This post is a continuation of Depression and Anxiety Part 1. In this post we will explore alternative ways to control and overcome these feelings of hopelessness and sadness. Below are a few therapies that can help. So let’s get started.
EFT –Emotional Freedom Technique
EFT is based on the energy meridians in Chinese Medicine. The energy meridians are paths ways in which energy flows throughout the body. There are 12 main meridians throughout the body. The energy (electromagnetic energy) flows through the spine. We know the spine is the core of the nervous system. We also know that our emotions affect our nervous system. When we are anxious we get the feeling of butterflies in our stomach or when we scared we tense up. The nervous system allows for information to be sent from the brain to the rest of the body by electrical impulses (electrical energy). If a nerve is pinched it can block the flow of signal to a particular body part and cause loss of motion. So what I am trying to suggest is there could be is a link between the energy meridians and the nervous system and the mind, having said that here is a basic over view of the Emotional Freedom Technique.
EFT can be seen as psychological acupuncture. Rather than inserting needling into the body you would gently tap the energy meridians. As you tap the energy meridians you will be repeating positive affirmations as you think about your problem(s).
You will be using your fingers to tap the areas of your body. This should be firm but gentle tapping. Below are the areas:
- Top of the head – tap the centre of the skull with your fingers, with both hands back to back
- Inner eyebrows – tap the inner half of both eyebrows together
- Between the eyes and ears – tap between the left eye and left ear and the right eye and right ear just below the temples
- Under the eyes – tap the bone under the eyes
- Under the nose – between the upper lip and the nose
- The chin – between the lower lip and the bottom of the chin
- Collar bone – just below the inner edge of the collar bone
- Wrists – the inside of the wrists
The affirmations should go like this “Even though I have this ___________, I deeply and completely love and accept myself”. Just fill in the blank for example “Even though I have this financial problem, I deeply and completely love and accept myself”. Also if you want you can add in any positive statement about yourself go ahead and do so. So as you are thinking about your problem you are saying these affirmations and tapping. You can find a practitioner to help if you have severe depression although it may be hard to find one in your area. The whole point is to really meditate on your problem and realise that it doesn’t control you and that you still love and accept yourself and that you have many other good qualities.
Acupuncture has been around for 1000’s of years it is based on the Energy meridians. It is believed to stimulate the nervous system and release neurochemicals that promote wellbeing. Sprott 1998 found that Acupuncture increases the production of serotonin which is a chemical that works as a neurotransmitter which regulates mood (the happy hormone) and also is linked to the sleep cycle.
A study done by Luo et al, 1985 gave 47 participants an Electro acupuncture treatment 6 days a week for 5 weeks. The patients had either major or minor depression. The control group were given Amitriptyline. The results showed that 70% of the participants administered with Electro acupuncture had either cured or markedly improved whereas 60% of those participants taking Amitriptyline were cured or markedly improved. Another study carried out by Miller 2001 wanted to see the effects of ear acupuncture on long term users of mental health services. The sample was 11 women, they were given between 5 and 33 acupuncture treatments. They measured the outcome by doing monthly interviews and self-assessments using rating scales. The sample showed clear benefits of the treatment in many areas of their lives including anxiety and depression.
Acupuncture is used widely in Asia as a means of curing a lot of ailments and has been shown to have great results. But there are many clinics that practice acupuncture all over the world, so it won’t be hard to find a practitioner. They can be pricey, but if you look around and do your research you should be able to find a qualified experienced practitioner who is affordable. Remember when you are getting acupuncture done to relax and contemplate on your problems. Work out what is important to you, what makes you happy. A lot of us judge ourselves based on what society deems to be a success, a job that pays a lot, a house, love, family, kids and good looks. If we can focus on what makes you happy and pursue that then you will truly be successful and enjoy life a lot more.
Aromatherapy also known as Essential oil therapy is the use of extracted aromatic essences from plants to harmonize, balance and promote health of the body and mind. It helps to relax the body and to increase energy. It is natural and non-invasive. Smelling these amazing aromas helps to improve your mood. If you think about it when we’re sad we tend to eat comforting foods like icecream, pizza, chocolate. The same way smelling these aromas can also improve your mood but without the extra calories.
Candles – burning scented candles throughout the day can be an easy and effective, research particular scents that are beneficial for depression and use them. You can burn candles many times a day to help relax yourself.
Essential oils – for massage; the skin is the largest organ in the body which has so many little pours that can absorb these oils . These oils can help relax tight muscles by breaking down lactic acid from the muscles to be removed by the lymphatic system and promote detoxing. When we are depressed or stressed our body releases chemicals, if this carries on for a long period of time I can be harmful.
Bathing with essential oils – a study showed that bathing has the same effects as a hug; the warmth creates the same sort of effect in the mind as a hug and can therefore be useful for people who feel lonely. You can use essential oils to enhance your bathing experience and really help your body and mind to relax and unwind.
Room sprays – these sprays can provide bursts of aromatic scents throughout the day so you don’t need to constantly think about it.
Which oils/ scents to use?
- clary sage
- citrus oils – grapefruit, bergamot, lemon, orange
Precautions needs to be taken as oils could cause allergic reactions to some people. So contact an Aromatherapist to help guide you.
And remember always think positive thoughts, if you constantly think negative or have a can’t do attitude you are limiting yourself to those feelings. It’s like a glass, you can put whatever you want in it, pour into it a healthy juice and you have a nice refreshing beverage, pour into mucky pond water and nobody would want to drink it. The mind is the same, fill it with positivity, take control and good luck.
[Note: This blog is only for informational purposes only. It is not medical advice or diagnosis. Please consult with a Health care practitioner before making any diet, nutrition changes or when starting a new fitness program.