Articles by Mary & Dr. Dave

There is No Hell !

By Dr. Dave DiSano

There is no Hell, or Heaven, for that matter! Not in the sense that most of us was brought up to believe in. Bold statements, you may be thinking, going against established religious doctrines.  Just who do I think I am?  Well, I like to think I’m a  researcher that uses scientific principles to prove New Age and Metaphysical concepts. My research of the past 40 years has led me to believe that there is no Heaven or Hell as described in religious texts. A Heaven where you pass through the “pearly gates,”  sit by an old man on a throne, surrounded by winged angels floating on clouds. Or, a Hell where you are burning in eternal fire surrounded by demons, does not exist as well.

Just  who do I think I am, going against what it says in the Bible?!  Well if we consider when the Bible was written, some 1,800 years ago, I believe human consciousness has evolved somewhat.  We also no longer worship the Egyptian sun god Aten of 5,000 years ago, or the Greek king of gods,  Zeus (2,500 years ago), or the Roman king of gods, Jupiter (2,000 years ago). Religions and religious texts were written by religious leaders of their day in order to try and explain higher consciousness and to control their populations, often by through fear and intimidation.  “Follow my doctrines or you will be dammed to Hell!”  “To eat meat on a Friday is a sin!”  (great acronym for sin: Set In Nonsense!)

But, you say the Bible was “downloaded”  from God!  Was it?  Or, did men write it to try and explain things they did not know?  I am not contradicting the teachings of the profits in the Bible, or that Jesus was a great enlighten being, like Confucius, or Buddha, or St. Francis. Their teachings of being just, forgiving, accepting and loving to others are noble truths. What I have issues with, based on my research is the notion of going to a Hell or Heaven and being sent there by a judgmental God.

Higher conscious thought tells us that God is an infinite, loving being, not one that will  send one of his “children” to eternal damnation,  when they did not follow some man-made rules. So, what happens when we die?  Where do we go if there is no Heaven or Hell?

Based on my research and personal experience when one transitions (dies) we do go into the spirit dimension. In that dimension we meet our spirit guide, our soul group and review our life’s lessons. We also feel the intense connection to that eternal loving source most call the God consciousness. This information on the spirit dimension is thoroughly outlined in our book, Divinely Touched: Transform Your Life, where we use research, science (quantum physics) and personal experience to prove the existence of the spirit dimension. In our research, we find no proof of a Hell where you will burn for eternity because you missed church on Sundays. The spirit dimension we transition to may be the closest thing to heaven, but it is quite different from what religious texts outline.

Our life on Earth, in this physical dimension is, in my opinion Hell. In the physical dimension we experience pain, disease, hunger, hatred, and detachment from that eternal loving source. Here we see people hurting and killing each other (often to support their own religious beliefs….i.e. terrorism).  If those that hurt others don’t go to Hell, what happens to them?  There are universal laws such as Karma, and a “Life Review” so, those that hurt others do not “get away” with anything.  

In our book and seminar series we give specific research and personal testimonies proving that consciousness can exist outside the body, that phenomenon such as ESP, OBE’s, Reincarnation and the spirit dimension does exist and it can influence our lives here on the Earth.  

The spirit dimension does exist, which is the closest thing to Heaven (without the “pearly gates”) and this may be the closest thing to Hell, here on Earth.  And, yes this information was “downloaded” to me through years of research, and personal experiences.  It is our hope, and mission that human consciousness will continue to evolve based on new knowledge and information!

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What Are YOU Attracting in Your Life? (pt. 1)

By Dr. Dave DiSano

 

Having a background in psychology with a minor in Metaphysics and New Age philosophy I am often amazed to what people attract to themselves. Trends in New Age thought over the past forty years or so have centered around what thoughts are you attracting?  Books and classes such as,  A Course in Miracles, The Secret and The Law of Attraction all focused on what you attract you get. Great information, but far from being “new.”

This idea of what you attract, you get, can be found in flowing forth from every self-help guru and motivational author in the past hundred years. From Tony Robbins to Zig Ziglar to Robert Schuler to Wayne Dyer, to Dale Carnegie to Napoleon Hill, all promoted the idea what you think you become.  Norman Vincent Peale said, “Change your thoughts and change the world.” Gandhi said, “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.” Ernest Holmes stated that, “When you change your thinking you change your life.” Even Henry Ford, in the early 1900’s said, “Whether you think you can or can’t, either way you are right.”  

Going back a little further, a couple of thousand years ago, Jesus is believed to have said, “It will be done to you according to your belief,”  and, “You can renew your life through your beliefs.”  And even further back Buddha said, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”

So as far as “New Age” thought it is evident that how you think, and what you are attracting,  goes back thousands of years. Yet, when you ask people to list their traits, nine out of ten will give a long list of negative attributes. They will be quick to say “I’m too fat.”  “I’m too old.”  “I’m too unattractive.”  “I’m too stupid.”  “I’m not good enough.”   “I’m not able to….”   When asked how they are feeling you will hear, “I’m tired.”  “I have pain in my joints.”  “I can’t do what I used to.”  “I think I’m getting the flu.”  Not exactly attracting what we want are we when we say things like that!

Biology professor Bruce Lipton, in his groundbreaking book,  The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles (2005) explains how your belief can even change your DNA.  In his research he states that the outside of our cells are very susceptible to energy fields, and that the energy the cells take in can cause it to become more healthy or diseased. He states, “Your positive or negative beliefs are equally positive. If you think you are powerless then the thought will manifest, you will become a victim of your predispositions.”  Here again, now with science weighing in, your attitudes can not only affect your happiness but your health as well.

Most people I believe, when pressed can in fact identify what the difference is between a positive or negative statement or thought.  But, unfortunately they do not realize how these thoughts can shape their lives.  When you continually dwell on the negative, what you lack, your misfortune, your ill health or bad relationships, whether it be at present or in the past, you attract more of the same.  You shape your future with more misfortune, ill health and unhappiness.  Be continually conscious of what you are attracting. All New Age thought states that the “Universe” is quite literal.  When you say, “I think I’m getting sick.”  The Universe brings you more sickness! If you want to change your life, find happiness and better health and relationships, say what you want daily. The first thought in your head in the morning should be, “This is going to be the best day in my life! I feel great.  I am prosperous, healthy and loved today!”  

The two most powerful words in our language are “I am” and what follows it (okay it can be a few more words).   What are you following your “I am” with?  Are you saying “I am sick,” or are you saying “I am feeling better and better every day!”  What are you attracting to your life? As one of my favorite mystics,  “Unknown” stated, “As you believe, so you become!”  Be aware of what you are saying and it will change your life! In part II I dive deeper into Metaphysics and the Law of Attraction.

 

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What Are YOU Attracting in Your Life? (pt. 2)

Connecting New Age, Metaphysics and Quantum Physics

By Dr. Dave DiSano

 

“God does not play dice with the Universe.”

                                                                                             ~ Albert Einstein

In part 1, I discussed how the philosophy of, ‘we become what we attract’ dates back thousands of years. That what you tell yourself becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy through the power of “I am” statements.   And that most people are unaware that they continually attract exactly what they do not want through negative statements like “I think I’m getting sick,” or “I’m too fat, too old, etc.”

New Age thought often connects self-empowerment with Universal energies.  Books like The Law of Attraction and The Secret are based on this philosophy of what you put out comes back to you (see pt. 1). But to go beyond New Age thought we need to go into Metaphysics that can be explained through quantum physics.

Metaphysics is derived from the Greek word Meta meaning “beyond” or “after,” and physics pertaining to the physical. Initially meaning beyond the physical, today it encompasses theories and explanations for phenomena not often explained by the physical sciences. Metaphysics can involve theories of the origins of the Universe, consciousness, the purpose of life, universal laws, and Karma. It can attempt to answer questions that the physical sciences cannot. Metaphysics attempts to explain phenomenon that traditional science does not attempt to explain.  Concepts such as psychic phenomenon, telepathy, ESP, Out-of-Body Experiences, Near Death Experiences, Reincarnation and the spirit dimension science usually dismisses through “lack of evidence.” However, quantum physics does in fact explain such Metaphysical phenomenon.

