5 Evidence-Based Holistic Approaches To Depression Treatment

Depression affects millions of people in the U.S. and most treatments involve a combination of medications and talk therapy. Often these treatments address one component of the overall health. However, treating both emotional and physical health is equally important to the healing process.

Research shows that combining both pharmaceutical and behavioral depression treatments is more effective than just one or the other by 60-70%. The following treatments are integrative, holistic approaches that are evidence-based for the effective treatment of depression.

Exercise. Exercise has been scientifically proven to boost mood, regulate emotions, and improve cognitive function. Additionally, exercise enhances a person’s self-confidence and promotes social interaction with others. One study showed that moderate aerobic activity three times per week alleviated the symptoms of depression as well as an antidepressant.

Massage. Massage has been shown to alleviate depressive symptoms by releasing serotonin and dopamine. Research has shown that massage decreases cortisol levels, improves mood, and promotes relaxation. It releases the tension and stress that have accumulated in the body and brings about a better mind-body connection.

Meditation, Yoga & Mindfulness. Meditation is the practice of mindfulness; it teaches you about controlling your breath and living in the moment. It teaches you to be mindful of your thoughts, and to be non-judgmental, which helps alleviate anxious thoughts. It produces physiological and chemical effects, such as decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels. Yoga is an age-old practice that focuses on employing mindfulness while utilizing physical movements to stretch the body. In a randomized study including 38 adults with depressio, researchers found that an eight-week Hatha yoga practice reduced depression measurably.

Art Therapy. Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses art to express, communicate, and convey feelings. Using creativity to convey emotions, the patient can paint, draw or use art in ways that achieve personal and treatment-related goals. Sometimes feelings can’t be conveyed with words, and art can be a therapeutic way to learn and manage those feelings in a positive way.

Acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice where needles are inserted in specific points of the skin. The stimulation of these points increases the release of chemicals like endorphins, which are naturally-produced pain reducers, in the body and mind. A randomized study looked at the impact of a 12-week acupuncture regimen on the quality of life of patients with depression. The study found that those who did acupuncture had significant improvements, including improved energy, better social and emotional function, and mental health.

These integrative approaches, in combination with traditional antidepressants or ketamine infusions, can make a huge impact on a patient’s quality of life. If antidepressants aren’t working, ketamine infusions have been known to alleviate symptoms in just 1-2 infusions. Ketamine infusions help 70% of patients hit the reset button and begin living with happiness once again. Find out if ketamine for depression is the right solution for you or a loved one. Request your free consultation today.