Natural Alternatives for Depression

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 07-12-2015

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depression 4

 

There are many alternative treatments available to choose from that can help with depression. Some of them will help to relax and de-stress you, which is half the battle, and others will help to balance your glands, get your circulation moving, open up the channels of energy that have become stagnated, and more. Scientists still don’t have a clear grasp on why these alternative treatments work, but the fact is that many of them do. In fact, they often work faster than any conventional chemical medication would normally work too!

While plenty of doctors continue to dole out chemical medications like they are going out of style, did you know that many of the very medications that they give to people for symptoms like stress and anxiety can actually cause symptoms of depression? Medications like Valium, for example, can actually cause symptoms. Many high blood pressure medications do the same thing. Also some sleeping pills can too. And one of the worst “drugs” of all that isn’t often thought of as a drug is alcohol. Alcohol is one of the biggest offenders in the world of depression. So, if you are suffering from depression, and you drink, then you may have found your problem. The only solution is to stop. (That is one of the advantages of living in a alcohol free country like Kuwait).

As we have said, depression is a huge problem that is also dangerous, due to the chance of suicide (and even murder) among its sufferers. For the past few weeks we have been talking about various methods to deal with depression, and this week we will continue on that quest for a cure, and talk about body therapies that can help people suffering from depression.

A lot of people swear by chiropractic for treating depression. Since depression seems to be an organic disorder coupled with a psychological one, chiropractors say that with certain spinal adjustments depression can be lessened or overcome completely. It’s easy to say that but can it be backed up scientifically? Yes it can! Recent scientific study has shown certain chiropractic adjustments (particularly of the cervical spine) to be extremely effective against depression. More research will naturally have to be done in order to show how and why this works, but it stands to reason that whenever you have decreased blood flow to the brain, there is a good chance that something bad is going to happen, so it is possible that certain forms of depression are a result of a lack of blood flow to the brain, for whatever reason. Chiropractic also helps to open all the channels of the flow of energy in our bodies, so once everything is returned back to normal, the symptoms of depression just seem to magically disappear. While it may sound a little simplistic and far fetched, the fact of the matter is that some of the best alternative medical treatments are the simplest ones, so don’t discount anything until you have given it a fair chance. (I’m sure the only reason more research into alternative methods of treatment for depression and other disorders hasn’t been done, is because the big pharmaceutical companies aren’t backing such studies, because there is no way that they can make money off of them).

Chinese Traditional Medicine has been successfully used for the treatment of depression for centuries. The treatment for depression is acupressure (while acupuncture is also widely used, I don’t prefer it since it is more invasive and acupressure can do the same thing with an experienced and gifted practitioner). Along with acupressure come deep breathing exercises, which are also very effective against depression.

the healing power of breath           the oxygen advantage

Deep muscle, deep tissue, and other forms of strenuous body massage are effective against depression. It seems that any treatment that is done that effectively reduces stress, tight muscles, pressure on the spine and skull, and gets the circulation moving is effective against various forms of depression. Again, more research needs to be done to figure out why this is so, but does it really matter to the sufferer? It probably doesn’t.

the reflexology atlas

Reflexology is one of the effective forms of bodywork as well. Modern reflexology is generally done on the feet, but it can also be done on the hands and other areas of the body. Like other forms of body treatments, reflexology is effective in getting the circulation moving again, opening up blockages, getting the body’s natural energy moving again, and more. It also naturally relaxes the muscles, and balances the glands, which, in turn, helps to reduce the stress reaction in the body that makes people feel so miserable.

organic yoga cushion

Yoga (which is more like a self-therapy when it comes to body work) has been reported to be highly effective in the treatment and management of people suffering from depression. The only drawback with it is that in order to do yoga, the person must actually get up and do it. Sometimes people who are depressed simply can’t make themselves get up and move. In those cases, some other form of intervention is preferable. Ayurvedic massage can be effective in the cases where the people themselves are too depressed to do yoga.

organic yoga pants

 

Another body technique that has been reported effective against depression is the Alexander Technique. Apparently the changes in the posture that come about with Alexander treatment help the body back into a natural state of homeostasis, and all the glands, vessels, etc, can get to working properly again. Thus, the body returns to a relaxed and stress-free state. While I don’t know of anyone in Kuwait who practices the Alexander Technique, if you travel overseas, you may be able to find someone who does it, particularly in Western countries.

alexander technique

There are many other forms of body work that we haven’t mentioned here, but you have the idea. If there are other forms that you are aware of, try them! Whatever action you take to help yourself will be beneficial as long as you are confident that it will. No one needs to be depressed, and each person must take steps on the journey for a depression-free life himself, so take the first step and get out there are do something about it!