The field of quantum physics began in the early 1900’s. It is a set of principles that describe the behavior of subatomic particles. Quantum theory provides accurate descriptions for many previously unexplained phenomena such as black body radiation and stable electron orbits. In the development of quantum theory, physicist Max Planck (1858-1947), considered the founder of quantum theory, proposed that energy waves could be described as consisting of small packets or quanta.  Albert Einstein (1879-1955) further postulated that an electromagnetic wave such as light was composed of particles called photons. This led to a theory of unity between subatomic particles and electromagnetic waves called wave-particle duality in which particles and waves were neither one nor the other, but had properties of both. Quantum mechanics led to the development of the transistor, electron microscope, magnetic resonance imaging, the laser and semiconductors.

An interesting discovery of quantum physics is that of nonlocality, the phenomenon that when two particles interact, they continue to influence each other and transfer information between them instantly, no matter how distantly separated they become. They can be separated by inches, feet, or millions of miles, and the transfer of information is immediate, indicating instant communication. This transfer of information is not bound by the laws of the physical universe, such as traveling at the speed of light (186,282.4 miles per second). It is believed this nonlocal transfer of information operates in an unseen reality, one that connects all physical events with the universe.

Using theories in quantum physics, we can explain how Metaphysical principles such as energy healing, clairvoyance, and consciousness existing outside the body all function:

  • Light is composed of electromagnetic energy that has properties of both particles and waves.
  •  These subatomic particles can transfer information as well and are  not bound by properties of space or time.
  • Human thought/consciousness produces energy similar to that of   light-energy with the same properties; consciousness is not bound by space and time.
  • Consciousness/thought is composed of energy that can affect matter near or far.

Science is now explaining how energy can leave the body and affect its surroundings, be it near or far (energy particles are nonlocal). Quantum physics is explaining how energy is composed of matter and can leave the body, affecting various energy layers around it. Science is now explaining what sages, mystics, and religious leaders have professed for thousands of years, that energy travels in waves and can affect the physical world.  Our consciousness is energy that can affect our lives by attracting other energy to it. When we project negative energy outward through self-debilitating thoughts and statements, that energy returns to us. As does positive and uplifting energies that will return better health, happiness and prosperity! It is all based in science!

Quantum physics also supports that our consciousness does not die when the physical body does. Our consciousness is energy that continues on when the body does not. What has been observed during NDE’s and in past life regressions (reincarnation) is being explained by the “science’ of quantum physics.

The science of quantum physics now explains that our consciousness is energy that can affect our lives, as in New Age thought and that our consciousness is universal energy that can transcend space, time and dimensions as in Metaphysical principles of karma, reincarnation, psychic phenomenon and connecting with those Universal energies.  What you are attracting is based on science! What do you want to attract?

“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.”

                                                                                      ~ Dr. Ernest Holmes

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Proof Consciousness is Eternal

By Dave DiSano, Ph.D.

What happens when we die? Is there a heaven?  Or, Hell?  Are our eternal souls really having a just a brief physical experience?  These are questions everyone who has ever pondered their existence and demise has.  These are questions I have sought answers to since I was a teenager. These are the questions I now believe I have the answers to due to the incredible journey my wife Mary has led me on for the past ten years.

Mary’s illness and healing journey through the New Age and Metaphysical worlds is documented in our book Divinely Touched: Transform Your Life.  Her journey led me to seek out scientific answers (I’m a former science teacher) for what most would classify as very unscientific healing methods she encountered.  She was healed by shamans, light-workers and energy healers.  These amazing healers used ancient healing techniques, energy meridians within and around the body and connected to what they called “divine” energies.

During our journey we met psychics from all over the country that told us things no one could possibly have known. They told us of what was attacking Mary from the spirit dimension. They saw Mary’s guardian angels and our past lives. All of these revelations, of energy healing with meridians and divine connections,  of being attacked by “spirits,” of  ESP, telepathy, and reincarnation, all had one premise in common that I began investigating, that of consciousness existing outside the physical body.

Since publishing our book, we have toured all over the country conducting seminars about what had happened to Mary and that consciousness can in fact exist outside the body.  Mary describes how she was thought to be psychotic and committed to a hospital mental ward because she was hearing voices and seeing spirits.  In our book and seminars I explain how science proves facts and what proof is based on.  Using historical data, science and personal experience my investigations proves that ESP, telepathy, reincarnation and that the spirit dimension does exist. That consciousness can exist outside the body and that our consciousness is eternal, and that Mary was not psychotic!

My investigations began with looking into psychic phenomenon. Science proves theories based on replicated results and after a half-dozen psychics from around the country told Mary the same things, I could have accepted that as proof that psychic phenomenon like ESP is real.  However, by doing my own research I found a great number of studies that support the premise that phenomenon like ESP, telepathy and remote viewing exists.   Stories of individuals with psychic abilities go back as far as recorded time. Sages and mystics are documented in all religious texts world-wide. An amazing study on psychic phenomenon was conducted by Dr. Dean Radin where he performed a meta-analysis of 300 studies of  psychic phenomenon from 1896 to 1996.  In his book, The Conscious Universe;  The Scientific  Truth of Psychic Phenomenon (1997) he reports that phenomenon like ESP, telepathy, and remote viewing  has an error of margin of ten-million to one that it does not exist.

To look further into how consciousness can exist outside the body I researched Out-of-Body Experiences (OBE’s). I learned that there are two types of OBE’s, Astral Projection and Near Death Experiences (NDE’s).  Astral projection is the willful leaving of one’s physical body, where a NDE is not planned. An individual could have a NDE when in an accident (as in drowning)  or dying in an illness or operation and then regaining consciousness.  Astral projection and NDE’s also go back as far as recorded time and are world-wide cross cultural events.  Aristotle discussed leaving his physical body and ancient texts in India and Buddhism report people having astral projection experiences.  In the past hundred years there have been hundreds of books written reporting thousands of cases of NDE’s.  Books by Robert Crookall, Celia Green, Moody & Ring, Dr. Pim van Lommel, Dr. Jeffrey Long, Anita Moorjani and Dr. Eben Alexander, all report similarities of what happens when you “die.” This again comprises scientific proof (replicated results) that our consciousness can leave the body and remain conscious.

Proof that consciousness is eternal can be found when studying reincarnation as well.  This phenomenon also goes back as far as recorded time and also is a world-wide cross-cultural event. References to reincarnation can be found in religious texts in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and even in Christianity.  In the past hundred years authors like Edgar Cayce, Dr. Ian Stevenson, Dr. Michael Newton and Dr. Brian Weiss have reported thousands of cases of people documenting past lives.  Here again they all report people describing similar experiences of what happens when your consciousness leaves the body and what the spirit dimension is like, more (1,000’s) of replicated results.

Based on psychic phenomenon, energy healing, OBE’s and reincarnation I came to the conclusion that consciousness can in fact leave the body, and remain conscious.  However, the most difficult concept Mary and I encountered that started my investigations, was how and why would the spirit dimension, namely negative entities attack Mary?  Of course, for centuries the Catholic Church has described instances of entity possession and has taught priests exorcism rituals.  In the Bible both the Old and New Testaments described people battling unclean spirits.  The New Testament also states that one-quarter of Jesus’ healings involved “casting out demons!”  Doing research into entity possession we also find that this event is cross-cultural and dates back to pre-historical times. There are reports of entity possession in Egyptian, Greek, Hebrew, Roman, and India texts.  Even the American Indians reported individuals being possessed and had rituals in releasing these negative entities.

In the past hundred years there have been a number of authors that have documented amazing healing results when they had conducted exorcism rituals on their patients. Psychiatrist Dr. Carl Wickland in Thirty Years Among The Dead  (1924),  psychologist Dr. Annabel Caplin, in The Bright Light of Death (1977), psychologist Dr. Edith Fiore in  The Unquiet Dead: A Psychologist Treats Spirit Possession  (1987),  Rev. Eugene Maurey in  Exorcism: How to Clear at a Distance a Spirit Possessed Person (1988), and Dr. William Baldwin in Healing Lost Souls (2003), all document healing thousands of individuals that had cases of entity possession causing physical or mental illness.  Entity possession is another example of consciousness existing outside the body, in this case in the spirit dimension connecting with our physical dimension.

Our journey through the New Age and Metaphysical worlds along with my background in science and research has in fact, answered all my questions.   There is an overwhelming body of evidence that our consciousness can exist outside the body and is eternal!  Phenomenon such as ESP, telepathy, OBE’s, reincarnation and the spirit dimension all exist.  The spirit dimension can influence our physical or mental health, as it did in Mary’s case.  We are eternal beings having a brief (very) physical experience here on Earth. Science, historical research and our personal experience all prove that we are energy beings that can connect with energy in us, around us, and with the spirit dimension.

