Why Big Pharma is unsustainable

The conventional view, upon which modern medicine is based, is that the body is a collection of dumb atoms which somehow come together to form molecules (chemicals) which combine to form living cells.

Cell 2Cells gather together to make a body which is governed by genes, nerves and hormones. When we are ill, the body’s biochemistry is out of balance  and must be restored using chemicals or by modifying genes. It’s a bit like adding salt to our food by trial and error hoping we get the taste right.

However, the biochemical explanation of the body has significant limitations. It doesn’t explain the shape and form of the body or how healing happens. It has a poor record in treating chronic disease. It does not explain our individuality, thoughts, intentions, memory or intelligence. Nor does it explain belief, the placebo effect or consciousness. Indeed, despite several centuries of ‘scientific’ medicine, most of the dynamic processes in our body are not totally understood. That’s because it’s beyond them! Only a holistic field-based approach can explain the interconnected nature of life processes – human, animal and plant-based.

A field is an area in which a given force exerts an influence, a well known example being is the field around a magnet. Fields involve a vibration of energy and information transfer. They offer convincing explanations of how consciousness influences the body at cellular level and how a multitude of patterns and simultaneous movements impact on the body’s physiology, biochemistry and mental and emotional functioning.

It has long been recognised that the body is shaped by hundreds of subtle energy fields – including the auric field, the chakras, morphological fields (which allow exchanges between like-minded species and transfer information from one generation to another), thought fields, electrical and light fields.

Biofield

All matter – including the human body – is formed from energy at a low rate of vibration controlled by information fields. These are as necessary to the functioning of the body as energy.

In future, correcting dysfunctional energy and information flows will be central to the science of health and healing. Doctors will understand that the root cause of disease and ill health, whether physical or emotional, is disruptions or distortions to the body’s information fields.

Consciousness and the ‘healing intelligence’ of the body are glaringly absent from the current orthodox medical model, but they are the future. Big Pharma beware! Within a couple of generations you and your drug-based approach to everything are going to find yourselves old hat! And you probably know it!

Copyright David Lawrence Preston, 25.3.18

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Encouraging News on Placebos

In one of the most encouraging articles I’ve read for a long time[1], 97% of a sample of 783 UK family doctors reported in a study carried out by the Universities of Oxford and Southampton that they had given a placebo to at least one of their patients. Some said they do so on a regular basis. Half had told their patients that the remedies had helped other patients, without specifically telling them they were prescribing a placebo.

This is a huge step forward towards general recognition of the role of the mind in health, ill-health and healing, and acceptance of the potential of informational remedies. Apparently even the UK Royal College of General Practitioners now acknowledges that there is a place for placebos in medicine.

A co-author of the study, Dr Jeremy Howick, was quoted as saying, ‘This is not about doctors deceiving patients,’ (which is how Big Pharma has often characterised the use of placebos) but that ‘doctors clearly believe that placebos can help patients’.

Evenso, the BBC report still refers to ‘sham’ treatments’ and ‘unproven treatments’ as if the author, Michelle Roberts, is still not really convinced.  She writes that three quarters of doctors claimed to offer ‘unproven treatments’ such as complementary therapies on a daily or weekly basis, and even refers to ‘fake’ acupuncture (which has been used successfully for over five thousand years)  in such terms. She misses the point – in most cases it is not the medicine that brings about healing, but the patient’s own healing abilities restoring equilibrium and removing the resistance to full health.

Research shows that placebos are most effective a relieving subjective conditions such as pain, and their effect is based on cultivating the patient’s expectations of a cure. Hence the size, colour and packaging of placebos all play a role, as does the presentation and manner of the practitioner who prescribes them.

There are still those who consider the use of placebos as ‘fooling’ patients by giving them ‘useless’ pills and potions, even if they help bring about a cure. Some consider them dangerous because they deny the patient ‘effective’ treatment (by which they mean bio-chemical intervention), and others that they damage to doctor-patient relationship. Others claim that some ‘placebo’ treatments, such as prescribing vitamin supplements, are not inert, in that taking too much of some vitamins is harmful.

Then there are those who dismiss phenomena such as ‘spontaneous remission’ as pure chance and unworthy of investigation when in fact they could throw invaluable light on the healing process.

But in the longer term there is much more at stake here than whether placebos are unethical or ineffective, or whether this person or that person gets better and stays well. Our view of mind-body and informational medicine is related to our understanding of what human beings actually are and how we function. This is the greater prize.

