Tag Archives: Treatment

What Would You Do With One Second of Carefreeness?

Imagine you could let all of your worries and troubles go for one second, what would that moment look like? A french non-profit called the Mimi Foundation gave 20 cancer patients that chance a few weeks ago.

Each patient suffers from a terminal form of cancer. Many have completely lost their hair due to radiation treatments and their days are filled with dread of the next hurdle in fighting the disease. For one day they were invited to a studio to have their hair and make-up done, all while keeping their eyes closed. Then they were placed in front of a one way mirror that had a photographer on the other side. As they opened their eyes he took a photo of that first few seconds of happiness. He captured the pure joy of a carefree moment, something they so rarely get to experience in their current every day lives.

As we come to the close of our week on stress, what would your carefree moment look like? If you could choose it, where would you be? What do you think would bring you that joy? Tell us in the comments below.

Touch Tones: Bring the “Hands-On” Tradition Back to Medicine

Let me see those handsBy Stuart Fife

In as much as the name describes a singular, cohesive, medial practice, there’s no such thing as physical therapy.

If you go seeking relief for an aching joint or an overworked limb, you’d likely be offered one of two phases of therapy, which are interrelated but not interchangeable. The first is physical phase, meaning a host of exercises and activities designed to prepare the body to cope and perform well. The second is the therapy phase, designed to make sure all the joints and muscles are free to function in the way we want them to. The differences are significant: when joints and body synergies have become altered, nothing but a hands-on treatment, informed by careful analysis, would help.

And yet, in the last two decades or so, many physical therapists have come to see their profession as centered around exercise. In part, this trend is driven by simple economics, as escalating health care costs made many in the field realize that the sort of treatment that could allow therapists to tend to multiple patients simultaneously was preferable to the old-fashioned physical therapy, a leisurely, one-on-one, hands-on affair.

It may seem like a solid calculation, but it’s not. It undervalues the most ancient, most basic, and most comforting of media: touch. The people who walk in to my practice expect me and my colleagues to take the time and understand their bodies, assess their condition first hand, and figure out how to make their recovery faster. And they know that no amount of catchall exercises could ever replace the careful and precise treatment that they get from a therapist committed to their individual healing.

And if you think arguing that every person is different and therefore therapists should be able to master a great number of therapeutic approaches in order to make sure that they’ve got something up their sleeves for everyone, you haven’t been catching up with the times. Sadly, more and more therapists are specializing, declaring themselves neuromuscular experts, say, or adherents of that particular approach or another. Such pigeon holing, I believe, might make sense for medicine at large, where doctors and patients alike benefit from developing a highly specific mastery of highly specific fields of practice, but it’s detrimental to physical therapists. We don’t heal livers or arteries or brain lobes; we heal human beings, and human beings are holistic creatures.

Such an approach to therapy isn’t only more pleasant and more effective, it also makes better business sense. It used to be that anyone needing physical therapy would co-pay a small sum per visit; now, that price has jumped up considerably. If you require therapy three times a week, say, you’re looking at a hefty monthly expense. And if you’re paying this kind of money, you don’t want to go somewhere only to be told to do some exercise you could’ve looked up yourself on YouTube. You want someone who takes their time, who looks and touches, who is focused on you and you alone.

Sadly, such seemingly self-evident expectations are anything but. Frustrated with the current state of physical therapy, more and more people are seeking solutions elsewhere, in other hands-on practices like deep-tissue massage. There will always be room for the purely physical aspect of our profession; it’s crucial, and serves the needs of many. But the best physical therapists, the ones that would thrive both professionally and financially, are those who get back to the traditional stuff, roll up their sleeves, and rediscover how rewarding it is, for therapist and patient alike, to work with your hands.

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Stuart Fife is the Director of Physical Therapy for Optim HealthFife2

photos by: heipei & maessive

Get in the Flow

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a professor and former chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago, has been working with a concept he calls “flow.” The process of flow occurs when your consciousness matches your goals, allowing psychic energy to flow smoothly. For 40 years, Csikszentmihalyi has been studying what makes people happy, and has found that happiness comes from being in the flow in your life.

You can listen to a talk he gave about this idea of flow here. In it, he says, “There are seven conditions that seem to be there when a person is in flow. There’s this focus that, once it becomes intense, leads to a sense of ecstasy, a sense of clarity, you know exactly what you want to do from one moment to the other, you get immediate feedback. You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though it’s difficult. And a sense of time disappears, you forget yourself, you feel part of something larger. Once those conditions are present, what you are doing becomes worth doing for its own sake.”

