What are Some Alternative Treatments for Depression?

Depression affects more than just your mental health; its causes, symptoms and solutions involve all parts of your being: your mind, body, soul and spirit. While mainstream medicine offers a one-dimensional answer to treating its symptoms, alternative depression treatment methods employ insightful approaches to addressing depressive energy in all the areas in which it dwells. Let’s take a look at a couple: 

Bodywork for Depression

The term “bodywork” is used to describe an array of therapies that use touch as a vehicle for healing. This can include craniosacral therapy, reflexology, acupressure and different kinds of massage, and can range from very gentle to quite intense.  

Bodywork is a proven-effective treatment method for depression. One recent study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that participants who received massage therapy experienced significantly reduced depression symptoms as a result. Some researchers believe this is also linked to the ability of massage to reduce inflammation, which is also linked to depression. Bodywork is also known to reduce pain, release emotional trauma and improve mental and physical wellbeing. 

Pranayama: Reducing Depression Through Breath Awareness

Yogis have understood the benefits of pranayama (controlled breathing) for millennia, but recent studies have shed new light on this in the Western world. One study by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that yogic breathing alone helps alleviate major depression, a major breakthrough for those with medication-resistant symptoms. 

Says its author Dr. Anup Sharma, “With such a large portion of patients who do not fully respond to antidepressants, it’s important we find new avenues that work best for each person to beat their depression. Here, we have a promising, lower-cost therapy that could potentially serve as an effective, non-drug approach for patients battling this disease.” While all forms of therapeutic breathing hold powerful benefits for the body and mind, the study specifically looked at ujjayi breath and the “coherent breathing” used in Iyengar Yoga.

These highly developed (but simple to practice) breathing techniques work by reducing stress hormones and calming the central nervous system. Breath awareness is also a central component of mindfulness meditation. 

Move Past Your Depressive State and Into Your Full Presence 

Depression is an important experience, and the journey to overcome it can lead you to deeply healing self-discoveries. We here at The Sanctuary are prepared to guide and support you through this process, using a personalized combination of alternative therapies like bodywork, breathwork, Native ceremony and more. 

Learn more about holistic depression treatment methods in our article: 3 Alternative Treatments for Depression.

To find out how we can help you connect with your true happiness, call us at (877) 710-3385 or email us at info@sanctuary.net today.