©David Lawrence Preston, 18.10.2018

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[1] BBC website 21st March 2013, also widely reported on radio and TV.

Bach Flower Remedies: Vibrational Medicine Par Excellence!

There’s nothing strange about healing with plants; even most pharmaceuticals are plant-based. Plant remedies are highly effective and their use goes back millennia. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians and Sumerians were skilled users. But Dr Edward Bach’s use of plants in healing at the beginning of the last century was truly revolutionary.

Bach is best known for exploring the relationship between flowers and humans. He was born in the English Midlands in 1886 and trained as a bacteriologist. He worked briefly at University College Hospital in London, then at the London Homeopathic Hospital. In the 1920’s he ran a clinic in London’s Harley Street but gave this up to pursue his studies of plants and trees and their psychological effects.

He did not agree with the conventional wisdom that illness was a result of microbes and/or defective organs and tissues, but a result of an inner conflict between the deepest self and the needs of the personality. This internal war, according to Bach, leads to negative moods, blocked energy and a lack of harmony which leads to physical diseases.

Bach’s remedies were based on his psychic connection to the plants. His approach was to use the vibrational character of plants, which he believed was strongest in their flowers. Working intuitively, he ‘attuned’ himself to the subtle vibrations of particular plants, picking up on their unique characteristics, which he then used for healing. If he felt a negative emotion, he held his hand over different plants, and if one alleviated the emotion he deduced that the plant had the power to relieve that particular emotion. By the time of his death in 1936, he had developed thirty-eight remedies.

His original method for producing flower tinctures was to collect dew drops from the plants in the early morning and preserve them in a diluted alcohol solution. He believed that morning sunlight passing through dew-drops on flower petals transferred the healing power of the flower into the water. The water, flowers and sun combined to make the essence which he believed contained the healing properties of the plant. Just holding the bottle has brought about emotional release in some people!

Bach’s flower remedies, as you would expect, do not enjoy universal approval. Critics point out that the essences, like homeopathic remedies, include no part of the plant. Bach retorted that they contain the healing energy imprint of the flower.

‘The action of the flower essences raises the vibration of the being. They cure by flooding the body with the beautiful vibrations of the highest nature – in whose presence there is the opportunity for disease to melt away like snow in sunshine’.

Dr Edward Bach

Bach’s methods of course drew the condemnation of the UK General Medical Council, who tried to stop him advertising. He wrote[1]:

‘Disease will never be cured or eradicated by materialistic methods, for the simple reason that disease in its origin is not material. It is in essence the result of conflict between the Soul and Mind and will never be eradicated except by spiritual and mental effort.’

Others have followed where he led, for example, Australian Bush Flower Essences and California Essences are also popular in healing circles.

Bach’s Flower Remedies are not biochemical in nature; they are bio-information medicines par excellence. The mainstream medical establishment have been slow to embrace them since those trained in biology and chemistry have no explanation for how they work. But they do: millions of beneficiaries swear that vibrational medicine works. Perhaps in finding an explanation lies the future!

©Feeling Good All The Time, 12.3.2017

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[1] In his book, ‘Heal Thyself’

The Jury Is Out

The debate over homeopathy continues and the jury is out. On the one hand, homeopaths point to their success in curing a wide range of conditions for millions of people and cite studies that have demonstrated that homeopathy can have a positive effect – including conditions where conventional medicine has failed.

But is homeopathy placebo, as is often claimed? A 1997 conducted a meta-analysis examined 105 clinical trials on homeopathic therapies. 81 presented positive results. The authors concluded that, ‘the results of this meta-analysis are incompatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homeopathy are due exclusively to a placebo effect.’ [1]

In truth, no amount of negative research could topple the profession’s belief in homeopathy, and no amount of positive research would change the minds of those set against it. However, many researchers accept that the randomised controlled trial – comparing placebos with test remedies – favoured by the pharmaceutical industry is not a fitting research tool with which to test homeopathy.[2]

Chemistry and biology say that homeopathy can’t work, but homeopathy is a vibrational medicine which works through the body’s energy fields, not its biochemistry. It works with the body, not against it (as with most drugs), and is tailor-made to the individual. It uses very dilute substances to trigger the body to heal itself.

Is homeopathy humbug? Does it deserve the scorn to which it is subjected?

