Are Alternative Therapies Useful for Treating Anxiety and Depression?

Are Alternative Therapies Useful for Treating Anxiety and Depression?

When you think of getting help for anxiety and depression, the most common treatments are usually medication-assisted treatment (MAT), some form of psychotherapy, or a combination of both. Individuals who are struggling with challenges to their mental health might find alternative therapies helpful as well. Alternative therapies such as massage therapy or yoga classes can help them alleviate and manage their symptoms.

Adding an alternative or complementary therapy to your treatment plan should always be discussed with your doctor. It is important that you and your doctor are on the same page about your mental health. In order to make sure that you are getting the most effective treatment possible, your doctor will need to have all the information about anything new you are trying. Remember that your doctor is your ally!

What Are Alternative Therapies?

When you are talking about alternative therapies, it simply refers to any treatment you are using that does not fall under traditional medicine practices. Alternative therapies can include wellness practices like yoga, meditation, or visualization practices. Massage therapy, acupuncture, and acupressure are commonly used as well. These therapies aim to promote relaxation and aid in the regulation of the nervous system.

Alternative therapy is sometimes used interchangeably with complementary therapies. Alternative therapies are used instead of standard treatments. Complementary therapy is used in conjunction with standard therapy. These therapies can be used to treat or reduce symptoms of a variety of conditions. Alternative and complementary therapies such as can be helpful in relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Alternative Therapies for Mental Health

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, you might be considering alternative therapies. There are many different options to choose from, particularly massage therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, and yoga.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can be used to relieve stress and promote relaxation. There are physical benefits that promote positive mental health. Massage can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and also increase the level of serotonin, which increases feelings of happiness.

Devoting time to practicing self-care and mindful relaxation increases your resiliency toward depression and anxiety symptoms. When you work with a massage therapist who can address your mental health concerns, you can increase your mind-body connection, promoting total wellness.


Acupuncture is a technique based on traditional Chinese medicine practices. It is the process of inserting very thin needles through your skin at strategic points on your body to relieve specific symptoms. Acupuncture is gaining popularity as a useful tool in treating anxiety and depression. An experienced acupuncturist will know where to place the needles to help your body process negative emotions more effectively. It is believed that acupuncture helps to restore balance in your body and mind, which is critical for physical and mental health.

An acupuncture session will include a period of time after the insertion of the needles in which you are required to lie still. You spend time alone in a peaceful setting focusing on how you feel. Often the space you are in is extremely peaceful and may include ambient music, aromatherapy, and soft lighting. The combination of all of these factors, along with the acupuncture process, helps you to combat the symptoms of depression and anxiety.


Acupressure works following the same principle of acupuncture without the use of needles. It involves putting physical pressure on different pressure points in the body. This pressure can be produced with hands, elbows, or different devices. It is used to promote greater balance and circulation of energy throughout your body and mind. It is another helpful mental health tool that combines mindfulness and physical manipulation of points in your body.


Yoga has long been used as a physical activity that promotes holistic wellness. Yoga is a low-impact exercise that can be catered to your abilities. While participating in yoga, you employ breathing techniques and mindfulness while pushing your physical body to reach new thresholds.

Yoga creates a calming center of peace and well-being. It is associated with lowering stress hormones and increasing happiness hormones, similar to massage. It focuses intensely on the mind-body connection and promotes overall wellness.

Alternative Therapies and Traditional Treatments

At Alter Wellness Care, we want to support you in achieving your mental health goals. We offer evidence-based therapies that can help you manage your depression or anxiety symptoms, including therapy and medication options.

Supporting our clients in being mindful of their holistic health needs is essential to our process. We believe firmly in understanding the person as a whole, a person that cannot be defined solely by a diagnosis. We are committed to helping you find a treatment plan and lifestyle that will support your mental health. Combining standard treatments and alternative therapy might be the right path for you.

If you, or a loved one, are struggling with symptoms of depression or anxiety, you might be searching for ways to manage them. Depression and anxiety are among the most common psychiatric disorders in the United States. There are a variety of different treatment options available, including medication-assisted treatment and many forms of psychotherapy. Alternative therapies can be incredibly useful tools as part of a treatment plan. At Alter Wellness Care, our goal is to support you in managing the symptoms of anxiety and depression in a healthy and efficient way that works for you and fits into your lifestyle. Call us today at (866) 311-3510 for more information on the treatment of anxiety and depression.

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