How to Rehabilitate the Endocrine (Hormonal) System to Heal Depression
Posted Aug 07 2009 1:42pm
Depression is not emotional sadness - though its most common symptom is sadness. We treat depression as an imbalance of the endocrine system, the hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal gland axis in particular.
You see, sorrow and hardship have always been part of life on earth. When our ability to manage life in all its colors diminishes, its not natural. The loss of ability to deal with life's highs and lows, is what we classify as depression.
The endocrine system manages the way our bodies and even minds react to life. When there is an imbalance in this system, we feel unable to manage the situation, confused and hopeless.We find ourselves unable to find pleasure in life and this makes everything look so boring, futile and so we lose interest in life, and are unable to motivate ourselves in the direction of our dreams anymore.
The key to healing depression effectively is to bring the endocrine system back to normal function, the Hypothalamus - Pituitary - Pineal Axis in particular so our ability to manage pain and pleasure comes back into balance. Chemical intervention is just a very temporary solution and could further the imbalance.
Rehabilitating the Endocrine system to heal Depression requires the following;
1) Correction of the sleep cycle
Ideally every human needs a stable 24 hour sleep - waking routine. Stability is the key to a balanced sleep routine. The body will adjust and work with to any 24 hour routine if we demonstrate a commitment to that routine. To heal from depression in a real way, means changing our sleep-waking pattern to a stable consistent one. It is going to be difficult with the endocrine system being already upset, but don't give up. Just keep going dilligently and it'll be well worth the effort.
2) Correction of light-darkness exposure
We need to have an equal amount of exposure to both light and darkness. Our bodies depend on light for a whole lot of metabolic and endocrinal activity (not to mention Vit. D synthesis through the skin). We actually live on sunlight in many ways, and many important bodily functions are timed to the sun cycle. To heal from depression, we need to stringently correct the amount of exposure we have to light in general and make that as much actual sunlight as possible, rather than artificial light. In most cases all this means is, opening the windows and curtains of your house so that during the day, sunlight comes in boldly. This also means turning off the lights atleast an hour or two before your sleep time, so you get waking time in darkness.
3) Balance electric signals in the Brain and Nervous System
This is very important because if the electric signals in the nervous system can stay more or less stable, it means more stable moods, emotions and the ability to manage stress better.
One of the ways this can be done, is by following a regular schedule of doing breathing exercises. These should be gentle - that involve holding breath in your abdomen for as long as you can without straining yourself. The aim is not to simply breathe right for some time every day, but to change the way you've been breathing all along, to get back to how you breathed as a child. This is long term insurance against any energy imbalance in the cells of the body, and reduces stress so drastically its amazing.
Exercise 1 Breathe in, fill up your lungs, feel the vibrating effect in your abdomen and enjoy that for as long as you can. Then breathe out slowly. Do this for at least 20 minutes a day. This exercise gets excess energy in the brain to move down, while opening up the cells in even the most remote corners of the brain to fresh energy.
Exercise 2 This is called 'Anulom-Vilom' in Sanskrit and is one of the simplest ways known to connect up the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The idea is to take breath in from one nostril first. This supplies one side of the brain with fresh energy. The other side of the brain asks for this energy as it hasn't gotten its supply from its nostril. So the side of the brain which has energy, instead of simply keeping it or sending it back out, shares its energy with the other side. The other side returns the favor when it gets its supply in turn. This back and forth between both the sides of the brain, gets energy moving within the brain itself, as opposed to simply receiving and sending energy. Blocks are cleared and a stable energy flow is resumed making brain function so much easier as nerves are able to communicate without blocks again.
You close your right nostril (with a finger) to start with, and breathe in through your left nostril. Then you close your left nostril, open the right and breathe out. Breathe IN then and breathe out through the left nostril. Be sure to keep your spine straight and your chest and abdomen free to expand. Keep going for at least 5 minutes - and increase it to at least 30 minutes a day.
4) Get the right nutrition for Nervous System health
Foods that are good for our nervous system are most nuts, fruits, and some herbs - like Brahmi (Centella Asiatica), Gingko (Gingko Biloba) and Sage. You'll know when something is 'brain food' when you find yourself more clear headed than heavy in the stomach after eating it. Besides, just eating well so that you feel satisfied is a great help because it reduces stress significantly, and the nervous system needs some simple nutrients that are found in all traditional food systems. Nerves require calcium to work well, so calcium foods like milk, yoghurt and lime juice could help.
5) Change the way we handle our emotions
This is a simple thing, but very few of us manage it. Most people with depression have been following the same method of emotional reactions since childhood. For example, Sheena was deeply hurt as a child by her parents' abusive relationship. She began to hide her emotions under screens of 'everything is ok with me' just so she didn't burden her already 'suffering' mother. This became a habit and she continued to deal with her emotions by letting only a few out now and then when she felt could securely, and keeping everything else for some other time. It resulted in long bouts of manic depression in adulthood. Changing the the way she dealt with her emotions, by learning to feel in the moment fully without fear, rather than be in denial or try to control her emotions to 'be happy', changed Sheena's life and healed her depression.
To heal from depression we need to come into THIS moment and FEEL what we are already feeling deep down. What we do next is our own choice, but our bodies and souls' basic right is the right to be acknowledged first. We have no choice but to acknowledge what we are really feeling.
My own Energy Medicine to heal Depression works towards all the above, and specifically targets the Endocrine Hypothalamus - Pituitary - Pineal axis to balance energies here.