The jury is out and the lines are drawn between (1) those who mistrust allopathic medicine and who believe that our bodies, when susceptible to illness, react to a homeopathic remedy as if it were causing a similar problem, and to recognise that the body cures itself by this reaction, because the remedy it has been given is similar to the disease, and (2) medical scientists searching in vain with the limited tools available to them from Newtonian chemistry and biology for an explanation of how it works.  If homeopathy is indeed an energy and informational medicine they won’t find one there.

Pharmaceutical medicines have too many drawbacks to rely on them entirely. Isn’t it time for a more enlightened approach?

©FGATT, 8.3.2017

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[1] K. Linde and W. Jonas, Alternative Medicine Evaluation Department, US National Institute of Health.

[2] Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4183916.stm

Homeopathy: Mystical Medicine, Science or Quackery?

Samuel Hahnemann was born in Eastern Germany, in 1755.  At age 23 he decided to study medicine and become a doctor. He established a village practice in 1780, and eventually moved to the regional centre, Dresden.

It wasn’t long before he became disillusioned with the therapies he was expected to offer to his patients. Medicine had moved on little since Hippocrates. Many treatments involved brutal, inhumane methods. Bloodletting and purges were common, and various substances including mercury, arsenic and lead were used which often poisoned patients. He began a lifelong quest to find kinder, more natural ways of treating illnesses.

From 1789, now living in Leipzig, he devoted himself to the study of chemistry and medicine.  Hahnemann was no witch doctor. He believed in the scientific method. He was a keen experimenter, observer and documenter of his findings. He experimented using various substances on healthy subjects to see what effect they would have, and discovered that even poisonous substances could have curative properties.

One experiment used cinchona bark extract, which yields quinine, a known treatment for malaria. Puzzled by his findings, he repeatedly took it himself. That confirmed his suspicions – cinchona bark extract caused him to develop fever-like symptoms similar to those caused by malaria. He surmised that if a substance could cause disease symptoms in a healthy subject, small amounts could cure a sick person who had similar symptoms. He called his system ‘homeopathy’.

Proving

He then developed a testing method called ‘proving’ to determine which substances could be used as remedies and which medical conditions they could be used to treat. Healthy volunteers took highly diluted potions of the test remedy for several weeks and recorded any physical or emotional symptoms they felt. If a patient later presented the same symptoms, Dr Hahnemann prescribed a substance that had caused the same symptoms in the healthy volunteers. The ‘proving’ method is still used by homeopaths today.

Potentisation

Another innovation was the process of ‘potentisation’ derived from his theory of ‘infinitesimals.’ Hahnemann used many dangerous ingredients in his research, but he realised that such compounds needed to be diluted to ‘safe’ levels before use. Potentisation involved dissolving the active ingredient in water and repeatedly diluting and shaking it vigorously. He believed that the more a remedy was diluted, the more powerful it became.

‘Firsts’

Dr Hahnemann was responsible for several other ‘firsts’. He was the first to prepare medicines in a systematic way and test them on healthy human beings to determine how they acted to cure disease – previously medicines were prescribed on the basis of trial and error and tradition without experimental corroboration.

He was the first to differentiate between ‘acute’ and ‘chronic’ diseases. Acute diseases are serious but transitory; they have a beginning and an end. Chronic diseases are ongoing. They could be lying latent and made manifest at any time in a variety of ways.

He identified poor hygiene as a contributory cause in the spread of disease, and his success with cholera and typhoid fever was in part due to this. He recognised the healing contribution made by a balanced diet, rest, and isolating patients during epidemics. He became known for his work with people with mental health problems, regarding their treatment in his day as cruel and harmful, and urging a more humane approach. He was famous for his success with insane patients using homeopathy.

Publications

He published his first treatise in 1810 – The Organon of the Healing Artin which he explained the fundamentals of homeopathic medicine and guidelines for practice. He later published Pure Materia Medica which included details of his research and the remedy provings. In Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homeopathic Cure, he explained how natural diseases become chronic in nature when suppressed by improper treatment.

Dr. Hahnemann treated thousands of difficult cases. Many had defied medical practitioners all over Europe. Physicians from the Old and New Worlds flocked to him for training in his methods, but they were in the minority. The majority of his contemporaries saw this giant of medicine as a quack of the first order! His theories and practices were derided by most medical practitioners of his day, and still are.

