Why Can Alternative Medicine Help Depression?
|Saturday, 03 June 2006|
Courtesy of: HomeFamilyGems.com
Depression is a terrible problem that affects almost 16% of Americans. Alternative Healthcare offers new hope for drug-free healing methods for those who suffer from depression.
I hope you find all that you wanted to know about what Alternative Medicine has to offer for Depression in the following page. Take your time to get the most out of this resource and all that it has to offer.
One of the most common uses for alternative medicine is in the management of chronic illness. Many of the alternative medical systems work hand in hand with conventional treatments for illnesses like cancer, heart disease, asthma, arthritis and diabetes. Most of the chronic conditions are considered incurable, and treatment is aimed at slowing the progress of the disease and alleviating symptoms.
In addition, there is considerable evidence that psychological conditions may respond as well if not better to some alternative treatments than to conventional medicine. Depression is a serious condition that affects about 17 million Americans each year. The symptoms may be fleeting and mild, or they may be debilitating and interfere with daily functioning.
Alternative therapies used with depression include lifestyle and dietary changes that may prevent depression. Regular exercise and a balanced diet may be instrumental in helping to maintain mental health.
+ Nutritional Based Therapy
A number of nutrients and supplements have been used to treat depression with some success. The most effective of these is folate. Research shows that 15%-38% of people suffering from depression show reduced levels of folate, though it''s uncertain if it''s a cause or an effect. In those people, folate supplementation may be helpful.
One of the most surprising and effective nutritional therapies for depression is supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil capsules. In one study at McLean''s Hospital in Massachusetts, the benefits were so clear to the treatment group, that the study was suspended before it ended so that those in the control group could benefit from omega 3 supplementation.
A number of other natural supplements have also been researched for their effect on depression. These include SAMe, 5-HTP, selenium, tryptophan and melatonin. Some people have also had good results with Acetyl-L-Carnitine. Acetyl-L-Carnitine is believed to help increase activity of the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine.
+ Herbal Medicines
Some studies show that St. John''s Wort may be as effective as traditional antidepressant drugs, but have fewer side effects. Other herbs used to treat depression include valerian root, Damiana and ginseng.
There is some preliminary evidence that electroacupuncture may be effective in controlling depression.
Massage and aromatherapy seems to have positive affects on controlling depression. Particular scents that seem to alleviate depression include basil, orange, sandalwood, lemon, jasmine, sage and chamomile.
+ Relaxation and Meditation
Any therapy that encourages relaxation and integration of mind and body may be effective in treating depression. In addition, physical therapy and activity encourage the release of serotonin, the body''s natural antidepressant. Disciplines like yoga, tai chi and qi qong may be especially effective in treating depression.
Depression is a serious medical condition that may be caused by a number of physical illnesses, or accompany them. It''s important that you consult a doctor if you suspect that you or a loved one are suffering from depression.
A proper diagnosis may show that there is more to the condition than the emotions. However, alternative therapies - particularly nutritional ones - may be helpful in dealing with the symptoms of depression.
Now that you have come to the end of this article about Alternative Healthcare and Depression, I hope it''s given you new information you can use. Remember, taking action is the key to benefiting from what you''ve learned about Alternative Healthcare and Depression.
As always, be sure to tell your doctor of any nutritional supplements or herbal medicines that you are taking to avoid drug interactions.
Alternative Medicine and Depression Information Courtesy of: HomeFamilyGems.com
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 June 2006 )|