Spring is a time most of us wait anxiously for after a long, dreary winter.   Oddly enough, there will be those who will not welcome its arrival. Statistics show that many people are suicidal at this time.  Why?  My observation is that Spring is a time of renewal - rebirth - starting over.  And for people who are depressed, they just don't have the energy to make the effort.  Depression of varying severity will affect as many as 20% of all of us at one time or another in our lives.  Severe anxiety is even more common.

Sooner or later for whatever reason, everyone feels blue.  Our spirits sag and we slide down in the dumps for a few days.  Sometimes our feelings of depression can be a symptom of another problem, such as the flu or a hormonal imbalance or a normal and temporary reaction to a traumatic event - even a happy event (letdown).  Usually within a week or two, we start to feel better.  However, sometimes the depression persists and deepens over several weeks or months trapping the body as well as the mind in a bleak cocoon of hopelessness and helplessness.  

According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), nearly 80% of all people who fall victim to depression fail to recognize the illness and get help.  They may instead attribute their weariness and aches to the flu or "some bug that is going around", or chalk it up to the fact that they are stressed.  When they cannot think clearly - they think their lack of sleep is the culprit - and it may or not be.  Perhaps about 20% to 35% of all depressed people are chronically troubled.  Depression can appear at any age - even in infancy.


Symptoms of depression for adults may include:

Sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, loss of interest in sex, lethargy, physical aches and pains, stomach upset, loss of interest in friends, favorite activities, or any form of pleasure.

Clinical Hypnotherapy (in collaboration with the medical and counseling community) has made significant contributions in treating depression, offering a wider variety of approaches to solving problems with depression.  Until recently the conventional wisdom was that the use of Hypnotherapy and Hypnoanalysis was inadvisable in the treatment of depression because they assumed that clients might become so depressed that they would take their lives, or otherwise create some harm to themselves.  Those in the field of Hypnotherapy owe a great deal of appreciation to Michael D. Yapko, PhD for his publication of Hypnosis and the Treatment of Depression, Brunner/Mazel, Inc., NY, 1992


(There are several methods of treating depression).


Regression:  This can be a very effective method.  Doing some ego-strengthening work along with the actual regression is recommended. 

Visualization:  This is also an effective method in treating depression.  Visualizations are only limited by the creativity of the therapist.  Taking the client to a time past when s/he was not depressed and doing visuals from that happy time period along with positive suggestions will usually bring desired results.

 Dream Analysis:  This is very potent, especially when the therapy is not moving along as rapidly as it should be.  The therapist gives the suggestions that the subconscious will find a safe and constructive way in the client's dream cycle to convey important information to the conscious mind regarding the nature of the depression. (It would be suggested to client that s/he keep a dream journal and record the dream immediately upon awakening).





LOST:  the little child within

Perhaps many of you reading this can relate to your own little child - lost and abandoned within the recesses of your soul.  Despite mainstream focus on how important it is to reclaim the "child" within, many of us are still unable to accomplish this because of our fear of facing our childhood pain, thinking it is best to let well enough alone.  However, a published article written by  Armand DiMele, a practicing psychotherapist in NYC, caught my attention - big time.

DiMele opens his article with the fact that endocrine research suggest that people become addicted to their own endorphins.  They help us to deal with pain by the process of numbing.  Anything that the body interprets as pain, whether physical or emotional, can trigger the release of endorphins.  If constant, it provides a certain feeling of invulnerability and a very controlled, limited feeling level. Endorphin induced dullness is quite pleasant compared to feelings of vulnerability.  Nail biting, over-working or over exercising to the point of pain are negative ways of  triggering endorphins.  This is because stress, tension, worry, fear and grief send signals to the master control to release endorphins.  

Constant endorphin presence can lead to an actual addiction and we become attracted to the things that cause pain in order to get our dose of endorphins.  Pain becomes an integral part  of an endorphin/pain addiction.  Neurologists have identified a syndrome, alexithymia, which is a constant state of numbness.  It is prevalent in our society, where people have shut themselves down because they are unable to cope with their stress.   The price they pay is the absence of feelings that make life worthwhile - like joy, vitality, sexuality, and unlimited love.  

DiMele feels the most effective way to reverse numbness is to combine body awareness with psychotherapy that targets emotions.  We must feel our "emotions"  rather than intellectualize about them.  

Embracing the innocence, hope, expectancy and joy felt by the  "little child" within is essential towards healing our deep-seated wounds.  We must regain our passion for life - and feel free to  become all that we essentially are.  Severing the psychological ties to the past that were hurtful, traumatic, disappointing, etc. can be accomplished once you decide that you want and expect more out of life.  

It is important to seek help - no matter what venue - to assist you in your endeavor.  Make a commitment to acknowledge your "little child" within now -  and reassure it of your dedication to always being there to protect it and cherish it.  No longer will you  allow yourself  of being detached and numb of its presence.

Visit my self-help tape page:
















(Excerpts from an article written by Marc Grossman, O.D., LAc.)     