The ‘Scientific’ Verdict

Frankly, the scientific evidence is inconclusive, but this doesn’t prevent most doctors and medical researchers regard homeopathic remedies as placebos at best and quackery at worst. They point out that most studies have concluded that there is no evidence to support homeopathy as an effective treatment for any particular condition. Where studies report positive findings, they dismiss them as flawed: flawed sampling, flawed methodology, flawed conclusions and so on. Homeopathic medicines are infamous for containing no active chemical ingredients. Conventional bio-chemical science has no explanation for their efficacy. It can’t be true, they say, therefore it isn’t.

The ruling pharmaceutical-based medical establishment delight in attacking homeopathy. For example, in 2009, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned, with Africa’s rural poor in mind, that homeopathy should not be used for conditions such as HIV, TB, infant diarrhoea, influenza and malaria. Under a banner headline, ‘Homeopathy not a cure,’ they wrote, ‘We hope that by raising awareness of the WHO’s position on homeopathy we will be supporting those people who are taking a stand against these potentially disastrous practices.’ (Please note: the authors were referring to a handful of conditions; the headline gave the impression homeopathy could not cure anything at all!)

In the same report, a specialist in infectious diseases at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, was quoted as saying: ‘I think it is irresponsible for a healthcare worker to promote the use of homeopathy in place of proven treatment for any life-threatening illness.’

Needless to say, the Society of Homeopaths strongly disagreed. ‘This is just another poorly wrapped attempt to discredit homeopathy,’ said their Chief Executive. ‘The irony is that in their efforts to promote evidence in medicine, they have failed to do their homework. There is a strong and growing evidence base for homeopathy and this also includes childhood diarrhoea.’

Choice

Surely, in view of its positive track record, it is reasonable to consider what beneficial role homeopathy can play in any circumstances. What is needed is not crude dismissal but further research and investment into homeopathy.

So what’s the truth? Hahnemann was, above all, a man of integrity who devoted his life to rigorous testing of homeopathic cures. It has benefited millions since and continues to do so, but there are  no recent large scale studies that show homeopathy as conveying any benefit over and above the placebo effect, only small scale observational studies and laboratory research.

What’s wrong with the science?

In science, if something cannot pass a controlled trial using conventional methods, it is assumed not to work. With homeopathy (and other alternative medicines) even though practitioners know it works because they have seen it with their patients, when it fails in scientifically controlled trials they conclude that the trial must be flawed. Conventional methods are not the way to prove it.

According to mainstream science the humble bee is incapable of flight. Its wings are too small, its body too cumbersome. Similarly, there is a strong and growing evidence base for homeopathy. Let’s hope homeopathy can take its place as a scientifically proven and properly understood therapy in the future, helping lots of people. Then we will know for sure whether Hahnemann was truly an idiot, importer or genius!

©FGATT 8.3.2017

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Holistic Self-Healing

Many people worried about the side effects of conventional treatments are turning to holistic healing methods, and for good reason. It treats the patient as an individual and addresses the whole person, not just part with the illness. It is natural and gentle, and doesn’t rely on poisons (drugs), sharp blades or burning (e.g. lasers) for results. It is suitable for all ages and dispositions, and most importantly, recognises that mental, emotional and spiritual factors all have a part to play.

Holistic healing is based on the principle that the part can never be well unless the whole is well. It also acknowledges that it not doctors or therapists who heal – they are only catalysts. Their role is to stimulate the Life Force within, thus enabling the body to heal.

The body wants to be in balance

Sooner or later a badly treated body will demand attention. The body wants to be in balance. Any imbalance indicates a state of lack, e.g. loneliness, fear, guilt, anger and so on can all lead to physical symptoms, or are a sign that some aspect of our being needs correction.

If you are frequently ill, examine your thinking and lifestyle. Do you take good care of yourself? Do you need to change your ideas or beliefs? Could it be that your Higher Self is sending you a message?

The doctor’s role is to facilitate healing

There’s a saying, ‘God does the healing; the doctor gets the cheque.’ No doctor or therapist alone can heal you because it is not they who bring about the healing. Only the energy and Intelligence of the universe heals. Healers work on the presumption that they can tap into this healing energy.

As soon as any part of the body becomes ill or injured, invisible forces get to work to repair it. The doctor’s role is to facilitate these healing forces. I have a friend who is an energy healer. She has helped thousands to regain their health, but says, ‘Please don’t say I heal people. I simply channel healing energy through me into the person who needs it.’

There are few incurable conditions

Try and think of an illness or disease that has never been cured. You probably can’t, because there aren’t any. There are well documented and verified cases of AIDS, cancer, diabetes and other ‘incurable’ conditions being cured. Medical people call this ‘spontaneous remission’, which means they don’t have an orthodox explanation for it.

