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Alternative Treatments for Depression

Alternative Treatments for Depression

Alternative treatments play a role in the treatment of many diseases, including depression. In this article, we will talk about some of the different methods that could ease depression and its symptoms.


The sluggishness of mild depression as well as many of its physical symptoms could be alleviated by acupressure. Acupressure is performed by applying steady and firm pressure on specific points along the body. Instead of just applying pressure, the acupressure point could be rubbed briskly so that it becomes stimulated. These acupressure points are identical to acupuncture points; and they correspond to and affect other parts of the body when stimulated.

Depression, according to Chinese medicine, occurs when someone represses guilt, anger or certain other emotions. This blocked energy could be released with the help of using anti-depression acupressure points. A person can examine these feelings once the energy is free to rise to the surface, and try to understand them better.
Some of the important acupressure points for relieving depression are listed below. Not all of these points need to be used. A person’s depression could be controlled by using just one or two of them whenever possible.

head points



There are three points on the head:

  • The Posterior Summit (GV 19)
  • One Hundred Meeting Point (GV 20)
  • Anterior Summit (GV 21)

Depression, as well as the accompanying headache and memory lapses could be relieved by pressing these points located on the top of the head. The middle point (GV 20) should be pressed first. The right thumb should be placed on the top of the right ear, the left thumb on the top of the left ear, the fingertips should be moved toward the top of the head where there’s a hollow near the top of the center of the head. Lying approximately one inch behind GV 20, GV 19 is also situated in a hollow. One inch in front of GV 20 is located GV 21. The person should relax his/her body and let the tension and depression slip away as steady and firm pressure is applied to these points. 


Just below the base of the skull in the hollows between the two large neck muscles these two points are located. Headache, neck tension, irritability and depression could be relieved if these two points are pressed.

head points



These points are found on the muscles bordering the spine, about a half-inch from the base of the skull. The emotional distress and fatigue of depression could be relieved by pressing them.


These two points help soothe and balance emotions. They are situated between the shoulder blades and spine three inches from the spine at the level of the fourth thoracic vertebrae. In case there isn’t someone available to press these points, the person can lie on his/her back and place two tennis balls beneath the upper back between the shoulder blades in the appropriate spots. The points will be massaged by the pressure of lying on the balls.



About one to two inches from the spine in the lower back at waist level is where point B23 is located. At the same level, B52 is located one to two inches out from the previously mentioned point. Emotional upset, depression and fatigue could be relieved by pressing these points.



Between the eyebrows in the groove where the bridge of the nose meets the forehead is where this point is located. Emotions could be soothed and depression relieved by pressing this point.

head points


These points are found in the groove between the bottom of the collarbone and the first rib where they meet the breast-bone. Difficulty breathing, depression and anxiety could be relieved by pressing these points.



On the outside of the upper chest at the level of the first intercostal space that is found below the first rib, six inches from the midline of the body is where these points are found. Difficulty breathing, depression, grief and blocked emotions could be relieved by pressing them.



It is located at the level of the fourth intercostal space found below the fourth rib in the middle of the breastbone. General emotional instability, depression, grief and anxiety could be relieved by pressing this point. 

head points


Found four finger-widths below the kneecap and one inch outside the shinbone, depression and fatigue could be relieved by pressing these points, which could also help with emotional balance and overall muscle tone.


  • Sit comfortably or lie down on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your spine straight.
  • Reach up toward the sky with both hands and take a deep breath. As you are holding your breath, you should tighten all the muscles in your arms by making tight fists and squeezing.
  • Tensing your arms and bringing your fists down to your chest, you should exhale slowly.
  • Repeat the second and third steps several times
  • With your fingers touching the upper outside area of your chest, namely point Lu 1 which is also known as Letting Go; and your wrists cross at the center of your upper chest, you should cross your arms.
  • Bring your chin down toward your chest
  • Without exhaling, inhale four short breaths in a row through your nose and on the fourth breath, fill your lungs completely. With your chest full and expanded, hold your breath for a few seconds.
  • Slowly exhale through your mouth
  • Focusing on the depth and rhythm of your breath, repeat this exercise for two to three minutes.


Aromatic essences that are extracted from plants are used in aromatherapy. Controlling the plant’s biochemical reactions and relaying messages between cells, these essential oils are like the hormones of the plants. They are the most vital substance of the plant and they protect the plant from fungi, parasites and bacteria.

Many of the essential oils are too strong to be directly used on the skin and they are usually very potent. They should be added to the massage oil or cream in case someone wants to use them for massage, and he/she should also experiment with the amount to use. The skin could be irritated by too much of a particular oil, even if it’s in a bath. You should start by using only a few drops, and then you could gradually add a bit more if you like its effect.

If you are using aromatherapy and homeopathic therapy, you should make sure to check with a homeopath because some oils could counteract homeopathic remedies. Mild forms of depression and mental fatigue could be relieved with aromatherapy; which could also help you sleep. However, additional support and therapy are necessary in case a person is severely depressed. When used as a complementary therapy assisting other therapies, aromatherapy is more effective.

Some of the oils that could have an uplifting effect on you include sage, lemongrass, bergamot, rosemary and cypress.
On the other hand, the oils that could have a soothing effect include neroli, jasmine, camomile, sandalwood, lavender, ylang ylang, patchouli, geranium, rose and marjoram.

