Anxiety and Depression – Holistic Alternative Therapies and Treatments

holistic methods for depression

Over time, antidepressants have been used as the first choice of treatment for the management of anxiety, depression and other related conditions. However, alternative and complementary therapies can be more effective than antidepressants in the long run. These alternative therapies are an embodiment of practices and procedures that include everything from exercise and diet to mental conditioning and the application of certain lifestyle changes.
What is An Alternative Therapy?
An alternative therapy encompasses a variety of practices and disciplines not classified as standard Western medical practice. Examples of alternative anti-depression therapies include herbal supplements, vitamins, yoga, meditation, exercise, and aromatherapy.
Holistic alternative therapies are effective for the treatment of depression and anxiety.
• Herbal Supplements
Herbal remedies are an effective anti-depressant treatment. However, it would be ideal to discuss with your doctor before settling for any herbal supplement, as some interact with medications.  St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba are two of the most common herbal therapies used for the treatment of depression. St. John’s wort has been used in many parts of the world, and it has been scientifically proven to treat moderate to severe depression. Ginkgo biloba, on the other hand, is thought to improve intellectual functioning.
• Vitamins
While long-term studies are still ongoing, vitamins like B-complex, which have proven to be crucial to the production and regulation of neurotransmitters, have been connected to depression. B-vitamin deficiency has been linked with disorders such as anxiety and depression. The intake of these nutrients may help uplift a person’s mood and eliminate depression and related disorders.
• Meditation
Often described as an altered state of consciousness, meditation is a form of relaxation – a state that is entered into voluntarily. Meditation can be practiced for a few minutes daily, helping to clear the mind by refocusing it on one thought – a process that helps to ease depression and its symptoms.
• Yoga
Even in your depressed state, yoga meets you at the right point. Practicing yoga helps you apply specific breathing techniques and body poses that can energize you when you feel down or calm you at times when you are feeling anxious. Your breath acts as a link between your body and mind. By changing your breath, your mental and physical health can improve. The body poses and movements can teach you how to apply your body in such a way that you feel stronger and better able to breathe and function, creating an improved sense of health and wellness.
• Exercise
There are a variety of exercises that can help reduce stress, lower depression, and improve your balance, energy level, flexibility, and relaxation. Exercise is generally a safe and easy way to improve your health, fitness, and well-being. However, it would be ideal to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise program so you are sure of what works best for you.
• Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy involves the use of organic compounds, called essential oils, to improve the mental state, mood, and overall health of an individual. These essential oils can be applied during massage, dissolved in a bath, or diffused into the air. Aromatherapy, along with other combinations, can be used as part of a treatment plan for depression as it helps to relieve stress and boost a person’s mood.
• Acupressure
Acupressure – a type of massage which involves the use of thumbs, fingers, and palms or special devices like needles to apply pressure to different points (acupoints) on the body – is a great and effective way to manage anxiety and depression. Over time, this practice has worked its way into Western medicine, becoming a staple in complementary medical care.  There is good reason for this. Acupressure helps to eliminate blockages, restoring energy flow and ensuring balance for the mind and body.
While anti-depressants have sometimes proven to be effective in managing depression, their long-term effects on an individual have constantly raised concerns. Alternative or complementary therapies, on the other hand, do not only eliminate depression and related disorders, but they do not come along with any side effects that could compromise your health.  They also do not alter the natural processes of the neurotransmitters in your brain and are much safer alternatives.

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