Vol. 12

No. 4



All of us experience feelings of sadness, unhappiness or frustration at times, and this is a normal part of human existence. However, when these feelings persist and start to interfere with our normal functioning, we begin to suffer from depression. Webster’s Dictionary defines depression as “a pressing down, a lowering, a state of feeling sad or dejected that is marked by feelings of sadness, inactivity, difficulty thinking and concentrating.”
What are some of the signs that can alert us to the onset of depression?

1. Poor or increased appetite
2. Weight loss or gain of more than ten pounds per month
3. Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping
4. Fatigue, tiredness or listlessness
5. Loss of interest in life or sex
6. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
7. Trouble concentrating, thinking or making decisions
8. Feelings of guilt or suicidal ideation.
9. Inability to sit still or tendency to keep moving.
10. Extreme feelings of wanting to run away or, conversely, a tendency to isolate physically and emotionally.

Mood disorders such as depression were once considered a purely mental state. However, even Sigmund Freud, M.D., at the end of his long career as a pioneer in mental health, remarked that the day would come when we would see mental-emotional illnesses as chemical imbalances rather than simply psychological trauma.

Researchers today study disturbed brain chemistry for its contribution to mood disorders. One of the early successes in psychiatry was the use of a mineral salt, Lithium, to correct chemical imbalance in the treatment of manic depression.

Mood disorder research studies the brain chemicals which carry information from brain cell to brain cell. Called “neurotransmitters, many of these are actually manufactured in the gut. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood, is primarily made in the intestinal tract. When the intestines are inflamed, the neurotranmitters are thrown out of balance and one’s sense of well-being plummets. In fact, Michael Gershon, M.D., author of The Second Brain, refers to the gut as our “abdominal brain.”

If one looks closely at health conditons such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, leaky gut syndrome or other gastrointestinal illnesses, one also finds associated mental or emotional attitudes such as anxiety or depression. The “gut brain” is affecting the “head brain” and vice versa through the action of the neurotranmitters.

This concept, although relatively new to modern scientific understanding, was not new to Dr. Philip Pinel, an early French psychiatric reformer who remarked in 1807, “The primary seat of insanity is in the region of the stomach and intestines.”

Even going back to ancient times, physicians did not see a split between psychology and physiology (mind-body), but viewed them as interactive. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, called the condition “melancholia,” believing it was caused by too much bile in the body.
Apart from the digestive disturbances mentioned above, such as irritable bowel syndrome, a lack of stomach hydrochloric acid, pancreatic enzymes, or normal flora will cause poor food breakdown and inflame the mucosal linings of the small intestine. The result will be toxic reactions throughout the body and especially the sensitive nerve tissue of the brain. It is also important to investigate low adrenal or thyroid function as well as the possibility of functional hypoglycemia as contributing factors in low mood.

It is a personal decision whether one wishes to use medications for depression, but it would be wise to consider the gut-brain connection and the importance of nutrition as an adjunct or alternative.
A third consideration is the structural or chiropractic component. Musculo-skeletal misalignments in the sacro-iliac or cranial areas have a direct effect on the Autonomic Nervous System. William Sutherland, D.O., originator of osteopathic cranial-sacral therapy, noted that a “dropped sacrum” was always associated with depression because it impairs cerebro-spinal fluid movement and inhibits nervous system function.

Depression is a severe problem that afflicts about 40 million Americans or approximately one in five people. Understanding more about the condition and some possible approaches to its causes and treatment can go a long way towards helping to alleviate it.

Dr. Friedman uses gentle neurological and muscle relaxation methods to promote self-healing. For more information, visit http://www.FriedmanChiro.Com

Newsletter Archives

The following previous issues can be accessed by clicking on the title:


Vol. 12, No. 3: "Your Aching Sinuses"

There is a simple – yet unseen – mechanism in the human body that regulates and restores our health. This “Great Harmonizer” is actually wired in to the human nervous system and needs only to be properly stimulated in order to maintain health.

Vol. 12, No. 2: "From Stressed Out to Chilled Out"

There is a simple – yet unseen – mechanism in the human body that regulates and restores our health. This “Great Harmonizer” is actually wired in to the human nervous system and needs only to be properly stimulated in order to maintain health.

Vol. 12, No. 1: "Surprising Eyes"

Heredity can be either blessed or blamed for many of our physical characteristics...  from the inheritance of Mom’s curly hair to Dad’s bald head to, unfortunately, Grandpa’s diabetes. In fact, just knowing about or having observed a beloved relative suffer from a hereditary illness can create an aura of ticking time bomb in our own lives.

Vol. 11, No. 1: "Natural Immunity"

Human beings have always searched for methods to preserve health in the face of aging, infection and disease. One such route to health has increasingly been the promotion of the body’s own self-protective and self-healing mechanisms.These mechanisms, in turn, are dependent upon the  strength of the body’s “natural immunity,” its inherent ability to defend itself against infection and degenerative disease.

Vol. 10, No. 1: "Reflex Healing"

Chiropractic methods may seem, at times, to be mysterious and have little obvious connection with the object of a patient's complaint. While the "light touch" used at Friedman Chiropractic may possibly appear superficial, it is actually a critical tool for helping the body to regain health.

Vol. 9, No. 1: "Hara and Healing"

There is an old Taoist saying which advises: "When you are sick, do not seek a cure. Find your center and you will be healed." "What is this Òcenter" of which the ancients spoke and what is its importance to natural healing?

