All About Your Health - For Everyone

Healing Depression and Sadness Naturally

   print page print the page   Email email the page Follow VitalHealthZone on Twitter Bookmark and Share


Turn the Lights On! - by Kay Hutchinson

As the seasons change and the days grow shorter, we can be impacted by the lower exposure to natural sunlight. During this time of the year, we can be more prone to manifestations of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) , a condition that can result in the following types of symptoms:

For more information on symptoms of SAD, see the American Psychiatric Association SAD information page.

There are various natural strategies that can be utilised to prevent or limit the amount of this condition:


Therapeutic full spectrum light

Sun over the cloudsResearchers with the Baker Heart Research Institute in Australia correlated a decline in sunlight with a decline in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in the brain that helps us to regulate moods and body rhythms.

By increasing the amount of full spectrum light (light that mimics sunlight), we can help our bodies to produce more serotonin, which diminishes symptoms of SAD.

Therapeutic full spectrum lights contain at least 10,000 lux (a measurement of the light intensity) and have filtered or eliminated harmful UV rays. These lights range in price from $150 to $300 depending on the manufacturer.

Non-therapeutic full spectrum light bulbs are available at local hardware stores and shops like Ikea. These affordable bulbs are more economical and may provide some benefit for improving symptoms of SAD but with less dramatic results compared to more intense therapeutic lights.


^ top


Boost Serotonin with Healthy Foods

BananasYou can also increase your serotonin levels by incorporating food rich in serotonin.

Foods that are high in serotonin include avocado, banana, kiwi, pineapple, plums, eggplant, tomatoes, butternut squash, pecans and walnuts.

Also, herbs such as valerian, and hypericum (also known as St John's Wort), help to re-balance serotonin levels. However, St. John's Wort can cause sun sensitivity particularly in fair-skinned individuals. Be mindful to wear adequate levels of sun screen or wear protective clothing such as hats or shirts with long sleeves when exposed to sunlight if taking St. John's Wort.

Did you know that 95% of the serotonin in your body resides in the tissues of the small intestine? Balancing the small intestine with a good source of acidophilus from foods like miso soup and yogurt can also help to maintain healthy levels of serotonin.


Exercise Away the Blues

Fitness centre for exerciseThe Mayo clinic found that people who exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, three to five times a week, can significantly reduce anxiety and depression.  Many people have a very sedentary life, sitting in front of computers and the television all day, without engaging in any form of physical activity. In addition to this, many people become more sedentary as we move into cooler autumn and winter weather.

Why not incorporate gentle qi gong movements and massage as a loving way to get more exercise and balance your serotonin levels?


Qi Gong Emotional Balancing Movement

Bend forward slightly and swing arms from side to side as if swishing through a pool of water.

Increase the vigor of the movements as you inhale deeply for a count of 3 and exhale for a count of 5.



^ top

Qi Gong Self Massage

Large Intestine Pathway
Massaging this energy pathway helps to facilitate release of sadness, grief or disappointment. It also stimulates the metal organ of the large intestine to help build immunity.

Lung Pathway
Massaging this energy pathway helps to facilitate release of sadness, grief or disappointment. It also stimulates the metal organ of the large intestine to help build immunity.

Small Intestine Pathway
Massaging this energy pathway helps to stimulate the small intestine to help maintain healthy serotonin levels and the ability to separate pure (positive)  from impure (negative) experiences.   By surrounding ourselves with positive experiences, we can help prevent depression and anxiety.


^ top


Kay Hutchinson, Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong ExpertArticle by: Kay Hutchinson, chinese medicine practitioner
Article can be found: Aiki Healing - Health Prosperity, produced by Kay Hutchinson


Last reviewed: 15 January 2010 || Last updated: 26 July 2010


Related Articles


NOTE: Mega doses of any type of vitamin, mineral, amino acid or herbal supplement cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of complementary supplements.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.

^ top