If you are trying to heal something, I recommend DOING EVERYTHING YOU CAN DO. Also keep in mind the three healing essentials: Nutrition, Lifestyle, and Energetic Medicines, discussed below.
And btw: my #1 solution for depression is the bach flower remedies. Scroll down to Energy Medicines below for more, or go direct to my page flower essence healing.
1. See your doctor and get some blood work done. Find out your B12 level, your Iron level, and instead of testing your vitamin D level, just start taking vitamin D (the vitamin D test here in Canada is $60. Vitamin D itself is maybe $12.). If you find that you are B12 or iron deficient, or even on the low end of the scale, consult "Dr. Google", and likely you will want to supplement them.
*Note: RDA and OPA are not the same. RDA is the minimum amount to avoid getting a disease of deficiency. OPA, or *optimal* amount, is way, way higher. To create health, you may need closer to the OPA than the RDA.
1.2 Consider CBD oil - especially if the depression is accompanied by a lot of anxiety, or an inflammatory condition like arthritis, migraines, back pain or insomnia. CBD has many benefits and is a major health discovery, more in CBD: The Great Body and Brain Healer. It is a non-psychoactive medicine derived from hemp.
2. Eliminate common food sensitivities. I know several top Functional Medicine clinicians that won't even see a client if that client is still consuming dairy, gluten, or sugar. And sugar has many forms. This is because they find these to be the most inflammatory, problematic foods that people consume. So they first put their clients thru a 14 day, "Good Riddance" program. THEN they begin testing and tailoring a custom program for them, with supplements and so on. And sometimes just removing those three from the diet gets people better. Other common sensitivities include eggs, soy, nuts, wheat, and corn. Wheat has been shown to block iron absorption in some and possibly B12 also. I recommend learning to eat more paleo - more on that in my Learning Center.
3. Eat to stabilize blood sugar. I read a lot by the top Functional Medicine clinicians. And one thing I hear over and over is most of their clients are suffering from unstable blood sugar. Many experience reactive hypoglycemia, which means if they eat something high carb or containing sugar, they experience a high, followed by a low. Followed by cravings for more sugar or carbs. In other words: mood swings. And eventually: burnout. Stabilizing blood sugar means eating protein and fat with every meal, especially coconut oil, avocados, or olive oil.
4. Find out your blood type and check out the Blood Type Diet. The educators I read all recognize truth in the Blood Type Diet. They don't recommend following it to the letter, but more as another blueprint to check out. So I recommend using it as a guideline. Their are 4 blood types and therefore 4 different dietary recommendations. For ex I think I am type A. Type A's are said to do best on poultry, fish, and lots and lots of veggies, with only occasional red meat, and little to no grains, and I find that is exactly what makes me feel my best.
4.2 Specific amino acids can help greatly with moods and cravings. I'm taking about 5-HTP, Trytophan, GABA, and Phenylalanine (I might have missed one). Some people have found that even a small dose of the right one can greatly reduce sugar cravings and even out moods. These nutrients are precursors to neurotransmitters. In other words your body uses these to make neurotransmitters. But you still need other vitamins, minerals, and fats as well to make those conversions. This is also called Amino Acid Therapy. Amino acids are protein. All protein breaks down into amino acids, with a different amino acid profile depending on the protein type.
5. Consider a high quality multivitamin-mineral complex. Get one that is chelated, and high quality. Chelated means it will be much more easily absorbed. If you don't absorb much of it then you are throwing away your $40.
6. Get tested for parasites. This a stool test through your doctor. Parasites are very very common, overlooked, and can contribute to many health issues. They are in the gut. Your gut is where food is broken down into nutrients to be absorbed and used by your brain, by your liver, by all your organs. If your gut is not working right - all your organs functioning may be affected, including your mood and energy stability.
7. If you're not sleeping well, you gotta figure that out for sure. I will leave this area for a separate post since there can be a lot going on here too. Sleep can also be greatly affected by gut function. Learn more in Keys to Better ZZz's.
8. Consider doing a Candida-diet, aka an Anti-fungal Diet. I will also write this up as a separate post. Candida overgrowth can create many symptoms, including fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, aches and pains, sugar and carb cravings are all among the most common. Many people find they never felt better than after a Candida cleanse.
In this area is many things: your relationships, your home, your work, and most importantly, your activities. You really want to work with both diet and lifestyle, to create healing.
Lifestyle causes of depression are many. These can include: being too alone, doing work that is unsuited to you, living in a place that has poor lighting, being too stressed out for too long, and even 'mild' concussions and various forms of trauma can bring on depression. It seems even going through childbirth can bring on depression.
Addictions are of course a major cause of depression, including addiction to sugar, porn, and a big one: thinking! Also known as "worrying" or "active scheming". Don't do that! Instead practice meditation.
