, found that allergic reactions to certain foods and food additives are a primary cause of many types of behavioral problems, such as ADD and ADHD.
Aspartame, a common artificial sweetener, is an especially toxic food additive in this regard because of how it can cause imbalances in brain chemistry once the body digests and assimilates it. Artificial food colorings, flavorings, and preservatives act similarly on the brain, significantly increasing the risk of developing many types of mental health disorders. Foods such as chocolate, corn, dairy products, eggs, milk, refined carbohydrates, sugar and sugar substitutes, tomatoes, and wheat are common allergens, and if allergic, these foods can negatively impact an individual’s mental and emotional well-being.
Amino Acid Imbalance: Amino Acid imbalances can significantly affect mental and emotional states and be at the root of variety of mental problems. Urine testing can be effective in determining amino acid levels. Find an alternative Dr. who is familiar with neuro testing. Amino Acid Therapy can be a turning point in many cases as balancing one’s brain chemistry is very important and is often overlooked when treating most mental disorders.
Chronic Physical Illness: The experience of being chronically ill can often result in mental health problems, especially when a person is beset by serious forms of illness that can potentially be life-threatening. Over time, as people fail to experience relief from their physical symptoms, they can grow increasingly anxious or depressed. In cases of severe chronic pain, they can even become suicidal. Compounding this problem is the fact that many pharmaceutical drugs that are commonly prescribed to treat physical illnesses can adversely affect brain chemistry and disrupt immunity, opening the door for biochemical imbalances and immune dysfunctions to occur, which can have a profound negative impact on a person’s mental and emotional health. Candidiasis is another chronic health problem that can cause or worsen mental health disorders, due to the way that systemic yeast overgrowth can create nutritional deficiencies. Research conducted by allergy specialist Doris Rapp, M.D., has proven that just a few drops of allergenic food substances can trigger anger, confusion, and hyperactivity, especially in children. A long term Candida diet can be used specifically for the purpose of lifting the emotional pain and simultaneously clear Candidiasis.
Diet: Poor diet is a serious cause of mental health disorders because of the nutritional deficiencies and imbalances it results in. In addition, certain foods, as mentioned above, can trigger allergies that can cause or worsen mental health problems. This is especially the case with diets devoid of fresh, organic fruits, vegetables and other organic whole foods. To make matters worse, diets neglecting whole foods are often high in commercially packaged and processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugars. Such a diet not only lacks the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential for good health, but it is also high in unhealthy food additives, preservatives, and other chemicals that can seriously impair mental health.
Environmental Toxins and Other Environmental Factors: Heavy metal poisoning, as well as exposure to toxic chemicals contained in exhaust fumes, paints, solvents, and other substances, have all been shown by research to be capable of causing a variety of mental health problems, such as depression, thinking disorders, and even violent behavior. This is especially true when such exposure leads to elevated levels of cadmium, copper, lead, manganese, mercury and/or tin.
Living near or otherwise being regularly exposed to high voltage lines can also pose serious mental health problems, including chronic depression and suicide. The link between close proximity to power lines and depression, for example, has been clearly established by scientific research.
The quality and quantity of light can also influence mental health. This scientific fact was first established by John Nash Ott, Sc.D., a photobiologist who discovered that fluorescent and incandescent lighting impairs the body’s ability to properly absorb and assimilate nutrients and can trigger a variety of mental health problems, including alcoholism, depression, drug abuse, hostility, hyperactivity, and irritability, as well as contributing to lowered immune function, a shortened life span, and chronic degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. People who spend the majority of their time indoors in buildings with artificial light are particularly susceptible to these types of health risks.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is caused by a lack of sunlight, especially during the winter months, can also cause or worsen mental health disorders, as can exposure to mold and pollen.
Histamine Imbalance: Lower or higher than normal histamine levels can also be a factor in mental health disorders, especially schizophrenia. This was first shown in the 1950s by the late Carl Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D., a pioneering orthomolecular physician who found that nearly 50 percent of the schizophrenic patients he examined had lower than normal histamine levels, while approximately a third of them had elevated histamine levels. Dr. Pfeiffer also found histamine imbalances to be a factor in many cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder, severe depression, paranoia, suicidal tendencies, and thinking disorders. Typically, such patients also showed abnormal levels of basophils, a type of white blood cell that stores histamine in the body. They also usually suffered from nutritional imbalances, especially of folic acid and zinc.
Hormonal Imbalances: Hormonal imbalances can also contribute to mental health problems, especially in women who rely on birth control pills and/or who take synthetic progesterone, both of which can cause overall hormone levels to become imbalanced. In addition, birth control pills and synthetic progesterone can also result in systemic yeast overgrowth (candidiasis), further exacerbating mental health issues.
Hypoglycemia: Many patients who suffer from mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, unexplained or irrational fear, hyperactivity, and irritability also suffer from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). In certain instances, hypoglycemia may even be the sole cause of such conditions. For such patients, stabilizing blood sugar levels is essential for proper treatment.
Nutritional Deficiencies and Imbalances: Nutritional deficiencies and imbalances represent two of the most important causes of mental health disorders, and are nearly as significant as the genetic factors that can predispose people to suffer from mental and emotional problems. Since the 1950s, leaders in the field of orthomolecular medicine, such as Linus Pauling, Carl Pfeiffer, and Abram Hoffer, have shown that deficiencies in any nutrient can cause mental health problems, ranging from anxiety, attention deficit disorders, depression, and hyperactivity to impaired mental function, schizophrenia, thinking disorders, and habitual violent behavior.
