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Islam Clarification of a Fallacy

Referring to such verses, there are some who attempt to give the impression that Islam is a religion of war and violence. This is totally untrue. Such verses relate in a restricted sense, to those who have unilaterally attacked the Muslims. The above verse does not convey the general command of Islam.

The truth of the matter is that the Quran was not revealed in the complete form in which it exists today. It was revealed from time to time, according to the circumstances, over a time span of 23 years. If this is divided into years of war and peace, the period of peace amounts to 20 years, while that of war amounts only to 3 years. The revelations during these 20 peaceful years were the peaceful teachings of Islam as are conveyed in the verses regarding the realization of God, worship, morality, justice, etc.

This division of commands into different categories is a natural one and is found in all religious books. For instance, the Gita, the holy book of the Hindus, pertains to wisdom and moral values. Yet along with this is the exhortation of Krishna to Arjun, encouraging him to fight. (3:30) This does not mean that believers in the Gita should wage wars all the time. Gandhiji, after all, derived his philosophy of non-violence from the same Gita. The exhortation to wage war in the Gita applies only to exceptional cases where circumstances leave no choice. But for general day-to-day existence it gives the same peaceful commands as derived from it by Mahatma Gandhi.

Similarly, Jesus Christ said: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew, Chapter 10)

It would not be right to conclude that the religion preached by Christ was one of war and violence, for such utterances relate purely to particular occasions. So far as general life is concerned, Christ taught peaceful values, such as the building up of a good character, loving each other, helping the poor and needy, etc.

The same is true of the Quran. When the Prophet of Islam emigrated from Mecca to Medina, the idolatrous tribes were aggressive towards him. But the Prophet always averted their attacks by the exercise of patience and the strategy of avoidance. However on certain occasions no other options existed, save that of retaliation. Therefore, he had do battle on certain occasions. It was these circumstances, which occasioned those revelations relating to war. These commands, being specific to certain circumstances, had no general application. They were not meant to be valid for all time to come. That is why; the permanent status of the Prophet has been termed a ‘mercy for all mankind.’ (21:107)

Islam is a religion of peace in the fullest sense of the word. The Qur’an calls its way ‘the paths of peace’ (5:16). It describes reconciliation as the best policy (4:128), and states that God abhors any disturbance of the peace (2:205). We can say that:

“It is no exaggeration to say that Islam and violence are contradictory to each other. The concept of Islamic violence is so obviously unfounded that prima facie it stands rejected. The fact that violence is not sustainable in the present world is sufficient indication that violence as a principle is quite alien to the scheme of things in Islam. Islam claims to be an eternal religion and, as such, could never afford to uphold any principle, which could not stand up to the test of time. Any attempt to bracket violence with Islam amounts, therefore, to casting doubt upon the very eternity of the Islamic religion. Islamic terrorism is a contradiction in terms, much like ‘pacifist’ terrorism. And the truth of the matter is that, all the teachings of Islam are based directly or indirectly on the principle of peace.”

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Spiritual

 

The Example of the Prophet Muhammad

The house of the Kabah, which was built as the house of monotheism by the Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael (peace be upon them), later on became a centre of polytheism with 360 idols in it. The first revelation might well have demanded the purification of the Kabah, which would have given rise to a serious problem. But the first revelation made in the Quran was: Purify your vestments (74:4).

This means to purify one’s moral character. If, in the first stage the Prophet had been commanded to purify the Kabah while Makkah was still under the domination of the idolaters, this would have surely precipitated clash and confrontation. Therefore, according to the command of the first revelation, the Prophet continued to perform his prayers peacefully in the Kabah for a period of 13 years, even though it housed several hundred idols.

Similarly, the Prophet and his companions circumambulated the Kabah on the occasion of Umrah al-Hudaybiyya in 629, while the Kabah still housed 360 idols.

The Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) proceeded thus in order to avoid war and confrontation with the idolaters, and so that the atmosphere of peace should be maintained. The entire life of the Prophet is a practical demonstration of this peace-loving policy. At the time of migration from Makkah, the idolaters were all set to wage war, but the Prophet avoided this by quietly leaving his homeland for Madinah.

