August 2012 Newsletter

Upcoming Events

In the next few weeks we are running the following events - (click on the green wording for more detailed information on related website pages.)

Process Group Aug 22 to Dec 12 - every 2nd Wed night
Body Reading Workshop Saturday & Sunday Aug 25 & 26
Free Intro Talk on Body Psychotherapy (Mt Lawley venue) Monday Aug 27
Psychosomatics and Psychogenic Illness Seminar Monday Sept 17
Please feel free to contact us if you wish to enquire or book into any events.

Things Don't Always Go Better With Coke!

Most of us at some stage or another have reached for a fizzy drink whether to quench a thirst or as a mixer with alcohol. There are a number of newer types of recreational soft drinks now on the market with a few positioning themselves as sports drinks. The marketing idea is that somehow the drink contains goodness through salt replenishment, energy or nutrients.

The old traditional fizzy soft drinks such as coke also continue to be popular and are also now in a market category that is represented by a lot more brands than even 20 years ago. Some people drank them for taste, some for the energy burst or pick up, some for the claimed benefits in sports performance or the like.

The collective consumption of all these types of drinks has doubled since 1985 from 10 gallons to 25 gallons per head per year. This is substantial. There is now new medical research coming out of Britain that shows that even moderate consumption of these types of drinks poses a real health hazard.

Research by Bangor University has revealed how even a can per day, or just two a week can alter our metabolism over time such that we put on weight and create the basis for Diabetes, liver disease, hyper-tension and heart disease.

Research shows that in children these drinks can assist in the formation of addict-like cravings and orient their appetites for junk and salty food.  The Bangor University research showed how the taking of these drinks affected metabolism by having muscles alter their energy transformation function by consuming sugar as the energy source instead of burning fat.

This creates a less efficient metabolism process, and we increase our retained fat and so put on weight. There appears to be a gene adaption process change that causes muscles to target sugar for energy creation, but this also means that our metabolic process is less able to cope with rises in blood sugar levels, and facilitates the potential onset of Diabetes Type 2.

An American study of 42,000 men who were tracked over 20 years showed that men who drank a standard 12 oz can of sugar sweetened drink every day had a 20 per cent higher risk of heart disease compared to men who did not drink any such beverages at all.

This study was published by the American Heart Association in their journal called Circulation. It also revealed that blood tests had shown that soft drink users had higher levels of harmful inflammation in their blood vessels, and lowered levels of "good"  HDL cholesterol.

Even more disturbing was the research findings reported in the journal "Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention". This research linked the consumption of just two 330ml carbonated drinks every week to a double increase in the risk of Pancreatic Cancer.

Separate Israeli research on soft drinks with high levels of fruit juice  may be creating possible long term liver damage. The reason is that fructose fruit sugar in such drinks  can overwhelm the liver which responds by accumulating fat which is then the cause of "fatty liver".

The Israeli study revealed that two cans of such fruit drinks a day were 5 times more likely to develop "fatty liver" which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. There have been calls in Europe and the USA for soft drink taxes to cut consumption as these drinks have been around for over 200 years in various forms and have been traditionally viewed as innocuous.

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this emerging research is the research around children. The work done by the University College London's Health Behaviour Research Centre illustrates this concern.

Their work showed in a study of 346 children aged around 11 years found that drinking soft drinks makes them want to drink more often, even when they are not actually thirsty. They developed addictive tendencies towards sugary drinks which at a young age became a life habit.

Related research found support for this change in tastes. This Oregon USA based study found that fizzy drinks consumption became accompanied by taste preference towards high calorie, high salt food such as chips. These researchers found learned resistance towards raw vegetables and low calorie foods by children who habitually consumed fizzy drinks.

Earlier studies by experts at St Georges University London had earlier proven a link between teenage consumption of sugary drinks and impulses towards fatty and salty foods. They found that the stomach's gut lining absorbed these food types more quickly and activated the brains pleasure centre quickly. Their brain then also dampened its impulses towards intake of vitamins and minerals.

These cravings or impulses as driven by the brain create the addictive effect towards sugary drinks and salty or fatty foods. UK research on rats has shown that sugar is as addictive to the brain as cocaine and there is a role in sugar intake in the creation of addictive impulses in humans.

Adults do not suffer strong sugar addiction withdrawal symptoms but this is not true in children who have been found to react and have bodily withdrawal symptoms of a stronger intensity. Tantrums, restlessness, sweats and distracted attention are noted behaviours.  Longer term studies are underway to explore the implications of these observations and findings.

The range of fruit and sport energy drinks are not immune from this discussion as many have higher sugar levels than some fizzy drinks, and as well may also contain addictive amounts of caffeine and related substances. Studies show that both these classes of drinks are more marketing hype than offering any benefit to users in sporting or a health context. Weight gain was determined as being the only likely outcome.

The other main concern about all these categories of drinks is the corrosive impact they have on childrens' and adults' teeth. Studies by dentists as reported in the UK British Dental Journal as well as the USA Oral Hygiene Journal both noted findings about cols and citric acids in drinks.

They respectively noted that citric acid which is a common "tangy" ingredient in all these drinks increased the risk of tooth erosion by 252 percent and that cola drinks are 10 times as corrosive as fruit juice in their first 3 minutes of teeth contact.

Many USA based health organisations are reviewing all the research and are calling for regulation  as well as a review of the whole drinks industry guidelines. Medical groups are linking the obesity crisis the western world in part to the habit forming roles around food and diet that soft drinks play in shaping recent generations' health outcomes. Obesity is the new smoking crisis in these circles.