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Going Beyond Forgiveness

By Dr. Dave DiSano

 

At a recent Science of Mind workshop I attended the topic for discussion turned to forgiveness. Of course all agreed that forgiveness is paramount for spiritual growth, however, I disagreed. I believe that if we continually forgive someone for wronging us we get stuck in the event. And if we are relieving the event, the hurt, are we really “forgiving,” or are we getting stuck in the emotions of why we needed to forgive in the first place? I told the class that I believe you have to move past forgiveness into acceptance. Turning to the Science of Mind text I was pleased that it stated the same. That there is no true forgiveness without acceptance, however, the text did not elaborate on exactly what that meant.

I believe that all the spiritual talk over “forgiveness” is highly overrated. When you are in “acceptance” you don’t have to worry about forgiveness. Being in acceptance means that you understand that everything in life happens for a reason. It means that you understand that every situation can be a learning experience. It means that you understand that people are at all different levels of spiritual development. If someone has wronged you, and needs your forgiveness try moving beyond the forgiveness by accepting the situation and do not give it any more thought. Like any higher spiritual endeavor it takes continual practice to be in such a state of acceptance all the time.

Recently Mary had to remind me of my own philosophy, that everything happens for a reason. In October of 2015 we attended the Wayne Dyer Tribute Tour to the Holy Land & Beyond. It was a trip of a lifetime. The two-week Cruise went to Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta, and Israel. We looked forward to going on this trip for close to a year, particularly because we were to spend two weeks with Dr. Dyer. The previous December he had called Mary to wish her Happy Holidays and to say that he had received our book, Divinely Touched: Transform Your Life, and that he was looking forward to reading it and getting back to us about it. We were hoping to do that on the cruise. So when he transitioned to the spirit realm a month before the cruise I was genuinely disappointed. And, of course, Mary reminded me that in fact I should be accepting of the situation and that God, not Dr. Dyer is our source!

She made me realize that I needed to forgive Dr. Dyer for transitioning before he could help us with our book and I needed to move into acceptance that there is always a greater plan at work. As I previously stated any higher spiritual practice such as acceptance, takes just that, practice, and I am no exception! So the next time you need to forgive someone, try moving beyond the event and move into acceptance. Realize that everything in your life happens for a reason and can be a learning experience!

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Soul Memories

(Excerpt from Divinely Touched: Transform Your Life)

By Dr. Dave DiSano

 

Ever have a feeling of having done something before when you believe you were doing it for the first time? Been to a new place and you have an incredible feeling that know you have been there before? Met someone for the first time and instantly felt connected to him or her? These are soul memories. Memories that are imbedded in your soul from a previous life. This is often called a Déjà vu experience, that comes from the French phrase that means “already seen.” However, I believe most of our personal interests and “tastes” are due to these soul memories.

Preferences such as; Do you prefer mountains to the ocean? Do you like walking through the country, or, are you are drawn to the city life? Do you feel drawn to a certain type of house architecture? Are you drawn to music or art? To a certain profession? To certain people in your life (friends or relatives)? To a certain culture (food, people, geography)? We are not consciously aware of why, but our soul knows and compels us to do certain things. These are often memories coming into our subconscious from a previous life, soul memories.

Of course, I realize one first has to believe in reincarnation in order to accept a concept like all of our interests in this life come from a previous life experience. And I realize for many (in the Western Hemisphere) that reincarnation is a very controversial topic because it is not “discussed” in their religion. However, when one does some research into the topic you will find a mountain of evidence that it is a fact of life. After having done so, I find that talking to someone who does not accept the belief in reincarnation akin to trying to talk to someone that still believes the world is flat, because that is all they can see!

The belief in reincarnation dates back thousands of years and is a global concept. It sprang up independently all over the world, and it is believed by millions today. It is the cornerstone of religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and the Sufi sects of Islam. Reincarnation was also a belief in Christianity until the Roman emperor, Constantine, who, at the Council of Nicaea, in 325 AC, declared it heretical. At the time, the church felt the belief in multiple lives would give people too much time to “redeem” their sins, so all references to reincarnation were removed from all religious publications.

It seems that the West has more difficulty believing in past lives than the East. Deepak Chopra, in Life After Death; The Burden of Proof (2006) states that the East has been able to embrace the concept of reincarnation for several reasons. People in Eastern cultures embrace the idea of energy conservation, that the energy in the universe is constant. Energy just changes; it does not die; it gets re-created in different forms. Our life essence (soul) continues from life to life. So, why would our conscious-soul-energy be any different? They also believe that if we can come back into a new body, in a new life, we can fulfill desires and ambitions that were unfinished in a previous lifetime. Being with loved ones again in the next life is consoling. Reincarnation also gives hope for social advancement. A slave in one life can return to be a master in the next. This belief in social, evolutionary, and soul advancement from one lifetime to the next, until one approaches enlightenment, is a fundamental principle of Buddhism.

Edgar Cayce (1877 to 1945), a psychic who would put himself in a trace to connect with psychic energies, reluctantly promoted reincarnation. Being a devout Christian, he did not believe his own readings, initially, when he uncovered clients’ past lives. What he discovered after thousands of readings was that reincarnation was God’s plan to help us evolve through life lessons.

A number of more recent researchers in the West have “proven” that reincarnation exists. Among them are Ian Stevenson, M.D., Michael Newton, Ph.D. and Brian Weiss, M.D. Dr. Stevenson, professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, researched claims primarily from children that were recalling reincarnation-type memories. He documented over two thousand cases where children would describe places where they had lived before. The children Dr. Stevenson interviewed were able to describe the house they lived in, the town they lived in, and even who they lived with. Some were able to speak languages that they were never exposed to in their present life. Dr. Stevenson researched these claims and verified that the information recalled by the children was true. He concluded that the only explanation is that these children had, in fact, lived in these places in a previous life.

Dr. Newton and Dr. Weiss both documented in several books, thousands of cases of reincarnation experiences/past lives, using hypnosis. Dr. Newton, author of Destiny of Souls (2004), Life Between Lives (2006), and Journey of Souls (2006), not only regressed people into past lives, but he also had them talk of the time between lives, where they were before they were born, their time in the spirit realm.

Dr. Weiss was chief resident in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, and later chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, Florida. He is author of bestselling books, such as Many Lives, Many Masters (1988), and Messages from the Masters (2000). Like Dr. Newton, Dr. Weiss was able to regress patients into past lives and the time between lives. Perhaps, if you regress one or two or six people into that time between lives, and they tell you similar stories, it could be considered coincidence. Or, even expected, in terms of popular and religious beliefs of what the spirit world might be like. However, when thousands of people from all different walks of life, all different cultural and religious backgrounds, all tell of the same experiences and what the spirit world is like, you have what is considered “clinically significant” evidence. And, when several researchers come up with the same results, we can develop a universal principle or theory, just as in any other scientific principle or theory. These researchers have, without a doubt, proven that reincarnation exists. They describe facts like:

  • We plan the life we come into based on what we want and need to learn.
  • We travel from life to life with many of the same people that make up our soul-group, including our soul-mate.
  • The challenges in our life are often predestined by us in order to “grow our souls.”
  • The purpose of our life on earth is to learn and grow spiritually.
  • We are eternal spiritual beings, simply having a brief, physical experience on this Earth.

       *Our soul has a memory of all of our past lives.

 

When I conduct seminars, because of the controversial topics, I start with, how do you prove anything? I find that there are three avenues of proof: Research and Data, Historical and Cross-culture evidence, and Personal Experience. In researching reincarnation I believe it meets all of the above. There is historical and cross-cultural evidence, thousands of studies over the past 100 years and we all have personal experience when examining our own soul memories.

In fact, I believe when we understand our soul memories we can better understand ourselves. Why we are drawn to what we are drawn to in life. Why we are in a certain profession. Why we like the sea, or country. Why we are drawn to a certain culture, or even sex (yes, soul memories even explain sexuality or gender identity “issues”).

 

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Post-Traumatic Growth “Disorder”

By Dr. Dave DiSano

Recently Mary and I went to an Episcopal Church to listen to a friend, Rev. Ted perform as he just started there as their musical director. Although we were looking forward to seeing Rev. Ted, we had a little apprehension about sitting through a traditional “church” service. The past few years we have been attending Concordia Center in Warwick, RI where we love Rev. Ian’s weekly positive and uplifting messages. However, if we have learned anything from our Metaphysical journey it is that, “everything happened for a reason!”

