Alternative Therapies for Depression. You Bet

Depression is in large part a biological disorder, influenced by the stresses we experience in life. While I am a believer in medicine and therapy, there are times when medicine doesn’t work or isn’t appropriate and therapy alone doesn’t do enough. There are also times when medication and therapy can use a little help. It is at these times that alternative therapies should be considered.

To Americans (of which I am one), alternative therapies are approaches or techniques that fall outside the realm of Western medicine. Some of these therapies have been used for centuries in the East (think China and surrounding areas). Others are relatively new. They include approaches such as the taking of vitamins and supplements, herbal remedies, acupressure, acupuncture, massage, reiki, relaxation techniques (including meditation), yoga, aromatherapy, and more.

While I am relatively sure there is benefit to all of these, I most commonly suggest

Twenty first century living, particularly in America, is stressful. Our priorities often are skewed. We forget that family should come before work and that siestas have a purpose. We leave for work at dawn and don’t get home til dusk or dark. Family meals are sacrificed to the god of work. We rush our food, ignoring that true dining means lingering over a meal. We skimp on vacations in order to redo our kitchens, then forget that a kitchen is meant to be a home’s hub, a place to cook and to gather. We eat our food fast and from fast food places. We forget that wine is not a means to an end but a drink to be enjoyed. We light candles on holidays and forget to light them the other three hundred and fifty five days a year. Television takes the place of daydreaming. We trick our olfactory senses with artificial sprays and haven’t a clue what to do with fresh lavender. Walks are a thing of the past. Exercise takes place at the gym. 

Alternative therapies give us back our time and ourselves. They make us slow down. They make us pay attention to our senses. These are very good things. And very necessary.