When it comes to supporting your mental health, many people think therapy and medication are their only options. While medication and traditional talk therapy can be helpful for many patients, they’re certainly not the only solution out there.
Often the best approach to improving mental health is a holistic one that includes alternative health and wellness strategies, alongside conventional treatment or on their own. Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga, colonics, and mind-body techniques are all useful tools for boosting mental health.
Whether you’re experiencing mild depression and anxiety, or you’re looking for ways to cope with chronic stress, here’s how alternative health and wellness can help.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) are often used for physical ailments and pain relief, but many people don’t think of them for boosting mental health. These ancient healing philosophies recognize that mental and physical health are intertwined, meaning that depression, stress, and other negative emotions can affect your overall well being.
When you see an acupuncturist, the treatment involves the insertion of ultra-thin needles into specific acupuncture points throughout the body. Each of these points corresponds to different organ systems. This process triggers the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killers and mood boosters. TCM philosophy also says that activating these points releases blockages and imbalances in the organs.
A qualified acupuncturist will often include several aspects of TCM into an individual treatment plan for mental health and overall wellness. The plan may include diet and lifestyle changes, soothing music, aromatherapy, Chinese herbs, and massage or bodywork. The entire TCM experience is relaxing and mood-boosting.
Yoga is more than just a wonderful form of low-impact exercise. It’s great for boosting mental health, reducing anxiety, and improving focus. It also promotes an overall sense of calmness and improves sleep.
Research demonstrates that yoga calms the central nervous system and slows the body’s natural stress response. With regular practice, you’ll feel less anxious and more relaxed. For many practitioners, yoga also builds self-confidence and trust as you become more in tune with your body and mind.
So much of our health and wellness begins with a healthy gut, and that includes our mental health. Colonics hydrotherapy is a centuries-old technique that improves digestion, rebalances the gut, and clears waste and toxins from the body.
Rahav Wellness NYC’s colonic experts explain how a treatment can help to regulate moods and emotions, while also boosting energy and relieving the chronic pain and headaches that often accompany depression. While this is certainly a more unique suggestion, many patients have experienced relief even after just one appointment.
Practicing mindfulness is a simple lifestyle change that you can use every day to boost your mental health. Research shows that it’s very effective for combating daily stress, anxiety, and depression. So, how do you do it? Practicing mindfulness is actually much easier than you might think.
Mindfulness is all about having an attitude of openness and acceptance and living in the present moment. The idea is to be observant of your negative perceptions, self-talk, and emotions. Before they take root, find ways to accept and deal with them in a positive way.
If you want to give it a try, the next time you feel your negative thoughts and stress taking over, slow down and center yourself. Pay attention to your thoughts, take a deep breath, and be accepting and open to the possibilities before going forward.
Practicing mindfulness is a bit like stopping a train before it gets out of control. Other mindfulness techniques to try include guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, prayer, and meditation. They’re all excellent for boosting mental health and calming the mind and body.
Biofeedback is a mind-body therapy that focuses on the body’s physical reactions to things like anxiety, stress, trauma, and certain health issues. Its purpose is to teach you how to understand and control the body’s physiological symptoms.
This technique uses visual or auditory feedback to gain control to take control of involuntary body responses, such as pain perception, heart rate, muscle tension, or blood pressure. Biofeedback is an effective technique for those suffering from ADHD, PTSD, chronic pain, and an inability to focus due to stress and anxiety.
If you’re looking for a healthy way to improve your self-control, cognitive function, and memory, you might want to try guided meditation. It’s also an excellent way to relieve stress. You can practice it anywhere, from your office to your local park.
Sessions can last as long as an hour, or be as short as five minutes, and much like yoga, guided meditation triggers the release of oxytocin, the “happy hormone,” so it’s a great way to boost your mental health and moods naturally.
Tai chi is sometimes called “meditation in motion.” The ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi combines slow-motion exercises and easy to follow movements with deep breathing. It’s a wonderful way to support overall mental health because it reduces anxiety and depression while boosting the mood. As an added bonus, it’s also an excellent form of low impact exercise so it supports your physical health too.
Reiki is an alternative health and wellness therapy that’s gaining popularity in a variety of settings, from hospice and hospitals to private practice. This healing touch therapy is useful for relieving stress, anxiety, and depression. It’s also helpful for chronic pain, which can go hand in hand with mental health issues. Reiki uses spiritually guided life force energy to provide calmness and healing for a variety of mental and physical health issues.
Wrapping it Up
Alternative health and wellness therapies are useful and effective tools for boosting your mental health naturally. Supporting your mental health is important every day, so consider incorporating some of these techniques into your daily or weekly wellness routine. It’s all part of making positive changes in your life, which is something everyone can benefit from!