Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. Around 19 million American adults are living with major depression. We can’t change the stressors or triggers in your life, but can change how your body responds to them. Different therapeutic modalities are like different languages that your body speaks – the key is to find the right language (or combination of languages) that your body will listen to. At Stepping Stone Acupuncture & Wellness, we offer many services that can benefit patients suffering from depression, either as stand-alone therapies or in combination with one another. When it comes to holistic medicine, we find that the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts.
Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle hands-on manual therapy technique. The craniosacral system extends from the head (cranium) to the sacrum and includes the central nervous system. A craniosacral therapist can feel and rebalance the rhythm of cerebrospinal fluid flow, which covers your bones, joints, and sutures. Craniosacral Therapy seeks to reset the nervous system, allowing your body to better process stress and integrate stimulation. It can reduce tension held in the body’s membranes, as well as calm activated nerve fibers between the sutures of the skull, to better promote relaxation and calm, and uplift the mood.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of single-use, sterile, solid needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to reduce tension and pain, overcome disease, and rebalance the body. Your acupuncturist will work with you to determine the underlying cause of your depression from a Chinese Medicine perspective, and to understand how depression affects your body and mind. Your treatments will be tailored to your individual condition. Additional Chinese Medicine methods such as cupping and gua sha manual therapy may be included in acupuncture sessions, when appropriate. Acupuncture can reduce mental and physical tension, balance hormones, improve mood, and change how the nervous system perceives and responds to pain and stress.
Chinese Herbal Medicine:
Chinese Herbal Medicine works on the same principles as acupuncture – but the herbs work from the inside-out, whereas acupuncture works from the outside-in. Herbs are taken in a formula of 2-20 herbs working together to create balance in the body, calm the mind, and boost your body’s natural resources. Formulas are customized to your experience of depression – your herbalist will consider what symptoms arise when you are depressed, and what, if anything, seems to help. Herbs are prescribed in pills, teas, tinctures, powders, or raw herbs to decoct at home, and are focused on lending your body additional support in dealing with depression.
Depression can often cause a lot of physical tension in the body. Therapeutic Massage – which incorporates Swedish massage, myofascial release, deep tissue, and sports massage techniques – works to reduce muscle tension and pain, improve circulation, and increase range of motion as needed. Research has shown that massage also causes the body to release feel-good hormones that can reduce feelings of depression.
A Health Coach is a supportive mentor and wellness guide, who can help you to identify dietary and lifestyle factors that may be adversely affecting your mood and outlook. Health Coaching sessions focus on looking at all aspects of your lifestyle and how simple changes can improve your mood, emotions, and outlook, such as diet, exercise, supplements, sleep habits, work stress, and relationships.
Reiki is a Japanese energy healing modality used for stress reduction, relaxation, and promoting healing from chronic illness. When it comes to depression, Reiki can both calm the nervous system and quiet the mind and can also rebalance your body with a goal of alleviating whatever blockage or pathology has been keeping you in this depressed and stuck state.
A growing body of scientific research shows the benefits of meditation for relaxation, sleep, and managing depression. We offer individual or small group meditation instruction so that you can learn the basics of how to create a home meditation practice for your health and well-being.
Reflexology is a therapeutic treatment in which pressure is applied to particular points and regions of the foot to affect change in the whole body. Reflex points on the feet correspond to different organs and body systems, and by stimulating these points the practitioner can create positive change in a particular system and bring the body back into balance. Reflexology has a known calming effect, owing to the fact that there are so many nerve endings on the feet alone – during a reflexology session your entire nervous system is given permission to relax and feel taken care of.