Mental health encompasses a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It is a reflection of how we think, feel, and act. It also relates to how we handle stress, interact with others and the kind of choices we make in our daily life. Putting all these into consideration, it becomes crucial that we take good care of our mental health. This article explores the different forms of therapy as well as treatments aside from the conventional therapies we know that have been found effective in managing some mental health conditions.
What is traditional therapy?
Traditional therapy refers to the conventional treatments for mental health illnesses which mostly involve psychotherapy, otherwise known as talk therapy, and use of medications.
What is alternative therapy?
Alternative therapies refer to other forms of mental health treatments that are not part of the traditional therapies commonly known. Alternative therapies explore other types of treatments that have been found to provide relief for certain mental health conditions.
Medical treatment is an ever-evolving field and ongoing studies and research have continued to inform experts of several kinds of alternative therapies that could be adopted in the treatment of mental health conditions. If you’re looking for a psychiatrist near you or trying to figure out which type of psychiatrist is best, check out this article from BetterHelp.com.
The concept of Integrative Therapy
Integrative therapy is a ‘holistic’ form of mental health treatment that involves the combination of different forms of therapies and approaches to fit the needs of the individual client. For example, depressed patients can be given a combination treatment involving both traditional talk therapy and alternative therapy, say, body massage or meditation. The goal of integrative psychiatry isn’t just to treat the disease but to achieve great mental health in general.
Here are 7 alternative therapies for mental health conditions that have been proven to work:
Meditation is a simple therapeutic practise that involves focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity in order to train attention and awareness and achieve mental clarity, calm and stability of a person’s emotional state. Meditation is mostly useful for the purpose of reducing stress, anxiety, depression and pain and also helps in enhancing peace, perception, self-concept, and general well-being. Meditation is an ever-developing area of mental health therapy as there are still ongoing research and studies aimed at exploring all the possible effects of meditation on mental health.
2. Chiropractic practice
Chiropractic practice is a relatively new field in mental health treatment that is slowly gaining recognition. It is an aspect of therapy that lays emphasis on the body’s ability to heal itself. The medical approach of chiropractors to caring for patients is similar to the conventional medical approach. They interrogate the patient, obtain a detailed health history from gathered observations, perform a medical examination, conduct tests and determine relevant diagnosis to issues. Chiropractors carry out treatments by stretching and impressing sustained pressure to specific joints. They also perform skilful manipulations of the joints and musculoskeletal systems to improve joint movements and muscle function.
Aromatherapy is a kind of therapeutic treatment that involves the use of fragrant plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Aromatherapy is sometimes called essential oil therapy. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils with a distinctive pleasing fragrance to improve the health of the body, mind and spirit.
4. Massage therapy
This therapeutic practice involves rubbing and kneading the body to manipulate the body’s soft tissues and induce relaxation. Professionals give massages by hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearms, feet, or by means of a device. Massage therapy has been found to be exceptionally effective in the treatment of anxieties, stress and body pain.
5. Spirituality, religion and prayer
Religion and faith have been found to be an effective stabilizing factor for mental chaos in some individuals. Research has revealed that there is a connection between an individual’s belief system and their sense of well-being. Some studies have also suggested that people with strong religious beliefs tend to have better mental and physical health and more satisfying relationships than those who do not. Similar studies have also suggested that faith can promote healing. This means that even though improving your spiritual faith may not necessarily cure an illness, it can help you cope better.
6. Music therapy
Music therapy is a therapeutic practice where music is employed to address the physical, emotional and cognitive state of individuals. Music therapy can serve as a communication medium for individuals having difficulties in expressing themselves in words. Music therapy can also provide relief for mental health conditions like mania and chronic anxiety.
7. Wilderness therapy
Wilderness therapy is an adventure-based therapeutic treatment employed to fix an individual’s behavioural attitude and interpersonal relations. It can also be perceived as a form of education through experience conducted in a wilderness setting. Most times, wilderness therapy programs are often portrayed under the guise of “boot camps” and adventure shows. Wilderness therapy utilizes outdoor adventure pursuits and other activities by allocating survival-related tasks and reflection, to enhance personal and emotional growth.