Email me: miaponzo@yahoo.com

Quick and Easy Way To Get Rid of Tinnitus

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Information About Herbs, Natural Health, Quick and Easy Natural Remedies You Can Do At Home | Posted on 11-08-2015

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tinnitus

There are many people who suffer horribly from tinnitus or similar diseases. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. There are many more where that came from, you’re in good company. The fact is that just because you haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Indeed it does, and if you aren’t sure, just ask one of the thousands, even millions of people around the world who suffer from tinnitus on a daily basis. In fact there are almost 36 million sufferers in the USA alone!

Tinnitus can be described as a ringing in one’s ears. Some people report hearing other sounds as well, such as popping, whistling, pulsing, screeching, whooshing, buzzing and worse, and that din is going on right inside of your head. Some people even report being able to hear music! Normally, the sufferer is the only one who can hear the sounds, but in a very few people, the noises can even be heard from the outside. The problem can be in one or both ears, and can be very debilitating for some. In certain cases the tinnitus comes and goes and isn’t present all the time. In other cases the tinnitus is there constantly and never goes away. Some sufferers report that the only relief for them from the noise is sleep. Some others don’t even get relief when they sleep! For some people the problem is minor and bearable, but for others, the problem is not as bearable, and in some extreme cases people have even committed suicide because they couldn’t take the noise any more. It literally drove them to death. Now, while the cases of very severe tinnitus are rare, they do happen, and even the simple cases where the tinnitus is mild are cases where the people would do practically anything to get rid of it. The problem is that it’s sometimes not that easy to do.

Tinnitus can have many causes, including sinus problems (like sinusitis, infection, allergy, etc), ear inflammation or infection, various ear defects (like damage to the nerve endings of the ear), exposure to loud noises (this is particularly a problem of young people who go to rock concerts and can even result in permanent hearing loss, so if you know a teenager who listens to his stereo at high decibels (too loudly), stop him immediately, before it’s too late), ear wax build up, high or low blood pressure, diabetes, tension or stress (anxiety), vitamin deficiencies, jaw problems, eye or optical nerve problems, certain medications, neck and head injuries, brainstem or brain injuries, and worse of all tumors (but those are extremely rare). Elderly people tend to suffer more than others.

Once you find out the cause of your particular tinnitus, then you can work on doing something about it. While there isn’t a lot of success in treating it with medications, certain therapies have been found useful and effective for many. For example, if your problem is sinus related, then you can take antihistamines (or other anti-allergy medications). While there are other medications that have been known to be effective as well, most medications aren’t very effective and chemical medicaments are not ideal in any case. In some rare cases surgery is performed, but it isn’t always effective either.

The advice that most doctors give sufferers is to avoid loud noises, get plenty of rest, and eat good wholesome foods (since there is evidence showing that dietary changes and eating certain chemicals and additives can even cause tinnitus). Get plenty of exercise too, because an increase of beneficial activity has also been found quite effective. If you smoke or drink a lot of caffeine or diet drinks, stop!

complete reflexology book

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There are some alternative choices to try when it comes to treating tinnitus. Some are reported more effective than others, but when you are suffering from an illness that is as annoying as this one is, you will generally be willing to try almost anything. Reflexology has been noted to be quite effective against many kinds of tinnitus, even the worst kinds. It appears to affect the workings of the ear and the symptoms that caused it in the first place. Along the same lines acupressure and acupuncture have been noteworthy as well.

Organic Gingko

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Some people have found that taking the herb Gingko biloba is effective, and also vitamins, such as Vitamin A, the B vitamins, folic acid, or Zinc.

Here are some good vitamin choices from Amazon…

 

While tinnitus is a real disease, and affects people physically, hypnosis can be of help in many cases. While it isn’t completely understood why this therapy works, it does, and thus cannot be overlooked when dealing with such a stubborn problem.

Yes, tinnitus is a big problem for those who suffer from it, but there are ways to help it, and hopefully more on the way!

Email me: mia@yournaturalhealtonline.com

This article originally appeared in the Arab Times Newspaper in Kuwait in June 2006




History of Reflexology

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Posted by Mia Ponzo | Posted in Complementary Alternative Medicine, Natural Health | Posted on 26-02-2014

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History of Reflexology

Reflexology Chart

Reflexology (which is a treatment that consists of manipulation of the reflexes of the feet and hands) has been around since long before recorded history. There is evidence of it being practiced in many different cultures from all parts of the world, showing that it didn’t have its beginning in any particular place, but in many remote places at around the same time.

            The first recorded knowledge that we have about reflexology comes from ancient Egypt, dated to be around 2300 BC.  There are paintings and drawings of what seem to be healers treating people on both the hands and feet in a way extremely similar to the manner in which reflexology is practiced at the present time! In fact the tomb that this painting was found in was called the physician’s tomb. The tomb was specifically that of an ancient medical practitioner called Ankhmahor. Also, the Native American tribes knew about using pressure points on the feet as a treatment for disease, which was passed to them through the ancient traditions of the Incas. In Hawaii, too, a form of reflexology has been practiced since before their written history. From ancient Egypt the practice of reflexology was carried to ancient Rome. In ancient Greece, there were amazing health spas where reflexology (among other things) was available as a treatment to the clientele.

