Is a co-dependent a covert narcissist?

Shamans believe that when we transcend through many phases in life, enduring several experiences, our soul gets damaged, resulting in different aliments and disorders. They believe however that all illness, comes from “losing power or giving power away”, to someone or something.

When someone is co-dependent, this is in fact, a form of giving your power away “your centre of power”, as your sense of worthiness has been externalised and placed within others.

If your centre of power is located outside of yourself, this will mean that internally, you will have a dysfunction with your energy system, there will be a weakness in it. A person’s centre of power is located between the second and third chakra. Co-dependency will germinate in the root (tribal chakra), sacral (relationship chakra and also where your power starts as an individual) and solar plexus (where your power as an individual reaches maturation) – the lower, foundational chakras. Co-dependency is born in childhood. These three chakras are affected, as they are predominant in childhood. The root chakra is the first to activate in us; group or tribal consciousness. The sacral chakra is individualised consciousness – a very specific type of power is developed, in the second chakra – it’s “power in relationships”.

This co-dependent style is common to be a cyclical pattern, that can be displayed in all relationship dynamics; with romantic partners, family members, friends and colleagues. This relationship style, creates a sense of purpose found in a compulsive need to care for, save, rescue, assist and help others.

In psychology, the co-dependent is described as someone who sacrifices their own needs, for the needs of others. They deny their own healthy needs. If you are “sacrificing” yourself, this essentially means that you have placed your centre of power – worthiness, validation, sense of approval, self-esteem, your identity and self-image – into someone else, therefore, there is a lack of a sense of “Self” and identity within you. When a person’s centre of power is externalised in someone else, then they are completely dependent on others being in their lives and this manifests in the form of creating a dynamic where, the co-dependant can feel as if they are needed and relied upon so they usually take on the role of taking care of or “saving”, rescuing or compulsively needing to “help or assist” others, in order to get a sense of self-worth. This is a dysfunctional relationship style where one endeavours to “give themselves up” which is destructive. They create an illusion of “goodness” to themselves and the outside world – “I give myself up for other people”. I say the co-dependent “endeavours” to do this because it’s not possible to give yourself up – you cannot give up your own needs and wants. What happens is, instead of expressing them, the co-dependent will suppress them and live a life that is unfulfilled and inauthentic. This can then manifest as a denial of what one’s true desires are. Essentially a co-dependent holds back emotions, they may suffer from depression (a suppression of emotion) and as a result, end up rejecting and disowning certain aspects of themselves.

To have a healthy relationship of mutual empowerment, it needs to be one of authenticity and this is actualised when in a state of cocreation. Both honour their own needs and desires and fulfil them in a way that is healthy for both, in order to create the life that they want with one another, in an interdependent and symbiotic way. Both have their best interests capitalised on, where both people’s needs are met. We live in an interdependent universe. The truth of this universe is that of oneness.

If a co-dependent is yearning for a sense of self-worth and the only way that they can feel this, is within others, it is very usual for them to end up in cyclical relationship patterns that are toxic. If the co-dependent gets into a relationship dynamic that is toxic, for example, with a person that has a high conflict personality style such as narcissism, this is in fact a mirror of the co-dependent. Like attracts like and essentially, the co-dependent, can be described as a covert narcissist. The definition of a narcissist, is a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. The co-dependent has the same traits but displayed in a hidden way – within others.

Co-dependent was a term that originated in clinical literature that focused on addiction. The addiction in this scenario is “a person or people”, as the co-dependent has an extreme focus outside of them in other people. They need other people in order to feel good about themselves. The co-dependent does not have value towards themselves or value who they are. They require other people in order to feel valuable. As like attracts like, it is common for a co-dependent to attract someone into their lives, with an addiction whereby they can feel as if they have to “save” that person from themselves. However, the motive behind this “help”, is to enable the co-dependent to feel better within themselves so it is therefore not done for unselfish reasons. This co-dependent compulsive addiction, manifests itself in the need to be needed – as by in the helping and in the sacrificing of themselves for others, that’s where they get a spike in their self-worth, as internally, they have none residing inside of them.

