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Michael Hetherington

Michael Hetherington

Melbourne, Australia

Michael Hetherington (BHlthSci) is an author, speaker, yoga instructor, martial artist, and a teacher of traditional Oriental medicine who has over 15 years experience in the field.

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About the author

Michael Hetherington (BHlthSci, TCM, Yoga) is an author, yoga instructor, martial artist, and a teacher of traditional Oriental medicine. He was a lecturer in Traditional Chinese medicine and massage therapy at the Institute of Applied Sciences in Brisbane, Australia in 2014 and he has also written and published over ten books on subjects related to yoga, meditation, motivation, and Oriental medicine, three of which have become best sellers. 

His articles have appeared in the Elephant Journal and he has spoken at the Bali Spirit Festival, the Rainbow Serpent Festival, and many other festivals all over the world on subjects relating to yoga, Oriental medicine, and meditation. 

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Success! Depression Sux has already sold 11 pre-orders , was pitched to 23 publishers , and will be published by Independently Published .

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Michael to host, or take part in as an expert, workshops for people and therapists who are working with depression. (Optional)

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2 x 40min Video Consult & Exclusive Q&A with Michael Hetherington
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(That's 3 Months of Coaching + Training with Michael Hetherington Guaranteed to Clear Mild to Moderate Depression)

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Depression Sux

Understanding & Clearing Depression Using the Principles of Traditional Oriental Medicine

Depression is now at epidemic proportions. Traditional Oriental medicine has a unique and refreshing approach to understanding and treating it. This book brings it to the table.

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Mind & Body Self-help
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It is estimated that at least ten percent of the population in America, Australia, and the United Kingdom are depressed and currently taking medications. It is also now estimated that over two million children in the United States alone, aged between four and fourteen, are taking medications related to depression. If the best of pharmacology, technology, and modern medicine was working, why are the numbers of prescriptions and people being diagnosed continuing to rise?

Medical pharmacology in the field of psychiatry has only been around since the 1960's whereas Traditional Chinese medicine has been around for over 2000 years. This makes Traditional Chinese medicine one of the most field-tested medicines on the planet and because of this, it has a lot to offer in the treatment and understanding mind-body medicine, psychology, and depression.

When I began my formal studies in Chinese medicine, light bulbs started to go off in my mind. While I had experienced depression myself for many years beforehand, it was only from studying the medical texts in Chinese medicine did the early signs and effective treatment of mild to moderate depression start to make sense. Since then, I have been on a quest to test, observe, research, and now share the core message found in Chinese medicine in relation to depression. 

This book has been written to gently guide you through a step-by-step process to help clear your depression, layer by layer.

In this book we explore:
  • The root cause of mild to moderate depression 
  • How our organs influence our psychology
  • How to treat and clear early stages of depression yourself
  • How to eat your way to mental health
  • Practical exercises that can clear depression quickly
  • How to keep depression away for good
  • How our physical, mental and spiritual dimensions interact
  • And much more..

This book brings a new (and old) look into the root causes of mild to moderate depression and how to treat it in a way that is healthy, supportive, and holistic.



Personal story - "The Why"

How to Read This Book

Explains how to get the most from reading the book

From the Complex to the Simple 

Explaining use of terms and that the book is designed for everyday people to be able to read and use it

A New Word for Medicine

Explains the basic terms used in Oriental medicine that we can incorporate into our new approach

Where Does Depression Come From?

  • The history of depression as a mental illness
  • Searching for the chemical imbalance in the brain

How Does Chinese Medicine View Psychology?

Explains the fundamental principles of Oriental medicine psychology

  • organ health
  • the Qi field 
  • the cycle of emotions

The 3 Dimensions of Disease

  1. Physical & Biochemical
  2. Mental & Emotional
  3. Spiritual

We go into how depression can manifest and effect any one of these dimensions


How Can I Treat It?

This is the core practical part of the book as we go into how to work on all 3 dimensions to clear depression. The focus is on empowering the reader to manage, and eventually clear any early signs of depression.

Body Dimension

  • Dynamic movement
  • The heart rate sweet spot
  • Eating yourself to mental health

Mental & Emotional Dimension

  • A breath of fresh air
  • Clearing out the backlog
  • Relationships will evolve or stagnate
  • Sticking to the past
  • Innately creative beings

Spiritual Dimension

  • Perfect as it is
  • Self Inquiry
  • It's not about belief, it's about presence
  • Meditation as activation

Introduction to the Sequence of The Disease

The 5 Elements & Their Relationships

The Mind-Body Energy Clock

How timing is everything and how sleep can help you find your life purpose


Where to From Here?