Rev. James at the Episcopal Church delivered a message that I found pleasingly enlightening! He discussed a condition that I was unfamiliar with but made perfect sense, as it described what happened to Mary. He discussed Post-Traumatic Growth Disorder (PTG). Most are familiar with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition where an individual may have reoccurring anxiety and stress over a traumatic event experienced. The event may have been being in a war, in an accident, or even the victim of a violent crime. The individual often keeps re-living the traumatic event, has difficulty sleeping, concentrating and may have panic attacks, anxiety, headaches and even physical ailments like ulcers.

Rev. James described how many turn a traumatic event into a growth experience that transforms their lives. Of course he used some Bible stories to illustrate his point, describing how people facing years of pain and struggle never lost their faith, and the traumatic events made them stronger, bringing them to a higher spiritual existence then if they had never experienced the trauma in their lives.

Looking further into PTG, I found it was first coined by psychologists Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the mid-nineties. They describe PTG as a positive psychological change experienced as a result of adversity and other challenges in order to rise to a higher level of functioning. They state that Growth does not occur as a direct result of trauma, rather it is the individual’s struggle with the new reality in the aftermath of trauma that is crucial in determining the extent to which posttraumatic growth occurs. Encouragingly, reports of growth experiences in the aftermath of traumatic events far outnumber reports of psychiatric disorders, since continuing personal distress and growth often coexist. Posttraumatic growth is not about returning to the same life as it was previously experienced before a period of traumatic suffering; but rather it is about undergoing significant ‘life-changing’ psychological shifts in thinking and relating to the world, that contribute to a personal process of change, that is deeply meaningful, and even spiritual, like Rev. James was describing.

This is what Mary experienced through her battles with supernatural forces and entity possession. Rather than being a victim the rest of her life, not getting over her trauma and being dependent on mind-numbing pharmaceuticals, her experience transformed her life to a higher existence. This transformation did not occur over night. It took her years of healing, studying, and re-framing her thinking. To understand what she experienced she became a student of life, reading hundreds of books on religion, spirituality, New Age and Metaphysics. Working with shamans and light-worker mentors the victim learned that she was a healer herself.  

Mary’s transformation is a prime example of Tedeschi and Calhoun’s PTG. Her growth and spiritual awakening occurred after her trauma, causing her thinking and how she related to life to significantly change her entire existence. Her willingness to move forward, make sense of what happened to her and the support group she developed, all played a significant role in her healing, physically, mentally and spiritually. As she puts it, “I could have stayed broken down and devastated, but I choose to break-up…wards!”

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My Journey

By Mary DiSano

 

            When reflecting about my healing and spiritual journey over the past few years I now know that I didn’t “find” my journey it found me!  As I stated in the preface of my book, at seminars all over the country, and on national radio and TV shows it was not one I was looking for. Being a public speaker, writing a book, being a healer, or having a mission to change people’s minds on mental illness couldn’t be a further thought from my mind.  All I wanted was to feel better and have a “normal” life.  But like so many that are pulled into a fire in life, I realize now that everything happens for a reason. As the late Robert Schuller states, “It didn’t come to break you. It came to make you!”

My “journey” began when doctors couldn’t find any cures for my physical ailments. Sure they had some “explanations” like maybe it’s a virus or it’s this or that, or, you’re psychotic! So as others have done when not getting any answers, I went on my own quest to cure myself. At first it seemed like one coincident after another of how I was led to different healers. As if I started out crawling (out of a dark and scary cave) then learned to walk, and now I am running in the light!

My journey led me to healers from around the world, shamans and light-workers as I began learning about things I never even imagined. How these ancient healing methods have been curing people since the beginnings of civilization.  How psychics can connect to the spirit dimension and give me answers of what is happening.  I entered the New Age and Metaphysical world. A world I had no knowledge of, or didn’t give a second thought about, or even believed that any of it was real before my journey began!

Sure I may have seen movies like Ghost, or the Ghost Whisperer on TV where people were being affected by the spirit dimension or they were talking to psychics. But like most, I just thought of it as entertainment, it’s Hollywood, it’s not real. Dr. Dave makes a point in our seminars that phenomenon like this is a lot like UFO’s, unless you have seen one, it may be hard to believe in them.  This is how I felt about guardian angels, entity possession or psychics. I didn’t believe in any of it because I had no experience with it.  But all that changed on my healing journey!

When a light-worker began working on me and I felt better, when I was led to shamans and I began to feel better, when psychics started telling me things about my life that they could not have possibly have known, I began to become a believer. This was my walking, because I now started my research into New Age and Metaphysics. I became an avid reader. And one book led to another, just as one healer and one psychic led me to another.

I realize there were no coincidents in my life. It was all happening for a reason.  Just like meeting Dr. Dave when my journey started, it all happened for a divine reason, in God’s perfect timing. Dr. Dave is a psychologist that started out in science education. So when he investigates things he does so with research and data.  So when shamans and light-workers began healing me and when psychics were telling me what was going on, and that I had amazing healing abilities myself, and why I was being attacked by the spirit dimension because they were drawn to my “light,” Dr. Dave began his own investigations as to whether this was real or just “in my head!”

What we both discovered was that it is in fact real!  We can be negatively affected (both physically and mentally) by negative entities, also known throughout history as entity possession. Psychics can tap into energy waves and connect to past or future events. And, consciousness can exist outside the body. I discovered this through firsthand experiences with healers and psychics, and through the 200 New Age books I’ve had read the past 5 years. Dr. Dave discovered this by verifying what had happened to me was real by connecting New Age, Metaphysics, historical data and quantum physics to the psychic phenomenon I experienced. His research proves that consciousness can exist outside the body.

My journey today is not one I had planned (at least that’s what I thought) but one that I now believe is divine.  If I can help one person understand what they are going through, that they are not crazy, that they can be healed physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually in non-traditional ways, then all I went through was worth it. There are forces out there that are causing people to be sick that doctors have no clue on how to deal with.  I now realize that I was led through all that I have been through to change people’s minds on physical and mental illness causes, and help them get help when traditional medicine can’t.  And, so far my guardian angels have told me that I have helped thousands!

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Metaphysical Causes of Mental Illness!

(Excerpt from Divinely Touched: Transform Your Life)

By Dave DiSano, Ph.D.

      Each year I feel my career has evolved as I have had the opportunity to conduct more research, meet more people and have had more personal experiences. And I believe that should be the case with any professional;  The more you know, the more you grow!   However, I realize not all medical or healthcare professionals care to get out of their comfort zone and look to alternative medicine for answers. As Abraham Maslow so aptly stated, “When the only tool you have in your tool bag is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

My career started in science education, which I believe gave me an excellent foundation for doing research and making conclusions based on data.  This foundation aided my studies in psychology where I looked into physiological causes of mental disorders. However, I believe my “personal breakthroughs”  came when I was drawn into the Metaphysical and New Age thought worlds.

My background in drawing conclusions based research and data is what I relied on when on when my wife, Mary was hearing voices, seeing “spirits” and having physical symptoms that were unexplained.  We first attempted to “explain” her physical symptoms of lack of energy, dry skin, canker sores and feelings of pulsating energy in various parts of her body through modern medicine.  However, every medical test she underwent came back perfectly normal. Doctors could not find any rational or medical causes for her symptoms.  No gastro-intestinal abnormalities, no allergies, no detectable pathogens, Mary should have been the picture of health, but she was getting sicker! And as far as seeing energy and hearing voices their solution was to diagnosis her as delusional and put her heavily sedated in a psyche ward.  So, after two years of exploring medical answers, and getting none, we began looking into “Non-traditional” medicine.  This led us on a five year journey around the country that did in fact give us answers.

The answers went far beyond my wife’s physical ailments.   The answers we found included some basic questions I had all my life like; Is there a spirit dimension? What happens to us when we die? What is the purpose of life? And, Why are we here?  We were led to the causes and cures for her physical symptoms. Answers to what she was seeing and hearing, and led into worlds we never intended on exploring!

My research included looking into historical data, world-wide cross-cultural reports, reports from the past one-hundred years, theories in quantum physics from the past one-hundred years and personal interviews with shamans, light workers and psychics from around the country.

