The more I do this work that I love, namely psychotherapy and helping people find meaning and purpose in their lives, the more I discover just how very, very connected the mind, body, and spirit are. Not that this is a newsflash to me: I've been interested in the mind-body connection, spiritual issues, hypnosis, herbalism, vitamins, Chinese medicine, and wellness since I was a teen. It should come as no surprise to my patients that I frequently attend seminars and earn continuing education units in subjects involving non-pharmacological (aka drugs) treatments for all that ails a person: depression, anxiety, mood swings, ADHD, health issues, degenerative diseases, and more. Still, that didn't prepare me for the little gem I learned at a seminar this week: inflammation is at the root of cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and frequent mood swings.
Wellness researchers and doctors do not use the word inflammation in the same way that you and I use it: it is NOT swelling or mild irritation of a body part. Inflammation in the naturopathic, wellness jargon is systemic and far more complicated than I can get into in this blog. Let it suffice to say that the treatments for systemic inflammation include eating certain foods, taking vitamins and herbs, and the reduction of stress. Lifestyle issues, such as meaning and purpose, definitely factor into the wellness equation. As I tell my clients, I can make a big difference in your depression with therapy and hypnosis, but if your problem is bio-chemical (and whose isn't after years of depression?), then all of our efforts are akin to pushing back the ocean with a dixie cup. We need to approach this from all directions...and, then, your life can be your own.
If you'd like to understand a little more about the biological causes of depression and anxiety disorders, send me an email at.... DrGwenF@yahoo.com ....and I will send you the educational hand-out I give to clients who suffer from depression or anxiety. If you'd like to attend free presentations on wellness by an American-university-trained M.D. (turned wellness practitioner after 30 years of practicing western medicine), contact Dr. Susan Sklar at the Sklar Center in Long Beach, Ca. at www.sklarcenter.com or 888 635-well.