Health Tip – Understanding and Treating Depression

News of comedian Robin Williams’ suicide and long-term battle with depression sent shockwaves around the world. While the loss of such a beloved personality is tragic, his death has served to educate millions about a condition many suffer from in silence.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 10 adults in the United States has depression. The most common of mental disorders, depression is far more than just feeling sad. People with this illness may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities; significant changes in weight; insomnia or excessive sleeping; lack of energy; inability to concentrate; feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt; and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Depression can stem from a number of causes-including life and medical events like divorce, death, abuse, medications, chronic health conditions and genetics. So it’s important to have a conversation with your physician to determine the best course of action. There also are other considerations when battling this medical condition.

Studies clearly show depression impairs both physical and mental health. But depression is very treatable so seek help earlier rather than later. Most primary care doctors are comfortable at least initiating treatment and can refer patients to specialists if necessary. In addition:

  • Find the right kind of social support. While social isolation increases the risk of depression, research shows that the wrong friendships may increase the problem, especially among young girls. A study with elementary and middle school girls found that levels of depression and anxiety actually increased when girls spent too much time dwelling together on their negative feelings, also known as “co-rumination.” Experts say finding the right mix of social support and activity is the key.
  • Exercise on a regular basis. While the most common treatments for depression are psychotherapy and medications, most psychologists agree that exercise belongs in this category. Exercise is obviously good for weight loss, improved self-image and heart health, but it also releases endorphins, or “feel good” chemicals, in the brain. Work-outs don’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial. In fact, walking just 30 minutes a day can help.
  • Try something new. A regular routine is important for most people with depression; however, breaking out of that routine can be equally beneficial. Try a new activity or travel to a different place. New experiences can alter dopamine levels in the brain and increase the sensation of pleasure and enjoyment.

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression or issues of self-worth, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number at 1-800-273-8255. The call is free and confidential.

Is Fighting Disease the Best Way For Good Health?

Doesn’t the term ‘fighting’ implicate resistance? Can good health come from resistance? According to Eckart Tolle, good health arises from acceptance, not resistance.

In his book, A New Earth, he talks about war as a mind set. To be at war with someone or something, you impersonalise the ‘enemy’, allowing for, even promoting, dysfunctional (as he calls it, insane) behaviour that is known as fighting.

Whether you are fighting a country, a person or a disease you end up strengthening it, the exact opposite of what you want to achieve. What you resist, in fact, persists. Some examples within the United States of America (and probably worldwide), include:

1. The war on drugs has resulted in an enormous increase in their use over the past couple of decades.

2. The war on crime has resulted in an increase of the prison population of over 200% in a couple of decades.

3. Cancer is on the rapid rise, despite the proclaimed ‘war’ against it.

4. The war on disease has resulted in medical treatment becoming the third leading cause of death, after heart and cancer, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.

So fighting, or war, clearly doesn’t work.

On the other hand, homeopathic treatment has a completely different view point on disease. It does not treat disease as an enemy. Instead, homeopathy treats your imbalance, which allowed the entry of disease. By restoring your natural balance, you are now in a position to cure yourself. Your immune system is able, once more, to function as it should, as it was designed to.

The war on disease is not only creating many more seriously ill people (and animals), it is also creating many new diseases.

Is it time for a radical change in how you view health? Perhaps it is long overdue.

Koi Health – Topical Minor Treatments & Salt Dips (Part 1 of 4)

If during your routine observations of your koi you see any damage to the body or fins or the start of any ulceration, lesions, raised scales etc., resulting from mechanical impact, bacterial or parasitic action, these should be dealt with as soon as possible. Should remedy not be undertaken at an early stage, there is a likelihood of the damage site increasing in severity leading to extensive tissue damage and possible systemic infection and septicaemia. This can disable the vital organs leading to finally, the loss of your Koi.

Fin rot which is a general term for loss of fin tissue will be dealt with further in this section. However again, if this not dealt with effectively, it will continue to destroy the entire fin and fin rays until it eventually infects the body tissue of your Koi.

In order to ‘Topically Treat’ your Koi, raise and bowl-up your fish.

Before you commence any treatment, thoroughly examine your Koi. This should not just be limited to the site to be treated but turn the fish over and examine the underside for reddening or tissue damage. A mirror can also be used for underside inspection if you do not wish to invert the Koi.

Whilst your Koi is inverted, carefully open the gill covers using gentle pressure from your thumb on the underside of the fish adjacent to the gill openings. The gill plates (lamellae) should be dark red in colour (a bit like a piece of liver!). Look for parasite (edge damage), chemical (discolouration) and bacterial damage (decayed tissue, growths etc) and also for congestion (a build-up of mucous on the gill plates caused by irritation which will restrict the in-take of dissolved oxygen into the bloodstream).

Whilst the Koi is bowled-up, take a mucus scrape on the body just behind the gill cover (operculum) and check for parasitic activity. With experience, you will be able to take a mucus swap using a moist cotton bud from the inside of the gill cover but never touch the gill plates as they are easily damaged – this is not recommended for the novice. Your microscope (if you have or can borrow one) will become with experience, a very valuable aid.

Salt Dips
The are times after the examination of your Koi that it is evident that a salt dip would be beneficial. It may be to clear congested gills or to ‘knock-back’ or hold a parasitic problem until such time as the Koi is able to undergo further treatment. It is often the case that you will need to deal with not one but several problems. In these circumstances, you must tackle the most ‘life threatening’ problem first (such as a deep bacterial ulceration) and deal with a parasite infestation later. However, in cases such as Costia (which can cause havoc with your Koi’s cardio vascular system), immediate ‘holding’ measures should also be taken at the same time via salt dips.

