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Olwen Anderson's Blog

Natural therapies for mental health

Saturday, October 08, 2011

It has gradually become more widely accepted that problems with mental and emotional wellbeing are just as prevalent as problems with physical health; they just affect a different function of your body – how you think. Many people are considering using natural remedies to help them  gain optimum health mentally as well as physically. Here are the major categories of natural remedies for mental well being.

Homoeopathics are energetic remedies that can be really effective in helping you improve your mental health. Even better, they don’t clash with prescription medications. Sometimes this therapy is difficult to understand, as it can seem counter-intuitive. Remedies are made by methodically diluting a substance in water, then agitating, and diluting again. Oddly, the more diluted the substance becomes, the more powerful the remedy. It’s often easier to think of the ‘strength’ of a homoeopathic remedy in terms of power rather than quantity – in the same way that light bulbs are sold by wattage and the strength of the light they emit.

Flower essences are also energetic remedies. They’re safe for everyone to use, from babies right through to the elderly. To create them, specific flowers are soaked in a bowl of water, allowing the energies from the flowers to blend into the water; then it’s decanted. Flower essences are ideal immediate stress relief remedies, won’t interfere with prescription medication. Some are made from Australian flowers, some from elsewhere. It’s easy to pop a bottle of flower essences in your handbag for use whenever you feel stressed or anxious.

Herbal remedies are frequently used for mood disorders like anxiety and depression. There’s a huge variety available, but you have to get the dose right to get the correct results; so the advice of a clinical herbalist or naturopath is essential.

Some herbs will interact with prescription medication in sometimes unexpected ways – particularly St Johns Wort, a popular herb for mental health. This is why it’s vital that your doctor know exactly what natural remedies you’re taking. Fortunately there are many herbs available that don’t cause problems with prescription medication.

Nutrients such fish oils, B-group vitamins and some minerals are also used to help brains become healthier. Like herbs, it’s important to get the right nutrient in the right dose.

There are also natural therapies available for your mental health, that don’t require you to take supplements: Massage is ideal for stress and anxiety; Meditation has been proven to help brains become happier.

When you’re improving your mental health, you’ll get the best results if you also consult with an expert like a counsellor or psychologist. That’s because sometimes its biochemical imbalances that lead to mental health problems, and sometimes its dysfunctional thought patterns as well. 

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Olwen Anderson @olwenanderson


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