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 Depression  Holistic-online.com

Nutrition and Mind-Body Integration for Effective Treatment of Depression

A whole-person approach to the effective treatment of depression

I know that you will see depression for what it is - a symptom of imbalance - physical imbalance, biochemical imbalance, energetic imbalance, electrical imbalance, emotional imbalance, nutritional imbalance.

A good physicist would confirm to us that on some level, all these imbalances are the same thing. 

What I would like to suggest, with all humility, is a protocol for restoring the depressed persons to a state of mental wellness.


According to research by the American Medical Association, people who come to seek out alternative practitioners are at least partly motivated by the desire to take responsibility for their own health. My favorite writer, Dr. David Hawkins, author of Power Vs. Force, says that the real turning point for most individuals is a state of courage, where individuals empower themselves to face and cope with solutions. Below this, people are enslaved by shame, grief, fear, or pride, or a whole host of other low-consciousness mindsets. 

If you look at the research on antidepressants and placebos, antidepressants only work about 67 percent of the time - compared to 15 to 50 percent for placebo, and that also means that 33 percent are getting no relief at all. The scientific research on counseling is far less generous, with some studies actually suggesting that traditional counseling makes patients more neurotic, not less. 

But my role here is not to insult anyone's professional success - I merely want to talk about what works. One key aspect that works is to become an active participant with scientific curiosity, and figure out what makes you stronger and what makes you weak. 

I myself have studied kinesiology, and practice Brain Gym and Touch for Health. Dr. Hawkins says that wisdom can be condensed to simply this: avoid that which makes us weak, and embrace that which makes us strong. True solutions are not always complicated. Form partnerships with your healer. You and your doctors must be equal partners in healing. You need to take an active role in your healing process by keeping food, mood and weather diaries to discover when and how you get switched on and off.

Provide basic support for the neurochemistry. 

Research out of Harvard suggests that if you are deficient in L-tyrosine, L-glutamine, or L-tryptophan, you will be depressed even if you take antidepressants. 
Further, the work of other doctors at Harvard has shown that essential fatty acids, which make up about one-third of the brain and which cover the neurons, are so effective for depression that a study was stopped on ethical grounds to give everyone fish oil. In addition to EPA, lecithin and GLA have also been found helpful for boosting mood. Three neurotransmitters are linked to depressive illnesses: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. 

Examine your diets to make sure that you are adequately consuming, digesting and absorbing proteins and essential fatty acids. 

Noni juice may be helpful for two reasons. One, the xeronine is supposed to simulate the action of serotonin, and second, it is supposed to support protein assimilation.
I like the product Seacure because it contains not only all the amino acids, but also Omega-3 fatty acids. Also, Energetix has a product called Phenolic rings, which assists the body to produce its own serotonin. 

As you progress in your own healing, you will learn to recognize when different aminos may be helpful. 

bulletWhen you are exhausted from excessive stress, L-tyrosine may lift depression by providing the precursors for dopamine and norepinephrine. 
bulletWhen you are anxious or have trouble sleeping, GABA may be helpful.

In the meanwhile, a complete amino acid complex, taken on an empty stomach, along with re-examining the diet to make sure that you are consuming and absorbing adequate protein may be all that's necessary. 

To give patients psychiatric drugs without making sure they have the raw materials they need to make the neurotransmitters could be likened to giving a rose bush fertilizer, and then forgetting to water it, or putting it in the dark. Megastudies show that antidepressants don't work 33 percent of the time and this may be why.

Learn about the importance of what you eat every day.

One of the main symptoms of carbohydrate intolerance is depression. 

Stress may exacerbate carbohydrate intoerance. 

Everyone is biochemically unique, so some will do better as vegetarians, while others will need meat. However, a 2-to-1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins may be very helpful, while others will feel much better on an even lower carbohydrate ratio.

On the other hand, carbohydrates boost serotonin production. You may be subconsiously self-medicating every time you lurch for a piece of chocolate cake. I like Dr. Judith Wurtman's book, The Serotonin Solution, with its different recommendations for boosting serotonin production by separating small protein meals followed by small carbohydrate meals. 

Fiber is important to keep the digestive system working, and because there is such a high correlation between digestive and mental disturbances, anything you can do to clear, then assimilate and eliminate more easily will also help you mentally. 
Water is essential for running the central nervous system. Your entire nervous system, being electrical, runs better when you are adequately hydrated. People who are chronically dehydrated tend to be tired and depressed.

Next Topic: The stress-nutrition connection

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