By being in a toxic relationship, a co-dependent can display anger and frustration towards themselves, as they know that there’s something fundamentally wrong with how their life is being lived. They know that they are not being treated well and they know they are in fact responsible for the issues going on in their lives. They strive to gain their self-esteem and worthiness, through the endurance of an unhealthy relationship. They keep sticking it out, despite the harm it brings to all. They are responsible for keeping other people trapped in that relationship, even though it is hurting both. Essentially, the co-dependent has created a very victimised situation and finds any excuse to stay in it, to maintain their sense of identity and self-worth, at the detriment to themselves and the other person.

A co-dependent feels that in order to “feel” powerful within themselves, they need to “save” others. However, when a co-dependent is relentlessly giving their power away, this means that they are responsible for draining their own life force so it’s very common for them to become run down, have low energy and have various dis-eases. When your self-worth is externalised, you have no sense of Self and this is why co-dependents have no sense of boundaries, allowing others to treat them however they wish to – not knowing how to impose their limits, being non-assertive and not knowing how to say “no”. Therefore, the co-dependent won’t attain a sense of power in this way, as they are literally depleting their centre of power within this unhealthy dynamic and can face a lot of suffering as a consequence. By overextending themselves, by saving one or multiple people, the co-dependent can become completely overwhelmed and suffer from over exhaustion.

A co-dependent will have a fear of abandonment. If a romantic partner for example leaves and the co-dependent is left on their own, then their illusion of self-worth literally “walks out the door” and they feel completely vulnerable as on their own, standing on their own two feet, they do not actually know who they are; they have no sense of Self. High anxieties therefore arise from the very thought of separation in a co-dependent dynamic. Therefore, they trade in their absolute need for closeness and in doing so, simultaneously deny their own personal truth. A co-dependent may be so frightened of being abandoned, that they go to extreme measures, to keep someone sick so they can never leave so the person remains dependant on them. For example, their partner may misuse substances or have difficult or toxic patterns and behaviours but the co-dependent will minimise those issues by denying them and repeatedly rescuing them in a caregiving capacity or by other means such as money or helping that person to avoid criminal consequences for their behaviour, all in an attempt to “save or rescue” them. In other words, if for example, a substance user’s disorder is healed, that in effect would threaten the co-dependent, in terms of them losing their sense of purpose and identity. They don’t want change. Fear of change is a strong feature in a co-dependent. It’s very typical, for those that possess a fear of abandonment, to go from one toxic relationship to another. They will have a tendency to “overlap” relationships, in order to feel “safe” to transition from one to the other. It can also be common for those with abandonment issues to cheat, as they long for that sense of feeling needed so if they feel any type of insecurity within their “main” relationship, where all of their identity pivots upon, the way they self-medicate, so to speak, from the fear derived from the thought of the “pain of losing someone”, is to cheat in order to temporarily make them feel a sense of safety, by having the feeling of being needed.

If your power resides in someone else, then you will be forever trying to control the other person, as they hold your power. This control can seep out in trying to also control the environment to contain that sense of self-worth and identity. You will possess a quality of hypervigilance, forever being on edge and chronically monitoring the environment for potential threats. However, people and the environment are in constant evolution so this is a battle that can never be conquered and as a result of this, it’s common for a co-dependent to have low trust in people and the universe as a whole. This results in the co-dependent feeling anxiety and stress.

A co-dependent person can frequently get angry when the person they are “helping” or are trying to save, do not thank them or show appreciation for all that they have done. They feel that they have every right to be angry too, without contemplating whether the person in question, actually asked for their help. They may also get angry because they feel taken advantage of but again, like attracts like and essentially, the co-dependent is in fact also taking advantage of the other person, by relying on them to feel good about themselves.

The reason why co-dependency forms, is a result of our learnings and experiences in childhood. It’s a by-product of adapting to dysfunctional human relationships.

