Osteopathic Treatment and Depression

When people think about depression, or treating depression, they often think about turning to their general practitioner, psychologist, or psychiatrist for help, but what about an osteopath? An osteopath is a medical professional who focuses on providing a therapeutic, drug-free, and holistic approach to medical care that can help people dealing with mood disorders, mental health issues, and depression that stems from chronic health conditions (which may also be improved with regular osteopathic care).

Why You May Want to Turn to An Osteopath

An osteopathic doctor is a bit different from a traditional doctor in that they focus on a person’s mental, emotional and psychological health as well as their physical health. An osteopath provides holistic medical care that encompasses the body, as well as the mind and spirit. As a result, an osteopath can also play a key role in improving your depression and other mental health issues.

A Drug-Free Approach to Treating Depression

Whether people are looking to avoid anti-depressants, wean themselves off their current medications, or are simply looking for an alternative therapy that complements their current medication and therapeutic plan, many people dealing with depression can benefit from osteopathic therapy.

Osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT) goes beyond medication and provides patients with a more well-rounded approach to treating their depression that may include exercise, as well as dietary and nutritional changes. An osteopath also looks at the “whole picture” when treating a patient. If a patient is in chronic pain and is dealing with depression as a result, the role of the osteopath is to treat the underlying cause of the chronic pain to improve physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

The Power of Osteopathic Therapy

While osteopathic therapy offers a variety of modalities and treatment options to patients with mental illness, manipulative therapy alone can provide a variety of benefits to those with depression. Apart from easing aches and pains associated with both mental disorders and chronic health problems, osteopathic therapy can also,

  • Reduce cortisol and stress levels
  • Improve sleep and relaxation through craniosacral therapy
  • Reduce inflammation in the body
  • Rebalance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems through vagus nerve stimulation
  • Calm the HPA axis, which reduces cortisol and improves the body’s resilience to stress
  • Improve gut-brain function, which can also improve depressive symptoms related to an imbalanced gut microbiome

If depression is impacting your quality of life and wellbeing, it’s time you talked to an osteopath to find out if osteopathic manipulation therapy could be right for you. Osteopathic medicine can be a safe, effective and complementary option to help you better get your depression symptoms under control.

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