Myrrh, sandalwood, basil, orange, grapefruit, frankincense, spruce, ylang ylang, lemon, geranium, clary sage, lavender, rose, bergamot, neroli, cedarwood and jasmine are some of the essential oils that are used for depression, while ylang ylang, rose, rosemary and camomile are some of the essential oils that can have a positive effect on feelings of anger that are associated with depression.

Marjoram, neroli, lavender, frankincense, hyssop and rose are some of the oils that could help feelings of grief and bereavement in case depression is associated with a loss. Having an uplifting effect on the mind and emotions, many of the essential oils that are used for depression come from fruits and flowers.


Inhalation for mild depression:

• 4 parts ylang ylang essential oil
• 4 parts clary sage essential oil
• 1 part sandalwood essential oil
• 3 parts geranium essential oil
• 2 parts basil essential oil

These essential oils should be mixed in an amber glass bottle and labeled. It could be used three to four times a day.

Essential oil blend for depression:

• Rose
• Clary sage
• German chamomile (matricaria recutita)
• Basil
• Jasmine

These oils should be mixed together and 2 or 3 drops should be put in a bowl of steaming water, or 5 to 6 drops in a bath, or 1 to 2 drops on the edge of the pillow.

Camomile-bergamot blend:

• Jasmine 4%
• Bergamot 4%
• Camomile 6%
These essences should be taken once a day on a brown sugar tablet.

Aromatherapy bath:

Taking an aromatic bath two to three times a week may be quite helpful for depression. In the case of mild bouts of depression or feeling blue, aromatic baths could be effective enough on their own as a remedy.

Aromatic bath for blues:

• 3 drops Lavender essential oil
• 2 drops Geranium essential oil
• ¼ cup Honey (or safflower, canola, almond and soy)
• 2 drops Basil essential oil
• 1 drop Grapefruit essential oil
• 3 drops Ylang ylang essential oil
After mixing these essential oils in the honey, you should add this aromatic honey mixture to a bath tub filled with warm water. Stir it using your hands and then soak in it for 20 to 30 minutes. This is quite helpful for mild bouts of depression.

Aromatherapy massage:

Aromatherapy and massage go hand in hand in treating depression or other nervous system ailments. An aromatherapy massage is pampering, nurturing and satisfying; and it is one of the best ways a person can treat him/herself.

Elation formulation:

• 8 drops Ylang ylang essential oil
• 2 drops Bergamot essential oil
• 1 tsp. Wheat germ oil
• 2 drops Geranium essential oil
• 2 tblsp. Sweet almond oil or vegetable oil
• 2 drops Basil essential oil
• 8 drops Lavender essential oil

These essential oils should be collected in an amber glass bottle, and the sweet almond oil and wheat germ oil should be added to them. The blend should be shaken gently and mixed well to become a concentrated massage oil for mild depression. It should be applied two to three times a day in this way: apply a small amount onto the back of your hands and chest area, and then after applying it to your skin, inhale the essences from your hands.


There is a wide variety of herbs that could treat depression whether it is mild, moderate or severe. Determining whether the depression is short-lived or chronic and carefully studying how often the patient is depressed and the circumstances around this situation should be the first step before prescribing a natural remedy or medicine.

St. John’s Wort:

Hypericum perforatum, also known as St. John’s wort, seems to be a dream remedy for depression. It is wholesome, natural, inexpensive and available over the counter. This herbal remedy has shown promise for the long-term treatment of moderate depression because it has fewer side effects.

SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine):

To maintain healthy neurotransmitter processes in the brain, the body requires amino acid. SAMe is an essential amino acid that can treat depression. Deficient quantities of certain brain chemicals are found in people who suffer from depression. With little or no side effects, SAMe works fast to increase the levels of these chemicals and improve the deficient factors.

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan):

The intermediate step between tryptophan and the important brain chemical serotonin, a strong neurotransmitter in the brain, is 5-Hydroxytryptophan, which is an amino acid. Changes in sleep patterns and feeling down or other symptoms that are caused by low serotonin levels could be relieved by 5-HTP. It also suppresses the appetite, making it helpful in losing weight.

Ginkgo Biloba:

Based on results from clinical trials, depression could be relieved with the use of ginkgo, particularly in older people who suffer from reduced blood flow to the brain. This powerful antidepressant and antioxidant increases blood flow to the brain as well as other parts of the body. Symptoms of Alzheimer’s could be alleviated by this improved blood circulation, which also promotes cardiovascular health and increases memory.

Siberian Ginseng:

The balance of important neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, serotonin, epinephrine and dopamine is improved by Siberian ginseng. Its varieties are referred to as an adaptogen, which is a substance that helps the body adapt to external physical stress. It is believed that ginseng improves aerobic capacity, stimulates the immune system and enhances abstract thinking. It also regulates blood sugar levels, meaning that it is beneficial for people with diabetes.

Herbs that are used to relieve depression must be used with oils of lemon, clary sage, bergamot or rosemary which are good for grief, lack of concentration, despair and fatigue, in case hormonal or nutritional imbalances are present along with symptoms of frustration, anger, guilt and/or anxiety. On the other hand, if the patient is experiencing mental hyperactivity and restlessness, the herbs should be used with oils of sandalwood, rose and lavender.

A person should walk, exercise and participate in activities that make him/her feel better in addition to using herbs to eliminate depression. However, consulting a professional to get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment is quite important. 

Prepared By: Dr. Mehyar Al-Khashroum
Edited By: Miss Araz Kahvedjian

Source :

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Other Comments

Terrific Theme
There are a lot of newly born information in my brain and it goes back to reading this article.Thanks you all.
2010-07-12 / Haifa Hamidi

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