Holistic Therapies Used To Treat Anxiety, Stress & Depression
Holistic medicine is a practice of medicine that advocates not only established Western approaches to medicine which includes diagnosis and treatment including surgery or pharmacology, but also includes Eastern medicine approaches to well-being which includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, aromatherapy, yoga, and meditation. Yoga is a practice from India which promotes the health and well-being of the body by engaging in exercises that involve poses. The regular practice of yoga builds endurance, agility, and flexibility of the muscles. It is usually practiced in conjunction with meditation.
How It Works
In both yoga and meditation, the emphasis is on deep and controlled breathing. The deep and controlled breathing helps the body achieve strength, balance and agility in order to do all the yoga poses. At the same time deep and controlled breathing helps someone to sort out their thoughts and emotions that stress the mind. Both yoga and mediation with the controlled breathing helps someone control their muscle movement with the same efficiency and calmness as someone controls their thoughts and emotions. It may be difficult for some people to see yoga and meditation as a form of “medicine” since it is more advertised as a form of exercise or a workout. It is true that yoga and meditation can help lower high blood pressure and manage pain but these effects are not the main reason why they are considered a part of holistic medicine.
The principal of yoga and meditation revolves around encouraging a feeling of well-being of the entirety of a person: Body, mind, and emotions. Both yoga and meditation help someone achieve holistic wellness at being able to address anxiety and the turbulence of the thoughts and emotions. It is the theory in yoga that disease in the body is caused by disturbances in the mind and emotions. In modern medical terms, the stress that the mind and emotions are exposed to trigger physiological responses in the body, such as increased heart rate, faster breathing, tension in the muscles, and secretion of hormones like adrenaline which enables us to move quickly to avoid or face danger. Unfortunately, when the mind and emotions are exposes to chronic stress, the bodies stress resistance becomes a way of life. This translates into hypertension, lowered resistance to infections, and poor digestion in the long-term. These conditions inevitably set up the human body for wear and tear, thus, rendering it vulnerable to disease.
Uses And Benefits
In order to neutralize stress or the perception of danger, a calm mind is necessary. In order to forestall the triggering of the psychological stress response, the mind and emotions have to learn to be calm even in the midst of crisis. These will keep the body from wearing itself out and it will keep the body from being vulnerable to disease. Thus, when a patient presents at the doctor’s office with concerns about palpitations, anxiety and inability to concentrate or inability to sleep, holistic medicine will not only order blood work or scans, it will not only prescribe blood pressure, sleep, anti-anxiety medication holistic medicine will encourage lifestyle change. Part of this lifestyle change is getting regular exercise, learning how to control one’s breath and learning to breath deeply in order to get the utmost benefits from oxygen. Yoga is not too strenuous, especially at the beginners level. It will increase efficient blood flow while increasing strength, agility and endurance of the body. Meditation allows someone to let go of stress and target certain emotions in order to achieve calmness and a calmer state of mind. The result is someone feels better as the body heals itself.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 10% of the U.S. population has tried meditation at some point in their lives, making it one of the largest practiced forms of alternative medicine. During meditation someone focuses on deep breathing and clears the mind of all distraction. There are also visual focal points that can be used or chanting. Meditation is an all around stress reliever that can be practiced anywhere at anytime. Its healing effects are the utmost natural way to stimulate holistic wellness and overall health.
It Can Be Effective For: (but not limited to)
- Pain Managment
- High blood Pressure
- Stress Reduction