How Reiki Helps Depression

Can depression be treated?

Can depression sufferers find relief without medication?

Understanding Depression

I think depression is very misunderstood. So often it is treated as a defect or a personality problem.

Studies have shown that long term depression comes from the way our brains develop in childhood. The implication is that adverse childhood conditions of abuse or serious neglect, living with problems that we cannot control and cannot solve create changes in how our brains function and  can cause depression.

Covering Up Depression Doesn’t Work

So often we think that when we are not feeling well, that the solution is a trip to the doctor or emergency room. We naturally seek a way to get rid of the pain. Sometimes we medicate ourselves with food, drink, entertainment and other diversions. It doesn’t work.

The distractions don’t last for long and then the problem returns and we end up feeling even worse; however they have the negative effect of causing us to feel like failures because we do not seem to be able to control our lives and ourselves.

Different Types Of Depression

The vicious cycle occurs because we often do not understand the problem we are trying to solve. Depression can come from a number of sources and we need to educate ourselves before we can create the changes we need.

There are different kinds of depressions but they generally fall into two categories:

  • situational depressions like job loss or losing a friend that are temporary although painful
  • chronic forms of depression which is caused by life conditions.

Chronic depression arises when we have unresolved negative feelings, often as a result of our childhoods, that make us feel sad, bad and hopeless. Unfortunately, chronic depression can change the way our brain works and make it more difficult for us to get well.

Chronic depression can feel like an attack on our life force by making us feel that life is not worth living. So what can reiki do about all this?

How Reiki Helps Depression Symptoms

Reiki is a hands on healing technique that transmits universal energy from the reiki practitioner to the individual receiving the treatment. The practitioner applies hand positions on the body which passes the energy to the reiki client. The energy enters the body and goes to wherever it is needed.

This infusion of energy results in changes to the energy body of the person receiving the treatment. All illnesses including depression show up in the energy body. They show up as blocks to the natural flow of energy. Blocks to our energy can come from repressed feelings as well as poor food, water, sleep habits, and other lifestyle problems.

They can also come from stress as well as unprocessed grief and sadness. Think about how you feel under stress. You tighten up on the inside and the flow of energy in the body becomes constricted. That constriction impairs your functioning. Multiply that one stress incident by all the stress in your life, and you have seriously blocked energy that can create illness, including mental illnesses and depression.

Reiki Helps You Find Your Joy

Reiki puts us back in touch with our healthy flowing energy. When we experience it, it reminds us of who we are and how we can be healthy and joyful. Reiki energy enables a new healing energy to clear out blockages. When the constriction starts to clear, we feel lighter, more relaxed and more loving toward ourselves and others.

The history of reiki is full of stories about the healing of all sorts of conditions. Some heal very quickly. Others make take multiple sessions for the new energy to take hold and clear out blockages. One of reiki’s advantages it that it can be learned and then performed on the self. Many reiki masters perform daily self reiki to heal their blockages.

Receiving a reiki treatment can be a wonderful experience, putting you in touch with a happy part of yourself that you may not be aware of if you are depressed. Just finding and learning about your inner healer is a good way to get on the road out of depression.

Image Credit: Bellasante Spa, Boston, MA

Herbs That Control Blood Sugar

When you put food into your mouth, you are not really eating.

Why?

Because most food has very little nourishment..

How this came to be is a story for another time.  However it is important for you to realize that what passes for food in the United States is sugar and a bunch of chemicals to give you a taste, but very little actual nourishment.

As a result, managing blood sugar levels is something that everyone needs to do.  The quality of much of our food is that bad. And given the amount of sugar in American food, managing blood sugar levels is going to be a challenge for the foreseeable future.

The Easiest Way To Manage Blood Sugar Levels

By far the easiest way to handle the blood sugar issue is to not have the problem. Depending on where you live and what types of food you have access to, it can be a challenge to put together a diet that is healthy: consisting of mainly vegetables, grains, fruits and legumes. Even those who have access to high quality food often find that having time to cook is difficult and healthy eating habits are difficult to achieve on a consistent basis.