This all led me to form the following conclusions;

  • Consciousness can exist outside the body (evidenced by Out-of-Body Experiences (OBE’s), Near-Death Experiences (NDE’s), Reincarnation, Physic phenomenon, and Quantum physics).
  • Our consciousness (or soul) is eternal.
  • The Spirit Dimension exists; there is no “Heaven” or “Hell.”
  • Lower vibrational “trapped” spirits can affect us in life, referred to as entity attachments, causing mental issues like anxiety, depression, substance abuse and schizophrenia.
  • We incarnate to this life to learn, and grow our soul.
  • The challenges in life are placed by us in order to learn (have different experiences) and overcome obstacles we placed in our life (grow our soul).
  • We travel with the same soul group in order to achieve our “Earth goals.”

The above views may seem controversial or revolutionary for individuals that have not been exposed to Metaphysics, New Age, or Spirituality.   But I was led to these beliefs by research, data and personal experience.  As a psychologist and former science teacher it has led me to change my views on the causes of mental illness. Prior to Mary’s experiences and my research, I looked for physiological causes such as nutritional deficiencies as to the cause of mental disorders.  However, I now believe that most mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia are caused by negative energy attachments.

These attachments are referred throughout history (going back to pre-historic times) as entity possession. This is what Mary experienced. This is what caused her both mental and physical illness. And when these negative entities were released from her she was cured.  Shamans and lightworkers (energy healers) did what “modern medicine” could not. She is a picture of health today and not on any medications. Her experiences led her to study energy healing techniques herself of Reflexology, Reiki and Reconnective Healing.

You may be asking (which was my question also) “How do you know these healings from shamans didn’t just cure her because she believed in them? Such as in the ‘placebo effect’?”  To begin with, she nor I “believed” in such healings. Mary was a financial supervisor and I had a background in science. Neither of us had been exposed to or had any prior experience with energy healers, shamans, or Metaphysics. But with each energy healing, Mary got better. So began my research into the New Age and Metaphysical World.

My main research question was of course, “What is causing her to be sick?”  and, “Is entity possession real?”  This led me to research the my main premise, can consciousness exist outside the body?  As I stated above my conclusion (based on research and personal experiences) was that YES consciousness CAN exist outside the body! In Mary’s case these dis-embodied entities where attacking her causing her physical ailments and her depression. When they were released from her, she got better! Just as the entity attachments were built up over several years, it took years before she was totally cleared.

When we prove that consciousness can exist outside the body (as I believe we have), we PROVE that:

*OBE’s and NDE’s are real.

*Our conscious energy (souls) do not die when the physical body does.

*Our conscious energy can return in other earthly incarnations (proves reincarnation).

*The spirit dimension does exist (this is where our conscious energy is).

*Disembodied spirits can affect the living (entity possession), causing both physical and mental illness.

Another New age concept is that “everything happens for a reason,” and the happenings that were experienced, that we now term “divine happenings,” we believe happened so that we can help others. My background in science and psychology, my wife’s illness and “psychotic” experiences, all led us on this divine journey that not only cured my wife, led her to be a healer, but answered some of our basic questions on the causes of mental illness, and the purpose of life! It also gave us a purpose in this life, to help others understand and cure mental illness and understand the purpose of life on Earth as well!

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Energy Healing and the Placebo Effect

By Dave DiSano, Ph.D.

 

      The past few years my wife Mary, and I have been on a “Divine Journey.”  We have gone from mainstream professions; me in secondary education and Mary a financial supervisor, to alternative and spiritual healers.  Our goal today is to change people’s minds about mental illness.  It was and continues to be an amazing journey, one that we never envisioned.

My career started in science education, which I believe gave me a good foundation for drawing conclusions based on research and data.  In fact, in my Ph.D. dissertation I used research called a meta-analysis study to recommend alternatives to medications for mental disorders, which was published into my first book, Holistic Mental Health.  In our divine journey, this was the basis on how I came to conclusions; research and data.

Our journey began when Mary started having psychotic episodes of hearing voices and seeing spirits that had her committed to psyche wards on two separate occasions. However, when psychotic medications had no effects and doctor’s tests couldn’t explain her physical symptoms we began searching for other answers. We found that shamans, psychics, and energy healers could explain what was going on and heal her.  We also found that most of them who helped Mary could see that she possessed an incredible energy field and was a gifted healer herself. This energy field she has was what was attracting negative energy that was attacking her and making her sick. As Mary got better she studied alternative healing methods such as reflexology, Reiki, EMF Healing and Reconnective Healing, that I group together as “energy healing” techniques.

Of course, being a “scientist” my main question was, “Do these energy healing techniques actually do anything, or, is it just that the client believes that they do and that is why they receive benefits after the technique is performed?” This is what we call the “Placebo Effect.”  A patient obtains benefits from a treatment because they believe in the treatment. When pharmaceutical companies test a new drug they use double-blind clinical trials in order to try and prevent the placebo effect from interfering with observable results from the new medication being tested. However, even when patients are taking a sugar pill (unknowingly) as opposed to the actual medication, they often obtain results. Therefore researchers need to see significant differences between the control group (no medication or sugar pills) and the group taking the real medication.

When Mary was getting better after each energy healing technique I of course, being a scientist and a psychologist, believed it was the placebo effect. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing when someone is getting better, that’s the point of getting a healing.  However, at the time we were spending a lot of money on and travelling to these energy healers all over the country. I wanted to be sure they were actually doing something, and not “shamming” us. Just as I did when I was researching my first book, I began looking for published studies on the effectiveness of energy healing.

I was able to find a number of scientifically controlled studies that involved energy healing and the placebo effect. The studies seemed to have appeared in technical journals at the time when energy healing techniques such as Therapeutic Touch and Reiki were becoming popular (1960’s) and researchers were questioning their effectiveness.

One researcher Dr. Bernard Grad of McGill University in Montreal, conducted a number of studies.  Dr. Grad concerned with the placebo’s effect on energy healing, set out to develop an experiment that would be free of the patient’s belief in the process. Dr. Grad devised experiments with mice and induced them with thyroid goiters by placing the mice on special diets. The mice were then separated into groups of mice treated with energy healers and ones that were not treated, which served as a control group. Further sub-control groups were set-up. To simulate the heat of healer’s hands, a group of mice was kept in a cage that had been wrapped with electro thermal tape. A third sub-control group of mice was handled by people that were not healers. The experiment lasted for forty days, and at the end, all the mice were examined to determine which had the largest goiters. While all the mice in all four groups had an increase in goiter size, the mice in the healer treated group had significantly smaller goiters and slower rates of growth of the goiters, than the non-healer treated groups.

In another set of experiments, Dr. Grad took out the human element entirely. Again using goiter induced mice, he had one group exposed to healer treated cotton balls twice a day and another group was “treated” with untreated cotton balls. After performing statistical on the two groups, Dr. Grad found that the group exposed to the healer treated cotton balls had a significantly slower rate of goiter growth. In a third study by Dr. Grad on energy healers, he measured their effect on healing wounds on mice. Coin-size pieces of skin where removed from the backs of forty-eight mice. They were divided into three groups of sixteen. The first group was a control group and no special treatment was given. The second group was treated by energy healers that were able only to wave their hands over the mice, no physical contact was allowed. The third group of sixteen mice were in special cages that were exposed to heat similar to that of the healer’s hands. When Dr. Grad examined the mice after thirty days he found the mice in the healer-treated group were either completely healed or nearly completely healed. The other two groups showed significantly less healing than the healer-treated mice.

In order for research to be validated it needs to be repeated and verified with similar results by other researchers.  Dr. Grad’s results were replicated in another study by Dr. Remi Cadoret and G.I. Paul at the University of Manitoba. They used a larger group of three hundred mice in their study, and added another control variable. They had another control group of mice treated by people that claimed no special healing abilities. Dr. Cadoret and Paul’s results were similar to Dr. Grad’s, indicating that the mice treated by healers had significantly faster rates of wound healing than those that were not.

These studies suggested that energy healers did, in fact, have a bioenergentic influence on healing that was above and beyond anything that could be attributed to belief, faith in the healer, or the placebo effect. When Mary and I do seminars based on our book, Divinely Touched: Transform Your Life, which chronicles Mary’s healing journey and spiritual awakening, we discuss what constitutes proof.  All over the country we have asked audiences, “How do you prove something?”  What we have found is that there are three avenues to proof: 1. Personal experience, 2. Historical and cross-cultural information, and 3. Research and Data.

In our journey with energy healing we have seen personal results, both in Mary receiving healings, and conducting healings with miraculous results herself, such as tumors and chronic pain disappearing in one session with her patients. In our seminars we describe how energy healing techniques go back as far as recorded time, and was and is still performed throughout the world in all societies. And of course, the above research and data over the past fifty years has proven that it is not the placebo effect at work during energy healing.

