Alternative Therapies For Depression
There is no evidence that any alternative treatment is
effective for treating moderate to severe depression. For some people,
however, they may be used as an addition to other treatments -- providing
relaxation, relief from depressive symptoms, and helping you cope with some of
the causes of depression such as grief, anxiety, changing roles, and even
physical pain. If you have depression and are considering using an alternative
form of therapy, it is important to seek the advice of your healthcare provider.
What is Alternative Therapy?
A health treatment that
is not classified as standard western medical practice is referred to as
"alternative" or "complementary." Alternative therapy encompasses a variety of
disciplines that include everything from diet and exercise to mental
conditioning and lifestyle changes. Examples of alternative
therapies include acupuncture, guided imagery, chiropractic treatments, yoga,
hypnosis, biofeedback, aromatherapy, relaxation, herbal remedies, massage, and
What Are Some Alternative Therapies Used to Treat Depression?
There are a variety of herbal therapies believed to treat many illnesses. For
depression, St. John's Wort and Ginkgo biloba are the most talked about.
St. John's Wort has been used for medical purposes
in other parts of the world for thousands of years, despite the fact that it
hasn't been scientifically proven to treat moderate to severe depression.
- Ginkgo biloba is thought to improve memory and other intellectual
functions, although the evidence is conflictual.
Any herbal supplement requires caution and should be taken only after
consulting your doctor. Your doctor can help you weigh the risks and potential
benefits so you can make an informed decision.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of healing that prevents and cures
specific diseases and conditions by sticking very fine, solid needles into
specific points on the body. It stimulates the body's ability to resist or
overcome illnesses and conditions by correcting imbalances. Acupuncture also
prompts the body to produce chemicals that decrease or eliminate painful
Acupuncture is most effective at treating long-term pain, such as headaches,
menstrual cramps, and
low back, neck, or muscle pain. It can also be used to
treat arthritis, facial pain, pain from shingles, spastic colon, colitis,
obesity, and addictions to nicotine or other drugs.
This is a technique in which a therapist applies pressure
to specific points on the hands and feet. Reflexologists believe that the body
has the capacity to heal itself. There are nerves in the hands and feet related
to various parts of the body, and by manipulating these points through
reflexology, it is thought that the healing process is stimulated.
Different forms of exercise can lower your stress, relax you, reduce
depression and increase your energy, balance, and
flexibility. In general, exercise is a safe, effective, and easy way to improve
your well-being; but, always check with your doctor before starting a new
Meditation is sometimes described as an altered state of consciousness. It is
a form of relaxation that, unlike sleep, is entered into
purposely. Meditation is usually practiced regularly -- for at least 10 minutes
each day. While the body is at rest, the mind is cleared by focusing on one thought, sometimes a
word, phrase, or particular scenery.