About 19 million American adults suffer from depression and most find their current treatment options ineffective along with a slew of unwanted side effects. According to Reuters Health, a new study suggests that people suffering from depression can receive the same benefits from acupuncture that they would from counseling to help their depression. The study looked at 755 people with depression and found that one in three people who received acupuncture or counseling did not have depression after three months, whereas people who were not receiving either treatment had a lesser chance of eliminating their depression.
Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that electroacupuncture was just as effective as the antidepressant Prozac in reducing depression symptoms.
Acupuncture is a safe alternative to prescription medications such as antidepressants and just as effective, if not more. Acupuncture works by focusing on different points of the body to bring the body back to its natural energy flow and balance. Acupuncture points can help stimulate the body’s production of endorphins and aid the release of serotonin and dopamine, which can increase one’s mood.
Depression is not something that is easy to deal with, nor is it something you have to go through alone. Know your alternative treatment options and begin the road to better health, for the mind and body.
Alternative Treatments and Ways to Naturally Reduce Depression
In addition to acupuncture, there are alternative treatments that have been proven effective without harmful side effects.
- Massage Therapy. Massage therapy is not just beneficial for your body physically, but mentally as well. Massage is a safe technique that has been used for thousands of years that can help calm and relax the mind. By relieving muscle tension and increasing blood flow, the body’s heart rate can lower and promote stress relief. When one is less stressed, depression can be improved. For those suffering with depression, seeing a massage therapist regularly can help increase mood and decrease feelings of sadness and anxiety.
- Yoga & Meditation. When practiced regularly, yoga and meditation have a profound effect on decreasing stress and boosting mood. Through deep breathing and poses, these practices help focus and clear the head and lower heart rate, which in turn can decrease stress levels and put thoughts and mood in a better place.
Below are steps you can also take to help get you back on a road to a healthier mind and body.
Taking a daily fish oil supplement can do more good than you think. It is believed that being deficient in omega-3s can cause mood swings and depression. Omega-3s are found in fish like salmon, tuna and herring and are not only good for your overall physical health but your mental health as well.
Meditation has been proven to have many benefits. Not only does it bring the heart rate down, calm the mind and reduce stress, but it can also bring the mind to a healthier place. Two studies have found that those who practice meditation have a lower rate of relapsing than those who take medication alone.
Spending time outdoors and in the sun can have great effects on your mood. When one doesn’t get enough sunlight, it can strongly affect how you feel and is one of the main causes of seasonal affective disorder. Try spending even just 15 to 30 minutes outside every day whether it is walking, gardening or just simply sitting outside.
There is nothing better than the natural high you get after a good workout. Exercise, whether it is running, swimming or yoga, releases endorphins that can give you a mood boost. Try spending 30 minutes a day doing some sort of exercise. One study found that patients who worked out regularly saw a decrease in their symptoms of depression by half in 12 weeks. Not only does exercise improve your body physically, but mentally as well.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
People suffering with depression often consume damaging substances like alcohol and drugs to help mask their symptoms. It is recommended that those with depression should not have more than a drink on occasion. Alcohol and drugs affect brain chemistry and can later intensify your mood for the worse.
Take a break
Depression can often worsen when you are feeling stressed and overworked. Try to take some time off to relax. If it isn’t possible to take vacation time, try to fit in at least an hour a day of relaxation time. Whether it’s meditating, reading or closing your eyes for a bit, take some time for deep breaths and a way to shut off from the rest of the world.
The information provided on this site is for reference only and should not be taken as medical recommendations or professional guidance.Share this Blog