When you are in the flow, your actions are natural, fluid, and graceful. Everything just feels “right.” So, of course, it’s not possible when you are behaving in a way that makes you feel guilt, shame, anxiety, or fearfulness. You can’t be caught up in addiction and be in the flow. And you can’t be caught up in blame or denial or frustration or anger.

When you’re in the flow, in tune with your creative energies and your purpose, you feel it’s worth spending your life doing things for which you don’t expect either fame or fortune—as long as those things make your life meaningful. He writes in Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, “It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.”

Flow comes about when you are challenged by something in an exciting way, and you feel your skills are up to the task. So it’s not about just sitting back and being comfortable; it’s about pushing yourself a little bit. He says being in a state of arousal is actually good,

“Because you are over-challenged there. Your skills are not quite as high as they should be, but you can move into flow fairly easily by just developing a little more skill. So arousal is the area where most people learn from, because that’s where they’re pushed beyond their comfort zone and … develop higher skills.”

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Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Connect with her and download free E books at http://www.sherrygaba.com/

5 Tips for a Successful Colon Cleanse

Have you ever had a colonic treatment?

You’ll also hear it called “colon hydrotherapy” or “colon irrigation,” which might sound like the nether regions are about to become a construction site. Fear not! As you’ll see in the latest episode of The Chopra Well’s 30 DAYS OF INTENT, Natalie and Iman survive this interesting alternative therapy and leave feeling pretty great. So what’s colon therapy all about?

Colon hydrotherapy isn’t a fad of new age alternative health. The treatment was actually developed in the early 20th century, and use of enemas (similar to colonics) and beliefs surrounding colon impurity have been around since ancient Egypt. Proponents of colon therapy believe that our bodies don’t fully dispose of waste materials and toxins, which can accumulate and lead to a host of medical problems. This is called “auto-intoxication,” which sounds terrifying, but as of yet has not been validated by mainstream medicine.

Nonetheless, fans and practitioners of colon therapy say there are many evidenced benefits to the treatment, which modern medicine will undoubtedly verify through further research. Constipation is one condition that colonic treatments have been shown to alleviate – but water and fiber-rich foods, like beans, oatmeal, raspberries, and broccoli, are easy and effective remedies, as well.

That said, Natalie and Iman report feeling relaxed and calm after their treatments; and we’ve heard others say they feel lighter and refreshed after colon cleansing. If you’re going to try it, take precautions against the various risks associated with colonics and do everything to make sure you get the most out of the experience.

Here are five tips we’ve gathered from the pros:

1. Read up on colon therapy and know the risks. Anything from mild discomfort in the abdomen to heart failure due to electrolyte imbalance can result as a side effect. Check with your regular health provider beforehand to make sure it’s a safe option for you.

2. Find a reputable clinic that uses disposable equipment to avoid infection. Need we say more?

3. Drink lots of water prior to and after your treatment. Colon therapy can be dehydrating, so you’ll want to counteract that by getting enough fluids into your system.

4. Be realistic about the potential outcomes of the therapy. You may not cure yourself of arthritis or lose fifty pounds, but you can still feel rejuvenated and cleansed after the procedure.

5. Be proactive about living a colon-healthy life, with or without the help of colonics. This means drinking plenty of water, eating enough fiber-rich food, and staying active.

Watch Natalie and Iman get their colonic treatments on 30 DAYS OF INTENT, and let us know what you think! If you’ve ever experienced the procedure, yourself, tell us how it went! Did you notice any benefits? Side effects?

Subscribe to The Chopra Well today and stay healthy!

photo by: TipsTimes

Is there a holistic treatment for addiction?

photo: Pink Sherbet Photography
What are you addicted to? We’re all addicted to something, right?

It’s a bold, but likely accurate, statement. In today’s episode of The Chopra Well daily series ASK DEEPAK, author Deepak Chopra, M.D. contends that addiction is essentially the memory of pain and pleasure. For the most part, human beings seek out pleasure and strive to minimize pain. Even when that which pleases us also brings us pain, the memory of pleasure calls to us over and over.

