There has been an immense rise in awareness regarding mental health and its importance. Numerous studies have been conducted on the causes and treatments for psychological problems. Moreover, the relationship between physical and mental health has also been emphasized.
It is essential to take care of your mental health as it can impact your physical health and vice versa. Most people know about the main treatment methods used for treating mental health issues. These methods primarily include therapeutic interventions and medication. However, there are other unconventional methods called alternative therapies used to treat mental health issues, such as holistic treatment.
What is Holistic Treatment?
The holistic approach focuses on the person’s body, mind, and spirit as a whole to achieve optimal health. Consequently, holistic treatment aims to treat the whole person instead of individual symptoms or a disorder.
This approach believes that all the parts that make up a person are interdependent and a problem in any one of these parts will affect the overall health. A holistic practitioner identifies the problem and its source and suggests the right treatment for you. The treatment plan can include anything from medication to different forms of therapy.
However, it is important to note that holistic treatment is not a definitive way to treat everything. For instance, you cannot leave chemotherapy and choose holistic methods. These methods aid in alleviating symptoms rather than treating illnesses. For example, cancer can have numerous side effects on mental health. Hence, a person undergoing chemotherapy can benefit from holistic methods to treat side effects such as depression, lack of motivation or chronic pains.
Effects of Holistic Treatment on Mental Health
According to the holistic health approach, mental health problems can negatively impact a person’s overall well-being. They can cause problems such as poor appetite, weight loss or gain, headaches, digestive issues, and more. Thus, holistic treatment for mental health identifies psychological distress, its causes, and its side effects. Afterward, a treatment plan is devised that aims to tackle all these problems together.
Holistic treatment can be beneficial for treating psychological disorders in several ways. For instance, it promotes a healthy lifestyle through exercise and a proper diet. It helps the person develop healthy and effective coping skills and is relatively cheaper than other conventional methods.
What are the available options?
Various holistic treatments have been proven to be effective for several mental health problems. Although treatment plans can vary from person to person, they primarily include a combination of different methods. So, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used options.
Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles at strategic points in the body. It is an essential part of Chinese medicine and has long been used to relieve pain. However, acupuncture is also commonly used for stress management.
Several studies have shown the effectiveness of acupuncture for stress management. Moreover, research also suggests that it is beneficial for treating anxiety and depression. However, more research is needed in this area.
Meditation and mindfulness
Simply defined, mindfulness means to be fully present. It means being aware of where we are, what we are doing, and acknowledging our surroundings. Moreover, it is important not to be overwhelmed by it. We often find ourselves caught up in anxious or obsessive thoughts. Thus, mindfulness helps us deal with those feelings.
Meditation is a common way to practice mindfulness. During mindful meditation, you focus on one thing and then allow yourself to feel whatever emotions or thoughts come up freely.
You can also benefit from other forms of meditation, such as transcendental and guided meditation.
Even though a massage is a physical therapy, it can work wonders for your mental health. A massage can help reduce levels of stress and anxiety. It helps you relax, lowering your blood pressure, heart rate, and a stress hormone called cortisol as well.
Regular exercise has been proven to be beneficial not only for physical but mental health as well. Numerous researches have proved the effectiveness of exercise for treating mental health problems. It helps boost your mood, relieve stress and muscle tension, and helps you sleep better. It also releases a healthy dose of endorphins. In addition to this, exercise boosts your self-esteem, gives you a sense of control, and increases energy levels.
Some studies also suggest that exercise can be as effective as other treatments such as CBT for mild-moderate depression.
Yoga is beneficial for your mental and physical health as it engages both the mind and the body. It is a physical activity that includes stretching, breathing exercises to help you relax, and mindfulness as well. It improves your mental health by reducing levels of stress hormones and increasing the release of endorphins.
Talk therapy, also called psychotherapy, is one of the most beneficial ways to improve mental health. It includes talking to a professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist regarding any psychological distress that you may experience. This helps you vent without the fear of being judged. Moreover, the therapist helps you identify the underlying issues causing these problems and enables you to develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Maintaining a healthy diet is not only important for your physical health, but also essential for staying mentally fit. Consuming a nutritious diet can help optimize the functioning of your body. Moreover, it helps in maintaining hormone levels which help you stay mentally healthy.
At least 7-10 hours of sleep is essential for your body to function properly. When you sleep, it gives your body time to rest and recover from any problems or illnesses. Moreover, sleep is essential for good mental health as well. This is evident because lack of sleep and other sleep disorders are the most common symptoms of psychological problems.
Getting enough sleep is important because it enables your brain to function properly. On the other hand, lack of sleep can affect your emotions and overall behavior as well.
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as maintaining your physical health. Although there are several conventional and effective treatments for doing so, you can also boost your recovery with the help of holistic treatment. Holistic treatment focuses on the overall well-being of a person instead of a particular symptom.
Some common methods used in holistic treatment for mental health include nutrition, exercise, yoga, meditation, and more.