Mind-Body Connection Category

Your Choices and Meditation

You go through life automatically, not feeling quite right but not knowing why. You go to a job you hate, come home, make dinner, watch TV, and start all over again, waiting for your vacation to forget the emptiness of your life for one or two weeks. And you ask yourself, “This can’t be all there is”. And you’re right…this isn’t all there is. And, believe it or not, you always have a choice to continue to live on automatic pilot or to make the effort to become more aware of who you are and what you really want.

Socrates is reported to have said, “The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being”. Mindfulness is a powerful tool for becoming aware of our own thought processes and, eventually, of your erroneous beliefs. Daily meditation helps to quiet the body and mind and reconnect with your heart and its yearnings. While this can be scary, the rewards are unestimable. There is always the risk that this increased awareness will b...

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Summer Solstice Meditation for Positive Energy




Join Rev. Tracy L. Cox, B. Msc., IMM for a healing and energizing meditation, designed to take advantange of the upcoming Summer Solstice. Rev. Tracy is a Ontario Wedding Officiant, as well as a Pastoral Counsellor. She is available for consultations in her Aurora office, or worldwide by phone. Please see her website at www.divineheartcentre.ca for more info, and may you be blessed, today and in the eternal moment of always. 

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Guided Meditation for Releasing Regret and Guilt

Join Rev. Tracy L. Cox for a guided meditation designed to overcome feelings of regret and guilt, as we will encounter in our spiritual journey. 






May you be blessed, now and in the Eternal Moment of Always. 

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Using Melatonin in the Treatment of Insomnia

I frequently have clients ask about natural methods to help them sleep. Because melatonin is a hormone that is part of the human sleep-wake cycle, many people think that by taking more of it in pill form will help them to fall asleep faster or stay asleep longer. Unfortunately, that isn't exactly how melatonin works.

Melatonin, also known chemically as "N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine," is a naturally occurring compound found in animals, plants and microbes. In animals, circulating levels of the hormone melatonin vary in a daily cycle, thereby allowing the entrainment of the circadian rhythms of several biological functions.

Many biological effects of melatonin are produced through activation of melatonin receptors, while others are due to its role as a pervasive and powerful antioxidant, with a particular role in the protection of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.

In mammals, melatonin is secreted into the blood by the pineal gland in the brain. Known as the "hormone of darkness" it is s...

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Nutrients That Affect Mental Health

As a therapist,I have clients ask about natural methods for mental health.

The first recorded nutritional experiment is in the Bible in the Book of Daniel. As the story goes, the king of Babylon captured Daniel and his friends during an invasion of Israel. When the king invited them to eat his rich foods and wine, Daniel and his friends declined. They explained that they preferred vegetables, beans and water in accordance with their Jewish dietary restrictions. The king agreed to allow them their diet on a trial basis. Daniel and his friends ate their diet for 10 days. Afterward, the king compared their health to that of his men who had been on the richer diet of heavy meats and wine. The king concluded that Daniel and his friends appeared healthier and were allowed to continue with their diet.

Over the course of time, scientists have continually investigated the effect diet and nutrition have on well-being. By the 20th century, scientists had used nutrition in the treatment of every...

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How Medical Conditions Affect Depression

I often have people ask me if medical m conditions can effect mental health. Certain medical problems are linked to lasting, significant mood disturbances - either the sadness or loss of pleasure typical of depression or the elation or hyperirritability seen in mania. In fact, medical illnesses or medications may be at the root of up to 10% to 15% of all depressions.

Among the best-known culprits are two thyroid hormone imbalances. An excess of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) can trigger manic symptoms. Hyperthyroidism occurs in about two and a half million Americans. Hypothyroidism, a condition in which your body produces too little thyroid hormone, often leads to exhaustion and depression. This imbalance affects more than nine million Americans.

Heart disease has also been linked to depression, with up to half of heart attack survivors reporting feeling blue and many having significant depression. Depression can spell trouble for heart patients: It's been linked with slower recov...

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Herbal Medicine and Mental Health

In developing countries, up to 80% of indigenous populations rely on herbs for primary health care needs. In France and Germany, 30 to 40% of all medical doctors -- including psychiatrist -- rely on herbal preparations as their primary medicines in mental health counseling. German physicians, for example, frequently prescribe ginkgo, hawthorn, St. John's wort, horse-chestnut, saw palmetto, echinacea, valerian, ginger, garlic, and cranberry.

In Europe, herbs and herbal products are regulated in a different manner than in the United States. In 1978, the German Federal Health Agency established the German Commission E to investigate the safety and efficacy of herbal remedies.The commission studied evidence from literature, anecdotal reports, and clinical studies. In response, they developed monographs on over 400 herbs. These writings are now used worldwide as essential references on herbal therapy. The commission also established indications of how an herb is used medicinally and dosage...

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Fasting: An Exceptional Human Experience

As a psychotherapist, I often talk with people who have sacrificed self-care in lieu of other activities, usually work related. Many of them have either abandoned a spiritual practice or never had one. In these instances, part of my work is encouraging the development of such a practice.

It seems now—more than ever—people struggle to find meaning and significance in their lives. Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist Jack Kornfield (2001) said, “We live in disordered times, complicated, distracted, and demanding . . . Whether in prayer or meditation, in visualization, fasting, or song, we need to step out of our usual roles, out of the busy days on automatic pilot” (p. 26).

Just as there are different reasons for fasting, there are several definitions. Psychiatrist Len Sperry (2001) said fasting is used “as a means of weight loss, detoxification of the body for medical purposes, or as a spiritual practice. Done as a spiritual practice, fasting is defined ...

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Fasting and Anorexia Nervosa

Fasting is a practice that almost all eating disorders sufferers participate in, using it to manage weight and gain a feeling of control. The anorectic tends to have the most extreme fasting practices, whereas the bulimic usually fasts for shorter periods. Fasting among binge eaters and food addicts is sporadic, with some individuals using it more than others.

The primary treatment for eating disorders is counseling and psychotherapy. For a psychotherapist treating someone with an eating disorder, having a thorough understanding of the practice of fasting could be a useful standard of care. Without this knowledge, it becomes more difficult to decipher the patient’s motivations and defense mechanisms pertaining to fasting. For the anorectic who has abused fasting to the brink of death, examining her bond with fasting in psychotherapy—much in the same way an alcoholic would with alcohol—could play an important role in recovery.

For patients who have not abused the pra...

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Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Depression and Anxiety

More and more clients are requesting recommendations and referrals from psychotherapistfor complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). These therapies, which range from nutrition to body work, are often done in conjunction medication, rather than as a replacement.

Harvard University researchers and psychologists found that more than half of those reporting anxiety attacks or severe depression used a form of alternative treatment such as herbal remedies, special diets or acupuncture in the past year, while only one-third visited a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker or physician. With the exception of chronic back or neck pain, depression and anxiety were the conditions that most frequently led people to try alternative treatments, according to researchers.

People with anxiety or depression who are attracted to alternative therapies tend to like self-administered strategies. About 20 percent of the respondents in the Harvard study who used alternative treatments reported visit...

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