March 2011 Newsletter

March 2011 Events

This month we are hosting a number of events.  They are as follows.... (click on the green wording for more detailed information on related website pages.)

Free Body Mind Science Introductory Talk Monday March 14
Body Mind Seminar on “Natural Medicine and its Application in Neurological and Psychological Disorders” with Stuart Morick Monday March 21
Healing Depression and Anxiety Workshop March 26 and 27

Please feel free to contact us if you wish to enquire or book in for any of the above events.  Please note it is necessary to RSVP to our talk and seminar as numbers are limited.

Stress Anxiety and Depression

Stress, Anxiety and Depression are 3 of the most common ailments affecting adults in society today.  A 2011 Australia wide survey found that up to 73 per cent of commuters found that the car journey to work left them in a stressed state before they had even started work.  Workplace studies have found that in the post GFC world that workers are finding their stress levels increased as they work harder and longer to prove their worth to employers.  Australia still has the highest OECD group of nations average working week, with a 50-55 hour week now being commonly worked by employees.

In a 2010 Australia wide study by the Australia Institute, it was found that almost 60 percent of  Australians who work overtime say it stops them from exercising, and almost 35 percent believe it stops them from eating healthy meals.  Australians worked more than 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime in 2009, at an average of 70 minutes per day, equating to a $72 billion gift to their employers.  Stress was reported to affect over 80 percent of those surveyed who worked such overtime.

Stress can be healthy.  It is our Bodymind’s way of alerting us and preparing us to accelerate our body and mind in a focussed way in short burst mode to achieve some goal or deal with some issue.  When stress persists over time it can then said to become unhealthy.  There are various drivers that create stress and these are typically grouped into environmental and attitudinal/behavioural categories.

Environmental stresses include not enough time to perform tasks, not enough resources such as money or food, not enough support such as having a loved one or friends, or being blocked by your environment such as stuck in traffic.  Attitudinal/behavioural stresses include having a perfectionistic personality where you demand getting it right every time from yourself and others, negative self-talk, recurrent thinking in your head, working or exercising too hard, and making poor dietary and lifestyle behaviours that affect your body and/or mind.

Research has proven that both Anxiety and Depression have a causal relationship with stress.  Indeed a major life stressor is often recognised as having been the trigger to a subsequent onset of bouts of Anxiety or Depression in many of those affected.  According to body-mind researcher and M.D, Alexander Lowen, Stress, Anxiety and Depression are related, and manifest their key symptoms in both the body and the mind, and require a treatment approach that works with both the body and the mind.

Consider the following statistics.  It is believed that 1 in 4 people are suffering some form of Depression and/or Anxiety, while both affect twice as many women as men, according to the United States National Institute of Mental Health.  The Blackdog Institute for Depression, currently notes over 1 million Australians have some form of Depression, while over 2 million Australians have some form of Anxiety disorder.  It is a major societal issue.

Anyone in these forms of suffering are living from a “fight or flight” state of body-mind.  In this state, the body and mind produce symptoms due to the brain forcing us to be in a primitive “survival” mode that is anxious, hyper-vigilant, and ideally should not be sustained over any long period of time. This is because the brain in this state has a set of glands and brain functions to release key mood hormones, proteins and chemicals into the body, that then create the basis for keeping a person in a stressed, anxious or depressed state.

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) plays a major role in leading a person into living from a “fight or flight” mode.  Many people get into this state of being and remain there, and then they start to firstly manifest stress, then anxiety, and then for some they drop into depression.

Stressed people become hyper-vigilant and their bodies are often noticeably tighter in their muscles, and hyper-aroused into fidgeting and movement.  For those who manifest prolonged anxiety they will report both that they have a fear of fear itself, and also a real or imagined fear of some object or event which is either past or present time focussed.  Such a person is not in present-moment time and may find themselves distracted, and their minds full of recurrent negative thoughts or racing negative thinking.  Fear and negativity can feed off each other in the mind.

If a person stays in “fight or flight” mode for long periods the body starts to get ill.  The medical conditions of Adrenal Exhaustion or Burnout, Chronic Fatigue, Under or Over-active Thyroid, Pituitary Gland issues, and some forms of migraine headaches are examples of this problem.  Conversely, while in “fight or flight” mode, we also suppress at the same time some key hormones that we rely on for good body-mind health, contributing to the overall negative outcome on physical, mental and emotional health.

The resulting downside then is this negatively affects our moods, emotions, concentration, cognition or thinking processes, which all form part of what a person needs to be operating well in their life.  The body and mind work together, not apart, and both show the effects of living from the “fight or flight” mode for too long.  Many people enter a crisis at this point in their life.

