There could be any number of reasons why you might seek out one of these complementary and alternative treatments for mental health recovery, but the main reason people will seek them out is to stay off medication. While I really do think most people need to see these treatments as supportive of their medication and ongoing therapy rather than a substitute they are all worth trying until you find one you like…
While this was once a form of Chinese medicine only it is now widely accepted as a worldwide treatment for poor mental health. This form of treatment will often go hand in hand with various Chinese medicines, but there are some Acupuncture centres that won’t try and push those medicines if you don’t want them.
What I like most about Aromatherapy is that you can do it at home and you can even experiment with the various aromas until you find one that helps you stay calm. It can also be used at work in the form of a small tissue or other material soaked in some aroma compounds. While this is obviously one of the most disputed alternative treatments it is one of the safest.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
This type of traditional medicine has been used in Chinese medical practice for mental health problems for thousands of years, but only in the last few decades has it started to be accepted as a real alternative to modern medicines and treatments. Once again I will remind you that this and the other treatments on this list should not be used as an alternative straight away, just as a complementary form of treatment.
Medical treatments have come a long way since herbalism was widely accepted, but it still has real-world results that some people swear by. This is not something that you should jump both feet into nor is it something you should try if you are not open for alternative medicins. But it is something to try as a companion treatment. The key thing with Herbal medicine is to start small and work your way up to stronger amounts and also note any side reactions to the treatments no matter how small.
Homoeopathy is not something that works well with mental health issues as the “like cures like” method can cause severe reactions and even make matters worse. But having said that some people still say it works for them. This is something that requires a lot of belief, but might be something to try if all else has failed.
You might not think of Massage therapy when it comes to your mental health, but it can help both your mental and physical wellbeing. It can help you relax and by getting rid of the smallest aches and pains you will feel better in yourself. This is more for people just starting to feel the signs of depression and anxiety rather than those who are already receiving treatment and medication for it.
While not as old as traditional Chinese medicine this traditional Indian medicine is still used by a lot of people who swear by it. Once again, this is something to consider as a complement to your current treatments for mental health and not as an alternative. But I will say Ayurvedic medicine is something that is aimed around the mind and spirit of a person, rather than just what is going on inside the body.
This is something that is used in most therapy treatments and wellness awareness therapy. It has been proven to help people gain control of their minds and it is something most people should at least try. Just be aware that meditation is not just sat cross-legged on the floor going hhhuuummmmm. It can take the form of many things including relaxing in an armchair listening to e-books or meditation podcasts. For me, this is something that has worked well and I can highly suggest others at least give it a go.
You don’t need me to tell you that there is a large amount of scepticism when it comes to energy healing, but there are still people who claim that it has cured their depression and other mental health problems. While I also think there is a large amount of self-belief needed to make this work it is still something that could be worth a go. Sadly, health insurance rarely covers it so you will have to go private.
This is not going to be for everything, especially those with physical problems, but the slower, more meditative tones of Yoga are something that can help with poor mental health and it is something a lot of people turn to as a side therapy to seeing their own counsellor and doctor. It is also something my own doctor suggested! But it is not something I could try due to back issues.