When I reach for my coffee mug every morning, what drives me is the memory of bitter and slightly sweet warmth filling my throat and shocking my system into alertness. I can also recall headaches, restlessness, and fatigue from days I skipped the java – things I would rather forget and bury under steaming mugfulls.

I do not intend to trivialize other, more serious addictions — addictions that destroy relationships and end lives. But there is a spectrum of addictive behaviors. Our task, according to Deepak, is to first commit to changing our behavior. Then we can begin to create new powerful memories to overcome the ones that shackle us to our addictions.

In the video, Deepak explains that memories are stored in our core consciousness as “seed consciousness.” That is why they can never be fully erased – although new research suggests there may be ways to chemically suppress negative emotions associated with painful memories.

Short of chemical intervention, there are only spiritual remedies for addiction. These remedies transcend modern medical and psychological treatments to situate healing in the sufferer’s own hands. We can thus tap into higher consciousness, expand our awareness, and witness the vast array of responses and behaviors that are available to us. Here’s how.

If you can’t get rid of the memory, Deepak suggests you overshadow it. Create a new memory that is stronger than the one causing the addiction. He outlines three steps that will set you on the right track to holistic treatment:

1.     Transcend addiction through meditation. Go beyond the field of memories to the field of pure potentiality, which characterizes the meditative state.
2.     Plant new seed memories of joy, love, and pleasure. Music, massage, aromatherapy, physical detoxification, and color therapy can be effective treatments. And remember, alcohol and all other substances are poor substitutes for love. Reach out to someone and work on developing meaningful relationships.
3.     Deepen your meditation practice. Explore forms of contemplative, self-aware, transcendent, introceptive, and vipassana meditation. Deepak assures us that through meditation we can begin to detach ourselves from toxic emotions and habits.

Other components of holistic treatment for addiction may involve creative expression, sacred dance, Ayurvedic nutrition, yoga, and exercise. Explore Intent Blog, The Chopra Center, and Deepak’s website for more inspiration.

By embarking on a holistic treatment plan, are we just substituting one addiction for another? Coffee for meditation. Alcohol for exercise. The key is to remain connected to “the source,” as Deepak explains, which is the soul or higher consciousness. As long as we remain conscious of our emotions and memories, without letting them control us, we stand a fair chance of living a healthy, free, and fulfilling life.

More Resources:

For a comprehensive, residential addiction treatment program, visit Paradise Valley Wellness Centre in Vancouver, Canada, partnered with The Chopra Center

Read Freedom From Addiction by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and David Simon, M.D., which covers medical and spiritual dimensions of addiction treatment.

Can I Reduce Physical Pain? Ask Deepak!

Motivation and Hardwiring the Brain | Ask Deepak!

Start your meditation practice TODAY with The Chopra Well’s daily show, THE MEDITATOR.

The robot next-door: real-life avatars

New Scientist recently reported on the groundbreaking development of robot avatars in the treatment of people suffering from paralysis and locked-in-syndrome.

The technology operates by way of brain scan. Promising results from an experiment in Israel demonstrated that a man situated under a brain scan could coordinate motions with a robot in France. The man was instructed to concentrate on different types of motions while scientists developed software to pick up these subtle intentions, to which the robot then responds. The person controlling the robot via brain scan is also able to see through the avatar’s eyes and, in the near future, will be able to speak through the avatar’s mouth. This technology aims to give the patient the virtual sense of actually being in the robot’s “body.” The project is aptly named “Virtual Embodiment.”

Who’s afraid that robots are going to take over the world? Come on, be honest. My brother-in-law recently said he thought world peace would be achieved when robots were in control of global politics. I shuddered slightly at the thought. But this new development confuses the human-robot paradigm by fusing the two, à la Iron Man. And it’s not for political domination, but rather for medical and psychological treatment. Who could argue with that?

I’m not a purist. Scientific and medical developments excite me, and I believe in the positive power of technology, if used respectfully. But I’m also the product of media hype through films like A.I., The Terminator and Avatar, which paint troubling, if not downright disturbing, pictures of what the world could become if humans misuse robot technology and “virtual embodiment.” It’s time we invented a new paradigm and a new repertoire of hit films to celebrate humans’ ability to optimize technology for positive change in the world.

What do you think? How would you feel about remotely controlling an avatar halfway across the world? Leave your comments below!

photo by: JD Hancock

Why Antidepressants Don’t Work for Treating Depression

Here’s some depressing recent medical news: Antidepressants don’t work. What’s even more depressing is that the pharmaceutical industry and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have deliberately deceived us into believing that they DO work. As a physician, this is frightening to me. Depression is among the most common problems seen in primary-care medicine and soon will be the second leading cause of disability in this country.

