Health knowledge made personal

Complementary & Alternative Medicine Community

Overview Blog Posts Discussions People
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Friday, 23 October 2009 17:36 - Health Tips Newsletter March 2009

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:01pm

Welcome Message

Empower Yourself ARFE banner logo
March 2009
Monthly Health Tips Newsletter

Accessing Resources for Empowerment(tm)

NEW!  Dr. Leyton's YouTube Video on Sleep at
This issue contains:

'No Pain-No Gain' or Gain in Plain View?

Opening the Cookie Jar!

School Break Coming Up? Travel in the  Optimal State

Answering Reader's Questions - Mood Swings after Hysterectomy



You have probably heard it many times in your life in one form or another. I'm referring to those aphorisms like 'no pain no gain' and 'suffering helps you grow'. Suffering is inevitable because 'we are all sinners' say some religions, and somehow we deserve it.  The pioneers of this country 'suffered' as they strove to make a life for themselves and us, and so we should suffer too. It's a part out of the Protestant/Judeo-Christian religious and work ethic. Work hard and if that doesn't do it, work harder. My colleagues and I have been discussing this recently and to me it really is worth thinking about whether this has to be true, desirable, or inevitable.

Have you ever considered the possibility that we actually deserve wellness, health, well-being, and worthiness; not even just deserve it perhaps, but actually embody it as a part of our lives?

Here is my take:  Emotional pain is not a by-product of the growth process; it is a by-product of the stuck process! I think growth can be painful, but I don't think it has to be.  It's really a personal choice, not always conscious, but a choice nevertheless.  I believe that personal/spiritual growth does require contrasting experiences - contrast between how we are now and how we want to be different, or contrast between what we want or desire and what we don't have.  This contrast can be interpreted as painful, but I don't think it has to be.  Surely how we interpret the experience of contrast will determine whether it is painful or not.  For example, if you have pain or fear from your contrasting experience, you may want to move away from it or stay and suffer.  If you have desire and even a compelling need for something that you can see as so much better than where you are now - you may want to move towards that, but you don't have to be in pain to do it.  Here is a metaphor as an example: Consider the sensation of thirst - it's not painful unless it's extreme dehydration, and you naturally move towards the desire to quench that thirst by taking steps to get a drink.  Now some people might deprive themselves of a drink of water because they don't feel they deserve it; because they do not think there is enough to go around; because they were told by someone else they didn't need it; someone else needs it more than they do, or for any other myriad of reasons.  Those are choices.

When are we going to realize as a human race that we are worthy, deserve to be joyful, happy, exuberant, content, and filled with an infinite positive spirit of life giving energy that flows through us forever?

Now that is not to say that I haven't had my fair share of pain in life, both emotional and physical that I have moved away from.  I think there are ways of moving through feeling stuck and into growth that can be exhilarating, opening, and expansive.  I think it is means embracing feeling hopeful instead of being bogged down by anachronistic beliefs.
Speaking as a therapist I see it as a part of my job to help patients find their way to that hopeful place - and to me, the more they are stuck in their pain of being stuck (i.e. by paying more and more attention to it), the more stuck they get.  The more you struggle to get out of a bog, the more it sucks you in. Personally, I think you only need to be in pain long enough to let go of it and move towards something better. It's not intrinsically a 'good thing' to suffer.

S.B. from Trinidad writes:
I had a hysterectomy recently and my ovaries are still in.  I am having off and on low mood swings and can't figure out if its hormonal or not and what to do?  After a hysterectomy, (with ovaries remaining) what is a woman to expect about her cycle and the whole PMS deal, emotional upheaval etc.

Good question. I cannot answer about your specific situation because I do not know your medical history. However, there are lots of women in your position. In general, when the uterus and cervix are removed and the ovaries are left in your hormones will still be cycling in the way that they were prior to the surgery - there will be no menstruation of course. Anybody who had PMS or other symptoms before the surgery may continue to have them afterwards. An exception might be that if the person is in their mid-40s and headed into menopause.  In that case the cycle might change anyway, surgery on no surgery.

What to do?  As I mentioned in my last newsletter (February 2009) regarding PMS, many symptoms regarding mood can be due to an estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Even though the ovaries may be decreasing their hormone output, the ratio of estrogen to progesterone can have a significant effect on mood. Both estrogen and progesterone bind to receptors on different cells and send signals to those cells. These receptors are on many cells including brain cells. So estrogen and progesterone both affect mood.  My advice would be to seek the services of a natural physician or naturopath in your area and have the salivary levels of your progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and other hormones measured. If any of these are out of balance you may need to take some natural hormones in order to bring them back into balance.  These are called 'bioidentical' hormones because they are natural to the body and they can be given in dosages that your body is used to. They are totally different and probably much safer than the hormones known as Premarin and Provera that are synthetic, and can increase your risk of heart disease.
In terms of your diet it should be as vegetarian as possible with an emphasis on soy products, detoxifying herbs such as curcumins, and plenty of fresh ground flaxseed. Kudzu extract also contains a number of useful isoflavones, including genestein and daidzin, that are also contained and soy.These have estrogen balancing effects.

