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Mountain West Wellness Health Tips, Issue #033
October 06, 2015
Wow, October already? Where has the year gone?!! In our latest newsletter we have a couple of interesting articles about depression and OCD. We have also included some self help information as well.
Overcoming DepressionOne of the most common frustrations for those suffering from depression is the lack of motivation to do regular daily activities, an inability to find enjoyment and an overwhelming amount of negative thoughts. Depression cannot be simply cured by “mind over matter”, but that does not mean it can’t be treated and improved significantly. Depression is not an illness that one should have to suffer through alone, treatment and therapy can be crucial to the healing process back to better health.
Along with treatment options you may be considering, small additions to your daily routine can prove to have significant effects on lowering depression symptoms over time.
Put yourself and your mental health first It is easy to put your health on the backburner when life gets busy and stressful. Maybe you are hating the office job you have, or you're fighting with a spouse. When life gets tough, it is easy to neglect our bodies physically and mentally. Look at life in the larger terms and understand how you take care of your health now, will affect you for years down the road. If you are suffering from depression, seeking treatment is the first step back to better quality of life and can truly make all the difference.
Get a routine going It may be hard to keep and be motivated about a routine. However, by setting goals and habits on a daily or weekly basis, you are continuing to improve upon your condition. Just stick with it. Try to set goals for exercise, if you can go on a jog just three days a week, you’ll be boosting your serotonin, your mood and your physical health. Take time to go outside in nature and get some fresh air. Depression is hard, but getting out of your normal environment can help you get out of your head for a bit. Practicing mindfulness is something everyone should do on a daily basis. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and not the past or future. By doing so, we let go of anxieties we feel about the future or negative thoughts we have about the past, eliminating feelings of worry.
Reach out Don’t go through this alone. Chances are there are people in your life that love and care about you very much. Although it may seem hard to reach out or socialize, being around people can help you feel more connected. It is easy to isolate yourself when depression is consuming your mind and thoughts, but talking to friends and family can have profound benefits on beginning the process to better health.
Depression is not easy, but also doesn’t mean it can’t get better. Contact a medical professional about the best treatment options for you and consider alternative treatments such as acupuncture.
7 Tips to Help DepressionSuffering from depression can make you feel hopeless, frustrated and like your quality of life will never get better. Many feel that prescription medications don’t help, and simply mask the problem instead of helping solve it. If you are dealing with depression, it is easy to get discouraged about your treatment options. Below are ways that you can naturally reduce your depression and get you back on a road to a healthier mind and body.
Acupuncture is believed that acupuncture can be just as effective as antidepressants in helping depression. Acupuncture works by focusing on different points of the body to bring the body back to its natural energy flow and balance. Acupuncture points can help stimulate the body’s production of endorphins and aid the release of serotonin and dopamine, which can increase one’s mood.
Omega-3s - Taking a daily fish oil supplement can do more good than you think. It is believed that being deficient in omega-3s can cause mood swings and depression. Omega-3s are found in fish like salmon, tuna and herring and are not only good for your overall physical health but your mental health as well.
Meditation - Meditation has been proven to have many benefits. Not only does it bring the heart rate down, calm the mind and reduce stress, but it can also bring the mind to a healthier place. Two studies have found that those who practice meditation have a lower rate of relapsing than those who take medication alone.
Get outside - Spending time outdoors and in the sun can have great effects on your mood. When one doesn’t get enough sunlight, it can strongly affect how you feel and is one of the main causes of seasonal affective disorder. Try spending even just 15 to 30 minutes outside every day whether it is walking, gardening or just simply sitting outside.
Exercise - There is nothing better than the natural high you get after a good workout. Exercise, whether it is running, swimming or yoga, releases endorphins that can give you a mood boost. Try spending 30 minutes a day doing some sort of exercise. One study found that patients who worked out regularly saw a decrease in their symptoms of depression by half in 12 weeks. Not only does exercise improve your body physically, but mentally as well.
Avoid alcohol and drugs - People suffering with depression often consume damaging substances like alcohol and drugs to help mask their symptoms. It is recommended that those with depression should not have more than a drink on occasion. Alcohol and drugs affect brain chemistry and can later intensify your mood for the worse.
Take a break - Depression can often worsen when you are feeling stressed and overworked. Try to take some time off to relax. If it isn’t possible to take vacation time, try to fit in at least an hour a day of relaxation time. Whether it’s meditating, reading or closing your eyes for a bit, take some time for deep breaths and a way to shut off from the rest of the world.
Alternative Treatments for DepressionAbout 19 million American adults suffer from depression and most find their current treatment options ineffective along with a slew of unwanted side effects. Many who are prescribed antidepressants find that the medication only masks the problem, and does not cure it. However there are alternative treatments that have been proven effective without harmful side effects.
Massage Therapy: Massage therapy is not just beneficial for your body physically, but mentally as well. Massage is a safe technique that has been used for thousands of years that can help calm and relax the mind. By relieving muscle tension and increasing blood flow, the body’s heart rate can lower and promote stress relief. When one is less stressed, depression can be improved. For those suffering with depression, seeing a massage therapist regularly can help increase mood and decrease feelings of sadness and anxiety.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been proven to be extremely beneficial for those dealing with depression. By targeting different points on the body, acupuncture works to release any blockages in the body’s energy flow and return the body and state of mind back to balance. When the body is in balance, we tend to feel physically, as well as mentally, healthy.