The mission of Islam is based on monotheism, its goal being to make people realize the existence of the one and only God and to strive to bring about a revolution in their hearts and minds of individuals in order that they may love God as is His due. And the greatest concern of man should be to fear and worship his Creator (2:165).

Such a mission cannot afford wars and violent confrontations. When a state of war and violence prevails, the normal atmosphere is vitiated and such circumstances as would foster intellectual movements and spiritual reformation cannot be effectively created. It cannot be denied that peaceful circumstances produce a propitious environment for Islam, while violent circumstances inevitably result in antagonism towards Islam.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Spiritual

 

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Islam – The Religion of Peace

The root word of Islam is ‘silm’, which means peace. So the spirit of Islam is the spirit of peace. The first verse of the Qur’an breathes the spirit of peace. It reads:

“In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.”

This verse is repeated in the Qur’an no less than 113 times. It shows the great importance Islam attaches to such values as Mercy and Compassion. One of God’s names, according to the Qur’an, is As-Salam, which means peace. Moreover the Qur’an states that the Prophet Muhammad PBUH was sent to the world as a mercy to mankind. (21:107)

A perusal of the Qur’an shows that most verses of the Qur’an (and also the Hadith) are based on peace and kindness, either directly or indirectly. The ideal society, according to the Qur’an is Dar as-Salam, that is, the house of peace (10:25).

The Qur’an presents the universe as a model that is characterized by harmony and peace (36:40). When God created heaven and earth, He so ordered things that each part might perform its function peacefully without clashing with any other part. The Qur’an tells us that “the sun is not allowed to overtake the moon, nor does the night outpace the day. Each in its own orbit runs.” (36:40)

For billions of years, therefore, the entire universe has been fulfilling its function in total harmony with His divine plan. These are only but a few references to show what great importance Islam attaches to peace. In fact, Islam cannot afford not to be in a state of peace because all that Islam aims at—spiritual progress, intellectual development, character building, social reform, educational activities, and above all Missionary work —can be achieved only in an atmosphere of peace and harmony.

According to Islam, Paradise is the ideal human abode, and is thus called the ‘Home of Peace.’ It is also said that, the people of Paradise will wish peace to one another, indicating that the social culture of the people of Paradise will be based on peace.

The Quran, avers that, ‘reconciliation is best’ (4:128), and judging by the consequences, the way of peace is far better than that of confrontation. By the law of Nature, God has decreed that success will be met with only on a reconciliatory path, and not on a confrontational or a violent course of action.

Whenever the Prophet had an option between two courses of action, he always chose the easier (non-confrontational) one. (Bukhari)

This means that, violent activism should not be indulged in if peaceful activism is an option. For, peace is the easier course as compared to violence.

For instance, trying to change the status quo in the very first stage of a movement is a hard option, while launching one’s activities in the available sphere without doing so is an easier option.

Going to war in confrontational situations is a hard option while following a conciliatory course in dealing with one’s rival is easier. Countering aggression with aggression is a hard option, while countering aggression with patience and forbearance is an easier option. An agitational course of action is harder than employing quiet strategy. Adopting a radical method of reformation is harder than that of following a gradual method. Taking emotional, extreme steps without a thought for their consequences creates difficulties. While a well-considered method, keeping an eye on the consequences, gives much better results. The policy of confrontation with a ruler is a harder option, while initiating one’s action; by sidestepping the ruler in the sphere of education and learning is an easier option. These instances show us the easier and harder options, as demonstrated by the Hadith.

The truth is that peace in Islam is the ‘rule’, while war is the ‘exception’. This is borne out by all the teachings of Islam and the practical life of the Prophet of Islam.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Spiritual

 

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Islamic scholar and enlightened thinker, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, sheds light on Islamic philosophy

The Mumbai blasts have once again created mistrust and suspicion of the Muslim community. My heart goes out to all the millions of innocent Muslims who will once again be discriminated against and alienated. I shudder at the increasing momentum of the tragic cycle of hate and recrimination that the event has unleashed. The only solution to this growing divide, I am convinced, is to create awareness of the enlightened tenets of Islamic philosophy, instead of the half-truths and misinterpretations received by both practicing Muslims and other communities.