Reflexology Atlas

From old time Japan, from around 690 AD, a lot of evidence has been found showing the practice of reflexology (or something very similar) was practiced there. In fact there is a statue of Buddha that was found in what has become known as the “medical teaching temple” that has symbols all over an upturned sole of his foot, showing the reflex points. Its practice has been known in Africa, China (for which there is evidence dating its use to even before the Egyptians: 4000 BC), and other Oriental locales. Ancient India was known for its knowledge of maps of the reflexes of the feet as well, although their theories vary slightly from what we know in the present, the Asian Indians had made detailed “maps” of the feet, with all the bodily organs clearly mapped and drawn as they are in the body.

The Complete Reflexology Tutor

Sometime during those centuries after the heyday of reflexology its use declined practically to the point of extinction. So called “modern medicine” took over in most places in the world, until toward the end of the 19th Century some researchers in Europe and Asia (specifically the UK, Russia and Germany) began to take a look into the connection between points on the outside of the body and bodily organs. Then, at the beginning of the 20th Century, a doctor by the name of William H. Fitzgerald started to look into a theory that he had about the body being divided into zones with each of these zones being connected. He also stated that in these zones certain “reflexes” were located. He further went on with this theory with his hypothesis that if certain places on certain zones were manipulated there would be a corresponding location in the body that could be numbed and pain relieved.  This was considered to be helpful in two ways: first of all for use during medical procedures, such as dentistry, and second of all, for people who suffered from chronic or acute pain. Soon it was also discovered that this manipulation of the reflexes didn’t only relieve and numb pain, but it actually relieved the disease or ailment itself! This was an important discovery, and was the beginning of the practice of modern reflexology.

Reflexology and Associated Aspects of Health

At around the same time Dr. Fitzgerald worked with another doctor by the name of Dr. Shelby Riley, who furthered the use of zones in zone therapy and refined the use of the map of the feet and hands. With him was a physical therapist by the name of Eunice D. Ingham.  It was she that did the detailed research and mapping of the actual reflexes on the feet and hands and set forth the actual practice of reflexology as we know it today. In the 1930’s she began treating people with this amazing drug free treatment, and in 1938 she published the first book about reflexology. This book was called “Stories the Feet Can Tell”. She subsequently published another book called “Stories the Feet Have Told”.  These books and her method were somewhat of a sensation, and she began to teach others how to use the method. It was through her students that the practice of reflexology spread to Canada and England, finally going all around the world. 

Reflexology Art and Science

In 1970 a lady called Mildred Carter wrote a book called “Helping Yourself with Foot Reflexology”, which was challenged by a lawsuit as to whether or not it was legal to even use the term “reflexology”, which, up to that point, was considered illegal (as a form of practicing medicine without a license). The courts overturned the legality of such a claim, and thereafter reflexology was fully legal to practice and teach in the USA (other countries had not banned it openly). It was through the huge sales of Ms. Carter’s book that reflexology became better known in the USA and other places.

Reflexology Set

Eunice D. Ingham died in 1974, leaving her legacy behind her, which has grown by leaps and bounds, particularly in the last 20 years or so. This was particularly because of the efforts of Ms. Ingham’s nephew Dwight Byers, who established a school of reflexology and published important books on the subject, thereby establishing reflexology as a bona fide complimentary medical treatment

            Since that time a great deal of research has been conducted about reflexology and this research is extremely promising. In the UK right now, reflexology is even covered under the health system, and in the USA, Denmark and Japan private insurance covers its use as a medical treatment. The amazing thing is the high rate of success with reflexology. Studies in China found that the use of reflexology provided relief to more than 95% of the patients studied, and this study was done on over 18,000 cases! More and more studies are being done all the time, and the results of these studies are nothing short of amazing.

The Original Work of Eunice D Ingham

            ***(At the present time reflexology is practiced in close to every country in the world, including Kuwait. There are several practitioners here, but it is important to note that there are many types of treatments that go under the umbrella of reflexology, and most of the people in Kuwait who practice are not doing medical or clinical reflexology, but actually doing esthetic reflexology, which is like a glorified foot massage. So, make sure that if you are suffering from a medical ailment that you go to professional clinical reflexology treatments and not esthetic ones, which won’t do much for your problem.)

And for those of you who just like massage… here is a chair that does it all for you right in your home… of course this is not like real reflexology, which is always done by hand (don’t go to reflexologists who use wooden prodders or anything else like that.. )… but this is the next best thing to the real reflexology massage.

Reflexology Massage Chair