Dealing with depression or anxiety can be hard. Exhausting. Frustrating. Isolating. I think so often our society doesn't view depression or anxiety as a medical condition. But they really are chronic conditions. There can be good days and bad days. Or there can be bad weeks and months. Just like flare-ups of chronic conditions like chronic fatigue or IBS.
But it's a disease, an illness. And yeah, exercise and diet, CranioSacral Therapy, meditation, relaxation methods, these all help. They can make a real difference. But there will be times they are not enough. All these things are great to do when your feeling good. They can help those good days last longer. That's why they are complementary.
I've recently discovered different kind medical option to help the fight with depression and anxiety that is not a drug. And bonus, it also helps with physical pain and headaches. It is called ALPHA-STIM and it is a cranial electrotherapy devise. Yes, I am a CranioSacral Therapy and I endorse using electrotherapy, on your cranium. And it feels great. Well, actually it doesn't feel like anything except dizzy if you turn it up too high. If you get dizzy or loopy, just turn it down till it goes away. Less is more.
I have been using mine for a couple months now. And it has been much more effective for me than any medication I've tried for depression or anxiety.
I have experienced better sleep. Slower thoughts. More command over racing or negative thoughts. I have more energy. Overall, I just feel better. My husband says I've gotten my playfulness back! It's been wonderful for me, and us. Life is easier.
The technology behind Alpha-STIM is starting to gain exposure. It is a low level electrical stimulation that puts your brain into an alpha state. Like meditating, but easy and painless. There are two clips you put on your ears and it fits easily into my back pocket. I wear it while cooking or getting ready for the day. I don't feel anything, except after a few minutes I notice I'm more relaxed and my mind is clear.
What I love about using this is you buy the device and that's it. No prescriptions each month. It wasn't exactly cheap, but it's a one-time cost. So the potential to save is big over the years.
I don't have anything to gain for promoting this device. I just want more people to be aware of this option. Check out their website to learn more! https://www.alpha-stim.com/
Have you 've tried it out or are you interested in getting one for yourself? I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let us know.
There are many things you can do to help lessen the effects of SAD. And it helps to have many tools at your disposal, so you have the confidence of knowing you can handle it!
Here’s a list of things you can start doing in the fall and early winter to care for your body and mental health. I hope you find them helpful and I hope you are able to adapt each one to fit your needs and likes!
I hope these 5 Tools to help SAD are helpful! If you are only able to implement one of them, start with the therapy light! Even if you don’t have SAD, the light will help cheer you up and energize your body.
AKA, the Winter Blues or Seasonal Depression
The change of seasons can be difficult. Especially in the winter. And especially if you live in the North.
Not only is it a big season for change (school and holidays can cause a lot of stress), but you also have less sunlight and lots of cold weather.
Which is a big stress on your body. Especially your internal clock.
It doesn’t take long for your circadian rhythm to get out of whack. When the sleep and wake cycles are out of balance, serotonin and melatonin levels will also become out of balance.
There are some common signs our body is not adjusting to the winter season. This could be an indication you are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, also commonly called SAD or Seasonal Depression.
SAD affects many people, especially young adults and adolescents because they have sensitive circadian rhythms. Generally as people age, their circadian rhythm is not as affected by changes in sunlight.
So take note of these common signs of SAD and watch your body and loved ones for these changes:
Now you have learned some of the common signs of SAD. I understand if just reading this list is making you feel down and looking for a blanket to hibernate under.
But don’t worry. There are many things you can do to feel better and get your body back into a better balance.
So stayed tuned for my next article on ways you can fight SAD and keep your body in rhythm.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by some of these symptoms? Take care of yourself, do the hard thing and call up your mental health professional. Your future self with thank you.
And if you don’t already have a therapist, stop what you are doing and find one, you can search the Psychology Today website, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists or search Google by typing in “therapist near me”.
What is self-care?
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Twin Cities CranioSacral
Janet Crow MS, CMT, CST-T
557 West 7th Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102