A list of resources and extra information to provide support if the reader wants to go to the next stage

The Vision of the Future

Creating the best outcome for people and patients

What About?

A place for answering the most frequently asked questions that have come up in public talks and workshops

Conclusion & Summary 

A summary of all the main points highlighted in the book


Young people 16 - 25, male and female 

These young people are experiencing the beginnings of mild to moderate depression and are likely to get "enrolled" and potentially "stuck" in the primary healthcare system. 

Middle age 30 - 50, male and female

These people have had symptoms in the past and are likely to be already diagnosed and on medication. However, they are finding that the current treatment is not providing good results and they are open to new treatments and approaches.


Personal Business Email list - 6000

Udemy email list - 15,000

Facebook friends 

Facebook group connections

Instagram - 900

Blog - 500-750 uniques per month

1. Primary advertising platform will be using Facebook videos, Facebook Ads, and accessing Facebook groups

2. Second advertising platform is through public talks at festivals in Europe and Asia, 2017

3. Third advertising platform will be through email list & Udemy list

4. Forth platform will be through the use of Instagram

Public Talks Coming Up:

Dance for Peace Festival, Bali, 21st September

Quest Festival, Vietnam, 10th October

Past Talks:

Rainbow Serpent Festival, Australia, Jan 

Bali Spirit Festival, Bali, March

Noisily Festival, UK, 6th July

Other Potentials 

Key influencers in my industry to promote via their network.

Group Facebook connections 

Yoga groups 

Massage therapists & natural medicine practitioner groups

Digital nomad groups 

Depression and Mental Illness groups

Facebook live videos - every week to share the progress of the book

Facebook Ad Campaigns

#1 Video & copy to announce campaign 

#2 Video & copy to promote name, give free value & increase biz page follows 


1. The Depression Cure: The Six-Step Programme to Beat Depression Without Drugs by Dr Steve Ilardi

Publisher: Ebury Digital 

Publication Date: July 6, 2010

Based on extensive research with an amazing success rate, The Depression Cure outlines a step-by-step plan for recovery from depression, which focuses on six key lifestyle elements that have largely disappeared in healthy doses from modern life:

- Good book, however main differences are - Generally supports the chemical imbalance in the brain theory and outlines that many of these things work, however they don't know WHY it works.

2. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns M.D.

Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition 

Publication Date: November 20, 2012

The good news is that anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other 'black holes' of depression can be cured without drugs. In Feeling Good, eminent psychiatrist David D. Burns, M.D. outlines the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life.

- Main focus of this book is on C.B.T. (Cognitive Behavoural Therapy)

3. The Emotion Code: How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness by Dr. Bradley Nelson

In The Emotion Code, renowned holistic physician and lecturer Dr. Bradley Nelson skillfully lays bare the inner workings of the subconscious mind. He reveals how emotionally-charged events from your past can still be haunting you in the form of “trapped emotions”; emotional energies that literally inhabit your body.

- Main focus of this book is an energy medicine technique. 

4. Hardcore Self Help: F**k Depression by Robert Duff

Hardcore Self Help: F**k Depression is the follow up to the best-selling F**K Anxiety. In this book I take the information, tips, and insights that I have gained as a psychologist and translate them into language that doesn’t suck. This is the self-help book for people that don’t usually like self-help books.

5. The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time by Alex Korb

Publisher: New Harbinger Publications

Publication Date: March 1, 2015

Depression can feel like a downward spiral, pulling you into a vortex of sadness, fatigue, and apathy. In The Upward Spiral, neuroscientist Alex Korb demystifies the intricate brain processes that cause depression and offers a practical and effective approach to getting better. Based on the latest research in neuroscience, this book provides dozens of straightforward tips you can do every day to rewire your brain and create an upward spiral towards a happier, healthier life.

- Main focus of this book is on neuroplasticity

6. A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives by Keyy Brogan M.D.

Publisher: Harper Wave; 1 edition 

Publication Date: March 15, 2016

Depression is not a disease. It is a symptom.
Recent years have seen a shocking increase in antidepressant use the world over, with 1 in 4 women starting their day with medication. These drugs have steadily become the panacea for everything from grief, irritability, panic attacks, to insomnia, PMS, and stress.  But the truth is, what women really need can’t be found at a pharmacy.

