Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Natural Treatment Options for Depression

Depression is a serious ailment that 19 million Americans are currently
experiencing. Many people have turned to antidepressants to treat their
symptoms. While there are certainly many success stories regarding
these medications, many people have not found them to be helpful. This
is because the medication had no apparent effect, made the person
emotionally flat, or caused various side effects that did not make it worth
pursuing any further. Unfortunately, there are probably millions of
Americans who feel enslaved by their depression, convinced there is no
way out.

People have suffered from depression throughout human
history. Before we had pharmaceutical companies offering various
drugs to help us cope, our ancestors used natural methods such as
plants, food, meditation, and yoga to cure their mental imbalances. This
was done for many centuries, which attests to the effectiveness of
natural methods. Below is an overview of a few natural treatment
options for depression that can offer hope to those who are caught in its

  • Acupuncture: Practiced for over 2,500 years in various Asian
    cultures, acupuncture has made its way West where it is soaring in
    popularity. This safe and powerful system has been shown to boost
    serotonin levels and release endorphins. 5 Element acupuncture offers
    profound support for healing depression. I recommend getting one
    treatment a week for several weeks.

  • Chinese Herbs: There are a variety of herbal formulas that can have
    a positive effect on the mind. Many of these formulas tonify one's Qi, or
    vital energy, to create more vitality and spirit.

  • Meditation: I recommend using mindfulness meditation, which has
    been practiced for thousands of years, on a daily basis for several
    weeks. This practice cuts through the judging mind and creates space
    from depression. If you need help with starting a practice, I recommend
    my guided CD, Meditation: Mindfulness Practice for Beginners. Go to

  • Yoga: Another ancient practice that is a virtual panacea for all stress
    related complaints. Yoga can have a profound impact on one's state of

  • Exercise: Get 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of cardiovascular
    exercise. This has been proven to boost serotonin and norepinephrine

  • Eat well: Give up refined sugar and caffeine, drink a lot of water, and
    eat mostly whole foods such as fish, fruits and vegetables.

  • Supplement your diet: Take 3,000 mg of fish oil a day and consider
    taking 150mg of 5HTP a day. Fish oil contains essential fatty acids
    which are usually deficient in depressed people. 5HTP is a natural
    precursor to serotonin and can have many of the same benefits as
    antidepressants without the side effects. Do not combine 5 HTP with
  • Indeed, there are numerous alternative strategies for treating
    depression that are safe, balanced, and have stood the test of time.
    These therapies should only enhance your overall health and wellbeing
    without creating unwanted side effects that weaken certain systems of
    the body. If you follow even one or two of these guidelines for a period of
    2 months, you will most likely feel lighter, more optimistic, and more in
    control of your life. Good luck!

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