Among the nutrients most commonly found to be deficient or imbalanced in people with mental health disorders are B complex vitamins—especially vitamins B1, B3 (niacin), B6, and B12—vitamin C, calcium, copper, iron, lithium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Low levels of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid, or HCl) are also commonly found among patients with mental health problems. A lack of HCl can significantly interfere with the body’s ability to digest and assimilate nutrients contained in food.
Scientific samplings of thousands of people in prison conducted by William Walsh, Ph.D., a former research scientist at the Argonne National Laboratories, revealed that 95 percent of them suffered from pronounced nutritional and biochemical imbalances, and often also had elevated levels of potential toxic minerals such as lead. This was particularly true of prisoners who exhibited severe antisocial behaviors, as well as those who were convicted of homicide, rape, and other violent crimes, as well as those most prone to suicidal tendencies.
Psychiatric Drugs: In the last few decades, the field of mental health has been increasingly co-opted by the pharmaceutical industry. As a result, so-called psychiatric drugs are now the primary treatment approach used by practitioners of conventional medicine for mental health disorders. This trend has been exacerbated by the fact that emphasis is now placed more on cost-saving measures when it comes to health care, than on treatment methods that actually work, particularly on the part of HMOs, PPOs, and other managed care health organizations.
Further compounding this problem is the fact that pharmaceutical drugs are increasingly being recommended and prescribed for children despite the fact that their young brains are not fully developed and are therefore less capable of resisting the drugs’ serious side effects. Moreover, no data has ever been compiled that shows such drugs are safe or effective for younger age groups (and in fact little convincing data exists showing that they are safe and effective for adults). So influential has the pharmaceutical industry become in this regard that all across the United States, parents now risk having their children taken from them to be placed into foster homes if they refuse to use drugs such as Ritalin, which can cause very serious side effects, to treat their children. Thus far, an estimated 100,000 children across America have been taken from their parents for this reason, with the full support of both state and federal judicial courts. This, despite the fact that psychiatric drugs are known to carry serious health risks, including suicidal and homicidal tendencies, as well as other psychotic behaviors.
Psychiatric drugs primary fall into four categories: stimulants, antidepressants, anti-psychotic medications, and sleep aids. What follows are various health risks associated with each class of drug.
Stimulants—Stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderal, which are routinely prescribed for ADD and ADHD, has been shown by research to act on the brain in much the same way that cocaine and amphetamine drugs do. Common side effects caused by Ritalin, Adderal, and other stimulant drugs include, but are not limited to, brain damage, unhealthy behavioral changes, dizziness, headache, stomach problems, stunted growth, suicide, and violent and homicidal tendencies. Stimulant drugs also have a strong tendency to leave those who use them feeling listless and “zombie-like,” to the point where their inherent personality seems completely suppressed. Despite these grave health risks, current statistics indicate that approximately 20 percent of all school children in kindergarten through the 12th grade take Ritalin and similar medications, usually because they have been diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD, two so-called health conditions which many scientists and physicians in the fields of both conventional and holistic medicine dispute are even real. Moreover, half of all children in this country who are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD are placed on Ritalin and similar drugs without ever receiving proper psychological or educational testing. In addition, though no child has ever died as a result of either ADD or ADHD, a number of deaths have been attributed to children with these so-called conditions as a direct result of Ritalin and similar stimulant drug use.
Antidepressants—Antidepressant medications, such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zolot, are another class of drugs that can cause serious side effects. Such side effects include anxiety, dizziness, nausea, sexual dysfunction (including impotence and loss of libido), uncontrollable facial and body tics, visual hallucinations, unhealthy weight gain and obesity, withdrawal symptoms, and sexual dysfunction. Other side effects include electric shock sensations in the brain, as well as severe and permanent neurological damage. In addition, some users of antidepressant medications can exhibit suicidal and homicidal tendencies, as well as other forms of violent behavior, and the use of tricyclic medications, such as Norpramin, has even been implicated in the sudden deaths of children for whom it was prescribed.
Anti-Psychotic Medications—Anti-psychotic drug use can result in movement disorders, such as tardive dyskinesia, as well as neurological damage that can lead to such conditions as Alzheimer`s disease.
Sleeping Aids—Side effects associated with pharmaceutical drugs used to treat sleep disorders include overdose, unhealthy lowering of the heart rate (hypotension), depressed respiration, unhealthy changes in mood, diminished cognitive function, and impaired consciousness.
In addition to the above side effects, psychiatric drugs, as well as pharmaceutical drugs in general, can trigger and/or exacerbate a variety of mental health disorders.
Stress: Chronic, unresolved stress can also trigger and exacerbate mental health disorders, as well as negatively impacting the health of your body’s endocrine, immune, and nervous systems. Stress has been implicated by researchers such as Dr. Bruce Lipton of Stanford University as the primary cause of 95 percent of all health conditions, including those which fall under the category of mental health. By weakening your body’s endocrine system, stress can result in hormonal imbalances that are associated with mental health disorders. By weakening immunity, stress opens the door to various disease-causing agents, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi such as Candida albicans (which, unchecked, causes candidiasis), all of which can negatively effect the health of the brain and lead to ongoing feelings of anxiety, depression, and fear, as well as impairing cognitive and mental function. And by affecting the nervous system, stress makes it much more difficult for people to feel relaxed, think clearly, and properly express themselves.
Conversely, mental health disorders, and the life situations that can cause or contribute to them, such as job loss, divorce, or the death of a loved one, can significantly increase a person’s stress levels, setting in motion a vicious cycle that further aggravates and perpetuates mental health problems.