These three avenues of proof have in fact changed me into a believer and given Mary and I a new career goal of changing people’s minds about mental and physical healing! Energy healing goes far beyond the placebo effect, not that belief doesn’t hurt, but it is not a requirement for healing!

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Overcoming Depression through Re-Framing Our Thinking!

 By Dr. Dave DiSano

       In another article, Holistic Treatment for Depression,  (below) that was an excerpt from my book, Holistic Mental Health, I discussed the physiology of depression.  I went into the possible biological causes of depression as well as traditional (medications) and alternative treatments for depression. I discussed the side effects of medications, and the research behind the effectiveness of alternative treatments using herbs and other natural therapies. However, I did not go into any mental causes or treatments of depression.  If we were to rule-out physiological causes such as imbalances in the functioning of the hypothalamus, adrenal, thyroid or pituitary glands, illnesses such as diabetes, mononucleosis, hepatitis, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, CFS, SLE, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke, nutrient deficiencies, and even medication reactions, we may be left with what can be the “mental” causes of depression.

I mention the physiological causes first because I believe it is extremely related to our mental health. If we are battling a chronic illness, feel physical pain daily or are simply not happy with our self physically (being our weight, appearance or other issues) it is difficult to be “up” or happy in life. This of course can lead to continued feelings of low self-esteem, self-worth, and unhappiness that leads to that depressed level of neurotransmitters (norepinephrine, serotonin, or dopamine).  Therefore, after we have in fact “ruled-out” the physiological causes we need to look into the mental causes for depression, being our thinking.

I believe every great philosopher throughout history has stated in one form or another, “As you think, you are!”   It is our internal dialog that determines our happiness.  Although this is very basic positive-mental–attitude philosophy for many I have come to realize that the majority of the population has no idea between what constitutes a positive thought or a negative one. When we are continually putting ourselves down, through statements such as, “I am too fat, too ugly, too stupid, not good enough, etc.” we are certainly depressing those neurotransmitters, our self-esteem and our happiness.

Where do those thoughts come from?  I realize they do not just “pop” into our heads. They are products of years of negative conditioning that have taken root in our subconscious and have flourished through daily feeding. If the “feeding” is by people around you, I would suggest to get away from them, or at least let them know what they are doing (again most don’t know the difference between negative and positive talk).  So the first step in re-framing our thinking is to realize is what you are telling yourself positive or negative. Are you saying “I am” followed by a statement that is uplifting, making you feel good, or one that is tearing you down?

But, you may be saying, “I am fat!” I would respond by paraphrasing great philosophers again by saying, “That, that was, or is, does not have to be!”  You do have control of how you look, and every day is a new beginning!

This leads me to the second main point in re-framing our thinking; on what has happened in our life, how we view the past! Joel Osteen (who I believe is amazing), in a recent sermon, discussed living in the here and now in order to overcome depressed feelings about the past. He discussed that we can’t change the past. Although bad things may have happened to us, or we have made mistakes, that the past is in the past and we can’t change it. We should focus on living positively in the present and work toward a future we shape today.  All great advice I agree with. However, if we add a Metaphysical philosophy to this line of thinking, I believe we can go a step further.

Metaphysical (or New Age) philosophy such as in the Laws of Karma, or that everything happens for a reason, and that The Universe (God energy) makes no mistakes, can help us go beyond merely forgetting about the past.  Metaphysical philosophy tells us that the purpose of life on Earth is to learn and grow our souls.  Therefore, all the “tragedies” in our life, all the abuse we experienced growing up, all the “mistakes” we made in relationships or professionally in our life were designed to learn and grow our souls!   And, Metaphysical philosophy even states that these life lessons were placed in our life by our self! In the progression of your soul, who knows more about what you need to learn, and overcome in this life more than YOU?

I realize if you have not researched Metaphysical philosophy, as I have what I just stated is a lot to “bite-off.”  However, by re-framing your thinking to overcome depression, we need to first realize that we cannot change the past (certainly), but we can change how we think about the past!  What were the “Life Lessons” you learned through all that you experienced? What did you learn from all the “tragedies”  “abuse” and “mistakes” you put in your life?  What did you learn? Can you be thankful you lived through that experience? And did learn something? And if you are reading this you did live through them!

Re-framing our thinking about the past is first separating the feeling from the learning in the life event.  View all your past events as learning experiences that make you a better and stronger person today.  If you still think that they were “mistakes” you don’t have to repeat them. You learned a lesson (that’s why it happened) and you moved forward! Be grateful (positive feeling) that you had the lesson and you are not repeating it (take control).

You don’t necessarily  have to go all the way (Metaphysically) realizing that YOU placed these life lessons in your life to learn and grow your soul, to re-frame the past (in a future article I will discuss Metaphysical causes of mental illness). Positive people do not live in the past. They have learned from it and have moved on, using that knowledge to shape their present and their future.  You can control what you think!

To overcome depression by re-framing our thinking: 

*Be aware of what you are telling yourself. Is it positive or negative?

*Don’t let people around you “put you down!” Make a choice to be around uplifting people.

*View the past as a learning experience and move forward: We can’t change the past, We CAN change how we think about it!

*Read some Metaphysical or New Age philosophy; it may give you a different view on life, and why “bad” things happen!

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Holistic Treatment for Depression

By Dr.  Dave DiSano

(Following is an excerpt from Holistic Mental Health-Revised)

       Depressive illness effects 1 in 10 Americans, appears to be growing, and effecting children at earlier ages. Percentages of Major Depressive Disorder range from up to 2 percent of children under age 12, to 8 to 10 percent of adolescents and 10 percent of adults. The American Medical Association indicates there are so many causes of depressive illness it can be difficult to determine.

However, there appears to be links to the function of neurotransmitters, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine and the effect they have on depression.  Many conditions appear to affect the levels of these neurotransmitters. Diseases such as Parkinson’s can reduce the level of dopamine, some cancerous tumors can secrete serotonin causing an imbalance.

Imbalances in the functioning of the hypothalamus, adrenal, thyroid or pituitary glands may lead to depression. Illnesses such as diabetes, mononucleosis, hepatitis, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, CFS, SLE, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and stroke have been linked to depression.

Nutrient deficiencies such as the B vitamins, niacin, folic acid, vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc may contribute to depressive illness. Research has shown some 200 medications can have a side effect of depression. Medications for high blood pressure, prescription pain medications, anticonvulsant medications, and even oral contraceptives can cause depression.

American allopathic treatment (Western medicine) for depression usually recommends antidepressant medications. Antidepressants work by altering the brain’s supply of neurotransmitters, and are divided into categories based on the effect they have on the brain.  Tricyclic antidepressants have been used the longest, and work by blocking the reuptake of norepinephrine, and thereby increasing the amount of it in the brain. MAOIs help to increase the levels of neurotransmitters by interfering with the production of monamine oxidase a substance found in nerve endings that breaks down neurotransmitters. SSRIs increase the brain’s supply of serotonin. Atypical antidepressants may act on any of the neurotransmitters depending on the medication. Lithium is believed to operate in treating depression by slowing down the reactions of certain proteins  that regulate the actions of neurotransmitters.

Antidepressant medications have a wide range of side effects and 35.9 percent of patients report adverse effects. Tricyclic antidepressants effect other neurotransmitters that help regulate  certain body processes. This leads to side effects such as sleepiness, drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, difficulty urinating, vision problems, dizziness, or a racing heart.  Less common side effects are rashes, sweating, tremors, delayed or reduced sexual functioning, weight gain, and dry eyes. Side effects of MAIOs include dizziness, changes in blood pressure, weight gain, sleepiness or insomnia, reduced sexual functioning, swollen ankles and fingers. Less frequent side effect can be dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, and difficulty urinating. Because SSRIs target only serotonin they tend to produce fewer side effects than tricyclics or MAIOs. Side effects can include insomnia, nervousness, agitation, nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. Occasionally SSRIs can cause sexual side effects such as diminished interest in sex, arousal problems, and difficulty achieving organism. SSRIs have also been shown to speed up bone loss. A study published in the June 25, 2007 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine  reports an up to 60 percent greater bone loss and a twofold increase in fractures of older patients using SSRI’s.

About 40 percent of people on lithium experience side effects of digestive problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomachaches. Excessive urination, tremors, weight gain, acne, dry skin, headaches, sleeplessness and exhaustion are also often experienced. Lithium will interact with medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and the antibiotic tetracycline, increasing the levels of lithium in the blood to dangerous levels. And, antidepressants have reported up to 31 deaths per million prescriptions filled.