The study I’m talking about was published in The New England Journal of Medicine. It found that drug companies selectively publish studies on antidepressants. They have published nearly all the studies that show benefit — but almost none of the studies that show these drugs are ineffective. (1)

That warps our view of antidepressants, leading us to think that they do work. And it has fueled the tremendous growth in the use of psychiatric medications, which are now the second leading class of drugs sold, after cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The problem is even worse than it sounds, because the positive studies hardly showed benefit in the first place. For example, 40 percent of people taking a placebo (sugar pill) got better, while only 60 percent taking the actual drug had improvement in their symptoms. Looking at it another way, 80 percent of people get better with just a placebo.

That leaves us with a big problem — millions of depressed people with no effective treatments being offered by most conventional practitioners. However, there aretreatments available. Functional medicine provides a unique and effective way to treat depression and other psychological problems. Today I will review 7 steps you can take to work through your depression without drugs. But before we get to that, let’s take a closer look at depression.

What’s in a Name?

“Depression” is simply a label we give to people who have a depressed mood most of the time, have lost interest or pleasure in most activities, are fatigued, can’tsleep, have no interest in sex, feel hopeless and helpless, can’t think clearly, or can’t make decisions.

But that label tells us NOTHING about the cause of those symptoms. In fact, there are dozens of causes of depression — each one needing a different approach to treatment. Depression is not one-size-fits-all, but it is very common.

Women have a 10 to 25 percent risk and men a 5 to 12 percent risk of developing severe major depression in their lifetime. (2) One in ten Americans takes an antidepressant. The use of these drugs has tripled in the last decade, according to a report by the federal government. In 2006, spending on antidepressants soared by 130 percent.

But just because antidepressants are popular doesn’t mean they’re helpful. Unfortunately, as we now see from this report in The New England Journal of Medicine,they don’t work and have significant side effects. Most patients taking antidepressants either don’t respond or have only partial response. In fact, success is considered just a 50 percent improvement in half of depressive symptoms. And this minimal result is achieved in less than half the patients taking antidepressants.

That’s a pretty dismal record. It’s only made worse by the fact that 86 percent of people taking antidepressants have one or more side effects, including sexual dysfunction, fatigueinsomnia, loss of mental abilities, nausea, and weight gain.

No wonder half the people who try antidepressants quit after 4 months.

Now I want to talk to you about the reasons why doctors and patients have been deceived by the “antidepressant hoax.” Despite what we have been brainwashed to believe, depression is not a Prozac deficiency!

How We have Been Deceived by the Antidepressant Hoax

Drug companies are not forced to publish all the results of their studies. They only publish those they want to. The team of researchers that reported their findings inThe New England Journal of Medicine took a critical look at all the studies done on antidepressants, both published and unpublished. They dug up some serious dirt …

The unpublished studies were not easy to find. The researchers had to search the FDA databases, call researchers, and hunt down hidden data under the Freedom of Information Act. What they found was stunning.

After looking at 74 studies involving 12 drugs and over 12,000 people, they discovered that 37 of 38 trials with positive results were published, while only 14 of 36 negative studies were published. Those that showed negative results were, in the words of the researchers, “published in a way that conveyed a positive outcome.”

That means the results were twisted to imply the drugs worked when they didn’t.

This isn’t just a problem with antidepressants. It’s a problem with scientific research. Some drug companies even pay or threaten scientists to not publish negative results on their drugs. So much for “evidence-based” medicine!    I recently had dinner with a step-uncle who runs a company that designs research for drug companies.  He designs the study, hires the researcher from an esteemed institution, directs the study, writes up the study and the scientist just signs his or her name after reviewing it.

Most of the time, we only have the evidence that the drug companies want us to have. Both doctors and patients are deceived into putting billions of dollars into drug companies’  pockets, while leaving millions with the same health problems but less money.

The scientific trust is broken. What can we do? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. But I do think functional medicine, on which my approach of UltraWellnessis based, provides a more intelligent way of understanding the research. Rather than using drugs to suppress symptoms, Functional Medicine helps us find the true causes of problems, including depression.