Viral Infections of the Brain: Pioneering holistic physician William H. Philpott, MD, of Choctaw, Oklahoma, has found that all mental health disorders related to organic brain dysfunction are initiated by viral infection of the brain. According to Dr. Philpott, it is the herpes class of viruses that causes the brain to become infected. Viruses in this class include cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6 (HHV6), and infectious mononucleosis. He has found that people who are born with a predisposition for mental health disorders typically have such viruses passed onto them by their mothers while they are gestating in the womb. Or viruses will often invade the brains of young children early on in life. Once the viruses take hold in the brain, they begin to infect the brain’s neurons and create brain swelling. This, in turn, results in abnormalities in a person’s ability to concentrate, as well as in their judgment and perception, often to a seriously damaging degree.
According to Dr. Philpott, the activity of such viruses in the brain is both chronic and fluctuating, and can make people who are afflicted by brain viruses more susceptible to other factors that can cause or worsen mental health disorders, such as environmental toxins, food allergies, and nutritional deficiencies.
Mental health disorders that can be associated with viral brain infections include bi-polar disorders, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, psychosis, and schizophrenia.
As with all diseases this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here
Here are some things you can discuss with your practitioner:
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days www.colloidsforlife.com Silver has long been recognised as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
- Try an Enerhealth Botanicals cleanse. Click here to discover more
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Read more about colonics by clicking here. Find a practitioner here.
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the programme drink alkalised water, which you can buy from Real Water.
A healthy diet is a vital component of any overall program for addressing mental health disorders. If you suffer from mental health problems, be sure to get tested for food allergies.
Avoid all foods that contain additives, coloring, flavoring, pesticides, and preservatives, as well as foods that are commercially processed and refined, including all refined carbohydrates, sugar and sugar substitutes, trans fats and hydrogenated oils. Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame and avoid high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate. Do not drink any carbonated beverages and avoid canned food and all fast food restaurants.
Minimize your intake of milk and dairy products, as well as alcohol and caffeine.
It is essential to eat a steady and diverse daily diet of health enhancing fruits such as apples, berries, stone fruits, and vegetables, especially dark greens, salads, small daily quantities of high quality protein sources, such as wild fish, organic poultry, bison, lamb, eggs, beans, legumes, tempeh and tofu, essential fatty acids, whole grains, such as quinoa and brown rice, nuts and seeds (preferably soaked), and wholesome, rather than refined treats.
Be sure to vary the foods you eat at each meal to ensure a plentiful supply of nutrients and enzymes and to avoid the risk of developing food sensitivities, and be careful not to overeat during meals.
Drink plenty of pure, filtered water throughout the day.
If you suffer from hypoglycemia, avoid high glycemic carbohydrate foods. Eat meals that are high in a variety of vegetables, small and consistent portions of quality proteins and low in carbohydrates. In addition, eat healthy snacks such as all vegetable juices or raw vegetables with a handful of soaked nuts or seeds, or a hard boiled egg, a slice of protein such as turkey wrapped in lettuce leaves, or a fresh fruit smoothie mixed with essential fats and a quality protein powder, such as Hemp or raw organic whey protein powder. Eat something every two to three hours between meals to keep your blood sugar levels stabilized.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef.
www.grasslandbeef.com The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
Useful nutritional supplements for mental health disorders include B complex vitamins, especially vitamins B1, B3 (niacin), B6, and B12, as well as vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Omega 3 oils and other essential fatty acids, such as evening primrose oil, are also recommend to ensure good brain health. Amino Acid formulas as well as specific Amino acid therapy can also provide relief of symptoms. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) supplements should also be used for people with low stomach acid in order to promote effective digestion and assimilation of other nutrients. There are a wide variety of specialized amino acids available from alternative doctors that focus exclusively on mental health issues. Specific amino acid testing is recommended.
For optimum health and healing we would also recommend:
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Take the mineral Lithium Orotate (ensure it doesn’t contain magnesium stearate.
- St John’s Wort www.sourcenaturals.com
- Coral Calcium http://ow.ly/eQMEN
- Magnesium taken in powder form – www.therawfoodworld.com
- Deer Antler Velvet www.royalvelvetforlife.com
- Able Heel
- 3-2-1 Supplements www.ncsupplements.com
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Orthomolecular Medicine: Orthomolecular medicine uses diet and nutritional supplements to treat mental health disorders. The term itself was first coined in 1968 by two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, Ph.D., to explain the connection between proper nutrition and mental health. However, the use of nutritional supplements to treat mental health conditions dates back to the 1950s and the work of physicians such as Carl Pfeiffer, Abram Hoffer, and Humprhey Osmond, who discovered that nutritional imbalances were often involved with mental health conditions, including schizophrenia, which is often accompanied by deficiencies of vitamin B3 (niacin). Since that time, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the link between nutritional deficiencies and mental health problems, and have also shown that proper nutritional supplementation-sometimes at dosages far beyond those of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)-can significantly improve overall mental and emotional health, as well as cognition and mental function, and can also result in healthier personal behavior. Despite the abundance of research that validates orthomolecular medicine’s effectiveness in this regard, conventional physicians and mental health specialists continue to ignore the powerful, positive effects it can provide.
Orthomolecular medicine requires the help of a health care professional trained in this field. In addition, the supplements that are used, along with their dosages, are individualized and based on each person’s unique biochemical and nutritional needs. To determine each patient’s nutritional requirements, orthomolecular physicians employ a variety of diagnostic tests to ascertain the values of as many as 120 different nutritional factors, based on blood, urine, and hair analysis, as well as such other factors as amino acid, protein, vitamin, mineral, enzyme, electrolyte, and histamine levels, as well as thyroid, kidney and liver function, and any possible food and environmental allergies.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually disease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
- Meditation: Numerous studies have shown meditation to have many health benefits as well as improving mood, anxiety and stress. Meditation can be a helpful addition to treating depression. Over time, meditation can help one feel more at peace and be able to step back and let go of thoughts, which is helpful since depressed individuals often experience repetitive negative thoughts. Meditation can be as simple as sitting quietly with eyes closed and concentrating on one’s breath. When you notice yourself no longer focusing on your breath, gently bring your focus back to your breathing.