The perfect person for the job is Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, an Islamic scholar of impeccable repute, whose self-appointed task has been to free Islam from the hold of self-interested clerics and broadcast its message of peace and tolerance. At 80, the Maulana puts one in mind of an ancient Biblical prophet, dressed as he is in a loose pathani suit, with a long silver beard streaming down from his wise, benevolent face. He has many books and publications to his credit and is founder of Center for Peace and Spirituality in Delhi where he conducts regular classes. He publishes Al Risala, a bilingual magazine in Urdu and English and his talks are also aired on Zee Jagran.
Excerpts from the interview:

What, in your view, is the central tenet of Islam?
There is no single tenet which summarizes the teachings of Islam but many of them have to be taken together. Oneness of God and compassion are the main principles, which, when extended, also develop into brotherhood, faith, prayer and peace.

Here, I would like to emphasize that the brotherhood Islam talks about is universal brotherhood, which links the entire humanity and not a narrow brotherhood comprising of just one community.

With this in mind, Prophet Mohammed used to rise early every morning and pray thus: “Oh, God, I bear witness that all human beings are brothers and sisters”.

There is, unfortunately, a lot of misinterpretation of the teachings of Islam.
Yes, there is. It is important to remember that Muslims and Islam are different.

The way religion develops is thus. First, there is a principle that is espoused by an individual. When accepted by a group, it is seen as an ideology. This ideology when it gains much greater acceptance by spreading among a larger group, forms a community.

Islam’s principles are different from Muslims, the community. There is certainly degeneration in the world at large and in Muslims too. This is not to be confused with Islam.

Is music forbidden in Islam?
No, certainly not. What is forbidden is nudity. Only when music is coupled with nudity or semi-exposure as it sometimes is, is it forbidden.

Could you elaborate on the true meaning of jihad and kafir?
Jihad is essentially a peaceful struggle for justice. This kind of struggle generally requires tremendous patience and hence ‘haq’ and ‘sabr’, truth and patience, are essential for jihad. To give an example from recent times, the satyagraha of Mahatma Gandhi was a jihad.

Kafir is a person who refuses to accept the principles of divinity despite being exposed to them. Even here, no individual can ever declare another to be a kafir. This is the prerogative of Allah alone. Why, even the Prophet had said he could not really declare anyone to be a kafir. It is certainly recommended that all believers teach and spread the message of God, but no coercion or judgmental assertions are called for.

Does Islam accept that wars are sometimes necessary?
Islam stands for peace. The word Islam itself means ‘peace’. This is the highest goal society can strive for. Yes, there have been battles in Prophet Mohammed’s time but these have been only for self-defense.

It is only for defending oneself or the helpless that war can be fought. Invasion and attack is strictly forbidden.

Islam lays downs rules of conduct both for the individual and for society. Are both of these immutable?
To put it more clearly, the two components of Islam are the belief system and social system or shariat. The belief system which speaks of God is immutable but the shariat, the social laws, are not. What is not recommended is frivolous change in shariat without careful thought of the long-term implications. However, change of social laws after careful consideration of the objectives of the change can be done.

Today, at one level, we can see a lot of interaction and dialog and at another, violence and intolerance. How do you view this and what do you think the future holds for us?
I would like to answer this in two parts.

See, there are differences between the peoples of the world and this will always be there. Hence, what we need to learn is ‘difference management’. In fact, these very differences can be a blessing as they lead to better understanding through dialog and interaction.

Coming to the violence, the world operates through a cyclical process. That is why all the major world religions talk of a progression from ‘darkness to light’. I am certain that what we are witnessing is a temporary period of darkness, which is also a movement towards greater understanding and realisation or ‘light’.

