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Feed Depression during pregnancy and acupuncture

December 5th, 2010

Depression is a label that covers a multitude of sins. The biggest danger is that some one is told they are “depressed”, gets put on medication with all the side effects that go with them and that’s it for the rest of their lives!! Nothing has been done to look at possible causes of the patient’s state of mind .So the patient stays on anti-depressants for the rest of their lives, the doctor has done his bit and the drug company has a regular income- everybody is happy!

One definition of depression is:”a state of low mood and an aversion to activities”, meaning you feel like shit and don’t want to do anything.

Background of people who are “depressed”.

The  social. economic and emotional background has a bearing on our mental state. Are there money worries, stress from work, emotional/relationship issues, what is the health like. Is the diet highly refined, processed and junky? Is there a high intake of alcohol nicotine, caffeine and/or recreational drugs? Is lifestyle sedentary with little exercise, and even people who exercise do no flexibility work or stretching.The pattern of living just described is normally accompanied by a lack of healthy food in the diet as well. The above double whammy result in a gradual degradation and running down of our body’s reserves and health problems ensures. Another consideration is family history of “depression”. Notice how I left this one last, whereas conventional medicine will consider this first and ignore the lifestyle factors. Why do conventional medicine ignore life style factors? This is because conventional health practitioners themselves have as much knowledge of holistic health as the patients who they see, and you can’t teach someone to do something that you don’t know yourself.

The majority , if not all chronic health problems are caused by lifestyle. Only changes of life style will reverse these problems, not drugs.

Depression in pregnancy

The above background factors mentioned will of course be  relevant in an ante-natal woman. Even if all the background factors are optimal (including the fact that the baby is wanted), the intense hormonal changes in pregnancy can cause changes in moods and physical exhaustion. In this day and age, I am sure expectant mothers will research themselves and try to be as healthy as possible while they are pregnant. Gentle exercises , especially yoga and Tai Chi ; and good healthy eating will ensure that the body is physically, emotionally and mentally well.

How can acupuncture help depression in pregnancy?

Assuming that the expectant mother is doing all the above but still feels very depressed, how can acupuncture help?

Acupuncture or stimulation of acu-points will balance the energetics of the body, this can be replaced by Shiatsu or Tuina, which are oriental bodywork systems which will balance the body without use of needles.Think of the treatment as a reprogramming system. From a western view,Acupuncture works by creating physiological homoeostasis and optimising the body’s biochemistry. This of course means the nutrition of the expectant mother must be good, otherwise there is nothing good to optimise! This can be helped with a good pre-natal supplement, i would recommend, Biocare, or Solgar. There are a small minority of people who have horrendous pregnancy even though they are doing all the right things. But for most people, if they carried out the practises described, the problems will resolve.

To sum up

Make your life style wonderful. Eat well . Do the “right” systems of exercise. Be happy. If you see a therapist, find one that will empower you, not just treat you.

Feed Winter and Traditional Chinese Medicine

December 3rd, 2010

Hooray…its winter…….

The ancient Chinese believed that human beings should live in harmony with the natural cycles of their environment. The cold and darkness of winter urges us to slow down. This is the time of year to reflect on our health, replenish our energy and conserve our strength.

Winter is Yin in nature; it is inactive, cold, and damp.  Remain introspective, restful, and consolidate your Qi through the season and prepare for the outburst of new life and energy in the spring.

Element: Water
Nature: Yin
Organs: Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Adrenal Glands, Ears and Hair
Emotion: Fear and Depression
Flavor: Salty

Winter is ruled by the Water element, which is associated with the kidneys, bladder and adrenal glands. According to the philosophy of Chinese medicine, the kidneys are considered the source of all energy or “Qi” within the body.  They store all of the reserve Qi in the body so that it can be used in times of stress and change, or to heal, prevent illness, and age gracefully.

During the winter months it is important to nurture and nourish our kidneyQi.  It is the time where this energy can be most easily depleted. Our bodies are instinctively expressing the fundamental principles of winter – rest, reflection, conservation and storage.

The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese classic, advised people to go to sleep early and rise late, after the sun’s rays have warmed the atmosphere a bit. This preserves your own Yang Qi for the task of warming in the face of cold.

Eating warm hearty soups, whole grains, and roasted nuts help to warm the body’s core and to keep us nourished.  Sleep early, rest well, stay warm, and expend a minimum quantity of energy. Release stress through exercises like Tai Chi, Yoga and meditation.

Enjoy this time…it wont last….

Feed Growth

December 3rd, 2010
If we don’t change, we don’t grow.
If we don’t grow, we are not really living.
Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.
With each passage of human growth we
must shed a protective structure [like a hardy crustacean].
We are left exposed and vulnerable -
but also yeasty and embryonic again,
capable of stretching in
ways we hadn’t known before.
-  Gail Sheehy

Feed Impressions from our November retreat

December 3rd, 2010
Had a fabulous time. It has made me more aware of my body, the difference between the left and right sides. Also the effect of the body of what you put into it. You are both committed to helping people, it is brilliant to see. The mix of classes and treatments was perfect.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and passion.
I have found the whole experience very positive and calming & allowed me time to think about making some positive changes to my lifestyle. Your committment to what you are showing us shines through and I love the linkages ( cause & effect) . Like your sense of humour and grounding too. Thank you for the experience.
I have found it a very enjoyable experience. Excellent for recharging the batteries and very instructive in a healthy way of living. There is a general feeling of being nutured. James have a way of being very presentduring the one to one therapy sessionsmaking one feel special. Having a small number of guests gives a cosy, freindly atmosphere and more chances for personal attention if needed. I have loved the time I have spent here and it is certainly excellent value for money!
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