- Main focus of this book is on psyco-pharmacology

7. The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by ark Williams

Publisher: The Guilford Press

Publication Date: February 8, 2012

If you’ve ever struggled with depression, take heart. Mindfulness, a simple yet powerful way of paying attention to your most difficult emotions and life experiences, can help you break the cycle of chronic unhappiness once and for all. In The Mindful Way through Depression, four uniquely qualified experts explain why our usual attempts to “think” our way out of a bad mood or just “snap out of it” lead us deeper into the downward spiral. Through insightful lessons drawn from both Eastern meditative traditions and cognitive therapy, they demonstrate how to sidestep the mental habits that lead to despair, including rumination and self-blame, so you can face life’s challenges with greater resilience. This enhanced e-book includes an audio program of guided meditations narrated by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

- Main focus of this book is on meditation and mindfullness approaches to depression.

8. The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris M.D.

Publisher: Trumpeter; 1 edition

Published: June 3, 2008

Are you, like milllions of Americans, caught in the happiness trap? Russ Harris explains that the way most of us go about trying to find happiness ends up making us miserable, driving the epidemics of stress, anxiety, and depression. This empowering book presents  the insights and techniques of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) a revolutionary new psychotherapy based on cutting-edge research in behavioral psychology. By clarifying your values and developing mindfulness (a technique for living fully in the present moment), ACT helps you escape the happiness trap and find true satisfaction in life. 

- Main focus of this book is on mindfulness techniques

9. Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression by James Gordon M.D.

Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition 

May 26, 2009

Despite the billions spent on prescription anti-depressant drugs and psychotherapy, people everywhere continue to grapple with depression. James Gordon, one of the nation's most respected psychiatrists, now offers a practical and effective way to get unstuck. Drawing on forty years of pioneering work, Unstuck is Gordon's seven-stage program for relief through food and nutritional supplements; Chinese medicine; movement, exercise, and dance; psychotherapy, meditation, and guided imagery; and spiritual practice. The result is a remarkable guide that puts the power to change in the hands of those ready to say "no" to suffering and drugs and "yes" to hope and happiness.

2 publishers interested
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It was warming up to be another scorching day. It was ten in the morning and I was scheduled to give my presentation in an hour. I was in Victoria, Australia at the Rainbow Serpent Festival, a huge five-day trance music festival set amongst the backdrop of the harsh Australian bush land.

I had managed to squeeze in a few hours of sleep the night before. I was feeling a little slow and nervous about taking the stage to talk about depression and how to better understand it using Traditional Oriental medicine. At previous festivals I had given many workshops on subjects from yoga to Chinese medicine, but never had I taken on a topic as controversial as depression. It would be controversial because what I was intending to say would challenge many commonly held beliefs about it.

Fifteen minutes before I went on, I did some Kung Fu leg stretches and some pranayama yogic breathing to help get my nervous system into an optimal state for the presentation. I had some basic notes to guide me, yet I had little idea how it was going to unfold.

The next thing I knew, I had a microphone in my hand and about fifty pairs of eyeballs on me. I began, making an effort to pause and be silent between major sentences to let the information sink in as well as to give me a bit of space to gather my next thoughts.

As my talk continued, I felt a surge of energy come through my system. The next thing I knew, I was standing and walking around the front of the space like I was gathering in and pooling the audience’s attention. Words seemed to just flow out of me. I moved from one subject to the next in smooth succession. I asked people if they had questions, and people began contributing their thoughts and questions into the space. I was on fire.

The crowd swelled into the hundreds as my voice continued to dance its way through the speakers. Then, all of a sudden, my time was up. It was time to hand over the microphone to the next presenter. Over an hour had passed and it felt like I had been speaking for no more than ten minutes. I wrapped up my talk and announced that if anyone wanted to talk with me afterwards, they were welcome to do so. I handed over the microphone, got a big hug from one of the organizers, and sat at the side of the stage to talk with people one by one.

For the next three days, everywhere I went throughout the festival I was greeted with a smile and something like, “Hey, you were that guy who talked the other day about depression. Wow, that was a really awesome talk.” I couldn’t believe it. I was wrapped. Yet, I also knew there was something bigger than myself at play.

When I was talking, it felt like an energy much bigger than me came through me and guided me. I realized that this work, this speaking up and sharing what I had uncovered about depression, was something I needed to continue. With the confirmation of this energetic “presence,” I would be supported if I took the reins on it and worked to refine it and share it with the greater population.

I decided I was up for the task.