Clinical trials of  psychotropic medications have shown that  placebos used in the trails to be 50 percent as effective as the medications and, typically 20 to 35 percent of patients fail to respond  at all to antidepressant medication.

            Naturopathic, holistic, alternative or complimentary medicine has been treating mental illness for thousands of years, and its effectiveness is currently being supported by clinical trials.  St. John’s wort  is the leading medication for depression in Germany, and sales of the herb are reported to be in excess of $200 million in the U.S. St. John’s wort is believe to act similar to antidepressants by inhibiting the action of neurotransmitters. In controlled studies using St. John’s wort, it was found to be as effective in treating mild to moderate depression as antidepressant medications with far fewer side effects. In fact, the frequency and severity of side effects has been considered clinically insignificant, however, the FDA warns about possible drug interactions when using it in combination with other prescription medications for HIV, transplant medications, cancer treatment, and antidepressant medication.

In studies comparing SAMe with tricyclics SAMe outperformed the antidepressant medications. SAMe may act like an antidepressant or, on cell membrane structure in easing depression.  SAMe also appears to have a quicker response rate than antidepressants, where patients show improvement in 7 to 14 days compared to an average of 21 days for antidepressants or St. John’s wort. However, SAMe has been shown to have a positive reaction when combined with antidepressants unlike St. John’s wort.

Other herbs, although with less clinical evidence, are also believed to have positive effects in treating depression. Gingko is believed to treat depression by increasing the oxygen supply to the brain and by increasing dopamine levels.  Ginseng also increases blood flow to the brain and is believed to relieve depression by its ability to reduce stress, improve mental concentration, and mental performance. Kava works as an antidepressant by acting as a central nervous system sedative targeting the limbic system which regulates moods and emotions. Lavender, and aromatic herb, has been used for a variety of mental disorders such as depression due to its ability to relax.  Other essential oils are used frequently in aromatherapy for relaxation such as bergamot, clary sage, geranium, and neroli.

Nutritional treatment for depression includes limiting foods that are harmful to the body, increasing foods that are beneficial and supplementation. Traditional Chinese medicine believes depression is caused by a stagnate liver. Foods that are rich, greasy and high in saturated fats cause a stagnate liver. Limiting such foods and increasing natural foods like brown rice, whole wheat, vegetables, fruits, wheat germ, and micro-algae help cleanse the liver and provide vitamins and minerals that may be missing from the diet. Protein from turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that has a calming effect, protein from chicken or fish (lower in saturated fat) contain dopamine and norepinephrine. Essential Fatty acids, found in fish, marine animals and soy, have been shown to provide the brain with needed nutrients for proper functioning that prevents depression. Supplementation of B-complex vitamins (B1, B6, B12, folic acid, niacin), vitamins A and C, minerals of calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc are necessary for proper mental health and have been used as treatments for depression.

Therapies such as acupuncture, exercise, light therapy, yoga, massage, biofeedback, meditation and hypnotherapy all offer non-drug alternatives for treatment of depression.   Acupuncture has been shown to be as effective as antidepressants, and exercise has been proven to be as effective as psychotherapy in relieving depression.

Holistic Mental Health for Depression:

Antidepressant medications that are combined with psychotherapy  may be recommended for severe cases of MDD. However, antidepressant medication usually comes with a host of side effects ranging from mild to severe (life threatening) and in many cases has no effect on depression. Medication also does not appear to uncover the cause of depression. Alternative medicine has been proven to be as effective as antidepressants, without the side effects. Daily naturopathic treatment for depression could include:

  • Supplements of St. John’s wort, SAMe, ginkgo, ginseng and kava all have been shown to be effective treatments for depression. Herbal interventions should not be used with prescription medications and patients should always check with their physicians before combining alternative treatments with prescription medications.
  • Nutritional intervention may in fact uncover causes for depression and offer a non-medication approach without side effects. A diet of natural foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, fish, and soy, and one devoid of saturated fats, red meats, greasy foods and artificial additives can help cleanse the body and mind.
  • Supplements of B-complex, vitamins A, C and D, minerals of calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc are necessary for proper nervous system function.
  • Smoking and excessive caffeine also should be avoided as they interfere with the nervous system.
  • Therapies such as aromatherapy, exercise, yoga, acupuncture, massage, biofeedback, meditation, and hypnotherapy may complement other therapies when used with nutritional intervention and supplementation, or herbal medicine in treating depression. 
Disclaimer:
                This above article; from Holistic Mental Health-Revised contains suggestions on treatment for mental disorders, that the reader should be aware that, are in fact, suggestions only. Treatment for medical conditions should always be conducted by your healthcare professional. According to the FDA only physicians are allowed to prescribe medications, and the suggestions in this book are for dietary changes and/or supplements only.  Holistic Mental Health-Revised  is reporting research by the medical and alternative health fields.
                The reader should also be aware that supplements such as vitamins, minerals and herbs can interact with medications. They could have contradictory reactions (negative) or complimentary reactions (increase) with prescription medications. The reader should always consult with someone knowledgeable of such interactions before changing what you are taking.

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The Controversy of & Holistic Therapies for ADHD*

By Dave DiSano, Ph.D.

 * Article reprinted in part from:  Holistic Mental Health-Revised 

 

      As a school psychologist who started his career over 30 years ago as a secondary science teacher I have always relied on research and data to support my beliefs.  And when I explored the nature vs nurture  debate as it applies to mental illness I have found that over 75 percent of mental illness is due to environmental factors, not genetics. This is what I believe and found to be the case with ADHD.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is considered the most common childhood neurobehavioral disorder of school-aged children today. And, it is the most controversial disorder also. Controversial when we check beyond mainstream traditional Western  (allopathic) diagnosis and treatment.  As a school psychologist with over thirty years’ experience working with students and families from the pre-kindergarten age through grade twelve, I have rarely seen “proper” diagnosis of the disorder. What I have seen are children “drugged” in order to “do better in school.”  This current trend in medicating and labeling our children can have lifelong negative effects!

Today there are many physicians, psychiatrists and psychologists that question whether such a disorder even exists.  And, they refuse to recommend psycho-stimulate medication for the “disorder’s” symptoms, but seek alternative therapies.

Traditional Western medicine for ADHD consistents primarily of prescribing psycho-stimulants to control the child’s behavior. Physicians prescribe a psycho-stimulant like Ritalin usually starting in a small dose (5 or 10 mg) and increase it monthly based on a reduction of the ADHD symptoms. Medications such as  Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Strattera, Cylert, Dexedrine, Tofranil, and  Norpramin have side effects that range from mild (dry mouth, nausea, headaches, dizziness, constipation, irritability) to serious (anorexia, insomnia, weight loss, depression, palpitations, blurred vision, high blood pressure), to very serious (suppressed growth, liver damage, Tourette’s syndrome,  psychosis, drug dependence).

However there are a great number of medical professionals that question the disorder and have treated symptoms without potentially harmful drugs. In the 1970’s Ben Feingold, M.D., developed one of the first natural approaches to treating hyperactivity. He was a pediatrician who taught at Northwestern University and a pioneer in the fields of allergy and immunology.

According to Dr. Feingold many hyperactive children are sensitive to naturally occurring salicylates and phenolic compounds. Salicylates are used as food preservatives and in the production of aspirin. Dr. Feingold determined that food additives induce hyperactivity after researching over 1,200 cases where additives were linked to behavior disorders. Dr. Feingold believes that salicylates, artificial colors, and artificial flavors in the diet are responsible for hyperactivity in children.

Peter Breggin, MD, is a psychiatrist that has been specializing in ADHD treatment for over 30 years.  In his books, Talking Back to Ritalin, (2001), and The Ritalin Fact Book, What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You about Stimulant Drugs, (2002) he contends that ADHD is a disorder that was fabricated by the pharmaceutical companies in order to sell their drugs.  He refutes the medical evidence that ADHD is a neurological disorder by pointing out that the research that showed reduced attention centers in ADHD children was flawed.