With what objective did you set up the Center for Peace and Spirituality?
To establish peace and spirituality (smiles).

It is through the spirituality of individuals that a society can move towards peace. Hence, while spirituality is the goal of individual seekers, peace is the goal of society. Both are essential and mutually dependent.

At an individual level, what objective could one strive for?
Purging negativity. In one incident in the Prophet’s life, he pointed to one man, stating that he would certainly find a place in paradise.

Curious, one of his companions spent three days with this person but found nothing extraordinary in his life or practice and so he asked the man what his secret formula was. The man replied that all that he could think of was that he never allowed any negative thought in his mind, even against an enemy.

In another incident, the Prophet stated that a person who is never angry, even when provoked, is certain to find peace.

So, leading a ‘positive life full of positive thoughts’ leads one to peace, happiness and spirituality.

Could you share your own spiritual practice with us?
“I think, therefore I am” is a statement that applies to me completely.

Therefore, my practice is essentially that of “tabaussum” or contemplation.

As thoughts are so important to me, I ensure that these thoughts are full of positivity.

Another principle which I have practiced for many years is ‘acceptance’. Whatever life brings my way, I accept it with an attitude of ‘Ye bhi theek hai’. Apply this simple principle and see how much peace of mind it brings you.

Anything you would like to share with Life Positive readers?
Yes. I would like to quote a hadiz of Prophet Mohammed that the poet Iqbal translated into a beautifully poignant sher. I am sure all the readers will cherish it. In it, Iqbal says
“Mire arab ko ayee thandi hawa jahan se
Mera Vatan Vahi hai
Mera Vatan Vahi hai”
(The place from where I get cool winds, is my land, is my land.)

India, I am convinced, is the land the Prophet referred to, as the Arab world gets its cool breeze from here.

Contact: Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Center for Peace and
Spirituality, 1, Nizamuddin West Market,
New Delhi – 110 013, info@cps.org

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2011 in Spiritual

 

Positive Energy: The Nineth Prescription

 Dr. Judith Orloff MD

I  learned to honor my energy needs the hard way. As a psychiatrist who specializes in intuition I knew how important it was to listen to my body. Yet still I’d vacillate between intense weeks of speaking tours to bouts of utter exhaustion at home. I couldn’t turn down “irresistible” opportunities. Here was my dilemma–I trusted my intuition, and was committed to living by it. But I had a blind spot: Although I was quite successful at helping others at trusting intuition and leading high energy lives I was ignoring my own energy crises. Finally my fatigue was so profound I had to change.