Having said that, there is no question that making healthy eating an important long term priority is worth doing.  I would suggest starting with some good reading material:

  • one excellent resource is The Three Season Diet by Dr. John Douillard, which discusses the right way to eat for each season.  His book includes helpful recipes.
  • another is Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra.  This book is an excellent introduction to Ayurveda health practices including diet.  It includes food lists for each body type and can help you understand what is right for you.

While you are learning about and developing healthier eating habits herbs can come to the rescue to help you feel better.

 Herbs that Reduce Blood Sugar

There are a number of natural herbs that are very helpful for managing blood sugar.

They are:

  1. gymnema silvestre.  By all accounts, gymnema is the most useful herb for improving blood sugar levels.  The herb’s Hindu name refers to its function: “the sugar destroyer”.  According to WebMD, “Gymnema contains substances that decrease the absorption of sugar from the intestine. Gymnema may also increase the amount of insulin in the body and increase the growth of cells in the pancreas, which is the place in the body where insulin is made.”
  2. neem. Neem is an herbal remedy made from various parts of the neem tree grown primarily in southeast Asia, although it can be found in Florida in the US.  Neem is an herb that provides a lot of support to the immune system, treats a variety of illnesses and improves blood sugar levels according to WebMD.  It’s comprehensive benefits make it a worthwhile addition to a daily health regimen.
  3. ginseng.  Some studies have indicated that ginseng can reduce blood sugar levels. According to Science Daily, American ginseng improves blood sugar levels, although apparently ginseng root is not as effective.

In addition fenugreek and turmeric are two herbs that can be taken with as supplements or as spices  which also have a beneficial effect. Fortunately, these herbs and spices are relatively inexpensive and worth considering to avoid the pain and expenses of difficult chronic diseases like diabetes. I have used them and I have found them to be safe.

The Surprising Cause Of Addiction

Have you ever wondered what causes addiction?

Does it seem sometimes that all around us is one form of addiction or another? Entertainment, shopping, work, the internet, sex, food, drugs, alcohol?

The Cause Of Addiction

Stress and addiction are actually cause and effect according to Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga. His thinking is explained in  Natural Awakenings, Healing the Root Cause of Addiction with Ayurveda A Natural Cure for Unhealthy Dependence by Linda Sechrist

According to Yogi Desai in this article, “Addictions are antidotes that provide a temporary escape from the stress- producing, conflict-creating reactions you have about what you are doing, where you are going and who you are with. Addiction, which is only an effect, occurs when you continue to use inappropriate external resources to reduce stress and restore a sense of balance while failing to resolve the cause of the stress hidden in the unconscious.”

The first question this raises is:

  • why does anyone need an antidote to a reaction?
  • are some reactions OK and others not?

Have you ever noticed when your feelings and reactions are “corrected” by other people and how that feels?  and what is your reaction to that experience?

Problems with reactions and the need to escape them come from a conflict we are unable to resolve. Usually, the seeds of addiction are created when we are children.  As children, we are stuck not only physically but also emotionally as well. We have to survive in the environment into which we are born. It is that natural need to survive that can get us in trouble because we sometimes have to live with compromises to our worth and dignity that we do not want or deserve.

Unfortunately, the seeds of addiction can happen innocently. If, as a child, someone were to step on your foot, and you were told not to cry, that the hurt is really not so bad, you would likely feel awful from the hurt foot, awful that your hurt was not acknowledged, bad for crying, and confused by the reaction to what seems obvious to you: you need help and healing.  The seeds of addiction have just been planted, when the child has to reject his or her natural feelings to be accepted by parents and family.

