7 Natural Depression Releasers

If you or someone you know are suffering from the symptoms of depression you know that they can seem overwhelming. Here are 7 Natural Methods to overcome these symptoms and move on with your life.

Please note,Guest Posting even though these remedies are all well researched, if you or someone you know has severe symptoms of depression, consult a mental health professional.

Exercise
Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, as well as depression. It helps to boost self-esteem and has been shown to improve mood. Physically exercise strengthens the heart allowing the body to better use oxygen. Also it builds your energy level, lowers your blood pressure, helps reduce overall body fat and makes you look fit and feel healthy. In addition to being good for your overall health, research has shown that exercise is an often underused but effective treatment for mild to moderate depression.

A good goal would be a moderate exercise program in the morning or afternoon 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week, although current studies suggest that four or five times a week is best. If you are just starting out, begin with 20 minutes and build up to 30 minutes.

It appears that any form of exercise can help depression because exercise gets you out of the house, moves your body and stimulates serotonin production.

When trying to decide on an exercise program choose something you enjoy. Think about your goals and what you want to accomplish. Do you like group activities or do you like to do things by yourself? Do you have any limiting physical conditions? Do you want to improve cardio vascular health, lose weight or improve overall strength? Whatever you decide, your exercise program should be fun, not a chore. Variety can make your program stimulating and fun.

Even though any form of exercise is good for you, if you are just starting out or over 40 try and exercise program with low impact on the joints and body such as Tai Chi and Yoga. In addition to being excellent for your health while easy on your body, these types of activities also stimulate your mind. If you are interested in Tai Chi give me a call at (800) 989-6570 or check the links on this blog for Yoga instruction at the Institute of Progressive Therapies.

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Before reading further please note that studies suggest that St. John’s wort is not effective for major depression.

St. John’s wort is an herb that has been used for the relief of sadness, depression, anxiety, apathy, sleep disturbances, insomnia, anorexia and feelings of worthlessness. It is available as an over-the-counter supplement in health food stores, drug stores, and online. Interestingly, over 20 clinical trials show a strong correlation between St. John’s wort and the relief of mild to moderate depression. These same studies show that St. John’s wort works better than a placebo and is as effective as antidepressants, with virtually no side effects.

St. John’s wort (extract standardized to contain 0.3 percent hypericin content) is the most thoroughly researched of all natural antidepressants. An article in the British Medical Journal No. 7052 Volume 313 published on Saturday 3 August 1996 explained that an analysis of approximately 25 studies suggested that St. John’s Wort is just as helpful as commonly used drugs, without side effects such as headaches or vomiting. One of the study’s authors, Dr. Cynthia Mulrow, said she wasn’t surprised but the outcome because “some of the commonly used medicines have a basis on herbs or have a basis in plants, and some of the ones were developed using plants.”

Like many herbs, it may take a while to notice the full effects. Studies show that with St. John’s wort this may take 4 to 6 weeks. The side effects noted in the use of St. John’s wort are dizziness, dry mouth, indigestion, and fatigue. It also increases photosensitivity, so if you use it, wear your sun screen and sun glasses to protect your skin and eyes from sunlight.

Massage

Massage is one of the oldest natural remedies available to man and has probably been around since our beginnings. According to research, massage can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. When you receive a massage your body releases mood and health enhancing chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin while reducing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. It allows your body to relax and your brain to enter a relaxed alpha state. It also helps to increase endorphins which are your body’s natural pain relievers. This same research has show massage to boosts your immune system, improves your breathing and lung function, stabilizes your blood sugar levels and generally leaves you with a better feeling about yourself and the world. In the journal “Psychiatry in Practice”, Andrew Vickers, a researcher formerly with the Research Council for Complementary Medicine said “it’s far too simplistic to say massage can cure depression or other diseases, but it can help us to cope better and improve the quality of life.”

People that are depressed are often in pain, often without a particular physical cause but anyone who has become stressed or anxious would probably testify of some physical symptom, neck ache, stomach pain, back pain, etc., as a result of being anxious or stressed. Although a massage therapist cannot cure a person with anxiety or depression they can certainly help relieve their physical manifestations. In other words they can help them feel better and isn’t that what they want?

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

In the last 100 years depression has increase in western countries. In countries like Japan and Taiwan that have more fish in their diets, the depression rate is 10 times lower. There is also a smaller incidence of postpartum depression.

An online report in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine suggested that people whose diets contain substantially more of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids are at greater risk for clinical depression. It also increases the risk of certain inflammatory disease

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