- Biofeedback Training: Biofeedback training can result in dramatic improvements in patients’ ability to manage stress, thereby improving overall mental health symptoms. In addition, research has shown that biofeedback is also helpful for dealing with various mental health problems, including anxiety, chronic phobias, and hyperactivity.
- Energy Psychology: Energy psychology combined with techniques from acupressure and kinesiology, often in conjunction with affirmations and healing breathing techniques can resolve blockages or disturbances in a person’s “bioenergy field,” sometimes referred to as the “aura.” According to the theory behind energy psychology, a large degree of mental and emotional problems have their root in the bioenergy field, where they affect us in much the same way that faulty software can cause problems in a computer’s hard drive. Practitioners of energy psychology have their patients think about or emotionally re-experience the mental and/or emotional problems that are causing them difficulties. As they do so, they also tap specific acupuncture meridian points in order to balance out and free trapped energies. Once this occurs, patients often find that they are completely free of their problems.
- There are a variety of healing therapies that fall under the energy psychology umbrella, such as emotional freedom technique (EFT), Thought Therapy, and Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods (developed by Fred Gallo, Ph.D., who coined the phrase “energy psychology”). In recent years, such therapies have gained widespread acceptance among mental health professionals in the fields of both conventional and alternative medicine because of how effective they are for rapidly resolving a wide variety of mental health disorders.
- Energy psychology has been shown to be particularly useful for treating addiction, anxiety, depression, panic disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorders, and unhealthy feelings of chronic anger, guilt, loneliness, rage, and rejection.
- Journaling: By regularly writing down your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions in a journal, you can help yourself to better understand the underlying issues in your life that can be contributing to your mental and emotional problems, gaining new insights in the process that can empower you to heal. Research has also shown that the daily practice of journaling can also help to improve physical health symptoms.
- In addition, journaling can be an effective way for releasing yourself from the chain of negative emotions linked to past traumas, as well as phobias. A specific journaling technique known as desensitization can help you to accomplish this. To deal with traumas, simply allow yourself to re-experience all that you can recall of the traumatic event. Write down everything that occurs to you as vividly as you can, so that you use all of your senses. Initially, you may feel the fears and other emotions you associate with the event. By writing about the event on a daily basis, however, eventually you will find yourself becoming detached from or desensitized to the event so that it no longer affects you. In the process, you may also discover elements of the experience that escaped you when the event happened, which can provide you with further clarity and peace of mind. You can work with phobias in a similar fashion. Instead of “reliving” a past event on paper, imagine an experience that would typically trigger your phobia. Over time, you will find that whatever you imagine has only the power over you that you give it, making it easier to let go of your fears.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., in 1990, EMDR has become one of the most rapidly growing therapies in the field of mind/body medicine, and is used by more than 20,000 psychotherapists as a primary treatment for a variety of mental health disorders, including addiction, anxiety, stress, and, most especially, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research has shown that EMDR has up to a 90 percent success rate for resolving PTSD caused by rape, natural disasters, catastrophic illness, the loss of a loved one, or other traumas. In most cases, complete resolution of PTSD occurs with three sessions or less of EMDR.
Ayurvedic physicians address mental health disorders by focusing on their patients’ level of consciousness, physiology, behaviour patterns, and home and work environments. Although treatment varies according to each patient’s specific metabolic type, or dosha, in general the following principles apply:
Address consciousness and associated mental stress through the practice of meditation.
Address physiology with proper diet, emphasizing organic, whole foods and avoiding the use of stimulant spices. Practise yoga and have regular massages with sesame oil to relieve musculoskeletal tension.
Modify stressful behaviour by creating a healthy daily routine that includes adequate sleep, regular meals, balancing work with relaxation, and ensuring that patients lead a more organized daily existence. Home and work environments are improved through the use of relaxing music and essential oils, and through making the space cleaner, free of toxins, and devoid of clutter.
- Yogaraj Guggul : A useful and traditional herb mixture
- Asafoetida (Hing)
- Musta, Mustaka
- Tulsi (Tulasi), Krishnamul
- Shankh Pushpi
As always the fastest most effective way to receive tailored advice to your own situation, you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Ayurvedic practitioners here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Traditional Chinese Medicine
To receive bespoke advice based upon your own situation you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Hare’s Ear Root
Known in Chinese as chai hu, this herb is known to restore the flow of qi in the chest area, especially the liver, benefiting mood and spirit, reducing anxiety and restoring mental and physical balances in the body. Hare’s ear root is also known as bupleurum, an herb native to eastern Asia. The herb looks like raw tea or elongated seeds, and is respected in China as being a “harmony herb.”
Peony Root Bark
Known as mu dan pi in Chinese, peony root bark is known as an herb that can settle the spirit or calm a condition known as heat, or fire, in the heart, which causes individuals to lose their spiritual connection with their body, resulting in depression and stress. Peony root bark restores harmony in the body, relieving symptoms of depression such as insomnia, and restoring shen, or mental harmony. An herbal formula combining peony and bupleurum is widely utilized to reduce irritability, mental instability and excessive emotions.
Cortex Albizzia Julbrissin (mimosa tree bark) is traditionally used to calm the spirit and relieve emotional constraint when the associated symptoms of bad temper, depression, insomnia, irritability and poor memory are present.