The seeds of addiction can be magnified in a situation of extreme abuse where the child experiences both abuse and denial of the abuse. Often the child must act with affection and gratitude to their abuser, which causes their feelings of conflict intensify. Add the natural pain of the child and the thwarting of the natural inclination to love that an abuse situation creates, and you have a serious emotional mess!

This mess if it is allowed to exist over a long period of time results in disabling and creates  damaging conflicting emotions that can result in extreme and maybe permanent damage to that individual’s integrity and ability to self-regulate.

People who suffer from addictions deserve compassion.  Highly sensitive people are particularly vulnerable in abusive situations because they take in all energies like a sponge and they heal slowly.  It is difficult to be stoic and be a highly sensitive person.

There are any number of solutions and paths to healing the conditions and causes of addiction.  They include therapy that validates feeling, and alternative health practices like meditation, eft and reiki that help release frozen painful energy in the body.

Healing from addictions and child abuse can be a lengthy process because you have to reverse the long process of devaluation that created the problem in the first place. HSP’s often experience devaluation because of their sensitivity so abuse can add an additional experience of devaluation making healing even more challenging.

One of the bravest actions a highly sensitive person can take is to decide to be an advocate for themselves and get the help they need so that they can have some quality of life.

Uprooting The Seeds Of Addiction: 5 Ideas And 5 Solutions

Addiction is often misunderstood as a weakness of the will when in fact it is more complex than that.

Addiction is closely related to stress.  According to Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga, stress and addiction are actually cause and effect as explained in a June, 2010 article in Natural AwakeningsHealing the Root Cause of Addiction with Ayurveda A Natural Cure for Unhealthy Dependence by Linda Sechrist

Yogi Desai states that, “Addictions are antidotes that provide a temporary escape from the stress- producing, conflict-creating reactions you have about what you are doing, where you are going and who you are with. Addiction, which is only an effect, occurs when you continue to use inappropriate external resources to reduce stress and restore a sense of balance while failing to resolve the cause of the stress hidden in the unconscious.”

Basically then, all addiction comes from a desire to escape some kind of conflict or consequence which raises some important questions:

  • why does anyone need an antidote to a reaction or an escape?
  • how can we live in a way that lets us handle challenges without becoming addicts?

Problems with reactions and the need to escape them come from a conflict we are unable to resolve which means that usually the seeds of addiction are created when we are children. As children, we have to survive in the environment into which we are born which can cause trouble when we have to live with compromises to our worth and dignity that we do not want or deserve.

The seeds of addiction can be magnified in a situation of extreme abuse where the child is not only physically and emotionally harmed but also expected to cover up the abuse for the parents. Children will also cover up abuse to avoid abandonment.

If the child must act with affection and gratitude to their abuser, the child’s feelings of shame and hurt intensify. Add the natural sadness of the child and the thwarting of the natural inclination to love that an abuse situation creates, and you have a serious emotional mess!  This mess if it is allowed to exist over a long period of time results in disabling and damaging emotions that can result in extreme damage to an individual’s integrity and ability to self-regulate.

Long term abusive situations are the one that cause the most damaging addictions because the individual’s escape of choice has a long time to solidify into a permanent habit.  The addiction actually becomes a way of life and part of the individual’s identity.

People who suffer from addictions deserve compassion. Highly sensitive people are particularly vulnerable in abusive situations because they take in all the energies around them like a sponge and they heal slowly.

So how how can you heal addiction? Here are some ideas:

  1. embrace the idea of a long-term healing journey because it means that you need to travel from a place of not knowing yourself to learning who you are.
  2. embrace the idea that it is not your fault that you have an addiction. You did not create the situation; you do, however, have to engage in healing.
  3. embrace the idea that your self-image was formed when you were a child and so it is out-of-date the way a Model T automobile is today. Many people struggle with the idea that they are incompetent or bad because their adult caretakers had unrealistic expectations of them and taught them that they were defective. It is not a fault for a child to be a child. Just because a Model T doesn’t have GPS doesn’t mean it is a “bad” car.
  4. embrace the fact that as a human being you are not perfect, do not know it all and never will and no one else is any better. Let yourself off the perfectionism hook.
  5. think of your healing journey as similar to building a house. Your first job is to lay a foundation. That foundation has to include physical self care, healing time, and attention to the voice of the inner self-seeking your attention.

