A patient of psychological disorder would usually get his treatments through medication and services of a mental health institution or facilities. However, advocates of Complementary and Alternative Medicine believe that there are less intensive, more holistic approaches that could be rendered to these patients in conjunction to their medical treatments. While they do not have approved therapeutic claim and there are no conclusive proofs that these alternatives really work they have been practiced for years and have yielded significant positive results in their own fields. Here are the suggested alternative solutions to mental health care:
Daily stressors contribute to the development of several mental health disorders. In fact, stress itself is considered as a threat to mental health. It disrupts sleep, thinking and rest and it usually affects the way we function everyday. Thus it is suggested to adopt several methods that will help lessen and manage the negative stressors we are exposed to everyday.
Biofeedback – This method is normally used in treating mental health disorders such as phobias, panic and anxiety. This works by controlling the involuntary muscle functioning such as skin temperature and heart rate and by controlling muscle tension.
Massage therapy – This method advances the belief the tapping, rubbing, and brushing the skin and muscle groups could relieve pent up emotions and internal tension. People suffering from severe cases of stress and post-traumatic disorders are usually advised to take get massage therapy regularly.
Visualization – Another method to lessen tension and stress is to redirect the perception and the individual techniques on visualization. This works by entering into a deep state of relaxation where the person could create relaxing and "friendly" images that will contribute to his well-being and lessen the occurrence of unwanted thoughts that are detrimental to one's mental health.
Traditional alternative approaches
Ayurdeva – Imported from Indian Traditional Medicine, Ayurdeva is a holistic approach to caring your mental health. This seeks balance on the body energies rather than on the symptoms that affect the body. This system of traditional treatments includes yoga, a widely practiced alternative solution in the Western world these days. Yoga makes use of postures, exercises, stretches and meditation to achieve the balance of body energies.
Native American approaches – Cleansing rituals and chants are part of the Indian Health Services Programs that are focused on treating people suffering from depression, stress-related disorders and anxiety disorders.
Acupuncture – Used in treating many other ailments in the body, acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical approach that could also be used as treatment to mental disorders. This makes use of needles with various sizes that are inserted to different pressure points in the body to be able to control its flow of energy.
Diet and Nutrition
According to studies, diet and nutrition affects the manner by which our brains work. If it is deprived with certain nutrients, the brain may fail to function the way it should be.
Vitamin and nutrient intake – According to some studies, there are specific vitamins that our brain needs in order to produce other chemicals that are crucial in maintaining our moods. Also, some vitamins are important in preventing the development of neurological and degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Thus, proper intake of these vitamins and minerals plus supplementation of essential nutrients are highly recommended to maintain mental health.
Mental health care does not only need to include medical treatments, support of other approaches is also needed to maximize the possibility of patient recovery.