I find that many people resort to seeing their doctors with any of the 3 conditions.  A common outcome is the prescription of anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication, and a referral to a clinical psychologist for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). The medication is designed to numb out or reduce the symptoms of the disorder and to help the patient stabilise and cope, which is a sound short term outcome.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) works to identify the way in which a person creates and sustains negative distorted thinking, and then teach the person strategies to undo such distortions.  It is however an opponent and not an antidote.  By this I mean that one must continually have the mindfulness and discipline to identify when the unconscious parts of the mind triggers the negative thinking states, and then jump on them with CBT techniques until the thinking dissolves and a neutral or positive conscious mind is achieved.

This then works to oppose the negative thinking as and when it arrives.  The experience of many users is that once the negative mind shows up it is often hard to mount a counter attack with the CBT strategies while in the negative mind and the person collapses back into the negative anxious or victim state.  One also must continually use this system to oppose the negative mind which is in itself quite a discipline and a demand that many find hard to do, especially when they find their mind dulled by the medication they are also on.

Trauma and Neuroscientists such as Pat Ogden, Peter Van Der Kolk and Peter Levine have all noted the limitations of CBT for emotional brain (Limbic brain) originating thoughts, anxieties and trauma states.  There is evidence that following the design of the human brain via its triune (3 segment) design and working with the way the brain processes information from a top-down and bottom-up approach, can give strong results and actually serve as an antidote and not just an opponent solution to the issues of stress, anxiety and depression in many sufferers.

From an Epigenetics perspective, evidence is now emerging of gene duplication processes occurring in the genome of some people that predisposes some people to Depression. As our February 2011 newsletter pointed out, there is a “sheathing” mechanism involved which allows such gene duplication to occur, or not occur, even when the rogue Depression gene is present in the DNA of a person.  The affected gene has been identified as that which plays an important role in the development of nerve cells and brain axons, which add evidence to the idea that disruptions in brain neurotransmission networks form a biological basis for Depression.  The axon is the portion of a neuron that carries nerve impulses away from the cell body and is a significant factor in signalling among brain cells.

The Energetics Institute has designed Stress, Anxiety and Depression resolution programmes in both its personal Integrative Body Mind Psychotherapy™ (IBMP) as well as its organisational Corporate Energetics programmes.  These have been experientially shown to produce benefits in anxious persons such as the creation of a relaxed body-mind state, as well as taking a person from “out of their head”, and into a truly embodied state, where the person is present and primarily free from distracting thoughts and anxieties.

Depressed people also report losing their “heaviness” or black moods, and regaining their energy and interest in life.  Another benefit is that we offer a drug-free approach, and can work with persons already medicated on anti-anxiety and anti-depressants.

The Energetics Institute also recommends and refers clients to Naturopaths in some cases of Depression and Anxiety for assessment.  Natural supplements such as St John’s Wort, SAMe, B-vitamins, Vitamin D and Folate have all been show to assist with some types of Depression.  Some people develop a thyroid issue where they have low levels of Thyroxin in their body which can create depressive effects to the person.  Anxiety and Depression can both have body and/or mind causal factors.

The Energetics Institute also sees Anxiety and Depression from a positive psychology and a spiritual perspective.  Our observation from seeing clients is that for many Anxiety and Depression sufferers, theirs is a result of unsustainable lifestyles and practices in their lives, which have isolated sufferers from others, life, and their inner self.  Alternatively some such sufferers have some form of unresolved trauma from their past that they have yet to fully face and deal with.

We believe that it is only when we reach “rock bottom” or face what we call in spirituality a crisis or “Dark Night of the Soul”, that most of us are prepared to truly change our lives.  Many people find that they feel empty in their lives despite having ticked the box of many of societies nominated success and happiness criteria.  We simply see that an underlying issue for some is a spiritual one.  Research on depression has shown that a spiritual dimension in a person’s life creates resiliency against depression, but that it provides meaning and a framework to one’s existence, and allows one to deepen oneself within and with the outside world.

Once addressed from a body-mind perspective, experience shows that Stress, Anxiety and Depression can be minimised, brought under control and for many can be cured.  Our Corporate and individual clients have shown how as these states lift how the positivity and curiosity and hope of life starts to emerge again, as renewal takes roots in the person.

Given the chronic rate of stress, anxiety and depression in our society today, we are running a weekend course titled "Healing Depression and Anxiety" on the weekend on March 26 & 27, 2011. This course is designed to inform and educate sufferers and partners of sufferers of the nature of these 3 disorders, and to provide some techniques for both top-down and bottom-up bodymind centric healing of these conditions.

Please feel free to contact us for more information about Depression, Anxiety, and other body-mind states of being that affect yourself or someone you love and interact with.

