Holistic Treatment for Mental Health

What is Holistic Treatment?

Holistic treatment is a form of treatment that focuses on treating the whole person, rather than just the disorder. The way holistic treatment treats the “whole” person is by identifying and improving on any physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual issues that an individual has within his or her body, mind, and soul.

Holistic treatment is a form of alternative medicine. Alternative medicine is any practice that aims to give healing effects that are similar to those that medicine would give. Despite this type of treatment being an alternative form of medicine, its repeated positive results have caused it to be an accepted form of substance use and mental health treatment.

What is Holistic Mental Health Treatment?

Holistic mental health treatment is a method of healing that helps identify an individual’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual complications that arise from mental health conditions. At Montare our philosophy of care helps our patients focus on improving their whole being.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health is important because it affects everything that a person does, from the way he or she thinks, feels, acts, handles stress, relates to others, makes choices, and more. In fact, poor mental health is often the catalyst for a person to abuse substances, which could then lead to the development of substance use disorders.

Not only can poor mental health lead to substance use disorders, but it could also lead to chronic reckless behavior that could negatively change the course of a person’s life, or worse, cause an individual to commit suicide.

Common Types of Mental Health Disorders

Factors that Help Cause Mental Health Disorders

  1. A genetic predisposition to developing mental health disorders
  2. Trauma and abuse
  3. Family history of mental health issues

Common Symptoms of a Mental Health Disorder

  • Eating too much or too little
  • Sleeping too much
  • Having problems sleeping
  • Being in a constant state of apathy
  • Lost interest in things and activities that you used to enjoy
  • Chronic feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Poor memory
  • Irritability
  • Uncontrollable thoughts
  • Periods of panicked heart rate
  • Chronic paranoia
  • Hearing voices
  • Believing things that are not true
  • Sudden poor hygiene
  • Suicidal thoughts

Now that you better understand what mental health and mental health disorders entail, it is time to learn what different types of holistic mental health treatments can do to help treat many of the common mental health disorders and their symptoms.

Physical Holistic Mental Health Treatments

Physical holistic mental health treatments are any physical activity that helps improve the emotional, psychological, or social well-being of a person. In other words, physical holistic mental health treatments are physical activities that help improve the mental health of the person doing them.

Examples of Physical Holistic Mental Health Treatments

Cardio Exercise

Doing cardio exercise is not only good for your heart and physical health, but it is good for your mental health as well. The reason for this is that doing cardio exercise releases mood-boosting neurotransmitters in the brain such as endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.

Endorphins help release pain and stress. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that makes you feel pleasure and satisfaction. Norepinephrine helps keep you alert, and serotonin helps boost your overall mood and well-being. Many people who suffer from mental health disorders suffer from improper levels of these neurotransmitters.

For example, people with depression tend to have low levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. That is why doctors often prescribe serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) to people that suffer from depression.

Improper levels of dopamine can also lead to mental health disorders. For example, too much dopamine in certain parts of the brain can lead to schizophrenia. On the other hand, too little dopamine in the brain can lead to ADHD. Another example of a disease that is partly caused by decreased levels of dopamine is Parkinson’s disease.

Not only can exercise improve your mental health by releasing mood-boosting neurotransmitters into your brain, but it can also improve your mental health by giving you an opportunity to socialize with others through an exercise class or group.

Yoga

Yoga is a physical activity that combines stretching and other physical movements with breathing exercises and mindfulness to improve your flexibility and focus. Doing yoga can be great for your mental health because it can help increase your ability to focus your mental energy on positive things rather than the negative things in your life.

Massage

Receiving a massage is another physical holistic mental health treatment because it can help you reduce your levels of stress and anxiety. This is because receiving a massage can decrease your heart rate, blood pressure, and salivary cortisol (a stress hormone) levels within the first 10 – 15 minutes.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

One of the top ways to improve both your physical  and mental health is by eating a healthy diet. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet filled with fruits and vegetables will increase your body’s ability to function at its best.

Eating a healthy diet can also help regulate your hormone levels and keep a healthy amount of bacteria in your gut. This is very important for your mental health because both your hormone levels and your gut bacteria levels have a major effect on the way you act and feel.

Sleeping

Receiving 7 – 10 hours of sleep a night is essential to maintaining good physical health. One reason why getting a good night’s sleep every night is so important to your physical health is that the human body uses the time when the body is asleep to repair itself. Thus, it will take longer for your body to recover from any sort of ailment if you are not receiving a full night of sleep every night.

Another reason why sleeping is vital to your physical health is that lack of sleep is connected to heart disease and other heart conditions. Once again, this is because many of your bodily organs, such as your heart, rest, and repair themselves during sleep.

Sleeping is also good for your mental health because it helps the brain function properly. In fact, sleep deprivation can alter parts of the brain in ways that alter your mood, emotions, and overall behavior.

The effect of sleep, or lack thereof, can have on your mental health is apparent in the fact that sleep issues are one of the top symptoms of someone who is suffering from depression. Therefore, improving the amount of sleep that you receive each night can help decrease your levels of depression.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into certain pressure points in the body to relieve stress and tension. While there is no exact evidence proving acupuncture’s positive effect on mental health, research has shown that some people that receive acupuncture are able to reduce, or even heal, their depression and anxiety.