Mimosa tree flower is also used to relieve constrained Liver qi, and calm the spirit when the associated symptoms of insomnia, poor memory, irritability, epigastric pain, and feelings of pressure in the chest are present. Research has shown that the flower of the mimosa tree has a sedative effect.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment designed to restore natural balances of qi, or energy, throughout the body. Acupuncture unblocks sluggish or slow channels of energy and blood flow, and mental outlook for conditions such as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, as well as bipolar depression. Acupuncture is often combined with herbal remedies and other modern methods of depression treatment protocols such as psychotherapy.
The following essential oils can promote calm and soothe stress:
- Clary sage
- Ylang Ylang.
The following oils are good for depression:
Use 4 drops of essential oil per 25ml of carrier oil.
To ensure positive results, always check that the essential oil is a 100% pure plant distillation and that it comes from a reputable source.
Owing to the principles behind homeopathy it is essential you see a licensed practitioner to receive your own personalised prescription. Find your closest Homeopath here
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
- Aurum Metallicum (gold)
- Cimacifuga (black cohosh)
- Plumbum (lead)
- Podophyllum (May apple plant)
- Radium Bromatum (radium bromide)
- Viscum Album (mistletoe)
Some homeopaths use preparations called cell salts which are low-potency mineral salts found in the human body. These preparations come in small, easy dissolvable pellets and treat many physical conditions, working when there is a biochemic insufficiency in the body. The recommended one here would be Kali Phosphoricum, the nerve nutrient. It is a wonderful remedy for nervous people. It is good for depression, weariness, sleeplessness and where vitality is low.
A different branch of homeopathy uses colours to stimulate the energy centres in the body. To make these remedies, coloured light is transformed into low potency dilutions and the colour remedies work directly on the energy system to stimulate, balance and tonify the chakras, which are the energy centres in the body.Indigo blue works on the brow chakra which controls and stimulates the pituitary functions and stimulates the mind. It can alleviate a “zombie-like” state. A dose of Indigo blue helps with emotional dramas, enabling the formation of clear thinking and allowing us to see the bigger picture when we are caught up in too much mental activity.
Another therapy that can be used alongside homeopathy is gemstone elixirs. These are made from gems that have been found to have an affinity with the individual chakras or energy centers. Remedies made from diamond immersion have been useful for deep chronic depression. Rose quartz brings peace and calmness. Gemstone elixirs should be used only under the advice of a qualified homeopath.
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), a well-know herbal remedy has has been shown to act as a mild anti-depressant and to be useful for cases of anxiety and mild depression, as well as for sleep problems related to mental health disorders. It has treated mental and physical disorders for thousands of years, including insomnia, depression and anxiety. The flowers of the St. John’s wort plant are used in commercially prepared teas, extracts, tablets and capsules. St. John’s wort may alleviate sleep disorders and control mood and depressive symptoms commonly experienced by patients with schizoaffective disorder. A clinical review, published in the August 1996 issue of the “British Medical Journal” found significant evidence attesting to the benefits of St. John’s wort in treating symptoms of mild to moderately severe depressive disorders.
Walnut tea, which contains high amounts of serotonin, a natural mood elevator
Valerian is a perennial flowering plant whose roots, stems and rhizomes are used in capsules, teas, tablets and tinctures to treat sleep disorders. Some limited evidence shows valerian may help sleep disorders in patients with schizoaffective disorder. A study published in the February 2000 issue of the journal “Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology” examined the effects of valerian versus a placebo on sleep disorders in 23 Hispanic patients receiving outpatient mental health services in a hospital setting. Two patients had schizoaffective disorder and one had major depression. At the end of the study, one participant said that valerian was “moderately to extremely helpful,” and the other two reported that valerian was “extremely helpful.”
Ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest herbal remedies in existence, used to treat a number of physical and mental complaints by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners for thousands of years. Some evidence suggests that ginkgo may also improve schizophrenic symptoms, especially if used in combination with certain anti-psychotic medications. A study published in the February 2001 issue of the “Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology” examined the effect of a ginkgo extract combined with the traditional anti-psychotic medication haloperidol, versus haloperidol and a placebo, on schizophrenic symptoms in 82 patients suffering from chronic, treatment-resistant schizophrenia. The results found that ginkgo supplementation enhanced the efficacy of haloperidol treatment.
The following can all promote calm and can help mitigate against the effects of stress.
- Milk thistle
- Passion flower
- Siberian ginseng
Bach Flower Remedies: Bach flower remedies, discovered by British homeopathic physician Edward Bach in the early 20th century, are a safe and often highly effective self-care approach for dealing with a wide variety of mental health disorders. According to Dr. Bach, all illnesses are due, at least in part, to underlying mental and emotional issues that interfere with our connection with Spirit or divine energy. His research showed that energetic frequencies of the various 38 flower remedies he identified are able to resolve and heal mental and emotional imbalances to create overall health. The remedies are very easy to work with and in most cases patients can determine which remedies are most suited for their needs simply by referencing the following chart:
Agrimony – Suffering covered by a cheerful or brave facade. Distressed by argument or confrontation, may seek escape from pain or worry with addictive behavior through the use of food, drugs, cigarettes, or alcohol.
Aspen – Vague fears or anxiety of unknown origin. Apprehension, foreboding.
Beech – Critical, intolerant, or easily finding fault. May overreact with annoyance or irritability to the shortcomings of others.
Centaury – Willing servant, overly anxious to please, weak willed, or easily exploited/dominated by others. May neglect own needs to serve others. Avoids confrontation, difficulty saying “no.”
Cerato – Lacks confidence in own judgment. Little trust in inner guidance. Constantly seeks advice of others; therefore vulnerable to being misguided.
