Top tips to combat the winter blues
Updated: Feb 20
How to alleviate the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with complementary health care
Author: Meagan Roback, RMT
Each year, people of all ages and backgrounds rally together and openly discuss mental health for Bell Let’s Talk. It’s a timely campaign given it’s on the heels of Blue Monday.
Mental illness is a serious topic. It’s important to seek help to alleviate the effects mental illness has in your life. Seeking professional medical and psychological help is key and there are complementary healthcare modalities that can support:
Chiropractic care: Spinal misalignments can affect the nerve pathways that communicate to various parts of the body, inhibiting proper signals our body requires to function. Providing an adjustment can help improve these pathways to the brain. Chronic pain is also sometimes associated with depression. Alleviating pain in the body with proper alignment techniques can help remove the source of the depression (pain).
Massage therapy: Studies show that massage therapy can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress - all that have an affect on mental health. Touch itself can be an elixir for the body; it’s been shown to reduce cortisol (stress hormone) and increase ‘feel good’ hormone (serotonin and oxytocin) levels in the brain. Massage provides a sense of well-being and a deep feeling of relaxation, amongst other benefits.
Naturopathic medicine: Dietary changes and supplements can have a positive effect on mood and cognition. Proper nutrition can help the brain and the entire body function optimally. Proper exercise is also beneficial for the brain as it releases endorphins that can help elevate mood. Many naturopathic doctors also have experience applying acupuncture techniques that can help support the function of neurotransmitters in the body.
Reiki: Apart from the physical side of mental illnesses, there’s also an emotional side. Reiki is a very calming and relaxing modality that can alleviate emotional symptoms that come up with depression and anxiety. It, too, can help alleviate the effects of chronic pain and its negative effects on mood.
Overall, there are a number of modalities that can help support professional medical and psychological treatments for mental disorders. The importance is talking with your doctor and coming up with a plan of action that works for you.