There are several ways to heal the emotional pain of abuse:

  1. meditation helps you to detach and helps with inner healing.
  2. journaling helps get emotional pain out of your body onto paper, so it becomes a form of release and is a great daily practice.
  3. energy healing methods like EFT and reiki are superb for releasing emotional pain and creating a feeling of inner well-being.
  4. find a healing group of your choice, preferably one which practices compassionate healing. That means respecting your experience and pain while encouraging the healing journey. You heal faster if you have help and validation.
  5. If your abuse was severe, it can benefit you to have a therapist’s help to develop a renewed capacity for trust and positive relationship skills.

Many people are afraid of the healing journey because they are afraid of experiencing emotional pain and sadness. There is no question that healing can involve pain. It is similar to the pain of an illness or to the pain experienced after surgery.

Often people suffering from addiction were unable to process their feelings when they were children because it was too dangerous to do so. Unfortunately, these feeling become trapped in the body, so one of the primary jobs of healing is to let the feelings arise and release them. Each time you do you receive a gift.

When I do emotional healing, I learn something about myself or others that enables me to forgive and appreciate myself.   have strict rules about safe healing, however, and do my absolute best to be non-harming in my healing. That is why meditation, journaling and energy healing practices are so helpful. They help you heal in a constructive way.

One of the bravest actions a person can take is to decide to heal themselves and get the support they need for their healing journey.  It is a journey from self-contempt to self-respect, self-harm to self-care, and self-hate to self-love.  It is a rewarding journey.

Stress, Addiction And Weight

Scientists have been researching the link between stress, cortisol and weight. Because addiction and stress are related, scientists have been wondering if a similar relationship exists between stress and food.

The research is showing that people use drugs and food to self-medicate when they are living in situations which pose an extreme threat to the self. The 2007 paper, Stress, eating and the reward system  by Tanja C. Adam, Elissa S. Epel of the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Psychiatry found that not all stressful situations create the conditions that induce an individual to eat or take drugs.

Chronic anxiety of the kind that is perceived as a direct threat to the self including situations of embarrassment and social rejection have the greatest potential to result in addiction or stress disorders.

Because we all have limits to the amount of pain we can handle and because we cannot be in severe pain and still function, any individual in a situation of chronic extreme stress will seek a way to survive and function. If a change of scenery is not possible, that individual will look for alternatives. If there is so way to change the situation, the individual suffering from severe anxiety will often turn to a substance to handle their pain. In effect they are medicating their distress.

Once the individual successfully medicates the anxiety of a negative situation, a feedback loop is activated that reinforces the activity, paving the way to a food or substance addiction. Essentially a reward system has been activated; it effectively anesthetizes the suffering individual and reinforces a negative habit to relieve a negative situation.

Highly sensitive people are particularly susceptible to addiction and eating disorders because they are so sensitive to pain both in themselves and others. Their natural empathy makes it more difficult for them to handle chronic, extreme situations. Because long term highly negative stress creates changes to the feedback loops that regulate the body, highly sensitive people may develop biological imbalances that need to be corrected.

The disturbed feedback loops caused by chronic, severe anxiety destabilize the bodies’ internal balancing mechanisms including cortisol and insulin regulation. When an individual attempts to correct their behavior they are faced with a double whammy. If the individual is overweight and starts a diet, not only do they lose the substance that provided comfort and incur physical discomfort but they also have higher levels of the anxiety they were avoiding. So they have to deal with the lifestyle change and its discomfort as well as the return of the internal and external stressors that were creating the problem in the first place.

