Mental health issues including anxiety and depression are becoming more and more prevalent. A good 75%, if not more, of the clients I see come to me for help with anxiety and/or depression. More worryingly, I am increasingly seeing more children with these issues, issues in the past we would have only associated with stressed out, exhausted adults…
Where research has shown, in some cases, that depression and anxiety can result from a chemical imbalance it has also been noted that these same individuals when tested also had significant vitamin, mineral and other nutritional deficiencies too.
Why is this nutritional issue increasing? Why are we seeing it affect younger and younger elements of our population?
One of the reasons is that despite us being a “well-fed” population – in other words, a population on the whole who has access to a wide range of foods, our modern agricultural techniques, loss of nutrients from our soil from over-farming, food processing techniques, the widespread consumption of junk food and the over-consumption of sugar all block absorption of nutrients or create an increasing hunger in the body for those nutrients that feed and nourish our brain and nervous system. A hunger which just isn’t being fed….
What can we do in order to rebalance our mental health?
Omega 3,6 & 9 – found in nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed oils, oily fish (e.g. mackerel, sardines, salmon), avocado and avocado oil, olives and olive oil. These all calm the nervous system and provide a better quality of sleep.
Lemon – nearly every client I see with mental health issues is suffering from some sort of nutritional absorption issue, young or old. The answer? Improve absorption by drinking plain water with lemon in it. For a child, no more than 1/2 a squeezed lemon per day. Adults who have greater issues can go up to as much as 2 lemons per day squeezed into up to 2 litres of plain water.
Magnesium – vital for hormone balance, the reduction of inflammation (including inflammation in the brain which has been linked to mental health issues) and pain relief. Found in brown rice, pumpkin seeds, spinach, mackerel, and avocado but unfortunately the older we get the less easily we absorb it. Combined with organic Apple Cider Vinegar the body absorbs it far more readily and effectively. 2 – 3 teaspoons of organic Apple Cider Vinegar per day diluted in water or used in salad dressings etc. can have a dramatic effect on levels. Alternatively, you can use Epsom Salts or the stronger form, Magnesium Chloride, in warm baths 2 to 3 times a week.
On a practical level, there are also lots of other things we can do…
Hand Reflexology – some may assume that a practitioner never suffers from anxiety or depression however that isn’t the case, it’s just that we are fortunate to have an arsenal of “tools” at our disposal. Reflexology of the hands is one of those tools. Reflexology on the feet or hands is fabulous for stabilizing the central nervous system. The routine shown in the picture below has time and again been found to calm the mind and body. It is especially powerful when combined with deep breathing and the great thing about it is it can be used at any time. I even teach it to children from the age of 3 upwards..
Live in the present – “Whenever you have a problem, it involves something past or future. You keep problems alive in your mind by giving them your attention and energy, letting them live rent-free in your head” – Dan Millman (Laws of Spirit) – this may sound easier said than done but it is so true. Heard the saying “making mountains out of molehills”? I am not saying that our worries, anxieties and mental health issues aren’t real but it is true that whatever we focus our attention on, feed with our “energy”, grows legs. In other words, it expands and eventually, it can feel the size of a “mountain”. Taking a step back and diverting that energy elsewhere can reduce the size of the feelings associated with it. One of the best ways to redirect that energy is through….
Exercise – Exercise for me happens to be a mainstay of my mental health support but it wasn’t always so. For a long time I just couldn’t face it, however, the key, I found, was to do something I enjoyed, rather than something that felt like hard slog. So, for you, especially if your mobility isn’t great, this may mean a gentle walk or getting out into the lakes for a leisurely stroll. For me, it meant trying something new including Pickleball and Clubbercise ( I can heartily recommend https://www.facebook.com/clubbercisealeasha/ if you fancy giving it a try in Carlisle if you are further afield in the county then check out https://bookwhen.com/lauraclubbercise) and taking up running using the fabulous app “Couch to 5K” (available to download for smartphones).
Alternative Therapies – I practice many alternative therapies designed to help my clients overcome mental health issues. Not only reflexology but also Bio-energy Therapy, Access Bars Therapy and Shamanic Healing. Clients of all ages find they get the best results often from a simple session combining different elements from all of those modalities but that’s not to say there aren’t others that are equally successful.
Supplements – those that know me know that I am not a big fan of supplements, preferring to use them sparingly only when either the quantity or quality of the nutrient required is not available through diet alone. This can be one of those times. If you were born by cesarean, have ever taken antibiotics, had a vaccination, experienced a severe trauma or suffered from a viral infection you are a more likely to have mental health issues. Why? because all of those can compromise the health of our “second brain”, the Gut. Science has shown that good gut health leads to improved immunity but more importantly, it is directly linked to our mental health. With supplements, you really do get what you pay for so I take Natures Sunshine Pro B11 (https://healthandhealingforall.myllonline.com/pro-b11) due to its quality and the variety of the strains of good bacteria. Now I have improved my overall gut health I only need a maintenance dose once or twice a week but initially you will need 1 capsule up to 3 times a day for a good 6 weeks to see real results.
Depression and anxiety can be both complex and exhausting. It takes many forms and often a combination of therapies both nutritional and practical are needed to achieve long-term results. So if you would like more information on any of the suggestions included in this article please don’t hesitate to contact me. There are also lots of agencies available who can offer support and I can sign-post you to these.
The stories of people’s recoveries using these methods continue to grow with one of my clients saying “That big gaping emptiness in my life that I could never seem to fill, to have that replaced with a calm I have never before experienced and on occasion, even a feeling of actual joy, is beyond priceless”.
Until next time, wishing you oodles of
Health and Healing