Yoga & Meditation: When practiced regularly, yoga and meditation have a profound effect on decreasing stress and boosting mood. Through deep breathing and poses, these practices help focus and clear the head and lower heart rate, which in turn can decrease stress levels and put thoughts and mood in a better place.
Depression is not something that is easy to deal with, nor is it something you have to go through alone. Know your alternative treatment options and begin the road to better health, for the mind and body.
Acupuncture and OCDMental health problems are extremely common, and many times more than people expect. There are a whole host of reasons why some suffer from mental health disorders. Genetics, upbringing and environment can all play a role in a person’s wellbeing and mental health. Prescription medication to deal with these issues are also one of the most over prescribed type of drug. A lot of times these drugs mask the problem, rather than getting to the root cause and curing. They can also lead to harmful and long-lasting side effects.
OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, is one of the most common mental health disorders. A lot of us have low levels of OCD about certain things, which is completely normal. When one suffers from serious OCD, it can greatly impede on their quality of living and everyday activities.
OCD is characterized as an anxiety disorder and involves irrational repeatedness. For example, someone with OCD may check on things or perform tasks repeatedly, causing distress and getting in the way of everyday tasks. Another common behaviour is cleaning obsessively and being irrationally afraid of germs. This disorder affects around 2.2 million Americans and usually develops during childhood or young adulthood. There is a spectrum of OCD depending on the person, where symptoms may get better or return and get worse. This illness can be very frustrating and discouraging for the person suffering with it as well as people around them.
Most medication that is prescribed to help OCD include anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants, which come with a whole slew of side effects. Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medicine and can also offer an alternative treatment to help OCD with the effects of drugs.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, OCD is considered to be caused by an imbalance of the kidneys. When kidneys are not functioning properly, the body and mind can become stressed.
Acupuncture works by the specific placement of needles on different points throughout the body. These points work to release blockages in the body and return the body back to its natural flow and as a result, back to health. Acupuncture is known to lower stress and anxiety levels and calm the mind. When this happens, a person is less likely to have compulsive tendencies. If you or someone you know is suffering from OCD, ask an acupuncturist how acupuncture treatment could be the right option for better health.
Tips to Beat OCDObsessive Compulsive Disorder is not something that can be easily cured, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible. Taking an active approach to treating your OCD will only result in positives. When you decide to take the step toward better health, you would be surprised at the results.
The mind game Those who have never dealt with mental disorders can have a hard time understanding the mental battle those with OCD face everyday. When your illness dictates your actions and defines who you are, it is not as easy as it appears to break a habit or a behavior.
The feelings that consume your mind with OCD often include negative, anxiety and fear driven thoughts that are impossible to get out of your head. Although mental illness can not go away immediately, if you participate in treatment regularly, over time you will be able to see results.
First step is seeking treatment, and sticking with it There are many treatment options to consider when you decide to get help. Common options include Exposure and Response Prevention therapy (ERP) , which includes exposure to what is feared or obsessed and learning how to cope in healthy ways with the anxiety you feel about it. A licensed therapist will give you the treatment, which should be continued over time. Other treatments that are widely used include prescription medication such as antidepressants. Although these can be effective, they can also cause unwanted side effects and be ineffective in the long term. Acupuncture is an alternative medicine that can have great results for those suffering from OCD and help to lower the anxiety that comes along with it. No matter what options you choose, sticking with them and not giving up is important for the road to recovery.
Get ready for hard work Overcoming OCD is not easy, and you may feel like your treatments haven’t been effective and you’re ready to quit. At this time, it will the most crucial to stick with your plans and to continue working on lowering your anxiety. There are exercises you can do every day to help little by little including practicing mindfulness and meditation. Bottom line, don’t give up, you’ll be surprised on the results you will see. Overcoming a mental illness is no easy task and life seems to get in the way too often. However, at the end of the day the only person who can help you, is you.
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Tapping (EFT) to Eliminate OCD Many people who suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder find that treatment options may not be working as well as they hoped. Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping, is an alternative treatment that can be used to help those with OCD and lead to a healthier, stress-free life. Similar to acupuncture, EFT is based on the idea that our bodies have a meridian system that creates an energy flow throughout our body and to our organs. When there is a blockage or stagnation in this flow, illness can arise. Unlike acupuncture, tapping can easily be learned and can be a self-treatment without the needles.
How can EFT help OCD? EFT works to correct the root cause of the problem, and in the case of OCD that is the compulsive thoughts that precede the compulsive action. Habits are extremely hard to break for those suffering with OCD, EFT works to change the mindset and energy before the behavior begins. This safe and completely harmless treatment focuses on the meridian system of the body and tapping each of the 12 meridian points 5-7 times. At the same time, it is important to focus on accepting and letting go of negative emotions that are causing compulsive behaviors. By doing so, you are calming the mind and returning the body back to a healthy balance.
Studies done at accredited institutions such as Harvard Medical School have found the effectiveness of EFT tapping. One study found that when these meridian points are stimulated, the body’s stress and fear responses are lowered. Dr. Dawson Church has spent many years studying tapping and has found that war veterans who received tapping treatment had a 63 percent decrease in PTSD symptoms.
OCD is not something that is easily curable, but there are treatment options such as EFT tapping that have proven to be helpful with no side effects. Talk to an acupuncturist on how tapping can be incorporated into your treatment program and get you back on the road to better health!
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