I know first hand how important it is for us to cherish our precious energy so we don’t compromise our capacity for passion. I now believe that the most profound transformations can only take place only on an energetic level. I’ve met many patients who’ve spent much time and money on talk therapy hoping that intellectual insights will bring emotional freedom, but they’re disappointed. As much as I love the linear mind, my approach, which I call “Energy Psychiatry,” goes further to also facilitate a conscious rebuilding of a subtle energies, the most basic life force in each of us.Do You Get Drained By Other People’s Energy?
Our bodies are made of flesh and blood, but they’re also composed of energy fields—though sadly I wasn’t taught this in medical school. Each day we encounter a wide range of energies, both positive and negative. Positive energy includes compassion, courage, forgiveness, and faith. Negative energy includes fear, anger, hopelessness, and shame. We need to be experts at dealing with energy so we don’t get demolished by draining situations or people who’re energy vampires.Like me you may be an intuitive empath, someone who’s so sensitive to energy you pick it up but you’re also drained by it. This goes way beyond feeling sympathy for a distraught friend—we actually take on their pain either emotionally or physically. To cope we take refuge in solitude. We empaths are so attuned to others that we can feel what’s going on inside of them. This can put us on energy overload and aggravate everything from chronic fatigue to overeating.Growing up, my girlfriends couldn’t wait to hit the malls, but I dreaded them. I always felt overwhelmed, exhausted around crowds, though I was clueless why. “What’s the matter?” friends would say, shooting me the weirdest looks. All I knew was that crowded places and I just didn’t mix. I’d go there feeling fine but leave nervous, depressed, or with some new ache or pain. Unsuspectingly, I was a gigantic sponge, absorbing the energy of people around me.Thank goodness, as my intuition matured, I realized I had intuitive empathy. Once I learned to protect my energy, empathy has become a gift enhancing my compassion. Here’s how empathy works: the more people per square foot, the more our energy fields intersect–thus the tendency to become overloaded in high-density areas. This aspect of intuition is the most neglected.Empaths, unintentionally, can make even a good doctor’s life hell. They manifest so many “unexplained” symptoms, that frustrated physicians write them off as hypochondriacs. Empaths are notoriously misdiagnosed. Patients have come to me with obesity who’ve failed diets because they needed strategies other than eating to protect themselves from negative energy. Others were labeled “agoraphobic” or with “panic disorder,” having received only minor relief from traditional treatments. Some were nearly house-bound. They’d all say, “I dislike crowded places where there’s no quick escape. Forget department stores, busy streets, elevators, tunnels. I just avoid them.” Sounded very familiar. So I decided to take a history of how these people processed subtle energy in the world, something all health professionals must be trained to assess. Voila! I found many were undiagnosed empaths. For me, this changed everything. My job as a physician then became teaching my patients to center themselves and protect their energy.A Survival Guide to Protect Yourself from Energy Vampires.You don’t have to be an empath to experience the fang marks of an energy vampire, though empaths are often hit the hardest. Relationships are always an energy exchange. To stay feeling our best, we must ask ourselves: Who gives us energy? Who saps it? It’s important to be surrounded by supportive, heart-centered people who make us feel safe and secure. It’s equally important to pinpoint the energy vampires, who, whether they intend to or not, leech our energy.Positive energy in others can be rejuvenative. For instance, you’re nervous about a job interview, but the minute you meet your prospective boss you relax. He’s so calm and welcoming, you calm down too. Or perhaps you have a good friend around whom you always feel loved. These are energy-givers, those we must gravitate towards.In contrast, energy vampires exude negative energy that drains. Vampires range from the intentionally malicious ones to those who are oblivious to their effect. Some are overbearing and obnoxious; others are friendly and charming. For example, you’re at a party talking to a perfectly nice person, but suddenly you’re nauseous or weak. Or how about the co-worker who drones on about how she broke up with her boyfriend for the tenth time? Eventually, she feels better, but you’re spent. The bottom line is that on a subtle energy level these people suck you dry.There are many types of vampires to watch out for. The main ones I stress in my book are the Drama Queen who wears your out with her dramas; The Sob Sister, who whines all the time; The Blamer, who cuts you down with criticism and The Go-For-The-Carotid type who purposely cuts your down without any respect for your feelings. Keep an eye out for these types so you’re aware of their methods, and stop them from draining you.Strategies for Dealing With Energy Vampires

  1. Take an inventory of people in your life who give energy, and people who drain. Specifically identify the energy vampires, and begin to evaluate ones you’d like to limit contact with or eliminate. Plan at least one complete afternoon with people who give off positive energy and avoid drainers. Notice how this beneficially affects your physical and emotional well-being.
  2. Set Clear Boundaries. It’s crucial to limit the time you spend discussing a vampire’s gripes. When approaching her, remember: the difference between being a bitch and setting boundaries is attitude. Instead of saying, “You’re selfish and self-obsessed, I can’t take you anymore,” which a part of you likely feels, take a breath and shift to your heart.
  3. Meditate. Sitting in meditation is a life-line to your center, to the earth. it will ground you when you’ve been struck by a vampire. By calming the mind, you can re-align with your essence. Close your eyes. Focus on your breath. Then gently extend your awareness downward to strata, bedrock, minerals, and soil. From the base of your spine begin to feel a continuity with the earth’s core. Picture having a long tail that roots in that center. Allow the earth’s energy to infuse your body and stabilize you. If you meditate for five minutes or an hour this is sacred time.
  4. Walk away. If you feel your energy being zapped don’t hesitate to politely excuse yourself from a killing conversation. Move at least twenty feet from the person, outside the range of his or her energy field. “I have to go to the bathroom” is a foolproof line. Most people are oblivious to how their energy impacts others. For years, reluctant to hurt anyone’s feelings, I needlessly endured these types of situations and suffered. How many of us are so loathe to appear rude that a raving maniac can be right in our face, and still we don’t budge for fear of offending? In a spot, physically removing yourself is a sure quick solution.
  5. Build an energy shield around you. When you’re with vampires you can’t get away from visualize a protective shield of while light surrounding every inch of you. This lets positive energy in, but keeps negative energy out—particularly efficient for vampires at family dinners or social events where you’re trapped.