In some situations, that can seem like an overwhelming problem to deal with. An individual who is fully aware of the situation has a greater chance of developing successful strategies to handle their anxiety and maintain a healthy eating regimen than someone who tackles the undesired weight without realizing the causes of the problem. This is true of any stress-related addiction.

For highly sensitive people, having effective anxiety minimization strategies can make it possible for them to be successful in eliminating the unhealthy substances used for self medication.  There are numerous herbs and effective health practices that can help, as well as medication for severe stress and anxiety disorders. All of these alternatives offer HSPs more relief than substances that can endanger one’s life.

Massage Helps Heal PTSD

As an HSP with PTSD, I spent a lot of years confused and stressed.

When I first had my “delayed onset” symptoms of PTSD I did not know what they were—still less that highly sensitive people tend to have an excess of the stress hormone cortisol and also often suffer from poor sleep.

I am not sure if it’s my HSP mind or just me, but I am the queen of connecting up the dots—so I soon realized my PTSD symptoms were connected to an early childhood trauma—surgery on my ears with not enough ether. (Ether is traumatic enough!)

But figuring that out that didn’t help me sleep and didn’t relieve the PTSD.

I was “hyper aroused”—although I didn’t know the term. I did know my ears were ringing but stopped if I was out in nature.

Doctors didn’t seem to know what to do. Unfortunately, all they did was prescribe antidepressants. I was crying, so I must be depressed.  Right?  I mean sadness is always a symptom. (Or not!)

Of course, these strategies all interfere with sleep, so I was pretty frantic.

Massages To The Rescue

I was suffering so much that I started to look for solutions elsewhere. I sought the help of my chiropractor, who found a way to send me his massage therapist to my house every week, and billed my Blue Cross.

Boy was I lucky! This young man was not just a massage therapist, he was a healer. Bless him! I am sure, that his healing gift was one reason the massage helped my PTSD and insomnia.

Massage And The Healing Power Of The Laying On Of Hands

The beneficial effects of massages have been known since the beginning of recorded history. It was also called the “laying on of hands” by some and has an ancient and honored history. Essentially it heals through intention: if the intent of the person touching is to heal—healing is transmitted.

Although an ancient practice, massage is a currently a popular treatment for many conditions. On their website, the Mayo Clinic confirms the useful effects of massage therapy: “While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, some studies have found massage may also be helpful for:

  • Anxiety

  • Digestive disorders

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Headaches

  • Insomnia related to stress

  • Myofascial pain syndrome

  • Paresthesias and nerve pain

  • Soft tissue strains or injuries

  • Sports injuries

  • Temporomandibular joint pain

Of course “research” is only ”needed” so insurance companies will cover this.

The Mayo clinic goes on to add

“Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often involves caring, comfort, a sense of empowerment and creating deep connections with their massage therapist.”

Imagine that!

Fortunately, massage is now being researched. One example is from Oprah Winfrey’s website where she featured an article discussing the research of Mark Rapaport, M.D., the chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles:

 “[Neuroscientist] Rapaport’s curiosity led to a study, published last fall, that looked at 53 healthy adults who received one of two types of touch treatments. Blood tests revealed that those who had a Swedish massage with moderate pressure experienced decreases in stress hormones and increases in white blood cells, indicating a boost in the immune system. Meanwhile volunteers who had a “light touch” treatment showed higher levels of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding. Based on the findings, Rapaport believes that massage might be effective in treating inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.”

No shit. Pardon my French.

I also had a few sessions of EMDR which helped me bring up the deeply buried pain and rage in way I could not have done alone.  According to the EMDR International Association,

“EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.”

EMDR certainly helped. But massage? If I could have massage very week I don’t think I’d need any of the sleep meds I have. But the government does not provide massage.

More’s the pity.

Consider The Healing Benefits Of Massage

The good news for highly sensitive people is that many of the conditions that massages treat are ones that can affect us. Sometimes we even suffer from multiple conditions that are treatable with massage.