Two bowls should be used whenever carrying out any dips – the first bowl used for the medication process and the second bowl filled with un-treated pond (or tank) water. Should there be a need to curtail the treatment whilst it is in progress, you can immediately raise the Koi and return it to the fresh water container.

To undertake the salt dip, fill the first bowl with a measured amount of pond water (or from the water source where the Koi was removed) to a sufficient depth to cover the complete fish. Add salt at the rate of 3 ounces per gallon of water and mix well. Insert an air stone into the water. Carefully place the Koi into the saline solution and leave in the dip for between 10 to 20 minutes, depending upon how the fish copes with the treatment. Should gill disease be suspected, use a far weaker solution (1.5oz @ 10 mins).

Should the Koi become very stressed or go on its side and stay in this position (usually indicating a respiratory problem), it should be removed from the dip and returned to the second bowl containing the un-medicated water. After a few minutes, the dip treatment can be repeated (sometimes your Koi will settle down) and if the same result occurs, the dip can be diluted with fresh pond water. Very occasionally, it is necessary to use judgement between the possible ‘lifesaving’ benefits of the dip against the effects of stressing. However, never leave your Koi ‘on its side’ in the medication.

Upon completion of the dip, return your Koi to the bowl of un-treated water to recover prior to any further work, or its return to the pond. If use of an anaesthetic is required for the next stage of treatment, leave for 20 to 30 minutes to clear any residual salt traces before sedating. An air stone should also be placed in the water and the bowl netted.

Whenever undertaking any dip, NEVER LEAVE YOUR KOI UNATTENDED.

Minor Damage

Readily accessible minor damage to your Koi can be treated without anaesthising. You will require a bactericide (for body treatments), potassium permanganate (for fin damage), protective gloves and cotton buds.

Bowl-up your Koi, gently raise the fish with your hand underneath and dab the bactericide on the damaged area on the body, covering well. In cases of minor fin damage, use a very strong solution of potassium permanganate on the area requiring treatment. Allow to dry for as long as your Koi will allow you to!

For loose or dead scales, these can easily be removed using a cotton bud, carefully swabbing the area with a bactericide upon completion.

When working in inaccessible areas or when the treatment is likely to stress the Koi (you do not want your Koi flapping around all over the place which may result in further damage), a light sedation should be used.

We always prefer to use a liquid treatment applied by cotton bud in lieu of a spray aerosol as you can control the contact area of the medication. Always wear protective gloves when applying topical treatments.

Adding to Your Level of Health is the Key

Here is a continuation of the light and darkness metaphor: a bucket of water. The bucket represents you. The water represents your level of health. What happens is that we all come into life with unique buckets. Written on the inside of your bucket is a list of all the symptoms and diseases that you are predisposed to.

When you were born you had a certain level of water in your bucket. Any symptoms or diseases that are written on the inside of your bucket above your water level, are the symptoms and disease you express.

Almost every one has symptoms that are above the water level of health: like fatigue, bad eyesight, low energy, allergies, headaches, and other minor symptoms. Many of these symptoms that you express are symptoms that you ignore because you think they are just part of life.

What you and most other people have done up until now is to take a symptom that is written above the water-line in the bucket and move it down below the water-line. And magic, no more symptom. The symptom was treated and now it is gone. What happened to the water level in the bucket when you treated the symptom and moved it lower in the bucket? That’s right, nothing. Nothing happened to your level of health.

After a while the symptoms get all crowded and nudge around to make more room, and end up pushing some other symptom or disease above the water level on top because all the symptoms below need more space. This is why people who treat their symptoms are constantly having new symptoms they need to treat. Whether they treat their symptoms naturally, or with drugs and surgery, they are constantly treating their symptoms, and more keep coming.

What happens in life is that we also put holes in our bucket. As the water leaks out, more and more symptoms and diseases come up above the water level. We express more and more symptoms.

Some common examples of “holes in the bucket” are drinking alcohol, eating sugar, taking drugs (both prescription and over-the-counter), taking street drugs, experiencing stress, putting poisonous chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, and other things into our body from the food we eat, smoking, mis-perceptions from faulty belief systems, etc.

Many people in the natural health care field got smart, and figured out that if you get someone to quit putting holes in their bucket, the water level in the bucket will go up. Because the body is always striving to be healthy.

But most people are either treating the symptoms or plugging the holes.

Up until this point, most people have not even considered anything outside of this paradigm of treating symptoms. They believed that treating symptoms was what you did to help people heal. Whether you treated symptoms naturally, or with drugs and surgery, all there really was to do was to treat symptoms. I mean, what else is there?

How about putting a hose in the bucket and turning it on? Turn the hose on full force. This will increase the water level in the bucket dramatically.

Adding water to the bucket is what no one has even considered as an option, let alone figured out how to do it. Well, I have done both, and that is what I will share with you, how to add to your health in a later lesson

Again, symptoms and disease are what is written on the inside of your bucket. When your health gets low, you begin to express symptoms and disease. If you add health to your bucket, your body will heal, and you will express fewer symptoms and disease.

You can treat the symptoms and you can plug the holes in your bucket. And you can put a hose in your bucket, and turn it on, thus increasing the level of your health.

When you treat or fix some symptom or disease in your body, although the symptoms or disease may be gone, you have done nothing to improve your health. Health is the thing to be added to. Health is the physical existence. And when you add to the bucket of health, the body naturally heals symptoms and disease.