Mental health conditions are a big challenge facing the UK currently, with Mind stating that an estimated 25% will be diagnosed with mental health conditions each year. Many mental health diagnoses are treated through a combination of medication and classic, western therapy, such as CBT. However, there are more options. With east-meets-west therapy becoming popular, there are a number of excellent holistic therapy methods that could aid someone diagnosed with a mental health condition.
Acupuncture is the process of inserting needles into specific points along the human body. The aim of this is to subtly manipulate qi – the life force of a person’s body. For many years, it has been used for mitigating back pain and the effect of migraine with general effectiveness, with acupuncture now recommended by the NHS. When it comes to mental health, acupuncture has been shown to help relieve stress and the symptoms of anxiety. This can have wider ranging effects, such as for those investigating schizophrenia treatment and care options and other mental health diagnoses requiring the use of antipsychotic medication. Acupuncture can help to manage stress and anxiety, alleviating symptoms.
Herbal medicine is another complementary medicine that can help to alleviate other symptoms. In the UK, herbal medicine is tightly regulated, with many Indian and South Asian herbs reserved for medication and rigorously controlled. On the upside, this means that some herbs that could interact dangerously with regular treatments are restricted. However, it can mean some innocuous substances are restricted. There is plenty of material on the internet demonstrating how things as simple as Indian herbal tea can help to alleviate symptoms; as can some medicated herbs. Just read the label.
A word on aromatherapy. Usually consisting of the diffusal of essential oils intermingled with gentle massage techniques, regular aromatherapy can be a wonderful way to enhance regular therapeutic treatments and deliver a holistic sense of well being. When you feel you are too far away from your next appointment, you can deliver an aspect of aromatherapy in your own home by investing in essential oils and taking a bath, or using hot water to steam your head whilst listening to relaxing music.
Holistic therapy can take the edge off the treatments associated with the challenge of mental health diagnosis. In the best case, it can enhance and bring positive change to the rate of your recovery.
When you think of a healthy lifestyle, chances are you think about cutting calories and finally dusting off your gym membership. But no healthy lifestyle choice will be good for you if it doesn’t make you happy, such as if it’s too restrictive. It’s time for nourishment, not punishment! You need to focus on connecting your body and mind, with your lifestyle choices and beneficial holistic therapies. Here are 6 simple steps to be healthier, which could even add 14 years to your life.
#1: Get Your Hands On The Right Food
It’s really easy to fall into a bad eating habit, choosing processed and unhealthy foods that don’t nourish your body. Making the change to healthier foods isn’t about cutting out the delicious snacks you love, but having a more balanced approach to food. It’s about being more mindful about what you eat so that you give your body what it needs, instead of just eating for the sake of it or to deal with uncomfortable feelings.
Be smarter about your treats, such as by trading sugar for honey, and reaching for yogurt instead of cream. These small changes will still make you feel satisfied, but without the extra fat and calories.
Add more fresh produce to your eating plan. It might seem difficult at first, but small changes go a long way to achieving your goal. For instance, adding a fruit or vegetable to every meal will mean that you’ll easily consume three or four servings of fresh foods by the end of the day. This is also a smart way to replace unhealthy or processed food options.
#2: Lower Your Stress
Stress is linked to many diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes. Although you can’t completely eliminate stress from your life, you can find ways to better manage it. It helps to write down your stress in a journal, talk to a supportive friend, and try to see the bigger picture. Chances are, what you’re worrying about now won’t matter in five years. To keep stress at bay, regularly book massages. When a therapist touches your body at certain points, it encourages blood flow circulation and drains your lymphatic system of toxins. A massage with bamboo and jade stones symbolise energy, life energy and strength in the Far East. Pressure placed on the body from bamboo canes melt away stress in the muscles, while jade stones encourage the body’s elimination of harmful toxins, helping you feel rejuvenated – physically and mentally.
