In the last century, the biomedical model of health and disease has been widely accepted as the best way to understand and treat mental disorders. The holistic perspective, which comprises the effects of social relationships, environment, spirituality, etc., is not easily accessible in modern medicine. Symptoms are seen as discrete entities that can be managed with biomedical treatment.
However holistic therapies for depression have been around since ancient times. They focus on treating the whole person rather than the disease. The holistic model is used by holistic therapies for depression and this form of therapy is useful and effective in many cases.
What Are Holistic Therapies For Depression?
Holistic therapies for depression comprise a family of interventions that are holistic in orientation. They are also known as complementary, holistic, or integrative therapies. The holistic therapies for depression may help to promote general wellness through physical exercise, a healthy diet, and social connection. They can be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment.
Due to the holistic nature of holistic therapies for depression they are very popular worldwide. Unfortunately, most major mental health organizations do not formally endorse holistic therapies since most holistic therapists do not have significant clinical training in mental health. Many holistic therapies can be practiced without special training and holistic therapists may or may not have proper qualifications.
Meditation is an ancient holistic therapy for depression that has become very popular in the western world in recent years. Meditation may help to relieve stress and improve mood by reducing blood pressure and heart rate. Meditation is a common holistic therapy for depression which may have other benefits as well such as improved sleep, creativity, memory, and immune system response.
Meditation is practiced by focusing one’s attention on an object or the breath. In recent years mindfulness, meditation has become very popular and involves focusing one’s attention on the present moment and observing thoughts and feelings without judgment. Mindfulness meditation has been used to help people become more aware of themselves and to be less judgmental (Davidson et al., n.d).
Biofeedback is another holistic therapy for depression that can improve mood by reducing stress. In biofeedback, a person is connected to a machine that measures heart rate, breathing, and skin temperature. The person can then learn to consciously control these functions by achieving a state of deep relaxation. Biofeedback has been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Holistic therapies for depression can include meditation, yoga, biofeedback, acupuncture, and self-massage. These holistic approaches can also include physical exercise like walking or swimming.