Alternative Therapies for Treating Depression and Anxiety

Alternative therapies are the type of health treatment that do not classify as standard medical practice, which is why they are known as complementary, integrative, or alternative therapies. Alternative therapies include different disciplines and focal points concerning physical health, diet, mental health, and lifestyle. Some types of alternative therapies include acupuncture, exercise, herbal remedies, massage, meditation, reflexology, guided imagery, and yoga. More recently, ketamine has also become a popular choice in alternative therapies.

Much like other health conditions, alternative therapies are also recommended for mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. In definition, clinical or major depression is a mental disorder characterized by an intense and constant sense of worthlessness, hopelessness, despair, and sadness. This disorder affects a person’s daily life and interferes with their routine and relationships. On the other hand, anxiety is an emotion that makes a person feel stressed, experience tension, have unrelenting worried feelings and thoughts, and also cause physical changes such as an increase in blood pressure.

Alternative Therapies for Treating Depression and Anxiety

While alternative therapies are not a guaranteed cure for anxiety and depression, they have become a popular choice among people. For this reason, let us discuss some popular alternative therapies for the treatment of anxiety and depression.

1. Ketamine

Ketamine was originally used as an anesthetic in hospitals. However, this medication is now gaining popularity as a potential treatment for major or clinical depression cases. The reason why ketamine is so popular is that it reduces suicidal ideation in patients and helps relieve other symptoms of depression and anxiety.

However, alternative therapies such as ketamine usage can have complications, which is why you need to consult with a primary healthcare professional and undergo this therapy under supervision. If you are a Chicago resident, opt to undergo this treatment in a Chicago ketamine clinic under the supervision of healthcare professionals.

2. Herbal treatments

Counseling and medications are still the most convenient method of treating symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, people who have an inclination towards organic and natural products are turning towards herbs and herb-based supplements for the treatment of anxiety and depression.

Herbs such as St. Jhon’s wort, also called Hypericum perforatum, are a popular choice as a potential treatment for mild to moderate levels of depression. Similarly, ginseng is another herbal supplement that can help in improving mental clarity and reduce stress and tension. When it comes to everyday usage, herbs like chamomile and other types of teas have relaxing properties that help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese treatment that focuses on the usage of needles to stimulate specific areas of the body to treat any ailment. The main belief of this practice is that acupuncture helps restore the flow of energy, blockage of which causes illnesses. For this reason, several research studies show that this practice helps in stimulating the sensory nerves that trigger a response from the brain. The brain triggers the immune system to release endorphins in the body, which help in relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Acupuncture has become a popular choice as an alternative therapy because it has little to no side effects. Moreover, many people claim it to be a rather pleasant and therapeutic experience and claim it helps in improving overall health.

4. Reflexology 

Reflexology is a type of alternative therapy that uses pressure on some points on hands, ears, and feet. The main idea is that these pressure points help relieve stress and improve body function. But the main benefits are that this method helps make a person feel more energized, relaxed, and less stressed. Hence, reflexology is a popular alternative therapy for anxiety that induces body aches and muscle stress.

5. Exercise 

Typically, the lack of energy caused by depression makes exercise the last thing you might consider doing. However, the little motivation you can muster to exercise can actually help you out a lot. While basic exercises are beneficial for preventing health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, and high blood pressure, physical activity also has many psychological benefits. For starters, exercise is an excellent alternative therapy for depression and anxiety.

Regular exercise helps in releasing a feel-good chemical which is known as endorphin. The release of endorphin from your brain helps numb pain in the body and improve mood while improving your sense of health. In addition to that, exercising helps take your mind off of the negative and intrusive thoughts caused by anxiety and depression. Exercising also helps gain confidence and helps you cope with your emotions and tensions more healthily.


There is no doubt that alternative therapies work. However, it is difficult to predict the effects and results of these treatments. For this reason, you must understand that part of using alternative therapies is to experiment with different types and determine which works best for you. But you must stay diligent regarding your health and don’t make any hasty decisions.

Consult with your healthcare provider before taking up any alternative therapy treatment. They can ensure that you are well aware of the pros and cons of the treatment and determine if it is suitable for you.

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