People who are new to receiving a mental health diagnosis, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), or OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), are often faced with a host of decisions about which route to take to treat their condition. Many people suffer from co-occurring disorders, which is the presence of two or more mental health issues, and aren’t sure where to turn for help.
Traditional therapy, including individual and group, is a helpful route to take. Talking through the current challenges of a mental health concern and what events in the past might have contributed to its development is an effective way to learn how to manage a person’s diagnosis. Sometimes treatment professionals advise utilizing prescription medications to help address any chemical imbalances that can cause a client to suffer. These modalities often prove helpful, but it’s essential to keep an open mind about adding complementary approaches to assist in managing mental health.
The Art of Touch
Americans are often uncomfortable incorporating physical touch as part of their daily lives, which is more common in European communities. Some U.S. massage therapists report a substantial number of clients who are initially uneasy with the level of touch received during a full body massage. This makes it essential for them to teach their clients how to relax and fully enjoy professional massage’s benefits. Massage has been proven to relieve stress and anxiety, reduce pain levels, and contribute to better sleep patterns. It has also shown to contribute to a reduction in physical symptoms, such as pain and headaches.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese technique that has been practiced for well over 2,000 years. It involves inserting very thin needles into specific skin points to positively stimulate nerves and gland organs in an attempt to create healing and a feeling of relaxation. Acupuncture is said to be a way of balancing the flow of energy or life force, called chi or qi (pronounced ‘chee’), in a person’s life. It can help with insomnia, anxiety, depression, hypertension, chronic pain, and menstrual-related issues. While many people have an initial fear of needles, there is typically little to no discomfort from the insertion and removal. They remain in the body for approximately 10-20 minutes.
Meditation is a way of centering the mind through concentrated thought focused on a word, mantra, idea, or concept. Practiced since 1500 B.C. and incorporated in many different religious faiths and traditions, it has been used to achieve a heightened sense of awareness in its practitioners. Meditation is typically practiced in a quiet, peaceful environment for a set amount of time in each session. Focus is placed on a person’s breathing, and any attempt by the mind to wander is brought back to that focus. Many people who practice meditation report a reduction in their levels of depression, anxiety, stress, and even physical pain. They feel an increased ability to deal with what life throws at them by using daily meditation.
Yoga originated in ancient India and experienced a rise in popularity in the U.S. beginning in the 1980s. Various yoga types can be performed either solo or in group settings, with a teacher typically leading the group. Yoga is not strenuous like aerobic exercise. Rather, it is a series of physical moves that flow from one to the other. The American Osteopathic Association reports that long-term practice of yoga can include benefits such as:
- Better stress management
- Increased flexibility, muscle strength, and tone
- Improved respiration
- Improved cardio and circulatory health
- Better athletic performance
- Weight reduction
Aromatherapy incorporates the sense of smell into relaxing and focusing on increased peace of mind and good mental health. A scent can be dispersed via essential oils, candles, diffusers, spritzers, incense, and other options. The practice of aromatherapy goes back thousands of years. It has become popularized in significant part due to the wide variety of options for scents available online and in stores. Reported benefits can include decreased stress and anxiety levels, better digestion, improved sleep quality, and pain management for such conditions as headaches and sore joints.
Spiritual and Energy Healing
Commonly referred to as the practice of Reiki, this involves the practitioner placing their hands lightly on or just off the client’s body in an attempt to achieve stress reduction, invoke healing, reduce pain, and achieve peace of mind. Because the regulation of Reiki is not common, it’s important to research those who practice it to make an informed decision if it is right for you.
Traditional individual and group therapy are proven methods for treating mental health conditions, as well as addiction and alcoholism. It can help investigate other options for a well-rounded approach to managing your mental health, including holistic treatments such as massage, acupuncture, meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, and more. At Silver Lining, we believe in treating all aspects of your mental health in order to give you back the life you deserve and support using holistic treatment methods as an added component to the healing process. Our convenient day and evening appointments at our beautiful location in Huntington Beach, California, allow you the ability to fully address your mental health needs. We treat people from all walks of life with multiple modalities and alumni activities that keep you focused and successful after leaving our treatment. Call us now and let us help you assess your needs for treatment in a way that puts you on the path to a happier and more genuine you! (866) 448-4563.