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Uninsured – Part 5 – Depression

Depression – it falls into that small category of things like combat that, if you haven’t been in it, you can say you can imagine it all you like. But it’s truly different. Dick Cavett

Depression, signs of depression, Postpartum Depression, Am I Depressed, Mental HealthToday, I touch upon depression in my continuing series on healthcare options for those who may find themselves uninsured. If the current AHCA healthcare plan is passed, mental health is one of many illnesses that insurance plans may not cover along with pregnancy, disease prevention and pre-existing conditions.

Last week, we talked about chronic pain. If you are new to Scented Balance and would like to read the entire series, Part One begins here.

I believe we all understand and accept the occasional bout of sadness or “the blues” which is considered mild depression. Sometimes, life goes sideways and we’re faced with the loss of a job, a loved one, moving or the birth of a child. Yes – postpartum depression is real.

It happens to nearly all of us and, for the most part, we know that we’ll bounce back in due time. Most of the time we do work through the life events that bring sadness with them.

Depression Symptoms

Many times, we still manage to function in our daily lives knowing that difficult situations are part of life, but what happens when the depression last longer than a couple of weeks? What happens when you lose interest in everyday activities such as going to work, preparing dinner, having sex, enjoying hobbies and friends and have trouble sleeping?

From my own experience, I know that someone telling me to “snap out” of depression is not only cruel but unrealistic. It’s like asking someone with a broken leg to get up and walk it off. Yes – it can be done but each of us are different in how we process this disease.

Make no mistake – I don’t pretend to even know a thimbleful of information about depression. Most of what I’ve learned is through my own experience and conducting research to help myself without resorting to anti-depressants. I don’t have or want that option and seriously, the side effects of anti-depressants are far worse than the disease.

What I have learned is that it’s REAL. It’s not some made up problem that’s all in your head. Some of the physical symptoms can be fatigue, loss of appetite (for food and sex), headaches, difficulty concentrating or thinking, excessive sleeping or disrupted sleep patterns and restlessness or irritation. In severe instances, thoughts become suicidal – not that you intend to carry out your thoughts, but they are present.

Cause and Effect of Depression

Even though depression takes place in the brain, the physical effects are every bit as real and frustrating for the one who is going through it as well as friends, family and co-workers. If you’re not sure what you’re experiencing is depression, here is some good information about what it is and when to get help.

The American Psychiatric Association explains depression like this:

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.

WebMD.com is another trusted resource for information on many concerns. They explain how to tell if you need to get help for depression:

If you have five or more of these symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, you may have major depression. Your primary care doctor is a good place to start. Your doctor can screen you for depression, and help you manage and treat your symptoms so that you can feel better.

How Can Aromatherapy and Holistic Life Coaching Help?

So many people talk to me when I’m at markets about their struggle with depression. My heart breaks for you because I know living with depression can be overwhelming. Aromatherapy and holistic life coaching are both wonderful tools for addressing your concerns with no side effects.

There is solid scientific research* to back up the use of essential oils for depression (and for anxiety – read more in this post about anxiety). When inhaled or diffused, Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Bergamot are powerful oils to help balance emotions and physical responses associated with depression.

Consider Peaceful Ease Aromatherapy Rollerball to help manage your symptoms. Each oil in this blend is specifically chosen for its’ ability to balance and uplift. If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you know that I always consider emotional qualities when selecting oils for your concerns and depression is no different.

As a holistic life coach, I look at what’s going on in your life for the root of your depression. When it is NOT caused by a life event such as chronic illness, birth or something of this nature, then I ask:

  • Is there a part of your life where you feel unworthy?
  • Do you have a sense of hopelessness?
  • Are you feeling a sense of loss not easily explained?
  • Where do you lack clarity in your life?
  • Are you living outside of your integrity?

I don’t want to gloss over depression and pretend that it’s no big deal. It is a big deal and the sooner you get ahead of it, the better off you are. Yes, you may very well be capable of dealing with depression on your own – I applaud you. But please don’t let embarrassment or fear keep you from reaching out to me as your aromatherapist or your medical professional.

Another alternative is acupuncture. ScientificAmerican.com has an interesting article on how acupuncture can help you manage your symptoms. In the coming months, we’ll explore alternative modalities that can help with many of your health concerns.

Where do you see yourself with depression today? I would love to talk with you to see how we can work together and help you help yourself. Please take a moment to fill out this short contact form and let’s get started today.

I’m grateful you stopped by today – blessings,

Melissa

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned in the blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional for any health issues.

*Chang SY (2008) Effects of aroma hand massage on pain, state anxiety and depression in hospice patients with terminal cancer. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi 38: 493-502 (Article in Korean). Cited by Dobetsberger C, Buchbauer G (2011) Actions of essential oils on the central nervous system: an updated review. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 26 (5): 300 

 

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Uninsured – Part 4 – Chronic Pain

If your body is screaming in pain, whether the pain is muscular contractions, anxiety, depression, asthma or arthritis, a first step in releasing the pain may be making the connection between your body pain and the cause. “Beliefs are physical. A thought held long enough and repeated enough becomes a belief. The belief then becomes biology.”

Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America By Day: Lessons Learned From Ultimate Betrayals And Unconditional Love  

Uninsured, chronic pain, depression and chronic pain, natural pain relief, pain managementThe prospect of being uninsured is a hot and controversial topic these days. Today, in Part 4 of my continuing series of alternative and complementary forms of healthcare, let’s talk about chronic pain.

Last week in Part 3, we talked about the physical and emotional toll of eczema and psoriasis and about alternatives to address your physical symptoms without using steroids.