Cherry Plum – Fear of losing mental or physical control, of doing something desperate or violent. Tantrums, suicidal thoughts, impulse to do something thoughtless or known to be wrong. Fear of letting go. May be near nervous breakdown.
Chestnut Bud – Failure to learn from experience, repeats inappropriate patterns. Difficulty correcting mistakes.
Chicory– Loving, but with expectation of being loved in return. Possessive, emotionally needy, easily hurt or rejected.
Clematis – Lacks concentration, daydreams. Drowsy or “spacey” with a halfhearted interest in present circumstances. Inactive, ungrounded. Trouble materializing dreams.
Crab Apple – Cleansing remedy when feeling toxic, contaminated, or unclean. Ashamed of self-image. Fear of being contaminated. Need for cleanliness. Can be used to assist detoxification, if needed.
Elm – Overwhelmed by responsibilities. Normally capable, now doubts ability to perform tasks. Temporary feelings of inadequacy due to overload. Difficulty prioritizing.
Gentian – Mild despondency or discouragement due to setback, difficulty, or failed expectation. Negativity reverses easily with positive events or successes.
Gorse – Helplessness, hopelessness, sense of futility. Convinced situation will not improve; may not be willing to try remedies.
Heather – Self-centered, self-obsessed, or self-absorbed. Seeks the companionship of anyone who will listen to them. Constant chatterer, poor listener, unhappy if left alone.
Holly – Strongly felt negative feelings: hatred, envy, jealousy, suspicion, revenge, or wrath.
Honeysuckle – Dwelling in the past: old traumas, nostalgia, homesickness, regrets for happier times. Little expectation of future happiness.
Hornbeam – Mental fatigue and tiredness; procrastination. Weary before day or task begins, the “Monday morning” feeling. Difficulty starting.
Impatiens – Impatience, irritability, restlessness, or frustration with slow moving people and events. Quick in thought and action, requires all things to be done without delay. May prefer to work alone.
Larch – Lacks self-confidence despite being capable. Feels inferior. Anticipates failure; may refuse to make effort to succeed.
Mimulus – Everyday fear of known things: heights, public speaking, pain, water, illness, flying, poverty, other people, being alone, etc. For the shy, nervous, or timid personality type.
Mustard – Sudden deep gloom, depression, melancholia, or heavy sadness with no known cause. Condition may come and go.
Oak – Struggling on despite difficulties. Does not give up even if ill or overworked. Strong sense of responsibility and determination. Difficulty resting when exhausted.
Olive – Complete mental and physical exhaustion, sapped energy with no reserve-for example, after a long personal ordeal or illness.
Pine – Guilt or self-reproach, feels unworthy or undeserving. May blame self for another person’s mistakes. Not satisfied with own success.
Red Chestnut – Fear for the well-being of others, fearing the worst will happen to their loved ones.
Rock Rose – Terror or any great fear (panic, nightmares, etc.).
Rock Water – Self-denial. Strict, perhaps rigid, adherence to a living style or to religious, personal, or social disciplines. Tries to set an example.
Scleranthus – Difficulty in deciding between two choices, seeing value in both. Uncertainty.
Star of Bethlehem – Great unhappiness, grief, loss, trauma, after-effects of shock. Helpful after bereavement.
Sweet Chestnut – Unbearable anguish. Has reached the limits of endurance. Dark night of the soul, facing the abyss.
Vervain – Fixed ideas, over-enthusiasm. Attempts to teach, convert, convince, save the world. Champion of justice. Energetic, intense or driven.
Vine – Overly strong-willed, capable, may become dictatorial or tyrannical. May disregard rights or needs of others. May be power-hungry or merciless.
Walnut – Protection from negative influences or pressures and from the effects of change. Stabilizes emotionally during periods of transition: puberty, adolescence, menopause, aging, job change, new home, relationships, etc. Breaks links to past; facilitates freedom to move forward.
Water Violet – Loners, quiet, aloof, self-reliant. They go their own way and leave others to go theirs. Prefers to bear health or other challenges alone.
White Chestnut – Persistent unwanted thoughts. Mental arguments, worries, or repetitious thoughts that prevent peace of mind and disrupt concentration.
Wild Oat – Career uncertainty, unfulfilled ambition, or boredom with present status and course in life. Although capable and talented, is unclear on which of many paths to take. Frustration or dissatisfaction may result.
Wild Rose – Resigned or apathetic. Indifferent to life’s circumstances. Will surrender to health or other problems. Rarely complains. Little effort to improve things or find joy. Emotionally flat or dull.
Willow – Resentful or bitter toward life, blames others. Self-pity over misfortune (“Poor me!”). Sees self as victim.
Rescue Remedy®, an all-purpose flower essence treatment developed by Dr. Bach for general feelings of mental and emotional upset and stress, can also be useful.
The Bach flower essences, in addition to being safe, can also be used in conjunction with other therapeutic approaches, and have been shown to make remarkable differences in patients who initially failed to respond to other treatment approaches.
Biological (Holistic) Dentistry: According to pioneering biological dentist Hal A. Huggins, D.D.S., many mental and emotional problems, including anxiety, depression, irritability, and suicidal tendencies, can significantly be improved, and in many cases completely eliminated, by removing toxic dental amalgams that contain mercury.
Magnetic Therapy: According to Dr. Philpott, M.D., a variety of mental health disorders can be caused by electromagnetic imbalances in the body. If this is the case, then you can use magnetic therapy to correct and restore balance to your body’s electromagnetic system using magnets that are placed on various acupuncture meridian points on the body. In the field of psychiatry, magnetic therapy is replacing electro-convulsive therapy for depression and other major mental disorders. In addition, magnetic therapy is replacing tranquilizers, antidepressants and anti-seizure medications in the treatment of major mental disorders. Anxiety, tension, depression, obsessions and compulsions can be alleviated with a negative magnetic field application to the brain.