If a child was neglected, physically or emotionally, then the child starts to feel emotions such as shame. They have a strong sense of feeling abandoned and this forms the understanding within themselves, that their own needs are not important to be met because this is what has been shown to them, by a caregiver or parent neglecting them in some way. Our universe is simply made of positive and negative. Neglect would be classified as a “negative”. If the child does not transmute this negative from their energetic system, they will continue to attract that same negative going into adulthood, in different scenarios throughout life – they will essentially be creating and manifesting more situations, where they feel neglected or abandoned but in the case of the co-dependent, they are in fact, neglecting themselves as they are putting their centre of power and their sense of worthiness within someone else. The reason why this repetition happens, is because the emotional body needs us to reintegrate that negative, in order to change it to a positive, to become whole again. A shaman would describe this as damaged holes in the soul. To remove this negative and replace it with a positive, this can be quickly and easily achieved through inner child therapy.

In some family dynamics, a child may have taken “emotional responsibility” for the parent, rather than being the “child” by becoming confidants, advisors, caregivers, mentors, mediators etc. Therefore, this externalisation of worth can show up in this circumstance. For example, if a child must care for a parent, then if the parent is sick, they can firmly believe, that they are responsible for that parents change in illness and if their condition worsens, they can feel shame. Therefore, depending on how the parent’s wellbeing fluctuates, this dictates the child’s emotions and their identity begins to be enmeshed within that parents illness. This process of enmeshment is a demonstration of very tangled boundaries and as a child, it is not known what appropriate boundaries are in a child and parent relationship. This pattern, then repeats itself in adulthood. 

A co-dependent, may have friends that can see that they are in a toxic relationship and try to encourage them to leave. The co-dependent however, may use an excuse to stay by saying something along the lines of “I feel completely responsible for their emotions and feelings so I can’t leave, they need me”. If the co-dependent is under no illusion that they need to remove themselves from the relationship, they may say “I want to leave but it’s just too painful, it’s like they are a part of me”. In both of these examples, you can see how the co-dependent, has totally externalised their identity and sense of purpose upon someone else.

If you firmly believe that you are “completely” responsible for how someone else feels, this only leads to suffering. It is not the reality and what you’re essentially doing, is erasing that person’s capability and this can result in you taking away another person’s feeling of empowerment and freewill, by making them dependent upon you. Therefore, it may seem to the co-dependent and the outside world, as a virtuous act but it’s in fact inauthentic.

In childhood, as mentioned above, responsibility may have been placed upon a child by parents or caregivers which was not appropriate for a child. In turn, this can make a child feel abandoned, as they know that this should in fact be the responsibility of the parent or caregiver, yet they clearly do not want to take on that responsibility. This sense of abandonment creates a feeling of pain and this then becomes the child’s understanding of what it feels like, if someone does not take responsibility for someone else. In adulthood, this can then develop in a hypervigilance of responsibility where the co-dependent feels, it’s their duty to not allow people to feel the pain that they felt as a child. By doing this, for the co-dependent, it can bring about a sense of connection to others. The truth is however, you are not “completely” responsible for how someone feels. Taking on this role, can lead to an immense amount of stress and pressure, in attempting to keep someone on an even keel, stable and under control. If you want someone to be completely reliant on you, to make them feel good – so that you too feel good – this is very destructive for both.

Inner child therapy is really the key in addressing co-dependency. Also, it is essential that we address the energetic system, in relation to the foundational chakras, strengthening them and reclaiming and recalling your power back.

If you have identified that you hold the traits of a co-dependent and want to find techniques in which to clear those patterns, empower yourself and transform your life, then at Niroshini 360, we have many strategies in which to address this.

For more information, please email:

Melissa Day explains why Gen Z’s are in fact ageing faster

With the endorsement of Botox by heavyweight influencers, prospects for the next generation seem bleak. Melissa Day explains why Gen Z’s are in fact ageing faster.

Melissa Day, a cosmetic acupuncturist, laments we are currently experiencing a pandemic of self-loathing rather than self-love. Day raises an important question regarding the impact of heavyweight influencers who share their preference for Botox on Instagram, with their young female followers. Day says “It is disheartening to witness figures of such stature and influence promoting such a practice. Consider this: how would you feel if you saw someone preparing to inject Botox into a baby’s face? The mere thought is horrifying, not only because it involves a baby but also because we instinctively recognise the harm that is about to be inflicted. Why then are we so willing to subject ourselves to this?”. Day explains that the Gen Z population has increasingly embraced “tweakments” like Botox and fillers but paradoxically, they are actually experiencing accelerated ageing.