There are few incurable conditions – but there are incurable people!

Go into the Silence to heal the body

Meditation – going into the Silence – has proven health benefits. It can reduce chronic pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, cholesterol and the stress hormone cortisol. It boosts brain function, the immune system and the heart and circulation. When we relax and clear our minds, we stimulate the life forces within, allowing the body to regenerate itself and become more youthful.

Moreover, when we send loving thoughts to a body part and affirm life flowing through it, we direct healing forces to it. A gentle focus of attention is all it takes to free the body of minor ailments, and more serious conditions can be relieved with regular practice. It can also prevent medical problems.

Stay well

With proper self-management, doctors would rarely be required, but you must observe good healthy habits. Otherwise sooner or later the body will demand attention and force you to change. But remember, good habits are not just to be adopted when you are ill. Prevention is better than cure, and positive attitudes, wise words and loving actions are easily the best form of prevention.

 

©David Lawrence Preston, 13.11.2016

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Health and Beliefs

No serious medical practitioner can now deny that mind and body are one. In the 1980s scientists such as Dr Candace Pert proved that thoughts travel along the nerves to the muscles, organs and tissues, influencing the process by which cells are renewed and that meanwhile, cells continually send messages to the brain.

The mind can make us ill, and it can make us well. A state of peace and well-being creates healthy cells; anxious states do the opposite. Negative thoughts can give rise to all manner of conditions. Beliefs are simply collections of thoughts to which give sanction, so be careful what you think and say about your body. If you hear yourself saying, ‘You’re a pain in the neck’ or ‘this is a real headache’ don’t be surprised if you get one!

In her book, ‘Positive Thinking,’ Vera Pfeiffer relates the incredible tale of a convicted murderer in the United States who chose to have his wrists cut rather than go to the electric chair. The poisoned was blindfolded, a warden traced across his wrists with a feather. He died instantly. There are similar stories of African tribesmen when witch doctors pointed a ‘magic’ bone at them. It’s not the bone that killed them, but their belief in the power of the witchdoctor.

If you are unwell and don’t believe that you will recover, your belief (not the illness) can prevent you from getting well. Norman Cousins, who cured himself of a terminal illness after doctors had given up on him, wrote:

‘Drugs are not always necessary. Belief in recovery always is.’

Those who believe that illness is a sign of failure on their part or a punishment for mistakes made in this and previous lives heal the slowest of all.

What we can learn from placebos

Placebos are pills and potions with no active ingredients (i.e. ‘active’ in the conventional sense). They are often used in clinical trials as ‘controls’. One group takes the test drug, the other a placebo, and the outcomes are compared. It is not unusual for the improvement to be similar in both groups. Some patients even get the same side effects from placebos as if they had taken the actual medication.

The main factor in successful healing with placebos is the belief of the patient, hence the size, shape and colour of the tablets influence results, as does the healing procedure. Anything that makes the treatment seem more credible, such as the doctor’s bedside manner, improves the placebo effect. Placebos are least effective when the patient is unconscious or unaware of what is going on.

Placebos tell us something important about the mind-body connection. They are rarely used these days because doctors consider it unethical to tell patients a pill has an active ingredient when it hasn’t. Pity. How much potential for safe, effective healing is being lost?

The biochemical revolution has almost run its course

Understanding the relationship between beliefs and health will be among the greatest advances in medical science in the coming century. The biochemical revolution of the last sixty years has almost run its course and will one day – soon – be seen as ‘old medicine’ as doctors look elsewhere for solutions to intractable medical problems.

Modern medicine

©David Lawrence Preston, 1.11.2016

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PainLess Doctor

A month ago I left an AcuPearl PainLess on a trial basis with a Doctor of Chiropractic who had been on painkiller for chronic pain for many years. He used it every day found that the pain was so much better he was able to cut down on the painkillers. He also stated that he was feeling more positive too and even sleeping better. He couldn’t thank me enough as he completed the purchase.

I look forward to the day when the medical establishment appreciate the value of energetic medicine and perhaps even prescribe the amazing AcuPearl for their patients.

 

Further information: www.feelinggoodallthetime.com/articles/the-acupearl-painless/

 

Depression – Scourge of the 21st Century

Depression is the scourge of the 21st Century. The number of sufferers rises every year and the use of anti-depressant medication is skyrocketing.