Given the extensive and proven benefits of massages, it is worth considering as a treatment for the various health conditions of highly sensitive people.

The Message Of Depression

Do you think that there is something wrong with you when you are depressed? Suppose you are depressed because there is something right with you.

Possible?

Depression And The Aching Heart

What is the message of depression?

Often when we think of depression we think of loss, disappointment and other feelings connected to our external lives.  That is actually what it is. John Douillard so eloquently says in his article on depression on the Kripalu website, we operate from our hearts when we are children until someone hurts us and if we are sensitive the hurt is especially grave.

When we are young we are naturally heart centered, which means that we embrace the world and everything in it as our home.  Animals operate this way all the time. When we are hurt by others, our heart and real self have been essentially devalued, and we feel an acute sense of loss. The loss we feel is an important one.  What we have experienced is an important rejection and a rejection of what is important.

For most people, the rejection results in the creation of their “commercial” self, the self that is what is desired by others.  That way we will not inconvenience anyone with our real self. Part of us wants to revolt, and another part of us recognizes that we need others to survive when we are young.  And so our mind acts to keep us in a safe, unthreatening place, and we become half of what we could be – at best.

How To Treat Depression With Ayurveda

Ayurveda treats depression differently and in doing so helps highly sensitive people see their symptoms in a different light.  As John Douillard says,

“Simply put, depression occurs when a person loses access to the essential Self as a result of this barrier. For a sensitive person, who by definition has more innate access to the heart and soul than most people, to lose this deep access is quite tragic. Fatigue is the first physiological response to a mind that has driven the body into exhaustion in the name of control and self-protection. Anxiety is a result of this exhaustion because the body and mind need energy and reserves to calm themselves down, stabilize moods, and initiate sleep. As the exhaustion persists, the body and mind ultimately become depressed or physiologically exhausted. The good news is that healing the cause of anxiety and depression is not a painful process of endurance and strain; it is a joyful discovery of your true, abiding nature.”

Ayurveda offers meditation, lifestyle support and herbal relief for all forms of illness. The best feature about Ayurveda is that it customizes natural treatments to suit the individual so being highly sensitive is not considered a fault or problem. It also treats the whole person which means you are not always dealing with the consequences of one failed medication after another.

Respect Depression

I think it takes courage to allow yourself to feel depressed in a world that demands that you behave otherwise. We are well informed about how much there is to be depressed about. Being depressed lets you listen to your precious inner Self that wants to be heard, that wants to help you live well. Your inner Self is your natural source of protection, you inner and outer guide, your Soul seeking to live fully. Your depression is your natural response to the full living you are being denied for whatever reason. It is a message that you need to go in a different direction.

If depressed HSPs can come to see their depressive symptoms as a call from their true Self, and even their best self, then they may be able to find compassion for their condition and start to gradually welcome that true Self into the world.

Change to a more suitable way of life takes time. It is a gradual process. So respect your depression as a sign that change is necessary. Let your inner knowing speak to you and gently follow it to a new and better place.

Gymnema: Ayurvedic Herb For Diabetes and Blood Sugar Control

Are you under a lot of stress?

Is the stress you experience chronic?

Are you also a highly sensitive person?

Why HSPs Can Suffer From Diabetes

Diabetes is a risk for people who suffer from chronic stress because chronic stress keeps the body’s digestive system out of balance. Stress puts the body into a state of emergency that can raise blood sugar levels.  Over a long period of time, elevated blood sugar can cause permanent damage to the body.

Highly sensitive people are stress magnets. Their sensitivity, deep processing, and empathetic nature make it hard for them not to be stressed out. This means that their entire lives, they can be at risk for getting diabetes.