1) Did you know that the secondary ingredient in Botox is human albumin – a protein from human blood?

2) Are you aware that using Botox as a preventative means to ageing, prior to visible wrinkles, is not FDA approved?

3) Did you know that Botox injected over a long period of time, for fine lines and wrinkles, has been shown to cause facial muscle loss?

4) Did you know that to evaluate the Lethal Dose of each batch, Botox is tested on animals?

In the UK, there is a high increase in under 30’s getting Botox. It is said that one million pounds is spent per year on corrective surgery as a result of these injections.

Day has observed a rise in clients who have experienced negative consequences from Botox and are now seeking a more natural alternative. A specific example is a client in her late 20’s who expressed concern about the complete loss of movement around one eye after receiving Botox injections, with no improvement over time. Another client experienced an allergic reaction to Botox, resulting in temporary difficulties with speech and swallowing for several weeks following the treatment.

In April 2002, the FDA approved Botulinum Toxin-A injections (Botox), to be used for cosmetic use for “existing wrinkles” on three facial areas: frown lines between the eyes, forehead and crow’s feet. Therefore, it is unable to address concerns such as sagging skin, muscle tone and facial contour. Once injected, it paralyses facial muscles and abates into the system and will need to be carried out approximately every 3 to 4 months. The neurotoxin Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the Clostridium bacterium; the same toxin that causes a life-threatening food poisoning called botulism. Botox blocks signals from the nerves to the facial muscles so that they can no longer contract, causing wrinkles to temporarily relax and soften.

In today’s society, people are increasingly mindful of the products they use and consume. With the growing vegan movement, it is important to note that Botox is not compatible with a vegan lifestyle. This is due to the presence of human albumin, a protein derived from human blood, which is the secondary ingredient in Botox along with sodium chloride. To evaluate the Lethal Dose of each batch, Botox is tested on animals.

Botox cannot be administered during pregnancy or breastfeeding. In animal tests, Botox caused rodents to have babies with a low birth weight, born early, not developed properly or even survive. The same “may not” happen in human babies, however, the lack of evidence is enough for doctors to advise against using Botox during these periods. (Like many medicines, Botox may pass into breast milk reaching the baby). With Botox having the potential to travel from the injection site to distant parts of the body, we are really only on the cusp of discovering what the long-term implications of the drug may be.

Using Botox as a preventative means to ageing, prior to visible wrinkles, is not FDA approved. It is well documented, that Botox used as a preventative means to ageing, can cause premature ageing, by causing facial muscles and the skin overlying these muscles, to become thin. Additionally to this, Botox injected over a long period of time for fine lines and wrinkles, has been shown to cause facial muscle loss. The result is that wrinkles may become worse. This is caused by nearby muscles, contracting around the site where the Botox has been injected, that try to compensate for the muscle loss and this causes more fine lines and wrinkles to appear. The skin can become thin too. This can cause visibly protruding veins.

Some of the risks of Botox are:

♦ Loss of bladder control ♦ Upset stomach ♦ Trouble breathing ♦ Difficulty speaking or swallowing ♦ Drooling ♦ Vision problems ♦ Flu-like symptoms ♦ Droopy eyelid or cockeyed eyebrows ♦ Crooked smile ♦ Eye dryness or excessive tearing ♦ Muscle weakness all over the body ♦ Hands suffer a loss of cortical brain activity ♦ Inflammatory response in the immune system

Here are some natural alternatives which Day argues can be more effective than Botox:

One of the most sought-after natural alternatives to Botox is cosmetic acupuncture, which has been around for centuries. This technique involves inserting tiny needles into the face to stimulate collagen production and improve the skin’s texture and muscle tone. Many people find cosmetic acupuncture to be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience that leaves their skin looking and feeling more youthful.

Another popular option is Gua Sha, an ancient Chinese ritual that involves using a flat, smooth tool to massage the face and neck. This technique helps to increase circulation, reduce inflammation and improve lymphatic drainage, resulting in firmer, more toned skin.

