As Mental Health conditions become more and more common (25% of young adults will suffer with their mental health between the ages of 16-25 -W.H.O) The terms ‘well-being’ and ‘alternative therapies’ can still be looked upon as some kind of taboo.
After struggling with my own Maternal mental health, I sought out different methods of support and activities that I hoped would aid my recovery. Once I was well enough to share my story, I decided to pursue my studies on Mindfulness and alternative behavioural therapies in a bid to help others.
Many of us who eventually seek help, and battle through the never ending waiting list and poor oversubscribed GP’s, will receive the same assessment , a pamphlet about counselling and perhaps a prescription for some antidepressants. Whilst this can be instrumental in starting the recovery process, I don’t believe that its enough to rely solely on the wonders of medication to live a fulfilled life again. Whilst it may get us ‘well’, we still owe it to ourselves to get us ‘happy’ again!
Mindfulness as a complimentary practice has changed my life, the idea is that we leave our ‘distractions’ behind for a period of time, and simply focus on the present moment. This could be focusing on our breathing, our surroundings, things that stimulate our senses or a moment in time to meditate. I used to believe that you had to be spiritual or religious to practice mindfulness, and many people that I meet feel the same way. Only once I introduce them to its practice and watch them leave the room feeling lighter and less stressed, do they too see its benefits.
Aromatherapy and Holistic therapies are also an excellent way to calm the body and mind. I began to use Lavender essential oils around the home to aid sleep and combat my persistent insomnia, then rapidly expanded my collection to use with my family and clients to use a more natural approach to ailments. Amanda Davis from Amandastherapies (Woking) Explains that ‘Reiki is a gentle energy healing therapy suitable for anyone. It stimulates the body’s own healing, and can help with your mental health , especially anxiety, depression and grief aswell as Physical healing. It balances the emotions , leaving you feeling calmer and clearer.’
I am becoming more intrigued about the concept of crystal healing and chakras after studying alternative therapies last year. I am very much looking forward to experiencing the benefits of Reiki, and exploring the world of reflexology that I have previously left untouched.
We also can’t discredit the extremely effective CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapies) or talking therapy to aid a healthy recovery, and allow us as individuals to deal with a trauma or life event that is impacting on our Mental health. Combined with nourishing and refuelling our bodies with good food, and getting the heart rate up with physical exercise , I believe that combining all or some of the above, gives a broad spectrum and ample opportunity to support ourselves through a difficult time.
As with all methods, nothing is 100% guaranteed, and in extreme cases, medical intervention will undoubtedly be more crucial, but I think its really important for us to remember the more traditional methods and holistic therapies as well as the new wonders of medical science!
What do you think?