alternative approaches to dealing with mental health

at our vancouver bloggers’ meetup last time, pete quily of adult ADD strengths asked me an interesting question: “what are the topics that would naturally come up in the course of your work that you’re not discussing much on your blog?”

it’s a question i’ve been thinking about ever since, and i’ve been working on all kinds of ideas.

one has recently crossed my path, via helpguide. something i haven’t talked about much are alternative and complementary approaches to mental health. helpguide has a comprehensive list of them. here is an excerpt:

medical approaches

  • ayurveda (“science of life” traditional medicine from india) is the oldest medical system. the focus on energy and balance rather than symptoms seeks to restore wholeness in the mind-body-spirit system.
  • traditional chinese medicine (TCM), in use for more than 4,000 years, is based on the flow of vital energy (qi or chi, pronounced “chee”) throughout the body.
  • native american (or, as we would call it here in canada, first nations) healing is thousands of years old and combines religion, spirituality, herbal medicine, and rituals to treat medical and emotional problems, including trauma and addictions.
  • homeopathic medicine (“like cures like”) was developed in the early 20th century. it does not treat a “disease” or disorder by name (such as depression) but rather by specific symptoms (including things that affect symptoms, such as sounds, smells, tastes, moods, energy, time of day or temperature when symptoms are worse, etc.).
  • naturopathic medicine sees physical and mental health as arising from a healing power in the body that establishes, maintains, and restores health. nutritional or other “balancing” approaches

nutritional approaches

  • vitamins and supplements: many people may suffer from both physical and mental conditions that arise from inadequate nutrition. nutritional deficiencies often first appear in the form of mental symptoms.
  • allergies: there are many theories that allergies to such foods as wheat, sugar, and milk cause or exacerbate symptoms in schizophrenia, autism, anxiety, learning disabilities, ADHD, and other conditions.
  • dietetic changes: many people find that adjustments in their diet may affect their mental and emotional health. for example, blood sugar levels have a strong impact on mood and emotional energy, and can be managed by eating small amounts every few hours, particularly of protein-rich foods, in a well-balanced overall diet.

energy therapies

  • qi gong (pronounced “chee kung”) is an ancient chinese system using movement, meditation, relaxation, mind-body integration, and breathing exercises.
  • reiki (pronounced “ray-kee”) is a japanese system of transferring energy from the practitioner to heal the patient’s spirit, which leads to physical health.
  • therapeutic touch is a form of “laying on of hands,” which may also involve the healer passing hands over the body without actually touching it, to detect energy imbalances and re-direct them through the energy of the therapist.

(this post appeared in the meditation, yoga and spiritual growth carnival)

6 thoughts on “alternative approaches to dealing with mental health

  1. Rebecca Linder Hintze

    Did you know that 70 percent or more of our personal issues originate from family blocks? This is a key, and sometimes overlooked, piece of the puzzle relating to family dynamics. For example, have you ever wondered why some families reach a ceiling on their earning potential, struggle to have happy marriages, or have such difficult interactions with their siblings and parents? Perhaps your family has a history of sabotaging careers or thwarting their love relationships? “Healing Your Family History” (Hay House, 2006) helps you come to understand how family belief systems store inside you and prevent individual growth by locking you into thought processes that hold you back. All families have these nonverbal belief systems, and unless you understand and heal your inherent blocks, it may be difficult to love others, move forward, and get what you want in life.

    Most people have a family . . . and we all have a reason to heal our related challenges—after all, tribal issues sit at the core of world turmoil. Those who are truly ready to heal their family dysfunction will benefit immensely from the five step process in this book.

  2. Rebecca Linder Hintze

    Since you’re looking at, “the topics that would naturally come up in the course of your work that you’re not discussing much on your blog,” I thought this important element of healing family blocks is important. It’s also a topic that flows into alternative medicine (you’ve quoted some great ones above) as Dr. Candace Pert’s work (quoted in “Healing Your Family History”) demonstrates how we may be passing our personal issues on genetically. While many of us recognize our predisposition to cancer and other forms of disease, how many of us consider our inherited family issues that may be preventing growth in relationships, finances, and success at the office?

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    Dr. Ellen Gellerstedt, M.D., who specializes in developmental and behavioral pediatrics. states concerning ADHD and children; What may seem to be a disability in school often becomes a gift in adulthood. The kids often grow up creative and can often see things in ways that others can’t.

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