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What follows are guidelines for using magnet therapy to help resolve mental health disorders:
The treatment for mental illnesses is, first and foremost, to eliminate all exposure to any and all foods, chemicals, and inhalants that cause allergic reactions, and to simultaneously improve nutrition levels. It is also important to calm the electrical activity and excessive dopamine production in the brain. In order to accomplish this, bilateral placement of a negative magnetic field on the right and left temporal areas provides maximum control. Usually, most mental symptoms can be controlled within ten minutes by using ceramic or neodymium disc magnets in this manner.
All those with mental illnesses should sleep on a magnetic bed pad, composed of 1 7/8 x 7/8 x 3/8 inch mini-block magnets placed 1½ inches apart. Also, place magnets at the crown of the head (four 4 x 6 x 1 inch magnets placed ¾ inches apart). These can be raised or lowered, depending on the height of the pillow, with the top of the head as close as possible to the magnets.
At night, sleep with a 5 x 12 inch multi-magnet flexible mat crosswise on the lower abdomen. In the center of this mat, place a 4 x 6 x ½ inch magnet lengthwise on the body, held in place with a 4 x 52 inch body wrap. This placement will help rid the body of any viral, fungal, or parasitic infections anywhere in the pelvic area. It will also stimulate the intestinal wall to produce melatonin, an important hormone for sleep and mood. At night, place a 5 x 12 inch double magnet, multi-magnet flexible mat with six mini-blocks 1½ inches apart on the positive pole side over the front of the chest; hold in place with a 4 x 52 inch body wrap. This treats the heart, lungs, thymus gland, and, in women, the breasts.
It is important to treat the heart with magnets because the water and oxygen flowing through the heart will be magnetized and carried to the entire body. Also, when sitting down, use a comfort chair pad with magnets in the seat and back.
For treating most mental symptoms, use the 1½ x ½ inch ceramic disc magnets; a headband can align the magnets bi-temporally. This treatment usually requires about ten minutes to relieve major symptoms, but the more hours of negative field magnetic exposure, the better.
For obsessive-compulsiveness, place a 4 x 6 x ½ inch ceramic magnet on the back of the head. An alternative is to place a 4 x 6 x 1/8 inch plastiform magnet directly over the occiput (base of the cranium at the back of the head), with a neodymium disc magnet over the center, as well as a ceramic disc on the left temporal area.
For anxieties and phobias, place a 1½ x ½ inch ceramic disc magnet on the left temporal area and another on the forehead. A negative magnetic field applied to the forehead encourages relaxation, increases alertness, and improves memory. The usual treatment is bi-temporal placement (just above and in front of the ears) of 1½ x ½ inch ceramic disc magnets, held in place with a 2 x 26 inch headband. This treatment is also effective for tension, depression, and obsessions.
Depression, delusions, and hallucinations are usually best handled with bi-temporal (in front of and near the top of the ears) placement of ceramic disc magnets. Centered in the temporal areas of the head are the amygdala; treating the amygdala can calm down the entire brain.
Giving someone medicine offers them relief from their symptoms, but doesn’t necessarily improve their outlook. A talking treatment, such as individual psychotherapy, allows you to discuss relationship issues, and to understand the background to your problems. It can help you develop the insight you need to take control of your life. Achieving real change is a lengthy process, and it’s often painful. You may be able to access this kind of help through your medical practitioner.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy:
Studies have suggested that cognitive behaviour therapy, which is a patient-led approach, is very effective. Together, patient and psychologist explore the disorder, establish and work on your goals and develop ways of managing everyday problems.
Group therapy: This sometimes an option, but it’s more likely to be successful in an inpatient rather than an outpatient setting. Under other circumstances, you may find it too challenging, socially.
HeartMath: HeartMath is both the name of a research institute in Boulder Creek, California, and a system of mind/body medicine developed by the researchers there that is based on the heart’s innate intelligence and ability to create healing and relieve stress when it is properly paid attention to.
The benefits of the HeartMath techniques have been verified by heart rate variability (HRV) studies that measure heart rhythm and heartbeat rates. Your heart rate changes throughout the day, becoming rapid and even erratic during times of heightened, stressful emotion, and relaxed and slower during times of peace and joy. Learning to control your heart rate can therefore dramatically improve your ability to handle stress. Training people how to do this is the goal of the techniques developed at the HeartMath Institute. Their research has shown that when these techniques are practiced regularly, levels of stress in the body are lowered and accompanied by a reduction of cortisol and other stress-hormones, as well as blood pressure levels. In addition, the HeartMath techniques have been clinical proven to enhance mood and improve cognitive function.
One of these techniques is known as Freeze-Frame. It is comprised of five steps and enables practitioners to quickly replace negative thoughts and emotions with positive experiences of appreciation, joy, and love. Here are the steps involved:
- Become aware of your stressful feelings and “freeze” them, literally taking a “time-out” from whatever it is you were previously thinking or doing.
- Shift your attention away from what’s troubling you to focus on your heart. Visualize yourself breathing in and out of your heart for at least ten seconds.
- Now allow yourself to recall a past experience of joy or pleasure and immerse yourself within it as if it were reoccurring in the present.
- Once you are reconnected to these positive feelings, ask your heart how to most appropriately and effectively respond to the previous situation that was troubling you.
Heed your intuition and the answer that comes to you and act upon the solution you were given as soon as possible.