I see this in so many of the patients I have treated over the years. Just as the same things that make us sick also make us fat, the same things that make us sick also make us depressed. Fix the causes of sickness — and the depression takes care of itself.

Consider a few cases from my practice …

A 23-year-old had been anxious and depressed most of her life and spent her childhood and adolescence on various cocktails of antidepressants. Turns out, she suffered from food allergies that made her depressed.

Food allergies cause inflammation, and studies now show inflammation in the brains of depressed people. In fact, researchers are studying powerful anti-inflammatory drugs used in autoimmune disease such as Enbrel for the treatment of depression.

After she eliminated her IgG or delayed food allergies, her depression went away, she got off her medication — and she lost 30 pounds as a side effect!

Here’s another story …  A 37-year-old executive woman struggled for more than a decade with treatment-resistant depression (meaning that drugs didn’t work), fatigue, and a 40-pound weight gain. We found she had very high levels of mercury. Getting the mercury out of her body left her happy, thin, and full of energy.

Or consider the 49-year-old man with severe lifelong depression who had been on a cocktail of antidepressants and psychiatric medication for years but still lived under a dark cloud every day, without relief. We found he had severe deficiencies of vitamin B12, B6, and folate. After we gave him back those essential brain nutrients, he called me to thank me. Last year was the first year he could remember feeling happy and free of depression.

These are just a few of the dozens of things that can cause depression.

The roots of depression are found in the 7 keys to UltraWelless and the 7 fundamental underlying imbalances that trigger the body to malfunction. Taking antidepressants is not the answer to our looming mental health epidemic. The real cure lies in rebalancing the underlying systems in your body that are at the root of all healthy and illness.

Here are a few things you can do to start treating your depression today.

7 Steps to Treat Depression without Drugs

 

  1. Try an anti-inflammatory elimination diet that gets rid of common food allergens. As I mentioned above, food allergies and the resultant inflammation have been connected with depression and other mood disorders.
  2. Check for hypothyroidismThis unrecognized epidemic is a leading cause of depression. Make sure to have thorough thyroid exam if you are depressed.
  3. Take vitamin D. Deficiency in this essential vitamin can lead to depression. Supplement with at least 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day.
  4. Take omega-3 fats. Your brain is made of up this fat, and deficiency can lead to a host of problems. Supplement with 1,000 to 2,000 mg of purified fish oil a day.
  5. Take adequate B12 (1,000 micrograms, or mcg, a day), B6 (25 mg) and folic acid (800 mcg). These vitamins are critical for metabolizing homocysteine, which can play a factor in depression.
  6. Get checked for mercury. Heavy metal toxicity has been correlated with depression and other mood and neurological problems.
  7. Exercise vigorously five times a week for 30 minutes. This increases levels of BDNF, a natural antidepressant in your brain.

 

Overcoming depression is an important step toward lifelong vibrant health. These are just of few of the easiest and most effective things you can do to treat depression. But there are even more, which you can address by simply working through the 7 Keys to UltraWellness.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Have you been diagnosed with depression?  How have antidepressants worked for you?  Do you plan to try any of the approaches mentioned here?

Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

To your good health,

Mark Hyman, M.D.

 

 

References

 

(1) Turner EH et al. 2007. Selective publication of antidepressant trials and its influence on apparent efficacy. New England Journal of Medicine. 358: 252-260.

(2) Eaton WW, Kalaydjian A, Scharfstein DO, Mezuk B, Ding Y. 2007. Prevalence and incidence of depressive disorder: the Baltimore ECA follow-up, 1981-2004. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 116(3):182-188.

 

 

This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post

The Surprising Antidote to Loneliness

Loneliness is recognized as a growing health problem. Isolation has been shown to adversely affect the cardiovascular system and implicated in depression. The internet and TV continue to build a higher wall. A broad research study from the University of Chicago Medical Center has found the root cause of loneliness and so, the treatment. The surprising findings: Addressing loneliness is not about attending support groups with other lonely people or teaching better social skills. Rather loneliness can be healed by improving one’s self-esteem – creating a more positive self-perception in relation to others.

This is a new approach to an old problem. Loneliness is really about the relationship one has with the self. Consider telling a person who feels he or she doesn’t measure up to others to engage in a social activity! Their response would be: “This party is out of my league. Everyone will ignore me.” “I can’t take a class at the gym. Everybody is so much better and will laugh at me.” “I lost my job. I feel ashamed. Everyone else is so successful.”  But that’s exactly what professionals have been doing – telling the unworthy to “Go on, get out there and mingle.”  And this is why lonely people are still lonely.

