When someone in your family is suffering from mental illness, it takes a toll on everyone around them. Poor mental health can be a really difficult subject in some families, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone and that there’s nothing wrong with your family for experiencing mental illness. Depression affects almost 300 million people worldwide, making it one of the leading causes of disability claims.
If someone in your family is experiencing poor mental health, you’ll find yourself wanting to do anything you can to help them. They deserve the best care and the chance to lead a normal, happy life. Fortunately, there are a wide range of options for getting them the help they need. If you’re hoping to try a natural route before turning to medication, therapy can be highly effective in managing depression and anxiety. Naturopathy can supplement this therapy and make it more effective.
While the term is often used interchangeably with homeopathy (an oft-criticized branch of holistic care), naturopathic medicine is a science-based treatment that encourages good health by pinpointing the specific health areas that need attention and using natural therapies to improve psychological and physiological balance. Alongside therapy, this could help your family member get their mental health back on track.
Naturopathic Doctors and Safety
According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, naturopathic medicine is defined as, “a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process.” They note that “the practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods.”
Due to the scientific approach to naturopathy, it’s probably best to seek an expert when trying out naturopathic medicine so you can learn as much as possible about the natural substances your family is using. Even all-natural substances can be dangerous when taken in excess, and a naturopathic doctor can help ensure that your family avoids toxicity or potential interactions with medications they’re taking.
One problematic interaction, for example, is the one between essential oils that contain methyl salicylate and blood-thinning medications, which can cause the blood to thin excessively, resulting in internal bleeding and bruising. It many also be dangerous to consume even a small concentrated amount of essential oils like eucalyptus oil or wintergreen oil, as these can be deadly for children.
Naturopathic medicine works the same in most teen and adult age groups. However, children can be particularly receptive to the treatment and professional naturopathologists may find effective solutions faster for them because their bodies have not yet experienced compounding issues that can make their illnesses more complicated to treat. By seeking treatment for issues when they’re young, children can avoid the further development of their health problems.
Types of Naturopathy
There are a variety of approaches that naturopathic doctors employ to attain optimal results for their patients. If one style isn’t working, there are other options to try. Although naturopathic doctors can often treat chronic conditions that aren’t responsive to conventional medicine, it’s important to remember that if naturopathy isn’t working for your family member, they should seek medication to treat their mental health, as chemical imbalances often require prescription medications.
One naturopathic approach to treatment and healing is aromatherapy, which involves the use natural oils extracted from plants to improve physical and mental well-being. Essential oils can either be inhaled, which helps to stimulate brain function, or absorbed through the skin, where they can sink into the bloodstream and promote healing throughout the entire body.
This type of naturopathy can be used to relieve pain, ease headaches, improve a person’s mood, and increase the user’s cognitive function. Every essential oil come with its own healing properties, based on their various sources.
Nature has long been believed to be an effective form of therapy, as it has been shown to ease some symptoms of depression. Getting away from everyday life and surrounding yourself with nature helps to promote mindfulness and gratitude in individuals. Natural environments offer peace and quiet where a person can clear their mind, recognizing that there is more than the stress of their everyday life. This can help reduce tension, anger, and anxiety.
This type of therapy doesn’t require consultation from a naturopathic doctor, but it can be helpful when used with other naturopathic medicines. In general, many people could benefit both physically and mentally by taking time out of their week to go hiking, visit the park, or simply venture out to a grassy and quiet area, especially on sunny days when the light can increase serotonin levels.
Diet therapy involves the use of food to receive the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function optimally. Although some individuals don’t need to eat healthy to have good mental health, everyone can really benefit from providing their bodies with proper nutrition. Without following a proper diet, it’s easy for a person to feel fatigued and depressed, as their body will likely not feel good.
Diet therapy can include eating lots of greens, such as broccoli and kale. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, and it’s loaded with antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol. It’s also high in vitamin C and vitamin K, and can even help lower cholesterol. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A, C, and B6, which can help your body feel great. Garlic is a natural antimicrobial, which can help prevent colds and flus, and it’s also good for your heart.
Effectiveness of Naturopathy in Therapy
Naturopathic physicians recognize that they need to understand the context of a patient’s illness in order to treat the patient. To find an effective naturopathic treatment for your loved one’s physical and mental health, your family must be patient and communicative with the doctor.
Although many patients recognize the problem, they often don’t know how to take the steps to fix it. The naturopathic doctor can help develop priorities among treatment options. Naturopathic medicine can help treat fatigue, pain, trouble sleeping, and mental health, and it can help you find the treatment that will allow your family members to live their best lives.