Omega3s have established mood enhancing benefits and boost the effectiveness of antidepressants

This is the fifth in a series of posts on non-pharmacologic treatments of depressed mood. Previous posts briefly reviewed research findings on S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and folate. This post is offered as a concise review of omega-3 essential fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic … Continue reading

Bright light exposure may improve seasonal depressed mood: more studies are needed

Regular morning exposure to bright light may improve seasonal depressed mood This is the third post in a series on non-pharmacologic treatments of depressed mood. Previous posts provided brief reviews of the evidence for S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and folate. This post … Continue reading

Folate in the form of l-methyl folate enhances antidepressant response

This is the third post in a series on complementary and integrative treatments of depressed mood. The previous post reviewed the evidence for SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine). In this post I briefly review the evidence for folate in depressed mood. Future posts will … Continue reading

Fighting the Winter Blues with SAMe

Fighting the winter blues with complementary and alternative therapies This is the second in a series of posts on complementary and alternative (CAM) approaches to depressed mood. As I write I am thinking of many of my own patients who … Continue reading

Safe and Effective Non-medication Ways to get Through the Winter Blues

Dealing with depression over the holidays Many people who struggle with chronic depressed feel more depressed as the holidays approach, the weather gets colder, and the days get shorter. If you currently take an antidepressant but you are having disappointing results … Continue reading

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Anxiety

Prescription anti-anxiety medications are limited by safety problems Prescription medications used to treat generalized anxiety include the benzodiazepines such as diazepam and clonazepam, and SSRI antidepressants such as paroxetine and sertraline.  Chronic benzodiazepine use is associated with dependence, sedation and mental … Continue reading

Healing Touch and Therapeutic Touch for Anxiety and Stress

Ancient healing techniques but unknown mechanism  Non-contact and so-called ‘energy’ healing techniques have been used in all world regions for thousands of years. Although widely used to treat a range of medical and mental health problems, research findings are difficult … Continue reading

Acupuncture of Anxiety: A Safe and Effective Therapy

Acupuncture has diverse mechanisms of action Animal and human studies suggest that the beneficial effects of acupuncture on health including mental and emotional functioning are related to different mechanism of action including changes in neurotransmitters involved in emotional regulation such as serotonin, … Continue reading

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback for Anxiety Conditions

Several mechanisms are involved Abnormal low heart rate variability (HRV) is associated with both medical and psychiatric disorders. HRV biofeedback is a recently developed technique that aims to modulate HRV in ways that have beneficial effects on mental and emotional functioning. The … Continue reading

Massage Therapy for Chronic Stress and Anxiety

Massage alters EEG activity, increases parasympathetic activity and decreases cortisol levels Massage is widely used in all cultures to evoke feelings of deep relaxation and reduced anxiety. The anxiety reducing and mood enhancing benefits of massage are probably related to … Continue reading