Vol. 8, No. 3: "Water: The Overlooked Nutrient"

We can live weeks without food, but no more than a week without water. For health, we need a balance of fluids for all of our cells to function properly.Our bodies consists of from 50% to 80% water. These fluids are what carry nutrients, waste products, and minerals to our cells. The fluid in our bodies can be divided into two main groups: There is fluid inside our cells (intracellular fluid) and fluid outside our cells (extracellular fluid).

Vol. 8, No. 2: "Fibromyalgia"

Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects over 8 million Americans, 80% of them female. People with this chronic condition have symptoms of severe fatigue and multiple sites of aches and pain in their muscles, ligaments and tendons. Years ago, people with this condition were told they had fibrositis, myalgia, rheumatism or were just plain hypochondriacs.

Vol. 8, No. 1: "Food Allergies"

Many medical experts predict that between 50%-60% of all Americans have negative reactions to some foods. These reactions are not restricted to the intestinal tract but can also cause brain, immune system, genitourinary, musculoskeletal, respiratory and skin symptoms...

Vol. 7, No. 2: "The Law of Polarity"

Since ancient times there have been many seekers of Nature's secret laws of healing. One such doctor was Randolph Stone, DO., DC., who explored the world in hopes of determining the common denominator of all healing systems. He concluded that there is an unseen field of electro-magnetic energy that both runs and heals the body. Dr. Stone organized his discoveries into a method he called Polarity Therapy ...

Vol. 7, No. 1: "Toxic or Tired?"

Fatigue is epidemic is our society. Common causes of this malady can vary from life-style choices to dietary indiscretions. Many people are aware that their exhaustion may come from poor food and emotional pressures, but an often overlooked factor is "auto-intoxication." Autotoxemia is poisoning with toxic substances formed within the body.

Vol. 6, No. 1: "The Importance of Posture"

There is an old adage that states: "The shape you are in determines the shape you are in." The implication is that the way one's body looks reflects one's general health. This idea goes back to the ancient Greeks who appreciated an erect and poised body in athletics and the arts, particularly statuary. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, exhorted: "In all diseases, look to the spine."

Vol. 5, No. 1: "The Four Stages of Healing"

An understanding of how the body-mind becomes ill can be helpful in guiding us through the healing process. The body becomes ill and gets well in an orderly manner whether the stressor is nutritional, mechanical, or emotional. The stages of disease in the order of progression are Acute, Sub-acute, Chronic, and Degenerative. All stages are various degrees of a condition called "inflammation." ...

Vol. 4, No. 1: "The Healing Field"

Many people wonder what is the mechanism in the human body that co-ordinates our daily physiology and also heals illnesses and injuries. A simple finger cut, for example, goes through many stages of tissue healing. How does the body know what type of connective tissue to lay down and when the scar is ready to fall off? ...

Vol. 3, No. 6: "Understanding Your Gut Feelings"

Most of us believe that important decisions are made via the intellect or the reasoning part of the mind. Current scientific research reveals this to be only partially true. It appears that we think with our minds but experience our emotions from another locale within the body: the stomach area. ...

Vol. 3, No. 5: "Retracing: The Untold Story"

There is a belief among many health practitioners working with natural therapies that a person who is in the process of getting well may undergo some sort of a "healing reaction" in order to fully heal. The "healing crisis," as it is known, occurs at a point when the body's self-healing mechanism has begun to "retrace" its own history of illness in order to completely heal and rid itself of the accumulated residues of disease...

Vol. 3, No. 4: "May the Force Be With You"

The physicians of the ancient world believed that health comes from a power within the human body which they called "Vis Medicatrix Naturae" or the healing power of nature. The Greek physician-philosopher Plato observed that every living thing is activated by an "inherent vital principle" which both runs and heals the body-mind complex...

Vol. 3, No. 3: "Change Your Thinking...Change Your Life"

The philosopher-psychologist Henry James observed almost a century ago:
"The most profound discovery of my generation is that, by changing one's thinking, one can change one's life."
Increasingly, science is finding that, by engendering positive and uplifting thoughts, we can not only improve the quality of our emotional and spiritual lives, but we may be also able to influence the quality of our physical health. ..

Vol. 3, No. 2: "Is It Mind? Is It Body? Is It Body-Mind?"

Except for a small number of physical complaints such as injuries or acute infections, there is an increasing array of health complaints being labeled as having a "stress-related" or emotional component. By current estimate, almost 90% of present health issues have emotional stress as a partial cause of disease. How can we, as health consumers, know if a disease derives from emotional or physical causes or from a combination of both? To find the answer to this question, it is helpful to look to the past. ...

Vol. 3, No. 1: "Fatigue and Its Remedies"

At various times throughout our lives, all of us will experience a sense of tiredness or fatigue. Sometimes this feeling will last a day or two but, for some people, it can persist for months, years, or even a life-time. It is important to understand that serious fatigue, that is, fatigue that is not attributable to temporary over-exertion, is actually a symptom of some other process going on within the body-mind unit. Prolonged fatigue is not an illness in itself, but a manifestation of a health imbalance. ...




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Jeffrey I. Friedman, D.C.
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(415) 459-4646

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(707) 773-0288

DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is intended to provide health information to improve quality of life and assist users to better understand their health and arrange more easily for healthcare services. It is not an attempt to replace the need to seek healthcare services nor to provide specific healthcare advice. Information provided should not be used to diagnose or dispute a qualified healthcare professional's judgement. If you have any questions, please give our office a call or check with your local healthcare professional.

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