1. Exercise - start with what you can do. If that's ten push-ups, then do ten push=ups every other day. Weight-bearing exercise is best, but whatever gets you moving is a good thing. Grab a friend and go together.
2. Meditation - a very powerful practice of creating calm. Many people love Insight Timer for this purpose. On Insight Timer is a huge of community of people doing guided meditations of all kinds, meditating to crystal bowls, and so on. Meditation is very profound in it's benefits. It brings down inflammation, energizes the body, calms the emotions, but perhaps the most important benefit is we become happier. And by calming down we begin to hear ourselves: our body, our heart, our soul, and can begin to respond to what we *really* need and to the guiding voice of our intuition. Calming down also calms the mind's voices of doubt and worry, and we begin to relate to the world and ourselves from peace. And in peace solutions reveal themselves. And meditation is easier when we eat right and exercise, etc...because our body is more naturally calm.
3. Sleep - sleep is essential. It's about quality sleep over quantity. As you exercise, you will sleep better. As you eat better, you will sleep better too. Be careful with screens in the evening - they do disturb sleep. Install F.lux on your computer to warm the screen colours in the evening, and consider getting blue blocker lenses or even reading in the evenings. E-readers are especially great for that since they have no backlight in their screens.
The way I see it, nutrition and lifestyle is our foundation. They are essential to get right. But if you want profound healing, you want to turn to Energy Medicines.
The truth is, we are more energy than we are physical. This is how we can move from life to life to life. You are not just your physical form. In fact your physical form is the smallest part of you. You actually have 3 bodies: a physical body, an emotional body and a mental body. These last two are your energy bodies and they are where much illness and imbalance originates - which then shows up in your physical body. And to work with these bodies is to work with energy medicines, like colour, sound, magnetism, acupuncture, and so on.
The main thing to understand with energy medicines is that they are not chemical medicine. They don't work chemically at all. Energy medicine is more like music. Music is not physical at all, yet it can affect you profoundly. Energy medicines can affect deep change, since they can reach into every corner of your being. Plus, if you use them, they will boost your vitality and extend your life.
I recommend a number of Energetic Medicines:
Homeopathy - this is the simplest of energy medicines, but it works profoundly. Homeopathy works thru the Law of Similars. Paul McCartney uses it and Gandhi said "Homeopathy is the most perfect healing science." It used throughout India and prescribed by doctors in parts of Europe. If you ask around, you will find friends who have used it for years and they often will have a cabinet full of remedies. They may even have one you need.
The right homeopathic remedy, taken just once, can change your life.
While profound, homeopathy is also relatively harmless, which means you can also self-prescribe. Just read about the various remedies that might fit your symptoms, and then select one yourself. A homeopathic remedy is about $8, so it's not a big loss if you don't choose the perfect remedy, and chances are that several can help you. And once you take some, u will have lots left for next time or to share with a friend. But don't take over 30C potency without a homeopaths supervision. The other option of course is to see a homeopath, who will do a thorough intake with you, and the select the best remedy for your present symptoms. Some will even work by donation.
Homeopathy (and all energy medicine) is not like western medicine at all, so it can be a bit challenging at first to believe in or understand. But once you do get it, it makes a lot of sense. I recommend starting with this free course on homeopathy. Read one lesson a day, and soon you'll have a solid understanding of this wonderful healing science.
Bach flower remedies - these have helped me greatly over the years to end anxiety, depression, fatigue and more. Sometimes I have felt instantly better. Yes really. There are two ways to choose them:
1) Get a blend of four flowers in a dropper bottle. That is usually $12 to $15. Don't think about it too much, just pick four. Most towns have either a herbal store or a practitioner who will do this for you.
2) Choose them by reading about them. For depression, a few I might recommend are: Gorse. Mustard, Sweet Chestnut, and Star of Bethlehem.
For more, check out my flower essences page.
I recommend using the first method - just choose them intuitively. This is a less intellectual way, and therefore more likely to have greater benefit.
Acupuncture - I have interviewed many people who love it, and receive it often. It can be very powerful. There are often drop in clinics that cost less in certain parts of the city.
The Shambhala Healing Tools, Soul Therapy - quite simply the most profound energetic medicines we have. More at Shambhala Healing Tools.
Brainwave Optimization - check out my blog on Brainwave. Brainwave is one of our best therapies for PTSD especially, and has an 85% success rate. It turns out that the brain controls every single function in the body, and trauma can knock the brain's functioning out of balance. This is why after Brainwave, people sometimes have many health symptoms improve, beyond just mood stability. In fact, the #1 benefit they report is after the 3rd session many say, "I haven't slept this well in years."
If you found this article useful, definitely check out my "3 Healing Essentials" in my Learning Center at the top of this website.
Anxiety and Depression: What I've Found That Helps Me
CBD: The Great Body And Brain Healer