Alternative therapies used to treat Depression

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Whenever you decide to try different methods please keep in mind that patience is important. It may be that a combination of things helps you in particular, while someone else may be happier with a different combination. Always discuss anything you try with your doctor. Especially when you try using herbal and other supplements because there are many that could interfere with medications you may be taking.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese method that uses thin needles to pierce the surface of the skin and stimulate meridians to balance energy. A trained acupuncturist will first perform an assessment much like an intake and note down symptoms you may talk about and goals you may want to achieve. They may prescribe a number of sessions for your situation, these sessions can be anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the meridian points combination the therapist chooses to treat. There are countless testimonials on how acupuncture has helped. It is important that you find a therapist that is licensed and has the education to back up their practice.

Herbal supplements

This is a tricky territory as there are hundreds of herbal supplements out there. Saint John’s Wort is an example. However, always and always and always tell your doctor about it as herbal supplements may contain ingredients or substances that interfere with medications and can reduce the effect of the medications or they can interact in such a way that they cause harmful effects and symptoms. Never take supplements without checking in with your doctor first.
Here are some other examples: turmeric, kava, chamomile, lavender, multivitamins, vitamin B12, vitamin D.

Exercise

This is a no brainer. Exercise is good for anyone. When you succeed introducing some kind of moderate exercise in your daily routine for 30 minutes daily, the benefits will be there most guaranteed. The science behind it is that all your body functions improve. Breathing, blood circulation, metabolism and hormone balance all benefit from exercise. What is so great about exercise is that you can do it anywhere at any time at no cost. It doesn’t have to be in a gym with paid membership and it doesn’t have to be a complicated method. Running or jogging, yard work or house work, dancing, stretching and flexing, playing tag with your kids, are all considered exercise. The golden key is that you move your body more than you would do normally. Walking outside for 30 minutes will do as well. Depending on your body and health you may be able to do light exercise or moderate exercise. Any exercise is good!

Mindfulness meditation

This meditation is meant to direct your thoughts and attention on what is happening in the very moment. This is not about action, it is about shifting your focus. Shifting your focus and paying attention to sensations changes your state of mind in subtle ways so that symptoms of depression gradually go to the background. One of the main meditations used in mindfulness is the ‘body scan’. What you do is basically bring your focus to your body systematically going from top to toe and notice how each place feels. You can direct your breathing to relax your muscles. When done all the way a body scan may take you anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour. There are many free mindfulness body scan meditations available.

Light therapy

Light has an effect on the mood and has the capacity to change the physiology in your body. A great example is that of the vitamin D that literally needs sun light to be produced in adequate amounts in the body. When there is not enough sun light, vitamin D may not be available in your body in the right amounts which then has consequences for other vitamins and hormones in the body. I spoke about homeostasis, or balance, in a previous post. One vitamin deficiency can have effects on many processes in the body and the symptoms are never good when something is out of balance.

There is a lot more to be said on alternative therapies, this is just a short introduction. In other posts I will elaborate more on each of them.

To start you off, think in simple terms. Often the best ‘medicine’ is simple: water, good food, rest, sunshine, fresh air, and the love of people around us, are the best!

With love, In light, For Peace,

Yours truly,
FreedomChild

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