Lately, we hear quite a bit in the news about the dangerous opioid addiction epidemic in America. We’re a nation in constant, chronic pain but why? What is causing this historical level of chronic pain? No one seems to have a definitive answer.

In November, 2016, the Harvard School of Public Health held a panel discussion about chronic pain and made some very interesting observations. You can watch it or read it here.

One of the participants in the panel, Cindy Steinberg, said this about her experience with chronic pain due to an accident:

And then, of course, there is the relentless physical experience, which may be burning, stabbing, gnawing, knifing, and other unpleasant sensations. I equate it to feeling like you’re a prisoner trapped in your body. But it’s worse than that. You are a prisoner who is being tortured 24/7. And there’s no means of escape.

It’s hard to read, isn’t it?

In this article, Healthline News reports a crackdown on prescribing opioids as doctors and scientists are seeing first-hand the destruction they cause. But if you can’t get the medication needed to ease your chronic pain, then what?

Allow me to offer a simplistic opinion about the cause of our chronic pain epidemic – and it’s strictly my opinion. If you think back 50 or 100 years, chronic pain really wasn’t all that prevalent. Yes, I know – we didn’t have 24 hour news on cable TV to talk about it nor did we sit at a computer for 10 hours a day. Here’s one issue I see: I really don’t think people pay attention to the kinds of food they eat. In modern day living, we eat most of our meals from a box, can or fast food restaurant because we have schedules – and lives – that are so insanely busy that we don’t take time to find and cook real clean, unsprayed food.

Wonder how much the epidemic of chronic pain has to do with all the chemicals and sitting for 10 hours a day? What about the chemicals in our food? What about GMO food? What about all the chemicals we spray to kill weeds to make our lawns look magazine-perfect? Most fresh food is sprayed with chemicals to ward off pests and increase production. Is it really healthy? Really?

Food for thought. (Pun intended.)

Chronic Pain and Aromatherapy

One of my case studies in aromatherapy school looked at chronic pain to learn how – or if – therapeutic-grade essential oils could make a difference. My client has severe nerve damage in both of her hands. They hurt, swell easily and are inflamed. After several surgeries on both hands, she still doesn’t have a definitive answer to the question: what’s causing this? I asked her to give a number to her chronic pain based on a scale of 1 to 10. She said – without missing a beat – 10.

Fibromyalgia is basically chronic pain from aching muscles, tender trigger points and debilitating fatigue. Constantly. Always. Every day. It affects every single corner of your life from your mental/emotional wellbeing to your relationships to your level of activity.

Those who live with fibromyalgia tend to have digestive concerns, restless leg syndrome, brain fog and trouble sleeping. You can imagine that poor sleep breeds fatigue and brain fog which could breed heightened pain sensitivity. Then, there’s the resentment – your own and that of those around you. People can’t see pain like they can see a bandage, a cast or crutches. Yes, we live in a harshly judgmental world and sadly, this becomes part of life with chronic pain.

Then, there is the issue of depression and chronic pain which doesn’t surprise me at all.

I cannot begin to fathom this level of pain. Honestly, when I hear something like this, I just want to wrap my arms around you.

How Can Aromatherapy and Holistic Life Coaching Make a Difference?

If you are just beginning your journey with chronic pain of any sort, I believe it’s worth it to investigate complementary modes of health care. Even if you have lived with chronic pain for a very long time, it’s absolutely worth looking into acupuncture, reflexology, reiki, therapeutic massage and other modes that I’m probably not even aware of.

As a certified aromatherapist and holistic life coach, I have simple and effective tools to address the pain, frustration and fatigue of chronic pain. I cannot heal, cure, fix or change your situation – only you can do that.

With the proper tools, the human body has the amazing ability to heal itself. One of the aromatherapy tools I created for pain is Flexatoid. It is a lotion full of essential oils with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and is meant for issues such as arthritis.

The other tool is PainGenix, a balm that is useful for chronic pain especially when used in conjunction with the PainGenix Nasal Inhaler. Both of these products also contain essential oils which address the accompanying depression and anxiety.

My case study client used the PainGenix balm and nasal inhaler together. She said that it reduced her pain level from a 10 to approximately 7 1/2 which she said was a major accomplishment. The combination allowed her to “cope with the daily stress” of her pain and helped her to relax just a little bit.

Since these products contain no chemicals, there’s no horrible side effects and your liver will be much happier. Plant-based products are far gentler on your liver which filters everything you put on or in your body.

From a holistic life coaching perspective – yes, I’m going to ask you questions about your chronic pain!

  • Can you think of a time when you didn’t have the chronic pain?
  • Do you have any idea of what triggered it (accident, trauma, etc.)?
  • Were you raised to feel guilty about taking up space on the planet?
  • Do you have trouble asking for help?
  • Do you have trouble receiving help?
  • Are you highly critical of yourself? Why?

I won’t ask questions in a rapid-fire method, but in the course of holistic life coaching sessions, I do ask questions to make you think. This is the beauty of combining aromatherapy and holistic life coaching. They offer amazing tools for you to get unstuck in every area of your life and feel good about doing it.

Alternative and Complementary Healthcare Options

The whole point of my series on complementary and alternative therapies is to give you options. Options are good. Healthcare as we know it may very well go away or, at the very least, become financially out of reach for most of us. The more therapies you know about and can use, the better off you are.

Where do you see yourself with chronic pain today? I would love to talk with you and see how I can help. Please take a moment to fill out the contact form and let’s get started today.

Blessings,

Melissa

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You should always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional for any health issue.