If you are feeling down for an extended period of time, it is important to seek professional help. If diagnosed by a medical doctor with depression, you may like to complement their recommended treatment with any of the natural healing alternatives available to you.
What is Depression?
Depression, sometimes referred to as clinical depression, is a mental illness that entails an overwhelming sense of sadness, loss and hopelessness. Bouts of the condition may span from weeks to years, and may sometimes cause the sufferer to despair so greatly they no longer want to live.
Depression is generally caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and may be triggered by a specific physical or emotional trauma. Symptoms include:
- Feelings of sadness, moodiness, hopelessness, loss of control, numbness, anxiety and guilt.
- Being able to enjoy activities that are normally enjoyed.
- Being overly self-critical.
- Withdrawing from friends and family.
- Thoughts of suicide and the inability to cope.
- Poor memory and concentration levels.
- Excessive crying.
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs.
- Changes in appetite.
- Changes in sleep patterns, including insomnia, sleepiness and waking up in the middle of the night.
- Feeling physically unwell.
- Headaches and stomach aches.
- Loss of libido.
Natural Depression Treatments
There are many natural depression treatments which can assist with managing depression and can complement recommended treatments from your doctor.
- Depression and counselling: A professional counsellor uses a number of discussion techniques to help the depressed individual resolve their feelings and understand how they came to be depressed in the first place. A good counsellor will give their patient hope, increase feelings of self-esteem and awareness, and acts as the ideal supervisor ensuring their depressed client doesn’t do anything with life threatening consequences.
- Depression and acupuncture: Aims to heal the body and mind through the use of needles placed on certain acupressure points on the skin around the body. This aims to unblock any negative energy flow that may be manifesting in the body as depression.
- Depression and yoga: Aims to tame the bodies stress response and rebalance all neural biochemicals (that when deficient may cause depression) through a series of breathing exercises, postures (Asanas), breathing exercises and meditation techniques.
- Depression and psychotherapy: Best suited to those who have had long-standing problems with their depression. It is a discussion-based therapy in which the patient is encouraged to analyse their own patterns and behavior, make their own personal observations and identify past, present and potential problematic situations.
- Depression and spiritual healing: A spiritual healer uses their hands to channel a higher source energy (also known as Prana, Chi or Light) from themselves to their clients who require it. Different spiritual healing modalities may include Energetic Healing, Clairvoyancy, Vibrational Healing, Polarity Therapy, Chakra Clearing, Reiki and Pranic healing.
- Depression and breathwork: A Breathwork practitioner aims to relieve symptoms of depression by guiding their client to use certain breathing techniques that allow the body to release long-held physical, mental and emotional tensions.
- Depression and life coaching: A life coach is able to help a depressed person identify factors that may be contributing to their depression, and helps develop a plan for happiness, well being and an overall improved quality of life.
- Depression and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP): A technique that aims to heal depression by teaching the individual how to think and store information differently. It helps eliminate negative thought patterns and heals self-sabotaging habits that may be hindering the healing process.
- Depression and meditation: assists those with depression by quietening down the mind, preventing a further over-identification with any negative stream of thinking that may cause feelings of depression to arise.
- Depression and nutrition: Those with depression are often found deficient in many essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. These individuals are also likely to have irregular eating patterns and an affected appetite, making a good diet all the more important.
- Depression and reflexology: A complementary therapy whose principles are based on the reflexive action of organs, tissues, glands and other body parts. When these points are stimulated, a response from the nervous system is created which results in the relief of symptoms of depression.
- Depression and kinesiology: Kinesiology is the ideal alternative therapy that empowers an individual in overcoming their depression by transforming the negative energy surrounding it. It is a practice that identifies the cause of depression, whilst at the same time diffusing any negative energy and implementing positive strategies to overcome it.
- Depression and massage: Massage therapy is one of the oldest treatments in the book when it comes to treating depression. It does so by relieving physical and emotional stress in the body, leaving the person feeling healthier and more confident in their ability to cope.