For further information about this and how to regulate your system during menopause and pre-menopause I recommend the following book: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Pre-Menopause ~ Balancing your hormones and your life from thirty to fifty by John R. Lee, M.D., Jesse Hanley, M.D. and Virginia Hopkins. You can also visit Dr. Lee's website at

Thanks for reading this month's newsletter. See you next month!

Healthy Tips Short and Simple~News to Use

There are four basic principles to health:
1. Good nutrition
2. Good exercise
3. Good thinking and emotional states
4. Good self-care
These embrace the mind, body and spirit of good health and well-being. Each monthly tip(s) will address one or more of these principles. These health tips are short and simple. All tips, where applicable, are based on quality research that is being done in the medical field. You will see links throughout the newsletter to take you to more detail if you wish...or you can simply read what's here.
Andrea Leyton BAH BEd

My mother always had a cookie jar on the kitchen counter. One of her sisters gave it to her and I have it now. It is the shape of a house with imprints of cookies to represent the windows and doors. To get to the cookies you have to lift the roof off. When I make my favorite chocolate chip cookies I put them in an old plastic container.  Mom's cookie jar is far too precious to use, so it sits on top of the kitchen shelf collecting dust. Admired, but untouched.

Recently, I've been thinking about my happiness in this life. Am I happy? Is what I am doing in life contributing to my happiness? Do I feel a zest for life? The answers are no, kind of, and sometimes. There is a new yearning inside me to be happy again. Not just a mediocre happiness, but a true joy in my heart.

I want cookie jar happiness, the kind of joy that comes when you open the lid and something yummy emerges. I want to be happy with something that I make, think, or feel; those aspects of myself that make me who I am. It is a yearning to express the inner me, not hold it in and worry what someone else thinks or listen to my own inner critic.

The beauty of that cookie jar is so much more than the plastic one. Why do I care if the beautiful antique jar gets used or chipped?Life is to be experienced and used. I want to risk opening that jar even if it gets broken because in the end, all I have is today.

If, inside of you, your cookie jar is waiting to be opened, beware! Emotions of joy,happiness, sadness, anger, etc., may be waiting to come out. Who knows, you may be in the middle of your kitchen suddenly singing at the top of your lungs,dancing with gusto, whipping the tea towel around your head like a pirate, or laughing with your children. Whatever it is let it out. Open the cookie jar lid and let life surprise you!
So, your bags are packed and you've got all your liquids in their small plastic containers for carry on.  It's five in the morning and you're headed for the airport.  That glorious trip that you have been planning is finally in sight. But you arrive at that airport and it's hell!  There is a morass of people.  Line-ups all over the place.  You start to feel tense, perhaps a headache is coming on -- now your bags are overweight, somebody stepped on your foot and your kids are cranky.  Somehow that great vacation that you had in sight is quickly losing its allure.
But wait.  Help is on the way!  I call it the Optimal Travel State or OTS for short.  It's a state of relaxed alertness helpful for negotiating today's tough travel environment.
Interested in learning how to get into an OTS?  It's easy.
Go to Optimal Travel State to get your 15 min. mp3 download in time for the holiday season at a special holiday price


NEW!  Dr. Leyton's YouTube Video on Sleep at
Have Bright Idea for a Health Topic?

I'd like to hear about it! Just reply any time and let me know what topics you'd like to know more about.
Email Dr. Leyton

Did you receive this newsletter forwarded or sent from a friend or colleague by email?  If you would like your very own monthly issue
Copyright Accessing Resources for Empowerment(tm) 2008. All rights reserved.
Accessing Resources for Empowerment (tm) is committed to bringing you quality products,
workshops, ideas, information and links to help you negotiate the world around you more
easily and comfortably. The information and suggestions provided in this newsletter and other
articles are for educational purposes only and are not intended as treatment to be used without
the further advice of a physician or other health-care practitioner familiar with the diagnosis
and treatment of any condition using nutritional or other alternative approaches.
Please, always see your health care provider to provide a proper diagnosis and
for any further details of treatment.
Unsubscribe Me
Post a comment
Write a comment:

Related Searches