I hope I’ve inspired you to be more fierce about asserting your energy needs. Never put yourself down as being “overly sensitive.” Sensitivity is an asset as long as you learn how to protect yourself from negative vibes. Understanding how you react energetically in the world is particularly important if you’re chronically tired and want to build vitality. Knowledge is power. Meeting your energy needs can balance mind, body, and spirit to create a vibrant life.How do you know if you’re an empath? What are the signs?Quiz: Are You an Intuitive Empath?
Ask yourself:

  • Have you ever sat next to someone at a dinner who seems pleasant, but suddenly you’re nauseous, have a headache, or feel drained?
  • Are you uncomfortable in crowds, even go out of your way to avoid them?
  • Do you get easily over-stimulated by people or prefer being alone?
  • When someone is in pain, do you start feeling it too ?
  • Do I overeat around people I’m uncomfortable with?

If you’ve answered “yes” to one or more questions, it’s likely you have experienced intuitive empathy. Responding “yes” to every question indicates empathy is draining your energy.Dr. Orloff’s Tips for Keeping Your Positive Energy High

  1. In crowds or stressful situations take a few deep breaths to exhale negative energy from your body
  2. Meditate daily to center yourself—visualize roots going through you and planting firmly in the ground
  3. Take daily baths or showers to wash off negative vibes. Water is a potent purifier and can get rid of the slimiest of energies.
  4. Burn sage in a room to purify left over negative vibes. Sage is an ancient purifier. (Many of my patients who work in the entertainment industry use this technique to clear the energy in the room after back-to-back pitch meetings in their office.)
  5. Eliminate energy vampires from your life
 
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Posted by on July 17, 2010 in health, Spiritual Health

 

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Hyperactivity

Dr Jacob Teitelbaum MD

One of the side effects of our modern environment and diet has been an increase in illnesses such as autism and hyperactivity. It is important to recognize that these do not have a single cause but are rather the common endpoint for many different problems. When we understand these problems, it makes it easier to develop effective treatment strategies.

I would like to begin with pregnancy, as nutritional and hormonal deficiencies in the mother can increase the risk of hyperactivity and learning disabilities in the child. Although this information may not help with your child now, looking for and treating these problems may prevent hyperactivity and other problems in the children that you will have in the future.

The three key areas to be aware of to prevent these problems in pregnancy are hypothyroidism and iodine and fish oil deficiencies. Unfortunately, hypothyroidism is dramatically under diagnosed in the United States. Even the using current lab guidelines, only one quarter of the 26 million Americans, mostly women, who are hypothyroid are receiving adequate care. Sadly, most doctors, and even the lab forms themselves have not updated to the new guidelines that were developed by the American Academy of Clinical Endocrinology almost three years ago. In addition, I believe that many people have an underactive thyroid – even if the tests are normal using the new lab guidelines. Also, some doctors are not aware that even in a hypothyroid patient who is on optimal levels of thyroid hormone, the dose needs to be increased by 30-60 percent during pregnancy to maintain normal thyroid levels as your blood volume increases. The effects of missing an underactive thyroid can be devastating to a pregnancy.

To give you some idea of the scope of the problem, the effect of not treating hypothyroidism results in over 4600 miscarriages/yr after 15 weeks of pregnancy-with countless more before. An astounding six percent of miscarriages are associated with hypothyroidism and undiagnosed hypothyroidism is also associated with infertility. In moderate to severely hypothyroid mothers, the baby was also over 6 times as likely to die soon after being born.