The average adult woman is supposed to have a daily intake of 90grams of sugar in their diet while a man can absorb 120 grams per day. Children are supposed to have a far lower intake. Many soft and fruit drinks provide that daily intake in one can or bottle.

The images of happiness, fun and health which dominate the marketing themes of the drinks industry are not supported by the emerging research findings across numerous types of studies being conducted on human health. These billion dollar industries are not likely to change their products or admit concerns willingly.

Coca Cola paid Olympic organisers more than 100 million pounds to become the official provider of soft drinks to the Olympics. The association between health and excitemen t(Olympics) to coke cola becomes entrenched by such opportunities. The burden on regulating these drinks falls down to families and individuals.

The role of emotions and stress in creating impulses for sugary food and drink intake is also revealed by several studies. In bodymind science we note that addictions and emotional issues including depression seem to accompany sugar cravings in many people. A soft drink can be an easy crutch to obtain when the impulse strikes.

The answer lies in education and discipline of choice. The declining mental, emotional and physical health in society of a wider cross section of the population has some of its roots in our choice of foods and drinks. We should be mindful of our choices and not assume that sugary drinks offer any benefit or that they are harmless choices for ourselves and our children.

Confidentiality and Mental Health Schemes

One of the commonest questions I get asked as a therapist is if I am part of any Mental Health Scheme. Some clients look for such a service as there is possibly a rebate possible or subsidised therapy. I respond that I do not take part in any such schemes as I value confidentiality above any financial considerations.

What a lot of persons do not understand is that these schemes involve a degree of reporting by the primary medical authoriser (often a GP) who then refers a client to a mental health professional recognised under the scheme. There is a report made at some milestone in the process which may be used to summarise the sessions undertaken and to justify any further sessions that may be requested.

These reports potentially contain confidential and sensitive client information. As with any system this information becomes lodged somewhere within such a system and by its nature then becomes at risk of some form of disclosure either by accident or by intention.

Over the last year I have personally heard stories of clients who have had undergone some form of Mental Health Plan and later then complain that they feel some form of disclosure has since occurred. This disclosure could not be proven but was the belief of those who made the claim.

In the first instance a client claimed that he received a Life Insurance Policy update which had a clause inserted which disallowed claims based on Anxiety/Depression. He had used a Mental Health Scheme for dealing with those issues. The change in policy came out of the blue.

In the second instance another client made a claim on an insurance policy. The claim was disallowed because they had not informed the company about their depression issues and the treatment they had sought. They had not told the company and so were perplexed as to how the company knew about their accessing a Mental Health Plan.

A third client claims that they applied for a job in an executive capacity. In the interview process they were asked about if they had ever sought mental health services for stress or work related issues. When they replied yes they had the interviewer made a statement that contained explicit information which had not been disclosed by the candidate. This showed they knew this already.

What people must realise is that the engagement with a Mental Health Plan involves some level of information collection and reporting. Any system is by its nature vulnerable to data leakage or disclosure only because no system is fool proof.

At the Energetics Institute we do not keep any information about clients which is reported to any outside parties. Only under a court subpoena would we be forced to reveal information. We also do not keep information on computers where possible and use a floor safe to secure documents.

We would not participate in any scheme that required information disclosure as it potentially violates client confidentiality. Accessing mental health services can affect the way a person is viewed and assessed by a number of institutions in society in a way that is not always favourable.

August 2012 Events

Process Group - Wed Aug 22

One of the most effective ways to commence and deepen your healing is to join a Process Group of committed persons who fortnightly come together and leverage the power of group energy and group dynamics to take their healing to deeper levels. A group environment achieves an emotional and energetic container that one-on-one therapy cannot emulate.

An explanation of our Process group was outlined in our January 2012 Newsletter. We recommence the Process Group starting later this month so if you have been thinking of joining but put it off then come forward now to secure a place!!

The Process Group kicks off on Wednesday August 22 2012 and runs for 3-4 months until December 12, and then takes an end year break.  People commit for that length of time, and can optionally elect to rejoin in February 2013 when we start again, or they can decline after the first 3-4 months commitment. If you are interested then do not procrastinate as I limit attendance to 8 attendees for the group dynamics and equity in the group.

Body Reading Workshop - Aug 25 & 26

This month we run our popular and  fascinating Body Reading Workshop over the weekend of August 25 & 26. This 2 day course offers the best of both conceptual and experiential work in exploring how our bodymind is shaped into 5 broad archetypal outcomes. This course is based in part on Reich's Characterology, Lowen's Bionergetics Character Analysis, and more recent work by us to map these character structures to trauma and developmental frameworks.  This workshop has limited seats. Do not let the chance to attend this workshop slip and the past has seen a few late enquiries disappointed by not being able to attend.

Free Intro Talk - Mon Aug 27

Please note our Free Introductory Talk this month takes place at the Mt Lawley Neighbourhood Learning Centre, 715 Beaufort St., Mt Lawley, Perth on Monday August 27 from 7pm to 9pm.  This free talk examines the basis for Body Mind science and how it literally shapes our body and personality.  We explore the concept of 'Characterology' as defined by the German Psychotherapist, Wilhelm Reich. The talk includes the latest bodymind and neuroscience concepts around human body and consciousness development, and how our personality is reflected in our bodies as structure, posture and affect.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries or wish to make a booking for private therapy or a group event.

Enjoy your month!

Richard Boyd

Director, Energetics Institute            Website       Facebook            Twitter       Blog         Youtube

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