How Ayurveda Can Help Highly Sensitive People Control Blood Sugar

It is an excellent idea for HSPs to work at controlling their blood sugar. One natural way to control blood sugar is the herb gymnema silvestre.  The Ayurveda Encyclopedia names it the main Ayurvedic herb for treating diabetes.

Gymnema works directly on the pancreas to remove sugar, stimulate pancreatic function, improve circulation and help urine output.

Gymnema also reduces excess kapha (which is the body system in Ayurveda in charge of body structure.  It is often associated with obesity and vata (the body system responsible for the nervous system). When the Vata nervous system is upset by stress or other factors an individual will eat erratically and often the wrong food. Poor eating habits can help diabetes to develop.

Benefits Of Gymnema

Gymnema has many benefits that can help people suffering from diabetes and the symptoms of excessive stress:

  1. by healing skin disorders and infections which are a known complication of diabetes
  2. by igniting digestion and treats all metabolic disorders including diabetes which means it can help pre-diabetics
  3.  by regenerativing  pancreatic beta cells which means that it may offer diabetics the potential to restore pancreatic insulin production according to Ayurvedic Diet Solutions.
  4. by reducing sugar taste in the mouth and therefore reduces sugar cravings which are very harmful to diabetes and people suffering from stress-related obesity
  5. by blocking the assimilation of sugar.  According to WiseGeek, “the unique shape of gymnemic acid molecules are similar to that of glucose, allowing it to fill cell receptors in the lining the intestines, thereby preventing uptake of sugar molecules.”

Gymnema – A Time Honored Herbal Remedy

This important herb has a long history of helping diabetic patients in India.  It is now making its way to the West as an herbal solution for treating diabetes, metabolic disorder and is also used as a staple in some detoxification programs.  Gymnema is available in a pill form making it easier to use than insulin.

In some cases, gymnema may alleviate the need for insulin supplementation. It is a promising treatment for diabetics that is worth looking into because it is relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Although not recommended for pregnant and lactating women, this herb has proven to be safe over a long period of time.

Research On Gymnema Benefits For Diabetes

Ayurveda has used this herb for centuries to help manage blood sugar and manage diabetes.  Western medicine has become interested in this herb and has begun investigating its benefits.  Here are links to some of the studies that bear out that gymnema does, in fact, lower blood sugar and improve pancreatic function:

  1. A novel Gymnema sylvestre extract stimulates insulin secretion from human islets in vivo and in vitro.
  2. In vitro callus and in vivo leaf extract of Gymnema sylvestre stimulate β-cells regeneration and anti-diabetic activity in Wistar rats.
  3. A novel dihydroxy gymnemic triacetate isolated from Gymnema sylvestre possessing normoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity on STZ-induced diabetic rats.
  4. Gymnema sylvestre for diabetes mellitus: a systematic review.
  5. An overview on the advances of Gymnema sylvestre: chemistry, pharmacology and patents.

Are You A Pink Tutu Person?

A funny thing happened one day – I fell in love with a pink tutu.

Actually, I really fell in love with a couple, their story and the healing effects of a pink tutu.

I hope you will too.

Who Knew, Pink Tutu?

In 2003 Bob Carey put on a pink tutu and took pictures. His images became a blessing to him and to others. Why? Because his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer and he was seeking to support her healing.

Cancer is tough as is any serious illness. His wife, Linda, was diagnosed with cancer in the early 2000s and recovered only to be rediagnosed in 2006. Obviously, her journey is a difficult one. Bob donned the tutus to cheer her up and help her heal. She would share her tutu photos with other cancer patients and they would all have a lightening laugh. Lightness can be very difficult to achieve when you have a serious illness but is also very healing. It brings fresh energy into the body which can release stuckness and stagnant energy. That release can facilitate healing.

Bob and Linda and their story are beautifully documented in this video. The images are a hoot!