If they survive these problems, children born to hypothyroid mothers have a lower IQ by an average of 7 points. They are also almost 4 times as likely to have an IQ under 85 and over twice as likely to have learning difficulties resulting in their having to repeat a grade. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy, which can contribute to an underactive thyroid and is once again becoming more prevalent in the United States since iodine was removed from flour, has also been found to be much more common in mothers of children with hyperactivity. Fish oil deficiency, which along with low magnesium and zinc are the most critical deficiencies during pregnancy, may also impair proper brain development in the child. As you can see, a gram of prevention can be worth a pound of cure!

Having discussed what can be done to prevent attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, let’s look at the many factors which may contribute to these problems and how to treat them. This may eliminate or lower the need for Ritalin which, although sometimes helpful, is not necessarily the preferred approach to treatment. It important to remember however, that the underlying problems may vary from child to child. As is the case with adults, magnesium deficiency is critical with 95% of hyperactive children been found to have low levels. Magnesium deficiency is characterized by excessive fidgeting, anxious restlessness, psychomotor instability, and learning disabilities –even the presence of a normal IQ. In one study, supplementing the children with 200 mg of magnesium daily for six months resulted in significant improvement. Calcium, which is another mineral related to magnesium, is also often deficient in hyperactivity and supplementation may also result in improvement. 1 cup of milk supplies 400 mg of calcium and can be helpful if the child does not have milk allergies. Milk allergies should be suspected, however, in children that had frequent ear infections. Other nutrient deficiencies are also important. Iron deficiency was found in 82% of hyperactive children and one study found that supplementing these children with iron was helpful. The ferritin blood test for iron should be kept at a level of over 40. Zinc deficiency is also common in these children. Because of this, I would consider supplementing with magnesium 200 mg daily, calcium, zinc, and iron.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2010 in health

 

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Depression Therapy

Depression therapy is not a one size fits all treatment.  Individuals are affected by depression in various ways and treatments should be tailored to fit the individual. Treatment takes time and commitment to be effective and may need to be changed along the way as your condition changes.  Do not rely only on medication; although effective it is much more effective when combined with therapy and lifestyle changes.

Psychotherapy for Depression Therapy

Psychotherapy is beneficial for those who suffer from any level of depression.  With psychotherapy a person is able to develop appropriate and beneficial coping strategies.  There are various types of psychotherapy which may include individual therapy, family or group therapy.  The coping strategies learned through this type of therapy enable you to deal with the everyday stressors in your life.  Therapy can be very effective for helping you cope with the effects of depression, it is important to maintain the regimen designed for you by your therapist and your physician for the best outcome.

Medication for Depression Therapy

Doctors generally prescribe medications to help manage depression symptoms. These medications may include antidepressants, stimulants and anti-anxiety drugs.  Stimulants and anti-anxiety medications are not effective against depression when they are not used in conjunction with anti-depressant medications.

Because chemicals in the brain can lead to depression, an imbalance of those chemicals can cause clinical depression.  Researchers have discovered that norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine which are neurotransmitters that transmit electrical impulses between the brain cells are lacking in those who are clinically depressed.  By supplementing or modifying these chemicals it is believed that it can improve emotions.  Some anti-depressant medications work by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitters, others are effective by changing the sensitivity of the receptors of the impulses.

Electroconvulsive Therapy for Depression Therapy

ECT is generally only used when there is severe depression that has not responded to other forms of therapy and medications.  It can also be used if the patient needs immediate relief such as when they pose a real threat to themselves or others and would be dangerous to wait for medications and therapy to be effective.

Electroconvulsive therapy which is more commonly known as electroshock treatment is performed by a skilled physician.  During this therapy a very brief electric shock is applied through the scalp to the brain.  This electric current induces a seizure basically resetting the brain.  This treatment is highly effective in treating depression.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2010 in Depression Therapy, health

 

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