When considering interventions outside of the mainstream medical model it can be difficult to discern the legitimate from the snake oil. It is important to weigh the risks and benefits as well as consider the available evidence of the intervention before starting any treatment protocol. Lifestyle practices with low risk, high benefit and increasing evidence for stress management and relaxation leading to mental health and overall well-being are important for all to consider, including movement, mindfulness and nutrition.
Read some of the research on mind-body effects of stress and relaxation.
Exercise has been shown time and again to promote physical and mental health, even replacing the need for medication in some cases. Yoga and meditation are age-old practices for which there is now scientific evidence of their therapeutic benefits for the health of the mind and body. The nutritional benefits of balanced dietary practices has long-established importance for physical health and now has increasing evidence for its importance in mental health.
Movement of the physical body through exercise, dance, or yoga has far-reaching benefits for psychological health including mood, motivation, stress management, self monitoring and self-determination. Yoga therapy can help you harness your internal sources of self-healing, moving toward emotional integration which can open the potential for healthier and happier life experiences.
Mindfulness or meditation practices are beneficial for physical, emotional and psychological health. Mindfulness can take a variety of forms including yoga, biofeedback, meditation, guided imagery, and deep breathing. Learn more about the role of these relaxation and meditation practices in stress management and relaxation for mental health and overall well-being.
Learn more about being mindful throughout all aspects of daily living.
Consuming a high-quality, well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet is the best way to obtain the basic amino acids, vitamins and minerals our bodies require for optimal functioning. At times there may be various reasons our bodies may require additional supplementation of these basic nutrients (e.g. malabsorption, dietary deficiencies). Nutritional supplementation may be indicated in place of standard medications or in augmentation of standard treatments for many physical and mental health concerns.
Since herbal, vitamin and mineral supplements are sold over-the-counter without the need for a prescription, it is important to discuss with your physician or health-care provider which nutritional supplements you may be consuming to check for potential harmful interactions with other supplements or with medications. A major concern with the supplement industry is the limited regulation and the various health-related claims some products may advertise.
If you are a consumer of nutritional supplements, you can stay informed on the safety and quality of what is available in the marketplace by checking out independent testing results available through Consumer Lab and may consider looking for products labeled USP Verification.
You can read more about nutritional supplements here:
WHERE TO BEGIN?
It may seem overwhelming when looking at the wide variety of holistic, integrative, and complementary health providers.
The 2012 National Health Interview Survey provides the most recent up-to-date and comprehensive information on the use of complementary health approaches (mind-body approaches and natural supplementation products) in the United States.
As a parent considering complementary health approaches for your child/teen, these articles may help answer some of your questions.
Contact me today to discuss what treatment options may be right for you (or your child).