Depression is the state of being dejected or dispirited. People who are depressed have a constant feeling of deep sadness. They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable and contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. They find it hard to be positive about the future. They may have physical symptoms too, like headaches and tiredness.

Everybody is potentially susceptible to depression. Depression is a disease like any other disease.

Types of depression

There are basically two types:

  1.  ‘Endogenous depression’ is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. It can be inherited, and is relatively rare. Medication is normally prescribed.
  2.  The more common type, ‘reactive depression’ occurs when things aren’t going well and you feel powerless to cope. Most of us succumb to this kind of depression at one time or another. Many sufferers are prescribed medication, which can be effective in the short-term, but unless they take steps to deal with the root cause, they find that nothing has changed when they come off the drugs.

Doctors also describe depression by how serious it is:

  • Mild depression has some impact on your daily life.
  • Moderate depression has a significant impact on your daily life.
  • Severe depression makes it almost impossible to cope with daily life. Some people with severe depression may also have psychotic symptoms, often described as involving a loss of contact with reality.

There are other types of depression, and some conditions where depression may be one of the symptoms. These include:

  • Postnatal depression: Some women develop depression after having a baby.
  • Bipolar disorder, also known as ‘manic depression’, where spells of depression alternate with excessively high mood (mania). The bouts of mania can include harmful behaviour such as gambling, going on spending sprees and having unsafe sex.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern, usually pronounced in the winter.

Causes of depression

Depression can be a person’s reaction to life events such as an unhappy childhood, loss of a loved one, physical, emotional or sexual abuse, financial difficulties, job problems, a serious injury or illness, bullying, childbirth, menopause, loneliness, relationship problems and many other factors. Adolescents may be especially prone following social rejection.

It can also be caused by poor nutrition, neurological conditions and physiological problems such as chronic pain, diabetes, cancer and insomnia. It is often among the early symptoms of hypothyroidism (reduced activity of the thyroid gland). Certain medications are also known to cause depressed moods.

Depression is also associated with abusive use of both legal and illegal drugs, including alcohol.

Symptoms

There are many symptoms of depression. The following are common, but thankfully one person is unlikely to have all them.

Physical symptoms include:

  • Disturbed sleep or excessive sleeping
  • Tiredness/reduced energy
  • Moving or speaking more slowly than usual
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches/a feeling or pressure in the head
  • Changes in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Changes to the menstrual cycle
  • Lack of energy or lack of interest in sex

Mental and emotional symptoms include:

  • Continuous low mood or sadness
  • Having no motivation or interest in things
  • Feeling anxious, hopeless and helpless
  • Feeling alone
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling tearful
  • Irritability and intolerance towards others
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself. (1)

Social symptoms include:

  • Avoiding contact with others
  • Under-performance at work
  • Shame because others don’t understand
  • Neglecting hobbies and interests
  • Difficulties in the home and family life

Depression can come on gradually, and many people try to cope with their symptoms without realising they are ill. It can take a friend or family member to suggest something is wrong.

Drug-free remedies for depression

Doctors claim a high success rate for treatments such as medication and psychotherapy, although they have their drawbacks as we shall see.

Practical approaches

For mild depression, doctors sometimes adopt a wait and see approach since people with mild depression often recover by themselves.

  • Exercise is one of the main treatments effective for mild depression.
  • Keep busy – distract your attention from the depressive thoughts.
  • Do something you love every day.

Natural medicines

Some natural remedies are known to help with depression. For instance, St John’s Wort is a herbal treatment available from health food shops and pharmacies. There’s some evidence that it may help mild to moderate depression, but it’s not recommended by doctors because the amount of active ingredients varies among individual brands and batches, so you can never be sure what sort of effect it will have on you.

Taking St John’s Wort with other medications can also cause serious problems, and nor should anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding or on the contraceptive pill take it.

Talking therapies

There are different types of talking therapy for depression, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: CBT helps you understand your thoughts and behaviour and how they affect you. It focuses on changing the way you think, feel and behave in the present and teaches you how to overcome negative thoughts and challenge hopeless feelings. Sufferers normally have six to eight sessions with a CBT-trained counsellor. It is also offered in group sessions, on the telephone and online.
  •  Interpersonal therapy (IPT) focuses on your relationships with other people and on problems you may be having with them such as difficulties with communication or coping with bereavement. There’s some evidence that IPT can be as effective as antidepressants or CBT.
  •  Psychodynamic therapy involves a psychoanalytic therapist encouraging you to say whatever is going through your mind. The aim is to become aware of hidden meanings or patterns that may be contributing to your problems. It is often a lengthy and expensive process.
  •  Counselling is a form of therapy that helps you think about your problems and find new ways of dealing with them. It is offered to people going through a current crisis, such as relationship issues, bereavement, poor health or financial problems.

