Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is Herbal Medicine Effective For Depression?

By Dr. Tara Peyman
Saturday, June 27, 2009

When it comes to treating depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders, the best course of action is to address the underlying cause. You may just want to take a pill that covers up your symptoms. But if you prefer to get to the root of the problem and treat it naturally, there are many options that are safe, effective, and affordable. Botanical (herbal) medicine is ideal for anyone who wants a natural alternative to taking medications with harmful or unwanted side effects. There are a wide variety of medicinal plants, and we can prescribe these herbs to you as either capsules, liquid extracts, or teas.It is important to check with a naturopathic physician before beginning any new botanical prescription, because some herbs have strong medicinal properties, and may interact with other medications. There are also several different options regarding the strength and frequency of dosing medicinal herbs. By talking with a doctor who specializes in natural medicine and knows about not only how to prescribe botanical medicine, but also how to determine drug-herb interactions, you will be sure to get the best and safest results.Botanical medicine can be very effective for treating a variety of conditions, and may be used in combination with other therapies in order to restore health. Certain herbs can decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, such as:
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum)
Passion Flower (Passiflora)
Lemon Balm (Melissa)
Kava (Piper methisticum)
Siberian ginseng (Eleuthrococcus)

Many other herbs like St. John’s Wort can be helpful for symptoms of depression. This herb works by prolonging the time that serotonin is in the blood, thereby allowing serotonin to work longer. St. John’s Wort also slows down the reuptake of dopamine and GABA from the synaptic cleft. This can result in feelings of happiness, relaxation, and better energy. Passion Flower, Lemon Balm, and Kava are often helpful for anxiety, because they promote mental tranquility and reduce restlessness. These herbs can also be used to help with insomnia. Siberian ginseng can help to improve energy, promote better physical endurance, and also reduce the negative effects of stress. This type of ginseng is energizing, but somewhat less stimulating than some of the other types of ginseng available. Before you try any of these herbs, check with a naturopathic doctor to determine the ideal dose, or whether one herb or a combination of herbs would be best for your symptoms. Botanical medicine works well in combination with other natural therapies, and many of the best formulas for depression and anxiety contain both vitamins, amino acids, and herbs, for optimal mood support.
Tara Peyman, Naturopathic PhysicianFeel Like Yourself Again With Natural Medicinewww. Tara Peyman is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor in the state of Arizona. Her expertise is treating depression and anxiety with natural medicine

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What do You Know About Adrenal Fatigue?

Are you aware that you have stress glands to help you cope with all of life's problems? That is what our adrenal glands are referred to which help us handle all of what life throws at us. These glands are the size of a walnut which sit up on top of each kidney. We can suffer adrenal fatigue if our body has the inability to cope with everyday stressors. Every aspect of our life from injuries to relationship problems can be affected without the proper functioning of these glands.

As we list the different stressors being physical, emotional, environmental and psychological; they will all be responsible for giving folks a physiological malady. This fatigue is very real, as clients I have coached who have experienced this will tell you, it is so powerfully real and debilitating.

Dr. James A. Wilson's book, "Adrenal Fatigue" goes into great detail about this topic and is recommended highly. We will refer to some of his specific research.

Studies have shown that 90% of Doctor visits are the result of our inability to cope with stress effectively. Up to 80 % of Americans suffer from some form of diagnosed illness in the U.S., yet this remains one of the most preventable conditions.

This fatigue is generally triggered by some form of stress, be it mild, or severe. If your capacity to cope or recover is exceeded, some form of fatigue can occur. IF--there is any respiratory condition that exists prior to this fatigue, it will cause it to come on much quicker. Dr. Wilson goes on to say, "The highest contributor of this disease, are feelings of powerlessness, perfectionism, being a participant in a no win situation and also internal emotional stress".

People's lifestyles are determined to be the most important part of anyone's fatigue recovery program. This would be paramount in creating a foundation for change. Folks will need this change the most who are feeling trapped, helpless and ones who are victims of continuous difficulties. Many times the causes of adrenal fatigue are not obvious because the combined stressors looks so different.