Bob’s work has been published and is the foundation for the Carey Foundation and the Pink Tutu Project for Cancer awareness. You can visit here.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Ayurveda For Any Type Of Depression

 

Any type of depression is tricky to heal since it can present itself in many ways. It can range from temporary mood swings to more persisting feelings of dejection or self-pity over an extended period of time. In its most extreme form, depression can even present itself as severe melancholia, leading the sufferer to contemplate suicide.

Most people think of depression as a state of mind, when in fact it is a clinical condition stemmed from a physical hormone imbalance. Once diagnosed, there are treatments for any type of depression that can help the sufferer feel better and which can lead to a drastic change in attitude, outlook on life and even appearance. Studies have shown that there are natural ways to treat depression such as through supplements and exercise that don’t have the long-lasting side effects of strong pharmaceuticals.

Ayurveda For Depression

One of the most promising source of treatments and supplements available is Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a traditional Indian medicine that has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments caused by an imbalance in the bodies energies. Once the energies are stabilized, it is believed that mental and physical health can return.

Ayurveda is safe and natural. It can be used in conjunction with other medications. Ayurvedic doctors work with Western medicine but nonetheless it’s best to check with a doctor before beginning to take Ayurveda if you are currently taking any other medications.

How Ayurveda Works For Any Type Of Depression

Ayurveda works by addressing the two main causes of depression:

  • an imbalance in the three doshas or bioenergies of the human ecosystem: Vata, Pitta and Kapha
  • developing and promoting an awareness of the inner Self

Doshas are the bioenergetic forces that determine health, both mentally and physically. Dosha imbalances result in physical as well as behavioral imbalances and symptoms. It is believed that depression is largely caused by an imbalance in the body that may progress to more serious ailments if left untreated.

More Than One Type of Depression

Ayurveda is useful for treating any type of depression.

Ayurveda provides a full range of treatments and living solutions that enable you to take care of yourself so that you are in optimum health. They offer excellent stress reduction techniques, diet and lifestyle solutions as well as herbal remedies and detoxification. All of the Ayurvedic treatments are natural and meant to enhance and support the bioenergy of the individual.

The different types of depression show up in different ways:

  • Vata induced depression is characterized by an abundance of fear, anxiety, nervousness and sleeplessness. It can be aggravated by loneliness or the loss of a loved one.
  • Pitta induced depression involves fear of failure or fear of making mistakes. If untreated, this form can progress to suicidal tendencies. People who suffer from this form of depression are usually addicted to success or may be pressured by family achieve things. It often manifests itself in the winter.
  • Kapha induced depression is characterized by the feeling of being weighed down. It involves excessive sleepiness, obesity and feelings of having a wasted life.

The special blend of herbs and ingredients in Ayurveda address imbalances of each type of dosha while not affecting the healthy part of the body. Each type of depression experienced stems from whatever the dosha is lacking. Ayurvedic herbs are a great way to restore balance to the body.

What Are Some Ayurvedic Treatments For Depression?

Ayurveda is a combination of herbs that together work to restore balance to an individual’s body. For those suffering from depression suitable herbs will have a calming effect on the nervous system and brain. Some suitable herbal ingredients include Brahmi, Ashwagandha, Vachaa, Mandook parni and Guduchi that are available in a variety of herbal combinations.

In addition to supplements, there are also external Ayurvedic treatments. Some detoxification treatments that can be helpful are the pouring of liquid medication over the forehead between the eyebrows, and body massage. Ayurvedic medicine also stresses the practice of yoga for health and treatment of specific ailments.

The combination of supplements, yoga and awareness can help cure the depression, allowing the sufferer to lead a healthier, happier life. Unlike western medicines, Ayurveda is a safe and natural way to address imbalances in the body that may lead to a variety of health problems. Ayurveda is particularly valuable for highly sensitive people because if is tailored to the individual, is designed to support your natural and best self and doesn’t cause the side effects of allopathic medications.

For HSPs it is definitely worth asking your natural health practitioner about Ayurveda to find out if you can benefit from its natural approach to treating depression.