A lonely person needs to reconnect with the self. If one is unhappy with the self, all other relationships will be filled with unhappiness.

Warning signs of impending loneliness:

* You are hungry for compliments, external validation.
* When you get a compliment, you believe it is phony.
* You have trouble receiving a gift, “You shouldn’t have…”
* You are sensitive to criticism. You ruminate about a negative remark.
* You have a stern inner critic telling you that you are not good enough and who replays your failures.
* You have trouble tolerating your imperfections.
* Asking for help is a problem and you seldom ask.
* You feel that you are missing something other people have.

It’s time to go the counterintuitive route to return to center. This means retool the self to become a “healthy narcissist.” Begin with the physical:  Eat right, exercise, carve out time for things you love doing and take care of your appearance for yourself, not for others.

Next, it’s time for emotional metamorphosis. Recreate who you are: Reviving what you wish for and aspire to be. Note that the Native American Indian had a totem pole of concrete carvings to transmit unique identity. Try implementing this concept on a smaller scale. Special possessions transmit and enhance your status to you as well as to others.  This doesn’t mean that a spending spree is involved in order to brand yourself.  Instead focus on your signature look, color, fragrance and accessory. And please be careful how you speak to yourself – no more self-deprecating remarks. Speak to yourself the way you would to a friend.

To feel less lonely you have to truly enjoy your own company.

Kerala Backwaters Vacation Ideas

With the Arabian Sea in the west, the Western Ghats towering 500-2700 m in the  east and networked by forty four rivers, Kerala enjoys unique geographical  features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations  in Asia. An equable climate. A long shoreline with serene beaches. Tranquil  streches of emerald backwaters. Lush hill stations and exotic wildlife. Waterfalls.  Sprawling plantations and paddy fields. Ayurvedic health holidays. Enchanting  art forms. Magical festivals. Historic  and cultural monuments. An exotic cuisine…  All of which offer you a unique experience. And what’s more, every one of these  charming destinations is only a two hour drive from the other. A singular advantage  no other destination offers. Kerala, India’s most advanced society : A hundred  percent literate people. World-class health care systems. India’s lowest infant  mortality and highest life expectancy rates. The highest physical quality of  life in India. Peaceful and pristine, Kerala is also India’s cleanest State.  For administrative purpose, the state of Kerala is divided into fourteen districts.  Most of these districts offer all the tourism products typical of the State.  It’s up to you to decide whether Kerala is the most beautiful state of  India for summer
vacations
. At least it is the greenest and is a melting pot of cultures, activities  and other interesting sights. It is situated in the south of India with the  Arabian sea along its western coast, that paved the way for international trade,  and the mountain range of western Ghats on the east with its marvellous (Trivandrum)  in the south. Trivandrum is the state capital although it might not appear  like that at first sight. It still has a rustic ambience. The Napier Museum  has a good overview of the state’s history. From here, you can easily  explore the marvellous beaches of Varkala and Kovalam.

A trip you can’t refuse when you’re in Kerala is leaving the small  town of Kollam by boat and go by means of the backwaters, to the market town  Alappuzha. You’ll have a spectacular view of what life is like in that area.  Kochi, the commercial capital, is a bit more to the north and has, besides  its seaside front, a lot to offer for those interested in history. The old  European church, Chinese fishing nets and the Jewish synagogue are only a few  of the remnant’s of the former days.

Getting Around
  On arrival, take a prepaid taxi from the airport to your hotel. You can order    one in the arrival lounge. This avoids haggling and provides a measure of    security. For further short distance travel    packages, use taxis or the local    bus service (very cheap but, as often is the case, buses are generally overcrowded).    Hardly any traveller dares to drive a hired car. This is definitely a smart    decision when you don’t have any driving experience on the local roads (that    sometimes tend to illustrate the survival of the fittest). A few adventurous    types buy a motorbike for the duration of their stay, the legendary Royal    Enfield built in Madras being the favourite one. Trains are convenient for    longer distances and, again, very cheap. There is no need for booking seats    when travelling shorter distances within Kerala. However, it is a must if    you’re planning to travel to the neighbouring states.