All health drains which come from factors affecting our adrenals can be caused by: fear, caffeine, lack of good food, toxic people in dysfunctional relationships, chronic pain, lack of regular sleep, death of a loved one, negative attitudes, beliefs and many others too numerous to list. There are three choices immediately we can make. (1) You can change the situation, (2) change yourself to fit(adapt), (3) you can leave the situation.

Learn to identify the very "energy robbers" which are showing up in your daily life. Learn to start using your positive energy in a way to be honest and real about becoming aware of exactly what you need. Newly learned skills can begin to create a happy, healthy, balanced life you are so deserving of. There are many more bits of information with great ideas and exercises in Dr Wilson's book. I highly recommend you review this book if you have an interest in handling stress so it does not handle you with effects from adrenal fatigue.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Acceptance Vs Acknowledgement

Recently the topic of dealing with "unexpected happenstances" in our lives came up for discussion. Reference was made to how "good meaning" people will tell others what would work best for someone having a similiar experience. We all have the most honorable intentions for helping others however our recommendations can be based soley on the life experiences we previously have had.

In the stressful times we are going through presently, we can be bombarded with several situatons all at once or at real close intervals of time. What we all are not aware of is the next calamity which will come without warning. Each of us has a different method of coping with stress and traumatic events which when presented, take us to a new emotional high. When it happens to others, hopefully what we verbally share with them will be nurturing, effective, positive, helpful and supportive.

Currently being part of a grief support for the last 22 years I can only say that these interactions between people are not always warm and fuzzy. There is a phrase called, "untintentional ignorance" which best fits situations when we say things to people and they react negatively to it. They didn't mean to say that particular thing, however that is what they have learned over time. We will not realize it is the wrong thing until we get the necessary feedback to help educate us. Example: a young adult living with a brain tumor has a stroke and suddenly dies. Someone talking with the family may say something like," he is better off now so as to not have to struggle with his condition anymore or this is God's will". The person on the receiving end of these comments will get mad at both you and God however, will take it out directly on you for being the one present. Reason being that any time they have to still spend with their loved one is better than their dying. If we say, " we just have to accept this and move forward or go on", that might sound good to the sender but not to the receiver. Acknowledging the loss, yes, that is important however being accepting of the death might just take a little time to do that.

Unless you have experienced death, sudden death or some type of a traumatic loss, divorce etc, all of the ways we experience grief will be as different as our fingerprints for everyone. We usually can be real safe by giving hugs, saying, "there are no words, I am just really sorry to hear this" and then just ask for their guidance to help them through it. If we are mindful of these platitudes, as we so unconsciously express them, we will definitely have a better chance to not alienate the very people we are looking to help suppport. I know you might be saying, "gee Bob I would never hurt someone at a time like that". I do realize that and it would never be an outright intention. What the history of our grief group's contribution to this topic has been, says that there is an absolute need to educate the public about how to handle these situations with more awareness and consciousness.

Generally, we will never have had any formal training in expressing grief, just sharing with others what we have heard people say. I hope this might help in some small way the next time you encounter someone's grief with their loss.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

6 Ways Which Destroy Relationships

Why is that when we as human beings profess to care or be concerned about anyone else, will allow such negative actions, reactions and attitudes to enter into our world? Unfortunately, the very way we think and care about our own self has a way of infecting others. There are as many different ways we can create and bring about dissension in our lives. Specifically showcasing the following I can only hope, will generate some change of thinking and behaving if any of these are alive and unwell in your life.

(1) History Keeping: When someone is always dredging up the past and reciting old transgressions, this can quickly inject discontent and fuel some anger in a conversation. It is cruel to work so hard on memorizing the past of negative events and then to verbally beat someone up with it over and over again, as though they can go back in time and erase it. We learn from the past we do not "burn" someone with it continually.

(2) Blame Gaming: This one is right up there with verbal abuse in my opinion. Many situations are fueled by one's attempt to get a person feeling bad about choices they have made. More often than not, most people realize the ills of having made a choice which didn't work out so well. How in the world does dog piling on them more, help them to move forward and grow? Too often we will be blamed by others so much, as if there is a reward for doing so. Either verbally or physically pointing a finger at someone is never going to work out. If for the moment, it seems to be a good idea, just think of how you dislike it when that is done to you. No one enjoys being blamed or shamed about anything.

