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Understanding Depression -- Diagnosis and Treatment

Herbal Remedies for Depression continued...

S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM-e), another herbal remedy, is also said to be useful for depression, although no conclusive medical studies have been done to date.

Although ginkgo biloba is typically used as an "alternative medicine" strategy that might help to improve memory and ease confusion, it has proven in some cases to work better than placebo for the symptoms of depression, and is approved by the German government's Commission E for this purpose.

Whatever herbal remedy you may decide to take to treat a medical condition, it is always best to consult your health care provider first. This is especially true if you are taking prescription medications for the same or other conditions.

Mind/Body Medicine for Depression

Many mind/body practices can be helpful with depression. Music and dance can lift the spirits and energize the body. Meditation and relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, both stimulate and relax. Other choices include transcendental meditation, visualizations, and the Asian exercise techniques of yoga, tai chi, and qigong. Choose one or two that suit you and practice often.

Massage for Depression

Massage not only relaxes you, it may help reduce your anxiety and depression. When groups of depressed adolescents received massage therapy, their stress hormone levels changed, their brain activity was positively affected and their anxiety and depression eased. Because it has no side effects, massage could be a safe and positive addition to your depression treatment program.

Acupuncture for Depression

The World Health Organization lists depression among the conditions for which acupuncture is effective. Some studies have shown it markedly lessens symptoms of depression. Acupuncture can be a valuable alternative if you are unable to take antidepressants or have not found them helpful.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD on April 11, 2014

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