People with severe depression may be referred to a mental health team made up of psychologists, psychiatrists, specialist nurses and occupational therapists which provides intensive specialist talking treatments as well as medication.

Medication

Treatment for moderate or severe depression usually involves a combination of drugs, talking therapies such as CBT, and self-help. The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NIHCE) 2009 guidelines recommend that antidepressants should not be routinely used for the initial treatment of mild depression because the risk-benefit ratio is poor.

Of course pills don’t cure depression, but they make it possible to function while the person returns to wellness. There are three main groups in common use:

  1. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).They help increase the level of serotonin, a ‘feel good’ chemical, in the brain. SSRIs are relatively new. They have fewer side effects than older antidepressants and are claimed to work just as well. They can, however, cause nausea and headaches, a dry mouth and sexual dysfunction, and if taken by under-18s there may be an increased risk of self-harm and suicidal behaviour.
  2.  Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are used to treat moderate to severe depression. They raise the levels of serotonin and noradrenaline (another feel good chemical) in the brain. Their possible side effects include a dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, problems passing urine, sweating, light-headedness and excessive drowsiness.
  3.  SNRIs (serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors) also change the levels of serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain. Studies have shown that an SNRI can be more effective than an SSRI, though they’re not routinely prescribed as they can lead to a rise in blood pressure.

Prescribing antidepressants can be a hit and miss affair. Not everybody with moderate or severe depression benefits from them. In addition an individual may respond to one antidepressant but not to another, and they may need to try several formulations before they find one that works for them.

Users may have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking them suddenly or miss a dose. These may include an upset stomach, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, anxiety and vivid dreams at night.

Electroconvulsive therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be offered if a person has severe depression and other treatments haven’t worked. This involves administering an electric shock to the brain through electrodes placed on the head. It is usually given twice a week for three to six weeks. The effects tend to wear off after a few months.

Some people get unpleasant side effects, including short-term headaches, memory problems, nausea and muscle aches.

Self-help

Severe depressives usually lack the motivation, know-how and support to return to wellness unaided, but mild to moderate sufferers can benefit from self-help books and online materials. Self-help groups are also available in some areas, and some sufferers find talking things through can be helpful.

Organisations like the Samaritans and, in the UK, Depression Alliance can also help to find new ways of looking at things and taking practical steps to deal with the issues. There is much that sufferers can do to help themselves once they have taken responsibility for their emotional state. It also helps to remind yourself that most depression is temporary. ‘This too shall pass’.

Electronic Biofeedback Devices

Various electronic devices have been developed in the past half century which use well-proven technologies of low frequency, low intensity magnetic pulses to influence the body tissues. One example is TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) which uses electrical currents to stimulate the nerves for therapeutic purposes. Another is Scenar – ‘Self-Controlled Energy Neuro Adaptive Regulation,’ originally developed for the Russians to help with the health problems associated with space travel. While the use of TENS and Scenar has proved effective for pain relief in clinical studies, it is doubtful that they can help with depression.

The most advanced electronic biofeedback device on the market is the AcuPearl. AcuPearl has been developed by an international team of dedicated scientists whose expertise extends from the ancient healing arts including Traditional Chinese Medicine through to the latest research into the body’s connective tissue matrix communication network. AcuPearl comes in various configurations, one of which is the AcuPearl Chillout.

The AcuPearl Chillout

Chillout has been specifically developed to help with emotional anxiety and stress by helping calm the mind, relax the body, establish good sleep patterns and generally revitalise mind and body. It doesn’t claim to cure depression, rather support the body’s natural functions to lessen its effects. Its efficacy has been demonstrated with a range of states, including worry, nervousness, irritability, depression, headaches, shallow breathing, low libido, hyperactivity and lethargy, amongst others.

The AcuPearl Chillout offers three selectable therapeutic programs: Calm/Relax, Sleep and Revitalise.