(3) Non forgiving: For way too long, having any unforgiving spirit will only harden peoples attitude towards you. If there is not an ounce of forgiveness in your soul, what chance will there be of you receiving any if that is important for you? None of us, I repeat, none of us have got the authority over an other's life to be so entrenched in being unforgiving. The Chinese Proverb says it best, "He who pursues revenge shall dig two graves, one for them self and one for the other person."

(4) Attacking: When we think of what this word conjures up in us, think of an attack dog OR being attacked by a robber, How does the person being attacked feel? If never having been in either situation we can never really feel what it is about. However, we all have a pretty good idea of what it would be like. Tell you what. If you want to do some attacking, attack the weeds in the yard, a large painting project or any other large task. Gently approach the soul, mind and spirit of another human being.

(5) Right Fighting: This one can appear to be self explanatory. A person who has to be right, act right or have the world go right (according to them), generally is filled up with one thing and that is "not enough". Their inner feeling of "not enoughness" produces conflict with other people in their life. They essentially have to take from others with this form of invasion, to feel okay. An attitude of right fighting and having the last word is most paramount to filling a void in one who cannot be filled. It screams very loudly that their own sense of self esteem, personal power and self worth is that far off the road and in the ditch. Learn to fill your own cup, continually overflowing so you will, be, can, do and will always have enough.

(6) Manipulating: This one has such a control issue attached to it, which when utilized, is symbolically murdering the spirit of another human being. Sounds hard I know. People who think they are in control of everything are in control of nothing. To manipulate is to take the very control of someone else's life. Yes--they are giving you that control and at some point will take it back. In the meantime, what they are signing on for is a form of brain washing. By not being a responsible person, the manipulator will make the other person responsible for them. The sad thing is manipulators will never be pleased enough by someone else. YOU will generally be criticized for not doing things right. Manipulators can be quite pronounced and visible in their tactics, but most often they are very devious, subtle and conniving. Eventually, people will get fed up, used up and will want out at all costs.

I hope by just shining a bright light on these will help put into perspective what doesn't work and will never be effective in any relationship. Now is the time to put a stop order in place and say no more. Begin to stand for what is pure, good, healthy, positive, productive and forthright.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Self Talk Follow up--What Do We Do With This?

In regards to the previous lettergram I sent out on "Self Talk", I have had a number of requests to go further with this topic. Primarily this has to do with more of the "How To" when we talk to our self so we will keep this light and airy. Oh-before going any further I need to make a correction about a reference to an author's name in my last mailing. Terry Cole-Whittaker is the author of "What You Think Of Me Is None Of My Business", not Elizabeth Kirpatrick.
So much of our day to day interactions with others can be divided into two categories; contamination and contribution. When inner conflict shows up as outer turmoil, the result is generally contamination between people. Ill feelings obviously happen and then a falling out takes place. Thoughts we have which we can label "toxic" are going to adversely affect the relationship we have with others.
So how do we make sure we are contributing to our own mental well-being, when extended to others will form healthier unions? Let's recognize that there are different levels of thinking which create more effective styles of communicating. If more of our thoughts are negatively charged, much of what we, as well as others will hear us make statements like, "I can't-don't, I wish, could, should and if only. These are extremely self limiting and self defeating. No One deserves a plan which is geared for failure.
The next form of destructive self talk involves watered down self intentions for "wanting" to be different, however it just doesn't happen. Hearing words such as "could have, would have, should have" will more often show some intent but not very deliberate convictions. We must be more diligent of what we hear and what others hear us say.
What we all want is a solid plan for success and being totally committed to a healthier process of communicating. We will create this by listening to what we are "thinking" about and then speaking it. We continue to contribute to everyone concerned by paying strict attention to our thoughts.
Now we knock the "T's" out of can't, won't and don't. We will speak in terms of can, will and do! We become more action oriented about being committed to change. Just with this minor shift in our behavioral thinking will begin to program our mind and attitude toward more positive expressions. Your brains' conscious and subconscious wiring only knows what you teach it. These proactive methods of thinking will begin shifting your conscious awareness, taking you in the direction you want to go, becoming the person you want to be to others and yourself.
I hope this has shed some light on ways we can daily begin elevating the lives of all concerned.
Thank you again for all the support.