Changing Your Environment

Oftentimes your environment, whether that be where you live, work, or spend your time, is one of the reasons why your mental health is not where it should be. Therefore, to better focus on improving your mental health, you may need to change your environment by moving to a new location, getting a new job, or no longer going to certain places. Whatever you need to do to put yourself in an environment where the people around you respect your mental health and are supportive of the changes you are trying to make to your life, do it.

Mindful Holistic Mental Health Treatments

If there are any kind of holistic treatments that are good for your mental health, it is the ones that directly affect the mind.

Examples of Mindful Holistic Mental Health Treatments

Meditation

Meditation is one of the top mindful holistic treatments. Meditation can help improve your mental health by reducing your stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. Certain types of meditation can even help you deal with past trauma.

There are varying forms of meditation that you can partake in to improve your mental health. One of these meditation forms is guided meditation. Guided meditation is when you are guided by someone to form mental images in your mind of things and places that give you comfort.

Another popular form of meditation is mindful meditation. Mindful meditation is when you focus your mind on one thing and then freely allow yourself to feel whatever emotions come up when doing so. Like guided meditation, mindful meditation can teach you how to cope when in unpleasant situations.

Transcendental meditation is when you repeat a certain phrase, word, or sound as a mantra to help change the way you view things.

Breathing Exercises

Similar to meditation, breathing exercises can help you learn how to focus and calm your mind while also providing you with a coping mechanism that you can use during unpleasant times. Breathing exercises are great to use when you feel stressed and anxious.

To perform breathing exercises you need to practice deep breathing. Taking in slow, deliberate, and deep breaths will help deliver more oxygen to your brain. The heightened levels of oxygen will signal your brain to relax, which will then cause your heart rate and cortisol (a stress hormone) levels to reduce.

Emotional Holistic Mental Health Treatments

Emotional holistic mental health treatments are holistic practices that help you improve both your mental health and your sense of emotional stability. Emotional holistic mental health treatments can vary depending on your individual emotional needs.

Examples of Emotional Holistic Mental Health Treatments

Talk Therapy

Talking to a psychologist/psychiatrist about your mental health issues can have a major positive impact on your emotional well-being and overall mental health. One key benefit of talk therapy is that you have someone who is unbiased to vent to and help you sort out your thoughts and emotions.

By giving you the opportunity to sort out your thoughts and emotions, talk therapy can lead to you discovering other holistic practices that you need to make to better your mental health. Talk therapy can also help you become more aware of your emotions and the things that trigger you.

Music Therapy

Listening to music is a great way to connect to your emotions and improve your mental health. By listening to uplifting music, you can improve your mood and reduce your levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. You can also use music to help you cope when in unpleasant situations.

When working with a music therapist, you may write songs, sing songs, or play musical instruments. Over time, you can even utilize the musical skills that you learned in therapy to socialize with other people who like music.

Learning a new skill, such as how to sing or play music, and using that skill to socialize with others can help build your self-esteem. This, in turn, will only improve your mental health further.

Spiritual Holistic Mental Health Treatments

Spiritual holistic mental health treatments are holistic practices that improve your mental health by feeding your soul what it needs to thrive. Oftentimes, people that suffer from mental illness become numb and disconnected to their emotional and spiritual needs. Because your soul is the deepest and truest entity of yourself, awakening it can not only lead to improved mental health, but to self-discovery as well.

Example of a Spiritual Holistic Mental Health Treatment

Prayer

One way to feed your soul is to connect to a higher power. One way to do this is through prayer. Regardless of your religious affiliations or beliefs, thinking or speaking aloud what your desires are and what you are grateful for can remind you what you are living for.

By reminding yourself of the good things in your life and the things that motivate you to live every day, not only will you keep yourself from falling into a sense of despair and hopelessness, but you will also activate the law of attraction.

Are You Ready to Change Your Life for the Better?

At Montare Behavioral Health, our team specializes in a wide variety of mental health disorder treatments, including those that are holistic. The mental health disorders that we specialize in include depression, anxiety, PTSD, personality and mood disorders, eating disorders, and more.

We also have a wide variety of mental health programs and treatments that range from inpatient care to outpatient care, to cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, individual psychotherapy, group and family therapy, equine therapy, and more.

To learn more about our beautiful mental health treatment center in Los Angeles, CA, contact us today!

References

https://mhcci.com/a-holistic-approach-to-mental-health-recovery/

https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/do-alternative-mental-health-therapies-really-work-why-a-holistic-approach-is-best/

https://blog.nuhs.edu/the-future-of-integrative-health/7-natural-ways-to-help-manage-depression-and-overall-mental-health

https://mentalhealthhope.com/benefits-of-holistic-approach-to-mental-health/

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/exercise#4

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-dopamine#2

https://www.everydayhealth.com/norepinephrine/guide/#:~:text=Norepinephrine%20is%20a%20naturally%20occurring,a%20stressful%20event%20has%20occurred.

https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/serotonin#1

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-deprivation-and-deficiency#:~:text=Sleep%20plays%20an%20important%20role,pressure%2C%20diabetes%2C%20and%20stroke.

https://urbanbalance.com/benefits-deep-breathing/#:~:text=When%20you%20become%20stressed%20or,the%20%E2%80%9Cfeel%20good%E2%80%9D%20chemical.

https://www.verywellmind.com/benefits-of-music-therapy-89829