(Video Introduction for: Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy at chi yu)
#3: Start Moving
Exercise is important to stay healthy. Research has found that it can boost your health in many ways, such as keeping your heart healthy because it reduces blood pressure. But if you don’t enjoy the exercise you’re doing, it can make the experience stressful and unpleasant. Choose an exercise that you really enjoy, such as dancing, going on bike rides, or walking, and then get a workout partner who will help to keep your sessions fun as well as motivate you.
It might also help you to get a fitness tracker. A study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that people who used fitness trackers increased how active they were by almost 40 minutes every week. Fitness trackers can keep you motivated because when you see your progress, you’ll be inspired to do more.
#4: Quit Your Bad Habits
What are your bad habits? Do you drink too much or smoke? You might depend on these bad habits, such as reaching for cigarettes when stressed, but such bad vices don’t help you for longer than a few moments. Meanwhile, their negative effects can last a lifetime, such as the various health conditions that can arise from smoking. Replace bad habits with more positive activities, such as visiting an art gallery after work instead of going to the pub for a drink. It takes 66 days to create a habit, which is just over two months, so stick with it and you’ll find yourself feeling better and living a more positive life.
To help you on your new path, consider acupuncture. It’s been used in Asia for thousands of years and promotes the flow of the body’s energy known as “chi.” Acupuncture can reduce withdrawal symptoms when combined with conventional treatment, easing cravings, anxiety, and tiredness.
(Video Introduction for: Acupuncture at chi yu)
#5: Create A Healthy Work-Life Balance
You can’t work all the time –not only will you be stressed, but you’ll miss out on the chance to enjoy yourself. There are many things you can do to encourage a healthier balance between work and life.
Think about what you’re grateful for every day, as this will make you more appreciative of your life and boost mindfulness. If you’re always trying to achieve more and more, you’ll miss out on what you’re already blessed with.
Give as much of your time as you can to others. The bonus of volunteering is that it gives you a sense of purpose, reminding you of what’s really important in life.
Remember that charity starts at home, though, so be available to your loved ones. Having a support system is an important part of life as it helps you better meander obstacles and challenges.
Focus on hobbies that make you happy. It’s too easy to forget about our inner children, and yet experiencing simple delight in fun activities is what we should nurture in our lives because it helps us to remember not to take life too seriously all the time and live in the present.
#6: Check Your Mood
Life can be busy and noisy, so it’s important to take time every day to relax in a quiet place. Here, you can be alone with your thoughts and feelings, and “check in” with yourself about where you’re headed and what you want out of life. Notice any negative feelings that come up, like jealousy or depression, and see what is happening in your life to make you feel them. Remember, it’s not what you feel but what you do with those feelings that matter. Use them positively and you’ll live a healthier and more harmonious life. For instance, if you’re feeling jealous, perhaps it’s a sign that you want more out of your life. It can therefore be a motivation to help you live the life that makes you happiest.
Essential oils are also capable of banishing negative energy, and Holistic Aromatherapy uses them to flood the body and mind with harmony. Essential oils are life essences from plants that have powerful chemicals to ease stress. Massage and inhalation help the body absorb essential oils so that they can influence your emotions, helping you find greater balance and peace.
(Video Introduction for: Oriental Aromatherapy at chi yu)
When your life is in harmony, you’re happier and healthier. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to how you’re living, from what foods you eat to making time for holistic treatments that balance your energy. When you do this, you’ll make better choices that lead to greater spiritual, mental, and physical health.
Marylebone is full of eastern promise now that the Chi Yu Wellness Centre on George Street has opened its doors. Chi Yu means “healing” in Japanese, and inspired by traditional Japanese philosophy the new centre aims to improve it’s clients’ physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing through the application of both Oriental and complementary therapies.
Treatments include acupuncture, cupping therapy, aromatherapy, craniosacral therapy and pre- and postnatal care. There is a comprehensive choice of massages, including deep tissue and remedial massage, which focuses on releasing muscle tension and stimulating blood circulation through slow strokes with deep pressure, and improves joint mobility by applying muscle stretching techniques. The signature Chi Yu Integrated Therapy uses a range of therapies tailored to the needs of each client. Read more.
Watch the videos about Deep Tissue and Remedial Massage and Chi Yu Integrated Therapy as featured in the profile