Of course, there are also plenty of active skincare ingredients that can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Ingredients like retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are all known for their anti-ageing properties and can be found in a variety of skincare products.

Whether you’re looking to try cosmetic acupuncture, Gua Sha, or simply incorporate more natural skincare ingredients into your routine, there are plenty of options available. By choosing natural alternatives to Botox, you can achieve a more youthful appearance while also caring for both your skin, health and the environment.

Health tips during Ramadan

The act of fasting has a long history, spanning over 5,000 years and is practiced in various ways by different religions such as Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Baháʼí and Hinduism. It is widely believed among these faiths, that fasting serves as a powerful means to connect with God and attain spiritual enlightenment.

During the holy month of Ramadan, fasting holds great significance alongside prayer and abstaining from selfish desires. The primary objective is to attain a state of taqwa which involves being constantly aware of God’s presence. By observing strict fasting and engaging in prayer, Muslims aim to strengthen their willpower and self-control, ultimately guarding themselves against evil and striving for self-improvement and heightened spiritual awareness in their daily lives.

Muslims utilise the time they would normally spend eating and drinking during Ramadan, to focus on prayer and achieve the state of taqwa, thereby deepening their spirituality. Beyond Islam, many individuals also utilise this time for self-improvement, meditation, freeing their minds or engaging in activities that promote relaxation.

Following a fast, individuals often report feeling mentally stronger, more grateful and more attuned to their bodies and minds. This sensation is often attributed to the practice of exercising and maintaining self-control. By increasing awareness of their own human needs and denying them during fasting, individuals experience a sense of personal and collective strength and accomplishment. This, in turn, allows them to feel more connected to themselves, their fellow human beings and their Gods while in a fasting state.

The advantages of fasting go beyond just spiritual and mental well-being. Research indicates that fasting offers numerous health benefits and improves physical well-being. Hippocrates, the Father of Western Medicine, recommended fasting as a means to aid the body’s natural recovery process, from illness and disease over 2,500 years ago. This practice is still followed and advised today in Western, Chinese, Alternative and Homeopathic medicine cultures, to enhance mental and physical health.

Scientific studies demonstrate that fasting can have a significant and positive impact on the body, both in specific areas and as a whole. By allowing the body intermittent periods of rest from digestion, it becomes more efficient at burning fat cells, leading to weight loss.

Furthermore, fasting has been found to enhance brain function, by increasing the production of a protein that activates brain stem cells which then convert into new neurons. This process triggers the release of various other chemicals that promote neural health.

The benefits of fasting also extend to our skin, the outermost layer of our body. Fasting helps in clearing the skin by eliminating toxins. When our body is not occupied with periodic digestion throughout the day, it can focus its regenerative energies on other systems, effectively cleansing toxins and regulating organ function throughout the body, including the largest organ, our skin.

There are numerous Muslims who fast, along with followers of various other religions. Nevertheless, fasting is not solely a religious practice and can be embraced by individuals seeking to cultivate mindfulness, allow their body to rejuvenate or for health purposes. Fasting presents a demanding task (which should be approached cautiously), yet exploring this challenge may enhance your mental wellness, spiritual bond and even your skin!

Health tips during Ramadan:

Chicory root powder

Chicory root powder is considered beneficial for several reasons. Firstly, it is rich in inulin, a type of soluble fiber that can promote gut health by acting as a prebiotic. Inulin helps feed the good bacteria in the gut, supporting digestive health and potentially improving overall immune function. Additionally, chicory root powder has been linked to various health benefits, such as improved blood sugar control, better weight management and reduced inflammation. It is also a good source of antioxidants which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Incorporating chicory root powder into your diet, can be a simple way to boost your fiber intake and support your overall well-being.

Low-intensity exercise

Low-intensity exercise during Ramadan can be beneficial for several reasons. Fasting during this holy month can lead to decreased energy levels so engaging in low-intensity exercise like walking, gentle yoga or stretching, can help maintain physical activity, without overly taxing the body. These activities can also help improve circulation, flexibility and overall well-being, during a time when the body may be adjusting to changes in eating and sleeping patterns. Additionally, low-intensity exercise can help prevent muscle loss and maintain metabolism during Ramadan. By incorporating light physical activity into your routine, you can promote muscle maintenance and prevent excessive fatigue. It can also aid in stress relief and mental clarity which are important for overall health and well-being, especially during a period of fasting and spiritual reflection. Overall, low-intensity exercise can be a gentle way to stay active and maintain a sense of balance during Ramadan.