Deep breathing can bring immediate positive results and is the fastest way for you to start feeling relief from your depressive symptoms, literally within 30 seconds. In fact after just several repetitions of a simple deep breathing exercise oxygen is already flowing throughout your body and will cause you to feel refreshed and relaxed. There’s nothing difficult to memorize – you just have to remember the count, how long to hold your breath, and how many repetitions you need to do. You don’t need a special place or time to do deep breathing exercises. Of course the most important time is when you feel a depressive episode coming on.
Simple Deep Breathing: this starts out by exhaling rather than inhaling since you can’t inhale fully until you get rid of all the oxygen that is in your lungs. Also, make sure you breathe through your nose. Sit in a comfortable position and place your hands on your knees, making sure your shoulders are relaxed. Next, close your eyes. On your next exhalation breathe slowly through your nose while mentally counting to five. Tighten your abdominal muscles, drawing in your diaphragm to assist your lungs to deflate. At the end of your breath stop and count off two seconds, Then breathe in slowly by expanding your stomach and mentally counting to five. Again, at the end of your breath stop and count off two seconds. Repeat 5-10 times and make sure to focus on your counting so your mind does not wander.
Belly Breathing: Sit in a comfortable position and place one hand on your belly right below the ribs and the other hand on your chest. Take a slow deep breath in through your nose and allow your belly to push your hand out. Do not move your chest. Next, pucker your lips and breathe out slowly through your mouth as if you were whistling. Feel your hand on your belly go in and use it to push out all the air. Repeat 3-10 times. There are many more deep breathing exercises that can be learned. Try and practise different deep breathing exercises and may them part of your daily activity.
Yoga – The physical postures and breathing exercises comprising the practice of yoga have long been proven by scientific research to promote feelings of relaxation while simultaneously strengthening the body. Research conducted since the 1970s has shown that regular yoga practice not only relieves stress, and stressful emotions such as anxiety and depression, but also improves blood pressure rates and overall cardiovascular health. Yoga is also effective for reducing pain, improving gastrointestinal and respiratory function, and for improving cognitive function and enhancing sight and hearing.
Note: If you are just beginning to explore yoga, it is recommended that you initially do so under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor who can guide you to become aware of the subtleties involved in each yoga posture as well as the corresponding method of breathing.
Qigong – Is a wonderful form of exercise, breath work and meditation to relieve stress and tension in the body. See article section for more information about the art of qigong.
Chiropractic, Craniosacral Therapy, Energy Medicine (electrodermal screening, Ondamed), Environmental Medicine, Guided Imagery, Mind/Body Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine and Sound Therapy can also help. See Glossary for descriptions.
Herbal remedies for schizoaffective disorder: www.livestrong.com/article/542891-herbal-remedies-for-schizoaffective-disorder
Can fish oil fight depression? www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/fish-oil-depression-zm0z10zrog.aspx
The Mental Health System Missing Standardswww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/45_the_mental_health_system_missing_standards_170412.php
Eliminate stress by transcendingwww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/eliminate_stress_by_transcending_thinking.php
Self Worth A Key To Your Mental Healthwww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/21_self_worth_a_key_to_your_mental_health_191211.php
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/traditional_chinese_ancient_healing.php
The best way to cleansing and purification of the bodywww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/54_the_best_way_to_cleansing_and_purification_of_the_body_110512.php
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters
Immune health NC_Newsletter_07-11.pdf
Squeaky Clean (Colonic Irrigation) www.naturalcures.com/healthblog/squeaky_clean.php
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong NC_Newsletter_12-08.pdf
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT NC_Newsletter_12-06.pdf
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout NC_Newsletter_12-10.pdf
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effectivewww.naturalcures.com/healthblog/hypnotherapy_for_stress.php
Healing mental illness through raw food nutrition www.youtube.com/watch?v=967movuUpqo
Guided Relaxation by Kelly Howell part 1 www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb69pfASfs8
Guided Relaxation by Kelly Howell part 2 www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-6fSEG9A8I&feature=fvwrel
Healing the body meditation www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFh-Km4AXeE&feature=related
EFT for treating disease www.garythink.com/eft/physicial.html
The effectiveness of St John’s Wort in treating depression (British Medical Journal):
Omega 3 and mental health www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/lifestyle/mind-food/omega-3-and-mental-health.html
Transcendental meditation and mental health research paperswww.truthabouttm.org/truth/IndividualEffects/ResearchonMentalHealth/index.cfm
Further Information (links and books)
Wired for Joy by Laurel Mellin
Solving The Depression Puzzle, Rita Elkin M.H
Talking Bacl to Prozac: What Doctors Won’t Tell You About Today’s Most Controversial Drug, Peter R/ Breggin, MD with Ginger Rose Breggin
Energy Tapping, Fred P. Gallo PhD.
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Whole food supplement, Pure Synergy – www.thesynergycompany.com (800) 723-0277
E3 Live, Green Superfoods – www.awakenedshoppe.com
Omega-3s, Cod Liver oil – www.drrons.com (877) 472-8701
St. John’s Wort – www.sourcenaturals.com
Sunlight Therapy, Solar Healing – www.solarhealing.com
EMF Chaos Elimination, Q-Link – www.toolsforwellness.com (800) 456-9887
Living Freedom, Emotional Release Work totalintegrationinstitute.com (520) 615-9811
Callahan Technique, Thought Field Therapy – www.tftrx.com (760) 564-1008
Dianetics, Dianetics Technology – www.dianetics.com (800) 367-8788
Neuro Emotional Technique – www.netmindbody.com (800) 888-4638
Bowen, Find Practitioner – www.bowendirectory.com
Andrea Butje | Aromahead email@example.com – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt firstname.lastname@example.org – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA email@example.com – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad firstname.lastname@example.org – herbalist.
Kath May email@example.com – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges firstname.lastname@example.org – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika email@example.com – aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic Practitioner.