illnesses such as depression, anxiety and phobias are becoming more
common, depression especially. There are lots of reasons for that,
but they mostly fall into two categories:
- Some sort
of bio chemical imbalance
- Trauma, abuse
or some other specific situation(s)
the first would be dealt with by drugs, and the second by counselling.
But there are alternatives, and they can be helpful with both major
and minor mental health issues.
A minor upset
or a simple phobia (or even a complex one) can often be dealt with
very easily using EFT. But
for other mental imbalances, a more in-depth, multi-faceted approach
will give a more permanent improvement.
The main ways
I'd suggest approaching improved mental health are through use of
EFT, and nutrition. These
are not quick fixes, though - for deep seated depression or self
image problems, there may be many layers to work through. Read on
for more info on how each of these can help your mental health,
whether it's already fairly good, or you have major problems.
Emotional Freedom Technique can improve mental health
There is no doubt that traumatic experiences can cause major, ongoing
emotional problems. But so can a multitude of smaller events that
might seem nothing to the casual observer. Criticism, failure, self
doubt, the overheard unkind remark, and limiting beliefs about yourself
lead to a diminished sense of self worth. This can lead to obvious
mental health issues such as depression or anorexia.
It can also contribute to problems nobody else might notice: lacking
the confidence to go for that job you want or talk to the girl you
fancy, being too shy to go to parties, being unable to communicate
with your children, procrastinating till you miss the deadline,
tension headaches, overworking to prove yourself, letting yourself
be bullied, minor fears or major phobias. You might not be mentally
ill, but you’re not entirely healthy either.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) can be used to clear a wide range
- the car accident that still gives you nightmares
- the memory of all the times your father called you stupid
- the phobia that stops you from using lifts
- the belief that you’re no good at sport
- your current anger at your son for forgetting to pick up the
- the dull throb at the base of your neck that makes you snappy
- the negative body image that forces you to starve yourself
EFT involving tapping on various points on your face and body,
to neutralize the energy imbalances associated with your troublesome
memory or belief. It’s a simple little technique that you
can teach yourself and use daily to feel less stressed and more
happy. And it’s an art form that a skilled practitioner can
use to neutralise deep, complex, multi faceted emotional problems.
Click here for more information on EFT and
how to find a practitioner.
we need whole foods for good mental health
In the 1930s, a dentist named Weston Price traveled round the world
studying cultures still eating their traditional foods, and compared
their health with those members of the same culture eating western
foods. Those continuing to eat traditional diets enjoyed excellent
physical and emotional health. But those who had changed to a western
diet high in white flour, sugar, and canned goods suffered from
a range of physical and mental health problems and were prone to
infectious diseases. This huge deterioration occurred after just
one generation of exposure to processed foods. His book “Nutrition
and Physical Degeneration” is a landmark in the understanding
of how food affects the mind and body.
Price found a lot of commonalities between the different traditional
diets. The food was organic and high in nutrients, many times higher
than our typical diet today. The diets were all high in animal fats,
and none of the societies were vegetarian. Where people were unable
to get enough meat or fish, they ate a lot of raw dairy products.
Fermenting techniques were used, to increase the nutrient value
of the food and preserve it. Grains, legumes, nuts and seeds were
always soaked, sprouted or fermented to reduce harmful anti-nutrients
and increase digestibility.
In contrast, our modern diet is high in sugar, refined grains,
trans (processed) fats, pesticides, preservatives and additives.
Processing techniques make our food less digestible, rather than
more. We’ve been misinformed that nutritious and protective
saturated fats are bad for our health, and so often avoid them.
We suffer from nutritional deficiencies and are overloaded with
toxins. Our digestive health breaks down and we start to get food
intolerances. Just a few of the ways this can impact on mental health:
- Food intolerances cause chemical imbalances in the brain, leading
to brain fog, depression and many other mental or emotional problems
(more on this in the next section)
- Insufficient protein and fat contribute to lack of serotonin,
and thus depression
- Sugar and food additives cause hyperactivity in many children
- An early symptom of Vitamin B12 deficiency is irrational anger
- B1 and zinc deficiencies can contribute to anorexia
- Lack of Vitamin D can contribute to insomnia
People are often stunned to discover that in many cases their debilitating
mental health conditions such as chronic depression are exacerbated
by foods they are consuming daily. The modern staples of wheat and
sugar are two of the most common triggers. Returning to a nutrient
rich diet, with a few carefully chosen supplements where needed,
can transform our body chemistry, our brain chemistry and our mental
and emotional health.
and/or chemical intolerances
It would be an overstatement to suggest
that all mental illness can be linked to these causes, but there
is good evidence that a large number of people can be helped without
using drugs (or using a minimal amount in the early stages) or therapy.
Allergies", by William Philpott and "An
Alternative Approach to Allergies", by Theron Randolph are
two books that document a number of cases of mental illness being
caused by food or environmental allergies or intolerances. Or even
more comprehensive - "The
Food, Mood, Body Connection" by Gary Null.
introductory section is a general overview of how these factors
can create physical and mental illnesses, and some of the therapies
that are being successfully used to overcome them. He then covers
specific illnesses in 3 sections. Disorders of Mood or Behaviour
include addictions (drug, alcohol and food), Alzheimer's disease,
anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression (unipolar and
bipolar disorders), schizophrenia, insomnia, thinking disorders
and Tardive Dyskinesia. Disorders in children include aggression,
ADD and hyperactivity, autism, behavioural disorders, chronic depression
and food allergies. Organic conditions commonly misdiagnosed
as mental disorders include hypoglycaemia, candidiasis, chronic
fatigue, hormone imbalances, PMS, thyroid disorders and nutrient
Of major concern
is the sheer quantities of children in the States who are suffering
from conditions caused by poor food (refined carbohydrates, sugars,
trans fats and other foods with inadequate nutrients), food allergies
or intolerances, or environmental poisons. These children are often
then drugged into submission with substances that stunt their development
and cause long term mental damage. If they were fed properly
and protected from toxins, this would give a much better result.
I don't know how
New Zealand compares to the USA in this area. Given the breakfasts
I sometimes see children eating at the bus stop, and the worrying
statistics on obesity, I suspect our children's diets are also causing
a lot of behavioural problems. I don't think the use of Ritalin
and similar drugs is as prevalent here, but unless something is
changed, it's bound to happen.
Many adults also
suffer unnecessarily from mental disorders or chronic physical illnesses
that are dismissed as mental. This doesn't have to be the case and
can be changed.
The latest research,
and treatments by doctors who are prepared to look outside the square,
is discussed in this book. These include pinpointing food allergies
or intolerances, removing environmental toxins from the home, analysing
nutrient statuses in the body and correcting imbalances with the
If you or your child suffer from any
of the complaints listed, I encourage you to do some research on
alternative treatments. This book would be a great place to start.
Find a doctor or healthcare provider who is open to helping you
with these treatments. Sadly, most doctors are not, and your
doctor is unlikely to suggest these types of solutions. It will
be up to you to take the initiative. But it will be worth it.
possible causes :
* A diet low
in essential nutrients
* Food allergies
* Food intolerances/addictions
* Hormonal imbalances
* Sensitivities to chemicals
or other environmental substances
* Heavy metal overload in
the body or brain
* Eating an organic, whole
* Investigating food sensitivities
* Supplementing with the
right micro nutrients, or amino acids
* Herbal treatments
* Chelation therapy
* Eliminating environmental
* Acupuncture, massage and
other bodywork modalities