Electrolytes play a crucial role in helping our bodies stay hydrated, by regulating fluid balance. When we sweat or lose fluids through other means, we also lose electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. These minerals are essential for various bodily functions, including maintaining proper hydration levels. Electrolytes help facilitate the absorption of water in the body, ensuring that cells are adequately hydrated. They also help regulate nerve and muscle function, maintain blood pressure and support the balance of acidity and alkalinity in the body. When we consume electrolyte-rich foods or drinks, they can help replenish the electrolytes lost during activities like exercise or hot weather, promoting proper hydration and overall well-being. In situations where dehydration occurs, replenishing electrolytes is essential to restore the body’s balance. By understanding the role of electrolytes in hydration, we can make informed choices to support our bodies, in maintaining optimal fluid balance and overall health.

Vitamin D3

During Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, it is essential to ensure proper nutrition to maintain good health. Vitamin D3 plays a crucial role in supporting overall health, including bone health, immune function and mood regulation. While fasting during Ramadan, it can be challenging to get enough sunlight exposure which is a natural source of vitamin D. Therefore, supplementing with vitamin D3, may be beneficial for individuals who have limited sun exposure during this time. Vitamin D3 supplements can help ensure that you are meeting your daily requirements, especially if you are not able to get sufficient sunlight exposure. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider, before starting any new supplement regimen, to determine the appropriate dosage for your individual needs.

Prioritise quality sleep

Sleep is crucial during Ramadan for several reasons. Fasting during the holy month can disrupt one’s usual eating and sleeping patterns, making it essential to ensure adequate rest. Sufficient sleep helps maintain energy levels throughout the day, allowing individuals to perform their daily activities efficiently, despite abstaining from food and drink. Moreover, good sleep supports overall health and well-being by aiding in the regulation of hormones, immune function and cognitive processes. During Ramadan, it is recommended to prioritise quality sleep, to help the body cope with the physical and mental demands of fasting. Adequate rest can also prevent feelings of fatigue, irritability and difficulty concentrating that may arise from sleep deprivation. By establishing a consistent sleep schedule and creating a relaxing bedtime routine, individuals can optimise their rest during Ramadan and make the most of this spiritually significant time.


The prevailing norm is to function in a state of “performance”, attaining a state of stasis to demonstrate resilience, to become esteemed members of society. In the “yang society” we live in, the valued part of human existence seems to be the “active part” that revolves around achievement, speed and success and if you do not meet up to this standard, this may evoke shame.

However, this approach runs counter to the natural order of things which is evident in the workings of celestial bodies, nature and people. The season of September, marks the onset of autumn, characterised by a “transition of energy” from yang (masculine) to yin (feminine). The natural world begins to descend into the darker days of winter.

Should we neglect to comply with the laws of nature, we may find ourselves in “conflict” with the inherent rhythm of existence, consequently causing turmoil to our state of being.

As we transition into the autumn yin energy, it matures and produces a plentiful harvest. This can be observed within ourselves, as everything comes to fruition and a sense of tranquillity ensues. Loose ends are tied up and there is a discernible reduction in activity. During this phase, there is no urge to expend a substantial amount of energy on projects.

“Healthy productivity” requires “flexibility”. Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching emphasises the power of softness, using water as a metaphor; water is soft and flexible but also has the power to erode the hardest materials like rock and metal. To be like water, we must overcome hardness with flexibility. Adopting a soft approach can lead to long-term success and a peaceful state of mind. Softness is a strength, allowing us to adapt to different circumstances and avoid breaking under pressure.

Promoting a serene nervous system and a grounded presence is not synonymous with idleness and inefficiency. On the contrary, it fosters an environment that allows for opportunities to manifest. Have you ever noticed that when you relentlessly strive for something, it often eludes you? However, when you surrender and embrace the flow, things effortlessly fall into place and align with your life’s purpose. This phenomenon exemplifies the potency of feminine energy. Masculine and feminine energies are interconnected and should be harmoniously integrated to enhance one another’s strengths.

