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Friday, 23 October 2009 17:51 - Health Tips Newsletter May 2009

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:01pm
Empower Yourself ARFE banner logo
May 2009
Monthly Health Tips Newsletter

Accessing Resources for Empowerment(tm)

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

Help Avert a Mental Health Crisis

Are You Making Assumptions?
Summer Sun Tips May Surprise You!
Summer Traveling Soon? Travel in the  Optimal State


Answering Reader's Questions - if you don't ask they won't get answered!


We need to address the problem of mental illness in Canada,and indeed around the world, by erasing the stigma that surrounds it and by recognizing the signs of emotional distress earlier in people's lives.  I am moved to write this article for a number of reasons - a conference on GP Psychotherapy that I attended recently in Toronto confirmed my realization that there are so many ways to treat mental illness that are not being utilized.  Our 22nd annual conference entitled "Integrative Mental Health" consisted of many disparate viewpoints; but for me the only conclusion I could reach was that all of them need to be considered in therapy.  One of our keynote speakers, Dr. James Lake from Monterey California, an author of the "Textbook on Integrative Mental Health Care" gave us extraordinary insight into the possibilities of using many approaches that include vitamins, supplements,herbs, and energetic treatments such as yoga and mindfulness.  Dr. George Linn from Kingston, Ontario gave us tremendous insight into how homeopathy could be combined with psychotherapy and other medications in helping people to manage chronic disease and the resulting mental anguish associated with it.  Dr. Roger McIntyre from the mood disorders clinic in Toronto gave this insight into how medication could be used.

Most of the people who spoke to us were what I would call "inclusive thinkers".  They embraced all aspects of treating mental health that included complementary as well as orthodox approaches.  Dr. McIntyre was perhaps the exception because the orthodox model of mental illness emphasizes standard "diagnosing and proving techniques" for showing what works and what doesn't work.  In this medical model the diagnosis is sometimes treated with more respect than the individual patient.  This is inherent in the very model itself.  It requires that we gather large numbers of people together, put them into a single diagnostic category (e.g. 'depression'), treat them with one drug, average out all of the results, and then proceed to generalize this to the whole population who fit into this category.  Yet, nowhere in medicine is there more uniqueness to an illness than in mental illness.  Mental illness is literally a result of how we grow up, who is in our environment, and what are we learn.  Our ability to navigate the stresses and strains of 21st century living depends on what we learn during the first 7 years of life!
The Toronto Star recently reported on the seriousness of mental health in Canada (May 2 2009).  Here are some statistics they reported:
  • 1 in 5 Ontarians within a given year experience mental illness.
  • There is a 20% increase reported by the Anxiety Disorders Association of Ontario for men registering for anxiety management workshops as a result of the economic downturn
  • Only 1/3 of those who need mental health services in Canada actually receive them.
  • Every day, half a million Canadians are absent from work due to psychiatric problems.
  • While mental illnesses constitute more than 15 per cent of the burden of disease in Canada, they receive only 5.5% of health-care dollars.
  • The whole world over someone commits suicide every 40 seconds.
  • 46% of Canadians think the term "mental illness" is used as an excuse for poor behaviour and personal failings.

Harmony Brown, 33, a woman talking about her story in the May 2nd of the Toronto Star says this very succinctly about her youth:  "I was caught in a cycle. I stopped caring about my potential and turned to drugs and alcohol and self-injury. Without the trauma [of my early childhood], my depression might not have been as bad, but I wasn't aware of healthy alternatives."  She says teenage behaviour, often dismissed as attention seeking, is "really a cry for help."  The article goes on to say that she wound up at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for a month, with a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and major depressive disorder,followed by an eight-month outpatient program. Treatment at Canadian Association for Mental Health (CAMH) included counselling, the right medication (the sixth one she tried), and several coping strategies, such as yoga, meditation,building self-esteem and journaling.

Many people do not realize that there are MD psychotherapists, covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan,who are experts in doing psychotherapy and understand the appropriate use of medication.  They can be accessed via the GP Psychotherapy Association website or by calling (416) 410-6644.

So, how can you help?  If you know someone who is depressed, anxious, or has any mental health problem talk to them about seeing a professional who can help them.  Thank you!

With all the controversy about sun, ultraviolet light and skin cancer these days it's important to know that in the northern latitudes we are becoming vitamin D deficient because of sun avoidance! Yes, not enough sun.  So:
  1. Make sure you get some sun every day.  About 15-30 mins. exposure of head, neck and arms will generate some of your Vitamin D requirements.
  2. Do not expose yourself during the 11 am-1 pm period, and only use sun block for extended periods of time in the sun i.e. more than 30 mins.
  3. Take 1000 units of Vitamin D a day during the winter, and summer too.
  4. Have your blood levels of Vitamin D tested yearly.

Readers who send in questions can have them answered by Dr. Leyton right here!

Did you know that Dr. Leyton writes for both Ezine Online Articles and for Wellsphere International , the online health network seen by millions daily.

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.
How many times in our lives,
have we absolutely known
that something was a certain way, only to discover later that what we believed to be true ... was not?
The Cookie Thief
attributed to
Valerie Cox

A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shops.
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be.
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I would blacken his eye."

With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought... oooh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he's also rude,
Why he didn't even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.


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.
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