Kerala Backwaters
 Kerala and backwaters are synonyms to one another. Known by the name of God’s    Own Country, Kerala has always attracted visitors from far away destinations    to relax their mind, body and soul in its magnificent backwater destinations    like Alleppey, Kollam, Kumarakom, Kochi and Trivandrum. Apart from its backwater    destinations, Kerala is world over famous for its Ayurveda Therapy and Yoga Treatment Spas.

It is really one of the best experiences of lifetime to hear the soothing  sound of ripples in the backwaters of Kerala, when you relax on the houseboats  away from the fast and hectic life of metros.

Famous Backwater Destinations in Kerala

Kochi
  Kochi or Cochin is a really neat and compact town in Kerala. The town has a    distinct european feel, due to the fact that it was controled by the Portugese,    Dutch and English who each left buildings and foot prints in the culture.    It is a very nice town to walk around and has quite some sights of it self.It    is a reasonable base to do an excursion to the backwaters of Kerala. The    rivers around Kochi are not as wide as further down south and you get to    see much more. There are a number of small travel    agents that allow you to    book these tours or transport options for further travel.

Alleppey
  Alleppey is famous by the name of Venice of East because of its beautiful backwaters,    lakes and lagoons. It is also known by the name of Alappuzha, which is located    on Vemband Lake’s banks. It is famous for its Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race,    which is organized annually around Onam festival.

Kollam
  There is a famous proverb in Malayalam ” kollam kandavanillam venda, Kochi  kandavanachi venda” It means one who saw kollam doesn’t need a house.  This old famous proverb tells the blessed heritage and popularity of Kollam.  Because of the pronounciation problem britishers named Kollam as Quilon. So  in the railway map you may not see the name Kollam but quilon. the name Kollam  is very famous in Kerala even though the britishers called it as quilon.Kollam  is very rich with its costal area, cashew nut, backwaters, mountains, rivers,  beautiful natural forests etc.Lot of people comes from foreign countries to  enjoy the beauty of kollam.

Kumarakom
  Kumarakom is situated on the banks of Vermbanand Lake and is treated as a paradise    on earth for enjoying holidays in backwaters. It is one of the most sought    after tourist holiday backwater destinations in Kerala, India.
   
  Trivandrum
  Trivandrum is the capital city of Kerala and is also famous by the name of    Thiruvananthapuram. It is also one of the famous starting points of many    backwater cruises in Kerala. There are a number of historic attractions    in Thiruvananthapuram. One of the beautiful beaches of India, Kovalam Beach    is also situated in Thiruvananthapuram.

Kasargod
  Kasargod is an another beautiful city famous for its serene backwaters in Kerala.    It is located in North Kerala and is well known for its Valiyaparamba backwaters    stretch. The main attraction of this place is the cruise ride in and around    Chandagiri, which is located 4 km to South East of Kasargod.
   
    Honeymoon in Kerala
  It is your Honeymoon and you and your companion needs privacy, luxury and security.    This is time for romance, excitement and leisure.Dreaming of an exotic Honeymoon?    Kerala is for lovers,    romantics and those in search of a tropical vacation.    Cuddle up in a warm beach cottage, dine and vine under the stars, or getaway    to your own clandestine vacation hill station with a picnic lunch. Kerala    is a perfect place for your island vacation.

Kerala is the right place to spend your Honeymoon where an  assortment of activities is on hand. Lakes to sensitize, Sparkling backwaters,  Luxuriant jade Hill Stations, Distant Beaches, Succulent Cuisine, Gracious  people and great facilities. With us visit top attractions in Kerala and benefit  from exploratory activities in Kerala on your honeymoon.So whatever honeymoon  destination you choose – whether  it is Hill area (Munnar),  Wild Life (Thekkedy), Jungle (Wayanad – Vythiri),  and beaches (Kovalam, Poovar, Varkala, Aleppey and Cherai) – we can facilitate  you to accomplish utmost contentment and unforgettable honeymoon.Make your  honeymoon holidays unprecedented by selecting the most romantic destinations  in Kerala.

7 Situations When Severe Anxiety Should Not Be Treated

There are certain situations when anxiety is uncontrollable. In these situations, the anxiety may be so debilitating as to cause significant disability in social functioning and functioning at work. When this happens, anxiety can be very disruptive to a person’s life. When anxiety is this pervasive, treatment may be in order. However, certain situations do not warrant treatment as treatment may thwart important goals. These are the situations I will mention below.

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