You may be thinking, “well Melissa, if you think that SAD is not just based upon the lack of Vitamin D but reflective of transitional energy shifts, surely, this happens the other way”. You are right, it does. “Yin patterns” of SAD: symptoms tend to lean towards depression, oversleeping, heaviness, overeating and weight gain. “Yang patterns” (spring/summer) of SAD: induce feelings of anxiety, lack of appetite, agitation, insomnia, irritability, anger and violent episodes.


“Ensure your Vitamin D levels are optimal”
Why is Vitamin D good?
Vitamin D is an exceptional mood stabiliser. It’s arguably the most crucial nutrient to maintain optimal levels of in the body all year round, in order to facilitate the production of effective hormones. It plays a pivotal role in the activation of DNA for protein synthesis, across all cell types. An NHS laboratory offers a “blood-spot test”, that can be obtained through the post to assess one’s vitamin D levels. It is important to note that the laboratory does not provide interpretation of the test results or recommend any subsequent actions and additional guidance would be necessary to respond appropriately to the findings. One of the most efficacious methods to enhance the circadian rhythm and promote restful sleep, is through 20 minutes of exposure to morning sunlight.

“Eat healthy”
What sort of foods should we be eating to beat SAD and why/what do they do?
It is highly recommended to consume locally grown and seasonal foods, in order to provide the body with the necessary nutrition, for the specific time of year. It is imperative to select minimally processed and fresh foods to ensure that their vitamins and minerals remain intact. During the autumn season, it is advisable to increase the intake of Vitamin A, by selecting orange and yellow foods such as carrots, butternut squash and pumpkin. These will help to protect the nervous system, boost your immune system, help build strong bones and more… Don’t disrupt blood sugar regulation which can affect mood – opt for complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, lentils and vegetables. Sprouted seeds are an excellent source of enzymes and easily digestible, providing exceptional protein and nutrition. Fermented foods are also highly recommended, as they aid in serotonin production in the gut which is essential for overall health. Medicinal mushrooms such as Coriolus and Lions Mane are known to support cognitive function, while Alpha Lipoic Acid is a natural mood enhancer.

“Keep moving”
What exactly does physical movement do to combat depression?
Engaging in physical activity triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin in the brain which are known to enhance one’s mood. As we transition into autumn, the yin season, practicing Yin Yoga can be particularly beneficial for individuals, experiencing SAD. Yin Yoga is the feminine moon-side of yoga. It encourages a calm nervous system, being grounded and simply “being”. During the yin season, it is important to cultivate patience and connect with our intuitive selves, following what nature is reflecting back to us. Yin Yoga is an introspective, quiet, contemplative and reflective practice that can help alleviate depression, by promoting the flow of stagnant energy through mindful gentle stretching. People that suffer with depression are tightly coiled and therefore stagnant in energy and Yin Yoga promotes the flow of energy once again. It is a practice that fosters alertness without inducing lethargy.

“Acupuncture sessions”
How can acupuncture help SAD?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perceives disease as an imbalance between Yin and Yang. Acupuncture therapy aims to restore equilibrium and enhance the body’s natural healing abilities. TCM offers a comprehensive approach to treating depression by identifying root causes and addressing energetic imbalances. Acupuncture has demonstrated effective in treating pain, hormonal, immunological, neurological disorders and depression by harmonising energy and strengthening organ systems. In TCM, the Kidney system is nourished by the sun. Our Yin seasonal cycles lack sunlight, leading to Kidney stagnation, dampness, coldness and depression. Stagnant Liver Qi can result in frustration and depression.

About author
Melissa Day, Cosmetic Acupuncturist at Niroshini 360
Melissa Day is a seasoned Integrative & Preventative Medicine Practitioner professional, specialising in microsystems acupuncture, based upon Traditional Chinese Medicine. With 17 years of experience in the Health, Wellness and Mental Health Industry, her purpose is to empower others, to understand their own journey of self-discovery, bridging the gap between their psychological and spiritual growth, to obtain optimum health and well-being.

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