Conventional medicine saves lives and helps us to live longer, healthier ones.  Yet there are many instances where conventional medicine continues to fail at helping people protect their vision.  One of the major cause of blindness in this country is macular degeneration.  To-date, there is no effective treatment for this disease.  

However, many eye diseases have proven to be positively influenced by diet, exercise, and lifestyle routines.  Eating collard greens and spinach was proven to lower the risk of macular degeneration by 46%.  Lutein/zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that have been shown to be deficient in people with the disease.  Natural sources are green leafy vegetables including spinach, kale, and collard greens.  Bilberry strengthens the structural of blood vessels throughout the body and promotes healthy circulation.  Taurine is an amino acid which supports the regeneration of worn out tissues of the retina.  Natural sources include eggs, meats and fish.  Zinc can also help in preventing macular degeneration.  It is found naturally in meats, oysters, and whole grains.

Regarding cataracts, Alpha Lipoic Acid can prevent cataract formation as well as nerve degeneration and radiation injury.  It was determined that cigarette smoking causes about 20% of all cataracts.  The normal healthy lens of the eye contains a higher level of Vitamin C than any other organ of the body except the adrenal glands.  Vitamin C controls sugar imbalances that often play a role in cataract formation.  Natural sources include citrus fruits, red peppers and tomatoes. Glutathione is also very effective in cataract prevention.  Vitamins C, E, B2, B6,  zinc, and selenium are necessary.  Natural sources include eggs, broccoli, avocados, garlic, onions and cauliflower.   

Regarding glaucoma, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Vitamin C were found to be helpful.  Taking a brisk 40 minute walk five days a week for three months can reduce the pressure in the eyes by approximately 2.5 millimeters - similar to the reduction seen when using beta-blockers.  Ginkgo biloba may increase the circulation of blood to the eyes.  Magnesium is also essential in the diet.  Natural sources include most nuts, seeds, vegetables, seafood and soy products.

Caring for ourselves helps to keep our bodies healthy and maximizes the mind/body's inherent healing potential.



For long-term pain, a practitioner may recommend that you adopt a temporary raw-foods or fruit diet to help "detoxify" the system.  Muscle pain has been linked to a lack of serotonin, a chemical which influences mood, helping to explain why antidepressants relieve certain instances of FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome) which often affects the neck and back.  It frequently occurs with other conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, menstrual complaints, and irritable bowel syndrome.  To help the body manufacture serotonin, it is advisable to supplement your diet with vitamin B and magnesium.






What causes osteoporosis? Normally there is a decline in bone mass after the age of 40 in both sexes, but women are at much greater risk because of lower bone density prior to age 40.  Osteoporosis involves both the mineral (inorganic) and non-mineral (organic matrix, composed primarily of protein) components of bone.  There is more to osteoporosis than a lack of dietary calcium.  A lack of dietary calcium in the adult results in a separate condition as osteomalacia, or softening of the bone.

Although the entire skeleton may be involved in post- menopausal osteoporosis, bone loss is usually greatest in the spine, hips, and ribs, the bones bearing the greatest deal of weight.  At least 1.5 million fractures occur each year as a result of osteoporosis, including 250,000 hip fractures.  Nearly 1/3 of women and 1/6 of men will fracture their hips in their lifetime.

There are several techniques to measure bone density:  dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) which, in addition to providing the most reliable measurement of bone density, the DEXA test also exposes a person to considerably less radiation than other X-ray procedures for measuring bone density.  The measurement will usually be of both the hip and lumbar.  Women at high risk should get a baseline bone-density measurement and then monitor the rate of bone loss using a urine test known as the Osteomark-NTX.


 Risk Factors:

Family history of Osteoporosis
Gastric or small-bowel Resection
Heavy alcohol use
Long-term glucocorticosteroid therapy
Long-term use of anticonvulsants
Low calcium intake
Nulliparity (never been pregnant)
Premature menopause
Short stature and small bones
White or Asian race

What are the negative dietary factors to avoid?

Soft drinks, alcohol, sugar, protein, smoking.  Studies show that milk consumption may not lead to strong bones. Countries with the highest dairy intake have the highest rate of hip fractures per capita.

Positive dietary factors to maintain: 

Supplement your diet with vitamin & minerals: K, boron, magnesium, ipriflavone (200 mg 3X daily) and calcium
(1000 mg daily).

What is the best form of calcium?

Avoid calcium derived from oyster shell, bone meal, or calcium hydroxapatite as studies have indicated that they may contain substantial amounts of lead or have a lower absorption profile compared to other forms of calcium.

Calcium bound to citrate and other Krebs cycle intermediates such as fumarate, malate, succinate, and aspartate appears to be the best overall form of calcium although refined calcium carbonate is still an excellent form for the majority of women.

What about calcium hydroxapatite?

There is little science to support the manufacturer's claims that it is a superior form of calcium for bone health.  This form tested at 20% absorption compared to 30% for either calcium carbonate or calcium citrate in one study and was the poorest absorbed form out of five commercially available forms in another.


Visit my page on vitamins for a thorough explanation of all vitamin supplements. 






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