Click here to read our article on Depression

Click here to read our article on Anxiety

Body Mind Book Review on "Full Body Orgasm" by Oscar Naval

There are a number of Bodymind science publications on the bookshelves that one can read to understand some aspect of the known concepts around the Bodymind.  Many focus on one area of this wide field and unless one has a broad framework or understanding by which to give these books their often specialised context, it can be hard to assimilate or appreciate the wider implication of some of these readings.

The Energetics Institute has reviewed Oscar Naval’s Bodymind Science book “Full Body Orgasm” and has found that it offers a sound overall roundup and summary of the key relevant bodymind science disciplines that cover this ever widening field of thought and knowledge.  Written in simple everyday English and using well known television and celebrity personality examples to highlight character analysis and other dynamics, the book has a place on the shelf of anyone wanting to get a bigger picture view of the bodymind, before venturing down some of the many detailed and technical paths that some books on this topic can lead one into.

The book is a hardbound edition with a discrete black cover and maintains its mystique with a simple title running down the spine.  It has 249 pages and we have limited copies on an exclusive promotional offer with the author. Oscar has reduced the retail $39.95 price for Energetics Institute subscribers to $22.50 plus $7.50 postage anywhere in Australia.   This generous offer will cease once stock have been exhausted.  Please contact us to order 1 or more copies.  Multiple copy purchases attract a maximum of $11.50 postage anywhere in Australia.

The Case for Naturopathy

Many clients ask me for my opinion on the benefits of Naturopathy. As was indicated earlier in this Newsletter there is a place for nutrients in the treatment of Anxiety and Depression. The key issue is that some supplements have been shown to be as effective as pharmaceuticals with less side effects.  The problem is firstly identifying which supplements are of use to which ailments and conditions, and also to understand which brands to use given there are a few poor quality products on the market. Such advice is best sourced from a trained professional person.

Some clients are also confused as to the difference between Naturopathy and Homeopathy as natural health choices.  In order to assist the community in understanding the case for, and the science and concepts behind Naturopathy, the Energetics Institute is hosting Stuart Morick who is a qualified Perth Naturopath to present our March Body Mind Seminar.

For many decades the American Medical Association(AMA) and the American Federal Drug Agency(FDA  had held a view that the need for and use of nutrients and supplements for human health was a waste of money and offered minimal or no lasting benefits to human health.

In 2000, Dr Robert Fletcher, the author of the results of a landmark review of 38 years of accumulated scientific evidence regarding vitamins and nutrition, wrote in the conservative Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “Vitamin supplement usage was for a long time considered to be an expensive form of urine”.  The results of his landmark study were so convincingly the opposite, that the American Medical Association(AMA) has completely reversed its anti-vitamin stance and now encourages all adults to supplement daily with a multiple vitamin.  The JAMA report concluded that both the recommended daily allowances for vitamins and minerals are too low, and that the modern diet of man is no longer sufficient to provide all the support for optimal health.

Dr Robert Fletcher also wrote:

“Insufficient vitamins is apparently a cause of chronic diseases.  Recent evidence has shown that sub-optimal levels of vitamins(below standard), even well above those causing deficiency syndromes, are risk factors for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis. A large portion of the general population is apparently at increased risk for this reason”.

The AMA now recognises the key role of nutrients and supplements in the maintenance of human health and the prevention of illness and disease.  This conservative, evidence based approach institution has come down in favour of the basic role played by Naturopaths in assisting clients with their bodymind health.  Come and find out what are the reasons the AMA would reverse its long standing opposition and scepticism to nutrient and supplements in the maintenance of health and wellness.

There are a lot of misconceptions around supplementation. Supplements are not like medicines in that one should notice a marked effect or improvement after a few days or a week.  Nutritional supplements are simply nutrients from our foods distilled into optimal levels which the body uses in its normal enzymatic reactions.  They are not medicines.

It may surprise many that it takes between 6 to 12 months to replenish any nutritional deficiency and optimise the body’s natural immune system, antioxidant defence system, and repair system. If you are already over 30 years of age, stressed, or have a chronic degenerative disease, it may take longer.  There is a science around nutritional supplements that many people do not understand.

Many people purchase from a chemist a discounted nutrient all-round supplement of compromised quality and ingredient strength, take them till the bottle runs out in 2 weeks to a month, and then give up thinking that nutrients do not work.  This is not a skilful approach or thinking.  We need to have a basic education  around nutritional health and this is why the Energetics Institute is hosting this most important seminar to allow a qualified Naturopath to obtain the information you need to make informed choices around this area of your bodymind health.

Please feel free to contact us for more information.

Have a happy and safe month.


Richard Boyd

Director, Energetics Institute

Psychotherapy & Counselling

Private Therapy