“A big empty gaping hole that I have inside of me, that unrelenting pain that just never lets up. It feels like darkness” – a sufferer of depression/anxiety
Available traditional therapies include anti-depressants, sleeping tablets, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and various forms of “talking” therapies such as “counselling”. Results are often mixed at bes. Why? Because no one person has the exact same reasons for those feelings, those life experiences or body chemistry. You may have found that while your mental health improved once taking anti-depressants your physical health declined (many anti-depressants have been shown to limit the absorption of important nutrients). In some, medication may even increase their symptoms. Sleeping tablets may leave you feeling groggy the next day and if the root cause of the problem is physical rather than emotional, “talking therapies” often fail to hit their mark.
So while exploring these and possibly other methods of treatment what can we do to support ourselves? Here are my “Top 4” tried and tested suggestions:
1. Remove from the body any pathogen e.g. fungal, bacterial or parasitic infections, especially those such as Candida (fungal infection due to a diet high in sugar and processed foods and low in nutrients) and Campylobacter (a bacterial/parasitic infection usually from infected food or swimming pools/hot tubs). These type of infections have been shown to cause symptoms of anxiety and depression long after the initial attack of food poisoning/sickness & diarrhoea/thrush/athletes foot etc has passed. Worse still, with Campylobacter some people can be “a-symptomatic” which means they ingest the bacteria yet never go on to have the diarrhoea/sickness associated with food poisoning. However, they do then go on to experience the anxiety and depression associated with infection. Also, if you have taken or still take any kind of “acid reducing” medication you may be more susceptible to picking them up. So what can we use to fight these infections? The answer is simple -Apple Cider Vinegar – now before you roll your eyes and groan “not that again”, hear me out. Not all apple cider vinegar is made equal! Only that which is ORGANIC and CLOUDY contains the live protein strands and enzymes that have the ability to eradicate infection so the cheap stuff on the shelves of some “budget” supermarkets and high street health food shops just isn’t, in this instance, going to cut it. Try instead your local independent wholefood retailer/health food store or source via the internet. Just remember, it needs to be organic AND cloudy. As for dosage, it can vary from person to person but as a general rule of thumb try 1 teaspoon in a 300ml glass of water 3 times a day with a meal. You will need to take it consistently for 6 weeks to see an improvement in symptoms. If you think you may have a pathogenic infection or would like to check just in case, I am qualified to carry out safe, pain free testing. Contact details are at the end of this blog post.
2. Reflexology – A recent randomised clinical trial carried out on 75 women with Multiple Sclerosis at the MS Clinic of Kashani Hospital in Iran showed a significant reduction in the severity of anxiety, stress and depression for MS sufferers receiving Reflexology in comparison to the control group who were receiving only standard care. This reduction in anxiety and depression isnt just limited to those with chronic or acute health conditions. Reflexology supports good mental health in too many ways to list here. Maybe that should be the subject of my next blog post?! A Reflexology treatment session with myself is £40.00 and takes 1.5 hours. I’m fortunate to have been able to qualify in a specific type of reflexology that encourages the body to naturally eliminate pathogen such as Candida and Campylobacter.
3. Essential Fatty Acids(more commonly known as Omega 3-6-9). Study after study has suggested the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, which are plentiful in certain foods. A handful of small studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids can even help smooth out the mood swings of bipolar disorder! As far back as 1998 researchers noted significantly lower levels of Omega 3’s in the blood cells of patients with depression. Interestingly in those countries that have diets high in Omega 3’s there are less reported cases of depression. So, where can we get this magic elixir? Mainly “oily fish” such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. Now before you say “yuk” (as many clients do!) there is a non fish alternative which is nuts and seeds such as pumpkin, flax, linseed, hemp and sunflower, however, it has to be said that you have to eat a lot more of them to get the same medicinal effects…. If you are suffering with anxiety and/or depression it may be worth considering a supplement to your diet. Unfortunately, the market (and the high street!) is flooded with cheap supplements which have very little active ingredient and are often “padded out” with toxic binders and fillers. When I wish to boost my serotonin (happy hormone) levels I reach for these. If you have acute depressive symptoms then start with 2 capsules 3 times a day for 6 weeks (or until symptoms begin to improve). You can then reduce the dose by 50% for a further 3 weeks and then one morning and night is normally sufficient to keep levels topped up.
4. “Good Bacteria” aka Probiotics. Remember those pesky pathogens we mentioned in point number 1? Well unfortunately, its not enough to just eliminate them from the body, you need to “inoculate” the body against future re-infection. The easiest way to do this is by increasing the amount of “good bacteria” we have in our gut (think of them as the “Jedi Knights” of the digestive system!). Now before you all run out and buy a supply of some or other “probiotic” drink/yoghurt, I recommend you take a moment to think about what you are trying to accomplish here. Your goal is to eradicate pathogen (fungal/bacterial/parasitic). Anything sugary that has been “heat-treated” for mass production is unlikely to have the strength to do that. Instead, head to your local better class of supermarket and invest in some plain, unsweetened, “bio” yoghurt which MUST state very clearly on the label “Contains LIVE cultures”. Brands I prefer are Yeovill or Onken. Unfortunately “greek” or ordinary “plain” yoghurt you find in budget supermarkets do not contain them. While tasty, they are no match for your Darth Vader infestation… Initially, try 3 x 450g tubs per week then once symptoms improve you can reduce gradually. Ideally, pair with blueberries for an added dose of daily anti-oxidants! If you have a milk or lactose allergy, sinus issues or are vegetarian or vegan then yoghurt may not be acceptable in which case please message me for details of a suitable alternative.
I hope that these suggestions help you find some respite from the anxiety and/or depression you may be experiencing. There are many more I know of so if you would like a face to face consultation and/or some pathogen testing to assess if your body health is affecting your mental health please get in touch and we can arrange an appointment at your convenience. I’m contactable at email@example.com or by facebook message at http://www.facebook.com/healthandhealingforall
So, until next time, wishing you oodles & oodles of