The Calm/Relax setting works with acute and chronic stress and anxiety, offering a general calming and relaxing effect; the Revitalise program aims to help re-establish a sense of vitality when feeling depleted as a result of prolonged emotional stress and anxiety; and the Sleep setting offers the potential to help re-establish good sleep patterns for people experiencing sleep disorders due to emotional stress and anxiety. It can also be set to run through all three programs in sequence, which can be helpful when addressing chronic issues.

The therapeutic effect of AcuPearl can be enhanced by applying it to acupuncture points. The harmonious frequencies then flow through the body’s meridian network, harmonising the body’s energy system.

Scientific advance is an ever unfolding process, and although there’s still an awful lot to discover, the AcuPearl, based on the latest knowledge available, is leading the way in the field of bioenergetic therapies – and it comes without the drawbacks of harmful side effects, is non-additive and has no withdrawal symptoms.

Depression is a disease like any other disease. The more we learn about the mind and body, the more we realise that energy medicine is the future.

 

See also www.AcuPearl.co.uk

© David Lawrence Preston, 2015

 

Nothing in this article is intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a doctor if you have any health concerns that may require diagnosis or treatment. Any statements made concerning products and services represent the opinion of the author alone and do not constitute an endorsement of any product or service.

 

(1) This is often misunderstood. Sufferers report that suicide is not seen as an escape, but as the logical solution to their situation. It ends the sufferer’s pain and, they imagine, relieves their close ones of an intolerable burden – themselves.

Are you dependent on pharmaceuticals?

The drug companies are trying to make us dependent on them. Today’s drugs don’t just treat the health conditions we have, but are sold to us just in case we develop illnesses we don’t yet have.

A good example is statins. Statins are claimed to reduce cholesterol in the blood which, they claim, reduces the risk of heart attacks, angina and strokes. These claims are based on the premise that high cholesterol is a major factor in heart attacks, yet 75% of heart attack victims have normal levels of cholesterol! The manufacturers recommend that they be given to people with ‘normal’ levels of cholesterol, as if ‘normal’ has become ‘risky.’ Obviously it is profitable to convince us that we are at risk and that taking their drugs reduces that risk.

Like all drugs, statins hey have side effects, e.g. fatigue, headaches, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, muscle pain and forgetfulness. There is no such thing as a totally safe chemically-based medicine.

Dr Gary Greenberg’s book, ‘Manufacturing depression: The History of a Modern Disease’ argues the same happens with antidepressants – drug companies falsely advertise their benefits and ignore their side effects. They have persuaded us that huge numbers suffer from depression when in fact they probably do not.  For example, before Prozac was launched in 1986, only 100 people per million were diagnosed as depressed; today 100,000 per million, a thousand-fold increase.

Modern medicine

What should we make of reports that pharmaceutical companies are currently working with academics to develop drugs that regulate the body’s circadian clock so they can control jetlag and treat some sleep disorders?

Does the pharmaceutical industry have us under mass hypnosis? It dominates the medical journals and spends huge sums on research.  Its approach to medicine is virtually unquestioned in medical schools where the next generation of doctors are trained. Its products are heavily marketed, it spends a fortune sales promotion, especially with medical professionals, and successfully challenges any approach to healing that does not serve its interests (e.g. most forms of natural medicine).

Pharmaceutical companies are engaged in a search for pills that everyone can take as preventatives, not just those who are ill. They’re talking the general public with them, believing they could have a longer, healthier life. In fact, most welcome it.

But drugs do have their place

But despite all this, drugs do have a place. They can bring quick relief, and sometimes are essential. For instance anti-rejection drugs are essential in organ transplants, and many with serious psychological conditions like schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder can have a reasonable quality of life that would be impossible without them. Similarly thyroxin helps patients with under-active thyroids live a normal life.

It’s something of a cliché that doctors are too quick to reach for their prescription pads rather than explore health problems from a more holistic point of view. Personally, I’ve found that doctors vary considerably in this respect. In the practice I attend, one of the doctors is over-hasty to prescribe, but one of the others takes a different approach and often appears reluctant to prescribe until other avenues have been explored.

There is of course a biochemical component to the body. We know how powerful changes in biochemistry can be. E.g. alcohol affects biochemistry, including mechanical stability, mental functioning, speech and behaviour. But we are also mental and energetic beings. 99.999% plus of our bodies are empty space, waves and particles spinning at great speeds to form atoms which form molecules and cells.

Any medical approach that does not take account of the body’s natural rhythms and energy flows and the impact of the environment on the human biofield will one day be as redundant as leeches are today.

©David Lawrence Preston, 28.7.2016

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