Hello! Happy Monday! As I take a break from studying from my upcoming midterm, I thought it would right to finish up the three part series on the different types of therapy used in the treatment for mental health. So far we’ve covered the most common types and the biological types. So for the last part of this series, I’ll be covering alternative therapies.
For most of the therapies I’ll be explaining, I’ve either tried myself or know of someone who has – and most of the time have heard excellent feed back from. What’s also nice about some of these therapies is that they’re versatile – they don’t necessarily have to be used in the treatment of mental health. Because, to be quite honest, who doesn’t love getting a massage? I know I do. Heck, I just went for one the other day and I felt 100 times better afterwards. IT WORKS MIRACLES PEOPLE, I SWEAR.
As I just mentioned, massage therapy is by far one of my most favourite things. What’s good about it is that you have the allotted time to free your mind of any worries and stress and focus on the calm and relaxation of the experience. For me, my body can only handle 30 minutes and then I start to feel not so swell. But hey, that 30 minutes is just enough for me. Fun fact: in my grade 12 kinesiology (sports science) class, we had a massage therapist come in for 3 classes and teach us some techniques which was pretty cool.
Massage therapy has been practiced for over thousands of years – with over 80 different techniques, movements, and pressures. As many of you know, massage therapy is the use of rubbing, pressing, manipulating the muscles against the soft tissues with hands and/or fingers.
According to aromatherapy.com, aromatherapy is the “practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.” It is believed that inhalation of these oils help stimulate brain function. These oils may also be absorbed through the skin. Array of these essential oils exist, all of which having different healing properties.
Some of the most common oils include: peppermint, chamomile, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, and tea tree.
Herbal therapy, also known as herbalism or botanical therapy, is the use of plants or plant extracts for medication. This is said to be a more natural form – it may be eaten or applied to the skin.
In the most simplistic explanation, mindfulness is having awareness of moment-to-moment of one’s surroundings and themselves. According to greatergood.berkeley.edu mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.”
When I first started my journey to recovery, yoga was one of the first things I had taken up. I remember buying all sorts of DVDs and looking up different Youtube videos. Now, for me personally, I believe yoga is completely underrated. When I was pracitcing three-four times a week, I was still struggling to get some of the moves. It takes a lot of flexibility and concentration. But after going to bootcamp and lifting weights, I decided that having someone pushing me to sweat more and work harder was what worked better for me – so my advice is for you to do the same.
Alex Newton is a nursing student and mental health advocate. She grew up in a small town and plans on moving to London, England one day and open up her own health practice. She has a cat named Maya who she adopted whilst going through some difficulties. She’s a daughter, sister, and warrior who enjoys a nice cuppa tea.