Holistic Treatments for Mental Health
Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
The week of May 7-13 is National Mental Health Week, so in honor of that sentiment it seems appropriate to address some of the ways that holistic medicine, either through body work or ND counseling, can be used to treat mental health issues.
As we all know, the health of the mind effects the health of the body, however many mainstream mental health treatments (read: drugs) focus more on treating symptoms rather than their underlying cause. We are a society of pill poppers for sure, and nowhere is that more evident than in the mental health field. However, when dealing with issues such as depression, anxiety, over/under eating, addiction and others, focusing on a whole system approach which emphasizes the importance of the Mind, Body, Spirit connection is the most effective way to achieve true healing.
Relaxation and Clearing of the Mind
One of the most important elements of mental health healing must focus upon getting in touch with one’s mind and the root of many of its ailments: stress. Whether from work, home, family, society or a combination thereof, the stresses of modern life are the chief contributors to many mental health-related issues, especially anxiety and eating disorders like overeating.
Therefore, controlling the stresses in your life and taking time to actively de-stress is an essential element of holistic mental health treatment. This includes activities such as yoga and meditation as well as body treatments such as massage and acupuncture that are designed to relieve physical manifestations of psychic stress and tension. More about meditation in this article.
The Importance of Food
Another really important element of mental health treatment is in treating the physical well-being of the patient. As we constantly stress here, all physical well-being comes back to the fuel used for physical and psychic activities: food. It has long been held by the holistic health community that most, if not all, ailments begin in the gut. Not getting adequate nutrition or allowing your diet to be overrun by so-called convenience foods that are high in salt, fat and calories will weigh your body down literally and figuratively.
Many mental health patients have found that dietary counseling by an ND or holistic dietician can greatly reduce and sometimes eliminate the symptoms of their illness. By paying attention to what goes into your body and your physical reactions to the same, you can begin to regulate your mind as well. This, additionally, can include hormone and blood sugar regulation as well as a host of other issues surrounding food allergies and sensitivities that can affect one’s mental state.
Detoxification of Mind and Spirit
The use of drugs as a solution to mental health issues has overrun our society in the past few decades. As we look for instant cures for what ails us, however, we lose sight of what the real problem is. As human beings, we need to treat our mind and body as one, which means focusing mental health treatment on more than just the symptoms of mental illness. In a sense, we must detoxify both our minds and our bodies in order to achieve balance and restore health. More about detoxing can be found in this article.
If you are feeling stressed or in need of a mental health boost, give us a call to book your massage or acupuncture appointment. in Sherwood Park. (780) 410-1100.
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