Frank Lawlis, Ph.D. in his book The ADD Answer: How to Help Your Child Now, expands Dr. Feingold’s diet and gives specific diet recommendations for the child with ADHD. He recommends the entire family follow such a diet to give the child support, as the diet can be very restrictive. Dr. Lawlis warns that medications used for ADHD can cause severe side-effects such as psychosis, including manic and schizophrenic episodes. Often when such side-effects occur physicians do not stop medicating, they prescribe more drugs, diagnosing the child with depression or antisocial personality disorder, and they treat the child with antidepressants, mood stabilizers or narcoleptics. It is not unusual for children to be taking as many as five different medications that cause a host of side-effects. He states, “Meds upon meds is madness upon madness.”

The natural approach to treatment of ADHD may require more time and effort by the family when restricting their child’s diet, but the benefits of the approach are great.  The cause of the child’s behavior will have been uncovered and not just covered-up by treating the symptoms with harmful drugs. Current research involving the use of multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplements, herbs and eliminating toxins in the diet such as food colorings, additives and heavy metals, all appear to have a dramatic effect on a reducing a child’s ADHD symptoms without harmful side effects.

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Positive  Discipline: What You Say & How You Say It Can Change Your Child’s Behavior,  & Create a Positive Home!

By Dr. Dave DiSano

      As a school psychologist with over 30 years’ experience in education it still breaks my heart to hear how parents often treat their children.  Through the years I have had students tell me how their parents have verbally abused them with daily insults and threats.  I have witnessed parents try to control their child’s behavior with threats in my office, and I have, over and over again seen the impact poor parenting techniques have on a child’s self-esteem and how it even escalates a child’s behavior.  But, being a part-time New Age practitioner I realize one of the biggest shortcomings of our society is lack of parent training. Obviously I’m using “lack” sparingly, for aside of brief “how to handle your baby” information a parent is supplied with in the hospital, a parent is sent home with their infant and it is left up to them as how to raise it.  From my perspective it takes more training to get a driver’s license then to raise a child. How do most parents “learn” discipline techniques? Usually from their parents.  And if their parents were  “Old School” the discipline more than likely revolved around a “slap”  for not listening or talking back.  This authoritarian and even abusive style of parenting may have been accepted a hundred years ago, but it does not work today. It leads to children that either become submissive and develop poor self-esteem, or, children that become more oppositional, aggressive and assaultive. The “New Age/ New Thought”  practitioner philosophy I referred to centers around the difference between positive and negative thought.  Positive thought (what you tell yourself) and communication (what you tell others) is uplifting, inspiring, encouraging, and empowering.  Negative thought and communication (that most naturally use) is discouraging, demoralizing, abusive, destructive, and self-destructive.  What are you telling yourself? What are you saying to others?  Which category, positive or negative, does it fall into? What you say and how you say it can make the difference between a happy, confident, compliant, respectful and well-adjusted child. Or one that is non-compliant, oppositional, aggressive, unhappy and maladjusted in life. Below are some guidelines to help create a positive child, positive home life and even perhaps change the way a parent thinks! Follow these guides to create a caring, respectful and positive child!

  1. Be Calm:    Children learn from watching the behavior of adults. If you YELL, Scream, Threaten, Belittle, and Act Aggressively (assault), they imitate those behaviors. The more you scream and threaten your child the more you will have to scream and threaten them in order to make an impact. Your calm, caring and directive manners can deescalate your child’s negative behaviors and teach them how to be in self-control.
  2. Use “I” rather than “You” statements. When you start a statement with “you” it is easy to threaten, belittle and act negatively as in; “You better put those toys away or you will be sorry.” Or “If you hit your brother again you are going to get it.” Or “You are a bad boy!” Use “I” statements such as; “I love the way you are helping around the house and cleaning up!” Or “I love the way you have been keeping your hands to yourself!” Or “I know that you are trying your best and you always do the right thing!”
  3. Have a Plan:
    1. Don’t simply react to negative situations. Having a plan for your child’s misbehavior creates confidence in your ability to redirect their behavior and helps you to stay calm and in control.
    2. Use a behavior-incentive chart for their positive behaviors; i.e. picking up toys, finishing their homework, brushing teeth, going to bed on time etc.
    3. Use silence and ignore minor infractions (ALL behavior is for ATTENTION!)
    4. Have a “time-out” area for negative behaviors such as talking back, not following the rules or aggressive behaviors (such as a chair facing the wall; use 1 min. for each year-old, 5 year-old = 5 min.)
    5. Make sure you discuss what behavior caused their “time-out,” and end with, “I’m so proud of you that you are listening and understand how to do better. I know you will!”
  4. Discuss Behavior. Children can hear “no” over 100 times a day. Use it sparingly and let the child know (calmly) when they are doing something inappropriate by telling them why. Such as: “I want you to hold my hand when we cross the street because cars cannot see you and I do not want you to get hurt.” “I want you to walk down the stairs, because if you run it is easy to fall down and get hurt.” Or “You can have a cookie after dinner as a treat. Cookies do not help you grow big and strong like your dinner does.”
  5. Create a POSITIVE Home: Continually yelling at your child, belittling them for acting inappropriately, or being overly authoritative (“Because I say so!”) creates either an insecure, dependent child or an overly non-compliant and aggressive child.
      1. Continually acknowledge good behavior: If all behavior is for attention – what behaviors are you increasing by paying attention to them?
      2. Use Positive Choices: “Would you like to put your toys away first or your coloring books and crayons?” Or “If you want a snack you need to finish your vegetables.” Or “Do you want to put your pajamas on first or brush your teeth first?”
      3. Use Positive directives: Emphasize rules by giving “when/then” directives; “When you put away your coloring books I will take out the play dough.” Or  “When I finish the dishes I will help you with your homework.” Or “When you sit for 5 minutes and tell me why you hit your brother, then the TV will go back on.”
      4. Teach Calming techniques: Your child learns by observing you, so teach them how to be calm: “I want you to breath in through your nose and out through your mouth 5 times and then tell me why you are upset.” Or “I want you to rub your belly like this and close your eyes, take 3 deep breaths and then tell me what happened.” Or “I want you to close your eyes and count to 10, and then let me know why you did that.”
  6. Always be aware of your voice’s volume, rate and tone:  The louder you are, the louder your child will be. A fast rate of speech indicates that you are upset, and a sarcastic tone belittles your child. Use calm, slow directive speech to get your point across. It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it!

Positive  Discipline!  LANGUAGE TECHINIQUES:

What Not to say                                          Reason:                                      What is Better

(Negative):                                                                                                            (Positive):

“How can you be so dumb!?” Children take labels to heart; can create an insecure, withdrawn child; focus on behavior. “I bet you will be more careful next time and use a bigger cup to pour your juice in. Let’s clean this up together.”
“Stop acting like a baby!” Negative labels hurt; focus on specific behavior. “You are crying because you are mad. Let’s practice calming down, then you can tell me why you are upset.”
“Why can’t you be more like Mary!” Your child is an individual; when you compare them to an older sibling you create resentment. “You seem to be having trouble with that. Let me help you.”
“If you don’t stop, I’ll scream!” Emotional responses only lead to more emotional responses. “I know you can do that quietly.”
“If you love me you won’t do that!” ‘Guilt trips’ teach your child how to be manipulative. “I know you can make a good choice.”
“I went through all this trouble making dinner and this is how you show your appreciation!?” Another guilt trip; focus on why your child is acting up. Be directive. “If there something you do not like tell me. If you do not eat something now there will be no desert later.”
“Stop that now, or I’ll give you something to cry about!” Threats frighten the child and only teach them how to be aggressive. “Please stop doing that and tell me what is upsetting you.”
“There is no reason to be afraid! Act like a big boy!” Your child’s fears are legitimate to them. Find out what they are afraid of. “That noise is just thunder. It happens when two clouds crash into each other. Hold my hand and you will feel better till it’s over.”
“What’s wrong with you?” Labeling and demeaning. “You may be angry, but hitting your sister is not what we should be doing. Tell me why you are upset.”
“If you come with me to the market, I’ll buy you a toy.” Once you start bribing it will be expected all the time. “I need to go to the market, and I love how you always help mommy there.”
“That’s just great. Good going Mr. clumsy!” Sarcasm is belittling, demeaning and destructive. Be empathetic and instructive. “It’s just an accident. I know you will be more careful the next time. Let me help you clean it up.”
“I knew I couldn’t trust you!” Your words can be devastating to your child’s confidence. Do not set them up to fail. “That’s okay. When you are a little bit older I’m sure you will be able to do that.”
“Why did you do that? Are you stupid?” Labeling is destructive. Often young children can’t articulate what they want. Volunteer your observations. “You made your baby sister cry by taking her rattle. How can you play with her better?”

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