As soon as I got back home after the Rainbow Serpent Festival, I emailed the Bali Spirit Festival organizers with a proposal to give a similar talk. That very same day, they returned my email with a resounding “yes.” A few weeks later I was flying to Bali to do it again. That trip to Bali in early 2017 was one of my most transformational experiences, not only in terms of my work with depression (for I knew that I was already being guided and supported in that area), but in terms of many other areas of my life.

The truth is, I have been working on this subject subconsciously for fifteen years. That’s because fifteen years ago I fell into a dark hole which I fortunately came out of to which I credit mainly to Oki-Do yoga. Oki-Do yoga is a yoga practice was developed by Dr. Masahiro Oki which combines Japanese Zen Buddhism, Indian Hatha yoga and Traditional Chinese medicine. By the gift of grace, I came across this yoga style being taught and practiced in Brisbane, Australia to which I fell in love with immediately. This practice set me on a new trajectory. A trajectory that lifted me onwards and upwards towards formal Oriental medicine studies and out of the grips of depression. 

Officially, I have been researching, observing, interviewing people and integrating experiential understandings of this work for the last two years. This book is an attempt to express the full accumulation of these efforts.

Since I have committed myself to continue speaking about, writing, and researching this subject, I have been continuously shocked and motivated by what I have learned. Depression in our population is at epidemic proportions. The current treatment protocols, which center on pharmaceutical treatment, are failing miserably (with only a 20-30% success rate at best, which is around the same success as the placebo effect), yet we continue to rely upon them, mainly due to a lack of more effective options.

The primary aim of this book is to offer a new perspective on the underlying causes of depression and how to treat it in more effective ways. The approach I will be explaining in this book comes primarily from one of the oldest and most field-tested medicines on the planet – Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

While TCM is an old practice compared to Western standards, the fundamentals of the human being – from psychology to physiology and biology – are the same. Another thing to note is that TCM has adapted and evolved throughout the past one to two thousand years. It is not a medicine or philosophy that was “invented” a long time ago and that has remained in the same ever since. No, it has been continuously tried, tested, and added to as human societies changed and evolved. With the invention and adaption of the printing press, more and more physicians, scholars, Qi Gong masters, martial artists, medically orientated monks and herbalists were able to contribute their findings to the overall field of Oriental medicine through the written word.

This book and its underlying philosophy is not limited to TCM, as it has been shaped and contextualized for the modern human living in mostly urban environments. Part of my research includes the work of a medical doctor and physiatrist (and later, spiritual teacher) named Dr. David Hawkins, who at one point, in the 70’ and 80’s, ran the largest psychiatric practice in America. His work is not limited to depression and mental illness, for he touches on all spiritual, psychological and physical ailments with his groundbreaking work into understanding the root of consciousness itself.

It is my hope that this book provides clarity and opportunity. Bringing clarity to one’s understanding of depression can only empower the individual. Part of the problem with the treatment of depression and many diseases is that the individual (and, often, the doctor) lack a holistic understanding of the root cause of the illness. It is not just about bio-chemistry, there is more to it than that. This is one of the main points we will be exploring in much greater detail.

The best thing about utilizing TCM as outlined in this book is that we can become empowered in the process. This is because we can apply these methods and approaches to our daily lives. Not only that, we can understand why and how to do so in a way that works for us.

I would like to make clear that this book and this work focus on “mild” to “moderate” depression, not “severe” depression. This is because severe depression, which is in the vicinity of psychosis, is a much more complicated expression of mental illness that presents a different set of pathologies.  Therefore, we will not be going into any great detail regarding severe depression and psychosis, for it is a field of study that requires another book unto its own.

The most common signs and symptoms of mild to moderate depression include:

-       moodiness

-       lethargy

-       easily irritable, with bouts of anger and frustration

-       lack of motivation

-       feelings of being lost, confused and lacking purpose

-       a tendency to drug and alcohol abuse

-       difficulty waking up in the mornings

-       fast weight gain (not always, but typical)

If you experience any of these signs and symptoms on a fairly consistent basis, this book has been written for you. The good news is that mild to moderate depression is easy to treat when applying and using the information presented throughout this book.

I sincerely hope that you gain some valuable information about and insight into what depression is and how to treat it in a healthy and supportive way that doesn’t require excessive use of medications and repeated trips to the doctor’s office. Depression can be treated in a way that is healthy, supportive, and transformational.

So, let’s get into it. 

  • Update #1 - Depression Book is finished!! Dec. 5, 2017

    Hello beautiful people!

    I've finished the book and it's now available! Yay! 

    I've got it up on Amazon kindle for sale and will be sending out free …

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